pumpkin seedsMagnesium is a key component of bones; 60% of our magnesium is in bones. It’s also involved in more than 300 metabolic reactions, that control things like energy production from fats and carbohydrates, DNA synthesis, protein synthesis, enzyme activity and cell signaling.

While most of our magnesium is in our bones, only about 1% of bone structure is magnesium. Daily intake for adults is 300-400 mg/day. Diet surveys indicate that many people are not eating that amount of magnesium from diet every day.

Recommended Dietary Allowances for Magnesium

magnesiumFor infants, the Adequate Intake is 30 mg/day for birth to 6 months, and 75 mg for 7-12 months.

Source: Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health

Which Foods Have Magnesium?

Pumpkin seeds
Soy beans
Black beans
White beans
Tomato sauce
Oatmeal and oat bran
Brazil nuts
Lima beans
Beet greens
Pinto beans
Brown rice
Kidney beans
Garbanzo beans

What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Magnesium?

Magnesium is widespread in our foods, and deficiencies are rare for people consuming a balanced diet. Some medical conditions can cause deficiency. For example, diarrheal diseases like Chron’s can cause magnesium malabsorption and deficiency.

Some medications, like diuretics and antibiotics, can impact magnesium status. Elderly people frequently have poor absorption as well as low intake, which can lead to deficiency. Initial symptoms of magnesium deficiency include nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue, all of which can have other causes.

More severe deficiency can lead to cramps, numbness, abnormal heart rhythm, muscle contractions and seizures. Blood magnesium level drops, and levels of other minerals, such as calcium and potassium may also decrease. A severe deficiency must be diagnosed by a doctor, with blood tests.

If you’re one of the many people who don’t get quite enough magnesium from diet, your best bet is to boost intake by paying attention to high magnesium.

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