Magnesium is a solid, inorganic element; inorganic means it does not contain carbon. Many foods are natural sources of magnesium, and when in its pure form, it’s a shiny grey solid that resembles many of the other alkaline earth metals. It is an incredibly abundant element everywhere in the universe.
Ironically, many people are magnesium-deficient.
It is an element with distinct dietary properties and benefits. One needs to understand how it works, why it’s so important and so beneficial. On Earth, it is the fourth most common element. About thirteen percent of the Earth is made of magnesium.
When used for medical purposes, it is usually relied upon to treat digestive tract issues, calm down overly excited nerves, or reduce spasms in blood vessels.
Diet is the primary and most common way to ingest magnesium. The element can be found in vegetables, cocoa, cereals, nuts, and certain spices. Since magnesium is the central element in chlorophyll, it is present in all green leafy vegetables. It is recommended that men consume 300 mg of magnesium per day and women consume 270 mg. Studies have found that Westerners are eating much less magnesium than they used to. This may be because of increased consumption of refined foods as well as the use of modern fertilizers which do not contain natural amounts of magnesium. When magnesium is taken in many different kinds of supplements, it is actually not very bio-available.
Magnesium is only found in combination with other elements. When it is refined to its pure elemental form, it is highly volatile. It also can be quite flammable, burning with a bright white light. That whiteness makes it useful for flares, but means that it has to be coated with an oxide to be stabilized. However, when it’s coated with an oxide, such as in many dietary supplements, it is not very bio-available. Some magnesium tablets help deliver more of the element than others.
You should have between 22 and 26 grams of magnesium in your body at any given moment. Over half of that is in your skeleton. The rest is in your cells. Only about one percent is extracellular.
Increased amounts of magnesium serve to lower calcium levels, so if one is at risk of high levels of calcium in the blood, magnesium can help. If your body contains too little calcium, then that can be a problem as well. Protein intake also inhibits magnesium absorption. Too much protein or too little can both inhibit absorption.
As many as 15% of people do not have suitable magnesium levels. That could be due to the element being excreted through urine, sweat, and feces. Also, it could be because the liver is not properly absorbing magnesium. There are many different causes of this.
Problematically low levels of the element can result in gastrointestinal troubles as well as muscular issues. Since most of the magnesium in the body is stored in the bones, they are at risk of degrading in the absence of a sufficient amount of this element. You can always ingest a supplement which raises your magnesium levels. Considering how unreliable it can be to count on food sources, a supplement is probably your best bet.