Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral in the body that is vital for many metabolic processes.


Magnesium is an important part of many enzymes in the body. Enzymes are special substances that speed up chemical reactions in the body. Magnesium is important for the health of the immune system, making DNA (the genetic material of the body) and the passage of nerve impulses in the body (neurotransmission).

Magnesium is important for maintaining a regular heart beat and is sometimes given in supplement form to people with tachycardia (a rapid heart beat).

It is also used in the medical management of premature labour and seizures that occur due to eclampsia during pregnancy.

Magnesium supplements may be used in the management of osteoporosis, as it promotes the deposition of calcium in the bones.

Magnesium deficiencies may be involved it some diseases, including asthma, chronic lung disease and type II diabetes. Alcoholics are at risk of developing Magnesium deficiencies. This is because alcohol increases the amount of Magnesium that is excreted from the body. Magnesium is the active ingredient in many laxative preparations and antacid medications.

Magnesium toxicity is rare but is a serious medical condition as it can result in heart problems and respiratory failure.


DEFICIENCY

Magnesium deficiency causes a wide range of health problems, including hypertension (high blood pressure), arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms), personality changes and muscle wasting and weakness.


SOURCES

Magnesium content of selected foods, in milligrams per 3.5 oz / 100 grams:

· Kelp 760

· Wheat bran 490

· Wheat germ 336

· Almonds 270

· Cashews 267

· Molasses, blackstrap 258

· Brewer's yeast 231

· Buckwheat 229

· Brazil nuts 225

· Peanuts 175

· Millet 162

· Wheat grain 160

· Pecans 142

· English walnuts 131

· Rye 115

· Tofu 111

· Soybeans, cooked 88

· Brown rice 88

· Figs, dried 71

· Apricots, dried 62

· Dates 58

· Shrimp 51

· Cheddar cheese 45

· Sunflower seeds 38

· Common beans, cooked 37

· Garlic 36

· Raisins / sultanas 35

· Green peas, fresh 35

· Potato with skin 34

· Crab 34

· Banana 33

· Sweet potato 31

· Blackberry 30

· Broccoli 24

· Carrot 23

· Celery 22

· Beef 21

· Asparagus 20

· Chicken 19

· Tomato 14

· Milk 13


DOSAGE

The recommended dietary intake (RDI) for Magnesium in adults is 320 mg per day for men and 270 mg per day for women. Pregnant women require an extra 30 mg per day and those who are breastfeeding require an additional 70 mg per day.