Magnesium: a mineral against depression

Magnesium is a mineral, which plays an important physiological role for the human body: just think that it acts as an activator of about 300 enzymes, which regulate fundamental metabolic processes. The body content of magnesium in the adult organism is around 20 - 28 g: 60% is present in the bones, 39% in the tissues and about 1% in the extracellular fluids.

However, there are some periods of life in which large quantities of magnesium can be lost or consumed. Prolonged stress situations typical of fast-paced modern life, excessive sweating (especially if linked to intense physical activity), severe burns or injuries, prolonged diarrhea and vomiting, debilitating diseases . For these reasons it is often therefore necessary to intervene with its integration.

Magnesium: functions and properties

Magnesium is used in oligotherapy due to its numerous therapeutic properties: it relaxes the nervous system; performs an antidepressant action, cures cardiovascular diseases ; improves cell regeneration; increases tissue elasticity and eliminates harmful calcifications of soft tissues and joints.

1) Antidepressant and calming action on the nervous system

Magnesium stimulates nerve function, encouraging the transmission of impulses: at the intracellular level, it activates hexokinase, an enzyme that converts glucose into glucose-6-phosphate, the first step of glycolysis (a process by which sugars are "burned" for produce energy), necessary to supply energy to all cells; in particular those nerve and muscle that consume a large amount.

This precious mineral among the many functions exercised, stimulates the production of serotonin, an endorphine that acts on specific receptors of the brain, and which performs analgesic, antidepressant and mood stabilizing action .

Stress tends to deplete the reserves of magnesium because the body uses it for its calming and antidepressant capacity. In fact its deficiency produces depression, nervousness, anxiety, nervous tics and insomnia.

Even in pre-menstrual syndrome and in menopause, due to hormonal imbalances, considerable decreases in magnesium levels have been found, resulting in depression, feelings of inadequacy and irritability .

Find out what and what supreme magnesium is and what contraindications are for

2) Antispasmodic and relaxing action of the muscles

Magnesium stimulates muscle functions and normalizes heart rhythm and prevents cardiovascular diseases: a deficiency of this mineral produces muscle tension and cramps. Hypomagnesemia can produce arterial hypertension and it would also seem to favor the onset of atherosclerosis, especially in the case of a cholesterol-rich diet. For these properties it is indicated to relax the smooth muscles in case of irritable bowel (it favors its functionality, with a gentle laxative effect), headache caused by nervous tension, tachycardia, palpitations and menstrual pain.

3) Re-mineralizing action

Magnesium is essential for the process of mineralization and development of the skeletal system . Strengthens tooth enamel and together with calcium and phosphorus participates in the formation of the skeleton. In fact, about 70% of the body's magnesium is found in the osteoarticular system.

Magnesium: its natural sources

"I learned about the only two remedies against pain, sadness, paturnias and similar sores of the human heart: they are chocolate and time ." These are the words of Tommaso Landolfi, one of the most important Italian writers of the '900 that give us a clue to the major source of magnesium in food.

Among the other foods rich in magnesium we remember, in fact, chocolate, fresch green vegetables and (being an essential element of chlorophyll), legumes and whole grains (because more than 80% is removed by refining treatments), soy, figs, corn, apples, oilseeds, in particular walnuts and almonds, bananas .

Magnesium is also present in fish, garlic, tofu , peaches and apricots .

Overall, diets rich in vegetables and whole grains have a higher magnesium content than diets rich in meat, dairy products and refined foods.

The Mediterranean diet requires a consumption of 254 mg of magnesium per day . While the magnesium intake taken through the water is variable, and has been little quantified: on the basis of a consumption of one liter a day it is possible to assume a quantity that varies from 1 to 50 mg . Magnesium, as well as through food and water, can also be taken in the form of a natural supplement.

In healthy subjects, the magnesium intake is from 3 to 4.5 mg / kg ( 210 - 320 mg / day ), sufficient for maintaining the balance. The recommended intake for the Commission of the European Communities (1993) is 150 to 500 mg / day .

Magnesium, effects of deficiency and excess

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