Are you playing wonder woman trying to do it all, yet you are feeling exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed trying to keep up with it all? ?
Magnesium, could this be the miracle mineral your body is silently screaming out for?
Magnesium is the most abundant element in all human cells. It is involved in more than 3000 enzyme driven biochemical reactions occurring in the body on a near constant basis.
No wonder it has been described as the miracle mineral. It’s the number one mineral that I get all my clients supplementing to better their overall health. And if you are a tired, stressed and busy mum, magnesium is going to be your best friend.
While magnesium can come from a number of food sources, yet with many people not eating enough food sources of magnesium, (green leafy veggies. nuts, seeds, avocado, banana, dark chocolate), eating diets high in sugar and salt, foods being grown in soils that are mineral depleted, and with a number of factors including urinary excretion of magnesium, intense exercise and sweating, excess inflammation and fat, high levels of stress, poor digestion, and taking certain medications including diuretics, a whopping 80% of the western world is deficient in this essential nutrient.
If you have a high intake of calcium over magnesium, drink a lot of caffeinated beverages and soft drink, this may also be a big contributor to a deficiency in magnesium as all three of these may increase the need for higher magnesium requirements. Excess phosphorus, which is found in the form of phosphoric acid in soft drinks can lead to excess excretion of magnesium from the body leading to deficiency.
Excess use of aluminium, in our modern day society may also be a leading factor with aluminium reducing the absorption of magnesium by approximately up to 5x more. Aluminium is commonly found in cooking pots and pans, deodorant, baking powders and many medications.
When your body is lacking adequate magnesium levels, it starts to pull the mineral from bones, muscles and internal organs. This is where we see health problems occur. Magnesium deficiency could be a principal driver in the development of many of the common health conditions we commonly see, as we age.
How do you know if you are deficient? Why take magnesium supplement?
Magnesium is a muscle relaxant, helps to reduce stress, and inflammation in the body.
While there is no real test that gives us an accurate enough reading of blood magnesium levels, as only 1% of magnesium in the body is found in the bloodstream, it’s not something routinely tested for nor is it normally worth testing for, instead we look at more symptom presentation and certain health condition diagnosis. As magnesium is not a nutrient tested for in general bloods, a deficiency can so often go unnoticed.
If you suffer from any of the below listed conditions or symptoms and you eat a diet that is low in leafy green veggies, you are more than likely deficient and should consider supplementing.
A deficiency in magnesium can relate to and supplementation may be of benefit to the following conditions:
- Anxiety, depression and high stress levels
- Poor energy levels and fatigue
- ADD and behavioural problems in kids
- Blood sugar and insulin sensitivity issues leading to poor metabolism
- High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease
- Heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat
- Migraines and headaches
- PMS and painful periods
- Muscle cramps and spasms
- Nerve related pain including fibromyalgia
- Eye twitching
- Numbness and tingling in extremities
- Low calcium and potassium levels.
- Tooth decay
- Kidney and liver disease
- High intensity exercise and training
Okay so you may have now established that magnesium may be of benefit to you, the question now is which magnesium is best?
While some may say, that if you eat a diet high in magnesium rich foods, there is no need to supplement. While eating a diet rich in magnesium food sources may be important, with our food today being grown is soils depleted of minerals and with high stress levels of the modern day life of a busy working woman and mum, diet alone is likely not going to cut it.
There are a number of different forms of magnesium supplementation available with not all forms being equal in quality and absorption ability. Magnesium oxide is a common seen form of magnesium found in many on the shelf supplements found in the supermarket or at your local pharmacy.
Magnesium oxide is often used because it is cheap yet it is a poorly absorbed form of magnesium and is not recommended in most cases. This form of magnesium may be okay for use in constipation as it can loosen stools, yet in the case of constipation I would generally recommend citrate as it is a better quality form of magnesium.
The best forms of magnesium that have more superior absorption and are better utilised by the body are magnesium glycinate or bisglycinate and magnesium citrate. These tend to be my magnesium forms of choice. Most practitioner based supplements I recommend to my clients are usually in the form of glycinate or citrate.
If you tend to be more on the softer side when it comes to your stool consistency, you may want to stay away from magnesium citrate as this form is likely going to have you running to the toilet. Magnesium citrate is best for constipation. You may still have to play with the dose though to find a dose that works for you, as taking a dose that is too high, can very quickly turn constipation to diarrhoea.
If you struggle with constipation, you may also like to check out my blog post on tips on how to avoid constipation here
Other factors to consider when supplementing with magnesium:
As with most supplements, magnesium may come in the form of a tablet, powder or liquid. Personally I prefer powder form as powders are better absorbed than tablets. If you have poor gut health, low stomach acid and your ability to digest your nutrients properly is depleted, powder or liquid form will most definitely be a better option for you.
Another option which is now becoming increasingly popular is using magnesium in the form of a magnesium oil or cream, that you can rub onto your skin or even soaking in an epsom salt bath. These can be great ways to absorb extra magnesium through the skin. Magnesium oils and creams may particularly good for muscle aches and pains.
Keeping in mind that for magnesium to be properly absorbed by the body, it needs B6 and Vitamin D as cofactors. So making sure you have adequate levels of these two important nutrients may also be necessary to best absorb and utilise magnesium in the body.
Take Home Message:
If you are living in the fast paced modern world of today, where your body is constantly in fight or flight mode. your always on the go, stress levels are high, you regularly feel exhausted, you suffer from any of the above mentioned conditions and your diet is poor with limited intake of green veggies and too much sugar and coffee, your body is screaming out for magnesium and you may need to look at supplementing.
In regards to the dose of how much magnesium you should take daily, will depend on the individual, the form of magnesium used and what health conditions may be present. Some individuals may require doses as high as 1000-2000mg/day. To find out the best dose for you, it is best to talk to your practitioner for a professional recommendation.
If you would like to get some more guidance and advice on this, you can book a call here and see if we are the right fit to work together. You may even like to book a time for my service, nutritional analysis of pathology review, where I as an accredited nutritionist, can help you investigate any other nutritional deficiencies that your doctor may have by passed as you are all good.
Get a full analysis report, that explains your blood pathology is full details and what each marker means.
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Here’s to good health and happiness x