As one of the body's major essential minerals, magnesium is necessary for your health. Additional major minerals, which include calcium, chloride, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium, make it possible for your body to function properly.
Magnesium plays an important role in regulating chemical reactions and enzyme functions by helping the other minerals perform correctly within the body. The mineral helps manage the use of calcium to aid in bone and teeth protection, and also helps regulate biochemical reactions such as metabolism and electrolyte balance.
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The mineral creates hormones, boosts energy, and maintains the health of cells so the body can perform its everyday activities. Magnesium circulates through the blood system continuously and can also be stored for future use.
The mineral helps with more than 300 reactions necessary for the synthesis of proteins, as well as for the functions of DNA and RNA, which carry out the body’s tasks.
Your body benefits from the magnesium available in foods. A diet that includes green leafy vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, fish, and fruit usually provides your body with enough magnesium. Some people take magnesium supplements if their diet isn’t sufficient or they have magnesium deficiencies.
Nerves and muscles function better because of magnesium. It reduces stomach acid and helps the digestive tract. Magnesium supplements are used as a laxative for constipation and to heal the sour stomach of heartburn or acid reflux.
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Research indicates magnesium helps to lower blood pressure. It has been used intravenously for women during pregnancy to reduce blood pressure and to prevent seizures from the effects of high blood pressure, according to WebMD.
Magnesium has also been given intravenously to treat certain types of irregular heartbeat.
The mineral may prevent diabetes and heart conditions. Doctors recommend or prescribe magnesium supplementation for diabetes and issues related to heart disease. Magnesium has been found to help lower LDL cholesterol, which blocks the arteries and leads to heart disease. The mineral also raises HDL cholesterol levels, which clear the bloodstream of excess cholesterol.
Aside from treating low magnesium levels, magnesium supplements have been used for chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, kidney stones, migraine headaches, osteoporosis, asthma, restless leg syndrome, and leg cramps. Magnesium has also been used as a topical solution to treat skin ulcers, boils, wounds and severe skin infections because of its abilities to regulate cell function.
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