The essential mineral magnesium is involved in numerous physiological processes. A new paper suggests that we are magnesium deficient leading to type-2-diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and the occurrence of muscular and neurological disorders. Therefore, should we be magnesium supplements to maintain our health?
In vertebrates, magnesium is the fourth most abundant cation and is essential for every cell and is therefore fundamental to the existence of life. Magnesium balance in the body is controlled by a dynamic interplay among intestinal absorption, exchange with bone, and renal excretion. Any alterations in these pathways can affect our magnesium status of our bodies.
In addition, nutrients can affect intestinal magnesium absorption. High levels of dietary fiber from fruits, vegetables, and grains can decrease magnesium absorption.
Several reports indicate that an increasing proportion of the general population does not consume adequate magnesium and consequently develops hypomagnesaemia. This is probably largely due to the refining and processing of food, which is known to considerably reduce the magnesium content. For example, processing of wheat to flour or brown rice to polished rice reduces the magnesium content by approximately 80%.
Dietary data suggest that the average magnesium intake has declined markedly over the last 100 years. Studies in the US showed that 23.5% of the population had a daily dietary magnesium intake of less than 50% of the recommendations. Similar trends to low dietary magnesium intake were found in UK and Germany. The daily magnesium intakes below recommendations, especially in the group of young women, increased from 25% of the total population to about 50%.
During recent years, several large epidemiological studies have been published suggesting a risk reducing effect of a high magnesium intake or a low plasma magnesium concentration with regard to various diseases or an increased risk with low intake.
- A recent meta-analysis of epidemiological studies with more than 500,000 participants affirmed a diabetes risk reduction by 14% with every 100mg increase in daily magnesium intake.
- Studies also reported a significant reduction of sudden cardiac death in the group of participants with high plasma magnesium concentration. Cardiovascular mortality was significantly increased by 40% in the group with plasma magnesium concentration below 0.73mmol/L. This low magnesium concentration was found in 25% of the population.
- One study reported an association between low magnesium intake and increased cancer risk in a Mediterranean population leading to an overall increased mortality risk.
- In 2012 a meta-analysis from 7 studies with more than 241000 participants reported that dietary magnesium intake was inversely associated with the risk of stroke.
Given how wide spread the deficiency of magnesium the magnesium supplementation is advisable. Of the various magnesium containing supplements, those containing organic magnesium compounds (esp. magnesium citrate) have been shown to be superior to inorganic magnesium salts (magnesium oxide). One great way to get your magnesium is with Arbonne’s Phytosport Complete Hydration. It has the essential minerals to keep you going all day.