Welcome to our weekly Wellness Wednesday blog post! Today's topic is magnesium.
Magnesium, a mineral for which 80% of the population is deficient, is a quintessential cofactor over 300 enzymes in the body, functioning in the following capacities: ✔️ protein production ✔️ cell growth and division ✔️ synthesis of nucleic acids ✔️ mitochondrial membrane stability ✔️ maintenance of electrolyte composition ✔️ brain cell activity ✔️ neural plasticity and cognitive function ✔️ musculoskeletal health ✔️ cardiac excitability ✔️ vasomotor tone ✔️ cardiac excitability ✔️ blood pressure dynamics ✔️ sleep regulation Magnesium has been, however, depleted in our food supply due to phenomena including soil erosion, topsoil depletion monoculture agriculture, and removal of magnesium from municipal drinking facilities, leading magnesium intake to decline from 500 milligrams (mg) per day to approximately 175 mg per day. Magnesium loss is exacerbated with comorbid medical conditions as well as with physical exertion, perspiration, urination, and defecation as well as during periods of up-regulated stress hormone production. Magnesium insufficiency has likewise been implicated in the following disorders: ✔️ type 2 diabetes ✔️ metabolic syndrome ✔️ hypertension ✔️ autoimmunity ✔️ migraine ✔️ asthma ✔️ colon cancer ✔️ atherosclerotic vascular disease ✔️ vitamin D metabolism Magnesium deficiency plays a role in mood disorders including clinical depression, primarily due to its role as a γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor agonist and antagonist of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor function. Researchers in Medical Hypotheses state, “Dietary deficiencies of magnesium, coupled with excess calcium and stress may cause many cases of other related symptoms including agitation, anxiety, irritability, confusion, asthenia, sleeplessness, headache, delirium, hallucinations and hyperexcitability” (5). It has been shown that magnesium supplementation can improve clinical depression in as few as 2 weeks regardless of gender, age, baseline magnesium level, the severity of depression, or the use of antidepressant medications.