Magnesium is a macroelement that supports the work of both the immune system, circulatory system as well as the muscular or nervous system.

It is an element that you reach for when you are struggling with unpleasant muscle contractions, as well as when you are tired of twitching eyelids.

Macronutrient deficiency can manifest itself in general weakness, and you always want to be in good shape, right? Therefore, it is worth getting to know the properties of magnesium, its sources and the consequences of insufficient supply of the element in the diet.

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is a chemical element that is necessary for the proper functioning of the body.

It is a mineral component called the element of life. It is classified as macronutrients, i.e. ingredients whose content in the body is more than 0.01% and the daily demand exceeds 100 mg.

Magnesium absorption occurs mainly in the small intestine, partly also in the duodenum. Typically, about 50% of the magnesium consumed is absorbed from food.

The role of magnesium in the body

Magnesium is the most important intracellular cation that activates more than 300 different enzymes. The element participates in protein biosynthesis, nerve conduction and muscle contractility. It also plays an important role in mineral homeostasis. In addition, it affects the work of the nervous and circulatory systems. It also supports the immune system.

Magnesium regulates thyroid function, can improve memory and concentration, as well as positively affect digestive processes. In addition, it supports muscle function and regulates blood pressure, so it can reduce the risk of developing hypertension.

In addition, the element participates in the process of building bones and teeth, and what's more, it can relieve menstrual pain and ailments associated with premenstrual syndrome. There are data indicating that the element can also inhibit the formation of stones in the kidneys.

Magnesium counteracts dehydration of the body, affects musculoskeletal conduction, and thus enables proper muscle contractility. Supplementing the macroelement after physical exercise protects the body from acidification and prevents unwanted muscle contractions.

Food products containing magnesium

Magnesium is commonly found in foods. Therefore, in order to cover the daily demand for this macroelement, it is worth using a healthy and balanced diet.

Natural sources of magnesium include:

  • legume seeds,
  • oat flakes,
  • nuts,
  • cocoa,
  • dark bread,
  • buckwheat groats,
  • bananas,
  • pumpkin seeds,
  • spinach,
  • fish and seafood,
  • milk, eggs and rennet cheese.

Magnesium requirement

Among healthy adults, a beneficial effect of magnesium on the body was observed with the intake of 3-4.5 mg of the element / kg b.w. / day, while providing the right amount of protein, fiber and fat in the diet.

However, individual demand depends on gender, age and physiological state. Increased supply of the element is indicated especially among pregnant women.

Adult women should take 310-320 mg of the element every day, while men should take 400-420 mg. During pregnancy, the demand is 360-400 mg / day, while among adolescents the daily dose of magnesium should be from 240 mg to 410 mg, depending on gender and age.

Magnesium deficiency

Insufficient supply of the element in the diet may contribute to the occurrence of undesirable symptoms. Among the society, groups of people can be distinguished who are particularly vulnerable to macronutrient deficiencies.

Who is at risk of magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency is primarily exposed to people who perform heavy physical work every day, as well as those who undertake intense mental effort. Low magnesium levels can also occur among pregnant women, among athletes and among people using restrictive slimming diets.

It is also worth remembering that large amounts of coffee and tea consumed every day cause magnesium to be leached from the body, which increases the risk of deficiencies.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency in the body

How to identify a magnesium deficiency? Symptoms of insufficient supply of the element include:

  • eyelid twitching,
  • muscle cramps, mainly calves,
  • tingling and numbness of the extremities,
  • headaches,
  • general weakness,
  • deterioration of well-being.

Persistently low concentration of the element in the body for a long time can contribute to the development of many diseases, such as asthma, hypertension or cardiac arrhythmia. Magnesium deficiency can cause insulin resistance and impaired secretion of this hormone.

Excess magnesium

Excess magnesium can contribute to the occurrence of undesirable symptoms, such as:

  • nausea,
  • diarrhea,
  • dizziness,
  • breathing disorders,
  • dehydration.

Most often, magnesium overdose occurs as a result of improperly taken dietary supplements rich in this ingredient.

Forms of magnesium - which magnesium to choose?

Magnesium in the form of dietary supplements comes in various forms. Which one is the best?

The most popular and easily absorbable form of the element is magnesium citrate. The bioavailability of this form of macroelement reaches even 90%. Since citric acid is a mild laxative, magnesium citrate is especially recommended for people struggling with constipation.

Magnesium lactate is also distinguished by high bioavailability. Its bioavailability is not much lower than that of magnesium citrate. The advantage of the compound is also that it shows a small intensity of side effects.

An inorganic magnesium compound that has high bioavailability is magnesium chloride. The compound can also accelerate slowed metabolism and support kidney function.

The least absorbable forms of macronutrients are magnesium oxide and magnesium carbonate. The assimilation of the element from these compounds reaches only 4%.

Magnesium supplementation

Very often in dietary supplements magnesium is accompanied by vitamin B6 and potassium.You're probably wondering why? We are in a hurry to answer!

Vitamin B6 can increase the degree of magnesium absorption by up to 40%.

In turn, potassium and magnesium are mutually complementary electrolytes that have complementary effects.

Therefore, regardless of the form of magnesium chosen, it is worth taking the microelement together with the appropriate company to increase the benefits of supplementation.

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