• 21 September 2021

Magnesium 🍃 Properties, Food Sources and Types of Supplements

What is Magnesium

Magnesium, an abundant mineral in the body, is naturally present in many foods, added to other food products, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids and laxatives). Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation.

Properties & Functions of Magnesium in our body:

μαγνήσιο τροφές μαγνήσιο παρενέργειες μαγνήσιο ιδιοτητες μαγνησιο βιταμινες μορφές συμπληρωμάτων μαγνησίου Ποτε πρεπει να παιρνουμε μαγνησιο τροφες πλουσιες σε μαγνησιο πινακας τροφες με μαγνησιο magnesium foods magnesium side effects magnesium properties magnesium vitamins forms of magnesium supplements When should we take magnesium? foods rich in magnesium table foods with magnesium
Metabolism

Energy Production

Metabolism of carbohydrates and fats for energy production requires many magnesium-dependent biochemical reactions. Magnesium is required by the protein that makes ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in the mitochondria. ATP is the molecule that provides energy for almost all metabolic processes and it exists mainly as a complex with magnesium (MgATP).

μαγνήσιο τροφές μαγνήσιο παρενέργειες μαγνήσιο ιδιοτητες μαγνησιο βιταμινες μορφές συμπληρωμάτων μαγνησίου Ποτε πρεπει να παιρνουμε μαγνησιο τροφες πλουσιες σε μαγνησιο πινακας τροφες με μαγνησιο magnesium foods magnesium side effects magnesium properties magnesium vitamins forms of magnesium supplements When should we take magnesium? foods rich in magnesium table foods with magnesium
Molecular Level

Production of Basic Molecules

Magnesium is required for a number of steps in the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and proteins. Many enzymes involved in the synthesis of carbohydrates and lipids require magnesium for their activity. Glutathione, an important antioxidant, requires magnesium for its synthesis.

μαγνήσιο τροφές μαγνήσιο παρενέργειες μαγνήσιο ιδιοτητες μαγνησιο βιταμινες μορφές συμπληρωμάτων μαγνησίου Ποτε πρεπει να παιρνουμε μαγνησιο τροφες πλουσιες σε μαγνησιο πινακας τροφες με μαγνησιο magnesium foods magnesium side effects magnesium properties magnesium vitamins forms of magnesium supplements When should we take magnesium? foods rich in magnesium table foods with magnesium
Cellular Communication

Muscle and Nervous system function

Magnesium is required for the active transport of ions such as potassium and calcium to cell membranes. Through its role in ion transport systems, magnesium affects the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction and normal heart rate.

μαγνήσιο τροφές μαγνήσιο παρενέργειες μαγνήσιο ιδιοτητες μαγνησιο βιταμινες μορφές συμπληρωμάτων μαγνησίου Ποτε πρεπει να παιρνουμε μαγνησιο τροφες πλουσιες σε μαγνησιο πινακας τροφες με μαγνησιο magnesium foods magnesium side effects magnesium properties magnesium vitamins forms of magnesium supplements When should we take magnesium? foods rich in magnesium table foods with magnesium
Structural roles

Structural roles

Magnesium plays a structural role in bones, cell membranes and chromosomes. 60% of magnesium is stored in the bones and functions as a magnesium supply tank for our body. Studies show that magnesium deficiency is associated with osteoporosis while adequate magnesium intake is associated with good bone density.

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Cell Signaling and Migration

Cellular Processes

Processes such as protein phosphorylation and production of the cAMP cell signaling molecule require the presence of magnesium. cAMP is involved in many processes, including the secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH) by the parathyroid glands

μαγνήσιο τροφές μαγνήσιο παρενέργειες μαγνήσιο ιδιοτητες μαγνησιο βιταμινες μορφές συμπληρωμάτων μαγνησίου Ποτε πρεπει να παιρνουμε μαγνησιο τροφες πλουσιες σε μαγνησιο πινακας τροφες με μαγνησιο magnesium foods magnesium side effects magnesium properties magnesium vitamins forms of magnesium supplements When should we take magnesium? foods rich in magnesium table foods with magnesium
Biochemical reactions

Enzymatic Activity

Magnesium is to human as engine oil is to car. Magnesium is essential for the function of at least 300 enzymes which in turn participate in a large number of biochemical reactions in our body.

Magnesium in our body

The human body contains an average of 25 mg of magnesium. About 60% of this is stored in the bones, only 1% circulates in the blood and the rest is stored in tissues and muscles throughout our body.

Stored
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How much magnesium do we need in a day

According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily allowance of magnesium depends on age and gender.

