Magnesium plays a role in more than 300 processes in your body. Read that again. Everything, from your body’s storage of energy, your nervous system activity, cardiac health, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and yet, a deficiency is alarmingly common in both men and women.
WHY ARE SO MANY OF US DEFICIENT?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium for men is 420 mg and for women 320 mg.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that half were consuming less than 75–80% of the RDA for magnesium. Another study found that magnesium intake among high-school and college women was only 125 mg/day.
Low magnesium is due in large part to our nutrient-depleted refined and processed foods. For example, 85% of the magnesium is lost when we refine whole wheat flour to white flour. Besides, modern farming techniques may reduce the magnesium content of plants.
There are also the harmful effects of stress on magnesium status. Exposure to both physical and emotional stress has been found to increase urinary excretion of magnesium. And our modern world is chock-full of stress.
Because of this, we should be consuming more magnesium to prevent certain chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, migraines, anxiety, kidney stones, and osteoporosis.
The optimal daily intake is 600–800 mg/day (including all sources, both supplemental and food).*
*Food sources: Nuts, whole grains, legumes, leafy green vegetables, fish and meat. (Note: 50–75% of magnesium is lost in water when vegetables are boiled.)
WHAT ABOUT THE TYPE OF MAGNESIUM?
Magnesium bisglycinate appears to be the safest and most effective form of magnesium for human absorption. It is highly bioavailable and absorbed well through the intestine (with minimal if any, laxative effect).
The absorption of magnesium is regulated by the level of magnesium you already have. If you are deficient in magnesium, your body will automatically increase intake, while if you have sufficient magnesium levels, your body will decrease absorption.
Signs and symptoms of MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY:
- Menstrual cramps
- High blood pressure
- Muscle spasms and cramps