Healthy Living



Magnesium affects all systems of the body

The largest amount (50-65%) of magnesium in the body is found in the bones. Only around 1% occurs outside cells. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals and is essential for good health. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function. It activates several enzymes, especially those for energy production, keeps bones strong and supports a healthy immune system

Experts have determined that the Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) of magnesium for adults is 375 mg. The amount of an element as important as magnesium is carefully regulated by the body. If our cells begin to lack magnesium, the body replaces it from its own stores ?from the bones and the liver. If the balance of magnesium is negative, the following general signs of deficiency quickly become apparent: constipation, loss of appetite, feeling unwell, fatigue, low energy, muscle spasms, pins and needles, irritability, sleep disorders, headaches, poor concentration and psychological changes.

Most people are unaware of the role and importance of magnesium in the functioning of the human organism. Healthy bones require adequate levels of calcium alongside both vitamin D and magnesium.

Without magnesium, neither vitamin D nor calcium can be used by the body effectivelly, as this powerful mineral converts these nutrients into usable forms. What it does is it works as an enzymatic cofactor to incorporate calcium and other necessary vitamins and minerals into our bones. Magnesium is also responsible for activating a special hormone that pulls calcium from the blood and soft tissues, and incorporates it directly into bones.

The breakdown of old bone cells and build-up of new ones is very much dependent upon magnesium. Osteoblasts, which facilitate the synthesis and mineralization of bone tissue, as well as osteoclasts, which allow for the continuous breakdown and rebuilding of the bones, both require adequate amounts of magnesium in order to function.

As far as vitamin D is concerned, magnesium is absolutely essential for converting vitamin D3 -the form of vitamin D contained in lactical, into usable form. Taking just vitamin D3 alone may not be enough to unlock its bone-building potential, and could end up leading to falsely believe you are benefiting from supplementation.

How much magnesium do you need?

Intake recommendations -Recommended Dietary Allowances for magnesium and other nutrients are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. DRI is the general term for a set of reference values used to plan and assess nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and sex, include:

Age Male Female Pregnacy Lactation
Birth to 6 months 30 mg* 30 mg*    
7-12 months 75 mg* 75 mg*    
1-3 years 80 mg 80 mg    
4-8 years 130 mg 130 mg    
9-13 years 240 mg 240 mg    
14-18 years 410 mg 360 mg  400mg 360 mg
19-30 years 400 mg 310 mg 350 mg 310 mg
31-50 year 420 mg 320 mg 360 mg 320 mg
51+ years 420 mg 320 mg    
*Adequate Intake (AI)        
Source: Food and Nutrition Board, 2015        

What are the sources of Magnesium?

Magnesium is found in many foods but in relatively small amounts. Good sources of magnesium are Green vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli and avocado), legumes (beans and peas), whole grain products, nuts, seeds, fish (halibut, tuna) and fruit (bananas and dried apricots).Generally, green, leafy vegetables as well as grains and nuts have a higher Mg content than meat and dairy products. The following table shows you which foods are good sources of magnesium.

Food Magnesium (mg)
Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened (100g) 499
Almonds, dry roasted (100g) 285
Cashews, dry roasted (100g) 264
Spinach, boiled (1 cup) 156
Soymilk, plain or vanilla (1 cup) 61
Milk (1 cup) 25
Yogurt, plain, low fat (100g) 19
Bread, whole wheat (2 slices) 46
Rice, brown, cooked (1/2 cup) 42
Black beans, cooked (1/2 cup 60
Kidney beans, canned (1/2 cup) 35
Raisins (1 cup) 46
Banana (1 medium) 32
Apple (1 medium) 9
Carrot, raw (1 medium) 7
Source: USDA Nutrient Database, 2014