Most of the minerals and vitamins our bodies need, are suspiciously absent from the average American diet. Magnesium, found in dark leafy greens, whole grains, and nuts, is one such mineral.
Magnesium doesn’t get the publicity that calcium and vitamin D do, but it is no less important. In fact, it is responsible for muscle health and over 300 functions involving enzymes. Nearly all of the magnesium in our bodies is located within our muscle tissue, teeth, and bones. But, the seemingly small amount in our cells helps with muscle contraction and fat synthesizing.
Most people just make the assumption that all of the minerals, nutrients, and vitamins that we need will come from our diet. The chief problem with this theory being that our food is more of a “food-like product.” When it gets processed, any nutritional value a food once had is stripped out.
Another problem with this idea is that our digestive tract doesn’t always absorb all of the nutrients it should. If you have problems with your digestive tract, you may not even know it. Therefore, you could be deficient in nutrition and have no idea at all.
There are medical studies which suggest taking magnesium as a supplement can regulate blood pressure and reduce hypertension (high blood pressure). In one study involving 91 elderly women, those who were given 20 mg of magnesium each day for six months. Those who had received magnesium (vs a placebo) had reduced blood pressure with very few if any, side-effects.
When a magnesium study was performed in Japan, this time on individuals with normal blood pressure, the same results occurred. Both diastolic and systolic blood pressure dropped in those patients receiving magnesium. This change was seen in only four weeks and was not apparent in the placebo group.
Using magnesium supplements can help considerably with migraines according to a study published in Cephalalgia: An International Journal of Headaches. For this study, 81 patients, all of whom were migraine sufferers, received either a placebo or 600 mg of magnesium for three months. By week number nine, those receiving magnesium had fewer migraines than those receiving placebos. Similar results were found when a migraine study out of Turkey was performed. After three months, the group receiving magnesium had fewer migraine occurrences than the control group.
When magnesium is combined with other supplements, it becomes vital to relieving anxiety. The research regarding this hypothesis took into account different types of anxiety (work, PMS, etc…). They used a double-blind study to analyze not only the effects of magnesium but the effects of magnesium combined with vitamin B6. Each participant was required to keep a symptom journal. Once again, we see the group taking magnesium faring much better than the placebo group.
Time and time again, we can see that adding magnesium increases the quality of life for the individuals. It is also being explored for its potential applications in treating chronic fatigue syndrome, among other conditions.
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