This magnificent mineral magnesium takes part in more than 300 biochemical activities in your body. It has a great relaxing ability, that helps to relax your body. Here we go for why such relaxations are vital for our health? And how this hero mineral magnesium helps us for relaxation, for better sleep, controlling blood pressure as well as a daily dose requirement and food sources.
Magnesium for relaxation and sleep: daily dose and food sources
Magnesium participates in the regulation of muscle contraction & relaxation
Many of us are taking calcium to prevent bone loss. But improper regulation of calcium creates problems. In our previous article we talked about why without vitamin K2, calcium and vitamin D can become disastrous to health. Here is another reason.
The human body has a variety of sites where calcium binds with proteins in muscles. (1, 2) When this happens the structure of the proteins alter that facilitate muscular contraction. Muscle relaxation occurs as the result of the pumping of calcium back into the sarcoplasmic reticulum, a membrane-bound structure found within muscle cells. (3) Magnesium competes with calcium, inhibits naturally calcium channels and helps to relax muscles. (4, 5). Therefore for the right function, you need a balance between the two.
Magnesium has critical roles for basic mitochondrial functions, including ATP synthesis, electron transport chain complex subunits, and oxygen detoxification. Researchers found a significant association of blood magnesium level with indexes of muscle performance, including grip strength, lower-leg muscle power, knee extension torque, and ankle extension strength. (6)
Also, read Magnesium for Glucose control & cardiovascular health
Magnesium helps to maintain a healthy heartbeat
A healthy heartbeat reflects a healthy heart. While calcium stimulates protein to contract in the heart muscle magnesium balance it by relaxing the heart tissue. (7) As magnesium naturally inhibits calcium channels, in absence of right magnesium level calcium may over contract heart muscles resulting in a fast and or irregular heartbeat. Also, studies showed an oral intake of magnesium in the improvement of heartbeat in people with an abnormal heartbeat. (8,4,9) Again a balance between them helps to maintain a healthy heartbeat.
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Magnesium and Arterial stiffness
Arterial stiffness, also known as the loss of arterial elasticity, represents the mechanical property of the artery resistant to deformation. While arterial stiffness negative affects the health of blood vessels, arterial relaxation or de-stiffening can be an independent strategy in improving cardiovascular health. (10) And increased arterial stiffness or damage blood vessels contribute to cardiovascular diseases like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and more. (11)
Having roles in tissue relaxation, magnesium also had shown to reduce arterial stiffness, maintain elasticity as well as help to maintain proper blood flow. Although we have not much data gold-standard randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study conducted on overweight and slightly obese 30 men and 22 women, found supplementing magnesium at a dose of 3 × 117 mg or 350 mg/day for 24 weeks had reduced arterial stiffness. Researchers reported no adverse effect during the period and also suggest that dietary intake of magnesium beneficially affects cardiovascular health. (12)
Also, read Foods to reduce high blood pressure naturally.
Magnesium helps to reduce high blood pressure
Magnesium participates in the control of the activity of ionic channels of some other minerals, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium. Through the inhibitory effect of calcium channel, magnesium exerts a protective effect against the triggered activity, prevents sudden contraction of the blood vessels, and plays a crucial role in modulating vascular muscle tone and, therefore, systemic arterial blood pressure i.e. pressure during heart contraction. Furthermore, magnesium plays a critical role in the protection against potassium loss another mineral that we need to lower high blood pressure. On the other hand, low magnesium weakens this mechanism as well as allows increasing intracellular sodium and calcium level. (4) While excessive sodium also leads to an increase in fluid volume both inside and outside of cells and blood pressure.
High blood pressure is also a characteristic of metabolic syndrome. A double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical study with a total of 155 participants found, 300 mg daily intake of magnesium had lowered blood pressure and insulin sensitivity in people with hypertension but did not reduce blood pressure in people with a normal level. (13) Results from a meta-analysis of 11 clinical studies as published in the journal of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest that magnesium supplementation significantly lowers blood pressure in individuals with insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, or other non-communicable chronic diseases. (14)
How much magnesium is needed for hypertension?
Numbers of studies used varying amounts like 243 mg to 973 mg magnesium per day for reducing hypertension. (26) However, the effect can become larger with magnesium supplementation due to a diet containing more magnesium. Therefore, you need to consult with your healthcare provider before exceeding the RDA amount.
Magnesium helps for relaxation and better sleep
We have already seen that with numbers of ways, magnesium help us to relax our body. Apart from those, low magnesium level also negatively affects the nervous system. (15)
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) a naturally occurring amino acid acts as a neurotransmitter to control certain brain signals, excitement as well as decrease activity of the nervous system. For that reason, it provides a calming effect that helps to reduce stress, anxiety, which affects sleep. Magnesium may involve in binding with GABA receptors and may help in better sleep. (16, 17, 18)
Pieces of evidence also suggest an intake of magnesium in the reduction of mental and physical stress, restlessness and that further helps for better sleep. (19, 20)
Magnesium and Melatonin
Your brain produces hormone melatonin in response to darkness which helps with sleep. And if you keep your light on at night during sleep, it can block melatonin production. Although we need to understand more research suggests that melatonin plays other important roles in the body beyond sleep.
In animal studies, although lesser intensity than darkness, researchers found melatonin rich foods, as well as minerals like magnesium, can regulate melatonin production. (21,22)In clinical study magnesium supplementation had shown to increase melatonin concentration in elderly people. (23)
A clinical study showed elderly people taking magnesium at a dose of 500mg per day had felt asleep faster with improved sleep quality and reduced insomnia symptoms. (24) Other clinical studies also found improvement in sleep, quality of life as well as a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol. (23, 25)
Magnesium also helps in reducing migraine pain.
Related articles on migraine
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- Natural Home Remedies to relieve Migraine and Headaches
- Vitamins, Supplements, and Herbs for relieving migraine pain
- Migraine Headache and its phases
The daily dose for magnesium
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Magnesium:
Food Sources of Magnesium
Various food sources such as leafy greens, nut, legumes, seeds, dark chocolates contain magnesium. You may also find magnesium in some fortified foods. Typically your body can absorb 30-40% of the consumed dietary magnesium. (26)You can also find magnesium in different supplemental forms.
Which supplement form of Magnesium
However, all magnesium supplements are not the same. Some have less bioavailability that means you will absorb less. Magnesium citrate, magnesium chloride, Magnesium aspartate are some supplement forms that are well absorbed by the human body. (26,27,28,29)
Magnesium has no known health risk from food sources even taken in excess in healthy individuals because the kidneys eliminate excess amounts in the urine. However, a high dose of supplementation especially with forms like magnesium carbonate, chloride, gluconate, and oxide can cause diarrhea along with nausea and abdominal cramping. (2) Therefore you should consult with your healthcare provider before consideration of a higher dose.
Disclaimer: Information provided here are generalized information
for educational purpose only, not intended to provide one to one
health consultation or replace practice of a qualified
practitioner. Different people may have different health
condition and may have different reaction to the same food. Hence
it has been advised to consult with health care provider before
application of any of above information
Source and references:
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