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.
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
The list of conditions that can benefit from magnesium supplementation is enormous and includes:
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
Different forms of magnesium are good for different reasons, here are a couple of other magnesium supplements that I regularly recommend.
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
Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen