Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps regulate blood glucose levels and aid in the production of energy and protein. – United States National Library of Medicine

Magnesium is one of those nutrients that many people don’t pay attention to. However, magnesium is responsible for a number of functions in the human body. Consequently, insufficient levels of magnesium in the human body can cause complications in a multitude of ways.

We’ll discuss physical and mental symptoms that may surface as a result of magnesium deficiency. Of course, to help correct any potential deficiency, we’ll discuss the recommended daily intake of magnesium in addition to good sources of the nutrient.

Here are 7 signs that you may have a magnesium deficiency:


1. Anxiety and/or Hyperactivity

Anxiety and hyperactivity are two neurological symptoms of a magnesium deficiency. The mineral is required for proper communication between nerve cells in the brain. Further, magnesium is required to balance electrolyte levels in the body – an important factor in proper brain function.

2. Depression

No surprise here, considering the first sign. Of course, depression is a complicated disease and can stem from a number of things. However, one of them is by a lack of nutrition and improper diet. Again, magnesium is an important element for proper brain function. Aside from anxiety and depression, low levels of magnesium in the body can also lead to changes in personality – no doubt a side byproduct of impaired cognitive function.

3. Muscle Pain

In addition to neurological symptoms, neuromuscular symptoms can surface as well. Magnesium deficiency can lead to painful muscle spasms, cramping, tics, and other symptoms, such as fibromyalgia. One of magnesium’s primary functions is muscle relaxation. Besides calcium, which stimulates muscle contraction, magnesium is a primary element in proper muscle function.

4. Nausea and/or vomiting

A magnesium deficiency can complicate normal digestive and gastrointestinal function. From a mildly upset stomach to full-blown nausea and vomiting, supplement magnesium to help stabilize gastrointestinal function if you suspect a potential deficiency.

5. High blood pressure

Numerous studies have linked high blood pressure and low magnesium levels. Those with hypertension are much more likely to have insufficient amounts of nutrient. Of course, numerous physiological functions affect blood pressure. Indeed, this outcome often necessitates a trip to the family doctor for a diagnosis.

6. Insomnia

Chronic insomnia and other sleep disorders connect to magnesium deficiency. It is thought that magnesium helps to regulate our sleep and wake cycles. So it serves an important function that ultimately determines our ability to fall and stay asleep.

Related article: 6 Sleep Habits You Need To Avoid

7. Low energy

The absence of magnesium forces the body to work harder, which often results in both physical and psychological stress. In a study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), participants with low levels of detectable magnesium consumed more oxygen than those with normal levels. Of course, oxygen consumption is indicative of one’s physical health. Decreased levels also affect human endurance, as low levels of magnesium adversely impact heart and muscle health.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways to get the recommended daily amount of magnesium. Of course, the best way is by eating right. Implementing traditionally high magnesium foods – dark and leafy greens, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, bananas, dry fruit, avocados, yogurt, dark chocolate, and etcetera – into our daily diets is the best-preferred way of getting this important mineral. This is relatively easy, considering the numerous foods – most of them healthy – that contain good amounts of it.

Most multivitamins contain the recommended daily amount. Additionally, a number of supplements on the market that can help boost your intake. The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, one of the world’s foremost authorities on nutrition – places magnesium intake into four tiers.


How Much Magnesium Do You Need?

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is the measure that 97 to 98 percent of healthy individuals follow. The FNB breaks intake recommendations down into a simple chart, which follows.

AGE                MALE             FEMALE        PREGNANCY          LACTATION

to 6 months   30 mg           30 mg

7-12 months  75 mg             75 mg

1-3 years        80 mg             80 mg

4-8 years        130 mg           130 mg

9-13 years     240 mg           240 mg

14-18 years   410 mg           360 mg           400 mg                       360 mg

19-30 years   400 mg           310 mg           350 mg                       310 mg

31-50 years   420 mg           320 mg           360 mg                       320 mg

51+ years       420 mg           320 mg

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