A recent story published on CNN.com proves that magnesium and magnesium deficiency have finally nabbed the spotlight of the mainstream media. CNN interviewed Dr, Danine Fruge the Associate Medical Director at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Florida who reminds us that less than 25% of the US populace receives their daily allotment of magnesium.
Without magnesium your heart would not beat. It regulates muscle and nerve function. It’s involved in the production of DNA, protein and bone. It’s an electrolyte so it helps move electricity through the body. It has a role in blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation. But most people aren’t aware they are lacking in this crucial micronutrient. Magnesium deficiency has been dubbed, “The invisible Deficiency” by medical experts.
The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are often hard to catch because A) the deficiency is hard to test for and b) deficiency is often a side effect of something more serious like an illness or alcoholism. Side effects of low magnesium levels include: Leg cramps, numbness, seizures, foot pain, muscle twitches, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness. And if you run out of magnesium, your calcium and potassium levels may also become depleted, leading to further health problems. (I recently wrote about what happens when you don’t get enough potassium on The Red Rush Blog). Other more severe side effects include personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms and coronary spasms.
In the CNN article, Dr. Fruge pinpoints the biggest threat to magnesium levels: Soda, caffeine and alcohol. Also, there are a lot of medications that deplete magnesium as well. (Talk your doctor). (Think about your magnesium tonight as you celebrate the New Year).
Health Benefits of Magnesium:
For informational purposes only. Not to be construed medical advice.
1. Cardiovascular Health:
A study out of Harvard published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a link between higher intakes of magnesium and a 22% risk reduction of ischemic heart disease and a 30% risk reduction of cardiovascular disease. Another Harvard study found that magnesium may reduce the risk of stroke by 9%, and a scientific paper published in Europe reported that magnesium supplementation reduced blood pressure by 4 mmHG points systolic and three points diastolic.
2. Magnesium Reduces Inflammation Markers
Web MD:Adults who consume less than the recommended amount of magnesium are more likely to have elevated inflammation markers. Inflammation, in turn, has been associated with major health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Also, low magnesium appears to be a risk factor for osteoporosis.
3. Magnesium Is Used to Treat Constipation
That’s why it’s the active ingredient in most laxatives.
Perhaps the area where magnesium could have the biggest impact is in the prevention of diabetes: Scientists have proven that magnesium levels are low in people with diabetes; people with higher magnesium levels do not develop diabetes; and that supplementing with magnesium appears to help reverse pre-diabetes.