What Are Some Interesting Facts About Magnesium?


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Magnesium is one of the important minerals in the human body. It is essential for a number of biological processes in the body. Here are some interesting facts about magnesium, which reveal the functions and sources of magnesium and the causes of its deficiency.
Magnesium is the most abundant elements found in the earth's crust. It is represented by the chemical symbol, 'Mg'. Its atomic number is 12, and atomic weight is 24.305. It was discovered by Joseph Black in the year 1755 and isolated by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1808. Magnesium is used in pyrotechnic and incendiary devices, flashlight photography, flares and incendiary bombs. Its chloride, hydroxide, citrate and sulfate forms are used in medicines. Magnesium is among the most essential minerals in the human body. An adult human body contains about 24 grams of magnesium, of which, half of the magnesium is found in bones and the remaining is present in the cells and tissues. It is present in the form of ions in the living cells.

Importance of Magnesium

Magnesium is a macro-mineral in the body, required in high quantity for good health. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biological processes and a variety of functions in the human body. It is used by the living cells to process and regenerate energy. Magnesium is important for a healthy immune system, strong bones and teeth, and the normal functioning of the circulatory system and nervous system. It plays a significant role in muscle contractions, as well as in protein and carbohydrate metabolism. Magnesium is vital for regulating the blood pressure and maintaining heart health. Magnesium is helpful in the treatment of various ailments like osteoporosis, insomnia, constipation, asthma, herpes, premenstrual syndrome and attention deficit disorder (ADD) .

Magnesium Deficiency

The daily requirement of magnesium for adult males is about 420 mg and approximately 320 mg for adult females. Athletes need to maintain adequate levels of magnesium in the body, so that the muscle tissues get sufficient amounts of oxygen. A deficiency of magnesium can affect several body organs, leading to various health problems. Magnesium is primarily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and transported to the cells through blood circulation. Magnesium deficiency is mainly caused due to the diseases related to the digestive system. Some other reasons for magnesium deficiency are poor dietary magnesium intake, excess excretion of magnesium through urine and certain medications like diuretics, certain antibiotics and drugs used in cancer treatment.

Magnesium deficiency affects the absorption of calcium in the body, which in turn causes a calcium deficiency. This increases the risk of osteoporosis. Magnesium deficiency is associated with a number of health conditions including muscle spasms, muscle weakness, softened bones, disturbed blood sugar levels, hyperthyroidism, rapid heartbeats, renal diseases, sleep disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, nausea and loss of appetite. In order to prevent these problems, you need to maintain adequate magnesium levels in the body through proper dietary intake. There are several foods that provide a large amount of magnesium.

Sources of Magnesium

A balanced and healthy diet is recommended to avoid magnesium deficiency and maintain good overall health. Your daily diet should include the foods high in magnesium. Some of the rich sources of magnesium are vegetables like broccoli, peas, beans and tomatoes, green leafy vegetables like spinach, legumes, whole grains, nuts like cashews and almonds and seeds like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Various types of fruits like bananas, artichokes and figs are also rich in magnesium. Other good sources of magnesium are dairy products, meat and fish like tuna and halibut.

If you are not getting adequate amount of magnesium through a dietary intake, then it is advisable to take magnesium supplements combined with calcium.

Knowing these interesting facts about magnesium, you must have realized the necessity of magnesium for the proper functioning of the human body. So, include enough amounts of magnesium rich foods in your daily diet for the sake of health and wellness

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