Vitamins + Supplements
What is Magnesium and What Does it Do?
Magnesium, a mineral found abundantly in the body, is naturally present in many foods, available as a dietary supplement, and an ingredient in medications including laxatives and antacids. Magnesium is an important component of key enzyme systems in the body, including protein synthesis and muscle and nerve function, as well as regulation of blood glucose levels and blood pressure.
Why is Magnesium important/necessary? (health effects of vitamin/supplement on body)
It is important to note that magnesium is required for energy production, assisting with key bodily processes known as oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis. As well, magnesium contributes to the structural development of bone and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione. Finally, magnesium plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes—a process that is key to conduction of nerve impulses, contraction of muscle fibers, and normal rhythm of the heart.
What Magnesium does for your Body?
Many experts agree that magnesium may be the most overlooked mineral. No one has yet popularized a simple way to remember it, in the way that we usually associate potassium with bananas, calcium with bone health, and sodium with blood pressure. Magnesium, however, is a particularly useful mineral that many doctors, nutritionists, and researchers consider to be possibly the most important nutrient for your overall health.
Magnesium plays an essential role in hundreds of chemical reactions in your body, from helping you maintain your energy levels, allowing you to relax, and sustaining your heart and blood vessel health. And most people do not get enough magnesium on a daily basis.
So, what does magnesium do for your body? What is it good for?
- It is commonly used in over-the-counter laxative medicines as a means to alleviate constipation
- Magnesium is found in antacid medications used to relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, and upset stomach
- Magnesium promotes restful sleep and acts as a calming agent. It is excellent for reducing insomnia
- It also improves brain function and fights depression
- Magnesium is also a natural calcium-channel blocker, which may be key to regulating healthy blood pressure
- It helps decrease inflammation, which can beneficially impact many bodily systems
- Healthy magnesium levels help lower cortisol, the stress hormone, which helps you return to a more relaxed state faster
- Together with calcium, magnesium is key to the maintaining bone health
- It helps the heart muscle function properly and also protects blood vessels, thereby helping your body fight heart disease
- Due to its natural ability to act as a blood thinner, experts believe that magnesium may prove key to the prevention of serious cardiovascular complications, including heart attack and stroke
How Much Magnesium Do I Need?