Magnesium is the main structural element of living organisms, an integral component of the bone tissue of animals and humans, as well as the green pigment (chlorophyll) of plants. Mineral activates more than 350 enzymes that are responsible for the absorption of lipids, proteins and nutrients.
In the body of an adult with a mass of 70 kilograms, 20 to 30 grams of magnesium are concentrated: 60% in the bones of the skeleton, 40% in cells and tissues, 1% in the intercellular space.
Interestingly, by the level of content in the body, this macrocell ranks fourth, behind sodium, potassium and calcium.
The primary function of magnesium is to form bone tissue and speed up the metabolism.
Other useful properties of the macro:
- increases the immune activity of cells;
- maintains the stability of genetic material (DNA and RNA), preventing the occurrence of mutations;
- slows down the release of histamine from mast cells;
- coordinates the heart rhythm (reduces myocardial contractility, reduces the heart rate and high blood pressure);
- increases bone mineral density, preventing the appearance of fractures (together with calcium and phosphorus);
- activates enzyme systems, including peptidases, phosphatases, carboxylases, phosphorylases, cholinesterase, pyruvate kinase, keto acid decarboxylase;
- participates in the synthesis of nucleic acids, fats, proteins, vitamins of group B, collagen;
- maintains homeostasis of potassium, calcium, sodium;
- accelerates the elimination of toxic substances from the body, including cholesterol deposits;
- potentiates the disaggregation of platelets, resulting in improved “fluidity” of blood;
- normalizes the processes of inhibition and excitation in the brain;
- regulates the permeability of mitochondrial and cell membranes;
- participates in the conduct of nerve signals;
- controls blood sugar levels;
- prevents calcium deposits in the kidneys, gallbladder, ureters, bones (together with vitamin B6);
- increases osmotic pressure of intestinal contents, accelerating the passage of fecal masses;
- participates in the processes of neuromuscular excitation, improving the contractility of the muscles (together with calcium);
- accelerates the transformation of creatine phosphate to adenosine triphosphate, potentiating the energy metabolism reactions;
- increases the body’s resistance to stress.
Along with this, products with a high concentration of magnesium help in the fight against insomnia, migraines, anxiety, and nervous disorders.
The daily rate of magnesium is directly dependent on gender, age and physiological state of a person.
Daily need is:
- for newborns up to 5 months – 30 to 50 milligrams;
- for infants from 6 months to 1 year – 70 milligrams;
- for babies up to 3 years old – 100 milligrams;
- for children from 4 to 7 years – 150 – 170 milligrams;
- for schoolchildren from 9 – 13 years old – 250 milligrams;
- for young people up to 30 years old – 310 – 350 milligrams;
- for adults – 400 milligrams;
- during pregnancy and lactation – 450 – 700 milligrams.
The need for magnesium increases with:
- protein diet;
- pregnancy, breastfeeding;
- the formation of new tissues (in children, bodybuilders);
- the postoperative period;
- alcohol abuse;
- diuretics, laxatives, estrogen, hormonal contraceptives.
In addition, it is advisable to take magnesium foods in menopausal women (450-500 milligrams), in order to mitigate menopausal manifestations and reduce nervous excitability.
Deficiency and excess
A balanced diet, in 80% of cases, covers the body’s daily need for magnesium. However, due to the industrial processing of raw materials (refining, cleaning, grinding, pasteurization), the concentration of the mineral in the food is halved. In addition, many people do not receive the macro element in proper volume, because they lead an unhealthy lifestyle or have chronic pathologies of the digestive tract.
Considering that magnesium is a cofactor of enzymes and a regulator of biochemical reactions in the body, its deficiency reduces immunity and causes functional disorders.
Signs of magnesium deficiency:
- increased infectious diseases;
- constant fatigue;
- prolonged seasonal depression;
- decreased performance;
- long recovery period;
- anxiety, phobias, anxiety;
- insomnia, morning tiredness;
- glare before eyes;
- muscle spasms, twitches, cramps;
- sensitivity to noise and changing weather;
- lack of coordination of movements;
- drops in blood pressure;
- heart rhythm disorders;
- spasmodic abdominal pain, accompanied by diarrhea;
- hair loss, brittleness of the nail plates.
In addition, a characteristic symptom of hypomagnesemia, according to scientists N.M. Nazarova, V.N. Prilepskaya, E.A. Mezhevitinovoy, is a premenstrual syndrome caused by a decrease in the concentration of red blood cells in the blood.
Exogenous factors provoking a lack of a mineral in the body:
- adherence to rigid mono-diet, starvation;
- insufficient magnesium content in the daily menu;
- excessive consumption of calcium, protein and lipid foods;
- chronic alcoholism, smoking;
- hormonal contraception;
- magnesium depleted intake for parenteral or enteral nutrition;
- lack of vitamins B1, B2, B6 in the diet.
