*Living without adequate levels of magnesium is like trying to operate a machine with the power off. And like a machine, it’s likely to malfunction.
*A deficiency in this critical nutrient makes you are twice as likely to die as other people, according to a study published in The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine.
- Migraines, headaches
- Heart Health
- Type II Diabetes
- Rapid heartbeat or arrhythmias
- Menstrual cramps
- Alzheimer’s Disease & Parkinson Disease
Warning Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
- Muscle tension or fatigue
- Leg cramps or restlessness
- Rapid heartbeat or arrhythmias
- Menstrual cramps
- Headaches or irritability
- Type II Diabetes, Pre-Diabetes, Insulin Resistance
Magnesium Is Indispensable
- *Magnesium is essential for the functioning of more than 300 different enzymes in the body, particularly those that produce, transport, store, and utilize energy. This includes:
- *Protein synthesis. DNA and RNA in our cells require magnesium for cell growth and development.
- *Sparking of the electrical signals that must travel throughout the miles of nerves in our bodies, including our brain, heart, and other organs.
- *Normal blood pressure, vascular tone, transmission of nerve cell signals, and blood flow.
- *Functioning of all nerves and muscles.
Medications Deplete Magnesium: Medications including common diuretics, birth control pills, insulin, metformin, statin drugs, tetracycline and other antibiotics, and cortisone cause the body to waste magnesium.
*The vast majority of Americans are not getting enough magnesium. Studies have consistently shown Americans are not getting enough magnesium in their foods (78% don’t get the RDA.) In the meantime there are a host of conditions and diseases associated with magnesium that are on the rise, hypertension, diabetes, and migraines, just to name a few.
*Magnesium is an essential mineral that I have been concerned about for a long time. Almost daily I see at least one person with signs of obvious magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is well studied and has well defined roles for at least three common medical conditions and yet routine medical care rarely includes use of magnesium.
For instance, the roles of magnesium in heart health are well known. *It is a natural calcium channel blocker, and as such plays an important role in keeping blood vessels relaxed, thereby reducing peripheral vascular resistance and blood pressure. In addition, magnesium stabilizes the heartbeat. Magnesium also affects circulating levels of norepinephrine and the synthesis of serotonin and nitric oxide, all chemicals inside the body that are known to play a role in heart disease.
*Magnesium deficiencies have recently been linked with an increased risk of developing Type II diabetes. Magnesium improves insulin receptors activity, and so can help prevent insulin resistance, the condition that precedes and contributes to both diabetes and hypertension.
Another well-known role for magnesium is in fibromyalgia. *Because it helps cellular energy production and relaxes muscles, magnesium, in particular magnesium malate, has a tremendous benefit for fibromyalgia patients. While the role of magnesium deficiency in heart diseases and fibromyalgia has been well defined and is becoming increasingly well known, it is still dramatically underutilized for these conditions.
There are other conditions that magnesium has application in. *For instance, studies have shown magnesium can help ease migraine headache pain (probably by relaxing head and neck muscles.) It is also needed for better utilization of calcium so it can to help prevent osteoporosis and kidney stones. From clinical experience, I also find magnesium to be invaluable for constipation. With magnesium deficits, intestinal tract muscles can’t relax enough to move stool out of the body. So it is retained too long in the GI tract, water from the stool reabsorbs and the stool becomes very hard. Magnesium deficiencies are probably also playing a role in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
How do you know if you have a magnesium deficiency? Blood tests (red blood cell levels are better than testing serum levels) are available, but symptoms alone will often tell the story. If you have any of the warning signs of deficiency, muscle tension or fatigue, leg cramps or restlessness, constipation, rapid heartbeat or arrhythmias, menstrual cramps, headaches or irritability, you need more magnesium.
*Magnesium is a mineral that is easily obtained in the diet; nuts and seeds and beans are all good sources of magnesium, but magnesium supplements can help make up deficits and prevent the terrible consequences of inadequate magnesium intake. Magnesium salts in the form of taurate, malate, citrate and glycinate are the best forms. Make sure you are getting in at least 500 mg per day through your diet and supplement use.
*If you drink alcohol or are on magnesium depleting drugs like hydochlorothiazide, you will need more. Physically activity is also estimated to increase magnesium requirements by about 10 to 20%, because magnesium is lost in the sweat and urine during intense physical exercise. Magnesium can help you feel more relaxed while increasing energy so don’t hesitate to replenish this much-needed nutrient.
The National Academy of Sciences found (in 1997) that most Americans were deficient in magnesium. The following factors contribute to this:
- Food processing removes much of the magnesium that’s naturally found in certain foods.
- Taking antacids (and some other medicines for indigestion) disrupts magnesium absorption.
- Magnesium and other minerals are depleted by modern farming practices.
- Medications including common diuretics, birth control pills, insulin, tetracycline and other antibiotics, and cortisone cause the body to waste magnesium.
- Anxiety and panic attacks: Magnesium helps keep adrenal stress hormones under control and also helps maintain normal brain function.
- Asthma: Magnesium helps relax the muscles of the bronchioles in the lungs.
- Constipation: Magnesium helps keep bowels regular by maintaining normal bowel muscle function. Milk of magnesia has been used for decades to help constipation.
- Heart disease: Magnesium deficiency is common in those with heart disease. Magnesium, a natural calcium channel blocker, is an effective treatment for heart attacks and cardiac arrhythmias. An astounding number of studies have documented the effectiveness of IV magnesium in helping prevent cardiac damage and even death following a heart attack. The reason for this is that 40 to 60 percent of sudden deaths from heart attack are the result of spasm in the arteries, not blockage from clots or arrhythmias!
- Hypertension: Without adequate magnesium, blood vessels constrict and blood pressure increases.
- Infertility: Magnesium can relax spasms in fallopian tubes that prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus.
- Nerve problems and muscle spasms: Magnesium helps eliminate peripheral nerve disturbances that can lead to migraines, leg and foot cramps, gastrointestinal cramps, and other muscle aches and pains.
- Obstetrical problems: Magnesium can prevent premature labor (because it calms contractions) as well as eclampsia.
- Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., author of The Magnesium Miracle (Ballantine Books, 2007), reports that these (and other) conditions are also associated with magnesium deficiency: blood clots, bowel disease, cystitis, depression, detoxification, diabetes, fatigue, hypoglycemia, insomnia, kidney disease, kidney stones, musculoskeletal conditions, osteoporosis, Raynaud’s syndrome, and even tooth decay. Dr. Dean also reports that she’s seen magnesium improve patients’ PMS, painful periods, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia.
From LaValleMetabolic Instititute