Magnesium is the main structural element of living organisms, an integral component of the bone tissue of animals and humans, as well as the green pigment (chlorophyll) of plants. The mineral activates the work of more than 350 enzymes responsible for the absorption of lipids, proteins and nutrients.
In the body of an adult with a mass 70 kilograms, 20 - 30 grams of magnesium is concentrated: 60% - in the bones of the skeleton, 40% - in cells and tissues, 1% - in the intercellular space.
It is interesting that in terms of the content in the body, this macronutrient ranks fourth, behind sodium, potassium and calcium.
The primary function of magnesium is to form bone tissue and speed up metabolism.
Other beneficial properties of the macronutrient:
- increases the immune activity of cells;
- maintains the stability of the genetic material (DNA and RNA), preventing the occurrence of mutations;
- slows the release of histamine from mast cells;
- coordinates heart rhythm (reduces myocardial contractility, reduces heart rate and high blood pressure);
- increases bone mineral density, preventing fractures (together with calcium and phosphorus);
- activates enzyme systems, including peptidases, phosphatases, carboxylases, phosphorylases, cholinesterases, pyruvate kinases, ketoacid decarboxylases;
- is involved in the synthesis of nucleic acids, fats, proteins, B vitamins, collagen;
- maintains homeostasis of potassium, calcium, sodium ;
- accelerates the elimination of toxic substances from the body, including cholesterol deposits;
- potentiates platelet disaggregation, resulting in improved blood flow;
- normalizes the processes of inhibition and excitation in the brain;
- regulates the permeability of mitochondrial and cell membranes;
- is involved in the conduction of nerve signals;
- controls blood sugar levels;
- prevents calcium deposits in the kidneys, gallbladder, ureters, bones (together with vitamin B6 );
- increases the osmotic pressure of intestinal contents, accelerating the passage of feces;
- participates in the processes of neuromuscular excitation, improving the contractilemuscle capacity (together with calcium);
- accelerates the transformation of creatine phosphate into adenosine triphosphate, potentiating energy metabolism reactions;
- increases the body's resistance to stress.
Along with this, foods with a high concentration of magnesium help in the fight against insomnia, migraines, anxiety, and nervous disorders.
The daily intake of magnesium directly depends on gender, age and physiological state of a person.
The daily requirement is:
- for newborns up to 5 months - 30 - 50 milligrams;
- for infants from 6 months to 1 year - 70 milligrams;
- for children under 3 years old - 100 milligrams;
- for children aged 4 to 7, 150 to 170 milligrams;
- for schoolchildren from 9 to 13 years old - 250 milligrams;
- for young people under 30 years old - 310 - 350 milligrams;
- for adults, 400 milligrams;
- during pregnancy and lactation - 450 - 700 milligrams.
The need for magnesium increases with:
- protein diet;
- pregnancy, breastfeeding;
- new tissue formation (children, bodybuilders);
- postoperative period;
- alcohol abuse;
- taking diuretics, laxatives, estrogens, hormonal contraceptives.
In addition, it is advisable to consume magnesium food for women during menopause (450 - 500 milligrams), in order to alleviate menopausal manifestations and reduce nervous excitability.
Deficiency and excess
A balanced diet, in 80% of cases, covers the body's daily need for magnesium. However, due to the industrial processing of raw materials (refining, cleaning, grinding, pasteurization), the concentration of the mineral in food is halved. In addition, many people do not get enough of it in the proper amount, because they lead an unhealthy lifestyle or have chronic pathologies of the digestive tract.
Given that magnesium is a cofactor for enzymes and a regulator of biochemical reactions in the body, its deficiency reduces immunity and causes functional disorders.
Signs of magnesium deficiency:
- increased frequency of infectious diseases;
- constant fatigue;
- prolonged seasonal depressions;
- decreased performance;
- long recovery period;
- anxiety, phobias, worries;
- insomnia, morning fatigue;
- glare before the eyes;
- muscle spasms, twitching,convulsions;
- sensitivity to noise and weather changes;
- changes in blood pressure;
- cardiac arrhythmias;
- crampy abdominal pain with diarrhoea;
- hair loss, brittle nails.
In addition, a characteristic symptom of hypomagnesemia, according to scientists N. M. Nazarova, V. N. Prilepskaya, E. A. Intervitin, is a premenstrual syndrome caused by a decrease in the number of red blood cells in the blood.
Exogenous factors that provoke a lack of a mineral in the body:
- adherence to “hard” mono-diets, starvation;
- lack of magnesium in the daily menu;
- excessive intake of calcium, protein and lipid foods;
- chronic alcoholism, tobacco smoking;
- hormonal contraception;
- intake of magnesium-depleted mixtures for parenteral or enteral nutrition;
- deficiency of vitamins B1, B2, B6 in the diet.
