January 4 2018
Magnesium is an abundant mineral in the body. It is naturally present in many foods, added to other food products, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as laxatives). Magnesium is a chemical compound in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. It also helps with the absorption of calcium and potassium. Just to prove how multifaceted magnesium is when it comes to helping the human body function properly, here are some common types of magnesium and their different specialties:
- Magnesium Oxide: Commonly used as a laxative and helps to soothe acid reflux. While magnesium oxide could be found in certain fruits and veggies (spinach, avocado, bananas) nuts (peanuts) and whole grains, it actually has poor levels of bioavailability so it is typically taken as a supplement if needed.
- Magnesium Citrate: This form of magnesium is also used for laxative purposes but is also useful in helping to prevent kidney stones. It is typically found in citric acid.
- Magnesium Chloride: This form of magnesium could be supplemented in liquid form and can be extracted from sea water. It helps with muscle pain and cellular detoxification. It also helps with anxiety and restlessness.
- Magnesium Sulfate: Also known as Epsom salts. These are typically externally from the body in baths to help relax sore muscles by providing sulfur.
- Magnesium Glycinate: Glycine is a well-known calming amino acid and does not have a laxative effect since glycine is actively transported through the intestinal wall. Due to the calming and relaxing effect of both glycine and magnesium this combination has been used successfully for chronic pain and anxiety.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Two-thirds of it is found in your bones and the rest in your tissues. Certain groups of people have a harder time reaching their daily dose of the nutrient. At-risk groups include people with digestive diseases. People who suffer from Crohn’s or irritable bowel syndrome have lower absorption rates than others. People who experience vomiting or diarrhea for whatever reason. Whether you have the flu or experience an allergic reaction, excessive vomiting or diarrhea will deplete the magnesium stores in your body and will compromise the digestive system’s ability to absorb it. Certain diuretics, antibiotics and medications (like those used to treat cancer) inhibit the digestive system’s ability to absorb any type of magnesium. Some diabetics are prone to urinate more often than others. Because magnesium is flushed from our body through the kidneys, the more you urinate, the more magnesium your body will lose. People suffering from eating disorders like bulimia are also at risk due to frequent vomiting or abuse of laxatives or water pills. People with low blood levels of potassium or calcium are also at risk of magnesium deficiency. These nutrients and minerals work in sync to create balance in the body. If you’re running low on either potassium or calcium, you run the risk of becoming magnesium deficient as well. Seniors are also at risk of magnesium deficiency. The body’s digestive tract changes with age. The older you are, the more prone you are to digestive problems. As a result, seniors run a higher risk of becoming deficient. Magnesium deficiency can come in many forms as well since magnesium is involved in so many bodily functions. Magnesium deficiency can come in the form of nausea, increased, irregular heart rate, seizures, vomiting, depression, weight gain, anxiety, muscle spasms or even high blood pressure. This is why this mineral is so important; it is so multifaceted that we absolutely need it to function properly!