Magnesium is one of the most neglected minerals and up to 80% of the American population is deficient in this mineral. This is a matter of concern as the health issues caused by deficiency can be quite noteworthy and can be worsened by many drug treatments.
According to Dr. Dean, the author of Death by Modern Medicine and The Magnesium Miracle and a person who has been writing for magnesium for more than 15 years,
“What I want to convey today is the importance of magnesium, how you can get it, how you can know how much you require in your body, and the incredible benefits from using this simple mineral.”
Magnesium – One of Your Most Important Minerals
While magnesium is often primarily considered as mineral for the bones and heart, this is quite misleading. As a matter of fact, researchers have so far determined 3,751 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins, meaning that it has critical role in human health.
It is found in over 300 enzymes in the body and plays a significant role in body`s detoxification process, which makes it critical for helping protect against heavy metals, environmental chemicals, and a wide range of toxins. Additionally, it is also needed for a wide array of biological functions:
- It is a precursor for neurotransmitters
- It serves as a building block for DNA and RNA synthesis
- It creates energy in the body by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
- It activates nerves and muscles
- It helps digest fats, carbohydrates, and proteins
Although people rarely think about magnesium when looking for a way to prevent chronic diseases, it does play a critical role, though. For example, there are a few studies done on magnesium`s role in keeping the metabolism working optimally, specifically regarding glucose regulation, protection from type II diabetes, and insulin sensitivity.
It also helps lower the risk of cancer, and a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that higher magnesium intake was associated with a lower risk of colorectal tumors. In this particular study, 100-mg increase in magnesium intake lowered the risk of the colorectal tumor by 13% and the risk of colorectal cancer by 12%.
As discussed in the very beginning, most people fail to get enough magnesium in their diet these days. On the other hand, calcium becomes excessive used and taken in huge quantities, which often makes causes more harm than good, causing imbalance between the two. Having too much calcium and insufficient magnesium causes the muscles to spasms, leaving consequences for the heart.
“What happens is, the muscle and nerve function that magnesium is responsible for is diminished. If you don’t have enough magnesium, your muscles go into spasm. Calcium causes muscle to contract. If you had a balance, the muscles would do their thing. They’d relax, contract, and create their activity,” she explains.
Calcium and magnesium need to be balanced with vitamin D and K2, too. According to Dr. Dean, high vitamin D intake can overwork magnesium and result in magnesium deficiency.
Therefore, these four nutrients work in synergy, supporting each other. Imbalance between these nutrients is the reason why calcium supplements have become linked to an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks, and the reason why some people end up with vitamin D toxicity.
To sum up, anytime you are talking magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, or vitamin K2, you need to consider them all, as all of them work in synergy and complement each other.
Dietary Sources of Calcium and Magnesium
Eating nuts, seeds, dairy products, and deep green leafy greens is a good way to get enough calcium from your diet. Another good source is the homemade bone broth, which is made up of leftover bones which are cooked on low heat for a day to extract the calcium. This broth can be drank straight or added to stews and soups. As for magnesium, it is worth noting that it has become quite difficult to get from our modern diet.
“Magnesium is farmed out of the soil much more than calcium,” Dr. Dean explains. “A hundred years ago, we would get maybe 500 milligrams of magnesium in an ordinary diet. Now we’re lucky to get 200 milligrams. People do need to supplement with magnesium.”
Industrial agriculture has depleted soils of minerals like magnesium and even finding biologically-grown organic foods may not be enough for you to get large quantities of magnesium from dietary sources. Some of the solid sources of magnesium include seaweed and leafy veggies like spinach and Swiss chard, avocados, sesame and sunflower seeds, and chlorophyll, which contains a magnesium atom in the center. Juicing the veggies is a good way to get the most of them.
As mentioned above, most foods are deficient in magnesium these days, as glyphosqte as as chelators, blocking the utilization and uptake of minerals. Therefore, considering taking magnesium supplement is a good personal strategy for most people, even for those who have access to nutritious foods.
Apart from taking a supplement, taking Epsom salt baths or foot baths is yet another way to boost your magnesium status. Epson salt is packed with magnesium which can be absorbed into the bloodstream from the skin. Magnesium oil is also good for topical use and optimal absorption. However, whatever you opt for, make sure you avoid any that contains magnesium stearte, a common detrimental additive.
Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
Given that only 1% of magnesium is distributed in the blood, there isn’t any lab test that gives an accurate reading of the status in the tissues. RBC magnesium test is considered to be reasonably accurate though, but it after all it turns out that you are left with looking for symptoms of deficiency on your own. Some of the most common signs include fatigue, weakness, headache, nausea, and loss of appetite. Chronic magnesium deficiency may exhibit much serious symptoms, such as the following:
- Personality changes
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Coronary spasms
- Numbness and tingling
- Muscle contractions and cramps