Here’s why Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for optimal health

Here’s why Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for optimal health

Magnesium is one of the many essential nutrients you need to get from your daily diet. It is called “essential” because unlike some nutrients, such as certain amino acids and fatty acids, it cannot be synthesized by your body.

Magnesium can easily be found in Nature. In fact, it is the eighth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. [1] Magnesium occurs in large mineral deposits like dolomite and magnesite, and trillions of metric tons of magnesium can be sourced from the sea.

If you’re wondering how magnesium ends up in the foods that you eat, the answer to that is simple: It is absorbed by plants from the soil. When plant roots take up water, they also absorb the minerals in it. Plants then impart those nutrients to us or to the animals that eat them. [2]

Magnesium plays a crucial role in the growth and survival of plants and animals. Because it helps drive photosynthesis (energy production) in plants, a deficiency in magnesium causes poor and stunted plant growth. [3] Meanwhile in animals, low magnesium levels have been known to cause serious health issues that can result in death. [4]

In humans, magnesium deficiency is on the rise. However, there are plenty of magnesium-rich foods that you can eat, such as nuts, seeds and whole grains, to maintain healthy levels of this nutrient. [5] However, according to a study published in The Crop Journal, magnesium deficiency in plants – our main source of magnesium – is becoming an urgent problem. 

Analyses of the mineral content of modern crops, particularly cereal grains, show a marked decline in magnesium levels compared to crops produced decades earlier. Because of this, many people around the world, including those living in developed countries where food supply is not an issue, don’t get enough magnesium from their diets. [6]

The low magnesium content of crops can be traced to poor soil health, soil leaching, aluminum contamination and harmful farming practices. As reported by a recent study, fertilization strategies commonly used today disregard magnesium in favor of other nutrients, such as nitrogen, sodium and potassium. This type of intensive cropping system not only depletes the soil of magnesium, but also deprives humans of a much-needed nutrient. [7] 

The importance of magnesium in the human body 

There’s a reason why magnesium is a macromineral – that is, a mineral that you need in large amounts. Like the other six macrominerals your body needs – namely, calcium, chloride, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulfur – magnesium fulfills various roles inside your body and is involved in a myriad of bodily processes. [8]

One of magnesium’s roles is as a cofactor to different enzymes. A cofactor is a non-protein molecule that binds to enzymes to enable them to switch to their active forms. [9] Research has found that magnesium serves as a cofactor to more than 300 enzyme systems in your body. These enzymes help regulate various biochemical reactions, such as protein production, nerve and muscle function, and blood glucose and blood pressure regulation. [10]

As a cofactor, magnesium also helps stabilize enzymes that are involved in ATP production. ATP is an energy-carrying molecule that enables your cells to perform crucial functions, such as the conversion of glucose into energy. [11] As shown by kinetic studies, many of the enzymes involved in glucose metabolism need magnesium to function properly. [12]

Magnesium also influences your calcium levels. When your calcium levels are low, your parathyroid gland normally responds by releasing a hormone that helps increase your blood calcium levels. Magnesium is required not only for the synthesis of this hormone, but also for its release. Hence, having low magnesium levels could impair your blood calcium regulation. [13]

About 60% of the magnesium in your body is stored in your bones and teeth. About two thirds of this magnesium is said to be deposited as part of apatite crystals, the structural components of bone that give it strength and stability. [14] Meanwhile, the remaining one third of bone magnesium resides in your cortical bones – the dense outer surface of your bones that serves as a protective layer. [15]

Research suggests that magnesium is necessary for supporting strong bones and teeth. Indeed, animal and human studies show that having inadequate levels of magnesium leads to impaired bone growth, skeletal fragility and loss of bone mineral density. According to a report published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, magnesium deficiency increases the levels of skeletal substance P, which stimulates the production of cytokines. These small, cell-signaling proteins are known to trigger the activity of osteoclasts, the bone-degrading cells. [16]

Another important role of magnesium in the human body is as an electrolyte. Electrolytes are minerals in your body fluids that carry an electrical charge. [17] Positively charged magnesium ions are also present inside cells, where they help regulate the transport of calcium and potassium ions. In order for your cells to remain healthy, the balance between the concentrations of these electrolytes inside and outside of your cells need to be maintained at all times. 

The interplay between magnesium and calcium ions is what allows your muscles to contract and relax. During muscle contraction, calcium ions are released from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, the membrane-bound structure in muscle cells that serves as calcium storage. The calcium ions then interact with motor proteins, causing your muscle fibers to contract. During muscle relaxation, magnesium ions displace calcium ions to interact with the motor proteins. The calcium ions then shuffle back to the sarcoplasmic reticulum, allowing your muscle fibers to relax. [18] 

A deficiency in magnesium not only affects your calcium levels but also your potassium levels. In fact, magnesium deficiency is often linked to abnormally low levels of potassium. A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology investigated the reason for this and found that cells require a certain amount of magnesium ions to limit the release of potassium. Without enough magnesium, potassium leaks out of cells unregulated and is eventually removed from your body through urine. [19][20] 

The health benefits of magnesium* 

Considering all the bodily processes that require the participation of magnesium, it’s not surprising that magnesium deficiency can cause serious problems for some of your vital organs, such as your heart, bones and kidneys. Magnesium deficiency can also cause some alarming, albeit not uncommon, symptoms, such as: [21]

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Shaking
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abnormal heart rhythms

According to experts, magnesium deficiency can be caused by a variety of things, such as alcoholism, certain medications (e.g., diuretics, antibiotics and proton-pump inhibitors), Type 2 diabetes, digestive problems and of course, a diet of unhealthy processed foods that lack nutrition.

