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September 14, 2021 | 11–14 min read

Why Your Body Needs Magnesium

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It balances all other minerals in your body, reduces the chance of stroke and prevents migraines — everything you need to know about this important mineral

For Starters, What is Magnesium?

Magnesium (Mg) is a chemical element that is abundant in the earth’s crust and is a constituent of seawater in a dissolved form. Accessible global reserves of magnesium are estimated at over 6 billion metric tons

As a metal, magnesium has many industrial and manufacturing uses, but the mineral is also an essential requirement for the basic nucleic acid chemistry of all cells contained within living organisms – including human beings. Put simply, magnesium is an essential requirement for life and consumer awareness of the importance of an adequate magnesium intake is growing. Nutritional magnesium manufacturing is a rapidly expanding niche within the vitamin and mineral supplement industry. 

The Importance of Magnesium in the Human Body

We ingest magnesium naturally whenever we consume food and water.  An average healthy human body usually contains between 20–25 grams of magnesium. 60 percent of which is in the bones, and 39% inside muscle cells; the brain, the heart, the kidneys, and the liver. Only 1% of all magnesium in the body is found in the blood. Magnesium is a key component in regulating nerves, muscle contractions, protecting bone structure, regulating energy production, as well as acidity levels in the stomach. It also plays a role in the elimination of waste products from the body and maintaining healthy bowel function. 

Magnesium also helps to:

  • Convert digested food into energy.
  • Form new proteins from amino acids.
  • Repair and create DNA and RNA.
  • Regulate neurotransmitters across the brain and nervous system.

Nutritional Magnesium Manufacturers

ICL is one of the most innovative nutritional magnesium manufacturers. The company is actively developing affordable magnesium supplements, using sustainable methods. The emphasis is on creating easily absorbed nutrients, with no side effects and minimal contraindications. ICL’s research and development also focus on the role of magnesium as a plant nutrient and its crucial effect on every cell-based organism. 

How Much Magnesium Do You Need? 

Daily magnesium requirements vary according to age and gender. From the age of 30 onwards, men need an estimated 420 mg daily and women need 320 mg. Pregnant women of any age require an additional 40 mg every day. These figures are the current recommendations issued by the US government’s National Institute of Health, but other authorities may recommend slightly different amounts. Generally, a small excess is unlikely to cause significant problems as it is usually just excreted via the kidneys. 

According to Muki Cohen, Marketing and Sales Director at ICL, there is not necessarily a correlation between the level of magnesium in your blood and the total level of magnesium in your body. Consequently, physicians cannot rely on blood test results alone to diagnose magnesium deficiency. It’s necessary to take a holistic approach and consider the performance of a range of bodily functions and possible symptoms. Cohen explains that “the best way to find out whether your body’s magnesium level is normal is paying attention to the body’s bowel movements and metabolism.”

Shortage in Magnesium

Balancing the Effects of Other Minerals

  • The human body contains approximately 40 minerals which play a vital role in maintaining our health. Each mineral has different qualities that regulate specific physical functions. It’s important that they exist in the right proportions to interact harmoniously. A key example is the relationship between magnesium and calcium inside the human body.

  • Calcium causes muscles to contract, while magnesium causes muscles to relax. While too much calcium causes calcification, too little magnesium has the same effect. Calcium is a mineral that is stored outside the body’s cells, while magnesium is found inside cells. Ensuring a healthy balance between the two is more important than simply supplementing one of them.

Health Benefits of Magnesium

The health benefits of achieving an adequate magnesium intake can be considerable. A conscious effort to eat unprocessed food with a high magnesium content may bring wider health benefits, as well as addressing any issues arising from a magnesium deficiency. Often this is not sufficient and a physician may still recommend a magnesium supplement.

Preventing Muscular Cramps

Endurance athletes (and anybody performing strenuous physical activity) can potentially reduce the risk of painful and debilitating cramps while ingesting the right amount of magnesium. Magnesium helps with the recovery of muscles after training. For the most part, athletic cramps are merely a temporary, albeit highly unwelcome discomfort that interferes with training and competitions. In rare circumstances, sudden loss of muscular control and concentration can lead to serious injury or death. 

Reduce the Chances of a Stroke

For people over the age of 40, as well as people prone to stress, magnesium may reduce the risk of suffering a stroke. Research has shown that supplementing just 100 mg of magnesium led to a reduction of approximately 8% in the chance of suffering a stroke. It can also lower diabetes hypertension, specifically systolic blood pressure, one of the risk factors associated with suffering a stroke. 

Improve Pre-diabetic Symptoms

Research performed over the last decade has found a connection between lower magnesium intake and the development of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Taking magnesium supplements improves pre-diabetic and metabolic syndrome symptoms. 

Preventing Severe Migraines

Up to 20% of the population suffers from some kind of migraine or headaches. Recently, many neurologists and international pain experts have published new medical instructions that recommend magnesium supplements as a way to prevent migraine headaches, especially of the sort that may cause disturbances to vision or speech.

Deficiencies

The average Westerner, including those who consume more than the daily recommended amount of calories, does not ingest enough magnesium to maintain optimal health. A typical adult in the developed world consumes between 200 –300 mg of magnesium each day. A 40-year-old man who is only ingesting 200 mg of magnesium is obtaining less than 50% of his daily requirement. This serious magnesium deficiency is usually due to an unhealthy diet that favors processed foods and junk food.

In some countries, this is compounded by desalinated or recycled drinking water that has been stripped of many naturally occurring minerals. In a small number of cases, gastrointestinal or kidney problems can cause a magnesium deficiency. In addition, desalinated water and recycled water used for irrigation significantly reduce magnesium levels in the fruits and vegetables we eat.

Whatever the underlying causes of a magnesium-deficient diet, nutritional magnesium manufacturers are ideally placed to help eliminate the problem. Low-cost, high-quality nutritional supplements, combined with public education, can have a significant positive impact on all health issues related to magnesium deficiency. 

Sources of Magnesium 

The single best food for combating magnesium deficiency is believed to be pumpkin seeds. A ¼ cup contains 303 mg of magnesium. For many adults, that is almost their entire daily requirement in the form of a relatively cheap and nutritious food product. Chia seeds, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, and almonds are also excellent sources of magnesium, as well as providing healthy fats and other valuable nutrients. A ¼ cup consumed daily will deliver a significant amount of magnesium to your body. 

There are enough naturally occurring sources of magnesium to accommodate most personal tastes and dietary preferences. The mineral occurs naturally in all kinds of food groups, most of which have year-round availability. Even people on a tight budget, with limited access to quality food stores, or with limited time to prepare and cook meals, should be able to increase their magnesium intake with a little prior planning. 

There is no doubt the body needs magnesium to stay healthy and we at ICL continue to actively develop high purity and high-quality magnesium compounds of various forms to the supplement and tablet industries as well as to the food industry, with the goal to continually improve the health and wellbeing of everyone around the globe.

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