Magnesium has many functions in the human body. It affects the transmission of stimuli from the nerve to the muscle, the release of adrenaline and bone mineralization. It is also responsible for the activation of over 300 enzymes in the metabolism. As a blood clotting inhibitor, magnesium can prevent thrombosis (blood clots).
Magnesium in the body
About 60 percent of magnesium in the body is bound in the bones, the rest in various organs and tissues; only about one percent of the total is dissolved in the blood.
If too little magnesium is added to the body, it will take it from its reserves while supplies last. The measured magnesium content in the blood therefore only partially depicts the actual situation.
Daily dose and intake of magnesium
The recommended daily dose of magnesium is 350 milligrams. This daily dose is contained in foods such as:
- 60 grams of wheat bran
- 75 grams of sunflower seeds
- 200 grams of beans
- 200 grams of nuts
- 250 grams of oatmeal
- 500 grams of spinach
- 1200 grams of meat
Magnesium is mainly found in plant foods. Especially good sources of magnesium are nuts and seeds as well as whole grains, especially millet.
According to a recommendation of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), a maximum of 250 milligrams of magnesium per day should be ingested via dietary supplements in order not to exceed the recommended daily dose - the remainder is usually absorbed through the diet.
Deficiency symptoms in magnesium deficiency
Serious deficiency symptoms are rarely to be expected with reasonable nutrition. Classic deficiency symptoms are very similar to those of calcium deficiency (muscle cramps, restlessness, tremors, circulatory problems).
Deficiencies occur especially in the following situations where the body requires more magnesium:
- under stress (and heavy sweating)
- in stress
- after surviving illnesses (especially diarrheal diseases)
- at the diabetes
- in chronic kidney disease
- in pregnancy and lactation
- in the growing season
Also, alcohol consumption and certain medications (drainage tablets, laxatives, the pill and others) interfere with the normal magnesium balance. An additional intake is then advisable.
Various disorders of nervous function, anxiety or depression may be triggered or exacerbated by magnesium deficiency. The variety of complaints can be explained by the fact that magnesium interferes with many different metabolic processes.
Overdose of magnesium
Very high magnesium concentrations in the blood are to be expected only with parenteral (by infusion directly into the blood vessel) application or kidney damage. Then paralysis phenomena occur, which also affect breathing and blood pressure regulation. In extreme cases, it can also come to a coma.
5 facts about magnesium - © Tina Mann
Effect of magnesium
Magnesium can protect against cardiac arrhythmias and improve cardiac output, and conversely, too little magnesium can endanger the heart. In muscle cramps, the surprisingly good effect of magnesium preparations is often described, magnesium preparations are also used for the prophylaxis of calf cramps and premature labor.
However, magnesium also alleviates circulatory disorders, as the blood vessels are dilated, the fluidity is improved and more blood enters the tissue. In acid-inhibiting preparations, magnesium helps with stomach ulcers.
Treat magnesium deficiency
Magnesium administered alone causes the body some problems: The cells can not hold the magnesium added, it is largely excreted again. To improve the utilization of magnesium, it is best paired with a "partner", orotic acid. Since this is also very important for the energy metabolism, the orotic acid is an additional protection factor in addition to magnesium.