Magnesium is one of the important mineral or electrolyte required by our body. It is widely known that magnesium is required for about 300 biochemical reactions taking place in our body. It is present all our body including bones, muscles, tissues and body fluids. As per ICMR RDA 2010, an average adult man needs 340 mg and woman needs 310 mg magnesium per day. Magnesium is found in various foods like beans, amaranth, nuts, seeds, spinach, oats, banana, fish, yoghurt and avocados.
Now the question arises that why we need magnesium in our body.
- Bone strength - Magnesium is one of the important minerals required to maintain the bone density, as it helps in mineralization of bones. It assists in the absorption of calcium and activation of vitamin D in the kidneys, thus keeping our bones healthy. Studies have shown that women who consume magnesium adequately in the diet have a lower risk of developing osteoporosis in the later stage post-menopause.
- Energy metabolism - Magnesium is required during the metabolism of carbohydrates to derive energy. Inadequate magnesium levels in the body promote insulin resistance and increased risk of diabetes.
- Cardiovascular health - Magnesium is again an important nutrient to maintain a healthy heart. This is because it is needed for cardiac muscle strength and the transmission of certain nerve signals. Low magnesium levels in the body not only leads to hardening of blood vessels but also increases the deposition of cholesterol across the arterial walls. This might obstruct the blood flow resulting in a stroke. Heart stroke is also a consequence of hypertension. People with low magnesium levels have higher chances of developing high blood pressure. Several studies have been conducted to establish a relationship and found that magnesium supplementation was beneficial in lowering blood pressure among hypertensive patients.
- Relieve migraine headaches - It has been found that people suffering from migraines usually have low magnesium levels in their body. Deficiency of magnesium has been linked to frequent headaches and increased risk of migraine. However, there is no specific amount of magnesium which has been inferred, therefore, it is better to consult an expert before choosing any magnesium supplement for a migraine.
- Reduce stress and anxiety - As already discussed that magnesium is required for proper transmission of nerve signals, hence, it is important for our brain health. Some researchers claim that magnesium supplementation could also be used for the treatment of anxiety. By regulating certain neurotransmitters, magnesium plays a role in relieving anxiety levels in the body.
To conclude, we can say that magnesium is critical for our health. Deficiency can lead to several health complications like lethargy, dizziness, muscle weakness, twitching, spasms, cramps, nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, seizures and irregular heartbeats. Our diet should be adequately rich in magnesium sources to meet daily needs. In case of a lack of food sources, magnesium supplements are also a good option. They are easily available in several forms and compositions. However, magnesium supplements should never be consumed without a doctor’s consultation, to prevent the symptoms of magnesium toxicity or hypermagnesemia.