The health benefits of magnesium are almost too many to mention. One of the best known is that it helps the body to absorb calcium, but to stop there is to only state half of that benefit, as well as leaving out all the others. When the body cannot absorb the correct amount of calcium then not only are the bones weaker than necessary, but diseases such as osteoporosis and osteo-arthritis are more likely to affect them in later years.
And while many women make sure they take calcium supplements, studies have shown that their calcium levels are falling rather than increasing. This is due to the fact that they are lacking in magnesium, rather than calcium. This is a twofold problem, because the excess calcium that the body cannot absorb stays in muscles, causing problems such as cramps and fibromyalgia, or it lodges in the joints where it causes arthritis, the kidneys where it contributes to the formation of kidney stones, or even in the arteries where plaque is then produced. So when taking a calcium supplement, take twice as much magnesium to prevent these problems.
Having enough magnesium in the body will prevent, or can reverse osteoporosis, and increase bone density. It can also help to prevent heart attacks because too much calcium – caused by lack of magnesium – can cause the heart muscles to contract rather than relax. In fact, according to the American Heart Journal, magnesium is nature’s calcium channel blocker.
Because magnesium has the affect of relaxing muscles, it is good for headaches and migraines, it helps insomnia, and eases backaches, all of which are exacerbated or even caused by, taut muscles. However, to treat migraines you really need to take magnesium and B6 in intravenous form, and a doctor is needed to administer this. But if magnesium is taken regularly in tablet form, then migraines may occur less often. And since depression is often made worse by insomnia, magnesium helps depression.
Just as well-known by doctors, yet not often implemented is the fact that intravenous injections of magnesium can really help ease an acute attack of asthma, because it acts as a bronchodilator, relaxing the airways. It will often work when steroids and epinephrine don’t.
And magnesium is also good to help prevent diabetes, according to Swiss scientists. If you are unlucky enough to already have diabetes, there is more you should know about magnesium. Increased blood sugar means more frequent urination, often leading to a lack of magnesium. Yet lack of magnesium makes it more difficult to control your blood sugar and increases the chance of getting retinopathy.
Magnesium in the proper amount also contributes to stronger muscles by reducing loss of muscle mass. Studies done in Italy found a strong connection between lack of muscle strength and lack of magnesium. And those whose diet includes plenty of magnesium are much less likely to develop hypertension or high blood pressure.
Foods that contain magnesium are low-fat dairy food, green vegetables such as spinach, black beans, okra, soymilk and tofu and some seafood such as oysters, rockfish and halibut.