Did you know that Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body? Did you also know that in order to contract a muscle our body uses calcium and in order to relax it uses magnesium? We all worry about calcium deficiency but let’s look closer at this other mineral.
We can get magnesium from many foods, like almonds, cashews, cocoa, kelp, figs, leafy greens, eggs, figs, seeds, soy beans, whole grain cereals and yes dark chocolate…among others. Even if you think you eat many of these foods, magnesium deficiency is still too common. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of magnesium is 400mg for men and 350mg for women, nevertheless, these values are not met through even a stellar diet.
Magnesium is not just necessary in cases of mere deficiency, but there are many diseases that require higher amounts of magnesium, or that can be triggered by magnesium deficiency as scientific studies prove, asthma, cystitis, depression, diabetes, fatigue, heart disease, insomnia, migraines, muscle and nerve problems, osteoporosis, anxiety, panic attacks, and diabetes type 2 are some examples. Pretty daunting isn’t it? So, unless we willingly change things, they will not get better by themselves.
In the clinic the thing I hear the most is cramps, foot, calf or thigh, it is always a sign of deficiency, do you get them at night?
Although magnesium supplements are increasingly popular to counteract deficiency, certain forms of magnesium are poorly absorbed. I would not recommend magnesium citrate or oxide for deficiency; these are poorly absorbed but act really well as laxatives in cases of constipation. Malate, glycinate or orotate are good choices but there are many things that might compromise absorption for example low stomach acid or leaky gut. It always goes back to the gut, if you read my articles you know that the gut is the root of most diseases. And to top it all, magnesium deficiency will have an effect on gut health, so becoming a vicious circle.
So how could we overcome the issues of absorption and deficiency? Sometimes a more aggressive approach is needed, magnesium chloride in the form of spray, oil and foot soaks with Epsom salts are excellent transdermal choices, to be done daily for at least 12 weeks. Half a cup of Epson salts in the bath will help you to relax and unwind, making it easier to fall asleep.
One last important thing, when magnesium deficiency is present, build-up of calcium in ligaments, tendons and soft tissues will occur, and the results will be joint pain, stiffness and arthritic pain, even calcification in the form of gallstones!
If you’re not getting enough, it’s time to pay attention and take-action, there is never a better time than today.