Magnesium: What is it and Why do we need it?
March 22, 2021
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium (Mg) is an essential mineral that our bodies need in order to function properly. It’s also the seventh most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and is one of the most common electrolytes found inside of our body’s trillions of cells. Our body contains a whopping 25 grams of magnesium, mostly stored in our bones and muscle tissue. Let’s take a deeper look at magnesium, what it does, the benefits it provides, and how we can get more of this essential nutrient in our diet.
What does Magnesium do?
Magnesium is best known as a bone supporting nutrient, but it does so much more than help keep our bones healthy and strong. Magnesium is busy helping our body with over 300 enzymatic processes ranging from energy production to muscle and heart health, and even helps with our mood!
It plays such an important role in so many aspects of our health, but only about one third of adults1 in the US get the recommended daily amount of magnesium from their diets. This means that there are many people who could benefit from getting more magnesium. Let’s look a little closer at three benefits magnesium offers and to see just what it does inside the body.
Magnesium is known as one of the most important nutrients for bone health. About 60% of the magnesium found in the body is in our bones. This nutrient is heavily involved in the formation and degradation of our bones as it is found in bone cells that consume bone (osteoclasts) and bone cells that build bone (osteoblasts).
The breakdown of old cells and the making of new cells is important to maintain bone health. You can think of replacing old bone cells with new ones like replacing old fence posts that have rotted or lost their strength due to age. With new, stronger posts it will help the fence keep its shape, strength, and functionality. Studies show that an adequate intake of magnesium can help with maintaining bone mineral density and integrity.
Muscle and Heart health
We know the majority of magnesium found in our body is located in our bones, but the rest is found mostly in our skeletal muscle and soft tissue. Here, magnesium plays an important role as a cofactor for ATP synthesis. ATP is the form of energy in the body used by our cells, including muscle cells. When muscle cells have enough magnesium and ATP, that’s what enables them to move properly and gives them energy.
Magnesium also works with calcium in the muscles to help control our muscles when contracting and relaxing. This is particularly important in the heart, which needs to contact and relax with a normal rhythm. When calcium enters the muscle cells in the heart, it helps the heart muscles contract, while magnesium is then needed to help these muscle fibers in the heart relax so the heart can keep a proper and normal rhythm.
Magnesium plays a role in regulating different neurotransmitters in the brain and may also help with brain activity linked to stress. Magnesium is also known to regulate the hormone GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) which is found in high concentrations in our brain’s limbic system. The limbic system is what helps control our emotions and memory, which is tied to our mood and how we feel.
Food sources of Magnesium
Many of us do not get enough magnesium from our diet alone. Magnesium can be found in a wide assortment of healthy foods. Spinach for example is a great source of magnesium providing 78 mg of magnesium in just a ½ cup (cooked). Pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, peanuts, and other legumes are also good sources of magnesium providing at least 15% of the daily value for this mineral per serving.
Other sources of magnesium include whole grains such as whole wheat, brown rice and fortified breakfast cereals. There are so many different options to choose from to try and get enough of this important nutrient in our diets.
Depending on age and gender, our body needs anywhere from 310 mg for women to 420 mg for men on a daily basis. The problem is that many of us don’t eat enough of these healthy foods mentioned above every day.
Taking supplements with magnesium in them is a great option to help fill in some of the nutrient gaps our diets may leave. Luckily, Pharmanex has recently come out with a new product called Pharmanex® Magnesium.
Pharmanex Magnesium was specifically designed to fit different lifestyles and to help fill in gaps we may have in our diet. This allows for a customized supplement regiment that fits your needs. It provides 150 mg of magnesium per chewable tablet, but not just any source of magnesium. We use a source of magnesium called Aquamin Marine Magnesium which is a unique form of magnesium sourced from seawater.
We selected this unique source for two reasons. First, the research on this specific source showed it was more bioavailable than other common sources of magnesium found in other supplement products. (To learn more about supplement bioavailability click here.) Second, we also know that GI tolerability is important for any supplement so that it doesn’t upset the gut. For this reason, we also looked for a source of magnesium that is well tolerated to make it a more enjoyable experience when taking this product. Pharmanex is always looking for ways to innovate and make it easier to get the nutrients we need in our diet!
Overall, magnesium is an essential mineral for our bodies. From bone health to mood support, magnesium offers a vast array of benefits that can support all lifestyles.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
- Alaimo K, McDowell MA, Briefel RR, et al. Dietary intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber of person ages 2 months and over in the United States: Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Phase 1, 1988–91 Adv Data. 1994;(258):1–28