However, almost always hypomagnesemia occurs against the background of pathologies of internal organs.
Endogenous causes of magnesium deficiency:
- violation of nutrient absorption due to diarrhea or enteric fistulas;
- kidney disease;
- diabetes mellitus with consistently high blood sugar levels;
- myocardial infarction;
- hyperfunction of the thyroid and parathyroid glands:
- circulatory failure, especially stagnant;
- cirrhosis of the liver;
- increased aldosterone synthesis (adrenal hormone).
In addition, long-term use of diuretics, diuretics, glucocorticosteroids, cytotoxic drugs and estrogen is fraught with the development of local hypomagnesemia.
Remember, macroelement deficiency is difficult to diagnose by blood analysis, since 99% of the nutrient is concentrated inside the cell structures, and only 1%? In the blood plasma. In view of this, anamnesis is established according to the symptoms, having previously evaluated the clinical condition of the patient.
Magnesium overdose, in 90% of cases, develops against the background of renal failure, increased protein catabolism, non-curative diabetic acidosis, uncontrolled use of drugs, and foods containing microelements.
Symptoms of hypomagnesemia:
- violation of speech, coordination;
- slow pulse;
- decrease in heart rate (bradycardia);
- dry mucous membranes;
- abdominal pain;
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
Prolonged hypomagnesemia is fraught with persistent lowering of blood pressure, respiratory paralysis, and in rare cases, cardiac arrest.
What influences magnesium development in the body?
The action of the macro is the formation of protein, enzyme structures and maintaining calcium homeostasis.
However, some substances slow down the absorption of magnesium in the intestine, which leads to a violation of the full course of biochemical reactions.
Consider the scale of compatibility of the mineral with some compounds.
- Consumption of magnesium with calcium, sodium or phosphorus leads to a decrease in the absorption of the first macrocell.
- Iron reduces the absorption of magnesium in the duodenum.
- If you combine the mineral with taking excessively fatty foods, the formation of soap-like salts occurs, which are not absorbed in the digestive tract.
- With additional folic acid intake, the need for macronutrient increases.
- Vitamins E and B6 improve the exchange of magnesium in the body.
- Macroelement actively interacts with insulin, increasing its production by half.
- Excessive intake of potassium in the body, accelerates the excretion of magnesium by the kidneys.
- High-protein diet violates the absorption of the element in the body.
- Vitamins D and C increase the pharmacological properties of magnesium.
- Abuse of caffeine, alcohol, white sugar leads to a deterioration in the absorption of the mineral.
- Erythromycin, tetracycline reduce the effectiveness of the macro.
Food products rich with magnesium
Mineral is supplied to the body together with food and hard water. To eliminate chronic hypomagnesemia, drugs and supplements are used, the main active ingredient of which is the missing element. In regions with soft tap water, the daily need for a compound is filled by plant products.
“Natural sources of magnesium”
Product Name Magnesium content per 100 grams of product, milligrams
Pumpkin seeds (raw) 530
Wheat Bran 450
Cocoa 20% 440
Sesame seeds 350 – 450
Cashews (raw) 270 – 290
Almond (fried) 260
Pine nuts (peeled) 245
Wheatgrass (untreated) 240
Buckwheat (fresh) 230
Watermelon (without nitrates) 224
Cornflakes (whole) 214
Sea Kale 170
Oatmeal (whole) 130
Sunflower seeds, peas 125 – 129
Rosehip (dried) 120
Walnut 90 – 100
Dates (dried, without processing) 85
Spinach (fresh) 80
Dutch cheese 50 – 60
Boiled buckwheat 50
Pearl barley, millet, barley 45
Beans 45 – 100
Dried apricots, prunes (without treatment) 45 – 50
Rye Bread 40
Lentils (boiled) 35
Russian cheese 30 – 40
Green Peas (Fresh) 30
Remember, when cooking, soaking or peeling, 30 – 60% of the beneficial compound is lost.
Magnesium is an indispensable component of the human body, responsible for the coordinated work of all body systems, especially the immune, nervous and musculoskeletal.
The macroelement in the composition of enzymes is involved in the processes of digestion, the formation of bone, cartilage and connective tissue, muscle contractility, energy production, the activation of B vitamins, the creation of new cells. In addition, the substance controls the successful course of pregnancy and prevents the risk of complications, including pre-eclampsia.
Lack of magnesium in the daily menu is manifested by poor health, frequent infectious diseases, sensitivity to stress, increased fatigue, changes in the blood. To prevent hypomagnesemia, it is important to regularly eat foods rich in magnesium, in particular, wheat bran, cocoa, buckwheat, nuts, cereals, legumes.