All you need to know about magnesium

What exactly is magnesium? 

Magnesium is a macro-mineral, which, unlike trace minerals, is needed by the body in large amounts. It is the second most abundant element inside human cells and the fourth most abundant positively charged ion in the human body. 

Why is magnesium important in our diet?
Without magnesium we could not produce energy, our muscles would be in a permanent state of contraction, and we could not adjust the levels of cholesterol produced and released into the blood stream. Magnesium is needed in the body for energy production within our cells. Magnesium is also crucial for many biochemical processes including: 

• Hormone balance.
• Blood pressure control.
• Muscle and nerve function.
• Bowel function and constipation.
• Bone health/preventing osteoporosis.

• Blood glucose control.
• Protein synthesis and much more. 

The recommended daily allowance for magnesium is 375mg for adults (1). Given the wide range of physiological mechanisms that magnesium supports, a deficiency of magnesium has been linked to various symptoms including but not limited to fatigue, muscle cramps, heart disease, insomnia, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety. (2) 

Magnesium and our DNA 

Studies have shown that DNA synthesis is slowed by insufficient magnesium. The cells in our body are constantly being replaced by new cells. Different types of cells turnover at different rates, with the average age of a cell in the human body estimated at seven years. 

It’s really important that our DNA remains stable, avoiding mutations that can negatively impact cellular function. Having the correct amount of Magnesium in our cells helps to stabalise our DNA. 

5 signs that you’re not getting enough? 

• Muscle Twitches and Cramps

Twitches, tremors and muscle cramps could be a sign of magnesium deficiency. 

• Signs of Osteoporosis

The risk of osteoporosis is influenced by numerous factors including; age, lack of exercise and a poor intake of magnesium, vitamins D and K. 

• Fatigue and Muscle Weakness

Scientists believe the weakness is caused by the loss of potassium in muscle cells, a condition associated with magnesium deficiency. 

• Irregular Heartbeat

Scientists believe that an imbalance of potassium levels inside and outside of heart muscle cells may be to blame – a condition associated with magnesium deficiency.(3) 

• Psychological Disorders

Psychological disorders are another possible consequence of magnesium deficiency, including depression, mental apathy or lack of emotion.(4) 

References: 

1. Commission Directive 2008/100/EC on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs as regards recommended daily allowances, energy conversion factors and definitions. 

Official Journal of the European Union. 29.10.2008
2. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/ Magnesium-HealthProfessional 

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu- bmed/6942639
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu-