Magnesium seems to be a hot topic today in the supplement field, so I wanted to dig around a little and present some information to you all about what exactly Magnesium is, what is does, where you can find sources of this mineral, who is at risk to be deficient, and what some of the signs or symptoms are.
Did most of you know that magnesium is a mineral? Magnesium is also a co-factor in relation to over 300 enzyme systems that control complex biochemical reactions throughout the body. Muscle and nerve function, regulation of blood pressure, blood glucose control, energy production, protein synthesis, transporting calcium and potassium across cell membranes, bone structural development, and synthesis of DNA/RNA, are some of the most important reactions Magnesium helps to regulate. I honestly didn’t realize that Magnesium contributed to ALL of these things plus more.
The balance of Magnesium in greatly controlled by the kidneys. The kidney excretes around 120mg of magnesium into the urine each day. There is about 25g of magnesium in the adult body, and over have of it resides in the bones and the rest in the soft tissue. There is only a very small amount of magnesium that resides in the actual blood serum. With that being said, it can be a little more difficult to test, and usually a combination of blood tests, urinalysis, saliva tests, and a thorough consultation are performed to be sure one could be deficient.
There are a wide variety of beverages, animal and plant foods that have magnesium in them. Tap, mineral and bottled water contain certain levels of magnesium in them. Nuts, seeds, spinach, legumes, and whole grains contain a good level of magnesium as well. Fortified foods and cereals may contain added amounts of magnesium, but some types of food processing actually lower the content of magnesium. Personally, I recommend trying to find magnesium through more natural food sources, not cereal or processed foods if can be helped. And though you may think you are taking in a fair amount of magnesium through your diet, about 30-40% of dietary magnesium is actually absorbed by the body.
Listed below from The National Institute of Health are some food sources and the levels of magnesium found in them:
|Table 2: Selected Food Sources of Magnesium |
|Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce||80||20|
|Spinach, boiled, ½ cup||78||20|
|Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce||74||19|
|Peanuts, oil roasted, ¼ cup||63||16|
|Cereal, shredded wheat, 2 large biscuits||61||15|
|Soymilk, plain or vanilla, 1 cup||61||15|
|Black beans, cooked, ½ cup||60||15|
|Edamame, shelled, cooked, ½ cup||50||13|
|Peanut butter, smooth, 2 tablespoons||49||12|
|Bread, whole wheat, 2 slices||46||12|
|Avocado, cubed, 1 cup||44||11|
|Potato, baked with skin, 3.5 ounces||43||11|
|Rice, brown, cooked, ½ cup||42||11|
|Yogurt, plain, low fat, 8 ounces||42||11|
|Breakfast cereals, fortified with 10% of the DV for magnesium||40||10|
|Oatmeal, instant, 1 packet||36||9|
|Kidney beans, canned, ½ cup||35||9|
|Banana, 1 medium||32||8|
|Salmon, Atlantic, farmed, cooked, 3 ounces||26||7|
|Milk, 1 cup||24–27||6–7|
|Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces||24||6|
|Raisins, ½ cup||23||6|
|Chicken breast, roasted, 3 ounces||22||6|
|Beef, ground, 90% lean, pan broiled, 3 ounces||20||5|
|Broccoli, chopped and cooked, ½ cup||12||3|
|Rice, white, cooked, ½ cup||10||3|
|Apple, 1 medium||9||2|
|Carrot, raw, 1 medium||7||2|
The National Institute of Health also states that the daily recommended amount of magnesium consumed by an adult be between 310-420 mg per female and male, respectively. Now this may vary between each individual based on their health history and daily life. It is always recommended that if one is concerned to please consult a qualified health care professional.
Some groups that are more subject than others to have inadequate levels of magnesium are people with gastrointestinal diseases, people with migraines, people with Type II Diabetes, people with alcohol dependencies, older adults, especially those dealing with osteoporosis, and people with hypertension and/or cardiovascular disease. These groups are more likely to consume insufficient quantities of magnesium, or have a medical condition or take medications that affect the absorption of magnesium in the gut.
Some signs that you are someone may be deficient in magnesium include, but are not subject to: reduced urinary excretion, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite. If the deficiency continues to get worse, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions, cramps, personality changes, seizures, irregular heart rhythms or coronary spasms can take place. Severe issues can involve low blood calcium and potassium levels as well.
I hope that this has been informative to all of you reading this. Should you have any questions or concerns in regards to magnesium, please feel free to contact any of the doctor’s at PHC or your PCP for further questions or concerns. If you are someone that takes a magnesium supplement, or is looking too, Metagenics carries very high quality magnesium supplements, some of which we carry at our office. Metagenics brand is very well known in the medical field, and may also be something your PCP may carry in their office as well.