Magnesium is a chemical compound responsible for the regulation of over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It acts as co-factor to enzymes. It is regarded by many scientists as the fourth most abundant mineral in the body.
Even though magnesium as a dietary mineral can be gotten in abundant quantity naturally from most foods source, in some developed countries including the USA, deficiencies are common and in most cases are often undiagnosed.
Magnesium deficiency causes some significant health crises including poor memory, loss of appetite, insomnia, irritability, and hyperexcitability among many others.
It is important to note that, most deficiencies comes as a result of peoples inability to take food rich in magnesium like leafy vegetables, nuts, even some western diets magnesium deficiencies are common because grains are not a good source of magnesium.
Magnesium supplements can be a good source of magnesium especially when a deficiency has been diagnosed, supplementation will fill in the gap quicker than food sources.
The importance of magnesium is huge so much a deficiency would leave the body with visible symptoms. Some of the health benefits of magnesium include
- Increase Energy.
- Calms Nerves and Anxiety.
- Treats Insomnia.
- Promote Digestion by Relieving Constipation.
- Relieves Muscle Aches and Spasms.
- Regulates Calcium, Potassium and Sodium levels in the body.
- Promotes sound Heart Health.
What Are The Causes Of Magnesium Deficiencies?
Most western diets consist mainly of grain but unfortunately, the magnesium content in grain is not enough to balance up the Recommended Daily Allowance.
In the USA and most developed countries, magnesium deficiencies are the second most common deficiency only behind vitamin A.
Apart from not eating food rich in magnesium, other factors could contribute directly or indirectly to deficiencies of magnesium. Here are some remote causes of magnesium as reviewed by studies.
- Too much consumption of calcium supplements without magnesium – Magnesium can improve the bodies ability to absorb calcium especially if taken in a proper ratio. Studies have shown that when calcium intake exceeds the ratio of magnesium(1:1 is the proper ratio), it will affect the absorption as well as retention of magnesium why giving rise to too much calcium in the body especially in the blood and bone and that itself can cause some complications.
- Drinking of Tea, Coffee, and or other caffeinated drink – Studies has shown that when the caffeinated drink is taken on a daily basis, it makes the kidney filter out some vital nutrients more frequently regardless of whether it is in excess or not. Usually, when magnesium is taken in excess, the kidney works to remove the excess one but with a daily intake of tea like green tea and other caffeinated drinks, the kidney is forced to filter out more magnesium than necessary and that can cause a serious deficit.
- Stress –Stress can sap off magnesium in the body leading to a deficiency, According to studies, both physical and emotional stress has been linked to decreased magnesium in the body. Studies showed that those who already are a deficit of magnesium and are stressed have a higher risk of health crises resulting from magnesium deficiency.
- Regular Consumption Of Sweetened Food – Sugary food are known by the nutritionist as anti-nutrients because they make the kidney sap out more nutrients than required. Refine Sugar has Zero magnesium and when consumed sap out the magnesium in the body.
- Regular intake Of Carbonated Beverages – Most carbonated drinks contain phosphates, and magnesium, when exposed to phosphates, are bind together in the intestine making them unavailable to be used by the body. We all have seen the use of carbonated drinks has skyrocketed in recent years and that can be a major reason the world is facing magnesium deficit.
There are some other reasons not mentioned here that could cause magnesium deficiency.
Dangers Of Magnesium Deficiency.
It has been reported that less than 30% of Adult American consume the Recommended Daily Allowance of magnesium, and nearly 20% get just half of what their bodies require to function optimally. By all standards that is a disaster.
Magnesium deficiency has caused so many pains to so many people all over the world and the sad part of it all is that many people ain’t even aware they have a magnesium deficiency. Some blame the symptoms on other sickness and yet again magnesium deficiency is left undiagnosed and treated.
But then, what are the symptoms and side effects of magnesium deficiency in the body?
Here are some of the symptoms and side effects of magnesium deficiencies as experienced by many people all over the world.
One of the most pronounced and easily noticed symptom and side effect of magnesium deficiency in the body is fatigue.
Although fatigue can come from just about anything, from stress, workload, or from any other factor, magnesium deficiency is a major cause of Fatigue.
One of the major functions of magnesium in the body is, it helps produce and transport energy around the body and it’s just natural that an inadequate supply of such elements could cause a shortfall in the energy supply to the body and can lead to chronic fatigue.
So, if you discover you are always feeling out of energy, you could check with your Doctor to see if can start with supplementation as recommended by the Doctor.
Anxiety & Depression
Many clinical studies suggest that a low magnesium supply to the body can be a cause of Anxiety and Depression. Usually, low magnesium cause chronic fatigue coming from the loss of energy and that itself can cause anxiety and or depression in some people. So you see, magnesium deficiency can lead to chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue can in place lead to anxiety and depression.
Heart And Brain Problem.
Magnesium combine together with calcium to give the human body sound health, without magnesium, calcium may not be able to function optimally and may turn out to be toxic to the body and that can affect cardiovascular health significantly.
Calcium needs magnesium to carry out its functions properly like strengthening the bone and joints, regulating blood supply to the body, etc and low magnesium will mean these functions are hampered and that can cause some significant health damage especially to the cardio system.
Magnesium deficiency can be the reason you are having dizziness. Usually, dizziness occurs and stops withing minutes especially when you stand up suddenly or when you are hungry for some people, but when it comes to magnesium deficiency, the dizziness, unfortunately, can last for a pretty long and could be all day or even longer.
Unfortunately, people that experience dizziness won’t consider magnesium deficiency and Doctors too won’t consider it as a possible cause and so many people are left to leave with it undiagnosed.
Initially, the symptoms could be mild but as the low magnesium persists, the dizziness increase in frequency and can graduate to a more serious symptom and that could alter your productivity in the workplace.
High Blood Pressure(HBP) Or Hypertension As Some People Call It.
A study conducted by the University of Minnesota reviewed that, women who had adequate supply of magnesium had about 70% low risk of High Blood Prssure compared to those with low magnesium intake.
A study involving 700,000 conducted by Harvard Reviewed that, those with normal level magnesium in the body have a more healthier heat and less risk of high blood pressure than those with low magnesium.
According to information from University of Maryland Medical Center, Magnesium work together with calcium to ensure the heart function at optimal level.
Another clinical study involving 8,500 women showed that those who take diets rich in magnesium have a lower risk of high blood pressure in women.
The application of the scenario in relationship to the effect of magnesium deficiency is that, a low magnesium level means a higher risk of high blood pressure.
Some studies showed that magnesium may prevent the risk of migraine headache. A Study conducted further reviewed that most people that suffer from migraine headache also suffer from a deficiency of magnesium.
Some health experts recommend a combination of magnesium and vitamin B12 to treat migraine headache although some suggested that magnesium maybe less effective compared to prescribed medication.
Regardless, it has been established from various studies that, those with low magnesium are more likely to develop migraine headache than those with sufficient supply of magnesium.
There are other symptoms and side effects of magnesium deficiency not mentioned here such as Numbness, Type 11 diabetes, Insomnia, mood swing etc. Although some symptoms may likely never show unless blood test is conducted.
Regardless, magnesium deficiency is regarded as a major nutritional concern as over 80% of the global population is reportedly suffering from magnesium deficiency also called Hypomagnesium.