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The Importance of Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium is a trace element that is used by the body in over 300 different biochemical processes related to digestion, metabolism, oxygenation, nourishment, reproduction Ė in short, in nearly everything that the body does. It is available as magnesium citrate, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium carbonate, magnesium aspartate, magnesium oxide, magnesium gluconate and magnesium sulfate.


The health benefits of magnesium arenít a new discovery. Many older Americans may recall the cobalt blue bottle of Milk of Magnesia sitting in the bathroom medicine chest. For decades, it was a traditional remedy for stomach upset, indigestion and constipation. Itís only recently, though, that nutritionists and scientists have begun to appreciate the full role that the trace mineral magnesium plays in the body.


Magnesium plays a significant role in the development of bones and teeth, as well as in muscle relaxation and contraction. It is necessary for the body to produce and use insulin, and for proper metabolism and energy production. Magnesium supplements like magnesium citrate are often paired with other minerals and vitamins to help treat back pain, muscle cramps, depression and anxiety, high blood pressure and migraines.


Despite its important role in health, national nutritional surveys have found that as many as 65% of American adults donít meet the established recommended daily allowances for magnesium in their diets. This is in large part because of the reliance on processed food in American diets. Because minerals like magnesium are often lost in processing and manufacturing, itís difficult for most Americans to get the amounts of magnesium recommended by the National Institutes of Health Food and Nutrition Board from diet alone. Magnesium deficiency and low magnesium levels are believed by some doctors to be a factor in many of todayís most significant health problems.


Because magnesium is intimately involved in so many of the bodyís processes, itís not surprising to find that the list of illnesses in which it is implicated is wide ranging. The symptoms of severe magnesium deficiency include irregular heartbeat, general fatigue, irritability, nervousness and muscle spasms. More insidious though, are the illnesses and conditions that have been linked to chronically low levels of magnesium in the body. These include heart arrhythmia, type 2 diabetes, migraines, depression, anxiety, asthma, angina, hypertension (high blood pressure), fibromyalgia, muscle cramps and spasms, restless leg syndrome, premenstrual syndrome and osteoporosis.


Because magnesium is so important to the body, taking a daily multivitamin that includes magnesium can be a major step toward good health. While there are many different forms of magnesium available, studies have shown that magnesium citrate is more bioavailable than other forms of magnesium. Citrate also serves as a buffer that can help counter any minor digestive upsets that can accompany taking mineral supplements. Because magnesium citrate also helps boost the effectiveness of other minerals and vitamins, it makes sense to take a high quality total health supplement that includes magnesium citrate along with calcium, vitamins E and A, vitamins in the B complex family and other antioxidant ingredients.


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