Do you suffer from leg cramps at night, tension headaches, or painful periods? Do your eyelids twitch when you are tired? Chances are that you may be magnesium deficient. Believe it or not magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and is necessary for over 300 reactions within the body. So disturbances in magnesium concentration can cause a number of clinical problems.
Magnesium deficiency has far-reaching impacts on your health and well-being. It is an is important part of bone health, heart health, a healthy nervous system, cellular energy, hormone regulation and the relaxation and activation of muscle tissue. Evidence has linked insufficient intake to a variety of symptoms and conditions, from simple irritability to chronic pain to life-threatening disease. Also many of the symptoms of low magnesium are not unique to magnesium deficiency, making it difficult to diagnose.
Low magnesium levels may initially manifest as a loss of appetite, nausea, weakness and fatigue or unusual tiredness. Magnesium deficiencies can also result in numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures due to excessive electrical activity in the brain, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythm and coronary spasms.
So how can you increase your magnesium intake? Magnesium is found in whole grain cereals, green leafy vegetables, legumes, soybeans, nuts, dried fruit, animal protein and seafood. However, magnesium supplementation is recommended and safe, especially for the population with below the recommended daily magnesium intake (minimum recommended daily intake of magnesium for adults is 6 mg/kg body weight).
There are a number of types of magnesium available which vary by delivery and form of magnesium. Oral forms of magnesium are swallowed and pass through the digestive tract. Tested levels of absorption of oral magnesium supplements vary from 4% absorbed to about 50%. Examples of potent oral supplementation include Wagner Magnesium Forte 400, VitaScience Magnesium Forte, and Nature’s Own Magnesium Chelate.
Magnesium is also available in topical applications. Magnesium applied to the skin can be absorbed directly into your cells, bypassing the digestive system. Transdermal or “topical” magnesium products work in a way that is similar to transdermal patches. An example of Topical magnesium preparations are MagSorb Transdermal Magnesium Oil, Ancient Minerals Magnesium Lotion and Power BodyCare Magnesium Mineral Soak Relax and Rejuvenate.
Given the many negative impacts a low intake of magnesium has on our health, coupled with the notable place magnesium plays in our bodies as a fundamental nutrient, magnesium supplementation is more and more common among health conscious adults. However, if you are unsure whether magnesium supplementation is right for you, make sure to always consult a healthcare professional.