About 60% of the body’s magnesium is stored within the bones. Magnesium is obtained via the diet and works closely with calcium.
- Transportation: Magnesium allows for the transfer of potassium and sodium across the cell membrane which allows for nervous system transduction, heart rate stabilization, and muscular contraction.
- Energy creation: This mineral is necessary for glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation which are means of cellular energy production.
- Cofactor in enzymatic actions: Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions which regulate muscle function, protein synthesis, nerve function, blood pressure regulation, and blood glucose regulation.
- Structural component: Magnesium is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and bone tissue.
Generally, high-fiber foods contain a good amount of magnesium. Leafy greens, dried figs, avocados, nuts, and whole grains are great sources of magnesium. Halibut, chicken, and beef are also relatively high in magnesium.
Adult men are encouraged to take 400-420 mg of magnesium daily and women should take 310-320 mg as adults. It is also important to note that calcium is often supplemented with magnesium since these two work closely. The best ratio for supplementation of calcium with magnesium is a 2:1 ratio between calcium and magnesium.
The kidneys are effective at limiting the passage of magnesium into the urine so it is unlikely that a person’s magnesium content would drop to a symptomatic level. However, chronically low consumption of magnesium or poor absorption may lead to deficiency. This may cause numbness, tingling, nausea, or fatigue. Additionally, people with gastrointestinal issues or alcohol abuse issues, patients with diabetes, and older adults are more vulnerable to magnesium deficiency.
Written by Emily Condon, Medical Assistant at Bissell Clinic
01/15/23, 2:34 PM
Katherine Zeratsky, R. D. (2021, August 11). Pros and cons of taking a magnesium supplement. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved November 22, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/magnesium-supplements/faq-20466270
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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Office of dietary supplements – magnesium. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved November 22, 2022, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
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