μαγνήσιο τροφές μαγνήσιο παρενέργειες μαγνήσιο ιδιοτητες μαγνησιο βιταμινες μορφές συμπληρωμάτων μαγνησίου Ποτε πρεπει να παιρνουμε μαγνησιο τροφες πλουσιες σε μαγνησιο πινακας τροφες με μαγνησιο magnesium foods magnesium side effects magnesium properties magnesium vitamins forms of magnesium supplements When should we take magnesium? foods rich in magnesium table foods with magnesium
AgeMen 🚹 Women 🚺
0-6 months30 mg30 mg
7-12 months75 mg75 mg
1-3 years80 mg80 mg
4-8 years130 mg130 mg
9-13 years240 mg240 mg
14-18 years410 mg360 mg
19-30 years400 mg310 mg
31 years and above420 mg320 mg

Foods rich in Magnesium

Magnesium is naturally present in some foods while being added to others. It is easy to get the recommended daily allowance of magnesium by following a varied diet that includes foods such as:

  • Legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains and green leafy vegetables (eg spinach)
  • Fortified breakfast cereals and other fortified foods
  • Milk, yogurt and other dairy products

Below is a list of foods that naturally contain magnesium. Foods rich in magnesium are mainly of plant origin with pumpkin seeds, spinach and nuts at the top of the list. Daily coverage refers to the daily intake of men over 31 years which is 420 mg and women over 31 years which is 320 mg.

Plant Origin

πόσο μαγνήσιο ηλιοσποροι μερίδα γραμμαρια ειναι θερμίδες περιεκτικότητα how much magnesium in sunflower seeds calorie content 100gr

30 gr pumpkin seed (4 tablespoons)
156 mg | 132 calories

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πόσο μαγνήσιο σπανάκι μερίδα γραμμαρια ειναι θερμίδες περιεκτικότητα how much magnesium in spinach calories content 100gr

1 cup boiled spinach (180 gr)
156 mg | 40 calories

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πόσο μαγνήσιο σπόροι chia μερίδα γραμμαρια ειναι θερμίδες περιεκτικότητα how much magnesium in chia seeds portion calories content 100gr

30 gr. chia seeds (3 tablespoons)
111 mg | 145 calories

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πόσο μαγνήσιο φασόλια γιγαντες μερίδα γραμμαρια ειναι θερμίδες περιεκτικότητα how much magnesium in lima beans portion calories content 100gr

188 gr of boiled lima beans (1 cup boiling)
81 mg | 216 calories

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αμύγδαλα μαγνήσιο μερίδα γραμμαρια θερμίδες περιεκτικότητα almonds how much magnesium portion calories content 100gr

20 almonds (30 gr)
80 mg | 155 calories

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κάσιους μαγνήσιο μερίδα γραμμαρια θερμίδες περιεκτικότητα cashews how much magnesium portion calories content 100gr

20 cashew nuts (32 g)
74 mg 180 calories

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50 gr oat flakes (1/2 cup)
74 mg | 183 calories

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μαύρη σοκολάτα υγείας μερίδα γραμμαρια θερμίδες περιεκτικότητα dark chocolate how much magnesium portion calories content 100gr

30 gr dark chocolate
65 mg | 180 calories

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κακάο σκόνη και μαγνήσιο περιεκτικότητα θερμίδες μερίδα γραμμαρια cocoa powder and magnesium content, portion calories 100gr

10 gr cocoa powder (2 tablespoons)
50 mg | 23 calories

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🥑αβοκάντο και μαγνήσιο περιεκτικότητα θερμίδες μερίδα γραμμαρια avocado and magnesium content, portion calories 100gr

1 small avocado 🥑 (135 gr peeled)
40 mg | 210 calories

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μπανάνα 🍌 και μαγνήσιο περιεκτικότητα θερμίδες μερίδα γραμμαρια banana and magnesium content, portion calories 100gr

1 banana 🍌 (126 gr. peeled)
34 mg | 112 calories

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Animal Origin

1 cup low-fat yogurt (227 g)
38.6 mg | 143 calories

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1 glass of milk 2% fat (244 gr)
29.3 mg | 122 calories

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Magnesium and Health

Magnesium is a key factor in the smooth functioning of many parts of the body:

  • the heart
  • the bones
  • muscles
  • nerves and more

Without enough magnesium, these areas malfunction. Research has shown that a magnesium deficiency or a low magnesium diet leads to health problems. On the other hand, high magnesium diets are associated with lower rates of disease while clinical trials show that magnesium supplementation can correct those conditions.

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Bones

Bone Health

Magnesium is a component of bones. 60% of the magnesium in our body is stored in the bones. It is involved in the process of producing bone growth cells and the action of parathyroid hormone, which regulates calcium levels. High magnesium diet has been associated with increased bone density while low magnesium intake leads to reduction in bone density and weakening of the bones.

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Metabolism

Τype 2 diabetes

Magnesium helps enzymes that regulate blood sugar and insulin activity. There have been several studies on the relationship between magnesium intake and type 2 diabetes with mixed results. The American Diabetes Association reports a lack of data at present to suggest magnesium supplements to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. However, several studies have linked adequate magnesium intake to a reduced risk of developing diabetes, lower fasting sugar, and higher insulin in healthy individuals.

