We require magnesium for over 300 functions in the body. One of the most essential nutrients, keeping your magnesium topped up is vital for sleep regulation, muscle relaxation and energy production.But did you know magnesium can boost your immunity?
Discover how magnesium can boost your immune system, and why you should charge your magnesium batteries to stay fit and healthy.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is one of the most abundant nutrients in the body. It is classified as a mineral, and is found in everything from the earth, sea, animals, food, and humans. Approximately 60% of the body’s magnesium is found in the bone.
This extraordinary mineral is required for a variety of reasons, including supporting your bone health, promoting the absorption of nutrients, building proteins,DNA production and much more.
Because magnesium is a vital necessity in the body, you have to make sure you are achieving the recommended levels for optimal health and wellbeing.
What are the sources of magnesium?
Naturally, magnesium is found in a variety of food sources, including leafy greens, nuts, legumes and seafood.
Magnesium levels vary depending on the source.
However, modern-day farming practices have depleted the soil of magnesium, causing a significant reduction of the mineral in today’s food. Furthermore, processing food also reduces the magnesium concentration.
Benefits of magnesium for the immune system
So we’ve acknowledged that magnesium is key to a variety of bodily functions - and when it comes to immunity, it is equally as important. During a time where infection is on the rise, keeping your immunity shield strong is the best way to stay healthy and avoid contracting illnesses.
But exactly how does magnesium work to promote the immune system? In fact, magnesium has a very strong link with your immune health.
Here is why this mineral can double up as an immune-booster to keep you strong and healthy:
- Reduce inflammation: Magnesium has been shown to reduce inflammatory markers in the body. Inflammation is one of the key drivers of disease, so trying to tone it down will help prevent the likelihood of contracting illnesses (1).
- Fight oxidative stress: Magnesium may have a role in neutralizing harmful molecules in the body that contribute to disease.
- Influence the production of immune cells: Magnesium is required as a co-factor for the production of a variety of cells that make up your immune system.
- Enhancing immune response: Magnesium may help promote signalling and communication between immune cells to defend the body as quickly as possible against pathogens, viruses and bacteria.
- Boosting function of Vitamin D: Vitamin D is an essential nutrient required for a healthy immune response. Magnesium has been shown to have a synergistic relationship with vitamin D in the body.
On-going research is showing clear links between a healthy immune system and magnesium. However, are our magnesium levels where they need to be to maintain healthy immunity?
Are we getting enough magnesium?
Over time, magnesium deficiency may lead to chronic fatigue, increased risk of diseases, irritability and more. Additionally, magnesium deficiency may contribute to insomnia, muscle pain, anxiety and low immunity.Because of soil depletion, the rise in food processing and poor diet quality, we are not getting as much magnesium as we need. According to figures from the World Health Organization, it is estimated that 80% of Americans suffer from low levels of magnesium.
Therefore, even if you think your diet is top-quality, you may not be getting enough magnesium. As well as including more magnesium sources in your diet, you can up your magnesium in other methods.
How to increase your magnesium levels
There are a few ways you can boost your magnesium levels. From supplements to oils and sprays, it can be difficult to decide which is the best method to charge up your magnesium batteries.
Magnesium supplements are becoming increasingly popular, but finding a high quality source that is 100% bioavailable in the body is next-to-impossible. With supplement companies filling their capsules with inferior forms of magnesium, the absorption rates are very low and the effect on your magnesium status is insignificant.
Avoid magnesium supplements that feature cheap quality sources, such as magnesium oxide. On average, this form is only absorbed at a rate of 4-10%.
Probably the easier, more effective method, topical application of a high-quality magnesium oil is a great way to increase your magnesium levels.
Topical magnesium application works by delivering magnesium through the skin, directly increasing your cellular magnesium levels.
Always aim to use a pure magnesium oil that is tested for safety and potency.
The immune system needs magnesium for a variety of reasons, from cellular production to signalling and fighting inflammation. As we are not getting enough magnesium in our diets, it is recommended to boost magnesium levels through topical magnesium application, or bathing in magnesium bath flakes.