Magnesium is an essential mineral used in over 300 reactions that keep our bodies functioning and healthy. It is especially crucial for children, due to its contribution to health and development.
Restful sleep is essential for children, it’s during deep sleep that important hormones are released that help children grow and develop and is recommended that children have a minimum of 9-12 hours of sleep a night up to the age of 12.
Magnesium aids sleep by regulating neurotransmitters that send signals to the nervous system and brain, calming these areas and allowing the body to relax ready for sleep.
Without quality sleep, children can struggle to have steady energy throughout the day and maintain levels of concentration at school. This is also because magnesium is required to bind with ATP (the body’s source of energy) to form the Mg-ATP complex which makes it biologically active. This is a key process so the body can use it for over 300 reactions that regulate blood pressure, muscle contraction and energy production to name a few.
Younger children are more susceptible to infection due to their immature immune system, there are certain vitamins and minerals that the body requires to help keep defences strong, one of those is magnesium. Magnesium is an important co-factor for the formation of antibodies which target invading pathogens, helping children to fight of infections and illness and keeping them healthy.
Healthy bones and teeth
During childhood and adolescence, our skeletal system undergoes a lot of change as we grow in order to achieve peak bone mass. Magnesium is a vital part of developing healthy bones as it aids the conversion of vitamin D into its active form, enabling calcium absorption into the bones.
Recommended daily dose of magnesium for children
Magnesium can be found in a wide variety of foods, including leafy greens, meat, fish and fruit. However, over 70% of children aged 11-14 years are at risk of not getting enough magnesium through diet alone.
The RDA for children is listed below:
1-3 years > 80mg
4-8 years > 130mg
9-13 years > 240mg
*There is no upper limit for transdermal (through the skin) magnesium as the body naturally eliminates any excess amounts.