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Magnesium: 12 properties and benefits

Magnesium is an essential mineral for the body since it participates in hundreds of physiological processes.

This nutrient regulates the function of muscles and the nervous system, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. Additionally, it helps form protein, bone mass, and DNA.

The amount of daily magnesium required will depend mainly on age and sex. In that sense, men and pregnant women have an increased need for this mineral.

Magnesium can be found in green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, dairy products, and fortified foods.

However, in case of deficiency, nutrient absorption problems, or other specific circumstances, magnesium supplements can have a beneficial effect on your health.

Athletes and seniors are two of the population groups with the highest incidence of magnesium deficiency. Gastrointestinal diseases and type 2 diabetes are also pathologies that can cause a deficiency of this nutrient.

The health benefits of magnesium are numerous, precisely due to the participation of this nutrient in many functional reactions of the body.

Properties and Benefits of Magnesium

Among the functions and properties of this mineral, the following stand out.

1. Magnesium for bone health.

Magnesium contributes to bone maintenance under normal conditions. Hence, magnesium is often used for bone pain or in conditions of wear and inflammation of bone structures. Some studies point to the possible benefits of magnesium for osteoarthritis. It has also been observed that people with a higher intake of this nutrient have more bone density, a determining factor in reducing the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis.

2. Magnesium for teeth.

Magnesium health and teeth health are closely linked. Magnesium, along with calcium, plays an important role in teeth formation. In that sense, it is known that this nutrient contributes to the maintenance of teeth in normal conditions.

3. Magnesium for the brain.

Among the effects of magnesium on the brain, the fact that it is a vital mineral for normal psychological function stands out. This mineral is essential to carry out different cognitive processes such as attention, perception, memory, thinking, language, and learning.

4. Magnesium for sleep.

Different studies suggest that magnesium helps you sleep and achieve a deep and restful rest. This mineral contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system and activates the mechanisms to calm and relax the body and mind.

5. Magnesium for depression and anxiety.

Magnesium is good for anxiety and depression since it plays a critical role in the nervous system. Scientific research suggests that this benefit of magnesium would be due to its ability to stimulate neurotransmitters that induce calm and relaxation.

Additionally, anxiety, depression, and brain fog can be symptoms of magnesium deficiency. At the same time, certain studies indicate that this mineral could reinforce the action of conventional antidepressant treatments and, possibly, be a therapeutic option in the management of anxiety.

6. Magnesium for sports performance.

Magnesium contributes to the normal functioning of muscles. It reduces tiredness and fatigue. It also participates in the formation of protein, which is indispensable for the formation and maintenance of muscle mass. All these benefits make it an essential nutrient for those who practice sports.

7. Magnesium for constipation.

The relationship between magnesium and constipation lies in the function that this mineral plays in intestinal transit. Specifically, it promotes the passage of feces through the intestines. This mineral is also used to mobilize and promote the evacuation of fecal matter before medical procedures.

8. Magnesium for insulin resistance.

Magnesium contributes to normal energy metabolism. That is, in the process by which cells convert nutrients into energy. In that regard, higher magnesium consumption would improve insulin sensitivity, which refers to the ability of muscles and liver cells to properly absorb sugar from the bloodstream. At the same time, it must be taken into account that insulin resistance can cause greater loss of this nutrient.

9. Magnesium for high blood pressure.

Different studies suggest that magnesium can reduce blood pressure, so its consumption would have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health.

10. Magnesium is anti-inflammatory.

Having low levels of magnesium is related to chronic inflammation, which is a trigger for premature aging, obesity, and various diseases.

11. Magnesium for premenstrual syndrome.

Magnesium has been proven to improve mood, fluid retention, and other PMS symptoms. Precisely because of its effect on fluid retention, there is a perception that magnesium helps you lose weight. This is because, by reducing swelling, there is a reduction in body weight and that translates into fewer kilos on the scale. However, this is not a matter of fat loss.

12. Magnesium for the skin.

This mineral is necessary to maintain a healthy skin barrier, as well as to combat dry skin. Along with collagen and hyaluronic acid, it plays a key role in the appearance of the complexion.

Types of Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral with various types, each offering unique benefits to the human body:

  • Magnesium Citrate: Known for its high bioavailability, it's often used for digestive issues and as a mild laxative.

  • Magnesium Oxide: Commonly found in supplements, it has a higher magnesium content but lower absorption compared to citrate.

  • Magnesium Glycinate: This form is bonded with glycine, making it easier on the stomach and a good choice for those with digestive sensitivities.

  • Magnesium L-Threonate: Known for its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, it may have cognitive benefits and is studied for potential use in neurological conditions.

  • Magnesium Sulfate: Often used externally (Epsom salt baths) for muscle relaxation and to alleviate soreness.

  • Magnesium Chloride: This type is found in topical magnesium products and may be beneficial for skin health. Benefits of magnesium include supporting muscle and nerve function, maintaining a steady heartbeat, aiding in bone health, and participating in energy production. It also contributes to various enzymatic reactions in the body. However, it's crucial to balance magnesium intake with other minerals for overall health. Always consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your supplement regimen.

Magnesium: contraindications

The side effects of a high magnesium intake are not very common, since, in healthy people, the kidneys eliminate excess of this mineral through urine. However, the maximum recommended dose should not be exceeded if consuming food supplements.

Additionally, magnesium supplements may interfere with certain medications or be contraindicated in certain conditions. For this reason, you should always consult pharmacies if their consumption can be indicated and how they should be taken.

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