Magnesium is a mineral that plays a vital role in our body. It is a factor in over 300 chemical reactions that regulate many different bodily functions. Magnesium is essential for protein synthesis, blood glucose level regulation, muscle function, nerve function, and blood pressure regulation. It is also crucial for the development of bone, the synthesis of DNA and RNA, and calcium transport and phosphorus transport across cell membranes. It is important for proper nerve conduction, muscle contractions, and to maintain a normal heart rhythm.
Recommended daily intakes of magnesium depend on your age, gender, and whether you are pregnant or lactating. If you take too much magnesium, your body will eliminate through the daily urine. The average adult requires between 240 mg to 320 mg daily. Many plant and animal foods contain magnesium. The best sources of magnesium include leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. It is also added to many packaged foods and drinks as a dietary supplement.
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Low dietary intake of magnesium will lead to the symptoms of a deficiency. The symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include many different effects because it performs so many different functions in the body. Many of these are difficult to distinguish from other conditions and include symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, and general weakness. As symptoms progress, they involve signs of the disruption of major body functions. Magnesium deficiency plays a major role in the development of heart disease and stroke. People with certain conditions are more prone to magnesium deficiency than the ordinary population. These special risk categories include people with alcohol dependence, type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, and older adults.
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