The Importance of Magnesium

Magnesium activates over 300 enzyme reactions in the body, translating to thousands of biochemical reactions happening on a constant everyday basis. Magnesium is crucial to nerve transmission, muscle contraction and relaxation, blood coagulation, energy production, nutrient metabolism and bone and cell formation.

Magnesium is required for virtually every biochemical process necessary for life.
Magnesium deficiency is widespread in the western world. In fact, recent studies show that many Americans are magnesium deficient, with some studies placing that number as high as 80% of us being deficient!

Magnesium is a vital component of every living cell.

If magnesium is not supplied in the proper amounts, in the way that nature intended, our bodies suffer and symptoms develop.

Some common symptoms of magnesium deficiency:
●  Anxiety and Stress
●  Insomnia and poor quality sleep
design (13)●  Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
●  Migraine and headaches
●  Muscle cramping, spasms and weakness
●  Thinning hair and hair loss
●  Accelerated aging of the skin
● Increase in the appearance of cellulite
●  Abnormal heart rhythms
●  Blood pressure regulation

Good dietary sources of magnesium: nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables, whole grains and legumes

  • Sunflower seeds, dry roasted, 1 cup: 512 mg
  • Almonds, dry-roasted, 1 cup: 420 mg
  • Sesame seeds, roasted whole, 1 ounce: 101 mg
  • Spinach, boiled, 1 cup: 78 mg
  • Cashews, dry-roasted, 1 ounce: 74 mg
  • Soy milk, plain, 1 cup: 61 mg
  • Black beans, cooked, 1 cup: 120 mg
  • Oatmeal, cooked, 1 cup: 58 mg
  • Broccoli, cooked, 1 cup: 51 mg
  • Edamame, shelled, cooked, 1 cup: 100 mg
  • Peanut butter, smooth, 2 tablespoons: 49 mg
  • Shrimp, raw, 4 ounces: 48 mg
  • Black-eyed peas, cooked, 1 cup: 92 mg
  • Brown rice, cooked, 1 cup: 84 mg
  • Kidney beans, canned, 1 cup: 70 mg
  • Zucchini squash, 1 med.:  35 mg
  • Cow’s milk, whole, 1 cup: 33 mg
  • Banana, one medium: 33 m
  • Bread, whole-wheat, one slice: 23 mg

The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends the following intake of magnesium:  The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is based on age and gender.

• From 1 to 3 years of age: 80 mg a day
• From 4 to 8 years: 130 mg a day
• from 9 to 13 years: 240 mg a day

Male and Female age 14+:
• Males aged 14 to 18 years: 410 mg a day
• Males aged 19 years and over: 400 to 420 mg a day
• Females aged 14 to 18 years: 360 mg a day
• Females aged 19 years and over: 310 to 320 mg a day
• During pregnancy: 350 to 400 mg a day
• During breast feeding: 310 to 360 mg a day

Magnesium Overdose Risks:
Overdosing of magnesium through dietary sources is unlikely.  Any excess magnesium that is consumed in food will be eliminated in urine.

  • Magnesium from supplements can lead to gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, nausea, and cramping.
  • Very large doses can cause kidney problems, low blood pressure, urine retention, nausea and vomiting, depression and lethargy, a loss of central nervous system (CNS) control, cardiac arrest and possibly death.
  • Anyone with a kidney problems should not take magnesium supplements, unless their doctor advises it.
  • Always check your prescriptions and supplements for interactions with magnesium.

More to come on magnesium…

By Rachel Malo, PTS, CSCC