Trace elements

Magnesium : all about this essential trace element

The fourth most common mineral in the body, magnesium is essential to our health. In addition to its well-known positive effects on stress and irritability, it also works on many other levels: muscle contraction, bone mineralization, chronic fatigue, etc. Although many common foods are full of magnesium, the body can not store or synthesize it. It is necessary to take care to bring enough and constantly to avoid the inconvenience related to a lack of magnesium.

Magnesium Characteristics:

  • Essential trace element that the body can not synthesize or store
  • Intervenes in more than 300 metabolic reactions
  • Mostly found in mineralized waters, oilseeds and pulses
  • Effective against stress, cramps and bone demineralization
  • Its assimilation requires the presence of vitamin B6 in sufficient quantity

Why consume foods rich in magnesium?

Benefits and Roles of Magnesium in the Body

Reduces stress

Magnesium intervenes in the nervous system and more particularly on the release of serotonin that it stimulates. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter anti-stress and soothing par excellence. A good intake of magnesium therefore helps to limit stress, irritability and promote quality sleep.

Muscular contraction

Magnesium is a guarantee of normal muscle contraction. In other words, in case of lack of magnesium, the muscles are much more exposed to various unpleasant phenomena: tetany, cramps, spasms, etc.

Bone Mineralization

The bone mass contains about 50% of the total magnesium present in the body. In the teeth and bones, magnesium allows the good fixation of calcium thus ensuring the growth and strength of bone tissue.

Prevention of Metabolic Diseases

Magnesium plays a significant role in the quality of nerve impulses and the good contraction of the heart muscle. It is involved in no less than 300 metabolic reactions. All the roles played by magnesium in the body make it a particularly effective trace element to prevent metabolic disorders, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

20 foods rich in magnesium

Foods Servings (mg)
Dry roasted soy beans1 cup273 mg
Dark chocolate 70%100 g208 mg
Pumpkin and squash seeds, dehydrated1/4 cup207 mg
Dehydrated Brazil nuts1/4 cup133 mg
Black or white beans, lima beans, cooked250 ml (1 cup)102-127 mg
Breakfast cereals, 100% bran (All Bran type)30 g111 mg
Roasted almonds1/4 cup97-107 mg
Baked Atlantic Halibut100 g107 mg
Cooked pinto beans1 cup90 mg
Cashew nuts roasted dry or in oil1/4 cup89-90 mg
Dehydrated pine nuts (pine nuts)1/4 cup86 mg
Baked Atlantic Pollock100 g86 mg
Mixed nuts, including peanuts, roasted1/4 cup85 mg
Boiled spinach1/2 cup83 mg
Lentils and split peas, boiled1 cup75 mg
Tuna (red or yellow fin) baked100 g64 mg
Germ of raw wheat30 g64 mg
Potato with peel, baked150 g47-52 mg
Boiled beet leaves1/2 cup52 mg
Artichoke boiled1 average (120 g)50 mg

Note that mineralized waters such as Hépar, Badoit, Rozana, Quézac or Contrex contribute significantly to the coverage of the body’s magnesium requirements.

How to use magnesium?

Use of magnesium

Magnesium requirements

The body can not make magnesium or store it. For these reasons, it is imperative to ensure a constant and sufficient supply of this element which is essential for the proper functioning of the human body. Here is a table listing the magnesium requirements of the different populations:

Recommended Dietary Allowance (ANC)
Babies 0-6 months30 mg *
Babies 7-12 months75 mg *
Babies 1-3 years old80 mg
Children 4-8 years old130 mg
Boys 9-13 years old240 mg
Girls 9-13 years old240 mg
Boys 14-18 years old410 mg
Girls 14-18 years old360 mg
Men 19-30 years old400 mg
Women 19-30 years old310 mg
Men 31 years and older420 mg
Women 31 years and older320 mg
Pregnant women350-360 mg
Nursing women310-320 mg

* Sufficient contributions

Magnesium in food supplements

Magnesium dietary supplements can be found very easily and in different forms: magnesium chloride, marine magnesium, capsules, etc.

Magnesium chloride is in the form of white crystals or chips. Very inexpensive, it can treat many conditions: eczema, stress, decreased immune defenses, transit disorders, kidney stones, etc. As for the dosage, 20 g of magnesium chloride should be diluted in 1 to 2 liters of water. It is recommended to drink 200 ml of this drink daily, preferably when waking up. Magnesium chloride is not a particular health hazard. However in cases of diarrhea, hypertension, dehydration, heart failure or renal it is better to seek the advice of a doctor. In the elderly, its use is not recommended.

Marine magnesium is extracted from seawater. It is recommended to consume it in the form of a cure for 1 to 6 months and especially in case of stress or chronic fatigue. The dosage depends on the problem and the context, please seek advice from a health professional.

It is important to note that magnesium is much better absorbed in the presence of vitamin B6, regardless of the complement chosen make sure it contains both for optimal effect.

Adverse effects of magnesium

Consequences of a lack of magnesium

The symptoms of a lack of magnesium are as devious as they are common. Indeed, magnesium deficiency is quickly felt through body signals that do not deceive: eyelid spasms, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, cramps, tetany, irritability, stress, headache or tingling and numbness. If you notice many of these symptoms, talk to your doctor.

Consequences of excess magnesium

Although extremely rare, excess magnesium can cause more or less serious discomfort, it is called hypermagnesemia. In this case, it is possible to observe digestive disorders (nausea, diarrhea), a drop in blood pressure or breathing difficulties. Excess magnesium can also aggravate pre-existing heart or kidney failure.

Interaction of magnesium with vitamin B6

The action and assimilation of magnesium are greatly facilitated in the presence of vitamin B6, so it is essential to ensure that you consume enough to avoid magnesium deficiency. In addition, magnesium is involved in the use of potassium, calcium and many vitamins (B, C, E, D). Having a sufficient intake is therefore particularly important.

Chemical Properties

The magnesium symbol is Mg, its atomic number is 12. The atomic molar mass of magnesium is 24.305 u. In the natural state it is an earthy metal of dark color. Magnesium is the fourth most present element in the body and the ninth in the universe, so it is a very important element for humans and their environment.

In addition to its interest in oligotherapy and medicine, it is used by the automotive industry, in mechanics and metallurgy for the production of fuels or alloys.

Nutrient History

The name magnesium comes from a Greek neighborhood called Magnesia whose environment was extremely rich.

In 1755 he was recognized as an element by J. Black. However, it was only after 1800 that scientists managed to isolate it to obtain pure magnesium.

Long used in metallurgy or mechanical industry, it has also always interested biochemists because of its key roles in metabolism. It intervenes indeed in more than 300 metabolic reactions which makes it a trace element essential to the health.