There’s a magnificent little nutrient that is responsible for over 300 key body functions and more than 60% of Americans are deficient, but don’t know it. This nutrient can easily make a long list of symptoms disappear. It’s a sleeper nutrient (pun intended) and I recommend it to most of my clients. It’s the mineral, Magnesium (Mg).
Magnesium is a Relaxation and Life Saving Mineral
Anything that is tight-your mood, muscles, head, or stiff and crampy, is a sign of magnesium deficiency. It’s found in all of your tissues and is required for your cells to make energy, and stabilize cell membranes (think insulin resistance). It helps all muscles relax, including your heart, arteries (high blood pressure), and colon.
Doctors actually do understand how critical this mineral is because it’s on the ER carts. If someone’s in trouble because of an irregular heart beat, or heart failure, they are often given intravenous magnesium. Same goes for high blood pressure during pregnancy or seizures.
For some reason, doctors fail to make the leap to using it as on going therapy outside of the emergency room. I would guess that it’s mostly ignored because it’s not a pharmaceutical drug and that’s a shame as it’s inexpensive with no nasty side affects.
Here are signs that you might be magnesium deficient:
Heart Palpitations Migraines/Headaches Seizures
Leg cramps Fibromyalgia
High Blood Pressure Diabetes/insulin resistance
Insomnia Trouble Swallowing
Sore Muscles Heart Attack
Why we’ve become Deficient:
- Our soil has been depleted.
- Pesticides like Roundup and those in GMO groups bind with Mg and other minerals
- Out lifestyles leach what little magnesium we do get with excess stress, coffee, alcohol and sweat. It’s being used up faster than we replenish it.
- The foods that most Americans eat, the SAD diet with highly processed foods are void of magnesium
- Some medications cause magnesium depletion (diuretics and blood pressure medications)
- Genetics: Some people have a harder time than others absorbing magnesium
How much Magnesium do we need?
The RDA says 300 mg/day. Most of us get less than 200 mg/day and would benefit from 400-1000 mg a day. Those who have a difficult time absorbing magnesium can benefit from even greater amounts increasing the dosage slowly to avoid loose stools. I like to add B6 to the mix to increase the absorption. I product I really like it Magnesium Plus.
What foods yield the highest source of Magnesium?
As a nutritionist, I always like to use food as the primary source of getting nutrients. Here’s a list of foods that have a fairly high amount of Magnesium.
½ cup Almonds or Cashews 195 mg
½ cup Buckwheat 175 mg 2 oz. Dark Chocolate 81 mg
½ cup cooked brown rice 84 mg 1 cup Spinach 24 mg
½ cup pumpkin seed 85 mg cup Kale 31 mg
Magnesium (Mg) Supplements are not created equal!!!
Even though food is the best source, many still find that they have signs of inadequate magnesium levels and supplementation is a good way to fill that gap. Magnesium supplements range in price from $9-$35.00 depending on the form/type, quality and quantity of magnesium in the supplement. So, what’s the best way to choose a magnesium supplement? By becoming familiar with the different forms and the benefits of each. The supplements that have a combination of the higher quality forms and are going to be the pricier ones. Most of the time, you’re getting what you paid for.
Oxide: is the cheapest and least absorbable form and is what you’ll find on the shelves of supermarkets and drug stores and will often cause loose stools. It also has an antacid effect which can impair digestion.
Citrate: is helpful for constipation and is better absorbed than the Oxide form and helpful with energy production.
Glycinate: relaxes the mind. Helps with insomnia, anxiety and irritability, and muscle cramping
L-threonate: crosses the blood brain barrier and helps with memory and cognitive function and anxiety
Taurinate: Relaxes the heart and helps with migraines
Malate: Muscle fatigue, fibromyalgia, heart, increases energy, supports digestion, lowers blood pressure, lessens anxiety, and helps with sleep.
Orotate: Boosts athletic performance, good for heart repair and function, boosts DNA function, reduces plaque formation,
Don’t forget the powerful ability of our skin to absorb nutrients! Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is a great way to absorb and get much need magnesium. (Now you know why Epsom salts help with sore muscles.). There is also magnesium sulfate cream available which can be very kid friendly.
Chelated forms improve the absorption of all forms of magnesium and will be stated somewhere on the label and adds more to the cost. Taking B6 along with the magnesium helps absorption as well.
I carry four high quality forms of magnesium: citrate and glycinate in capsule form and a powdered magnesium which has a combination of magnesium malate, L-threonate, and glycinate. I also carry the magnesium sulfate in the cream form. If you’d like to find out more and/or purchase them, please click here. Read more
I’d like to hear from you. Has anyone experienced better sleep, bowel movements, less anxiety, lowered blood pressure, cessation of heart palpitations or a handle on migraines just by taking magnesium? And if so, what form did you take?