A friend of mine, who is a nurse, has brought up the role of magnesium and health related issues several times to me. Since I didn’t really understand what she was talking about, I decided to investigate how and why magnesium is important to our health.
Magnesium is a macro-nutrient, which means the body does need larger quantities in order to function properly, in comparison to micro-nutrients, which the body needs in lesser quantities. Magnesium plays a role in many functions of the body—in fact too many to properly discuss in this short article. However, you can get a idea of how important magnesium is by knowing it plays a part in digestion, energy, regulating calcium and other essential nutrients, bone health, muscle function, cell reproduction, kidney and heart function.
You can get magnesium into your body through food (diet), supplements, and topical application. In the United States, it’s rare for someone to have an extreme deficiency of magnesium, but it’s also known that most people do not get enough magnesium to fully support all of the functions of the body. You can find magnesium in dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.
If the body is suffering from a magnesium deficiency, you may experience sleepiness or premature fatigue, muscle spasms, irritability, nausea, vomiting, and low blood pressure. While the body can respond poorly when it does not have enough magnesium, studies have indicated that magnesium helps with health issues such as, premenstrual syndrome, type II diabetes, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure and migraine headaches, along with a variety of other health conditions.
Because magnesium plays a role in so many functions of the body, it may be a good idea to discuss with your health care professional to determine if an increase in magnesium would be appropriate for you. You should not start taking magnesium without the proper instruction because magnesium can interfere with prescription medication.