What do 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 of your 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 PPIs (proton-pump inhibitors) might lower your body’s magnesium level. For some folks, 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 even seizures, and it can be associated with diabetes and high blood pressure.
Making sure you get enough every day offers slight protection against high blood pressure and may boost brainpower (it does in lab rats and mice). Now a new study has found that every 100-milligrams-per-day decrease in a person’s magnesium intake is associated with a 24 percent increase in the occurrence of pancreatic cancer. (The average daily intake of U.S. adults leaves them 100-125 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. Gals, aim for 310-360 mg of magnesium daily from food and supplements; guys, 400-420 mg.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.