Missing Mineral: Report says many Americans low in magnesium
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A report in Consumer Reports on Health reviewed several studies and found that most people, when asked about what might be lacking in their diet, know about nutrients such as protein, calcium or vitamin D but don't think of magnesium.
Half of all Americans were not getting enough each day, the report showed, and it's critical for energy from food to get into the cells so the body can do what it needs to do every day. Picking up a few more foods with magnesium might make a big difference according to the report.
A review of forty studies on the mineral found adding just one to two high-magnesium foods a day can lower the risk of death from all causes including heart failure, diabetes, and stroke. It can also help reduce muscle cramps and migraine headaches.
Some of the best sources include leafy greens such as spinach, nuts and seeds such as almonds, and pumpkin seeds. People also get a healthy dose in beans and in whole grain breads and cereals often fortified with magnesium.
Nobody is quite sure why so many people are deficient in magnesium, but it may be also due to more people taking medications. Some medications , such as those commonly taken for heartburn, appear to lead to lower levels of magnesium in the body. If people are thinking they can just pop a pill, the studies reviewed in the report did find they may work to reduce migraine headaches but not leg cramps.
A vitamin only helps fix something if it's what's missing. So people could try the nutrient if they have concerns. Its always better in food than in pills, however, for absorption.