Benefits Of Magnesium & Signs Of Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium is an important nutrient, with many benefits – particularly in combination with other bone and nerve function supporting nutrients, like zinc and calcium. In this video, homeopath Dr Shamini Singh Sachdev explains why most people don't get enough magnesium and the common signs of magnesium deficiency. She also explains the benefits of getting the right dose of daily magnesium and how supplementation can help.
Below you can watch the video in full, or read the transcript to get all the top tips and advice from Dr Shamini Singh Sachdev.
Watch The Video
Hi there, I'm Shamini Singh Sachdev. I'm a homepath based in London.
Today, I have the pleasure of talking to you about magnesium. In particular, what magnesium does for our body, the benefits of it, and the signs of magnesium deficiency.
When we think about magnesium, magnesium is one of our major minerals within our body. It's the fourth most abundant mineral in our body. And we need magnesium because it's important for regulating a whole bunch of muscle movements, nerve functions, blood sugar regulations, blood pressure regulations, and making the bones stronger. And making more bones as well.
Generally, an adult male requires about 420 to 400 milligrams of magnesium per day. And females need about 270 to 320 milligrams per day. There's a variety of sources of magnesium from food, which are things like: pumpkin seeds, spinach, cashews, almonds, brown rice, quinoa black beans, avocado, my personal favorite, dark chocolate, and a variety of fish, such as salmon, halibut, and mackerel.
Why don't we get enough magnesium?
When we think of magnesium and we kind of want to understand why, if we're eating healthy, don't we get enough magnesium. We have to think about how we digest and absorb magnesium within our body. And whether we have a fairly active digestive system, meaning is it healthy? Are we absorbing as much as we possibly could? And most of us will unfortunately fall short of this because either we had digestive issues or we've had problems with our gastric tract and that affects how much we can absorb and how much our body then gets from that.
So, eating healthy is definitely important, but you can also get magnesium from supplements. And there's a variety of supplements out there that make high quality magnesium, which is also highly absorbable, into the body.
What are the signs of magnesium deficiency?
When we think again about what are the signs of magnesium deficiency, how would you know if you require additional magnesium? There's a few key signs and symptoms that we can consider, number one being fatigued.
Now it's one of the first signs of magnesium deficiency that people notice. Either as an overall sense of tiredness, a lack of energy, a kind of lethargy, rather than sleepiness. And it's because magnesium is fundamental when it comes to energy formation and energy production within the body – with these little tiny cells called mitochondria, they really need magnesium to help form that energy and which drives the cells of the body, which then drives tissue, which then basically helps your body produce adequate amounts of energy.
So when you're lacking in magnesium over a prolonged time, you find that there's this sense of lethargy, creeping in and a general sense of tiredness and a feeling of constant fatigue. And this is a strong indicator potentially of magnesium deficiency.
Another one is an irregular heartbeat. Magnesium is needed to ensure that the heart is healthy, that the heart has a regular heartbeat. And as the heart is a muscle, as with other muscles in the body, magnesium and calcium together, calcium will help your heart contract and magnesium helps to relax it.
So an irregular heartbeat could be due to an imbalance in this. Predominantly, in case of magnesium, the heart muscle isn't relaxing and that could then cause the irregular heartbeat.
High blood pressure
Another benefit of having magnesium is that it helps to regulate blood pressure. And particularly those that suffer with high blood pressure, magnesium is important because it helps them to regulate blood pressure by stimulating the production of nitric oxide. And this signaling molecule helps to relax blood vessels.
To keep the blood pumping regularly, your heart needs to be pumping with a steady rhythm that your body can handle. High blood pressure is dangerous because it puts a strain on your blood vessels, because your blood is pumped too hard and too fast through your arteries and veins and this can cause internal damage.
Symptoms of high blood pressure predominantly are: a sense of dizziness, you may have headaches or feel light-headed, have an acute awareness of your heart pumping in your chest.
