Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, and according to medical studies and research, it is important for the structure and strength of bones in the body. However, there are those who wonder whether it is necessary to take magnesium supplements if its percentage is low, and are there any harmful effects resulting from that? .
These questions are answered by American medical doctor, Trisha Pasricha, through a report published by the Washington Post, where she says that there are some cases in which a person may benefit from magnesium supplements, but most of us can obtain the appropriate amount from natural food sources.
- What does magnesium do to the body?
Magnesium is an essential ion (chemical atom or molecule) found in every cell in our body, and we depend on it for many important cellular functions including metabolism and hormonal balance.
It also plays a very important role in transporting calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process necessary for the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm.
According to the doctor, one of the most prominent benefits of magnesium lies in its ability to treat:
Mood disorders: A 2016 study found that people with mild to moderate depression who took magnesium supplements for 6 weeks reported improved mood compared to those who did not.
However, the results of this study are still uncertain, and Pasricha advised those suffering from depression to consult psychiatrists to obtain appropriate treatment.
High blood sugar: Increased consumption of magnesium-rich foods is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
However, according to the American Diabetes Association, there is not enough evidence that magnesium supplements help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
High blood pressure: Multiple studies have confirmed that magnesium supplements lower blood pressure, but the magnitude of the effect is not profound (on average, a 2.2 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure).
Therefore, it is useful to discuss more effective ways to lower blood pressure with a specialist doctor, taking into account that increasing magnesium in food is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
What foods contain the highest percentage of magnesium?
Magnesium is often found in high-fiber foods, such as leafy vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Below is a list of common foods that are high in magnesium.
- Leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale:
Seeds and nuts
Legumes and grains
Very low levels of magnesium in the blood are associated with serious complications, such as arrhythmia and fatal strokes.
But low intake of dietary magnesium may not necessarily translate into dangerous levels in the blood, as the kidneys do a wonderful job in terms of collecting and preserving the minerals we need and removing the minerals we do not need.
Here are some examples of conditions or medications that we know are associated with magnesium deficiency, and for which supplements may already be recommended:
Chronic alcohol abuse
Insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes
To counteract the effects of some diuretic drugs, including furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide
Proton pump inhibitors (a group of medicines that suppress stomach acid production), such as pantoprazole, if taken long-term
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