Getting the right amount of magnesium in the diet is not something most people think much about. But insufficient levels of this all-important nutritional mineral can actually shorten the lifespan, and increase your risk of life-threatening illnesses.

Certain groups of people - those with type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, alcohol dependence and aging adults - are at a higher risk to fall below the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) due to dietary issues. Some medical conditions can reduce magnesium absorption in the gut and cause magnesium depletion.

The power of magnesium

Magnesium is referred to as a macromineral.  It’s one of seven macrominerals and is essential to more than 300 enzymatic functions.  In addition, it helps to synthesize proteins and fatty acids, metabolize food and plays a vital role in the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain.

To maintain optimal health, about 100 mg of magnesium are needed daily.  Fortunately, magnesium is in a variety of affordable supplements and foods such as green leafy vegetables, shrimp, whole grains, seeds, nuts and legumes. 

In addition, thankfully, the body naturally protects itself from depletion by limiting excretion of magnesium through urination.

Discover 6 ways magnesium supports optimal health

Magnesium plays an important role in glucose metabolism.  Getting enough magnesium into your diet and/or supplement routine can help to lower the risk of diabetes.  In fact, as little as 100 mg increase has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes by 15%.

Migraine sufferers typically have lower levels of magnesium in their systems than people who do not. Research on the magnesium-migraine connection is still limited, but the American Migraine Foundation promotes magnesium as a viable complimentary treatment.

A simple thing like increasing magnesium levels (when deficient) can help to prevent premature death.  Keep in mind, regulating blood pressure - which (if too high) is known to be a major risk factor of cardiovascular disease - is always a good idea. 

Did you know that low magnesium levels are linked to cardiac arrhythmia - a heart-rhythm disorder which can be fatal.  Those living with high blood pressure and those who are at a greater risk for heart disease should speak with their healthcare provider about testing their magnesium levels.  After all, it's always best to test, not guess.

In addition, low magnesium levels tend to alter which bacteria are present in the gut, and this change can lead to emotional health issues.  Magnesium also keeps the hypothalamic, pituitary and adrenal glands in optimal health - which is vital to a person’s ability to manage stress levels.

Women may find relief from premenstrual symptoms (PMS) by increasing magnesium and vitamin B6 levels prior to the time of menstruation.

Plus, magnesium helps to keep bones healthy and strong.  Without it, bones are unable to assimilate adequate amounts of calcium.  Interesting to note: postmenopausal women who maintain optimal magnesium levels lower their risk of developing osteoporosis.

Action step: Make the most of your magnesium consumption

The RDA of magnesium of 420 mg a day for most men and 320 mg for most women.

Most people can consume that amount from a balanced (healthy) diet.  But, keep in mind, proper absorption will have a lot to do with toxicity issues within the body. 

Bottom line: if the body is toxic with glyphosate or heavy metals (just as an example) - this could diminish your ability to absorb the nutrients you need.  Therefore, it's always a good idea to work with a trusted (integrative) healthcare provider to better understand your nutritional needs or the need for detoxification.

Sources for this article include:

NaturalHealth365.com

NIH.gov

AmericanMigraineFoundation.org