Food is fundamental to the body for its functioning and general support. It is normally from plants or animals which contain the necessary nutrients that the body requires. Some of the nutrients include; carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins and fats. After it is taken by a living thing, then it is assimilated by the cells of the body so as to maintain life, produce energy and stimulate growth. Nutrients are derived from the food we eat every single day. Basic needs like vitamin c, calcium, magnesium and proteins should come from the foods we eat. As a result, there is more than enough nutrients for us remain healthy and active. Unfortunately, in the world today, we often do not eat as required, and this is where daily vitamin supplements become in handy. Vitamins supplements help to ensure proper nutrition in the body.
Magnesium is a body mineral less than phosphorous and calcium amounts in the body. An average adult has 20- 30gms of magnesium. About 60 % of magnesium is found in the bone surface in the form of carbohydrates and phosphates. The remaining magnesium is found in extracellular fluids, blood serum and body cells. Absorption of magnesium from the diet is about 40%. When one takes calcium at high quantities, it leads to increased body requirement of magnesium. Excess magnesium in the body is excreted from the kidneys in the form of faeces.
All living cells require magnesium since it is a catalyst for several biological reactions that involve production of energy. Magnesium is also a constituent of bones and is necessary for normal metabolism of phosphorus and calcium. Magnesium activates some enzymes responsible for the breaking down glycogen. Its existence in extracellular fluids controls the transmission of nerve impulses. The mineral is found in dry beans, cereal products, pea’s soya beans, and nuts. These are essential sources of magnesium. Magnesium is also part of chlorophyll and is found in green vegetables. It is particularly crucial for the body to be provided with 350 mg daily. Magnesium substance of food is much higher than calcium. A diet that is based on cereals contains magnesium that is much higher than calcium, hence provides adequate magnesium to meet the basic needs of the body
Effect of Magnesium imbalances
When the body is fed well with a balanced diet it is rear to have magnesium deficiency. Too much of alcohol consumption may cause chronic magnesium deficiency. Lack of magnesium may be disastrous to the body. It leads to neuromuscular irritability, twitching tremors, convulsions and titanic convulsions. Extreme thirst is also experienced when magnesium has been taken in plenty which in return results to excessive heat in the body.
In the USA, magnesium supplementation is under utilized by conventional health practitioners and is more significant in patient therapy than doctors realize. There exist over 200 published clinical studies that document the need for magnesium in the body (Gandy & Madden, 43). In annual meeting held at the American College of Cardiology, there was limited memoirs on magnesium despite several request made at the National Council on Magnesium and Cardiovascular convention.
In the recent past, conventional medicine's interest in magnesium has only been done by obstetricians, who have applied injectable magnesium sulphate expansively in the treatment of high blood pressure and some complications of pregnancy. Health practitioners have also shown interest in treating patients that suffer from acute heart attacks, chronic cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome diabetes, asthma, and many other disorders using magnesium.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Lack of magnesium in the body can affect virtually every organ in the body system In regard to skeletal muscle, cramps twitches and muscle tension may be realized. There is also evidence of back aches, neck pain, headaches and jaw. Chest tightness may be experienced in addition to a peculiar sensation that hampers a deep breath. According to (Pediatric nutrition handbook), urinary spasms and constipation, impaired contractions of a smooth muscle are some of the symptoms caused by lack of magnesium. The central nervous system is severely affected by lack of magnesium. A Person who lacks magnesium can exhibit insomnia, hyperactivity and restlessness accompanied with constant movement. In addition, the individual may receive panic attacks, and premenstrual irritability.
Diagnosing Magnesium Deficiency
Apart from the symptoms and signs of magnesium deficiency, Laboratory testing of magnesium deficiency is rare since magnesium is found mostly in the cells. The serum magnesium may be ordinary in spite of a serious magnesium deficiency.
The magnesium loading test is one of the best tastes done to ascertain magnesium deficiency. Here, the patient accumulates a 24-hour urine and the total magnesium is measured. A specific amount of magnesium is injected into the body of a patient. This leads to another 24-hour urine specimen collection. If the body will be found to have retained more than a specific amount of magnesium, it is concluded that the body lacks magnesium .This is because of holding on to the magnesium that was injected. The best suited method of diagnosing magnesium deficiency is the combination of signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency that improve with a therapeutic trial of either injected or oral magnesium (Seelig & Andrea 38)
Prevention of magnesium deficiency
Oral supplements of magnesium may be quite beneficial to people who suffer from chronic magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is accessible in many forms. The cheapest is in the form of magnesium oxide, which is not well absorbed as some other forms, Prescription form of magnesium chloride, called Slow-mag, has been useful for patients too.