Most Americans would greatly benefit from increasing their intake of magnesium. Magnesium is found in foods such as nuts, seeds, leafy greens, peas, beans, and whole grains. Supplementation is also a good way to increase this vital nutrient while not increasing caloric intake.
Few people are truly deficient in magnesium, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared magnesium to be a shortfall nutrient, meaning there is a high prevalence of inadequate dietary intake of magnesium. Those at highest risk are people who can’t absorb nutrients well, those who have chronic gastrointestinal issues, and people who drink alcohol excessively and don’t eat a balanced diet. Female athletes and people on restrictive diets are also more likely to be low in this micronutrient.
The body typically contains about 25 grams of magnesium. Magnesium is critical for the generation of energy and it is used to power enzymes, increase RNA/DNA synthesis during cell growth and division, and support bone/mineral homeostasis. Magnesium is also essential for support of healthy cardiovascular function and the normal processing of glucose.
Dr. Thorburn is a Registered Nurse and a Doctor of Chiropractic. She also has advanced training in nutrition.