Supplement We Use: Magnesium Buffered Chelate
Signs of magnesium deficiency are common in the United States, if you know for what you are looking. It is a fact that more than 50% of Americans are magnesium deficient. Unfortunately, the symptoms are so incredibly common that they constantly slip under the radar!
The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are integrated into so many other health conditions that the thought of a magnesium deficiency does not cross one’s mind. Just about every single person you come into contact with – especially those with a health problem, but even those with only minor complaints – are suffering in some way from magnesium deficiency.
What Exactly Is Magnesium?
Magnesium plays a key role in more than 350 enzymes in the body and is involved in virtually every metabolic process. Its involvement is significant with overall cardiovascular health, blood pressure regulation and muscle relaxation.
A deficiency in magnesium, referred to as hypomagnesemia, has been associated with cardiac arrhythmias, ischemic heart disease, sudden cardiac death, hypertension, transient ischemic attacks (TIA), and stroke. Interestingly, cardiovascular disease research studies dating as far back as the 1930’s found that a low magnesium level, and not cholesterol or saturated fat intake, is probably the greatest predictor of all aspects of heart disease. Is it possible that our focus is on the wrong thing?
Where Does Magnesium Come From?
Magnesium is the central ion of chlorophyll, making leafy green vegetables one of the best food sources of this mineral. Other sources include nuts and seeds, legumes, and whole, unrefined grains.
One thing to consider, however, is that the presence of phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors in grains and legumes may interfere with magnesium absorption, unless steps are taken to neutralize these substances through specific preparation and cooking techniques such as soaking, sprouting, or fermentation.
What does magnesium do in the body?
Magnesium is a mineral and a cofactor. Its ions are essential to all cells. Hundreds of enzymes require magnesium ions to function. Magnesium compounds are used medicinally as common laxatives, antacids (e.g., milk of magnesia), and to stabilize abnormal nerve excitation or blood vessel spasm such as in eclampsia.
Along with being a mineral, magnesium is also an electrolyte. Electrolytes are responsible for salt and water balance in the system as well as muscle contraction and relaxation. If electrolyte balance gets disjointed, devastating things can happen.
Without electrolytes like magnesium, muscles can’t fire, the heart cannot beat, and your brain has difficulty transmitting signals. When magnesium levels begin to drop, we start to lose the energy and conductivity that keeps us going.
Once again Magnesium is a cofactor in over three hundred and fifty reactions in the body, necessary for transmission of nerve impulses, temperature regulations, metabolic detoxification in the liver, and formation of bones and teeth. However, magnesium shows its true power in cardiovascular health as stated above. In its absence, blood pressure may rise, cardiovascular disease may present itself and health and vitality are lost.
Magnesium plays a significant role in muscular relaxation. Muscle tension headaches and insomnia can result from the hypervigilent lifestyle we lead. Constipation can be a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is an electrolyte for the bowel. The bowel wall has muscle and magnesium is necessary for the relaxation.
How do I know I am magnesium deficient?
Magnesium deficiency can show up as many different, the following is a cumulative list of symptoms that can unveil with a low magnesium level.
- Impaired memory/thinking
- Sleep disturbances
- Muscle cramps
- Chronic back pain
- Muscular pain
- Brain fog
- Anxiety disorders such as OCD
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
Stress hormone production requires high levels of magnesium and stressful experiences can immediately lead to depletion of magnesium stores.
Do you crave sugar? Are your cravings especially for chocolate? Why is chocolate the sweet we eat when we are under stress? The chocolate monster comes out when emotional stress soars. Chocolate is one of the highest food sources of magnesium.
Why are we so magnesium deficient?
- We are eating minimally nutritious food. We settle for packaged and processed foods which will leach magnesium instead of provide it.
- We are increasingly hyper vigilant and stressed out. We’re running our engines on overdrive, doing more and sleeping/relaxing less. Stress hormone production (catecholamines produced by the adrenal glands) requires high levels of magnesium. Stress and hypervigilance lead to depletion of magnesium stores.
- We are eating more sugar than ever. For every molecule of sugar we consume, our body’s need fifty molecules of magnesium to process it. Sugar is extremely inflammatory and requires magnesium as a cofactor in metabolic reactions to handle the load.
- The low levels in the soil and modern farming techniques deplete stores of magnesium.
- Magnesium is depleted by many pharmaceutical drugs and estrogen compounds such as oral contraceptives, antibiotics, cortisone, prednisone, and blood pressure medications. (“Drug-induced nutrient depletion handbook,” Pelton, 2001). Diuretics in coffee and tea (caffeine) also raise magnesium excretion levels.
So as we can deduce, nearly everyone is magnesium deficient – no test needed. Refined/processed foods are stripped of their mineral, vitamin, and fiber content. These are anti-nutrient foods because they actually steal magnesium in order to be metabolized. When the Standard American Diet makes up most of what we eat, the end product is deficiency.
What if you eat a healthy diet?
Processed products are not the only foods that are devoid of magnesium. In general, magnesium has been depleted from topsoil, diminishing dietary intake across the board while our need for magnesium has increased, due to the high levels of persistent organic pollution we come across in our daily lives (air, water, hormone fed meats, plastics, chemicals etc.).
The soil is depleted of magnesium because of the pesticides that are sprayed on all conventionally grown plants and worldwide pollution that affects even the cleanest fields. Pesticides also kill those beneficial bacteria/fungi that are necessary in order for plants to convert soil nutrients into plant nutrients usable by humans.
Discuss magnesium with your health care practitioner to discover if magnesium supplementation may be a fit for you. Chances are, if you pay close attention you may be able to get most of it from healthy lifestyle choices and a quality nutritional protocol.
Supplement We Use: Magnesium Buffered Chelate