Magnesium, the 5th most abundant mineral in the body is necessary for over 300 chemical reactions for normal bodily functions, such as proper muscle and nerve function. However, this mineral cannot be manufactured by the body. In order to have adequate levels, we need to get it through diet or supplementation.
Foods high in magnesium include green vegetables such as spinach, swiss chard, okra, broccoli. It’s also found in nuts and seeds such as almonds, sunflower, sesame seeds, whole and sprouted grains, beans. It can be found in variety fruits such as berries and bananas.
Researchers estimate the average adult has about 25 grams of magnesium within the body, and about 60% of that amount is found in the bones, 27% in muscles, 6% in cells, and 1% outside of cells.
A mild deficiency of magnesium can cause health effects…
Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
- Leg Cramps
- Muscle pain, stiffness, or fatigue/Fibromyalgia
- High Blood Pressure
- Type II Diabetes
- Migraine headaches
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium for males and females at different stages in their lives varies, from 30 mg for infants up to 6 months of age to 360 mg for adolescent females and pregnant women over age 31. A study in 2003 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey evaluated the amount of magnesium Americans consumed in their diet and found most were consuming 75 – 100 mg less than the RDA for magnesium. 68% of adults consumed less than the RDA of magnesium, 45% consumed only 3/4 of the RDA, and 19% consumed only 1/2 of the RDA.
Decreased magnesium consumption in the U.S. may be due to the increase in convenient processed foods which are highly magnesium deficient. During the refinement process, magnesium and other nutrients are lost.
Magnesium Deficiencies in the Diet may be Exacerbated by the following:
- Dry roasting of nuts and seeds removes the magnesium-rich oil.
- Milling flour from grains strips away magnesium.
- Physical & emotional stress depletes magnesium levels in the body.
- Agriculture grown on magnesium-depleted soil
- Low stomach pH prevents proper absorption of minerals in the body.
- Carbonated beverages (with phosphoric acid) and processed foods with phosphates bind to magnesium in the intestines and prevents its absorption.
- Refined sugars cause the body to excrete magnesium from the kidneys.
- Mineral imbalances in the body that inhibit proper magnesium utilization.
- Excessive use of diuretic products leaches magnesium from the body.
- Caffeine causes the kidney to release extra magnesium in the urine.
- Alcohol lower the availability of magnesium to the cells and causes an increase in excretion from kidneys.
There are ways to supplement magnesium in the body. The most effective methods are transdermal or internal consumption in liquid form. For the liquid absorption, an effective method is through CALM magnesium powder. It’s activated by adding warm water which dissolves the powder into a drinkable form. It is sweetened with stevia, not sugar. And, there are several flavors available through local health food stores or online at Amazon.
If you’re not one to ingest liquids, or you don’t prefer the sweet-tart taste, then you might prefer the transdermal approach. Ancient Minerals makes a topical magnesium oil spray and a lotion. The spray should be applied to the thighs or abdomen. However, for many people, it can cause an itching or burning sensation as it’s absorbed which might be uncomfortable. You can counter this sensation by first applying a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil. The lotion doesn’t have a tingling sensation, but it also doesn’t deliver as much magnesium as the oil. Both products are usually available at most health foods stores as well as Amazon.
My favorite method of late for getting magnesium in the system in young children and myself is the topical magnesium citrate cream from Scientific Bio-Logics which has a liposome base which is only available through health care practitioners. Great news! We now carry this product at Spinal Health & Wellness.
Benefits of Magnesium Include the Following:
- Cardiovascular health and normal blood pressure levels
- Helps metabolize carbohydrates and fats
- Promotes muscle relaxation
- Influences bone matrix and bone mineral metabolism
- Important for blood sugar metabolism and insulin sensitivity
- Promotes proper sleep patterns
- Assists with ATP synthesis and cellular energy production
- Required for active transport of ions such as potassium and calcium across the cell membranes
- Promotes bowel regularity
- Strengthens bones and teeth
- Maintains normal muscle and nerve function
- Helps synthesize essential molecules such as nucleic acids.