You probably spend little if any time thinking about magnesium, which is surprising, because this mineral is the fourth most abundant in your body.
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Though it flies under the radar and doesn’t often garner the attention that other elements within your body may, magnesium is found all over, including in your bones, your teeth and your red blood cells.
This ubiquitous mineral plays a part in ensuring the proper functioning of your nervous, muscular and cardiovascular systems. By better understanding the role that magnesium plays in your overall health, you can put yourself ahead of the game and maintain an enhanced knowledge of this mineral and your body’s need for it.
1. Bone Maintenance
It’s not particularly surprising that consuming adequate amounts of magnesium has a positive effect on your skeletal system. Magnesium is, after all, a key element present in your bones. The benefits of magnesium in maintaining overall bone health is particularly important for postmenopausal women, who are at greater risk for developing the degenerative bone condition osteoporosis than any other group.
Even if you aren’t a member of this risk-group, magnesium consumption can help your body with bone formation and work to prevent any bone-density loss you may otherwise experience.
2. Diabetes Prevention
Consuming adequate amounts of magnesium could help you avoid Type-2 diabetes. Researchers have found that for each 100 milligrams of magnesium consumed, the risk of diabetes development declined by 15 percent.
Scientists attribute this to the fact that magnesium positively influences insulin release, which makes it easier for your body to control blood glucose levels. Additionally, reminds the American Diabetes Association, magnesium deficiency can result in insulin resistance, further affecting your risk of developing this serious medical condition.
3. Heart Health Building
If you suffer from a magnesium deficiency, you are more likely to experience heart-stressing abnormal heart rhythms. By consuming sufficient amounts of magnesium, you can prevent this and, in doing so, improve the overall health of what is arguably your body’s most important organ: your heart.
Not only is regular magnesium consumption associated with reduced risks of coronary heart disease, studies also suggest that magnesium can prove a benefit even if you have already experienced a heart attack.
When patients who have recently experienced a heart attack are provided magnesium immediately after the onset of the episode, studies have shown that they experience reduced mortality rates.
Blood Pressure Reduction
If you suffer from hypertension, magnesium consumption can help you get this issue under control naturally, states Jay S. Cohem, MD for “Life Extension” magazine. High blood pressure sufferers who consumed magnesium supplements and ate a fruit and vegetable-rich diet consistently experienced reduced blood pressure rates in studies.
4. Mental Health Benefits
Along with your physical health, consuming appropriate amounts of magnesium can also have a positive impact on your overall mental health.
In research studies dating back to a 1968 study by researchers Wacker and Parisi, magnesium consumption has been tied to the prevention or reduction of many serious mental health maladies, including anxiety, panic attacks and severe agitation. Along with reducing the severity of mental health episodes, subjects who consumed magnesium supplements also experienced these episodes with less frequency.
5. Insomnia Control
Magnesium is required for the proper functioning of many bodily systems. If you lack sufficient magnesium and these bodily systems have to struggle to work right, you may feel the effects in the form of insomnia.
While magnesium consumption won’t zonk you out like the downing of a less-natural sleep aide, building up the magnesium levels in your body can naturally restore your ability to hit the pillow and shut down at night’s end, states Marek Doyle, a Nutritional Therapist. If you’re finding your Zzz’s progressively harder to catch, consider adding some magnesium to your diet and you may find that it does the trick.