Fundamentals of Human Nutrition/Magnesium

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10.3 Magnesium[edit]

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10.3.1 Sources[edit]

Magnesium is an essential mineral (which means that we should acquire it in our diet because it is not produced naturally by our body) which our body needs so we could maintain efficient muscle and nerve function, for a strong immune system, maintaining healthy heart with normal rhythm, and building strong bones.

Most ingredients of our everyday diet have good natural sources of magnesium. Interestingly, various natural sources of magnesium at the same time contain potassium. Examples are Leafy and green vegetables (spinach, broccoli), cereals (oatmeal, barley, crude oat bran, rye, buckwheat, brown rice, unrefined whole wheat grain), milk products (skimmed milk, yogurt), nuts (brazil, almonds, cashews, peanuts, pine, pecans), legumes (kidney beans, soy beans), fruits (bananas, raisins, dates, figs), fish (halibut, broiled and not fried as frying reduces magnesium content), beverages like cocoa and coffee, dried herbs (coriander, chives, spearmint, sage, basil and savory), dried seeds (squash, pumpkin and watermelon), cocoa powder (dark chocolate), flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, sesame butter (tahini, molasses and dry roasted soybeans.

10.3.2 Functions[edit]

Magnesium has been known to help maintain most of the body functions which regulate the vital processes of the heart for a healthy cardiovascular environment and bone density.
Its regulates of blood pressure, reduces the risk of type II diabetes, reduced risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases, reduced risk of osteoporosis,reduced migraine and alleviates the Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).
Magnesium power our enzymes because it is crucial to more than 300 enzyme-driven biochemical reactions occurring in the body on a near constant basis.
Magnesium drives and maintains the balance of our fuel source because it is a required ingredient of the energy-production process that occurs inside the tiny structures within cells.

Magnesium plays a role in the protection of our DNA as DNA synthesis is slowed by insufficient magnesium.
Magnesium regulates oure electrolyte balance. A proper balance of mineral content must be maintained within every cell in the body.
Magnesium contributes in the healthy balance (“homeostasis”) of important minerals (calcium, sodium and potassium) which affects the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and heart rhythms.

10.3.3 Requirements[edit]

Certain nutrients (supplements in particular) and stress conditions increase the need for Magnesium and thus it is very important to monitor one's food consumption and supplement intakes.

When the dietary intake of Magnesium was maintained at 250 mg/day, and Calcium was increased from low (200 mg/day) to high (1400 mg/day), negative Magnesium balance was observed and thus it is very important to increase Magnesium to 500 mg/day when Calcium is present. A negative Magnesium balance was produced when Phosphate PO4 was increased from the near RDA level of 975 mg/day to 1500 mg/day. Vitamin D reduces the Magnesium retention so Vitamin D should be avoided to allow Magnesium to be absorbed by the body.

10.3.4 Imbalance[edit]

Imbalance or Deficiency in Magnesium leads to the following: low energy, fatigue, weakness, PMS/Hormonal imbalance, inability to sleep, bone weakness, muscle tension/spasm/cramps, abnormal heart rhythm, headaches, anxiousness/nervousness, irritability, kidneys stones, etc.