magnesium protects your metabolism

How Magnesium Protects Your Metabolism

More Magnesium Means Less Obesity

Best known as the "anti-stress mineral," magnesium is also crucial for insulin sensitivity. In this way, magnesium protects your metabolism and may lead to lower risk of obesity.

Magnesium Works With BFF Nutrients To Protect Metabolism

When it comes to popularity, magnesium is probably the most fashionable nutrient out there. It’s like the coolest of the cool kids, but unlike most high status individuals, magnesium is friends with everyone.

One reason magnesium is so important is that it is necessary for other trendy nutrients to work right. Vitamin D requires magnesium to transform it into the active form that strengthens bones and protects against inflammation. And calcium works with magnesium to regulate blood pressure and ensure cells are sensitive to insulin.

Then there’s the hundreds of enzymes that require magnesium. As cool as magnesium is, enzymes are like the nerdy best friend: They’re massively important for health but they function in stealth mode, working with magnesium to manipulate how your body works from behind the scenes.

So what happens to those enzymes when magnesium goes missing?

They get depleted, which means the body isn’t working as it should. Your metabolism in particular takes a hit, which is one reason magnesium deficiency is associated with the obesity and diabetes crises.

Understanding the role of magnesium in metabolism is critical. This article will report on research into how magnesium protects metabolism and how a deficiency is encouraging obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Restoring magnesium status should be your first line of defense in preventing these diseases. What follows are all the reason you should make magnesium your best friend forever!

Am I At Risk of Magnesium Deficiency?

Magnesium is essential for life. It is probably the most underappreciated nutrient in light of the high rates of deficiency.

Risk of magnesium deficiency has increased dramatically over the last 80 years due to changes in soil conditions, use of fertilizers and pesticides, and removal of magnesium during food processing. Additionally, the shift away from whole foods to diets high in refined foods has contributed to lack of magnesium in the diet. The U.S. RDA for magnesium is 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women. Surveys show the average person gets about half that.

This has led to deficiency rates of over 50 percent in American and other western populations. Some surveys show that as much as three-quarters of the population is magnesium deficient. Factors that increase risk of magnesium deficiency include lifestyle factors, such as high-intensity exercise, caffeine and alcohol use. Diabetes, GI problems, celiac disease, eating disorders, thyroid disease, heart disease, and hypertension all contribute to magnesium deficiency. Using medications and laxative are also linked with magnesium depletion.

What Are The Risks of Magnesium Deficiency?

Magnesium plays a major role in the metabolism of glucose and it affects the nervous system. Too little is a big problem. Here are examples of how lack of magnesium can negatively affect your life:

More Obesity:

Being the cool BFF that it is, magnesium enables vitamin D and vitamin B1 to “rev” your metabolism. For example, magnesium is necessary for the activation of vitamin B1 into thiamine diphosphate, which is a coenzyme for burning both glucose and fat.

Further, magnesium plays a role in sensitizing cells to insulin. This is important for everyone but especially so for obese individuals who tend to have higher intake of refined grains and simple sugar that flood the blood stream with glucose. The enzymes required for the body to burn glucose are magnesium dependent and a deficiency causes a “sluggish” metabolism. Conversely, getting extra magnesium protects your metabolism.

Increased Diabetes:

Magnesium is inversely associated with the risk of diabetes. Diabetics are practically guaranteed to be deficient in magnesium due to how high glucose levels lead to the loss of magnesium via the urine.

This is bad news because magnesium helps lower insulin release in response to a high-carb meal. Additionally, because glycolytic enzymes depend on magnesium, low magnesium can lead to decreased ATP in cells. When cells lack ATP, they are literally being “starved" because ATP is the body's energy currency. Together, these effects cause inflammation and damage to the pancreatic beta cells, leading to diabetes.

Greater Chance of Metabolic Syndrome:

Metabolic syndrome is what happens when obesity becomes dangerous for health. Metabolic syndrome is combination of excess body fat, especially around the abdominal cavity, hypertension, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and low-grade inflammation—all factors that magnesium may fix.

How does magnesium exert its power?

Magnesium works with calcium protect metabolism in overweight individuals. An unbalanced ratio between these two nutrients maximizes the effect of their single deficiencies. Magnesium also affects the body’s stress response and your ability to clear cortisol. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol lead to higher levels of belly fat and the risk factors for metabolic syndrome.

What Are The Benefits of Magnesium Supplementation?

The question of the day is what can you do to get your magnesium levels up to par?

Fortunately, supplementation is effective for raising magnesium levels and overcoming many conditions. Supplementation benefits are most commonly seen in individuals who are magnesium deficient compared to those who have normal magnesium levels. Here is a brief snapshot of the benefits of supplementation:

In diabetics, supplementing with 250 mg of elemental magnesium for 3 months improved glycemic control, insulin sensitivity, and markers of inflammation (lower C-reactive peptide, HOMA-RI, glycated hemoglobin).

In diabetics, supplementing with 250 mg of elemental magnesium for 12 weeks improved wound healing of diabetic foot ulcers. Glucose metabolism also improved.

In prediabetics, supplementation with 380 mg of magnesium for 12 weeks reduced levels of inflammation, such as CRP, TNF-alpha, and IL-10.

For healthy runners with a low magnesium intake, 500 mg of magnesium daily for 8 weeks reduced muscle soreness and mitigated post-exercise elevations in blood glucose that occur in response to high-carb fueling.

Among people with hypertension, 600 mg of magnesium improved blood pressure, endothelial function, and markers of atherosclerosis.

Take Aways

Correcting a magnesium deficiency is essential for metabolic health and a good quality of life.

Correcting a deficiency should start with a diet high in whole foods that supply magnesium (leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds).

You can improve magnesium status by focusing on strategies to ensure magnesium absorption in the gut, such as repairing GI function.

People with diets higher in processed carbs require more magnesium than those on whole food diets due to higher glucose levels and the fact that refined foods are terribly low in magnesium.

Supplementation should be individualized. Magnesium-deficient individuals may need to increase intake to 10 to 12 mg/kg of body weight for therapeutic benefits.

Magnesium goes well with vitamin D (activates it), calcium (balances it), and probiotics (improve absorption in the GI tract).



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