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Magnesium: What Is It?

Interest in health and wellness has increased dramtaically over the last three years. An increased interest in supporting our health and wellness is wonderful! But, we have to support our body—and our health—intentionally. When seeking out a baseline health and wellness routine, consider starting with an inventory of what vitamins and minerals you effectively consume versus what vitamins and minerals you need to consume more intentionally. Intentional consumption may occur through whole foods or supplementation. Humans require roughly two dozen essential vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. We will discuss one of the most important minerals today: magnesium.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a major mineral that supports the body through its involvement in over three hundred enzyme systems throughout the body. It functions as a regulatory cofactor in the skeletal, cardiovascular, and nervous systems.

Magnesium & Our Bodies

Magnesium supports over three hundred enzyme systems as a regulatory cofactor in the skeletal, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. Regulatory cofactors increase the rate of essential chemical reactions in enzyme systems. So, mineral sufficiency matters. Though the list below is not exhaustive, magnesium supports the following body processes as a regulatory cofactor:

Heart Health

It supports healthy heart rhythms. Our hearts are muscles. All muscles require magnesium and calcium to function. Calcium first contracts the heart—magnesium relaxes the heart. This mineral also supports the sodium-potassium pumps throughout our bodies. Our hearts require functioning sodium-potassium pumps to beat.

Bone Health

As with heart health, magnesium and calcium function together to promote bone health. The minerals works in conjunction with vitamin D to support dense bones.

Fun fact—60% of magnesium in the body is stored in our bones!

Daily Recommended Intake

You will find the daily recommended intake for average, healthy adults below:

  • Adult Females: 320 milligrams/day
  • Adult Males: 420 milligrams/day

You can consume this mineral naturally through whole plant foods or through supplementation. Do whatever best supports your individual nutrient sufficiency.  

Natural Sources of Magnesium

We can consume this mineral through whole plant foods. See common sources in Figure 1 below:

Figure 1

Many consume adequate amounts through the whole foods listed above. However, deficiencies persist.

If you struggle to consume this mineral through food alone, consider supplementation! Supplementation exists to close nutrient gaps. If you have questions or concerns about your personal health and supplementation needs, reach out to your healthcare provider!

Quick Facts

Magnesium functions as a regulatory cofactor in the skeletal, cardiovascular, and nervous systems.

  • What Systems Does It Support: skeletal, cardiovascular, and nervous systems
  • How Much Do I Need: adult males—420mg/day & adult females—320mg/day
  • What Are Natural Sources: almonds, beans, spinach, and other whole plant foods