Magnesium deficiency is a self-explanatory word. When your body does not get its required amount of Magnesium, you are magnesium deficient. Magnesium in our body is required for proper brain functioning. It is s gatekeeper for N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors of our brain which have crucial functions. Another function of magnesium is that it keeps your heart rate in control. The antagonistic movement of magnesium and calcium is important for maintaining a healthy heartbeat. In muscle contraction, a similar method is employed. Magnesium counters the activity of calcium which causes muscles to relax after contraction. Yet another important function of magnesium is that it plays an essential role in glucose homeostasis. Insulin receptors need Magnesium ions to effectively use insulin. This lowers blood sugar levels. Mg also acts as a cofactor. A cofactor is important to change an Apo enzyme into its active form the holoenzyme. Mg works as a cofactor for more than 300 different biochemical reactions. These reactions range from blood pressure regulation, nerve functioning, biomolecule synthesis, etc. Metabolic cycles such as glycolysis etc. also require Mg. It is a structural component of bones as well. DNA and RNA also require Mg for their synthesis. Glutathione also requires Magnesium for its production. We cannot name all the functions that Mg performs in our body as the list would be too long. Needless to say, Magnesium is responsible for so many body processes that if not taken properly, we might face consequences. Now here arises a question “How much Magnesium is required to be taken in diet?” Following are the adequate daily intake requirements:
- Adult males should take 400 to 420 mg of Mg daily.
- Adult females should take 310 to 320 mg of Mg daily. Lactating females have the same daily requirement.
- Pregnant women need 350 to 360 milligrams of Magnesium daily.
If these requirements are not met, Magnesium deficiency can cause harm to your health. The diseases that are associated with Mg deficiency include Kidney malfunctioning, gastrointestinal disorders, alcoholism, type 2 diabetes, etc. You can check your magnesium levels through a simple blood test called “total serum magnesium test”. By knowing your Magnesium level you can then evaluate your diet plan or consult a doctor to help you choose one.
According to a study, more than 70% of the US population is not taking a sufficient amount of Magnesium. This makes them more vulnerable to having a Magnesium deficiency. Although supplements are available to treat this, it would be better if one recovers through taking Mg in the diet. Following are the foods which are high in Magnesium: