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Magnesium – the in mineral of today!

Article First Published November 2010

Magnesium – the in mineral of today!

SpinachLike so much in modern society, enthusiasm for certain health foods and supplements come in waves. I don’t know if you have noticed, but recently there have been a lot of advertisements for magnesium supplements and stories telling us how good magnesium is for our bodies.

Magnesium is not something that has featured highly in nutritional reports until now, so it is interesting to find out a little more about it.

Magnesium is a mineral that is found both in nature and in the human body. For industrial uses, it is the lightest of structural metals, a quarter of the weight of steel and a third that of aluminium. This makes it an important feature for automobile production and other heavy industry.

However, magnesium is also an essential mineral for our health. For this purpose, magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods, especially in red meat, tofu, spinach, beans and pulses. Nuts, seeds, wholemeal bread, fish and dairy foods and even liquorice also contain reasonable levels of magnesium.

It is estimated that an adult human body contains around 28g of magnesium, found mainly in the muscles, soft tissues and in body fluids. It is used mainly as an enzyme activator and assists not only in energy production and protein formation, but also in helping maintain strong bones and a healthy heart. Magnesium works with calcium and potassium to transmit nerve signals and help muscle contraction.

Some reports say that the common night condition of restless leg syndrome can be caused or at least exacerbated by a lack of magnesium. Interestingly, a recent study showed that a correlation between magnesium in the diet of older people and levels of bone mass density.

It is worth noting that general medical reports say a failure to consume enough magnesium in a normal modern diet is unlikely. However, magnesium deficiency can be caused by excessive vomiting, kidney disease, diuretic medication, alcohol abuse and other aspects that inhibit the absorption of nutrients.

Generally, adult men need around 300mg of magnesium a day and women a slightly lower level of 270mg, although in America the recommended daily intake levels are 400mg for both men and women.

There is very limited information available on problems associated with the intake of too much magnesium although some reports show it to cause diarrhoea. If you read recent reports and adverts urging you to start investing in magnesium supplements, it is probably worth doing a little more research and even talking to your doctor about it all.

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