Achieving Sodium-Potassium Balance to Get the Most Out of Your Magnesium
The Role of Sodium and Potassium in Magnesium Absorption
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a variety of important roles in the body. It is involved in the regulation of blood sugar, blood pressure, nerve and muscle function, and more. However, the body's ability to absorb magnesium can be influenced by the levels of other nutrients, including sodium and potassium.
Sodium and potassium are both electrolytes that play important roles in the body's fluid balance and other functions. They are often found in high levels in processed and fast foods, and many people consume more of these nutrients than is recommended.
Research has shown that high levels of sodium can interfere with the absorption of magnesium in the body. This is because sodium and magnesium are absorbed through the same channels in the small intestine, and high levels of sodium can "crowd out" magnesium and reduce its absorption. This can lead to low magnesium levels, which can cause a variety of problems such as muscle cramps, weakness, and difficulty regulating blood sugar and blood pressure.
On the other hand, high levels of potassium have been shown to enhance magnesium absorption. This is because potassium and magnesium are both positively charged ions, and they can "attract" each other and be absorbed together. This can help to increase magnesium levels in the body and support its various functions.
Remember, people, balance. Sodium is not outright BAD. Magnesium is not outright good. You must consider their relationship to the whole and how they are interacting with the other components of your body.
For diabetics, maintaining healthy levels of magnesium is especially important. Low magnesium levels have been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and adequate magnesium intake may help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of high or low blood sugar. In addition, low magnesium levels have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, a common complication of diabetes. Adequate magnesium intake may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and support overall health in people with diabetes.
One also has to consider the kidneys. With our kidney health, electrolyte balance isn't the only thing a diabetic's kidneys have to worry about. During bouts of prolonged hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugars), excess sugar is excreted via the kidneys. These sugar molecules are much larger than electrolytes and, overtime, can cause physical damage to the filtration structure of the kidneys.
The next time you see your healthcare provider, be sure to mention your electrolyte balance and how that can help maintain your blood sugar levels.