Many of us suffer from a magnesium deficiency. This mineral is involved in a large number of metabolic reactions, including those related to stress. What is the relationship between this mineral salt and stress? What are the benefits of magnesium in the fight against daily stress? How does vitamin B6 reinforce its action?
What is stress?
In 1948, Doctor Hans Selye highlighted the “general adaptation syndrome” (GAS).
What we more commonly call “stress” is a general alarm reaction of our body when it is subjected to an external aggression. It corresponds to an attempt to adapt to a new environment.
This response of our body corresponds to the SGA, a set of biological reactions that can be broken down into three phases.
The alarm phase
The alarm phase is a normal emergency reaction of the body suddenly exposed to an external aggression.
Various physiological changes are triggered, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, dilated pupils and increased muscle tone. Alertness, memory and thinking ability are enhanced by adrenaline.
This alarm phase lasts between a few minutes and 24 hours. After that, we enter the resistance phase.
The resistance phase
Also known as the endurance phase, the resistance phase is the response to prolonged exposure to an aggression.
The physiological manifestations subside, but the body calls on other resources to try to adapt to this situation that persists. In particular, it secretes endorphins, dopamine, cortisol, dopamine and serotonin.
The exhaustion phase
Faced with an aggression that lasts over time, our body is unable to cope. In suffering, it depletes its energy reserves while other functions lose efficiency.
The consequences can be serious, both physically and psychologically: exhaustion, chronic fatigue, irritability, depression, damage to the cardiovascular system with the risk of heart attack, a drop in the immune system, etc.
How does magnesium help fight stress?
Magnesium (Mg) is a very important mineral salt in the human body. It is involved in more than three hundred metabolic reactions, from the bones to the immune system to memory.
Stress lowers Mg concentration
Because of our hectic lifestyles, we are constantly subjected to stressful situations. We have to rush to pick up the kids, perform well at work and much more.
Whenever we are subjected to a perceived aggressive stimulus, our body releases a large amount of norepinephrine. Also called norepinephrine, norepinephrine is a hormone and neurotransmitter similar to adrenaline.
While this molecule provides an almost instantaneous response, it also causes the excretion of magnesium. In short, our body eliminates magnesium. Since this mineral salt is less present in our body, it offers less resistance to stress. In order to cope with it, more noradrenaline is released by our body into the bloodstream.
This even more massive release of norepinephrine causes more and more magnesium to be removed. This endless loop leads to a state of hypomagnesemia. This term refers to a blood magnesium concentration that is too low (< 1.8 mg/dL or < 0.70 mmol/L). Hypomagnesemia characterizes a significant stress, both in its duration and intensity.
Magnesium, the best anti-stress
To break this loop, which inevitably leads to very complicated situations, it is enough to compensate for the lack of magnesium.
This can be done through the diet. It is found in large quantities in dark chocolate, wheat germ, almonds and green vegetables. However, this is generally not enough to quickly return to a normal situation. Food supplements allow to recover a calmer state, more quickly.
Indeed, this intake of magnesium reduces the release of chemical messengers related to stress in the blood. It also helps to increase the secretion of serotonin.
It is aptly named the happiness hormone because it influences the feeling of well-being. Anxiety is reduced, nights are less agitated, irritability is less marked. It facilitates muscle relaxation and has a beneficial effect on tachycardia.
Vitamin B6 and magnesium, the perfect anti-stress cocktail
The benefits of magnesium are numerous, particularly for nervous balance.
Anti-fatigue, muscle relaxant, anti-stress, it contributes daily to a good balance and good health. In association with vitamin B6, the benefits of magnesium are reinforced.
Indeed, these elements have a complementary action:
- Magnesium is very present in the human body. It is found in the liver, heart and muscles. With regard to stress, it helps regulate muscle tone, blood pressure and heart rate. It plays a central role in nerve transmission. So many actions that can be described as relaxing;
- Vitamin B6 contributes to a better assimilation of certain nutrients, including magnesium. Among its many other properties, vitamin B6 plays a role in the proper functioning of the immune system. It also contributes to the maintenance of mental balance.
How to cover your magnesium needs to fight against stress?
Magnesium deficiency is very common in the world today.
According to various studies published in recent years, at least one adult in five is affected. The origin of this deficiency is very diverse. It can be related to an illness, a medical prescription, stress or an unbalanced diet.
To cover our daily needs, we need at least 360 mg for a woman and 420 mg for a man. These figures increase for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
This obviously requires a more balanced diet that includes some of the many foods with a high magnesium content. These include wholemeal bread, brown rice, spinach, bananas, prunes and dark chocolate.
However, in times of stress, it may be a good idea to use the Argalys food supplement, which combines magnesium (50% of the RDA per capsule) and vitamin B6 with potassium. This food supplement allows you to take advantage of the benefits of magnesium, in particular to find a calmed state. Nervous fatigue is reduced, cramps fade, sleep is restful.
Our Multivitamin food supplement can also be an alternative solution because it also provides 25% of the RDA in Magnesium, which is perfectly adapted to ensure good coverage of average daily needs.