Understanding Magnesium Nutrition

Magnesium nutrition serves as an incredibly important function in the human body. More than 300 different reactions in the body need magnesium in order to work correctly, and on a larger level, the proper dose and storage of the mineral helps in the prevention of heart diseases and immunity issues.

Magnesium in the Body

Magnesium, a mineral, acts like most other vitamins and nutrients within the human body; the combination of the proper amounts of these minerals helps the human body function correctly. The mineral lies predominantly in the bones, as close to the other 50% of magnesium lies within cells found in organs and body tissue.

Magnesium Functions

Magnesium aids in the maintenance of nerve and muscle function, balances a steady heart rate, guides the immune system and provides strength in bones throughout the body. The mineral keeps blood sugar at a healthy level, plus blood pressure normal. Magnesium plays a role in other important processes such as protein synthesis and energy metabolism, similar to some B-vitamins.


The digestion of magnesium occurs through absorption in the small intestine, which gains access to the rest of the body after the kidneys excrete the mineral. Magnesium consumption through whole food sources such as nuts and seeds, fish like halibut, starches such as oatmeal and potatoes, plus several green vegetables and numerous varying sources offers an alternative to consuming a dietary supplement that contains recommended doses of the mineral. Nearly every part of the food pyramid contains magnesium sources. Taking in the proper dose of magnesium presents more of a challenge than avoiding it.

Magnesium for Every Age

As age increases, the recommended intake for magnesium increases, mostly due to the deterioration that could take place in the bones of the elderly. Since magnesium largely gets stored in bone matter, the elderly are recommended more milligrams daily. Females between the ages of 19 to 30 require less magnesium than they would at ages 14 to 18, and during pregnancy, women always require more magnesium than when not. During lactation, magnesium levels should decrease slightly.

Health and Magnesium Issues

Major health studies regarding diabetes, blood pressure and mineral deficiencies discuss the possibilities of using magnesium as a fix for the diseases and underlying problems involved with them. Research has allowed professionals in the field to come up with several facts regarding magnesium nutrition and its impact on health.

  • Some studies suggest that eating foods rich in magnesium will ultimately lead to lower blood pressure.
  • Magnesium helps metabolize other important minerals, acting as a helper to those with calcium and or potassium deficiencies.
  • Magnesium plays a vital role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, acting as a regulator for insulin. Diabetic patients benefit from the consumption of extra magnesium.
  • The elderly are at higher risk for magnesium deficiency. A dietary source of magnesium offers a better source than whole foods for this age group.
  • Certain medications or natural diuretics could cause a magnesium deficiency through frequent urination.
  • Healthy kidneys offer proper magnesium storage. Those with damaged kidneys should consult a doctor to identify problems caused by a possible magnesium deficiency.

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