Our bodies are a wondrous amalgam of minerals, and keeping up the optimum levels of each of these is important for quality of life and good health. Often overlooked, Magnesium – one of seven essential “macrominerals”– is vital for metabolizing food efficiently, synthesizing fatty acids and proteins, and transmitting nerve impulses.

The best sources of magnesium are nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Because any excess magnesium that is consumed in food will be eliminated in the urine, an overdose of magnesium through dietary sources is unlikely.

For those with allergies, food sensitivities or dietary restrictions magnesium supplements may be the answer. However, because magnesium can interact with or cancel out different drugs, it is best to check with a doctor before adding this – or any – supplement to one’s daily routine.

Magnesium is essential for bone health, as it helps calcium metabolize and assimilate into the bones. Persons suffering osteoporosis or who are on hormone therapy for cancer treatment (which can deplete bone calcium) are often prescribed magnesium along with vitamin D..

Feeling sleep deprived? Magnesium helps maintain the neurotransmitter that promotes sleep and sleep quality, while helping the body and mind deal with reactions to heightened stress and anxiety.

Because it stimulates the enzymes responsible for carbohydrate and glucose metabolism, magnesium is important in helping regulate the body’s insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. A balanced magnesium intake is part of maintaining good pancreatic health.

As well as helping maintain bone and organ well-being, magnesium helps maintain muscles and is an important component in transmitting the electrical signals that help our brains tell us where, when and how to move. The heart – our most important muscle – is particularly affected by this mineral. Magnesium is sometimes used as part of the treatment for congestive heart failure, and to reduce the risk of abnormal heart rhythm.  

An important warning:  anyone with a kidney disorder should consult their doctor before taking a magnesium supplement. While some studies indicate that the double-whammy effect of magnesium plus vitamin D works to improve kidney health, other studies provide dire warnings that very large doses of magnesium can cause a variety of serious problems. The key seems to be moderation: stick to the lower dosage of the supplement, and/or incorporate more magnesium-rich foods in the diet.

Want to discover the various magnesium modalities? Drop by Eric Cardinal Hall at Shirley Macey Park in Gibsons on Tuesdays, Nov. 5, 12, or 19 between 12:30 and 2:30pm, for a meet and greet with the Supernova team. They’ll be answering questions and offering samples in a low-key, no-pressure atmosphere.