The body uses vitamins and minerals for several needs such as cell repair and maintaining the body’s functioning. Some vitamin and mineral uses are well known like calcium’s use to strengthen bones. Magnesium is one of the lesser known minerals that the body needs. What is magnesium used for?
As the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, magnesium is a mineral that is crucial for many body functions. Magnesium is necessary for approximately three hundred biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium helps keep the heart rate steady and maintains normal muscle and nerve functioning. Magnesium is involved in regulating blood glucose levels and blood pressure.
Like calcium, magnesium is also needed for normal bone growth. A lack of adequate levels of magnesium can cause migraines, depression, anxiety disorders, insomnia, diabetes, hypertension, muscle spasms, numbness, and the tingling associated with numbness. Low levels of magnesium can also cause a person’s immune system to be weaker than normal.
Magnesium can be used to treat some health problems, but only a physician can determine if the condition is caused by a magnesium deficiency. Since the medical conditions that can be caused by a magnesium deficiency can also be caused by other things, it is important for the person to consult the doctor to identify the underlying cause. Some medications can cause a magnesium deficiency.
Epsom salts are a form of magnesium known as magnesium sulfate. Epsom salts are used in numerous home remedies including drawing debris from a wound and treating muscle aches. Some people believe that a bath containing Epsom salts can help alleviate depression.
People also eat foods that are high in magnesium to treat depression, insomnia, and anxiety. The person could also take magnesium supplements, though it is usually considered just as healthy if not healthier to get the dietary needs of magnesium from food in the diet as long as the person does not have a significant deficiency.
Foods that are good sources of magnesium include spinach, green vegetables, beans, halibut, almonds and other nuts, soybeans, baked potatoes with the skin, and wheat cereal. Adult males should have about four hundred milligrams of magnesium a day. Adult females need to have about three hundred milligrams of magnesium a day.
The body works to try to avoid a magnesium deficiency by restricting the amount of magnesium excreted by the kidneys when dietary intake is low. If someone has a significant deficiency of magnesium, the physician may recommend intravenous (IV) magnesium replacement.