Magnesium is essential for a healthy body, but it is often deficient in some people. A magnesium deficiency can cause health problems, including high blood pressure, migraines, and osteoporosis. Many diseases that interfere with digestion can reduce magnesium absorption. Crohn’s disease, for instance, may affect the ileum, the largest segment of the small intestine. And certain conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, may cause the kidneys to secrete excess urine, which can flush magnesium out of the body.
Reduces The Risk of High Blood Pressure
Magnesium is a mineral that is essential in the function of the endothelium in the body. When consumed regularly, magnesium increases the efficiency of endothelial cells and reduces the risk of high blood pressure. Magnesium is also essential for heart health and may improve the function of the heart’s arteries.
Various studies support the benefits of magnesium on blood pressure. However, the evidence is inconsistent. The small sample size of most trials and the heterogeneity of study designs may explain the lack of conclusive evidence for magnesium’s beneficial effects. In one meta-analysis of twenty trials, researchers used random effects models and meta-regression methods to pool the results of these studies. The results showed a dose-response relationship between magnesium and blood pressure.
Although Mg supplementation is effective for lowering blood pressure, the study design has some potential flaws. For instance, the type of magnesium supplement used in the studies is heterogeneous. Also, the absorption of different magnesium anions varies, which may diminish the efficacy of magnesium supplementation. Furthermore, the analysis only included English-language articles. This means that the intervention effect may be more significant in English-language studies. Despite these flaws, the researchers did not find evidence of publication bias in the analysis.
Reduces The Risk of Migraine Headaches
There is evidence that magnesium can reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. Although the exact mechanism of magnesium action is not precise, several studies have shown that it may reduce migraine headaches. These studies suggest that magnesium may inhibit the production of the chemical serotonin, which causes the visual and sensory changes that precede a migraine attack. Other magnesium action mechanisms include improved platelet function and reduced release of pain-transmitting chemicals such as glutamate. Additionally, magnesium may prevent the narrowing of blood vessels in the brain caused by serotonin.
One study examined the effect of magnesium on migraine symptoms in migraine patients and found that a reduction in serum magnesium levels was associated with a lower frequency of migraine headaches. Another study examined serum magnesium levels and the magnesium content of mononuclear blood cells in migraine patients. Other studies investigated the effects of magnesium supplementation on the incidence of migraine attacks.
Reduces The Risk of Osteoporosis
Magnesium is a mineral that is necessary for good health. It participates in over 300 enzymatic reactions. In humans, magnesium deficiency is associated with increased risks for chronic diseases. However, its role in osteoporosis prevention is unclear. In a recent meta-analysis, higher magnesium intake was not associated with a lower risk of fractures, whereas intakes above the RDA were associated with increased fracture risk. However, other studies have suggested magnesium may benefit inflammation and oxidative stress.
Magnesium deficiency has several causes, including genetic predispositions, impaired gastrointestinal absorption, and chronic alcoholism. Also, some medications may reduce the absorption of magnesium. Food processing can also lead to hypomagnesemia. Furthermore, certain conditions such as chronic diarrhea, acute pancreatitis associated with fat necrosis, and cardiopulmonary surgery can decrease serum magnesium levels.
A lack of Mg leads to decreased bone mineral density. This decrease in bone density is known as osteoporosis. In the US, about 10 million people have osteoporosis. In the UK, the number of people suffering from the low bone mass is estimated at 34 million. Osteoporosis affects women four times more than men. However, a high-quality diet rich in magnesium may reduce osteoporosis risk.