Recognized for its role in bone structure and proper function of nerves and muscles, Magnesium can perform important, health-related tasks such as helping control diabetes and muscle pain. It is also necessary for almost every chemical reaction that takes place in the body.
Here are just a few things magnesium can do for you:
- Calm your body by helping blood vessels dilate, which maintains lower blood pressure and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood.
- Improve quality of sleep, a critical defense against stress.
- Help neutralize stomach acid and move stools through the intestine.
- Play a role in lowering blood sugar, a major issue in diabetes management and prevention.
- Help with prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, nerve and back pain.
Food sources of magnesium include leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, fruits and whole grains. Because food levels of magnesium are affected by the quality of soil in which the food is grown, there have been huge declines in food-based magnesium content over the last few decades. Some people may be magnesium deficient and not realize that their symptoms of illness (e.g., headaches, muscle cramps, constipation) are related to insufficient magnesium.
There are different types of magnesium (e.g., citrate, glycinate) and various forms (pill, powder, liquid). Some forms may be better suited to different types of health issues. If you are concerned about magnesium deficiency due to dietary habits or physical symptoms, it’s something you should consider discussing with your doctor as he or she can order a test of your magnesium levels and recommended the best type of supplement. Some forms of magnesium are poorly absorbed, so won’t provide therapeutic benefit, and other forms can cause changes in bowel movements.