London Clinic of Nutrition
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Magnesium deficiency

Dramatic changes to magnesium (Mg) intake levels have occurred over the last century. Estimates place average magnesium intake at approximately 500 milligrams per day in the early 1900s.



Today the elemental intake has decreased to an average of 175 milligrams per day. The current recommended daily intake is around 400 milligrams for males and between 300 milligrams for females (higher for women who are pregnant or lactating).

These recommendations still fall short of historical intake levels and food processing practices are likely to have contributed to this decline. Mg. depletion may be driven by distinctly different mechanisms. By understanding the differences in the pathway to depletion therapeutic interventions may be improved. The underlying factors of the impact Mg. absorption and status are things such as:

– Gastrointestinal issues impacting absorption

– Increased sweating

– Changes in renal function increasing excretion

– Endocrine disturbances such as hypothyroidism

– Excessive lactation

– Selenium deficiency

– Insulin imbalances

– Acute and chronic stressors

– Diverse presentations of mild to moderate Mg. deficiency

– Muscle cramps

– Generally responsive to massage or heat

– Muscle twitches

– Insomnia

– Difficulty concentrating

– Irritability

– Noise sensitivity

– Faintness

– Sensation of a lump in the throat

– Loss of appetite or mild nausea

– Chest tightness

– Intestinal complaints

– Mild palpitations

– Difficulty breathing

Main conditions associated with Magenesium deficiency

Magnesium And Mental Health

Along with Mg. in maintaining healthy neurological function is clearly evident at the biochemical level. Magnesium plays a role in effective neurotransmitter function, nitric oxide regulation, cellular energy and in enzymatic function.

Magnesium And Insomnia

Circadian dysregulation has been noted in a number of conditions and has an effect on Mg excretion.

Magnesium And PMS

A combination of hormonal and psychological factors can contribute to the pathogenesis of premenstrual syndrome. Mg supplementation of 200 milligrams per day when combined with 50 milligrams of B6 has been shown to significantly reduce anxiety related premenstrual symptoms in one month.

Magnesium And Migraine

Peripheral levels of Mg are reduced in individuals who suffer from migraines. Mg levels may influence migraine onset via mechanisms, including effects on membrane integrity, neurotransmitter production and nitric oxide balance.

Magnesium And Blood Sugar Regulation

Depleted Mg status has been implicated in the development of insulin disturbances, including impaired insulin sensitivity and impaired insulin secretion. Additionally, epidemiological data shows a strong correlation between decreased risk of Type 2 Diabetes and increased intake of Mg.

Magnesium And Asthma

Mg. may contribute to asthma control through stabilisation of mast cells and T-lymphocytes and decreased inflammation.

Magnesium And Cardiovascular Health

Mg. has multiple roles in promoting cardiovascular health. These include improving vasodilation, vascular smooth muscle cell relaxation, as well as antidysrhythmic and anticoagulant actions.

Magnesium And Pregnancy

It has been well established that pregnant and lactating women are a population subset with increased Mg requirements. A Cochran review of evidence for all Mg. treatment from prior to the twenty-fifth week of gestation, found a positive effect on reducing pre-term birth, low birth weight and small for gestational age infants.

Magnesium And Sports Performance

Mg. supplementation is commonly given to athletes due to its potential to contribute to muscular relaxation, oxygen uptake, energy production, electrolyte balance and protein synthesis. Interestingly, insufficient magnesium intake has been noted in the diets of athletes.

As Can be seen Mg. is a very important nutrient and this article barely scratches the surface. Most people in our opinion should be taking a daily supplement of Mg.

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