Magnesium is the fourth most abundant element in your body,1 and one of the seven essential minerals we can’t live without.2 It's necessary for the healthy functioning of most cells, but especially your heart, kidneys and muscles. Low levels of magnesium impede cellular metabolic function and deteriorate mitochondrial function.
As it is also required for the activation of vitamin D, deficiency may hamper your ability to convert vitamin D from sun exposure and/or oral supplementation. Unfortunately, deficiency is common and research shows even subclinical deficiencies may jeopardize your health.
If you've recently had a blood panel drawn, you may assume it would reveal a magnesium deficiency. However, only 1 percent of magnesium is distributed in your blood, which means a blood test is not useful to determine whether you are deficient at the cellular level.3 Recent research confirms optimal levels of magnesium are necessary for your heart4 and kidney health.5
Magnesium Deficiency Affects the Vast Majority
Statistics show that at least 50 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium, with some estimations going as high as 75 percent overall, and as many as 84 percent of postmenopausal women being deficient in it.6,7,8 Other scientists believe the deficiency affects the vast majority of individuals based on current dietary habits, saying:9
“[B]ecause of chronic diseases, medications, decreases in food crop magnesium contents and the availability of refined and processed foods, the vast majority of people in modern societies are at risk for magnesium deficiency.”
The recommended daily allowances (RDA) for magnesium are based on age, gender and pregnancy status.10 Although it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact percentage of individuals who suffer from magnesium deficiency, data do demonstrate subclinical levels of magnesium contribute to a number of widespread health problems.
The number who suffer from deficiency increases with an aging population as the elderly tend to consume less and don’t efficiently absorb magnesium from what is eaten.11
Digestive disorders, such as Crohn's disease and celiac, may also affect magnesium absorption.12 Individuals who suffer from Type 2 diabetes13 or use diuretics may lose more magnesium through their urine.14
As the number of people suffering Type 2 diabetes is growing, and the age at which the condition arises is getting younger,15 the number who are also at risk for magnesium deficiency is also rising. Type 2 diabetes is associated with a number of health conditions also linked to magnesium deficiency, including heart disease and kidney disease.
Magnesium Integral to Arterial Health
Magnesium is required for energy production and is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate biochemical reactions, including muscle and nerve function, and blood pressure regulation.16 Magnesium also helps regulate your blood vessels and helps prevent calcification known as <a…
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