Magnesium – Why is it Important?

Magnesium

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Consider magnesium as ‘The Relaxation Mineral’. Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy and stiff – whether is be body part or even mood – can be a sign of magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is a critical mineral that is actually responsible for over 600 enzyme reactions and is found in every cell in your body  –  mostly in your bones, muscles and brain. You must have enough for your cells to make energy, to work efficiently and to help muscles relax and recover.

Magnesium is vital for many body functions yet it’s known that approximately 50% of the population are deficient.

This is partly due to a decrease of magnesium in our diet.

Processed foods, alcohol, coffee, soda/soft drinks and sugar actually assist in the further depletion of magnesium from the body.

A lack of magnesium in our farming soils also means that plants that in bygone years would normally contain higher levels are depleted and lacking.

There are many reasons for magnesium deficiency, it is a common problem and linked to heart disease and many other chronic illnesses. Life seems even more hectic and fast-paced each year and this added stress uses up our already lowered magnesium in our bodies.

So many common symptoms can be related to a lack of magnesium –

muscle cramps, twitching, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, heart palpitations, constipation, headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, PMS and IBS amongst others.

There is about 160,000 referenced articles on magnesium. It is used frequently in life-threatening situations in emergency medicine, intensive and cardiac care.

Also in treating pregnancy conditions such as pre-eclampsia and pre-term labour contractions.

If your Dr checks your blood magnesium levels and it is found to be low it means you will be severely depleted, as 99% of Magnesium is in your cells, not in your circulating blood. Generally, magnesium is a very safe mineral to supplement (unless you have kidney disease or failure) You would know if you had overdosed for yourself as you would probably get some diarrhoea.

Another culprit is sweating, if you perspire from menopausal night sweats or exercise, it is beneficial to take electrolytes to replenish magnesium levels. Antibiotics, also diuretics that are taken for high blood pressure can reduce.

If you are stressed you are more likely to excrete more magnesium in your urine.

With diet being the major cause of magnesium deficiency, what can we do to improve things? Optimally, you can ensure to eat nuts, seeds, grains and legumes. Also, advocado’s, quality dark chocolate and sea vegetables.

One of my favourite magnesium-rich ‘at home’ dessert is full fat greek yoghurt mixed with organic cocoa powder/chocolate protein powder, with walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sprinkling of sea salt and a square of dark chocolate finely grated on the top.

You should also take a good variety of minerals and vitamins to work in synergy with magnesium, these include Vitamin D, B6 and Selenium. It is also advisable to cut down on processed foods, alcohol, sugar and caffeine. Alongside this try various techniques to reduce any undue stress.

Meditation/mindfulness and exercise can be particularly effective.

Some prescription drugs also have the capacity to interfere with your bodies absorption of vitamins and minerals including magnesium. If you can, speak to your doctor for further advice.

What form of Magnesium should you take?

This can get confusing as so many different forms on the market today. Magnesium Carbonate/Oxide/Gluconate are available, but not well absorbed and best avoided.

Chelated Magnesium – Magnesium Glycinate, Magnesium Citrate (if more constipated) Magnesium Threonate is good for the brain.

Recommend 300-400mg daily to start but can increase to 600mg or more.

Transdermal Magnesium (sprayed/rubbed into the skin/joints or soles of the feet) is a great way to absorb. I am currently gathering ingredients to make my own first batch of magnesium balm!

If it’s a success I will retail it in clinic – using all organic cocoa butter, beeswax, coconut oil and magnesium flakes. As I have been using a lovely jar of magnesium balm handmade from my yoga teacher which inspired me,

it has really helped me sleep and reduce my joint aches and pains.

The ‘BetterYou’ range – Magnesium Body Oil Spray is popular.

Harrogateorganics.co.uk (from their shop in Harrogate) have a Natural Repair Magnesium Spray (2,000 5 star reviews)

Also taking a bath with Epsom Salts or Magnesium Flakes.

I also take magnesium tablets (from the Naked Pharmacy – thenakedpharmacy.com is a British, Pharmacist Led company) and I highly recommend the Marine Magnesium at night to relax/sleep.

Plus I personally take a different brand in the morning – Nutrition Geeks Magnesium 3 in 1 (made in the UK – can get from Amazon)

If you have any questions about this fascinating topic please do get in touch.

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Magnesium – Why is it Important?

Consider magnesium as ‘The Relaxation Mineral’. Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy and stiff – whether is be body part or even mood – can

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