Magnesium, also symbolised as Mg, is the fourth mineral that is found in abundance in the human body. It is the second-most positively charged ion in the human body. Magnesium found in the heart is about ten times the amount found in the blood. Out of the total Magnesium in the body, about 1% is found in the blood while the remaining is found in the cells of the muscles, heart and liver. One can find about 50-60% of Magnesium in the crystal mineral lattice of bones and teeth.

What role does Magnesium play in your body?

Magnesium, a vital mineral in the human body is found in the bones, muscles, body tissues and the blood. Magnesium, along with the combination of other vitamins, minerals and enzymes are responsible for the muscles to be in good shape and their relaxation. It also strengthens the bones, ensures proper functioning of the nerves, regulation of the blood sugar levels and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. One of the important functions of Magnesium is maintaining a balanced cardiac health. Also it plays a significant role in the relaxation of the muscles as well as protein and carbohydrate metabolism. The normal functioning of the circulatory and the nervous system depends on the Magnesium in the body.

How much Magnesium is enough for your body?

High levels of Magnesium from food are safe; but if it is from the supplements, it can be toxic. The Magnesium intake for children between the age groups of 1-9 years is 65-350 mg/day, among female adults is about 320 mg/day and among male adults is about 410 mg/day.

How does lack of Magnesium in the body affect you?

Generally people do not suffer from Magnesium deficiency. However, highly processed foods with low vegetables in diet can result in serious health problems. The symptoms that are caused due to deficiency of Magnesium are weakness in muscles, weak or soft bones, high or low blood sugar, high blood pressure, headaches, nausea, depression, changes in weight, asthma, hearing loss, joint pain, Osteoporosis, etc.

What are the illnesses related to it?

The illnesses are:

  • Blood Pressure:  Magnesium regulates the blood pressure in the body. Diets with good sources of potassium and Magnesium have helped in lowering the blood pressure.

  • Heart Disease: Certain metabolic changes are caused due to the deficiency of Magnesium. It may increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms that may further increase the risk of heart attack.

  • Osteoporosis:  Magnesium is helpful to alter the Calcium metabolism and improves the mineral density. Deficiency of Magnesium may lead to issues in bone metabolism which results in Osteoporosis.

  • Diabetes:  Magnesium is an important mineral as it plays a lead role in carbohydrate metabolism that influences the activity of insulin in the body. It helps to control the blood sugar levels and this is the reason why the low blood levels of Magnesium is often seen in the diabetic patients.

How does excess Magnesium affect you?

Magnesium does not pose a risk if taken with a diet. However the supplement of Magnesium gets added to the laxatives and causes diarrhoea. The toxicity of Magnesium may sometimes even lead to kidney failure. The symptoms of excess Magnesium is similar to that of low Magnesium such as nausea, diarrhoea, appetite loss, difficulty in breathing, etc.

How can you increase the Magnesium in your body?

The amount of Magnesium intake from foods is safe. The natural food sources of Magnesium include green leafy vegetables like spinach, nuts, beans, peas, whole grain cereals. The fruits such as bananas, artichoke and figs are rich in Magnesium. Also many herbs and spices in the food contribute to the proportion of Magnesium in the body. They are agar seaweed, coriander, dill weed, celery seed, dried mustard, basil, cocoa powder, fennel seed, cumin seed, etc. The other good sources of Magnesium are dairy products, meat and fish.

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