According to research in the journal Nutrition Reviews, low magnesium intake increases the risk of many serious health conditions, including:
“type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, elevated C-reactive protein, hypertension, atherosclerotic vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, osteoporosis, migraine headache, asthma, and colon cancer.” In other words, getting sufficient amounts of magnesium can cut the risk of getting these diseases.
The study’s researchers found that almost half of the American population does not get enough magnesium in their daily diet. Other experts estimate that the number could be closer to 80 percent of the population that is deficient in this critical nutrient.
Another study at the Center for Magnesium Research and Education found that magnesium could significantly lower high blood pressure when taken with blood pressure medication, better than the medication alone. About 460 mg/day of magnesium was used to obtain these results with study participants. According to an interview with the lead scientist for this research, Andrea Rosanoff, PhD, insufficient magnesium can trigger high blood pressure, plaque buildup, and other heart problems.
Magnesium is needed for healthy muscle function. As the heart is a muscle, magnesium is critical to its healthy functioning, which could explain the heart-health benefits of magnesium supplementation.
Magnesium is also needed for relaxation, to combat stress, and for healthy bone and nerve function. Even the production of energy and the structuring of our genetic material depends on sufficient amounts of magnesium to function properly.
Magnesium is found in almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, figs, lemons, apples, dark leafy greens, celery, alfalfa sprouts, and brown rice.
Recommended doses of magnesium vary between 200 to 800 mg daily. Since calcium and magnesium tend to work synergistically, taking magnesium along with calcium supplements is often recommended.