February 08, 2014

Magnesium

Functions of Magnesium
  • Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function 
  • It helps to keep a healthy immune system 
  • It maintains the heart rhythm and building strong bones 
  • Magnesium is also involved in at least 300 biochemical reactions in the body
Rich Sources: 

  • Rice, Wheat and Oat Bran
  • Dried Coriander leaves (174% DV per serving)
  • Other Dried Herbs - Chives, Spearmint, Dill, Sage, Basil and Savory
  • Squash, Pumpkin and Watermelon Seeds
  • Cocoa Powder (Dark Chocolate)
  • Flax seeds, Sesame Seeds and Sesame Butter (Tahini)
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds and Cashews (Mixed Nuts, Pine Nuts)
  • Molasses
  • Dry Roasted Soybeans (Edamame)
  • Soybeans
  • Oatmeal
  • Dates
  • Dry Roasted Peanuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Brown Rice
  • Bananas
  • Avocados, Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans
  • Raisins (Seedless)
  • Quinoa 
  • Walnuts
  • Bulgur
  • Corn (White or Yellow)
  • Spinach (Cooked)
Recommended Daily Intakes
  • Males 19 - 30 years of age: 400 mg daily
  • Females 19 - 30 years of age: 310 mg daily
  • Males 31 years of age and over: 420 mg daily
  • Females 31 years of age and over: 320 mg daily
  • Pregnant females 19 - 30 years of age: 350 mg daily
  • Pregnant females 31 and over: 360 mg daily
  • Breastfeeding females 19 - 30 years of age: 310 mg daily
  • Breastfeeding females 31 years of age and over: 320 mg daily
Deficiency 
  • Depression – Inadequate magnesium appears to reduce serotonin levels thus leading to depression.
  • Arrhythmia and heart failure – Inadequate magnesium intake may lead to cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat)
  • High blood pressure – Magnesium helps maintain optimum blood pressure. Decreased dietary intake of magnesium may lead to high blood pressure.
  • Restless leg syndrome – It is a disorder characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs which are worse during periods of inactivity or rest or while sitting or lying down.
  • A deficiency in magnesium can lead to muscle spasms, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, migraines, osteoporosis, and cerebral infarction. 
Symptoms
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include agitation and anxiety, restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep disorders, irritability, nausea and vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, confusion, muscle spasm and weakness, hyperventilation, insomnia, poor nail growth, and even seizures

Prone to Deficiency 
  • Older adults 
  • People with low chronic blood pressure
  • People who consume alcohol 
Overdose 
  • Common side effects from magnesium include upset stomach and diarrhea
  • Too much magnesium can cause serious health problems such as including nausea and vomiting.
  • Severely lowered blood pressure
  • Slowed heart rate and cardiac arrest
  • Respiratory paralysis 
  • Deficiencies of other minerals as it competes with other minerals for absorption
Health Benefits of Magnesium
  • Regulation of Blood Pressure - Diets high in fruits and vegetables provide both magnesium and potassium which are consistently associated with reduced blood pressure.
  • Reduced Risk of Type II Diabetes - Magnesium is involved in carbohydrate metabolism and the bodies use of insulin. Studies show that individuals with type II diabetes have low levels of magnesium in their blood. Correcting this lack of magnesium may help increase sensitivity to insulin and prevent type II diabetes.
  • Reduced Risk of Heart Attack and other Cardiovascular Diseases - Because magnesium is associated with regulation of blood pressure and lower risk of diabetes, it follows that it also reduces risk of cardiovascular disease. Elevated levels of magnesium in the blood have been associated with reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Reduced Risk of Osteoporosis - Magnesium plays a role in calcium metabolism and hormones which regulate calcium and may help to protect against osteoporosis. Several studies support that increased magnesium intake increases bone health.
  • Reduced Frequency of Migraine Headaches (*Controversial) - Studies show that individuals who have frequent migraine headaches have lower levels of magnesium than other individuals.  There is conflicting evidence as to whether increased intake of magnesium will reduce the frequency of migraines.
  • Alleviation of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) - Studies suggest that consuming higher amounts of magnesium, perhaps in conjunction with vitamin B6, helps to alleviate bloating, insomnia, leg swelling, weight gain, breast tenderness, and other symptoms associated with PMS.
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