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Why You Should Consider Supplementing with Magnesium

Calcium seems to get all the headlines these days, but magnesium supplementation may be far more important for many people. In fact, studies show that the majority of Americans are deficient in this vital mineral.

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Did you know that magnesium is second to potassium in terms of concentration within the body’s cells and is required for over 300 enzymatic processes in the body? In other words, it is a BIG deal and demands more attention than it currently gets.

The RDA for magnesium is 350 milligrams per day for adult males and 280 milligrams per day for adult females. Unfortunately, the average intake of magnesium by healthy adults in the U.S ranges between 143 and 266 milligrams per day. Clearly this is well below the RDA. The biggest culprit for low magnesium is food choice. Magnesium occurs abundantly in whole foods namely nuts/seeds and green leafy vegetables.  It is quite low in fish, meat, milk, and most commonly eaten fruits. Most Americans do not eat whole, natural foods, but instead consume large quantities of processed foods that refine out a large portion of magnesium.

On top of a lack of dietary magnesium, deficiency can also be caused by emotional stress, prolonged stress, some drugs (diuretics, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, insulin and cortisone), intense exercise, excessive sweating, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders and ironically too much calcium in the diet. Balance is key when it comes to vitamins and minerals in the body as they all work synergistically together. Too much coffee, soda, salt or alcohol can also cause deficiencies. Hello Standard American Diet! It’s not hard to believe why so many American’s are deficient in this vital nutrient when you not only combine poor diet, but also the many  stressors we have in our lives these days.

So what exactly is magnesium required for in the body?

Well, a better question would be, what is magnesium not required for in the body? Like I mentioned earlier, it is required for over 300 enzymatic processes in the body, in particular those processes involved in energy production (i.e., production of ATP, the source of energy that keeps everything going in the body).

Magnesium is also required for the activation of the sodium and potassium pump that pumps sodium out of, and potassium into, the cells. Therefore, when magnesium is low in the body, consequently all cell function is greatly disrupted, specifically muscle and nerve cells. It is also known as the “Natural Relaxant Mineral”. It’s role is balanced out by its’s excitatory counterpart, Calcium. Magnesium is responsible for making muscles relax, where as calcium makes muscles contract.

Magnesium has also made it’s name for being “nature’s calcium channel-blocker” because of its ability to block the entry of calcium into vascular smooth-muscle cells and heart muscle cells. Because of this, magnesium can help reduce vascular resistance, lower blood pressure, and lead to more efficient heart function overall.

What are the Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency?

Because magnesium is essential for virtually every organ and cell in the body, deficiency can look a lot of different ways.

Dr. Sidney Baker wrote an article that does a great job of outlining the symptoms of magnesium deficiency.  In his words:

“With regard to skeletal muscle, one may experience, twitches, cramps, muscle spasms, muscle soreness including back pain, neck pain, tension headaches and jaw joint (TMJ) dysfunction. Also, one may experience chest tightness or a peculiar sensation that he can’t take a deep breath. Sometimes a person may sigh a lot.”

“Symptoms involving impaired contraction of smooth muscles include constipation, urinary spasms, menstrual cramps, difficulty swallowing or a lump in the throat-especially provoked by eating sugar, photophobia, especially difficulty adjusting to oncoming bright headlights in the absence of eye disease, and loud noise sensitivity from stapedius muscle tension in the ear.”

“Continuing with the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, the central nervous system is markedly affected. Symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness with constant movement, panic attacks, agoraphobia and premenstrual irritability. Magnesium deficiency symptoms involving the peripheral nervous system include numbness, tingling and other abnormal sensations such as zips, zaps, and other vibratory sensations.”

“Symptoms or signs of the cardiovascular system include palpitations, heart arrhythmias, and angina due to spasms of the coronary arteries, high blood pressure and mitral valve prolapse. Be aware that not all symptoms need to be present to presume magnesium deficiency but many of them often occur together.”

So again, Magnesium is a BIG deal people and a mineral that most people don’t even realize they are deficient in.

If you noticed, many of these symptoms have to do with tension in the body; not being able to relax both physically and emotionally. Remember how I said calcium is excitatory in the body? Do you see the connection when we don’t have a balance of magnesium with calcium? If you currently supplement with calcium, make sure you are taking a supplement that includes magnesium also or you risk making this balance even worse than it might have already been.

What do I recommend?

If you are looking into starting to supplement with magnesium, Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm magnesium powder supplement is one I recommend. I personally started using it daily and love it! I workout at high intensity at least 4-5 days a week and also tend to be a pretty high strung type A person. This doesn’t help me out too much as far as magnesium reserves go, so I want to make sure I am getting enough to replenish the magnesium stores I use up on a daily basis.

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It is a highly absorbable form and also comes in a variety of all natural and organic flavors. My personal favorite is organic raspberry lemon. By the way, I am not endorsed by this product what-so-ever. I simply want to share with you all my recommendations and spread good health!

Magnesium is available in many forms. The recommended and most absorbable forms include magnesium citrate, magnesium, gluconate, and magnesium lactate. Natural Calm is in the form of magnesium citrate.

It is a good idea to take a B-complex or a multivitamin with B-vitamins when supplementing with magnesium because the amount of B-6 in the body will determine how much magnesium will be absorbed.

This product is advertised as the Anti-Stress drink for obvious reasons after you understand Magnesium’s role in the body. So, if you currently struggle with stress or anxiety or trouble sleeping, this would be a great supplement for you to try. Everyone is different and one thing does not always work for everyone, but it’s worth a shot! I’ve read many testimonials of women who suffered from migraines for years and when they began supplementing with this daily they went away, or the pain/frequency was reduced drastically. Even though it is advertised as the Anti-Stress drink, it can benefit and help you if you suffer from any other symptoms of magnesium deficiency as well. It’s just magnesium.

You can purchase this product on Amazon here

I have to stress the point that it is not my goal for you to rely on any one supplement to solve all your health problems, however. This is meant only to be a recommendation to supplement a healthy whole foods diet.  To do the first but not the latter would be ignorant and what I feel like many Americans unfortunately do.

To move forward with your health starts with a willingness to take responsibility for your health once and for all and an understanding that it is a marathon and not a sprint. Just start with one meal, one bite, one night’s sleep at a time.  You are worth it.

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  1. Asking questions are truly nice thing if you are not understanding something
    entirely, but this piece of writing offers good understanding yet.

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