Are magnesium supplements the secret to elderly health?

Did you know that around 16% of people aged over 65 do not get the recommended daily intake of magnesium? The elderly should consume the following amount of magnesium every day; 270mg for women and 300mg for men. This means that thousands of elderly people are not benefiting from the health and wellness brought about by magnesium and that supplementation is probably required.

People are not getting enough magnesium from their diet and the elderly are more at risk. The growth of processed foods and reliance on ready meals over the past few decades has caused a deficiency of many nutrients and minerals. Intensive farming practices have depleted soil nutrients and this has made it harder to maintain healthy levels of vitamins and minerals in diet alone.

Research into magnesium levels

A recent study published by the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom found a direct link between the physical strength of elderly people and the amount of magnesium present in their muscle tissues. The study used 441 subjects between the ages of 24 and 98 – all of whom are volunteers in a long-term investigation into the effects of ageing.

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) was used to detect magnesium molecules within the muscle tissue of all participants. This resulted in the discovery of a link between muscle power and magnesium content. Magnesium is known to regulate muscle functions and one symptom of deficiency is frequent cramps.

The researchers asked the volunteers to perform a number of physical tasks while they used MRS scans to detect magnesium in the muscles. “We showed that there is as strong a relationship between magnesium and muscle strength in men as there is in women, but women are more at risk of muscle weakness and mobility issues in old age because they have worse rates of magnesium deficiency,” explains Dr Donnie Cameron, the lead researcher during the study.

“This is a new finding. We originally thought this deficiency might be related to the menopause because women tend to lose more magnesium at menopause, but we also looked at younger women and they have lower magnesium levels than men of the same age,” he adds.

Further studies show similar findings

Yet another four-year study conducted by the University of East Anglia used data from 500 000 people aged between 40 and 69. The results from this research showed that elderly people with higher magnesium intakes had significantly bigger and stronger muscles than those with a magnesium deficiency. Everyone’s muscles shrink and lose volume as we get older, so magnesium supplementation is essential to maintain strength and functionality.

While magnesium may be found in nuts, leafy vegetables, seeds and cereals, additional intake may be required to ensure that people meet their daily needs. Elderly generations have a lot to benefit from taking magnesium supplements. Their mobility and strength can be greatly improved simply by meeting recommended daily allowances and ensuring that they eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Magnesium Café offers Mag 2 Powder – an ideal supplement that boosts magnesium levels in your body and one that can easily be added to food, smoothies or simply mixed with water.