Magnesium (Mg) is one of the most crucial minerals for overall good health. Although I generally believe we should obtain essential nutrients from a healthy diet, studies show that <30% of adults consume the recommended daily allowance of Magnesium. Healthy Mg levels are essential for nerve function, muscle contraction, healthy bones and heart function. Blood serum testing may not adequately reflect your level of Mg as only approximately 30% is actually found in the blood. It is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and excreted by the kidneys. Magnesium deficiency can contribute to: – Muscle pain and spasm – Problems with digestion – Alteration in sleep – Restless leg syndrome – Increased Anxiety – Osteoporosis – Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia – Migraines – PMS Dietary intake can be low, particulary in woman. The current RDA recommendations are: Woman: Men: Age 19-30 310 mg / day 400 mg/day Age: > 31 yrs 320 mg/ day 420 mg / day
Bad habits that may be contributing to your low Mg levels include:
– Eating a diet high in refined sugar and sweets: – Refined sugar not only contains no Mg, it can actually lead to an increase excretion of Mg from the kidneys.
– Drinking soda, or increased amounts of caffeinated drinks or alcoholic beverages – Soda contains substances called phosphates that bind to Mg in the GI tract and thereby make it unavailable for use.
– Increased Stress – Both physical and psychological stress reactions use Mg and therefore contribute to low levels of Mg.
A health diet can easily provide Mg:
Dietary sources of Mg include:
– Whole Grains
– Green Leafy veggies, broccoli and squash
– Seeds and nuts ( especially raw almonds)
Magnesium supplements include:
Mg Chelate – highly absorbable and found naturally in foods
Mg Citrate- may have a laxative effect and is helpful in promoting digestion and regulating bowel movements
Mg Chloride Oil – Can be applied to the skin and may be helpful in improving energy levels and endurance and decrease muscle pain. May also be helpful in improving skin irritation
Mg Glycinate- is highly absorbable with less laxative effects than other Mg supplements
Mg supplements can interact with several drugs. Taking Mg to close to some antibiotics can interfere with their absorbtion and decrease their effectiveness.
Similarly, Mg can interfere with some thyroid, diabetic and other drugs used for the treatment of osteoporosis.
Speak with your primary physician before beginning any supplements if you are currently taking any medications.