Magnesium: Could this Invisible Deficiency Be Your Missing Link?
Do you suffer from unexplained fatigue or weakness? Are you experiencing abnormal heart rhythms or even muscle spasms and eye twitches? Then low levels of magnesium could be to blame.
I request the magnesium level as part of my patients’ laboratory studies to aid my investigation into their concerns. Not until my research featured last month on how our minerals are removed from the soil by glyphosate (Round Up) by a chelation process, did I realized why the produce we purchase has been found to have such a significant reduction in nutrients. Scientists from various sectors recorded marked change in their nutrient content in comparison with the same produce in the late 70s.
In some instances, magnesium levels were found to be reduced by as much as 75%!
The sad part in all of this is that we, traditionally trained doctors, learn nothing about magnesium being the most important nutrient, one that is essential for our bodies and very little else.
The truth is:
Magnesium’s roles include an extensive list of functions. This reliance on magnesium and our lack of this essential metal can explain why some people suffer fatigue, depression, and anxiety:
Just a few of magnesium’s jobs in our body –
• Activating muscles and nerves
• Creating energy in your body by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
• Helping digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
• Serving as a building block for RNA and DNA synthesis
• Acting as a precursor for neurotransmitters like serotonin
Since the bulk of magnesium is stored inside the cells in your bones and organs, a simple sample of blood to test for magnesium is not very useful. For this reason, it is highly probable for someone to be deficient and not know it. This is why magnesium deficiency has been dubbed the “invisible deficiency”.
I recently met with one of my former physician assistant students who is now with a neurosurgical group. She disclosed that right after surgery, the surgeon administers magnesium to his patients. His understanding that everyone is magnesium deficient allows him to use magnesium as a treatment method to help his patients to heal and thrive.
Various studies have also found magnesium provides us with a host of benefits. For example, magnesium may have particular benefit in offsetting your risk of developing diabetes, if you are high risk.
Some additional support for increasing magnesium intake:
Multiple studies have also shown that higher magnesium intake is associated with a higher bone mineral density in both men and women.
Research from Norway has found an association between magnesium in drinking water and a lower risk of hip fractures.
Magnesium may even help lower your risk of cancer. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that higher intakes of dietary magnesium were associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
Researchers have noted magnesium plays a role in your body’s detoxification processes, helping to prevent damage from environmental chemicals such as glyphosate, heavy metals, and other toxins.
Magnesium takes special care of our brain
Magnesium provides us extra protection for our brain. It’s so protective of the brain that when you run low, you are more prone to migraines, insomnia, anxiety, phobias, brain fog, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
A deficiency of this mighty mineral could result in more frequent headaches, migraines, twitching, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, poor nail growth, and asthma. And if that’s not bad enough, you could also develop leg cramps, tenderness all over your body, a weak heart, high blood pressure, and thicker, stickier blood.
What drains our body’s Magnesium?
- Calcium supplementation (prolonged or in excess)
- Estrogen dominance
- High cortisol levels (Stress)
- High-sugar diet (glucose, fructose, sucrose)
- Malabsorption of any sort (celiac or Crohn’s disease, pancreatitis, crash dieting, anorexia)
- Mineral oil
How can we replenish our magnesium levels?
There are a number of strategies for putting magnesium back into our bodies. As we’ve seen from the information above, these simple changes to our diet and habits could make noticeable improvements in how we feel.
Our first strategy – take magnesium supplements!
The recommended daily allowance for magnesium in our diet is about 300 mg a day. Most of us get far less than 200 mg. Some of us may need much more depending on any conditions we may have. Most people benefit from a magnesium intake of 400 to 1,000 mg a day.
The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, or aspartate. Other forms such as malate, succinate, and fumarate are also good.
Try to avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide. They are poorly absorbed and commonly found supplements. However, supplements are often a good choice because most minerals are best taken as a team with other minerals in a multi-mineral formula.
Read your labels carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist for recommendations on supplements containing the more beneficial forms of magnesium.
Keep in mind you can overdo it!
Side effects from too much magnesium include diarrhea, which can be avoided if you switch to magnesium glycinate.
Some non-supplement ways to increase your magnesium are also available.
Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is a good way to absorb and get much needed magnesium. If you’re not someone who likes a soak in the tub, you can also take a relaxing warm Epsom salts footbath 2-3 times a week to get the same benefits.
Note: People with kidney disease or severe heart disease should take magnesium only under a doctor’s supervision.
You can see why magnesium is such an important part of our nutrition! Take the time to talk with your doctor about checking your magnesium levels and what steps you can take to increase them. There are many benefits to be gained from just a small change!