The Magical Mineral…
Magnesium is a powerhouse and important mineral, playing a role in over 300 enzyme reactions in the human body. Its many functions include helping with muscle and nerve function, regulating blood pressure, and supporting the immune system. Not to mention cellular energy production, protein synthesis, and stabilisation of mitochondrial membranes.
Despite its importance, magnesium deficiency is all too common. In 2015, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated that more than 30% of Australians aged 19 to 30 reported inadequate daily intake of magnesium, with the issue becoming even more pronounced in older age.
Here is an Introduction, Part 1 of a Multi Part Blog on this Mineral... can you feel the importance already?
Magnesium deficiency can also occur due to malabsorption (e.g., Chron’s disease), chronic diarrhoea, increased renal loss, high stress states, chronic alcoholism8 and the use of certain drugs including loop diuretics and proton pump inhibitors. Further, soils are becoming increasingly magnesium deficient, resulting in lower levels of magnesium in normally magnesium-rich vegetables and grains.
The consequences of magnesium deficiency are significant, contributing to low grade inflammation11 and increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease,12 hypertension,13 insulin resistance, and diabetes.14 Inadequate magnesium levels may also result in skeletal muscle cramps, gastrointestinal spasms, dysmenorrhoea, premature labour,15 and increased pain hypersensitivity.
As such, magnesium supplementation can be considered for a variety of clinical presentations, including:
What can Magnesiasm
Reducing Aches, Cramps and SpasmsResearch continues to support the efficacy of magnesium for the relief of muscle cramps. In one study, pregnant women were given 300 mg/d of magnesium reporting significantly fewer and less intense leg cramps after four weeks of supplementation.
Raring to Go:
Optimising Energy ProductionMagnesium is essential for energy production, as it is involved in adenosine triphosphate and adenosine diphosphate production, with further roles in glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Together with nutrients such as iodine, selenium, zinc and tyrosine, magnesium also assists in the production of thyroid hormones.
Alleviating Pain and Inflammation
Magnesium inhibits calcium ions entering cells by blocking N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, which causes an antinociceptive effect, reducing pain hypersensitivity. In addition, magnesium deficiency has been associated with increased inflammation, which may contribute to peripheral sensitisation and ultimately increased pain perception.
Boosting Cardiometabolic Wellness
Magnesium may help to reduce cholesterol, as it stimulates the activity of lipoprotein lipase and may decrease β-hydroxy β-methylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase activity. Additionally, the combination of magnesium with taurine has been shown to be effective in reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Regulating the Circadian Rhythm for Refreshing Sleep
Magnesium is well-known to support a healthy, restorative sleep. In a study of 43 older individuals, 500 mg/d of magnesium over eight weeks was found to significantly increase nightly serum melatonin levels and lower cortisol, while increasing sleep time and decreasing sleep latency. Lutein and zeaxanthin provide blue light filtering effects to mitigate the impact of blue light exposure on melatonin production with six months supplementation of these carotenoids associated with reduced incidence of sleep disturbance. Blending these nutrients with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic Withania somnifera (ashwagandha),
Supporting Healthy Mood
Magnesium and stress are intimately linked, with both stress and low magnesium status potentiating each other’s negative effects. Moreover, mood issues are often associated with deficiency of micronutrients including magnesium, zinc and B vitamins.
Supporting Female Health and Hormones
Magnesium deficiency may contribute to symptoms of premenstrual tension (PMT), with two months supplementation of magnesium and vitamin B6 significantly lowering mean PMT scores, including self-reported breast tenderness, bloating, anxiety, and back pain.
Reaping the Benefits of Magnesium
By replenishing magnesium status, you can help support your patients who are suffering with muscle tension, fatigue, pain, cardiometabolic issues, poor sleep, stress, and/or female hormone imbalances.
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