(NaturalHealth365) As a macronutrient crucial to good health, magnesium is no slouch. This powerful mineral takes part in about 300 enzyme activities going on in your body, impacting everything from protein synthesis to blood pressure regulation.
Magnesium is also vital to a number of energy-related functions, earning it the reputation as the body’s ‘energizer’. Surprising, to most people, magnesium is responsible for:
- Bone development
- Synthesis of DNA, RNA and the antioxidant glutathione
- Plus, the active transport of potassium and calcium ions across cellular membranes, which is critical to such bodily functions as muscle contraction, nerve impulse conduction, and proper heart rhythm.
What are the warning signs of magnesium deficiency?
When your body is short of magnesium for an extended period of time, it takes a toll on your health. Signs of a magnesium deficiency include anxiety, irritability, weakness and fatigue, as well as a general feeling of energy depletion. Many health experts warn that if you experience:
- Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
- Unexplainable muscle cramps or tremors
- Abnormal heart function
- Or, kidney stones
You may be magnesium deficient. While these symptoms may seem vague, they shouldn’t be ignored and when other health concerns are ruled out, magnesium deficiency should be suspect.
While fatigue may be the prevailing symptom, a magnesium deficiency can cause havoc inside your body. Research has shown that lowered levels of magnesium can cause red blood cells to become fragile, meaning fewer available to deliver much-needed oxygen to the body’s tissues.
In addition to red blood cell issues depleting the body of energy, lowered magnesium levels can decrease your body’s efficiency at using stored energy and optimizing calorie burn. Those with lower magnesium levels often experience a greater need for oxygen and an increased heart rate when exercising.
Because of its role in maintaining bone structure, magnesium deficiency has also been linked to brittle bones and osteoporosis, while its role in glycolysis can promote further insulin resistance among those suffering from diabetes and related metabolic disorders when insufficient levels are available.
Energize yourself by increasing your magnesium levels
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium in adults over 30 is 420 mg/day for men and 320 mg/day for women. Young adults should get about 400 mg/day for men and 310 mg/day for women. While magnesium is widely available in leafy green vegetables, cereals and fruits, it’s estimated that between 68 and 75 percent of adults in the United States are magnesium deficient.
A diet rich in magnesium is the best way to ensure enough magnesium for optimal health, allowing for vital metabolic function, and promoting healthy bone structure and cardiovascular health.
Try to get five servings daily of magnesium rich foods, such as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, brazil nuts, swiss chard, kale and, my favorite, cacoa. Getting adequate magnesium through the foods you eat provides a more steady supply of this vital macronutrient. This is important since your body is frequently using its stores of magnesium – especially athletes.
Due to modern farming techniques, mineral-deprived soil quality and the consumption of processed foods – most people are lucky if they get around 200 mg. of magnesium per day from their meals. So, magnesium expert, Carolyn Dean, MD, ND recommends “one-quarter tsp of sea salt (not table salt) in every pint of drinking water for the sodium and the 72 trace minerals that it contains.”
Don’t forget – as a general rule – drink half your body weight in ounces of water (every day) to stay well hydrated. In terms of a high-quality magnesium supplement, Dr. Dean recommends picometer magnesium, in order to reach a “therapeutic level equivalent to IV magnesium without any laxative effect.”