Fortunately, magnesium supplements are now available to help people meet their daily magnesium requirements. Maintaining optimal magnesium levels is crucial not only for your physical health, but also for your emotional well-being.

Here are the many benefits of maintaining healthy magnesium levels:

  • Supports healthy heart function – Just like in your skeletal muscles, magnesium helps your heart muscle cells and the smooth muscle cells in your blood vessels to relax. It also helps regulate the movement of sodium, potassium and calcium ions. According to studies, magnesium deficiency can deplete potassium levels and increase the concentration of sodium and calcium in your heart muscle and smooth muscle cells. [22] To support a healthy heart and maintain healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range, make sure you get enough magnesium from your diet every day.
  • Supports healthy brain function – Researchers have linked low magnesium levels to a decline in cognitive health. A 2020 study from Qatar found that adults with low magnesium levels performed poorly on tests designed to measure their cognitive function. [23] According to an earlier animal study, magnesium supports healthy cognitive functions, particularly learning and memory, by protecting the brain from the harmful activities of an enzyme known as GSK-3B. Magnesium also supports healthy synaptic plasticity. [24][25]
  • Supports healthy digestive function – Magnesium is one of the most important components of the human digestive process. While you’re eating, magnesium helps your body produce salivary enzymes that help break down food. Magnesium is also involved in the production of hormones that stimulate your stomach to produce the digestive acid, hydrochloric acid. In addition, magnesium is required by your pancreas to produce the necessary enzymes to further digest food and absorb nutrients. [26]
  • Supports strong and healthy bones – As mentioned earlier, most of the magnesium in your body is stored in your bones, where it serves as a structural component. Magnesium is also a crucial cofactor for enzymes involved in the formation of bone matrix, and supports the proliferation of bone-forming cells (osteoblasts). According to a study published in the journal Bone, supplementing with magnesium can support healthy bones as well as optimal bone mineral density. [27]
  • Supports healthy muscle performance and relaxation – Because of its role in normal muscle contraction and relaxation, magnesium can support optimal muscle performance. In a study involving basketball, handball and volleyball athletes, researchers found that magnesium intake was directly associated with the physical performance of the study participants, regardless of their energy intake. The researchers believe this may be because of magnesium’s role in supporting healthy energy metabolism. [28]
  • Supports healthy energy levels – As mentioned earlier, magnesium is involved in the breakdown of glucose into energy. Therefore, maintaining healthy magnesium levels is a great way to support healthy energy levels.
  • Supports deep and restful sleep – Magnesium is known for its relaxing effect, which is certainly helpful for when you want to sleep. This is exactly what a study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences The researchers reported that magnesium supplementation was able to support good-quality sleep. [29]
  • Supports a positive mood – Aside from supporting healthy sleep patterns, magnesium can also support a positive mood. [30] In a randomized clinical trial published in PLoS ONE, researchers found that supplementing with magnesium not only helps relieve anxious feelings, but also helps naturally uplift mood. [31] 

Where to get clean, lab-verified magnesium supplements 

The decreasing nutritional value of foods, coupled with other factors like poor eating habits, are the main reasons why dietary supplements have become so important for human health. As one of seven macrominerals your body needs, magnesium is a nutrient you need to get large amounts of every day. The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium is 400 to 420 milligrams (mg) daily for men 19-51 years old and 310 to 320 mg for women of the same age. [32] If the foods that you’re eating aren’t enough to supply your needs, then magnesium supplements can help you fulfill your daily magnesium requirements.

Chief Originals 100% Chelated Magnesium Glycinate Powder and Chief Originals Magnesium Comfort (Magnesium Malate Powder) are two of the cleanest, high-quality magnesium supplements on the market. Each of these lab-verified supplements offers its own unique benefits. Magnesium glycinate and magnesium malate are two of the most recommended magnesium supplements because they are easily absorbed in the digestive tract.

Chief Originals Magnesium Comfort (Magnesium Malate Powder) provides a balanced combination of pure magnesium and malic acid, a naturally occurring compound found in sour fruits like cherries and strawberries. Malic acid, or malate, also happens to be involved in your body’s natural energy production, so our premium magnesium malate powder is perfect for supporting healthy energy levels as well as optimal health and athletic performance.

Chief Originals 100% Chelated Magnesium Glycinate Powder is made of pure magnesium that has been carefully chelated with glycine for optimal bioavailability. Glycine is a non-essential amino acid that your body can use as raw material to build proteins. Like malic acid, glycine plays a role in your body’s energy production. When bound to magnesium, glycine helps protect magnesium from unwanted interactions, thus keeping it intact. Our premium chelated magnesium glycinate powder is not only highly bioavailable, but it is also gentle on the stomach.

Chief Originals 100% Chelated Magnesium Glycinate Powder and Chief Originals Magnesium Comfort (Magnesium Malate Powder) are vegan and non-China and contain no gluten, fillers or GMOs. Like all products offered at the Health Ranger Store, our lab-verified magnesium supplements are also thoroughly lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology.  

Support the optimal functions of your vital organs by maintaining healthy magnesium levels with the help of our lab-verified magnesium supplements! 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.