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Why is magnesium so important for your body?

Paola Spadaro Rodriguez

May 30, 2023
Magnesium is an essential mineral, meaning that our body cannot produce it and must obtain it from food. Magnesium deficiency significantly affects health.

Although it is present in almost every cell in the body, the bones are responsible for storing it. It regulates hundreds of enzymatic processes, and studies have shown deficient intake in individuals suffering from serious illnesses.

What are the benefits of magnesium?

The entire body requires magnesium to function properly, as this nutrient participates in multiple processes essential for life. These include the formation of strong bones (in conjunction with calcium), the production of energy at the muscular level, and proper cardiovascular function. Other important functions of magnesium include:

  • Activating different systems that ensure the body’s maintenance.
  • Participating in the production of many proteins.
  • Involvement in the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle relaxation.
  • Necessary for maintaining the balance of internal fluids.
  • Participating in the actions of different hormones, such as those regulating calcium metabolism and bone health.
  • Its deficiency causes growth failure, behavioral alterations, irritability, weakness, loss of muscle control, and spasms.
  • Indispensable for the proper functioning of immune cells.
  • Despite the importance of this mineral, a large proportion of the population has magnesium deficiencies due to low intake of foods containing it.

Contributes to bone health Magnesium is found largely within the bones, where it is part of the minerals that give them resistance and strength. Additionally, magnesium is essential for the proper functioning of hormones involved in calcium metabolism, namely vitamin D and parathyroid hormone.

Antioxidant One of the body’s main antioxidant agents, glutathione, requires magnesium. Decreasing oxidation reactions has been an important strategy for preventing cellular damage involved in multiple diseases and aging processes. Improves mood There is an inverse relationship between dietary magnesium intake and depressive states. It appears that this mineral modulates the activity of a neurotransmitter receptor called glutamate. Magnesium is also important for improving the levels of another inhibitory neurotransmitter (GABA) responsible for reducing nervous activity in the brain. In situations of stress, GABA levels are significantly reduced, which is directly associated with states of anxiety, irritability, or panic attacks.

Involved in energy production Magnesium is indispensable for the production of a substance known as ATP. ATP is the molecule that provides energy for almost all metabolic processes and results from the processing of sugars and fats.

Reduces insomnia issues The improvement in the production and action of neurotransmitters in the brain, along with reduced excitability of the nervous system, also translates into better quality and duration of sleep. One of the neurotransmitters whose production improves with a magnesium-rich diet is melatonin, the sleep hormone.

Helps decrease migraine episodes Individuals who experience recurrent migraines have lower levels of intracellular magnesium (measured in cells such as red blood cells) compared to those who do not experience migraines. Additionally, it is known that this nutrient plays a role in the tone of blood vessels (ability to relax and contract). Low magnesium levels are associated with a greater tendency of blood vessels to contract, which influences the onset of migraine episodes in patients who experience them.

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