Magnesium is an essential nutrient that is vital for the proper functioning of muscles, nerves, bones, and blood sugar regulation. Insufficient intake of magnesium over a prolonged period can lead to health issues such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, or osteoporosis.
Why is it important?
Magnesium plays a critical role in numerous bodily processes. It is necessary for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves, the maintenance of optimal blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and the synthesis of protein, bone, and DNA.
Long-term low magnesium levels can result in reduced levels of calcium and potassium. Inadequate magnesium in the body may cause symptoms like headaches, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, and, in severe cases, numbness, tingling, muscle cramps, seizures, personality changes, and irregular heart rhythm.
However, instead of immediately resorting to supplements, it is worth noting that consuming a few servings of magnesium-rich foods each day can fulfill your body’s magnesium requirements.
Good sources of magnesium include nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, leafy vegetables, milk, yogurt, fortified foods, and even water (tap, mineral, or bottled). Certain laxatives and antacids also contain magnesium. For instance, one ounce of almonds contains 20% of the recommended daily magnesium intake for adults.
Magnesium plays numerous crucial roles in the body, such as supporting muscle and nerve function and aiding in energy production.
Typically, low magnesium levels do not cause noticeable symptoms. However, persistently low levels can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.
While excessive magnesium intake from food is generally not a concern for healthy adults, the same cannot be said for supplements. High doses of magnesium from supplements or medications can lead to nausea, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea.
Furthermore, magnesium in supplements can interact with certain antibiotics and other medications. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider before considering magnesium supplements, particularly if you regularly use magnesium-containing antacids or laxatives.