1st November 2018
Did you know that nearly two thirds of the population eats a diet deficient in magnesium? Staggering, huh?
Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions and a further 600 enzymatic reactions within the body – so if you have a deficiency, there are 900 plus jobs in your body that can’t be done. Magnesium is considered a macro-mineral, which means it is needed in relatively large amounts to maintain normal function within the body. Other macro minerals include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and chloride.
Unfortunately low levels of magnesium through eating foods are common in the world today due to poor nutrient quality in soil, farming methods and modern day stress. Oh and not forgetting poorer quality of water.
If you suffer with gut infections or have poor digestion (which, let’s face it, is all too common), the amount of magnesium you can absorb from food will be very poor. Magnesium rich foods include spinach, brown rice, avocado and pumpkin seeds.
60 % of magnesium is found within the bones, 30% in the muscles and 1% within extra-cellular fluid.
Magnesium is needed for: –
- Regulating hormones
- Relaxation of blood vessels
- Regulation of blood sugar levels
- Helping to digest proteins, carbs and fats
- Proper formation of bones and teeth
- Relaxation of muscles and nerves
- Aiding sleep
- Relaxation of blood vessels
- For neurotransmitters like serotonin where it acts as a catalyst
- Liver detoxification
Here are some of the symptoms/conditions associated with magnesium deficiency:-
- Craving chocolate
- Restless leg syndrome
- Tight muscles and cramping
- Kidney stones
- Muscle tremors or twitching
- PMS symptoms
- Poor digestion
- Recurrent bacterial or fungal infections (due to low levels of nitric oxide)
There are many different magnesium variations available for supplementation but not a ‘one size fits all’ policy is appropriate.
Different options for magnesium supplementation include: –
The most bio-available form of magnesium one of the easiest to be absorbed and one of the most gentle forms on the gut. The extra glycine (an amino acid) can aid sleep and help to provide a feeling of calm. Glycine also helps to increase LES (lower esophageal sphincter) pressure, helping to prevent reflux.
Best taken before bed, this form of magnesium does not have a laxative effect and is less likely to cause gastrointestinal symptoms.
This is a great supplement for those that have fatigue issues or suffer with chronic fatigue syndrome. It helps to increase ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is a molecule that provides cellular energy. The extra malic acid present has been shown to help with bile production so magnesium malate is best taken with meals. It can be too stimulating for some people and can disrupt sleep if taken at night.
This is frequently advised for people with heart disease. Taurine is an amino acid that aids in proper heart function. Best taken before bed.
This is chelated to threonic acid ( a metabolite of vitamin C). It is able to cross the blood-brain barrier which studies show helps to improve learning and memory function which is beneficial for age-related coginitive decline. Best taken with meals.
This is one of the best forms of magnesium supplementation if you are suffering from digestive disorders caused by low stomach acid. Magnesium choride bypasses the gut and is beneficial for those with IBS as the extra chloride helps the body to produce more hydrochloric acid. It can be used topically as a spray or can be taken with food in capsule form.
Possibly one of the most popular forms of supplementation but has average absorption and can cause loose stools – so better for those suffering from constipation.
Only has a bio-availability of 4% and generally should be avoided.
Magnesium sulphate is an inorganic salt and is a good option for helping with the symptoms of pre-eclampsia. It is contained in bath salts such as Epsom salts and is well absorbed through the skin.
What quantities should I supplement with?
Please note that before supplementing it is important to discuss quantities with a qualified healthcare professional, especially if you are on any medication which could be interfered with by supplementation.
The amount you should supplement with depends on your weight, gender, deficiency levels in the first place and need for the mineral but the RDA is 310-420mg per day.
If you start to get loose stools it could be that you are supplementing too high. You should decrease quantities or/and swap to magnesium glycanite.
Please note that normal kidney function is needed to excrete excess magnesium. Please seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional who will help you to decide what is the best magnesium supplement for you.
I hope that has cleared up a few magnesium queries.
Love Kate x