Every cell in the human body contains magnesium. The mineral is actually involved in more than 600 reactions in your body, including energy creation, muscle movement and nervous system regulation.
Because of magnesium’s many functions within the body, it can play a major role in disease prevention and overall health. Be sure to eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods, or take a supplement if you’re not getting enough in your diet. Without enough of this important mineral, your body simply won’t be able to function optimally.
The following are nine conditions that ample magnesium levels can help to prevent.
Magnesium is an important nutrient for bone formation, working in conjunction with calcium. Optimal intake is associated with higher bone density, improved bone crystal formation and a lower risk of osteoporosis in women after menopause.
Magnesium maintains the health of all muscles, including the heart. Adequate magnesium intake has been associated with a lower risk of atherosclerosis, a fatty buildup on the walls of arteries, hypertension, or high blood pressure, and ultimately stroke.
Several studies have linked a higher intake of magnesium with a lower risk of diabetes. That may be because magnesium plays an important role in carbohydrate and glucose metabolism.
Studies have suggested that magnesium may help prevent or relieve harsh headaches, but the amount of the mineral needed to make a difference is higher than average dietary recommendations.
Adequate amounts of magnesium, especially when combined with vitamin B6, may help relieve the unpleasant symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as bloating, insomnia, leg swelling, weight gain and breast tenderness.
Low magnesium levels have been linked to heightened anxiety. This appears to be related to activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis: a set of three glands that controls our reactions to stress.
Magnesium is important for brain function and mood, and low levels are linked to an increased risk of depression. In fact, studies have found that people under 65 years of age with magnesium deficiencies have around a 20 percent greater risk of depression.
Mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer’s disease, a version of dementia, have been linked to low levels of magnesium in the body. These studies found that ionized magnesium concentrations were significantly lower in people with Alzheimer’s disease than in their counterparts of the same age but without the condition.
Magnesium plays a crucial role in lung structure and function. Magnesium can block calcium, which, in the lungs, cause bronchial smooth-muscle contractions.