The Many Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium was discovered in 1775 by Joseph Black. Its name is derived from Magnesia which is the name of Greek city where magnesium was first found in large deposits. Magnesium is an incredibly crucial mineral for plants – and for us. For plants, it’s the ion at the center of the chlorophyll molecule. For us, magnesium is a cofactor and regulates more than 300 enzymes in our body. It ignites easily and is used in flares, fireworks, and sparklers. It has been called the “spark of life,” and we can see why.
Magnesium is the gatekeeper for calcium, and it only allows a certain amount of calcium into the cells, so it doesn’t accumulate and disrupt cell function. It plays an important role in energy production, is necessary for protein synthesis, helps transmit nerve signals, and helps relax muscles. Most importantly, these enzymes assist in producing, transporting, storing, and using energy. Sixty to 65% of magnesium is stored in our bones and teeth, 35-40% is stored in muscle and tissue cells, and it’s present in body fluids. The highest concentrations are found in the heart and brain cells – two crucial muscles that help our body function.
There are thousands of pages of scientific studies written about the benefits of magnesium. However, around 60% of Americans are deficient, due to a variety of reasons. Some causes of low magnesium include low intake of magnesium-rich foods, poor soil mineral content, taking certain medications that deplete levels, digestion impairment, and sweating.
Greens (spinach, swiss chard), some beans (black beans), nuts (cashews, almonds), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame), avocados, and salmon are high in magnesium. But crops may be severely depleted of this mineral due to soil content, so a supplement can be beneficial. Everyone’s body differs with the amount of magnesium it needs, so it’s best to start with a small amount, about 200 mg, closer to bedtime and to slowly work in more as needed.
Magnesium may not be a “flashy” new product, but it creates a tremendous “spark” and “fire” of its own by igniting so many important processes in our body. Give it a try – you may be surprised how much your body benefits from adding this mineral to your daily routine.