Sunday, 30 November 2014

Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels) is probably the most underdiagnosed electrolyte deficiency

Magnesium the Forgotten Mineral

Russell Setright

Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels) is probably the most underdiagnosed electrolyte deficiency. Magnesium is involved in DNA and RNA synthesis and magnesium is a cofactor for more than 300 enzyme systems and is involved in both aerobic and anaerobic energy generation.

Like calcium, much (60 per cent) of our magnesium is in our bones. Calcium and magnesium work together; magnesium helps regulate the amount of calcium that enters cells and a sufficiency of magnesium is also needed to help prevent osteoporosis. Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency may induce muscle spasms and cramps, particularly at night in bed, as well as heartbeat abnormalities, poor concentration and attention span, hyper-irritability, excitability, vertigo and twitching of a cheek and eye muscles. Also studies have found magnesium may lower the risk of metabolic syndrome, improve glucose and insulin metabolism, relieve symptoms of dysmenorrhea, and alleviating leg cramps in women who are pregnant

These night leg cramps can be very painful and affect quality of life by interrupting normal sleeping patterns around 70% of adults and 7% of children have reported experiencing leg cramps. Because of magnesium’s role in neuromuscular signals and muscle contraction, researchers have observed that magnesium deficiency is often to blame.

Restless leg syndrome can be another warning that the dietary intake of magnesium is inadequate. Increasing foods high in magnesium or supplementing may help reduce the incidence of leg cramps and restless leg syndrome you will want to increase your intake of both magnesium and potassium.

As magnesium is part of the chlorophyll molecule, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, are good sources of magnesium. The Australian adult recommended dietary intake (RDI) is around 420 mg a day for men and 320 mg a day for women. However, those who exercise regularly need more, since magne­sium is lost in sweat.

Studies have found that low magnesium may be a contributing factor in some breathing disorders, since magnesium relaxes smooth muscle in the lung, lowers lung hypersensitivity, and may help reduce the incidence of wheezing. Furthermore, lung function may improve by including more foods in the diet that are high in magnesium..

Other studies found that increased dietary magnesium may help lower blood pressure in people with mild to moderate hypertension, A 2012 study with 241,378 participants published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition uncovered that a diet high in magnesium foods could reduce the risk of a stroke by 8%. Also magnesium may also help reduce the incidence and severity of migraine headaches.  Studies have found that 600mg of magnesium daily may reduce the frequency of migraine headaches by up to 42% and since magnesium is a natural relaxant it may help induce a restful night’s sleep.

It has been known for some time that people living in areas where the drinking water is hard, that is, high in calcium and magnesium, have lower rates of heart disease. The cardiac protection by hard water is thought to be attributed to the enhanced magnesium intake.

Magnesium deficiency may also lead to a low potassium status. Most potassium in our bodies is intracellular (inside our cells). The concentration of potassium in blood plasma must be controlled with­in very narrow limits, since the correct concentration is vital to the function of the heart, the nervous system, muscles, and many other bodily functions. Potassium deficiency may cause tiredness, muscle fatigue, apathy, depression, and hypertension; in fact many of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. However, because excess potassium can be dangerous, you should not take potassium sup­plements unless they are prescribed by a qualified healthcare practitioner. Wholegrains, vegetables, and fruit are good dietary sources of potassium.

Magnesium depletion has also been shown to cause insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion and magnesium supplements have been reported to improve glucose tolerance and insulin response in the elderly.

The importance of magnesium is well documented but are we getting enough of this important mineral from our diets? This question is answered in the following studies. An analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2005–2006 found that a majority of Americans of all ages ingest less magnesium from food than their respective RDIs and Evaluation of micronutrient intakes of older Australians: The National Nutrition Survey—1995 found on average, the magnesium consumption levels of Australian men and women are also below the RDI.

supplement - Blackmores Magnesium Powder follow directions

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