Magnesium is an essential mineral for the optimal working of the human body. It is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions and has many functions:
- Helps to maintain normal muscle and nerve function
- Keeps heart rhythm steady
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Keeps teeth and bones strong
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels
- Supports healthy blood pressure within normal ranges and healthy cardiovascular function
- Involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis
It is not surprising then that magnesium deficiency can lead to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue and lethargy.
Unfortunately a typical Western diet does not contain sufficient magnesium to maintain normal magnesium levels and generally speaking, we consume an excess of energy without meeting many of our micronutrient needs. According to the latest national Diet and Nutrition Survey in the UK the average daily intakes for magnesium were below the Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) values for all age groups (with the exception of children under 11 years). NDNS: results from Years 1 to 4 (combined) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Interestingly, over 42% of young sportsmen aged between 15-18 years old have also been reported as being magnesium-deficient. It has been demonstrated that approx. 15mg of magnesium is lost in sweat per day with losses probably being much greater especially in conditions of increased perspiration during exercise, heat and humidity. So magnesium intake is also important for very active sports people. Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis (bmj.com)
Overall, magnesium deficiency is becoming a growing public health concern because of the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, the costs of healthcare and the degree of individual suffering.
What can you do?
One way you can ensure that your diet contains sufficient magnesium is to include nuts, seeds, fibre-rich whole grains, legumes and green vegetables. This will require a change of dietary habits for many. As many of us are reliant on processed foods Nutritionists and Public Health figures from Finland favour a “functional food” approach, where a correction is made in the nutritional composition of extensively used processed foods. One example is reducing sodium in foods and addressing the balance with other minerals such as potassium and magnesium. This approach is by far the easiest way to change the composition of processed food items that a population most likes and is used to eating. When applied to the control of hypertension, the enrichment of processed foods, including table salt, with potassium and magnesium has proven very successful (1-8).
Smart Salt® mineral technology that is used in Suölo® reduced sodium sea salt and seasonings provides an easy to way to both reduce sodium while increasing your magnesium and potassium intake.
We know through extensive clinical trials and observations that a diet that is high in magnesium lowers the risk of:
- Cardiovascular mortality
- All-cause mortality
- Kidney Disease
It’s easy to see why this mineral is often called “Magic Magnesium”.
- Karppanen H, Tanskanen A, Tuomilehto J, Puska P, Vuori J,Jäntti V, et al., Safety and effects of potassium- and magnesium-containing low sodium salt mixtures. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 1984, 6 (Suppl 1):S236-43.
- Geleijnse JM, Witteman JC, Bak AA, den Breeijen JH, Grobbee DE. Reduction in blood pressure with a low sodium, high potassium, high magnesium salt in older subjects with mild to moderate hypertension. BMJ 1994, 309:436-40.
- Gilleran G, O’Leary M, Bartlett WA, Vinall H, Jones AF, Dodson PM. Effects of dietary sodium substitution with potassium and magnesium in hypertensive type II diabetics: a randomised blind controlled parallel study. J Hum Hypertens 1996,10:517-21.
- Kawasaki T, Itoh K, Kawasaki M. Reduction in blood pressure with a sodium-reduced, potassium- and magnesium enriched mineral salt in subjects with mild essential hypertension. Hypertens Res 1998, 21:235-43.
- Katz A, Rosenthal T, Maoz C, Peleg E, Zeidenstein R, Levi Y: Effect of a mineral salt diet on 24-h blood pressure monitoring in elderly hypertensive patients. J Hum Hypertens 1999, 13:777-80.
- China Salt Substitute Study Collaborative Group: Salt substitution: a low cost strategy for blood pressure control among rural Chinese. A randomized, controlled trial. J Hypertens 2007, 25:2011-8.
- Rosanoff A and Clemens R. Managing Magnesium in a Sodium-Dominant Era. International Food Technology June 2010, Vol 64.
- Sarkkinen E et al., Feasibility and antihypertensive effect of replacing regular salt with mineral salt-rich in magnesium and potassium in subjects with mildly elevated blood pressure. Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:88