Twitches and muscular cramps
Another key benefit of having an adequate amount of magnesium is that the muscles–it helps prevent twitches in the muscles and muscular cramps. Now, magnesium, as I said earlier, helps the muscles to relax and calcium helps them to contract. And when these nutrients, these minerals are out of sync, such as in low magnesium levels, you experience this constant sort of spasming cramping sensation overall in your muscles. And this can then lead to muscle weakness.
You can have this sensation or cramps in your leg or feeling like the muscles are very tired or very lethargic. And this can be due to magnesium deficiency. And this can happen multiple times, and when this happens that's a clear sign of magnesium deficiency.
Weak bones (and osteoporosis)
Together with magnesium, as I mentioned, there's calcium, and these two have a very good relationship within the body. And both of them work together as a key benefit to help prevent weak bones and reduce incidences of osteoporosis. Magnesium is one of the key nutrients for the growing and maintaining of healthy bones, which then contributes to bone density.
Low bone strength can be a sign of magnesium deficiency. And, though you won't be able to tell this from the outside, weak bones are often discovered when you have breaks, unexplained fractures, or fracturing in your bones quite easily, or when you go for a bone density scan. And by that time your bone matrix is fully developed, by the age of 30.
By maintaining the levels of calcium, magnesium, you help to maintain that bone density. As you age, your bone density starts naturally to decline and when you have deficiencies of magnesium and calcium, you find that that level of degeneration is exponential.
You can find that if you have an adequate amount of magnesium, you can help prevent osteoporosis – which is, if you didn't know, osteoporosis is the bone disease, which causes breakdown of the bone and thinning and low density in the bone.
Magnesium also helps calcium get into the bones to help keep them strong. So not having enough magnesium in your diet directly impacts on how much calcium your bones can absorb.
Another benefit of magnesium is that it helps you get a better quality of sleep. So when you're having lots of sleeplessness, or having difficulty falling asleep, it's a sign that you, again, potentially could be deficient in magnesium.
And so having adequate amounts of magnesium can help reduce this. And this, why is magnesium important in the sleep pathway? Magnesium helps aid the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. And this is the system that kind of helps the nervous system relax and keep calm and prepares you for a sleep. And so deficiency of this causes an irritation in the nervous system, which can result in poor sleep quality or sleeplessness.
So we recommend that people that have experienced this inability to have good quality of sleep, one of the key nutrients is to have magnesium.
Stress and mental health disorders
With everything going on in the world right now, due to the COVID pandemic. There's been a lot of stress and anxiety and increase in mental health disorders. And you find that magnesium is very beneficial when it comes to helping you deal with these stresses and mental disorders.
Particularly, you find that when you don't have enough magnesium, you have an elevated level of cortisol. Now, cortisol is one of these hormones that is directly responsible for keeping you alert, even when you shouldn't be, it's the age old adage of thinking: Well, you know, I'm on constant alert and on the constant fight or flight mechanism. Being in this constant state can really affect your mental health and your mental well-being. Prolonged strain from being alert can cause huge mental and emotional traumas, and reactions, making you feel unable to react as you normally would. And there, by dealing with this, you find that it's a slippery slope. You know, once you become agitated, once you've had the sense of constant alertness and you have magnesium deficiency, your nervous system isn't able to relax, it isn't able to remain calm.
And so by adding magnesium to your supplement routine or increasing the food that contains magnesium, it then helps to nourish your nervous system. It helps to calm it down. And you're better able to cope with stress and other mental diseases.
Thanks for watching
I hope you found this topic that I've covered, which is magnesium and its benefits and its warning signs. And if you have any further queries, pop into Landy's, have a chat with the pharmacy team there. And hopefully you can get some magnesium to help supplement and keep you relaxed and calm and nourished.
Thank you very much for listening. Take care. Bye.
Grab Your Magnesium Supplements Today
If you think you have a magnesium deficiency, we would advise speaking to your GP as they can formally diagnose if you are deficient. If you are ready to pick up some quality supplements, take a look at our magnesium supplement range.
The products offered are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness or disease, or replace the advice of a medical professional. Results are not guaranteed and may vary from individual to individual.