Magnesium is one of the essential minerals required for the wellbeing of human body. Right from maintaining the normal blood pressure, keeping osteoporosis at bay and steadying your heart rhythm, magnesium has its own benefits. Magnesium is given through intravenous method to treat pregnant women with high BP and water retention in their body and also severely asthmatic patients. It may also delay the onset of diabetes in people prone to inherit diabetes through their heredity. In pregnant women with gestational diabetes, magnesium improved their blood sugar levels and helped avoid complications in newborns. Magnesium deficiency can cause serious nervous and skeletal issues. Stress is responsible for depletion of magnesium in the body and the resulting deficiency can cause psychiatric problems.
Natural Sources of Magnesium
Magnesium naturally occurs in nuts like almonds and cashews, pumpkin and chia seeds, black beans and soybeans, peanut and peanut butter, green leafy vegetables like spinach, to mention a few. The daily recommended allowance for adult men range from 410 to 420 mg per day and for women from 310 to 320 mg per day. Pregnant and adolescent women require slightly more magnesium at around 360 mg per day.
Chocolates contain magnesium and so do hard water and sea food. Many antacids and laxatives have magnesium as the main ingredient and therefore can also serve as magnesium supplements for people who need to take these medicines. Doctors usually advice magnesium supplements for people suffering from kidney disease, parathyroid problems, alcohol abusers, Crohn’s disease or other such digestive system issues, older adults, and who use certain drugs for diabetes or cancer. However, since magnesium is naturally available in food stuffs as well, care should be taken to avoid excess dosage of magnesium while consuming supplements. Milk of magnesia or magnesium hydroxide and magnesium sulfate is also used to treat poisoning.
Risks of Magnesium Overdose
Magnesium supplements can cause softening of stool and therefore diarrhea, nausea, and cramps. It may also interact and interfere with certain medicines like antibiotics, diuretics and heart medicines. Over dosage of magnesium can cause muscle weakness, fatigue, and dip in blood pressure and very high doses can cause death.
Environmental Impact on Magnesium
A six year old data shows that almost 60% of US population did not get adequate quantity of Magnesium in their diet. Depletion of magnesium in the soil has caused fruits and vegetables to lose about 20-30 of this mineral and can be attributed to the cause of the diet deficiency of US citizens. Also, increasingly people are consuming processed foods more and more. When food is processed, it loses about 80-90% of Magnesium. All these can cause a significant deficiency of this mineral in the world population. So it becomes essential for us to stick to consuming natural forms of food as far as possible and whole grains as well as against its processed form.