However, almost always hypomagnesemia occurs against the background of pathologies of internal organs.
Endogenous causes of magnesium deficiency:
- malabsorption due to diarrhea or small bowel fistula;
- kidney disease;
- diabetes mellitus with persistently high blood sugar levels;
- myocardial infarction;
- hyperfunction of the thyroid and parathyroid glands:
- circulatory failure, especially congestive;
- cirrhosis of the liver;
- increased synthesis of aldosterone (adrenal hormone).
In addition, prolonged use of diuretics, glucocorticosteroids, cytotoxic drugs and estrogens is fraught with the development of hypomagnesemia.
Remember, a macronutrient deficiency is difficult to diagnose from a blood test, since 99% of the nutrient is concentrated inside cellular structures, and only 1%? In blood plasma. In view of this, the anamnesis is established according to the symptoms, having previously assessed the clinical condition of the patient.
Magnesium overdose, in 90% of cases, develops against the background of kidney failure, increased protein catabolism, untreated diabetic acidosis, uncontrolled use of drugs, food products containing the trace element.
Symptoms of hypermagnesemia:
- impaired speech, coordination;
- slow heart rate;
- decrease in heart ratecontractions (bradycardia);
- dry mucous membranes;
- abdominal pain;
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
Prolonged hypermagnesemia is fraught with a persistent decrease in blood pressure, respiratory failure, and in rare cases, cardiac arrest.
What affects the absorption of magnesium in the body?
The action of the macronutrient is to form protein, enzyme structures and maintain calcium homeostasis.
However, some substances slow down the absorption of magnesium in the intestine, which leads to disruption of the full flow of biochemical reactions.
Consider the scale of mineral compatibility with some compounds.
- Magnesium intake with calcium, sodium or phosphorus leads to a decrease in its absorption.
- Iron reduces the absorption of magnesium in the duodenum.
- If the mineral is combined with the intake of excessively fatty foods, the formation of soap-like salts occurs, which are not absorbed in the digestive tract.
- With folic acid supplementation, macronutrient requirements are increased.
- Vitamins E and B6 improve magnesium metabolism in the body.
- The macronutrient actively interacts with insulin, increasing its production twice.
- Excessive intake of potassium in the body, accelerates the excretion of magnesium by the kidneys.
- A high-protein diet interferes with the absorption of the element in the body.
- Vitamins D and C increase the pharmacological properties of magnesium.
- The abuse of caffeine, alcohol, white sugar leads to a deterioration in the absorption of the mineral.
- Erythromycin, tetracycline reduce macronutrient exposure.
Foods rich in magnesium
The mineral is supplied to the body together with food and hard water. To eliminate chronic hypomagnesemia, drugs and supplements are used, the main active ingredient of which is the missing element. In regions with soft tap water, the daily need for a compound is replenished by plant products.
|Product name||Magnesium content per 100 grams of product, milligrams|
|Pumpkin seeds (raw)||530|
|Sesame seeds||350 – 450|
|Cashews (raw)||270 – 290|
|Pine nuts (peeled)||245|
|Watermelon (without nitrates)||224|
|Corn flakes (whole)||214|
|Sunflower seeds, peas||125 – 129|
|Rose hips (dried)||120|
|Walnut||90 – 100|
|Dates (dried, unprocessed)||85|
|Dutch cheese||50 – 60|
|Barley, millet, barley porridge||45|
|Beans||45 – 100|
|Dried apricots, prunes (without treatment)||45 – 50|
|Lentils (boiled)||) 35|
|Russian cheese||30 – 40|
|Green peas (fresh)||30|
Remember, when cooking That is, soaking or peeling products loses 30 - 60% of the useful compound.
Magnesium is an indispensable component of the human body, responsible for the coordinated work of all body systems, especially immune, nervous and musculoskeletal.
A macronutrient, as part of enzymes, is involved in the processes of digestion, the formation of bone, cartilage and connective tissues, muscle contractility, energy production, activation of B vitamins, and the creation of new cells. In addition, the substance controls the successful course of pregnancy and prevents the risk of complications, including preeclampsia.
The lack of magnesium in the daily menu is manifested by poor health, frequent infectious diseases,sensitivity to stress, increased fatigue, changes in blood composition. To prevent hypomagnesemia, it is important to regularly eat foods rich in magnesium, in particular, wheat bran, cocoa, buckwheat, nuts, cereals, legumes.
- Gromova O. A., Torshin I. Yu. – Magnesium and “diseases of civilization”. Practical guide. – 1969