One of the most common nutritional deficiencies that disrupt the normal body function among the people is magnesium deficiency. More commonly known as hypomagnesemia, it is found in over 80% of the population and is often overlooked.
Even though the signs of a magnesium deficiency such as irregular sleep patterns, headaches, tension and anxiety, muscle pain are far more noticeable in early stages than other nutritional deficiencies, they are confused with effects of modern lifestyles.
While it is true that even magnesium deficiency is caused by the negligence of healthy diet and completion of nutritional need rising due to the extremely busy lifestyles of adults as well as children, generally its symptoms are not properly considered to be an indication of the body lacking any nutrient.
Magnesium, in comparison with other nutrients present in the body, is not in great amounts but performs the equally important role from assisting neurotransmitter functions to maintaining heartbeat rhythms. Moreover, the body needs magnesium to perform over 300 biochemical reactions effectively.
Keeping all the fundamental functions of magnesium and a lot of people who suffer from a deficiency, it might not be a bad idea to take magnesium supplements for the smooth working of the body and good health.
Why is Magnesium Deficiency So Common?
Researchers have shown that a staggering number of people suffer from magnesium deficiencies which usually start deteriorating their health due to continuous ignorance of its symptoms. The rarity of magnesium tests is a big example of that.
Magnesium is required in all functions of the body ranging from heartbeats to movement of muscles and productions for essential hormones for these purposes. Most of the magnesium stored is therefore easily used. Lack of intake of magnesium can in today’s diets is a big factor behind the prevailing magnesium deficiency.
Most of the processed foods and microwavable foods that are used by rising number of people to save time have little or no magnesium. Moreover, soil depletion that lowers the levels of magnesium in crops has reduced its amount in healthy foods. A person eating the same amount and type of food as years ago may not have the same nutrient intake.
Such foods and markets have also bought new allergies and digestive disorders with them. A person suffering from a digestive disorder is likely to have malabsorption of magnesium in the gut and intestines.
The medications prescribed to treat such disorders can sometimes even worsen the situation. In fact, high doses of medicines, in general, can lead to damage to the gut and digestive tract, which means that a disruption in the absorption of minerals is likely.
Magnesium is by far the nutrient with the lowest amount in the human body. However, its functions cannot be underestimated and are fundamental. The kidneys are responsible for maintaining the levels of magnesium in the body.
One of the main indicators of lack of magnesium or any other electrolyte is the reduction in the amount of urinary excretion. Lower levels of magnesium mean the body will try to save magnesium instead of excreting it.
Typology of Magnesium Supplements
Magnesium can be obtained from a number of sources since it is present naturally in food as well as in food products with synthetically added magnesium. In addition, some medications and serums available at most of the medical stores can have magnesium, for example, laxatives and antacids.
Magnesium supplements are by far the fastest way to get the highest level of magnesium in a comparatively shorter period of time depending on what type the person chooses to take. While supplements, in general, may work faster than foods, types of them may differ and can work better for people depending on their health condition and intensity of their deficiency.
The bioavailability and absorption rate in the gut is what makes the main distinction. Chloride, citrate, and chelate of magnesium are suggested to be the quickest absorbing forms while magnesium sulfate and oxide types are said to have the slowest.
Usually, the water-soluble magnesium forms are better for the gut and digestive tract to absorb than solid magnesium tablets. The most common types of magnesium supplements that can be found are the following:
- Magnesium Citrate Supplement
A combination of magnesium and citric acid is usually safe and brings benefits especially for the people with digestive problems, for example, constipation can be relieved with the use of these supplements. The only potential harm that can come with magnesium citrate is its laxative effect that comes along when it is taken in a higher than required dose. However, the laxative effect has been observed to happen in a number of people with other health conditions and when taken in extremely high doses. It is highly unlikely that a normal intake of magnesium citrate will cause any harm to the person taking it.
- Magnesium Chelate Supplement
The most recommended form of magnesium supplement which has shown the most positive effects is magnesium chelate due to its highly absorbable properties. Magnesium Chelate is comprised of a big number of proteins that bring extra advantages as well as restore the body’s natural magnesium level for a return to smooth functioning and good health.
- Magnesium Orotate Supplement
Magnesium orotate may not be recommended to many people in comparison with the other forms but that is not because of any harms but its special formula for people suffering from a heart-related disease. The orotic acid present in this supplement is essential for the health of the heart. Therefore, these supplements are usually given to older people having a magnesium deficiency and a likelihood of either minor or major heart disease.
- Magnesium Chloride OilThis type of magnesium supplement is commonly seen not just in medical stores but local grocery stores due to its multiple uses. This oil form of magnesium is used by people who suffer from muscle fatigue and pain, specifically old people or athletes as it effectively numbs the pain. Magnesium oil can also be used for wounds, skin irritation and to increase endurance for any activity that involves heavy physical labor. People who have a magnesium deficiency due to digestive disorders are frequently suggested to use magnesium chloride oil.
- Magnesium ThreonateThis particular type is comparatively new and may be expensive and not very easy to find like other supplements because it is still under research.
- Magnesium GlycinateMagnesium Glycinate is well-known for being highly absorbing properties and can be taken by a person belonging to any age group or having any other condition. This form has been observed to have no side effects and can be given in place of Magnesium Citrate because it is less likely to trigger any laxative effects.
How can Magnesium supplements help you?
As it has already been mentioned, magnesium deficiencies are very common among people of all age groups and a daily dose of magnesium can bring great benefits. Frequent insomnia, lower levels of energy, spasms and headaches are the most common signs of magnesium deficiency.
Not only can magnesium supplements help in relieving these conditions but can also help in the prevention of heart and bone diseases. Serious complications such as osteoporosis are one of the effects of severe magnesium deficiency.
Since magnesium is the least abundant nutrient in the body, an overdose of magnesium supplements happens in extremely rare cases. Considering today’s diets and lack of time to add magnesium-rich foods, although that would be highly recommended as well, is difficult.
In these times, magnesium supplements can come in handy to ensure the continuation of good health and prevention of diseases.