Magnesium – The Forgotten Nutrient
What if there was a nutrient that helped regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, muscle and nerve function, bone health and was involved in over 300 important enzymatic reactions in the body? Wouldn’t it be important to know if you are taking in enough of this nutrient to regulate your health?
The mineral Magnesium has often been referred to as the unforgotten nutrient, yet it is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Essential both for proper metabolism, and functioning of your nervous system, magnesium is indeed essential to your health. Recent studies show it has also has an essential role in the activation of vitamin D metabolism. If one is taking vitamin D, magnesium may need to be taken in conjunction with D to avoid magnesium depletion.
Although deficiency is rare low levels can lead to unfavorable changes in blood pressure, glucose and/or insulin levels. And even if you’re not deficient low levels of magnesium can increase risk of elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance, dementia, lower bone mineral density, leg cramps, gut health and even softer nails.
Because 60% of magnesium is located in the bones and the rest in your tissues, assessing magnesium status is difficult, and checking blood levels is not standard of care.
Magnesium comes in different forms, which all have varying absorption rates. If you are considering taking a supplement make sure you know which type it is and the absorption of it – forms include magnesium aspartate, carbonate, citrate, chloride, gluconate, glycinate, lactate, malate, orotate, oxide, taurate, and threonate. Magnesium glycinate is easily absorbable and one of the most bioavailable forms that is gentle on the digestion and helpful for those needing a supplement.
You may need a supplement if you are taking a medication that lowers the absorption of magnesium such as an antibiotic, diuretic, proton pump inhibitor (PPI), or bisphosphonate (used to treat osteoporosis). Magnesium is usually prescribed for those with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, migraine headaches, irritable bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, Celiac) and constipation.
Good food sources of magnesium include almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, spinach, avocado, and yogurt so including these on a daily basis is helpful to your health. If you think you might need a supplement consider speaking to your health-care professional regarding the right type of supplement and the amount that fits your metabolic needs. Your body has not forgotten you need this mineral and it might be a key to your helping your overall health.