Archive for June, 2013

Magnesium Blood Test

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Magnesium: Why do you need this mineral?

Most of the magnesium in your body is found in the bone and only 1% of it is found in the blood.  This precious mineral is needed for many of the biochemical reactions in the body:

  1. maintains normal muscle & nerve function
  2. assists with keeping the heart rhythm steady
  3. supports the immune system
  4. keeps your bones strong

Additionally, magnesium is used to help regulate blood sugar levels and will promote a healthy blood pressure.  For diabetics and hypertensive individuals, magnesium can prevent or manage your disease.

Magnesium Blood Test

You may need a magnesium blood test if you have low levels of calcium and potassium or symptoms such as:

  1. muscle weakness
  2. twitching
  3. cramping
  4. confusion
  5. cardiac arrhythmia
  6. seizures

The magnesium blood test is also used if you show signs of malabsorption, malnutrition, diarrhea, or alcoholism.

Many diabetics or those with kidney disease may have regular blood magnesium tests to be sure the kidney is not excreting or retaining too much magnesium.
Other electrolyte tests, in addition to magnesium, may be ordered to determine if any other electrolytes are imbalanced:
  1. sodium
  2. potassium
  3. chloride
  4. CO2
  5. calcium
  6. phosphorus
How to Get Magnesium through Diet

Most green vegetables, lettuce, spinach, kale, etc, contain dietary magnesium.  Additionally, magnesium can be found in a variety of nuts, whole grains and tap water.  The National Institutes of Health indicates that magnesium deficiency is rare in the US, but there are certain people that may need extra through diet or supplementation.

spinach image resized 600

Below is a chart from the FDA to show which foods have the most magnesium content.

Food Milligrams (mg) %DV*
Wheat Bran, crude, ¼ cup 89 22
Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce 80 20
Spinach, frozen, cooked, ½ cup 78 20
Raisin bran cereal, 1 cup 77 19
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce 74 19
Soybeans, mature, cooked, ½ cup 74 19
Wheat germ, crude, ¼ cup 69 17
Nuts, mixed, dry roasted, 1 ounce 64 16
Bran flakes cereal, ¾ cup 64 16
Shredded wheat cereal, 2 rectangular biscuits 61 15
Oatmeal, instant, fortified, prepared w/ water, 1 cup 61 15
Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce 50 13
Peanut butter, smooth, 2 Tablespoons 49 12
Potato, baked with skin, 1 medium 48 12
Blackeye peas, cooked, ½ cup 46 12
Pinto beans, cooked, ½ cup 43 11
Rice, brown, long-grained, cooked, ½ cup 42 11
Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, ½ cup 36 9
Vegetarian baked beans, ½ cup 35 9
Kidney beans, canned, ½ cup 35 9
Chocolate milk, lowfat, 1 cup 33 8
Banana, raw, 1 medium 32 8
Yogurt, fruit, low fat, 8 fluid ounces 32 8
Milk chocolate candy bar, 1.5 ounce bar 28 7
Milk, lowfat or nonfat, 1 cup 27 7
Raisins, seedless, ½ cup packed 26 7
Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces 24 6
Bread, whole-wheat, commercially prepared, 1 slice 23 6
Avocado, cubes, ½ cup 22 6
Chocolate pudding, ready-to-eat, 4 ounces 19 5

*DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers developed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient. The DV for magnesium is 400 milligrams (mg). Most food labels do not list a food’s magnesium content. The percent DV (%DV) listed on the table above indicates the percentage of the DV provided in one serving. A food providing 5% of the DV or less per serving is a low source while a food that provides 10–19% of the DV is a good source. A food that provides 20% or more of the DV is high in that nutrient. It is important to remember that foods that provide lower percentages of the DV also contribute to a healthful diet.

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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