Maximize Your Magnesium
Dr. Alan Gaby, a nutrition oriented physician, said that when he first started studying nutritional supplements, Vitamin C was his top nutrient, until he began learning about magnesium, which became his top supplement, and has continued to be his choice of the most important nutritional supplement to this day.
Magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in the body, and one of the most deficient, primarily due to modern chemical agriculture and food processing. Farming soils have been depleted of magnesium, and few farmers add magnesium to soils, including organic farmers.
Magnesium is used in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. When magnesium is insufficient, it is allocated in the body toward daily survival, depriving long term needs, such as bone health, brain health and DNA repair. Magnesium is involved in supporting nerve function, it keeps heart rhythm steady and bones strong. It helps to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure.
Magnesium is important to the health of nearly every cell in the body, especially the heart, kidneys, brain and muscles. Symptoms of deficiency can also include fatigue, abnormal heart rhythms, twitches, muscle spasms and cramps.
Magnesium deficiency increases the risk of arterial calcification. Magnesium reduces sudden cardiac death, the leading cause of death in men aged 30-60. Magnesium also has anti-inflammatory properties, lowering C-reactive protein and other inflammatory markers. Low magnesium is associated with all cardiac risk factors.
In addition to depleted soils and depleted foods, other factors cause us to lose more magnesium. Insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimers, causes us to excrete magnesium. For many people this causes high blood pressure, heartbeat issues, anxiety, depression, insomnia and constipation.
It takes twenty eight molecules of magnesium to metabolize one molecule of sucrose, which is 50 percent fructose. It takes fifty six molecules of magnesium to metabolize one molecule of fructose. Sugar depletes magnesium.
Insulin resistance is caused by sugar and starches. Other factors that deplete magnesium are stress, alcohol, and EMF's, electro magnetic fields. There is emerging evidence that magnesium is protective against the damaging effects of EMF's.
Blood tests for magnesium are almost always normal. This is because only 1 percent of total body magnesium is in the blood, and this remains constant, even if other body levels are depleted. A test called Red Blood Cell Magnesium may be more accurate.The best way to tell is you are low in magnesium are symptoms, such as:
- muscle spasms and cramping
- abnormal heart rhythms
- bone loss
- migraine headaches
- wild caught fish
- grass fed meats
- green vegetables — chlorophyll and blood are very similar, blood has iron at its core, chlorophyll has magnesium as the central mineral, so green vegetables have magnesium
- Reduce sugar, alcohol, stress and processed foods
- Eat real foods, focusing on grass-fed meats, wild caught fish and green leafy vegetables
- Take a magnesium supplement, such as magnesium malate, citrate, chelate or glycinate. Take a stand-alone magnesium supplement
- Avoid calcium/magnesium combos as the calcium, usually twice as much as the magnesium, reduces magnesium absorption
- Brain magnesium – Magnesium Threonate is a newer form of magnesium that better crosses the blood/brain barrier. It may be better for insomnia, anxiety, depression and neurological symptoms.
- Topical Magnesium – these are forms of magnesium that may be sprayed or rubbed on the body, for pain, spasm, cramping and sleep. Topical magnesium will not cause loose stools, as some forms of magnesium can.
- Can also be given intravenously, in a medical office.
- Most magnesium supplements are 100-200 mg. Of magnesium. Begin with one cap in the morning and one in the evening.
- Wait another week — keep adding another capsule until you are having 2-3 soft, but formed stools daily. This is normal. If you get diarrhea, decrease your dosage by one capsule.
How important is magnesium?
4,035 men were followed for 18 years. The men with the highest magnesium levels compared with the lowest had a 40% decrease in all cause mortality and cardiovascular disease and a 50% decrease in cancer deaths. These men cut their cancer rate in half by simply being magnesium sufficient. The results would likely be the same for women.
Once we are deficient, or insufficient, in magnesium, it takes about six months to re-fill our body magnesium stores, and to ensure that the hundreds of uses of magnesium in the body are being met.
Instructions for magnesium sufficiency.
Over time, as your magnesium stores are repleted, you may be able to reduce your magnesium some, but let your bowel habits be your guide.
The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean MD
PNAS Journal, Bruce Ames, November 21, 2006 — Low Micronutrient Intake...