Magnesium, A Forgotten Mineral

magnesium forgotten mineral

Magnesium, A Forgotten Mineral

What if I told you that there is a mighty mineral that protects against heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and stroke?  I am referring to a particular mineral that most Canadians are not getting enough of in their diets.  This magnificent mineral is magnesium!

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Today’s blog post is focused on the health benefits associated with magnesium.  Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is involved in over 300 biological or enzymatic processes.  Functions of magnesium include: healthy muscle and nerve functioningregulating blood sugar and regulating blood pressure.  Similar to vitamin D, magnesium aids in the absorption of calcium for building strong bones and teeth.

Heart shape


Research studies are discovering that magnesium plays a very critical role in heart health.  A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) followed over 7000 healthy individuals for 10 years and found that those with lower magnesium in their urine were 70% more likely to die of heart disease compared to those with higher magnesium levels.  Researchers are now taking a closer look a low dietary magnesium as a contributor to plaque build up in the arteries, which leads to heart disease.  Magnesium has been found to protect against the development of Type 2 diabetes because this mineral is involved in the production of a hormone (insulin) that helps to control blood sugar.  According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), low levels of magnesium are common in those with diabetes.  If you are diabetic or have elevated blood sugars, it is crucial to meet your dietary magnesium needs.

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Bottom Line:

Magnesium is sometimes referred to as the forgotten mineral because it is frequently over-looked.  If you are looking for a ‘heart healthy’ diet you should think about increasing your dietary magnesium intake.  Be sure to speak with a Registered Dietitian if you are curious about how much magnesium you need.

Link to the best food sources of magnesium!