SUPPLEMENT - MINERALS
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Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. It has been recognized as a cofactor for more than 300 enzymatic reactions, where it is crucial for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) metabolism. (1) Magnesium is required for DNA and RNA synthesis, reproduction, and protein synthesis. Furthermore, magnesium is essential for the regulation of muscular contraction, blood pressure, insulin metabolism, cardiac excitability, vasomotor tone, nerve transmission, and neuromuscular conduction. About 60% of the magnesium in your body is found in bone, while the rest is in muscles, soft tissues and fluids, including blood. Studies suggest that about 50% of people in the US get less than the recommended daily amount of magnesium. (2)
Magnesium is involved in bone formation and influences the activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. (3) Several population-based studies have found positive associations between magnesium intake and bone mineral density in both men and women. (4) Magnesium deficiency has been associated with a number of clinical disorders including osteoporosis. (5) It also affects the concentrations of both parathyroid hormone and the active form of vitamin D. Vitamin D’s bioavailability depends on magnesium and it is necessary to convert vitamin D, which is essential in helping the body absorb and use calcium, into its active form so that it can turn on calcium absorption. (6, 7) Therefore, a lack of magnesium can interfere with the absorption of calcium, which plays an important role in bone growth and development.
Research done in rats suggests that magnesium helps to improve physical performance. It helps fuel muscles by enhancing the flow of glucose and helps your body get rid of lactic acid (a byproduct of exercise that can lead to post-workout stiffness). According to the Washington Post, magnesium helps muscles remain flexible. (8) Without magnesium, muscles can’t relax and result in cramping and possible injury. Low magnesium levels can further result in a buildup of lactic acid, causing pain and tightness in your muscles after a workout. Meeting your daily magnesium requirements provides the body with much-needed energy needed for hitting the gym and ensures a good night’s rest through the production of serotonin. Serotonin is crucial in relaxing the nervous system, ensuring good emotional well-being and contributes to healthy sleeping patterns. Research from 2012 found out that magnesium supplements were very effective to improve sleep efficiency, sleep time, and reduce early morning awakening, especially in older adults. (9)
Magnesium can also help prevent migraines and reduce anxiety. Low levels of magnesium are associated with an increased risk of depression. One analysis in over 8,800 people found that people under the age of 65 with the lowest magnesium intake had a 22% greater risk of depression. (10) Magnesium deficiency is related to factors that promote headaches, including neurotransmitter release and vasoconstriction. (11) People who experience migraine headaches have lower levels of serum and tissue magnesium than those who do not. Some studies have found that children diagnosed with ADHD were more likely to have magnesium deficiencies than children who did not. One small study of 25 children with ADHD and 25 children without, suggested that magnesium supplementation helped improve cognitive function in children with ADHD who also had a magnesium deficiency. (12)
In addition, Magnesium plays an important role in regulating blood pressure. (13) It relaxes muscle cells in veins and arteries, in order not to constrict the flow of blood. Magnesium also regulates other minerals vital to blood pressure and maintains the delicate balance between sodium and potassium. It helps the body absorb calcium and not be deposited in arteries. In cohort studies, a 2017 clinical review involving 20,119 cases of hypertension (and 180,566 people) found magnesium reduced risk of high blood pressure. (14) Just taking 100 mg per day of a magnesium supplement was associated with a 5% reduction.
1. Gröber U, Schmidt J, Kisters K. Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients. 2015 Sep 23; 7 (9): 8199-226.
2. Rosanoff A, Weaver CM, Rude RK. Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated? Nutr Rev. 2012 Mar; 70 (3): 153-64.
3. Rude RK, Singer FR, Gruber HE. Skeletal and hormonal effects of magnesium deficiency. J Am Coll Nutr. 2009 Apr; 28 (2): 131-41.
4. Tucker KL. Osteoporosis prevention and nutrition. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2009 Dec; 7 (4): 111-7.
5. Rude RK, Singer FR, Gruber HE. Skeletal and hormonal effects of magnesium deficiency. J Am Coll Nutr. 2009 Apr; 28 (2): 131-41.
6. Sylvia Christakos, Puneet Dhawan, Angela Porta, Leila J. Mady, Tanya Seth Vitamin D and Intestinal Calcium Absorption Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011 Dec 5; 347 (1-2): 25-29
7. Carolyn Dean. Magnesium Is Crucial for Bones HUFFPOST. 2012 Jun; Retrieved from: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bone-health_b_1540931?guccounter=1https://www.huffpost.com/author/carolyn-dean-md-nd
8. Casey Seidenberg. There’s no magic bullet for fitness, but magnesium comes close The Washington Post. 2016 Nov; Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/magnesium-does-a-body-good/2016/11/17/f90cedfa-ab4b-11e6-a31b-4b6397e625d0_story.html?wpisrc=nl_lean&wpmm=1
9. Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec; 17 (12): 1161-9.
10. Tarleton EK, Littenberg B. Magnesium intake and depression in adults. J Am Board Fam Med. 2015 Mar-Apr; 28 (2): 249-56.
11. Sun-Edelstein C, Mauskop A. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine. Expert Rev Neurother. 2009 Mar; 9 (3): 369-79.
12. Farida El Baza, Heba Ahmed, Sally S. Zahra, Rana Abdelhakim Ahmed Mahmoud. Magnesium supplementation in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder 2015 Jul ;17 (1)
13. Rosanoff A. [Magnesium and hypertension]. Clin Calcium. 2005 Feb; 15 (2): 255-60.
14. Hedong Han, Xin Fang, Xin Wei, Yuzhou Liu, Zhicao Jin, Qi Chen, Zhongjie Fan, Jan Aaseth, Ayako Hiyoshi, Jia He, Yang Cao. Dose-response relationship between dietary magnesium intake, serum magnesium concentration and risk of hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies Nutr J. 2017 May; 16: 26.
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