Magnesium deficiency

Do I have a magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium is a substance found everywhere in nature. The human body contains an average of 28 g of magnesium, of which more than half is in the bones. This mineral plays a crucial role in dozens of physical processes.

Here is a brief summary of the importance of magnesium to the human body:

  • Along with calcium, magnesium promotes the development of strong bones. Here, a good balance between magnesium and calcium is essential. Too much calcium and too little magnesium results in calcification in the veins, muscles and joints. 
  • Magnesium plays a significant role in energy supply and muscle contraction. It removes lactic acid following exertion or strain. People who put a lot of pressure on their muscles cannot do without magnesium. 
  • Magnesium is essential for keeping the heart in good condition. After all, the heart is the body's largest muscle. 
  • Magnesium is a very important to our energy supply and metabolism because of - amongst others - the role that it plays in the production and transport of ATP and insulin, which regulates our blood sugar levels. 
  • Magnesium promotes relaxation. All the cells in the body need magnesium in order to expel calcium and be able to come to rest. 
  • Magnesium benefits the skin. It rejuvenates and refreshes the epidermis. 

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is a guideline determined by the Health Council that indicates how much we need on average per day in order to remain healthy. The magnesium RDA differs from men to women:

Women: 250-300 mg/day (NB: 50 mg more for breastfeeding women)
Men: 300-350 mg/day

Actual individual requirements depend on personal factors and lifestyle. Excess magnesium is immediately expelled by the body. Various studies by bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) have indicated that 20% to 70% of adults suffer from chronic magnesium deficiency. A magnesium deficiency can result in wide-ranging problems. These generally start as pain in the feet, muscle cramp and/or listlessness. Ignoring these problems can lead to more serious conditions. Magnesium deficiencies are associated with depression, as well as with cardiovascular diseases and rheumatism.