Magnesium is a miraculous mineral that is responsible for activating over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. You need it to make ATP, the energy molecule as well as for proper heart, nerve and muscle function. Magnesium is necessary for protein sythesis, blood sugar control, and blood pressure regulation as well as bone formation. Half the magnesium in our bodies is found in our bones and prevents bone loss. Magnesium plays a role in detoxification and is used to make the master anitoxidant glutathione. It is a very important mineral with a variety of essential functions. Unfortunately over half the population is deficient in magnesium.
When to use it
Magnesium relaxes skeletal and smooth muscle (heart and skeletal muscle as well as blood vessels and bronchi), aids in nerve transmission and us useful in managing many conditions such as:
- Heart Rhythm disturbance
- High Blood Pressure
- Muscle cramps or spasms
- Numbness and tingling
This simple nutrient can lower your blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, relieve muscle cramps, spasms, headaches and fatigue, induce relaxation and sleep and prevent or relieve airway or bronchospasm. You can see why it is one of my favorite and often recommended minerals.
Food Sources of Magnesium
The highest levels of magnesium are found in the following foods:
- Almond or almond butter has the highest levels
- Black beans
- Nuts such as almond (highest), cashews, peanuts
- Seaweed that is aged and dried
- Seeds such as flax or pumpkin
- Spices such as basil and coriander
Many medications, conditions or substances can either prevent absorption or deplete magnesium levels. It is important to supplement if you are on or have any of the following:
- Proton pump inhibitors for acid reflux
While food is the best source of this miracle mineral, food is grown in nutrient depleted soil. Food is not picked ripe, it loses nutrients in shipping storage and cooking and not all of it absorbed. Not all magnesium is created equal. Many supplements are contaminated with lead and are in forms or types that are poorly absorbed. A low dose of magnesium citrate can be equivalent to a high dose of magnesium oxide due to absorption differences. Different forms of magnesium can also behave differently.
- Magnesium citrate – best absorbed, useful for constipation, in high doses may cause diarrhea
- Magnesium glycinate – highly absorbable less likely to cause diarrhea
- Magnesium oxide – found in most over the counter supplements because it is a smaller and more compact molecule, however it is poorly absorbed.
I recommend supplementing with magnesium starting with the lowest dose of 100-200mg. For relief of any of the conditions listed, increase slowly until you develop diarrhea up to a maximum of 800 mg. Do not go over 800 mg without medical supervision. Enjoy the benefits of this marvelous mineral so you can live younger and healthier.