Magnesium – The “Spark of Life” Mineral
BY STEVE BORN
You need magnesium
Thanks to a growing body of research, magnesium and the vital role it plays in many areas of human health is garnering increasing attention. That’s the good news. The bad news is that an estimated 80% of the U.S. population is deficient in this all-important mineral.
How much magnesium?
The government-set Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 420 mg a day for males and 320 mg a day for females. A more appropriate amount to aim for, however, is the Optimal Daily Intake (ODI) standard of 500-750 mg of magnesium. Dr. Shari Lieberman, who developed the ODIs, states: "In order to attain a state of optimum health and disease prevention, we must take into our bodies’ optimum—not minimum—amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Magnesium expert Mildred Seelig suggests even more precise dosages of 2.7 mg of magnesium per pound of body weight, with “those under severe chronic stress or engaged in strenuous work/athletic training” needing a dose of up to 4.5 mg of magnesium per pound of body weight.
Magnesium does SO much
Dr. Paul Hrkal writes, “Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical processes in the body. One of its most important functions is that it plays a key role in producing energy; this makes it vitally important for all cellular functions and processes. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm regular, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Its wide range of health benefits and biological activity make it effective in addressing a number of common diseases and conditions including fibromyalgia, chronic pain, diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and headaches.”
Magnesium can keep you healthier and help you live longer
The results of a large-scale study showed that low serum magnesium levels are significantly associated with an increased risk of dying from any cause in US adults. 
Study subjects whose serum magnesium levels were less than 0.7mmol/L (0.8 – 0.89 mmol/Lis considered to be in the normal range) had a 34% greater risk of dying from any cause over the 40-year follow-up period. Specifically for stroke, low levels of magnesium were linked with a greater-than 2.5 times the risk of dying from this disease. A similar trend was observed for cancer.
The results of this latest research augment research from December 2016, a meta-analysis of 40 scientific publications involving over one million subjects.  Researchers found that the participants in these 40 studies whose magnesium intake was highest was correlated with:
- A 10% lower risk of coronary heart disease
- A 12% reduced risk of stroke
- A 26% decreased risk of type-2 diabetes
Researchers also noted that the results indicate that an extra 100 mg per day dose of magnesium could also reduce risk of stroke by 7%, type-2 diabetes by 19% and death from any cause by 10%.
Another study, published in late 2016, reveals that supplementation with magnesium mimics a primary mechanism of calorie restriction, which is considered to be one of the most effective ways to help slow down the aging process.