The Risks of Magnesium Deficiency

By: Paul White - Tasman

There is no doubt that magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the human body. In fact it is the most abundant mineral in the soft tissues. The body’s overall magnesium concentration is largely deposited in the bones and teeth, while the remaining levels are found in the soft tissues like the muscles, heart, and brain. Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical processes occurring inside the human body including the maintenance of cardiac muscle tone, blood pressure control, and muscle relaxation among others. Most importantly, magnesium controls and regulates the mineral calcium, making it very important for calcium metabolism.

Magnesium deficiency gives way to several serious health conditions and something that needs to be corrected.

• Digestive discomforts. Digestive discomforts are the most common results of magnesium deficiency. Low magnesium levels can lead to prolonged episodes of diarrhea accompanied by abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. It becomes a medical emergency when the diarrhea leads to dehydration.

• Heart Diseases. Magnesium deficiency is the common denominator among a wide variety of heart diseases including high cholesterol, cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP), arrhythmias, ischemia, cardiac death, myocardial infarction, and Post Ventricular Contractions (PVCs).

• Diminished nerve functions. Magnesium is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses and low magnesium levels can lead to nerve-related health problems such as tingling sensations and feelings of numbness. These nerve-related conditions can become uncomfortable and may limit the body’s voluntary movements.

• Pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a medical condition observed in pregnant women characterized by hypertension. Conventional treatment for pre-eclampsia is injection of intramuscular Magnesium Sulfate.

• Seizures and muscle cramps. The muscles need magnesium for proper contraction and relaxation. Abnormally low magnesium concentrations lead to irregular muscle contractions that can cause muscle cramps, muscle weakness, and reduced heart rate. In the brain, magnesium deficiency causes abnormal electrical activities leading to seizures.

• Mood and behavior changes. Low circulating magnesium in the bloodstream leads to irritability, agitation, confusion, and anxiety. There are reports of sleeping problems which can exacerbate the mood and behaviour problems.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women daily. During stressful situations and in times of chronic fatigue, the body’s magnesium requirements increase. Good thing that magnesium can be found in a wide variety of food sources including milk, meat, fish, dairy products, seafood, apricots, cereals, bananas, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and cocoa. Some beverages like mineral water and plain water also contain considerable amounts of magnesium. Magnesium supplements in the forms of pills and capsules offer a standardized supply of the mineral to provide adequate supply and correct magnesium deficiency.

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Magnesium is an important mineral that controls and regulates calcium metabolism. There are so many magnesium benefit for the human body and magnesium deficiency leads to digestive discomforts, heart diseases, and so many others.

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