The Ultimate Guide to Magnesium

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Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most critical minerals in the body. It’s key to over 600 enzyme systems that regulate various biochemical reactions in the body – including protein synthesis, nerve function, blood sugar control, and blood pressure regulation. The mineral’s other well-known health-promoting benefits include pH regulation, muscle contraction, relaxation management, and keeping a normal heart rhythm. 

Related: Vivoo Magnesium Box

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral related to many aspects of our health. For example, research shows that it can help improve blood sugar control, prevent migraine attacks, reduce blood pressure levels, and protect against depression. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of magnesium for healthy adults is between 310 mg and 420 mg daily. 

While most people can meet their needs entirely from food sources, supplementation may be required in some cases. That said, it’s worth noting that undesirable complications may occur due to high doses of magnesium intake. Intake of high amounts of magnesium from food does not pose a danger in healthy individuals because the kidneys maintain the balance. But this doesn’t hold for excess magnesium derived from supplements, which could cause symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea. 

pumpkin seeds for magnesium

Monitor Your Magnesium

Magnesium plays an essential role in protein synthesis, genetic material formation (i.e., DNA and RNA), energy production, brain communication, and muscle and nerve cells function. It also aids in muscle contraction and relaxation. In addition, it is a factor key to over 600 enzymes that regulate many biochemical events in the body, including keeping blood sugar under control and regulating blood pressure.

Magnesium ranks fourth among the most abundant minerals in the human body. It is naturally found in soil, sea, plants, and animals. Out of the nearly 60% of magnesium in our body, only 1% stays in our blood. That’s because of about 60% of the magnesium in our bodies, only 1% remains in our blood. As a result, a standard blood test cannot instantly provide a complete picture of our body’s magnesium levels. Thankfully, another option exists: the urine magnesium test; unlike a blood magnesium test, the latter is fully capable of helping us identify and manage dietary magnesium deficiency.

That said, detecting magnesium deficiency can be tricky; the condition doesn’t manifest as observable signs and symptoms until levels are extremely low.

The causes of magnesium deficiency can vary, but inadequate and unbalanced nutrition is a significant factor. Excessive magnesium loss can occur through excretion and due to health conditions such as diabetes, poor absorption, chronic diarrhea, celiac disease, and alcoholism. 

Given that magnesium is a major contributor to various functions in metabolism, along with the fact that your body can’t produce it, it becomes clear that you’ll have to be mindful of your intake. Low magnesium levels can translate into symptoms like fatigue and muscle cramps. You should thus check your magnesium levels regularly to avoid disruption to normal bodily functions and unwanted symptoms. 

Magnesium (Mg) in Urine

Although many people fail to consume sufficient magnesium through their diets, dietary studies show that magnesium deficiency is rare. Instead of stemming from dietary reasons, Mg deficiency is often related to urinary and gastrointestinal system disorders. These cause Mg loss, low Mg absorption, or chronically low Mg intake. For example, uncontrolled diabetes, high alcohol consumption, and certain antibiotics and drugs increase urinary Mg loss. Chronic and excessive vomiting and diarrhea can also result in Mg deficiency.  

almonds for magnesium

In Mg deficiency, common symptoms that appear are loss of appetite, disorientation, depression, abnormal heart rhythms, and muscle cramps. Vivoo’s magnesium parameter measures your magnesium levels in real-time, so you can promptly make adjustments in your lifestyle (whenever necessary).

Low-Level Magnesium in Urine

What is considered “low magnesium level” can vary from person to person depending on their health condition and lifestyle choices? It’s also worth noting magnesium requirements could increase with age and/or when dealing with certain gastrointestinal issues (that prevent proper absorption of the mineral). When left untreated, chronic magnesium insufficiency can lead the body to “steal” the magnesium stored in the bones, potentially weakening them. 

Recent studies show a decreased magnesium intake in the population (compared to the past). There are two contributing reasons to this. The first is unhealthy eating habits, and the second is a reduction in the amount of magnesium naturally available in food sources (thanks to various environmental factors).

Causes of Mg Deficiency

oat meal for magnesium

Factors causing magnesium deficiency include: 

  • Inadequate consumption of foods containing magnesium
  • Vomiting 
  • Diuretics
  • Gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, and short bowel syndrome
  • Excessive stress
  • Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
  • Cigarette, alcohol, and drug addiction
  • Hypocalcemia (lack of calcium in the blood) and hypokalemia (lack of potassium in the blood)
  • Sweat loss 
  • Diarrhea
  • Menopause

Long Term Consequences of Mg Loss

While many people experience very few symptoms of magnesium deficiency, it can cause problems for some. Early signs of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, and nausea. If left untreated, Mg deficiency can lead to the following long-term problems:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle cramps
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  •  Psychological health decline

Optimal Urine Magnesium 

You should consume Mg at regular intervals to maintain adequate mineral levels within the body. The amount of magnesium the body needs depends on age and gender. Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in milligrams (mg):

Table 1: Average daily recommended amounts of Magnesium (mg) 

Life Stage Recommended Amount
Men 400–420 mg
Women 310–320 mg
Pregnant women 350–360 mg

Magnesium levels in the body can impact your metabolic and cardiovascular health. 

In general, healthy adults (who’re eating a healthy, balanced diet) don’t need to consume additional magnesium. That said, those with a health condition known to cause excessive Mg loss or low Mg absorption will likely need magnesium supplements.

Maintaining an Optimal Magnesium Level 

Benefits of maintaining an optimal magnesium level include:

  • It contributes to the control of hormones and food intake
  • It increases the function of calcium and potassium in the body
  • It protects our cells from harmful elements

High Urine Magnesium

Too much magnesium from foods isn’t typically a health concern for healthy adults. That’s because excess amounts of the mineral can be excreted from the body. However, the same can’t be said for the overuse of magnesium supplements. More specifically, high doses of magnesium – taken via medications or supplements – can cause serious problems, including nausea, diarrhea, muscle weakness, shallow blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat. 

Possible Causes of Excessive Magnesium

Causes of excessive magnesium include:

  • Kidney failure
  • Overuse of magnesium supplements
  • Use of medications containing magnesium
  • Diabetes
  • Calcium deficiency

 

cashews for magnesium

Magnesium and Healthy Diets

As the body easily absorbs magnesium, you can easily meet your daily mineral requirements by eating a healthy, balanced diet. The body absorbs approximately 40-60% of magnesium in foods. 

Magnesium-rich foods include dark green vegetables, spinach, hazelnuts, walnuts, dried apricots, almonds, poppy seeds, arugula, turnip, eggplant, dates, leeks, celery, beans, peas, soybeans, milk, yogurt, nuts, bananas, avocados, dark chocolate, sunflower seeds, sesame, and whole-grain cereal. That said, be mindful of your food’s oxalate and phytate content. These compounds, typically found in vegetables and grains, bind to magnesium and iron –  impacting your body’s ability to absorb them.

The best way to ensure you’re consuming adequate magnesium amounts is to eat a whole foods diet. Note that food can lose its magnesium value during preparation and processing. That’s why so many people rely on magnesium supplements to increase their magnesium intake. However, since there is more than one type of supplemental magnesium, you should consult a specialist to determine which one is appropriate for your specific needs. 

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