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Νervous system

Migraines

Magnesium supplements are prescribed to treat migraines as many studies have shown that people who suffer from migraines have low magnesium levels. Another study found that taking magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide supplement (approximately 500 mg / day) for three months helped to prevent migraines. However because magnesium causes side effects (muscle weakness, diarrhea) at higher doses than recommended (420mg for men and 320mg for women) it is advisable to consult a doctor before increasing magnesium intake.

μαγνήσιο και καρδιαγγειακές παθήσεις υπερταση καρδιά-magnesium and cardiovascular diseases hypertension heart
Heart

Cardiovascular diseases

High blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and magnesium helps regulate blood pressure. Studies have shown an association between high blood pressure and magnesium deficiency.

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Craving for chocolate and magnesium deficiency

Although there is a common belief that chocolate cravings are due to a lack of magnesium this has not been proven by research so far. According to scientists, there are foods with much higher magnesium content, such as pumpkin seeds but no one ever mentioned craving them.

Chocolate is a food high in sugar and fat and belongs to a group of foods for which the cravings we feel have more to do with the reward system in our brain, eating disorders, premenstrual syndrome in some women or our eating habits.

However, do not hesitate to add a small amount of dark chocolate 🍫  to your diet, as many studies agree that  in the context of a balanced diet dark chocolate has several benefits for our health.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency

Magnesium deficiency due to low dietary intake in healthy individuals is uncommon because the kidneys limit its excretion in the urine. However, usually low intakes for a long time or excessive magnesium losses due to certain health problems, chronic alcoholism or the use of certain medications can lead to magnesium deficiency.

The first signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms and coronary spasms may occur. Severe magnesium deficiency can lead to hypocalcaemia or hypokalaemia (low serum calcium or potassium levels, respectively) because the homeostasis of the metals is disturbed.

Who is at risk of magnesium deficiency

Certain diseases or health conditions can lead to decreased magnesium levels. This happens with diseases that reduce the absorption of calcium in the intestine or increase the excretion from the body. People who are most at risk of magnesium deficiency are:

  • People with gastrointestinal diseases
  • People with type 2 diabetes
  • People with alcohol dependence
  • Elderly 🧓 

Forms of Magnesium Supplements

  • Magnesium Citrate

    Magnesium citrate is one of the most popular forms of magnesium in dietary supplements because it has very good absorption. It is also used as a medicine to fight constipation, which is why some people may experience gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhea.

  • Magnesium Glycinate

    Magnesium glycinate is a compound of magnesium and glycine (amino acid) highly tolerated by the body with minimal side effects. It is used as a dietary supplement in people who need higher doses or have side effects on other forms of magnesium.

  • Magnesium Malate

    This type of magnesium is a compound of magnesium and malic acid. It is extremely bioavailable and people tolerate it well.

  • Magnesium Lactate

    This type of magnesium is a compound of magnesium and lactic acid. According to a 2017 analysis, magnesium lactate is easily absorbed in the gut.

  • Magnesium Chloride

    Magnesium chloride is a type of salt used in topical magnesium products, such as magnesium oils and some bath salts. People use it as an alternative method to get more magnesium transdermally.

  • Magnesium sulfate

    Magnesium sulfate is the form of magnesium in the well-known Epsom salts used in baths or foot baths to soothe muscle aches.

  • Magnesium Oxide

    Doctors prescribe magnesium oxide to treat constipation or as an antacid for heartburn and indigestion.

  • Magnesium Taurate

    This type of magnesium is a compound of magnesium and taurine. Limited evidence suggests that it may be able to lower blood pressure and protect the cardiovascular system. However, more research is needed to use it in people with heart problems.

  • Magnesium L-threonate

    It is formed by mixing magnesium and threonic acid (a substance derived from the metabolic breakdown of vitamin C). Animal studies have shown that this form of magnesium helps increase magnesium levels in brain cells. More researche is neede on possible benefits to the brain and related disorders (depression, dementia due to age, etc.)

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Symptoms of High Magnesium Intake

Excessive magnesium intake from the diet does not pose a health risk as the kidneys eliminate the extra amount.

However, high doses of magnesium from dietary supplements or medications can cause side effects such as nausea, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

Magnesium toxicity occurs at very high doses of magnesium (more than 5000mg daily) which can even lead to death. Symptoms of magnesium toxicity, which usually develop after serum concentrations in excess of 1.74-2.61 mmol / L, may include hypotension, nausea, vomiting, flushing, urinary retention, ileus, depression and lethargy before progressing to muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, extreme hypotension, irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrest. The risk of magnesium toxicity increases with impaired renal function or renal insufficiency because the ability to remove excess magnesium is reduced.

For this reason, the maximum allowable intake of magnesium from supplements is 350 mg per day for men and women over 19 years.

Symptoms of high intake

Symptoms of toxicity

Sources & Links