In today’s modern diet, most Americans don’t get much magnesium from the foods they eat. Like other vitamins and minerals, if you don’t get enough, you’re likely to suffer from certain symptoms.
Magnesium is essentially very important for brain biochemistry, heart and muscle function, calcium absorption, and other metabolic related mechanisms in the body.
Once you have a deficiency, you’ll need a lot more than the recommended daily amount in order to make up for the deficit. Deficiencies don’t just erase themselves on their own!
Here are four symptoms / health conditions that are signs that may indicate a current lack of magnesium in your diet.
1. Hearing Loss and Tinnitus (ringing of the ears)
In one study of 90 guinea pigs exposed to a loud noise, Chinese scientists found that magnesium inhibits free radical formation that is related to hearing damage in the cochlea. This tells us that magnesium may be very important to those of us who work in jobs where loud noises are common, such as those who work at airports, rock concerts, and jobs with loud industrial equipment.
Besides the risk of hearing loss, ringing in the ears can also occur. Imagine having to listen to a constant ringing sound all day long without being able to stop it. Fortunately, scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona found that a supplement of 532 mg magnesium given to 26 patients with ringing in the ears (tinnitus) for three months showed a significant decrease in the severity of their condition.
Unknown to most, one of the primary signs of magnesium deficiency is depression. In fact, doctors who practiced a century ago administered magnesium sulfate to patients with depression.
In one study at a psychiatric hospital in Croatia, blood samples were tested for magnesium concentration in 79 depressed patients who had attempted suicide and 101 patients who were depressed but didn’t try suicide. The study found that those who had attempted suicide had significantly lower levels of magnesium.
|Birth to 6 months||30 mg*||30 mg*|
|7–12 months||75 mg*||75 mg*|
|1–3 years||80 mg||80 mg|
|4–8 years||130 mg||130 mg|
|9–13 years||240 mg||240 mg|
|14–18 years||410 mg||360 mg||400 mg||360 mg|
|19–30 years||400 mg||310 mg||350 mg||310 mg|
|31–50 years||420 mg||320 mg||360 mg||320 mg|
|51+ years||420 mg||320 mg|
*Adequate Intake (AI)
source: National Institute of Health
3. Heart Arrhythmias
According to doctors at the Henry Low Heart Center at Hartford Hospital, Connecticut, a large percentage of patients with arrhythmias have an intracellular magnesium deficiency. This is also the reason why, magnesium is often used in the treatment of patients suffering from this condition.
4. Kidney Stones
Many people believe that kidney stones are related to too much calcium in the body. The truth of the matter is that kidney stones are the result of low magnesium levels.
Magnesium acts as a kidney stone inhibitor, interfering with the binding of calcium and oxalate that combines to form the stones in the first place. But there’s a catch – there has to be enough magnesium in the body to do this. If you ever had kidney stones before, you’ll want to make sure you eat enough dark green leafy vegetables or take a magnesium supplement.
If you have any of these health conditions or symptoms, see your health practitioner to find out if magnesium may help you.