It is common knowledge that the food we eat can significantly affect our general and dental health. In the recent years the benefits of Calcium and Vitamin D for bone and teeth health, have been promoted widely. But calcium and vitamin D are not the only nutritional factors for structural integrity of the bone. An excess of these nutrients may even have the negative effect. It is important that the calcium and vitamin D are balanced with other nutrients like zinc, vitamin K, and most importantly magnesium.
Magnesium is essential for many biological processes that occur in the body. Besides the calcium absorption, magnesium activates over 300 reactions in the body and it is responsible to maintain proper muscle relaxation, helps stabilize the rhythm of the heart and prevents abnormal blood clothing. It activated many of the B vitamins, which without magnesium are not as effective.
Unfortunately we don’t consume nearly enough magnesium; half of the population has sub-optimal daily intake. Magnesium deficiency is often misdiagnosed because it does not show up in blood work- only 1% of the body’s magnesium is stored in the serum; the rest exists in the cells.
Magnesium deficiency and teeth decay.
No matter how much calcium we take, without magnesium only soft enamel can be formed. If too soft the enamel will lack sufficient resistance to the acids and bacteria and will be prone to decay. As in the building of teeth, magnesium is required for calcium to be properly incorporated in the structure of the teeth.
Magnesium deficiency is associated with periodontal (gum) disease.
Periodontal or gum disease is an inflammation of the jaw bone supporting and keeping the teeth stability. Untreated gum disease can lead to teeth mobility and even losing them.
Magnesium is crucial for jaw bonehealth and is necessary to activate Vitamin D, which turns on the calcium building process. A lot of doctors believe that the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency is an underlying magnesium deficiency.
What causes deficiency?
- Caffeine and alcohol are both diuretic and remove the magnesium from the body.
- Processed food diet and purified drinking water is very low in magnesium.
- Stress: stress causes increased adrenalin production which causes removing of the magnesium from the body.
- Vigorous exercises: sweat removes minerals from the body
- Pregnancy increases the need of higher magnesium intake.
- Gastrointestinal disease can lead to not retaining and loss of magnesium.
Solution: eat up your magnesium.
Magnesium supplements are available, but it is best to obtain any vitamin or mineral through food. A daily recommendation for adult individual is 300-400mg.
The best sources of magnesium are nuts, seeds, dark green vegetables, beans, cocoa, molasses whole grains, and legumes. Magnesium is also added to some breakfast cereals and other fortified foods.
- Sunflower seeds, dry roasted, 1/4 cup: 128 milligrams
- Almonds, dry-roasted, 1/4 cup: 105 milligrams
- Sesame seeds, roasted whole, 1 ounce: 101 milligrams
- Spinach, boiled, 1 cup: 78 milligrams