Are the Health Benefits of Magnesium a Myth?

Magnesium is a vital mineral that is needed by the body for various functions such as protein synthesis, DNA and RNA synthesis, among over 300 chemical reactions in the body. A magnesium deficiency might result in several health conditions such as cardiac or nervous disorders. Fortunately, magnesium can easily be found in common foods that we eat daily such as leafy greens, dairy, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. With that being said, we’ve seen various reports, both in the media and around the internet, on studies about the health benefits of magnesium. Some of the evidence-based data may be scientifically unsupported and this begs the question, “Are the health benefits of magnesium a myth?”

Supplements or Diet?

Most of the studies that have been conducted revolve around the magnesium found in food. Despite the abundance of magnesium on earth, there is a section of experts suggesting that relying on diet alone doesn’t supply our bodies with the daily recommended intake of magnesium.

Given the vast chemical processes that are made possible by magnesium, a group of experts and dieticians recommend combining both supplementation and dietary magnesium to fulfill the required amounts. While supplementation can be an option, especially where a deficiency has been detected, it could cause biological effects such as diarrhea. However, the use of supplements is safe and adverse side effects are rare.

Magnesium Myths Debunked You Need Supplementation

Like we mentioned earlier, magnesium can easily be obtained from a wide variety of foods. While studies show that half the American population lacks sufficient amounts of magnesium, its best to opt for dietary magnesium as the primary source. Unless doctors recommend supplementation, you should be okay eating plenty of dark, leafy green veggies, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

Avoid Fluoridated Water

Some studies have shown that fluoridated water leaches magnesium from your body. The evidence from these studies proves that there are interactions between fluoride and magnesium. However, considering that most people take foods rich in magnesium, it’s rare for the majority of the population to have very low magnesium levels that could potentially cause harm to the body.

Magnesium Health Benefits Magnesium Is Good for Your Heart

Actually, magnesium can help to treat people suffering from heart attacks, high blood pressure, hypertension, and other heart-related diseases. A study investigating a group of people with high blood pressure has shown that those who took 450mg per day saw a significant decrease in blood pressure. However, the results were only evident in people with high blood pressure.

Magnesium and Migraines

No one likes to have a migraine. Not only does it cause unbearable pain, but also causes nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise. It’s a common perception that people with magnesium deficiency experience migraines the most. A few studies have shown a correlation between taking magnesium supplementation and relief from acute migraines. Increasing intake of magnesium-rich foods can also reduce migraine occurrences.

Improves Energy Reaction

Mitochondria are home to the highest percentage of magnesium in the body. Given that a huge portion of the energy you need for physiological functions is produced in the mitochondria via the movement of electrons over the respiratory system, it explains why lack of magnesium leads to fatigue. A study has shown that athletes who took magnesium supplements for a period of four weeks improved their speed and overall performance in a triathlon. However, more studies need to be conducted to shed more light on this.

Reduces Stress and Depression

GABA is a neurotransmitter that aids in the production of serotonin, the “happy” hormones. For GABA receptors to fully perform their duties, magnesium plays a significant role. In return, GABA promotes calmness of the nerves, relaxation, better sleep and even lowers anxiety and stress. For this reason, people with low levels of magnesium are more likely to develop brain issues such as mental illness and depression. Supplementing with magnesium can help improve brain function and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Enhances Muscle Function

Magnesium is mostly found in your muscles and cells and is responsible for controlling neuromuscular signal transmission. This ensures that your muscles contract and relax without complications. Lack of enough magnesium may lead to spasms and muscles stiffness.

Magnesium Contains Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Inflammation is one of the leading causes of obesity and aging. If you’re not getting enough magnesium from your diet, supplementation may be the best option. People with high blood pressure, diabetes, and overweight individuals can use magnesium supplements to reduce inflammation.

Conclusion

Magnesium is an essential mineral that our bodies require to perform its core functions. Try as much as you can to get its benefits from natural foods. However, if you’re unable to get this from diet alone, there are several supplements to consider.

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