Monday, April 5, 2010


Magnesium is an essential mineral and the fourth most abundant in the human body. It plays a role in bone mineralization, energy metabolism, muscle contraction and nerve impulse transmission. About 50% of the body’s total magnesium is housed in the bone. The other 50% is in cells of tissues and organs. Only 1% is in the blood, and the body keeps this fraction as a constant. More than 300 enzymes require the use of this mineral. Reactions catalyzed by it include fatty acid synthesis, glucose metabolism and protein productions. It also enhances the absorption of calcium in the intestine.

Increasingly, there has been an awareness that magnesium may be used to treat, manage and prevent disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension.

It is the central mineral in chlorophyll. That means that anything that’s green is going to be a good source of it. Another source of magnesium can be tap water. The amount varies whether the water supply of minerals is hard or soft. Hard water, usually naturally contains more minerals, including magnesium.

Whole grains are great sources of it. However, when the grains are refined and they take off that outer bran area, magnesium and B vitamins are lost. The B vitamins are replaced, but magnesium is not.

Deficiencies in the United States are not prevalent. The concern of under-consumption of magnesium does not seem to be high among healthcare providers. However, dietary surveys show that Americans do not have enough of this mineral in their diet. Optimal intake may protect against cardiovascular disease and immune dysfunction.

Symptoms of deficiency include confusion, hallucinations, nervousness and muscular weakness. Suboptimal levels increase the likelihood of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. These diseases are epidemic in the United States. So, keep eating your green vegetables and whole grains!

Older adults have an increased risk of having a deficiency. Magnesium supplements may benefit individuals who have trouble controlling their diabetes. These individuals often experience an increased mineral loss in their urine. Other people who could benefit from supplements are alcoholics. 30% to 60% of alcoholics demonstrate low blood levels of this mineral.

Excess magnesium is filtered through the kidney, so it is hard to overdose from dietary sources. Renal disease, however, can cause deficiency and excess. Typical symptoms of excess magnesium include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and low blood pressure. If the state of excess continues for a prolonged period of time, the toxicity can result in cardiovascular and muscle irregularities.

Daily Recommended Amounts

Infant, 0–6 months30 milligrams
Infant, 7–12 months75 milligrams
Child, 1–3 years80 milligrams
Child, 4–8 years130 milligrams
Male, 9–13 years240 milligrams
Male, 14–18 years410 milligrams
Male, 19–50 years400 milligrams
Male, 51–70 years420 milligrams
Female, 9–13 years240 milligrams
Female, 14–18 years360 milligrams
Female, 19–50 years320 milligrams
Female, 51–70 years320 milligrams

Good Sources

1 oz cashews745 milligrams
1 cup broccoli39 milligrams
1 cup spinach, boiled156 milligrams
1 oz pumpkin seeds, roasted151 milligrams
1 cup black beans120 milligrams
1 banana32 milligrams
1 cup oatmeal56 milligrams

No comments:

Post a Comment

Template by bloggertheme