Magnesium is essential and most adults are magnesium deficient

food sources of magnesium: bran muffins, pumpk...
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Do you know your mineral consumption?

What minerals do you need to keep your body healthy and functioning? As you age, nutrition becomes even more important. Your body changes. Processes don’t work quite the way they used to. To keep your body working it’s best, it is important that you supply every bit of nutrition that it needs. This includes minerals and one of the most essential mineral to keep the body working well is magnesium which is found in every part of the body and is very important for healthy bone and muscle. Since the body’s absorption of magnesium decreases with age and most Americans do not consume their required amount, supplementation for older people seems essential.

Magnesium is essential to proper body functions

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is involved in over 300 metabolic reactions in the body. The adult human body normally contains 25 grams of magnesium which is distributed as follows:

65% Skeleton

27% Muscle

7% Other cells

1% Outside cells

The metabolic reactions for magnesium include: Energy production from the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates; Synthesis of essential molecules such as nucleic acid (RNA and DNA) and glutathione (an anti-oxidant); a structural role in bones, cell membranes and chromosomes and ion transport across cell membranes.

Other nutritional s interact with magnesium in ways which can affect absorption. High doses of zinc can decrease magnesium absorption. High doses of fiber can reduce utilization of magnesium. Protein in high doses will increase magnesium absorption and low doses will decrease the absorption.

What is the RDA and what about older people?

The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for adults 31 years of age and older is 420 mg for males and 320 mg for females. Recent studies show that most Americans (68%) do not consume the RDA and 19% consume less than half the RDA. In addition, the diet of older Americans is likely to be lower in magnesium and the absorption of magnesium decreases with age so it is likely that most Americans and particularly older Americans are not consuming enough magnesium and should consider supplementation.

The highest levels of magnesium occur in green leafy vegetables and in unrefined grains and nuts so increasing consumption of those foods can help with getting adequate magnesium. Check the magnesium in your current vitamin or supplement program and add magnesium if it is lower than the RDA.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Coyote Kazarinoff November 4, 2011, 4:19 pm

    When I combined Carlson magnesium (has to be magnesium glycinate) with taurine my migranes have diminished drastically. Takes being on them for awhile. The migranes got less and less, this month I have not had a single migrane. I’ve had severe migranes since I’m seven. I’m 54 now. This is the first thing that has helped me. Also, great for down syndrome people (just the magnesium) who have constipation, also its helping her with some depression she has. (She’s 23).

    • Ralph November 4, 2011, 4:40 pm

      I love hearing that serious medical issues can be helped with better nutrition. I don’t think I ever heard about magnesium and migranes but it is amazing sometimes the impact of a deficiency. Thanks for sharing this.

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