Almost half (48%) of the US population consumed less than the required amount of magnesium from food in 2005-2006.
What does MAGNESIUM do?
Did you know that less than one percent of your body’s stores of magnesium is found in the blood stream. 99% of it is found in bone, muscles, and non-muscular soft tissue. (Jahnen-Dechent & Ketteler, 2012) Many deficiencies are diagnosed through blood work This is what makes it difficult to measure a magnesium levels in the body and ultimately detect/diagnose a deficiency. Common signs and symptoms that are associated with a magnesium deficiency include but are definitely not limited to:
- muscle spasms
- leg cramps
- restless legs
- high blood pressure
- angina (chest pain)
- heart palpitations
- there are 100s of symptoms, but these are some of the most common ones!
Why are there hundreds of symptoms?! Because magnesium is involved with over 350 metabolic enzymes in the body making it indispensable as a cofactor in a multitude of crucial processes. (Dean, 2007) Magnesium and the enzymes it is involved with help regulate and maintain homeostasis with the following:
- temperature regulation
- producing and transporting energy
- synthesizing protein
- transmitting nerve signals in the brain and throughout the body
- relaxing muscles – including bowel, heart, blood vessels, fallopian tubes, & skeletal muslces
- manufacturing bones and teeth
- detoxifying heavy metals – including mercry
- neutralizing acidity in the blood from poor diet and chemical toxicity
- digesting lipids (fats) and balancing cholesterol levels
- creating neurotransmitters like serotonin ….uhm hello happy hormones?!
ATP metabolism, muscle contraction and relaxation, normal neurological function and release of neurotransmitters are all magnesium dependent.
What you need to know!
It has a very low toxicity potential. Many doctors and health professionals will recommend doing a trial of your own to see if adding magnesium to your regimen positively changes your health, energy, sleep, recovery, etc. The basics of what you should understand before adding a magnesium supplement to your routine are simple. Magnesium helps relax muscles, like I mentioned above. Any mama’s out there remember being given a magnesium IV drip in the hospital to stop or slow down labor? In this instance, magnesium sulfate is used as a tocolytic for preterm labor and/or delivery. (Lewis, 2005) Ever heard of someone taking magnesium for the laxative effects it can have or as an antacid? Make sure you know what type of magnesium supplement you are taking. If one form does not give you the desired effect, try another as there are several forms of magnesium.
Most magnesium supplements that are taken orally are not fully absorbed by the time it reaches your gut. Powdered forms are best absorbed, then capsules, then tablets. Powdered magnesium actually tastes really good to me, and magnesium oil on the bottoms of my feet at night is my ultimate favorite way to incorporate it! Taking magnesium at night is also beneficial because of its relaxing effects and promotes restful sleep.
Magnesium oil studies finding that absorption through the skin helps promote normal levels of DHEA in the body. – Dr. Norm Shealy
According to one nutrition review and study, low magnesium intakes and blood levels have been associated with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, elevated C-reactive protein (this is a marker that can be measured in a blood lab indicating inflammation), hypertension, atherosclerotic vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, osteoporosis, migraine headache, asthma, and colon cancer. (Rosanoff, Weaver, & Rude, 2012)
What can you do?
Well…as an optimal wellness coach, health professional, and soon-to-be nurse I know there are many approaches you can take to optimize your health! Personally, I encourage nutrition clients and you to try and get the bulk of nutrients from REAL FOOD sources! Your body was made to break down real food sources and not supplements. However, I do believe there is a time and place where supplementing nutrition and giving your body support can be extremely beneficial. Experiment with what magnesium supplement or spray may work best for you! Check out this DIY recipe if you wish 😉 . Listed below are also foods that are naturally RICH IN MAGNESIUM. ~10% of your magnesium intake will most likely come from you water intake the remainder will come from a dietary source. (Jahnen-Dechent & Ketteler, 2012)
- Avocados!! ANYONE ELSE CRAVE THESE??
- Fish – salmon, halibut, mackerel
- Seeds – pumpkin, flax, chia, squash seeds
- Legumes – lentils, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), peas, beans
- Nuts – almonds, cashews, Brazil
- Dark Chocolate
- Spinach – and other dark leafy greens
- Brown Rice
Dean, C. (2007). the MAGNESIUM MIRACLE. Total Health, 29(1), 32-33.
Jahnen-Dechent, W., & Ketteler, M. (2012, February). Magnesium basics. Retrieved July 8, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4455825/#bib8
Lewis, D. F. (2005, September). Magnesium Sulfate: The First-Line Tocolytic. Retrieved July 7, 2018, from https://www.obgyn.theclinics.com/article/s0889-8545(05)00010-0/fulltext
Rosanoff, A., Weaver, C. M., & Rude, R. K. (2012). Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated?. Nutrition Reviews, 70(3), 153-164. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00465.x