by Brandi Grimmer
Awareness is growing around the fact that the majority of adults are deficient in magnesium, a magnificent mineral that tops many nutritionists’ ‘must have’ lists. Our bodies require magnesium for over 300 enzymatic reactions involving energy production. Sixty-five percent of our body’s magnesium is found in our bones and teeth, while the remaining 35-40 percent is found in our muscle, tissue and body fluids. Magnesium deficiency stems from the use of prescription medications. The biggest offenders are corticosteroids, antibiotics, diuretics, oral contraceptives and antacids.
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Sleep disturbances
- Muscle cramps and twitching
- Depression and anxiety
- Bowel problems
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Memory loss and learning disabilities
Magnesium is a relaxing mineral. Anything that is tight, irritable, cramped and stiff—whether it is a body part or a mood— is a sign of deficiency. Although this miracle mineral is found in high concentration in green leafy vegetables, nuts and whole grains, it’s simply not enough to eat your way into magnesium. Combine this with the typical American diet, which tends to be reliant on pre-packaged and processed foods, and supplementation is required for almost everyone.
How much magnesium should you take? Doses vary between individuals, but a typical dose ranges from 200-500mg. There is no adverse effect with too much magnesium, but it is a natural laxative, so if you begin to notice loose stool, back off the dose or divide it up throughout the day. It is a relatively inexpensive supplement, but to get the most from it, you need the right form. Look for citrate, glycinate or other chelated forms, as the body absorbs these better than oxide, sulfate or carbonate. That being said, magnesium sulfate in the form of Epsom salt absorbs well through the skin (Epsom bath, anyone?).
Do you have any of the above symptoms? Is magnesium a part of your supplement regimen? If not, what are you waiting for?