Magazine article Psychology Today

The Vanishing Mineral

Magazine article Psychology Today

The Vanishing Mineral

Article excerpt

(KEEN CUISINE)

The more essential magnesium proves for well-being, the harder it is to consume enough.

THE MINERAL magnesium is an essential nutrient that sustains every cell of the body. It helps power all cell functions, and it is critical to over 300 biologically active enzymes. Plants can't do without it either; it regulates photosynthesis and chlorophyll production. The more it is studied, the more important the mineral proves to be for general health. New research stresses the value of magnesium in averting heart disease and stroke and calls outright for clinical trials of the mineral in preventing cardiovascular disease and curbing the rise in metabolic disorders such as diabetes.

Despite magnesium being one of the most abundant minerals in our bodies, deficiency is on the rise. At most, 40 percent of us get enough from the foods we eat Deficiency manifests in symptoms as diverse as insomnia, muscle spasms, arrhythmias, insulin resistance, and anxiety. Magnesium levels in foods are declining, butyour best bet for gettingenough is still to make a deliberate effort to consume a magnesium-rich diet.

* Head Strong

The less magnesium in your diet, the greater your risk of stroke, say Swedish researchers who conducted a metaanalysis of several studies that enrolled nearly 250,000 participants and followed them for up to 13 years. Magnesium protects the brain against reduced blood flow in several ways, the investigators report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It lowers blood pressure, diminishes the risk of diabetes, a known contributor to stroke, and slows the oxidation of fats in the bloodstream.

* Brain Saver

A study of more than 14,000 middle-aged men and women in different parts of the U.S. shows that increased levels of magnesium in the blood- a more precise measure than dietary intake- are inversely associated with the incidence of ischemic stroke. …

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