It is estimated that over 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Because magnesium has so many vital roles to play in the human body, it is often misunderstood and overlooked. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is found in bones, red blood cells, and teeth. Magnesium is required for proper functioning of the muscular, cardiovascular and nervous systems.
However, research done on magnesium shows over 3,500 magnesium binding sites on human proteins; this indicates just how underestimated its role in human health and disease prevention may be.
More than 300 different enzymes in the body contain magnesium. These enzymes are responsible for a number of different functions including; proper formation of bones and teeth, regulation of sugar levels, relaxation of blood vessels, creation of ATP, regulation of calcium levels, and regulation of bowel function.
Like vitamin D, the role of magnesium appears to be far more complex than what was previously thought. Studies indicate that proper levels of magnesium can help keep blood pressure in control and prevent a sudden heart attack or stroke from occurring.
According to GreenMedInfo.com, magnesium benefits are far reaching and include therapeutic benefits for such conditions as:
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Migraine headaches
Because magnesium is vital to detoxification, it provides protection from environmental damage such as chemicals, heavy metals and other toxins. The body’s most powerful antioxidant, glutathione requires magnesium to be synthesized.
Magnesium is also used to treat a number of health conditions including attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, lyme disease, restless leg syndrome, diabetes, kidney stones, hearing loss, asthma and altitude sickness.
Athletes use magnesium to increase energy and boost performance. Skin conditions such as ulcers, boils as well as wounds may benefit from magnesium. When used as a cold compress, it can heal infections caused by strep bacteria or as a hot compress for skin infections.
Are You Magnesium Deficient?
It is relatively safe to assume that most Americans do not get enough magnesium. A magnesium deficiency left unchecked can result in numbness and tingling, seizures, coronary spasms, muscle cramps and even personality changes.
Although you can get this vital mineral from your diet, most people do not eat enough whole foods. Foods that are high in magnesium are generally high in fiber and include such things as whole grains, vegetables, especially leafy greens, squash, broccoli, seeds and nuts.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include such things as loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fatigue and weakness and headache. If you suspect that you are not getting enough magnesium, you should discuss this with your health care practitioner. They may suggest that you take a supplement. Magnesium oil is a popular way to balance magnesium levels by absorbing it through the skin.
Sources for this article include: