The Roles of Magnesium in the Body
Even though magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and all our major organs require magnesium to function properly, few people understand what this important mineral really does in our bodies. In this article, you’ll learn more about magnesium’s role in the human body and how much magnesium the average adult requires per day.
What Magnesium Does for Us
Cell membrane development – According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, magnesium helps our body to transport ions like potassium and calcium across our cell membranes. Consequently, magnesium has a direct effect on the conduction of our heart rhythm, muscle contractions, and nerve impulses. Indeed, the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle spasms, cramps, and weakness.
Energy production – We all know that the metabolism of carbohydrates and fat is required to produce energy. However, few people realize that many of these chemical reactions depend upon magnesium to work. Therefore, our consumption of magnesium-rich foods directly correlates with our bodies’ abilities to process and utilize carbohydrates in an efficient manner. For this reason, eating enough magnesium can directly prevent type II diabetes by controlling glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
Recommended Daily Intake
The RDI of magnesium is 400 milligrams for adult men and 310 milligrams for adult women, which is quite easy to meet for both sexes (magnesium deficiencies are rare in most countries). Consuming more than 500 milligrams of magnesium per day can lead to stomach problems and diarrhea.
Some excellent sources of magnesium include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, lentils, bananas, blackstrap molasses, and dark chocolate.
About the Author
Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world’s healthiest foods.