Magnesium, the Hidden Hero

What if I told you that the miracle mineral you need is one that most people are deficient in?

Magnesium is a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to overall health. Magnesium has numerous mental and physical benefits, affecting things ranging from anxiety to muscle health. (1) If there were such a thing as a “natural miracle drug,” magnesium is probably it.

 

Magnesium and the Heart

Magnesium is linked to heart health. (1) The heart needs more magnesium than any other organ in the human body. Two of the reasons why have to do with the effect that magnesium has on muscles and on electrical signals in the body.

Magnesium deficiencies may lead to muscle spasms. You might specifically think of muscle spasms in your legs or arms, the type of spasm that might be little more than a nuisance and doesn’t impair you. But in relation to your heart, muscle spasms can be detrimental. Muscle spasms could be even worse if you have too much calcium in your body since excessive calcium could trigger muscle contractions.

Magnesium may also function as an electrolyte, which the body needs in order to send and receive electrical signals. Electrical signals in the body control everything from thought to muscle movement. So without properly conveyed electrical signals, neither your heart nor your brain could function correctly.

 

Magnesium and Diabetes

Magnesium has also proven to have a beneficial effect on insulin resistance. (2) It could control the body’s use of insulin in those who can’t process sugar correctly, such as those with type 2 diabetes.

Because of its effect on insulin resistance, magnesium could lower a person’s risk for diabetes and could slow down the progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes. Magnesium may also lower fasting blood sugar levels.

 

The Miracle of Magnesium

But those aren’t the only benefits of magnesium! The following is a list of conditions that have been scientifically proven to be triggered by or otherwise linked to a magnesium deficiency. (1) Aside from heart disease and diabetes, this list includes:

  1. Anxiety and panic attacks
  2. Asthma
  3. Blood clots
  4. Bowel diseases
  5. Cystitis
  6. Depression
  7. Fatigue
  8. Hypertension
  9. Hypoglycemia
  10. Insomnia
  11. Kidney disease
  12. Liver disease
  13. Migraine
  14. Musculoskeletal conditions
  15. Nerve problems
  16. Obstetrical and gynecological issues
  17. Osteoporosis
  18. Raynaud’s Syndrome
  19. Tooth decay
  20. Toxification

Magnesium may also provide support to those with fibromyalgia, atrial fibrillation, migraine, aging, mood disorders, memory, and premenstrual syndrome. Magnesium deficiency may even be linked to sudden death. (3)

 

Why it’s the "Hidden" Hero

The effects of a magnesium deficiency are so widespread that it could be difficult to tell if a specific symptom is due to a lack of magnesium or some other factors.

Early signs of magnesium deficiency may include:

  • Coronary spasms
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Heart palpitations
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings and personality changes
  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Nausea
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Seizures
  • Weakness

Ideally, you might correct some nutritional deficiencies by eating organic foods that contain the nutrients your body needs. However, many foods nowadays may be grown in nutrient-deficient soil. This means that foods that should be naturally high in magnesium might not absorb enough magnesium from the soil to provide us with the amount that we need. Still, these foods may be relatively high in magnesium compared to other foods and should be consumed regardless:

  • Almond butter
  • Basil
  • Coriander leaf
  • Dried pumpkin seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Seaweed
  • Spinach
  • Unsweetened cocoa
  • Whey

 

Complementary Supplements

Because our foods may be lacking in magnesium, many of us may need to use magnesium supplements to complement our diet in order to correct a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium, however, can’t exist by itself. Magnesium molecules need to be bound to some other molecule. That is, every magnesium supplement you find will always contain a compound of magnesium, be it magnesium oxide or magnesium taurate or something else.

These different compositions can have different effects, different concentrations of magnesium, and different absorption rates. Before just grabbing any magnesium supplement, take a look at the form of magnesium that the supplement offers and consider how it differs from other forms.

  • Di-magnesium malate supports muscles and the body’s energy production.
  • Magnesium carbonate has antacid properties.
  • Magnesium chloride and magnesium lactate contain about 12% magnesium but have an excellent absorption rate, so they may work better than magnesium oxide for many.
  • Magnesium glycinate typically has the highest rate of absorption among magnesium compounds. As such, it may be an excellent choice for those seeking to correct a deficiency.
  • Magnesium hydroxide and magnesium sulfate function as excellent laxatives, but they’re easy to overdose on.
  • Magnesium oxide contains about 60% magnesium and is useful as a laxative.
  • Magnesium taurate could have a calming effect on the mind and body.

Given that magnesium can function as a laxative, an excellent indicator of excessive magnesium is loose stools or even diarrhea. Use that as a marker for the upper limit of how much magnesium you should take on a daily basis.

When it comes to vitamin and mineral supplements, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking high-quality, medical-grade supplements. If you need sources for magnesium supplements that are also made from non-GMO ingredients, consider our MagneGel and Magnesium Malate products.  We usually do not recommend magnesium oxide becauses its absorption is not realy great.

When taking magnesium supplements, make sure you have enough hydrochloric acid in your body, as it’s necessary for the absorption of magnesium. Be careful not to take drugs like Pepcid as they can interfere with acid production and, therefore, the absorption of magnesium.

 

 

Sources:

  1. http://drcarolyndean.com/magnesium_miracle/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21205110
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1636608

 

 

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