Magnesium is a mineral stored in your bones, tissues and cells that is important in producing energy, muscle and nerve function, heart health and bone strength. You absorb magnesium into your system through your small intestines when you eat foods such as spinach, whole grains, nuts, beans, bananas, milk, and salmon.
High Magnesium Levels - While not as common as low levels, high magnesium levels are typical in those with kidney damage or those who take certain drugs. Excessive levels of magnesium can cause serious complications, including cardiac arrest
Low Magnesium Levels - Low magnesium levels can indicate inefficient mineral absorption often caused by excessive alcohol consumption, underlying kidney problems, certain medications, celiac disease or chronic digestive issues. Over time, magnesium deficiency can lead to decreased calcium and potassium levels, weak bones and negative effects on your heart.
Symptoms of long-term magnesium deficiency can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness and fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle spasms
Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is an essential vitamin and plays an important role in blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA. It is found in foods such as meat, fish, dairy, and fortified foods such as breakfast cereal and is widely available as an oral supplement.
High Vitamin B12 Levels - Abnormally high B12 levels may suggest liver or kidney problems, diabetes, or certain forms of leukemia. Megadoses of the vitamin can lead to acne and rosacea.
Low Vitamin B12 Levels - While vitamin B-12 deficiency is not common in the US, people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet might be prone to this deficiency because plant foods don’t contain vitamin B-12. Older adults and people with digestive tract conditions that affect absorption of nutrients may also be susceptible to vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Symptoms of low vitamin B12 levels:
- Muscle weakness
- Intestinal problems
- Nerve damage
- Mood disturbances
Folate (vitamin B-9) is important in red blood cell formation for healthy cell growth and function. This nutrient is crucial during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine. There is evidence folate can reduce the risk of various cancers and is helpful in treating depression.
High Folate Levels - While excess folate levels aren’t usually dangerous, they are linked to some conditions, including certain types of cancers.
Low Folate Levels - could be caused by the following: high alcohol consumption, diet low in folate, genetic factors and certain medications.
Symptoms of low folate:
- Gray hair
- Mouth sores
- Tongue swelling
- Growth problems
For most, a balanced diet usually provides all the folate you need. Folate is found in dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, oranges, lemons, bananas, melons, and strawberries. The synthetic form of folate is folic acid and is in many fortified foods, such as cereals and pastas.
Iron is an essential nutrient that is required for the production of healthy red blood cells (RBC) which binds oxygen in the lungs and releases it as blood circulates to other parts of the body.
High Iron Levels: iron overload, or hemochromatosis, is a condition in which your body stores too much iron. Excess iron can build up in the heart, liver, joints, pancreas, and pituitary glands. Untreated, it can cause organ damage and lead to a heart attack.
Symptoms of high iron:
- Joint pain
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of sex drive
- Heart failure
Low Iron Levels, or anemia, occurs when your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells. The red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Every organ and tissue in your body needs oxygen to work properly.
Symptoms of low iron:
- Short of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Cold feet and hands