What Causes Magnesium To Be Low in Human
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Table of Contents
There is also widespread magnesium deficiency; much like vitamin D deficiency, this can also have a profound effect on mind and body. Magnesium is the most important mineral for humans, animals and plants, and is involved in several hundred different metabolic processes in the body. Nothing works without magnesium, so to speak!
It is vital for digestion, breathing, the skeleton, metabolism, generation of energy, reproductive organs, and for cholesterol and blood sugar regulation. A good amount of magnesium-phosphate complexes are required for fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. Magnesium level is also immensely important for the functioning of nerves, muscles and vessels. There is almost no disease that does not benefit from additional magnesium supplementation, and significant magnesium deficiency leads to a lower life expectancy in the long term.
Daily magnesium intake is therefore needed for a wide variety of metabolic processes. We depend on constant intake through magnesium-rich foods; otherwise, the magnesium stored in the bones will be consumed, a process which can also lead to discomfort in and of itself. Unfortunately, our body has a limited ability to store magnesium – a fact which, in and of itself, suggests that there has always been enough magnesium over the entire course of human development. The good thing about this is that it is almost impossible to overdose on magnesium because any bodily excess of it is easily and immediately eliminated.
Top 5 Causes Magnesium To Be Low
1. Leached soils
Most people – about 60 to 70% – do not get enough magnesium. Among other things, this is due to our current farming methods with the many crops that leach our soils. In the process, more magnesium is extracted from the soil than is naturally released by the weathering of rocks. Even fertilizer cannot usually adequately replace this since nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus compounds are typically used in agriculture. But if you use too much potassium, the plants absorb much less magnesium.
This is clearly demonstrated in a table made by the Ministry of Food of Bavaria. From 1954 to 2003, the magnesium content of tomatoes dropped by 88%, and it can be surmised that this value has not improved to this day. By the way: there wasn’t the only depletion of magnesium; other vitamins and important minerals also decreased by 70 to 90%. Organic farming products are probably a bit better, but not good enough to meet our magnesium needs.
2. Modern diet
Another reason lies in our trendy diet. We consume more dairy, empty carbohydrates and denatured foods, and fewer foods that are rich in magnesium. In addition, alcohol and phosphate-containing cola drinks lead to a dramatically increased excretion of magnesium via the kidneys. Even the consumption of a lot of black tea impairs the absorption of magnesium. If we eat a lot of protein and fat, our bodies absorb less magnesium. Inflammatory diseases, digestive problems or yeast fungus in the intestine can also greatly affect the absorption.
Even if you then take enough magnesium with food, it ultimately can’t reach and enter the cells. A large quantity of magnesium is also used by the body to regulate the acid-base balance. Hence, a lot of magnesium is consumed due to chronic hyperacidity, a physiological state that is present in most people.
Stress leads to a significantly increased need for magnesium. In order to reverse the tension which stress hormones cause in vessels and muscles, a sufficiently high magnesium concentration is required in the body. Magnesium reduces these hormone levels and helps to regain emotional balance.
4. Chronic diseases
In many chronic diseases, the need for magnesium rises; examples include kidney disease or diabetes. In addition, there are many drugs that require many minerals, including magnesium, for their metabolism. These include antihypertensive agents as well as diuretics, asthma medication, antacids, cortisone, antibiotics, and birth control pills. As a result, 50% of people have a higher magnesium requirement. Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder and chronic diarrhoea can impair the absorption or result in increased magnesium loss.
5. Sports, pregnancy, breastfeeding, age
Sports cause high levels of muscle activity and sweating, both of which increase the need for magnesium. During pregnancy and lactation, the body needs more magnesium for these demanding processes. Even in older people, there is an increased need, and since people tend to eat less when they are older, it can be particularly difficult to absorb enough nutrients.
How to check magnesium levels at home
You can diagnose magnesium deficiency by asking yourself a few questions, a much easier and safer process than having a blood test. For example, you may hear the term total serum magnesium test. If you can answer yes to several questions, you are very likely to have a magnesium deficiency.
- Do you have muscle tension, even on the shoulders?
- Do you get nocturnal leg cramps?
- Do you often drink alcohol or smoke?
- Do you drink a lot of black tea?
- Are you often stressed and exhausted and prone to rumination and anxiety?
- Are you often disproportionately tired and exhausted?
- Are you irritable and nervous?
- Do you have sleep disorders?
- Do your eyelids twitch often, or do any other muscles twitch often?
- Do you suffer heavily from PMS or cramping during your periods?
- Do you often have migraines?
- Do you sometimes have palpitations or tachycardia?
- Do you sometimes feel tingling or numbness in arms and legs?
- Do you take any medications (particularly anti-hypertensives, antibiotics, asthma, cortisone and birth control pills)?
- Do you have osteoarthritis or atherosclerosis?
Most people vaguely know that nocturnal leg cramps can result from a magnesium deficiency. But as you can see in this list, the symptoms of a deficiency are very broad and fundamentally affect the mind and body. The symptoms could simply be mild anxiety, fatigue and nocturnal leg cramps for months on end.
In contrast, years of magnesium deficiency have very serious effects on your health and cause the following long-term symptoms: high blood pressure with risk of heart attacks and strokes; a high LDL cholesterol level with consequent atherosclerosis; muscle cells which can no longer relax properly, including those in blood vessels; a rise in the level of the hormone epinephrine; thrombosis with the risk of stroke and pulmonary embolism; poor blood sugar regulation with consequent diabetes. In addition, you start to feel tired and exhausted and to tend towards anxiety or full-blown depression.
Notice anything about this list? These are all symptoms that are incredibly common in our society! And these clearly reflect magnesium deficiency. Although magnesium deficiency is not always the sole cause of the conditions mentioned above, and these symptoms often result from anxiety or other nutritional deficiencies etc, magnesium is an extremely important factor for getting and staying healthy.