Magnesium

Magnesium, why you need it!

Magnesium

Magnesium is one of your body’s most important minerals

It plays a vital role in helping your body to:

  • Produce energy
  • Maintain healthy cellular function
  • Metabolise protein, carbohydrates and fats (in other words how your body uses food)
  • Regulate calcium metabolism, helping you to keep your bones strong
  • Keep your blood pressure low and improve blood flow. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with potentially fatal complications such as heart arrhythmia’s, angina and myocardial infarction

Magnesium stores are not readily available

Magnesium is so important that your cells have special membrane pumps to keep it inside them, which means around 99% of your magnesium is locked up inside your cells. Effectively this means your day to day supply of magnesium is dependant on your diet and/ or daily supplementation.

Most diets are deficient in magnesium.

The bad news is that while magnesium is found in a wide range of foods, especially green vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes and chocolate, an adequate supply of magnesium is difficult to achieve. Especially with high stress busy lifestyles, poor diets and working in a hot climate.

In fact, a CSIRO study of Australian adults found that the daily intake of magnesium was below the RDI for 50% of all males tested and 39% of all females and the RDI is a basic measure to prevent illness, ideally your levels should be well above this to achieve optimum health.

When I test red blood cell levels of magnesium in clients, this is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies (along with selenium). Testing for magnesium and other nutritional deficiencies can be done with one of the Functional Pathology Packages or you can customize your own test package.

In terms of lifestyle effects, alcohol consumption and high caffeine consumption dramatically reduces magnesium levels, increasing the excretion of magnesium through the urine

Everyone needs it – some more than others

The list of conditions that can benefit from magnesium supplementation is enormous and includes:

  • Tiredness, lethargy and fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Nerve and muscle conditions such as cramping, improving athletic performance, tension headaches and migraines
  • Stress, anxiety, panic disorders and dementia
  • PMS, infertility, pregnancy and pre-eclampsia
  • Heart and blood vessel disorders
  • Sleep

Magnesium Supplements

Not all magnesium supplements are created equally, and it is important to get a good quality supplement for optimal results. I usually recommend the Metagenics magnesium range which contains magnesium bisglycinate, this is a highly absorbable form of magnesium, and this is available to Australian clients who have had a consultation with Planet Naturopath

Magnesium bisglycinate is also available online from Amazon or www.iherb.com

Different forms of magnesium are good for different reasons, here are a couple of other magnesium supplements that I regularly recommend.

Magnesium threonate is the best for improving brain function, sleep and mood disorders as it can more easily cross the blood/ brain barrier, available from Amazon or www.iherb.com

Magnesium Citrate is the best option if you want something to help get your bowels moving, it is not a laxative in the traditional sense that will cause negative effects, it gently helps to keep the bowels moving while increasing your overall magnesium levels. Available from Amazon or www.iherb.com

About the Author Michael

Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen

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