Magnesium is an incredibly important mineral which plays a part in numerous vital body processes. It is required for proper muscle contraction, and lack of it may cause weakness, fatigue, arrhythmia, muscle spasms and eye twitches.

Magnesium deficiency isn’t discoverable by a blood test as there’s only 1% of the mineral in the blood. Most of it is stored in the bones and organs and used for important biological functions. Most of the American population is magnesium deficient, although people don’t realize it.

According to data from studies, about 80% of Americans suffer from lack of magnesium, with only 25% of the American population intaking the recommended daily amount of the mineral (310-320 mg. for men and 400-420 mg. for women). Magnesium isn’t only important for the heart and bones – its effect on our overall health is pretty underestimated. Magnesium affects more than 300 active enzymes in the body and also plays a part in the detoxification process. This means that the mineral can prevent toxic overload and the damage it can do.

Magnesium is also required for digestion of protein, fats and carbs, as well as a precursor to neurotransmitters such as serotonin. It activates the movement of muscles and nerves and provides the body with energy. Finally, the mineral serves as the building block of DNA and RNA synthesis.

According to a research by the popular Dr. Dean who studied magnesium for over 15 years, lack of magnesium in the body causes the following health problems:

  • Tooth decay and loss;
  • Fatigue;
  • Cystitis;
  • Migraines;
  • Liver disease;
  • Raynaud’s syndrome;
  • Asthma;
  • Blood clots;
  • Osteoporosis;
  • Anxiety and panic attacks;
  • Kidney and heart disease;
  • PMS, infertility, preeclampsia;
  • Nerve problems;
  • Insomnia;
  • Diabetes;
  • Musculoskeletal problems;
  • Bowel disease;
  • Depression;
  • High blood pressure.

The usual early warning signs of magnesium deficiency are fatigue, overall weakness, nausea, headaches and loss of appetite. The other important symptoms you should pay attention to are personality changes, seizures, abnormal heart rhythm, tingling and numbness in the limbs, coronary spasms and muscle cramps and involuntary contractions.

Magnesium and its effect on diabetes and cancer

Although most people would never associate magnesium with a chronic disease, it plays a role here as well. Many studies have shown that the body needs magnesium to run properly and prevent diabetes. The higher the magnesium intake, the lower the chances of high blood glucose levels. At the same time, the mineral can stop the progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes in middle-aged Americans.

Other studies have shown that women with a high magnesium intake have a greater bone density, while one Norwegian study showed that drinking magnesium-infused water can decrease the risk of hip fractures.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition came to the discovery that high magnesium intake lowers the risk of colorectal tumors, while a meta-analysis of more studies discovered that for every 100 mg. of magnesium consumed, the risk of colorectal cancer reduces by 12%. Scientists think that the anti-cancer properties of the mineral may be linked to its ability to reduce insulin resistance.

Factors that influence your magnesium levels

Magnesium can be found in seaweed, Swiss chard, sunflower seeds, spinach, sesame seeds, leafy green vegetables, pumpkin seeds, avocados, beans and various nuts. The vegetables should be eaten raw or juiced in order to benefit from the mineral.

Although it was easy to get before, nowadays it’s a lot harder to get magnesium through food sources. Magnesium is farmed out of the soil, leaving only traces in the foods themselves. The herbicides and pesticides constantly used on the soil block the uptake of minerals, while the processing and cooking further deplete the vegetables of magnesium.

Some foods can also influence the absorption of magnesium in the body, and drinking alcohol can also interfere with the absorption of this mineral and vitamin D as well. According to Dr. DanineFruge from Florida, excessive sugar consumption should also be considered a culprit.

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