A Lack of Magnesium Could Be Affecting Your Health

Do you suffer from one or more of the following:  Poor sleep, Tiredness and fatigue, Restless legs, Eye twitches, PMT, Anxiety, Muscular cramps? If so, the chances are you may have a lack of magnesium in your diet.

What causes low magnesium?

Magnesium is found in foods such as nuts and seeds as well as avocados, whole grains and leafy green veg and this hard-working mineral is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body.

The bad news is that since 1940, due to intensive farming methods, the magnesium content of a variety of foods has considerably declined. As an example, a 24% loss of magnesium has been reported in vegetables and a 21% loss in milk.  Refined foods such as white flour and polished rice are also depleted in magnesium during processing.

Moreover, if your diet is high in sugars and refined carbohydrates with regular caffeinated drinks, more magnesium will be excreted from the body via the kidneys, which largely control the levels of this and other important minerals.   On top of this, magnesium absorption from the gut decreases and magnesium excretion via the kidneys increases with age.  Magnesium is also rapidly depleted in the body by excessive alcohol intake as well as by certain prescription medications such as diuretics and painkillers.

Chronic stress, whether physical or emotional, also increases our need for magnesium, as magnesium works alongside vitamin C, B6, zinc and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) to maintain adrenal health and produce adrenal stress hormones.

Research published in Open Heart identified lack of magnesium as “rampant” and “one of the leading causes of chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease and early mortality around the globe, and should be considered a public health crisis”.

Mighty Magnesium

This often overlooked but vital mineral plays a key role in areas such as energy metabolism,  maintaining strong bones and a healthy heart, sleep quality, stress resilience and recovery from exercise.

Sometimes referred to as “nature’s relaxant”, magnesium is also necessary for the proper functioning of the muscles and nerves, sustaining a normal heart rhythm and helping the body to cope with stress.  By helping to stabilise blood sugar, it can also help to prevent the anxiety and nervousness we can feel when blood sugar drops too low.  Additionally, magnesium plays an important role in the regulation of brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, helping to keep our mood stable.

Can my magnesium level be tested?

Over half of the magnesium in the body is deposited in the bone with the remainder found in the muscle and soft tissues. With less than 1% magnesium in the blood, blood tests can be misleading as a normal serum magnesium reading could still mask a magnesium deficiency inside the body’s cells.  This is because when intake of magnesium is low, the body maintains normal serum levels by pulling it from the bones and muscles. Increased intake of certain nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and phosphorous (from phosphate additives in processed meats and phosphoric acid found in soft drinks) also increases our requirement for magnesium.

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Continue reading the full and original article from:  Higher Nature

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