Magnesium is a mineral that is vital for more than 300 enzymatic processes in the body. It plays a role in everything from muscle movements to hormone production. It is essential for the body to perform at peak level.
• Gives rigidity and flexibility to your bones
• Increases bioavailability of calcium
• Regulates and normalizes blood pressure
• Prevents and reverses kidney stone formation
• Promotes restful sleep
• Helps prevent congestive heart failure
• Eases muscle cramps and spasms
• Lowers serum cholesterol levels and triglycerides
• Decreases insulin resistance
• Can prevent artherosclerosis and stroke
• End cluster and migraine headaches
• Enhances circulation
• Relieves fibromyalgia and chronic pain
• Treats asthma and emphysema
• Helps make proteins
• Encourages proper elimination
• Prevents osteoporosis
Magnesium is consumed, used, and excreted by the kidneys through the urine every day. The mineral is responsible for keeping the body relaxed, meaning mentally and physically. Without the correct amount of magnesium, chronic issues begin to arise. Less than 20-30% of Americans consume the recommended amounts of magnesium on a daily basis, which could be the link to so many suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, headaches, and other common ailments. Many in my field believe magnesium deficiency is the single largest health problem within our society.
A major concern is that most Americans experience the side effects of magnesium deficiency as part of their daily life without questioning them. Most people just assume that these issues are due to other avenues of their lives and lifestyle choices, but the truth is that it’s a simple solution that no one seems to know about. This is why magnesium deficiency goes untreated so often.
Hypomagnesemia, the term used for magnesium deficiency, causes the following:
• Cardiovascular disease
• Kidney or liver damage
• Multiple sclerosis
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Muscle cramps (Charlie horse is the perfect example)
• Muscle spasms
• Improper and poor digestion
• Mood swings
• Increased PMS symptoms
• Hyperactivity or constant fatigue
• Trouble sleeping
• High blood pressure
• Low immune function
• Heartburn and Acid Reflux
• Heart palpatations
Why are we not consuming enough magnesium?
Our soil is not exactly nutrient dense anymore. This alone causes our foods to contain less magnesium. Chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine in our drinking water bind to magnesium, preventing our bodies from absorbing it. Supplementing and consuming excess calcium without a 1:1 ratio of magnesium also causes the body’s magnesium storage to be depleted. Even stress triggers the body to deplete itself of magnesium.
Then there is the overuse of prescription medications and antibiotics. This alone destroys our guts and causes the body to fail at nutrient absorption.
The following also play a huge role in the over-depletion of magnesium on a daily basis:
Caffeine (Coffee, tea, soda)
Sugar (processed foods and beverages)
While the amount of magnesium we need to comparison to other nutrients is small, our bodies deplete it continuously, and it is required for normal body function. It needs to be replenished throughout the day, every day. Healthy food choices are a great start, but supplementation should also be considered.
Not all magnesium supplements are created equal.
Magnesium can be found in many forms, both orally and topically. Topically, the magnesium moves directly into the blood and tissues, replenishing the body’s needed magnesium stores more quickly and bypassing the kidneys. So, I often encourage clients to invest in a magnesium rub, take Epsom baths, and use magnesium oils. There are many powders and capsule forms of supplementation as well, with magnesium in citrate, chelate and chloride forms believed to be absorbed better than magnesium supplements in oxide and magnesium sulfate form.
These are the current RDAs for magnesium depending on your age and gender — intakes vary on different individual factors — according to the NIH:
• Infants–6 months: 30 milligrams
• 7–12 months: 75 milligrams
• 1–3 years: 80 milligrams
• 4–8 years: 130 milligrams
• 9–13 years: 240 milligrams
• 14–18 years: 410 milligrams for men; 360 milligrams for women
• 19–30 years: 400 milligrams for men; 310 milligrams for women
• Adults 31 years and older: 420 milligrams for men; 320 milligrams for women
• Pregnant women: 350–360 milligrams
• Women who are breastfeeding: 310–320 milligrams