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Magnesium is one of the most important health-promoting minerals, involved in many functions. For example energy production, nerve function, muscle relaxation, insulin production, heart rhythm and bone formation. It is not surprising then that deficiency can increase the risk of heart disease and blood sugar imbalances. Additionally low levels are associated with irregular heartbeat, muscle spasms, irritability, nervousness and confusion.

Magnesium levels are easily depleted in the body. For instance some medication reduces absorption from the diet as will alcohol intake. Moreover magnesium levels are easily depleted by stress and intense physical activity. Also foods can contain substances that reduce magnesium absorption, such as oxalates in spinach and phytates in some seeds and nuts.

In a study of 12,000 people by researchers at John Hopkins university higher magnesium intake was associated with a reduced risk of blood sugar imbalances. Moreover magnesium helps to stem the onset of osteoporosis. And magnesium has been shown in studies to be beneficial for the reduction of migraine symptoms.

Good food sources of magnesium are whole grains, nuts, legumes, dark leafy vegetables and shellfish. Additionally supplementary forms are available, although some types are less well absorbed for example magnesium carbonate, magnesium oxide and sulphate. However some forms are easily absorbed such as magnesium citrate.

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Magnesium