Magnesium is not a nutrient which gets as much coverage in the popular media as calcium or iron, for example. However, it is just as important to many bodily systems and its deficiency can lead to an array of health problems. Deficiency of this mineral is common: it can be difficult to reach optimum levels through diet alone and it is easy to lose magnesium through consumption of alcohol, coffee, black tea or soy products, just to name a few. Read on to find out more about what adequate levels of magnesium can do to support health.
1. Supports a Healthy Sleep Cycle
When magnesium is deficient in the body, this can interupt the function of the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate the sleep cycle; this disruption can be addressed through supplementation and leads to better and more restful sleep.
2. Promotes Relaxation
Magnesium can help calm tension and stress and promote relaxation and a sense of calm. This is because the neurochemical serotonin, which boosts the mood and calms the nervous system, is dependent upon magnesium to function properly.
3. Strengthens Muscles
When magnesium levels in the body are adequate, the body produces the hormone Insulin-like Growth Factor which is a major stimulator of muscle growth and development. Also, the compound adenine triphosphate (ATP) which is the “powerhouse” of the cell, requires magnesium for energy conversion.
4. Improves Flexibility
While muscle strength is incredibly important to health, so are supple muscles. Magnesium promotes this through allowing the muscles to loosen and relax properly and by preventing the storage of lactic acid which can lead to stiff and sore muscles, particularly after a workout.
5. Builds Stronger Bones
Calcium is not the only nutrient necessary for bone health: there actually around 18 essential nutrients which contribute to strong bones and magnesium is one of them. The presence of magnesium acts as a stimulant to the hormone calcitonin which builds strong bones and acts as a suppressant to the parathyroid hormone that can cause bones to demineralize and weaken.
6. Remineralizes Teeth
Insufficient magnesium alters the chemical nature of saliva and can cause an unhealthy balance between calcium and phosphorous that can lead to potential tooth damage. Supplementation can address this problem and promote strong and healthy teeth.
7. Alkalizes the Body
Acidity in body in associated with post-exercise muscle pain and is also related to inflammatory processes like osteoarthritis. Magnesium helps prevent this by altering the body’s pH balance and causing it to be more alkaline.
8. Contributes to Hydration
Proper hydration is not only a matter of adequate fluid intake but also of electrolyte balance. Magensium is one of these necessary electrolytes that allow for overall optimal body function.
9. Stimulates Enzyme Function
Enzymes are chemicals in the body which act as catalysts for all sorts of bodily processes, including the digestion and absorption of food. Many of these enzymes are dependent upon the presence of magnesium in order to carry out these necessary functions.
10. Helps Treat Diabetes
Diabetes is becoming an increasingly serious and widespread problem in the United States and can lead to serious complications like amputation and kidney failure. Magnesium helps to treat this condition through promoting the metabolism of sugar; without this, glucose and insulin build up and can lead to damage to many systems in the body.
These are all ways in which magnesium can help promote the best health possible. If magnesium deficiency is suspected, a simple blood test can determine if levels are inadequate and a supplementation plan can be formulated to restore balance to the body.