I would like to introduce you to the benefits of magnesium, as it is an often overlooked mineral. We all know we need it, but there are so many other minerals which are far better publicised than the humble magnesium. For instance, a lot of people will buy calcium for their bone tissue, but did you know that magnesium helps regulate calcium within the bones and teeth? Magnesium also increases the activity of Vitamin D which, among other things, aids calcium absorption. In fact, many experts now feel that magnesium intake is at least as critical to skeletal health as calcium.
At Elixir Health Foods, we are particularly fond of Solgar's Magnesium Citrate, which is an easily absorbed type of magnesium. There are a multitude of potential reasons why you may want to supplement with magnesium, but here are some of the main applications:
Muscle cramps, spasms and twitches
Magnesium is needed for the relaxation of muscle tissue, whereas calcium facilitates contraction. Magnesiums action as a muscle relaxant relates to its ability to block muscle uptake of calcium.
When your muscles relax, so do you. Sweet dreams!
Nerve health and function
Magnesium works in tandem with calcium to ensure proper nerve impulse transmission. Deficiency is linked to lactic acid build-up leading to an imbalance which is linked to anxiety and stress related disorders.
Deficiency can severely impair hormone balance in women and is a causal factor in many cases of PMT, leading to mood swings, weight gain and nervous tension.
Cardiovascular health and high blood pressure
Magnesium deficiency is a common feature of conditions such as arrhythmias, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, mitral valve prolapse and peripheral vascular disease. Evidence suggests that supplementation can be both preventative and therapeutic. Many of the benefits of magnesium relates to its role in vascular smooth muscle function, leading to relaxation of the vascular muscle as well as blocking smooth muscle uptake of calcium. It also helps to reduce sodium build-up within cells that would otherwise elevate blood pressure. Excessive blood clotting and calcification of blood vessels is reduced, leading to less accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque.
Some pain is caused by tense muscles and nerves, and may be relieved by taking magnesium. Migraine, tension headaches, PMT and fibromyalgia are just some examples where taking a therapeutic dose of magnesium may help.
As a general rule, anyone can take magnesium but just be aware that you may end up with loose stools if you take high doses, and if you are on medication you should check with your doctor first.