Deficiency of Magnesium in the body is a common problem and some statistics estimate that over 90 percent of us suffer from it. This is kind of a big deal because magnesium is responsible for around 300 biochemical reactions in the body and has severe implications on the health, including blood pressure, metabolism, and immunity.
There are a couple of reasons why magnesium deficiency is so common. Ranging from depleting soil conditions to stress, even our diet chart and food habits can cause magnesium deficiency. For instance, high consumption of caffeine and sugar can affect magnesium levels of the body by burning up magnesium very quickly.
There are a lot of signs which point to magnesium deficiency:
- Calcification of the Arteries
One of the earliest symptoms of magnesium deficiency is calcification of arteries. This can lead to problems like coronary complications: heart attack and heart disease. Most of the heart attack patients are injected with magnesium chloride to help keep blood clotting and calcification in check.
- Muscle Spasms and Cramps
This is another noticeable symptom of magnesium deficiency. Apart from stiffening of arteries, calcification also causes stiffening of muscle tissue and also cramps.
- Anxiety and Depression
Research has shown that magnesium deficiency has a huge impact on mental health. Psychology Today sums it up as:
MAGNESIUM HANGS OUT IN THE SYNAPSE BETWEEN TWO NEURONS ALONG WITH CALCIUM AND GLUTAMATE. IF YOU RECALL, CALCIUM AND GLUTAMATE ARE EXCITATORY, AND IN EXCESS, TOXIC (LINK IS EXTERNAL). THEY ACTIVATE THE NMDA RECEPTOR. MAGNESIUM CAN SIT ON THE NMDA RECEPTOR WITHOUT ACTIVATING IT, LIKE A GUARD AT THE GATE. THEREFORE, IF WE ARE DEFICIENT IN MAGNESIUM, THERE’S NO GUARD. CALCIUM AND GLUTAMATE CAN ACTIVATE THE RECEPTOR LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW. IN THE LONG TERM, THIS DAMAGES THE NEURONS, EVENTUALLY LEADING TO CELL DEATH. IN THE BRAIN, THAT IS NOT AN EASY SITUATION TO REVERSE OR REMEDY.
- High Blood Pressure/Hypertension
This segment is one of the most researched upon area when it comes to magnesium deficiency. A Harvard Study has showed that over 70,000 people who had high magnesium intake had the healthiest blood pressure numbers. A follow up meta-analysis of available studies showed a dose-dependent reduction of blood pressure with magnesium supplementation. University of Minnesota’s study showed that the risk for hypertension was 70% lower in women with adequate/high magnesium levels.
- Hormone Problems
Low magnesium levels can wreak havoc on hormone levels especially when the person may have high progesterone levels, as in the case of a pregnant woman. This is probably why women experience leg cramps. The good news, however, is that chocolate happens to be a decent source of magnesium. Here’s to satisfied carvings.