What do actors J.K. Simmons ("Whiplash") and Morgan Freeman ("Million Dollar Baby") have in common with magnesium? They're both Best Supporting Actors, just like that essential, but hardly starring, mineral that's required for a good production of your life.
Magnesium is used by 300 regulatory enzymes that control muscle, nerve, protein, bone, glucose, and energy metabolism.
However, eating processed foods and drinking softened water robs many of you of your daily supply of magnesium. Plus, drinking alcohol can quadruple your excretion of magnesium, and medications such as stomach acid-squelching proton-pump inhibitors might lower your body's magnesium level.
For some people, there also might be a genetic cause of magnesium deficiency.
Whatever the reason, lack of magnesium can contribute to fatigue, muscle weakness or cramps, weakened bones, heart rhythm disturbances, and seizures. It can also be associated with diabetes and high blood pressure.
Making sure you get enough magnesium every day offers protection against high blood pressure and may boost brainpower (as it does in lab rats and mice).
A new study has found that every decrease of 100 mg per day is associated with a 24 percent increase in the occurrence of pancreatic cancer. And the average daily intake of U.S. adults leaves them 100 to 125 mg short.
So make sure you regularly eat a variety of beans; buckwheat, quinoa, and brown rice; pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds; kale, collards, spinach; nuts (especially almonds and cashews); and wild salmon.
Ladies, aim for 310 to 360 mg of magnesium daily from food and supplements; guys, 400 to 420 mg.
Posts by Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D. and Dr. Mike Roizen, M.D.
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