Magnesium is a mineral that plays a vital role in many aspects of health. It is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, such as energy production, protein synthesis, and DNA replication. It is also essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system, the muscles, the bones, and the cardiovascular system.
It is a mineral that you need to pay attention to, as it can affect your health and well-being in many ways. In this post, we will provide more about how long it stays in your body, along with other important details.
The Timeline is Variable
About 50 to 60 percent of the total amount in the body is found in the bones, while the rest is distributed in the muscles, organs, and fluids. The amount of magnesium that you ingest daily from food and supplements is not all absorbed by the body.
Considering that it takes somewhere between 30 minutes and 6 hours to start working, the absorption rate varies depending on the type and bioavailability of the source, as well as the presence of other nutrients and substances that can enhance or inhibit its absorption. Therefore, the length of time that magnesium stays in your body can range from 12 to 24 hours in most cases, but it can be longer or shorter depending on various factors.
Factors That Affect the Levels
As we already mentioned, the levels are not constant. Some of the factors are related to how the mineral is absorbed, utilized, and excreted by the body, while others are related to the individual’s dietary intake, kidney function, age, and health conditions.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors and how they can affect magnesium levels in the body.
- Absorption: The absorption depends on the type and bioavailability of the source, as well as the presence of other nutrients and substances that can enhance or inhibit its absorption.
- Utilization: The utilization is related to the body’s demand for the mineral, which can vary depending on the level of physical activity, stress, and hormonal changes.
- Excretion: The excretion of magnesium depends on the kidney function, fluid intake, and intake of the individual. The kidneys are responsible for regulating the levels in the blood and excreting the surplus through urine. The normal urinary excretion is about 120 milligrams per day.
- Dietary intake: The dietary intake is the main source of the mineral for the body. The recommended daily intake for adults is 310 to 420 milligrams per day. However, many people do not meet this requirement, as the average intake in the US is only 250 milligrams per day.
- Age: The age of the individual can also affect the levels in the body, as the absorption and retention tend to decrease with age.
- Health conditions: The health conditions of the individual can also affect it, as some diseases and medications can cause higher loss or imbalance.
How to Measure It?
If you want to know how much magnesium you have in your body, you may need to take one or more tests that can measure the mineral in different ways. There are several methods available.
- Blood test: This is the standard and most widely used method of measuring magnesium levels. It involves taking a blood sample and analyzing the amount of magnesium in the serum, which is the liquid part of the blood.
- Urine test: It involves collecting a urine sample and analyzing the amount of magnesium excreted in the urine.
- Hair analysis: This one involves taking a hair sample and analyzing the amount of magnesium in the hair.
- Red blood cell test: RBC is a more specific method of measuring magnesium levels. It requires taking a blood sample and analyzing the amount of magnesium in the red blood cells, which are the cells that carry oxygen in the blood.
- Ionized magnesium test: A newer and more accurate method of measuring magnesium levels. The process involves taking a blood sample and analyzing the amount of ionized magnesium, which is the form of magnesium that is biologically active and available for the body’s processes.
|Widely available, easy to perform, can detect both low and high levels
|May not reflect total body magnesium, can be affected by many factors
|Can indicate kidney function, magnesium loss, and magnesium intake and absorption
|Can be influenced by fluid intake, kidney function, and other electrolytes
|Can provide long-term indication, can reveal other minerals and heavy metals
|Can be affected by hair color, hair treatments, environmental exposure, and laboratory methods
|Can reflect intracellular magnesium levels, can detect magnesium deficiency earlier
|Can be affected by hemolysis, anemia, and inflammation
|Ionized magnesium test
|Can provide more precise measurement, not influenced by other factors
|Not widely available, requires special equipment and techniques
How to Optimize Daily Intake?
If you want to optimize your intake of this mineral, you may consider taking a supplement. However, not all supplements are created equal. There are different types of supplements available, and they vary in their absorption, effectiveness, and side effects.
What Are the Best Supplements?
- Citrate: This type is a compound of this mineral and citric acid. It is one of the most popular and bioavailable forms of this mineral, meaning it is easily absorbed by your body.
- Glycinate: This type is a compound of this mineral and glycine, an amino acid. It is well tolerated by most people and causes minimal side effects.
- Malate: This type is a compound of this mineral and malic acid. It is highly bioavailable and fast to absorb. It may be beneficial for people with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, as it may help with energy production and muscle pain.
- Oxide: This type is a salt that combines this mineral and oxygen. It is not very well absorbed by your body and may cause digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
|Popular, easily absorbed
|Well tolerated, minimal side effects
|Beneficial for energy production, helps with muscle pain
|Bloating, gas, diarrhea
|Less absorbed, may cause digestive issues
How to Make the Right Choice?
When choosing a supplement, you should consider the following factors:
- Main Goal: What do you want to achieve with the supplement? Do you want to prevent or treat a deficiency, improve a health condition, or enhance a certain function?
- Dosage: How much of this mineral do you need per day? Do you need to adjust your dosage according to your age, sex, weight, or health status?
- Type: Which type of supplement is best for you? Do you prefer a capsule, powder, tablet, or liquid form? Do you need a specific type of this mineral that is more suitable for your condition or goal?
- Quality: How do you know if the supplement is safe and effective? Do you check the label for the ingredients, purity, potency, and expiration date? Do you look for third-party certifications or seals of approval?
- Budget: How much are you willing to spend on the supplement? Do you compare the prices and value of different brands and products?
What are the causes of magnesium deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency can be caused by several factors, such as low dietary intake, poor absorption, increased loss, or increased demand. Some of the common causes of magnesium deficiency include malnutrition, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney diseases, alcoholism, diabetes, stress, pregnancy, lactation, and aging .
What are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency can cause various symptoms, such as muscle cramps, spasms, and weakness, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, and constipation.
How can I test my magnesium levels at home?
You can test your magnesium levels at home by using a urine test kit or a hair analysis kit. These kits are available online or in some health stores. However, these kits may not be as accurate or reliable as the tests performed by a healthcare provider.
How often should I take magnesium supplements?
The frequency of taking magnesium supplements depends on your individual needs and preferences. Some people may need to take magnesium supplements daily, while others may only need to take them occasionally or as needed.
Remember that magnesium is a vital nutrient that supports many functions in your body, such as nerve and muscle function, bone health, and blood pressure regulation. However, magnesium levels can vary depending on your diet, kidney function, age, and health conditions. Therefore, it is important to monitor your magnesium levels and adjust your magnesium intake accordingly.