What You Need To Know About Magnesium
Most people are deficient in magnesium. Being deficient in this calming mineral can cause a wide variety of symptoms. This mineral is involved in over 700 processes in the body. You need it for the production of glutathione (master antioxidant in the body), for Vitamin D conversion, for a regular heart rhythm, your bowels need it for smooth muscle relaxation so you have daily bowel movements. Magnesium is crucial for blood sugar balance. We don’t want our blood sugar going on a roller coaster throughout the day, this will cause you to feel exhausted. You need magnesium to convert carbohydrates and fat into energy. In order for the body to process one molecular of glucose, it takes 56 molecules of magnesium. As well, it is crucial for blood pressure control. Many times people who are borderline high blood pressure can get to normal numbers with quality magnesium supplementation and a few other interventions. Nervous system dysregulation is a big factor in today’s society. Stress depletes magnesium…..AS WELL, magnesium is needed for stress and nervous system regulation. This is a big factor for children and adults! Those who have allergies and food sensitivities often have a magnesium deficiency, your body uses magnesium for controlling inflammation and if someone is eating something that is inflammatory to them, it will increase need for magnesium.
The weird thing is, research shows how common magnesium deficiency is, clinical signs are abundant in the general population, but conventional medicine barely recommends it… maybe for constipation and that’s it. Even the WHO says that “low magnesium status has been implicated in hypertension, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome”… they also noted that up to 80% of the American population is deficient in magnesium. I could go on and on about this topic so let’s dig in a bit so you can better understand just how important magnesium is and how to eats food with it/supplement, cautions about supplementation, etc.
CAUSES OF MAGNESIUM DEPLETION:
1 | SOIL DEPLETION. Soil depletion due to some farming practices, herbicides/pesticides, etc.
2 | WIDESPREAD GLYPHOSATE USE. This herbicide is on the majority of our foods in the US at this point. Eating organic is very helpful to reduce exposure. Glyphosate chelates minerals, including magnesium.
3 | PROCESSED FOODS. Processed foods leach magnesium. Sugary foods contribute to this as well, but also the inflammatory nature of highly refined and processed foods will contribute to magnesium deficiency.
4 | ALCOHOL USE. Alcohol use depletes magnesium.
5 | EXERCISE OR SAUNA USE. These are great things for the body but they still deplete the body. Any time you exercise or use the sauna, need to be super intentional about replacing minerals.
6 | STRESS. Stress depletes magnesium but remember you all need magnesium for stress management.
7 | FLOURIDE. Fluoride in our water also depletes magnesium. Fluoride binds to dietary magnesium and interfere with absorption of magnesium in the gut. The funny thing about this is that magnesium is one of the minerals needed for tooth development. To read more on fluoride click HERE.. https://www.instagram.com/s/ aGlnaGxpZ2h0OjE4MTU4ODE3MDcwMTQ1OTI0?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
8 | MEDICATIONS. Medications that deplete magnesium: antacids like TUMS and acid blockers like Nexium, Prilosec, Zantac or Pepcid, antibiotic, antivirals, blood pressure medicines like enalapril and HCTZ and other diuretics like lasix, Ritalin and other CNS stimulants, steroids, statin medications, antidepressants, cholestyramine, inhaled corticosteroids like Flonase, budesonide or pulmicort, birth control, aromatase inhibitors and estrogen modulators (given after breast cancer or other hormonal cancers), Evista (osteoporosis medication), calcium supplementation, etc.
9 | PROLONGED FASTING. Prolonged fasting will deplete magnesium. I am not a fan of intermittent fasting for menstruating women for a number of reasons but for women that are menopausal or postmenopausal or men that are fasting, magnesium is crucial to supplement.
10 | PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING. Pregnancy/breastfeeding also depletes magnesium. These are beautiful and wonderful things! But they can both be depleting on mom in today’s world due to the above mentioned factors. 11. Chronic gut infections that cause poor digestion and malabsorption.
There is no great test to check for magnesium deficiency because 99% of magnesium is in the cell. Muscle testing, hair analysis, or testing blood with an RBC magnesium test are the best ways to test for magnesium deficiency. I typically go off symptoms more than anything. Optimal range for the RBC magnesium test is greater than 6.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY:
ADULTS | hypertension, blood sugar dysregulation/prediabetes/diabetes, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, constipation, seizures, cardiac arrhythmias (any of them), muscle spasms, menstrual cramps, numbness/tingling, osteoporosis/osteomalacia, IBD/celiac/other daily gut symptoms, acid reflux, asthma in personal or family history, constantly stressed, muscle twitching, restless leg syndrome, etc.
CHILDREN | anxiety, panic attacks, hyperactivity/impulsive, ADHD diagnosis, autism diagnosis, headaches, obesity, irritable/mood swings, constipation, aggression, lots of meltdowns, teeth grinding, sleep issues (trouble falling asleep and staying asleep), muscle or eye twitching, asthma, IBS, lack of appetite, lots of allergies
The fact that anxiety and depression are such huge issues in our country and not one conventional provider goes for magnesium is criminal…it’s like they don’t even look at Pubmed anymore they just get their instructions from the bought and paid for AMA…but that’s another topic. Here is one case report of "Rapid Recovery of Major Depression Using Magnesium Treatment":
“Case histories are presented showing rapid recovery (less than 7 days) from major depression using 125-300mg of magnesium (as glycerinate and taurinate) with each meal and at bedtime….. dietary deficiencies of magnesium, coupled with excess calcium and stress may cause many cases of other related symptoms including agitation, anxiety, irritability, confusion, asthenia, sleeplessness, headache, delirium, hallucinations, and hyperexcitability, with each of these having been previous documented….. last quote..
“The possibility that magnesium deficiency is the cause of most major depression and related mental health problems including IQ loss and addiction is enormously important to public health and is recommended for immediate further study.’…. here is the thing about that. They can study it and study it but if it isn’t being translated into actual practice it doesn’t help. On average, it takes 17 YEARS (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3241518/) for clinical practice to catch up with what the literature is showing in research. New research also shows that it takes EVEN LONGER to de-adopt old, outdated, or ineffective practices (https:// pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25775163/)
WOW! What a difference this mineral can make!
Alright, so first let’s go through magnesium rich foods…. Spinach, chard, other leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, yogurt/kefir, almonds, avocado, black beans, dark chocolate, banana, potatoes, cashews, etc. BUT…. Keep in mind our soil is depleted in magnesium so these foods may not be as rich in magnesium as they once were.
Okay, so thinking we might need to supplement some… but wait! Sodium and potassium need to be in balance along with magnesium. Stress depletes sodium too! So many are scared of salt (thanks US government and ADA) but if you are eating mostly whole foods you are most likely depleted in some sodium. We used to have more in water, we live stressed out lives, etc. But we also used to just take in more salt and because it’s been discouraged for so long, many are depleted. Not having enough sodium will stress the adrenals, can cause loss of energy and increase inflammation. So…first thing, add a pinch of salt to your water. I use Redmon Real Salt and Crucial Four Icelandic flake salt. I also love adrenal cocktails for this too. If you are sensitive, start slow with everything, 1/4 - 1/2 dosing. We are all bio-individual and will react differently.
My favorite adrenal cocktail recipe is:
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon whole food C powder ( I use Immune Aid from Earthley or Acerola powder from Perfect Supplements)
- 2oz of Ningxia Red (antioxidant wolf berry puree)
(Or you could do 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 4oz coconut water (I like Harmless Harvest brand) and 1/4 teaspoon whole food C powder.)
So this could be a first step or along with magnesium supplementation. But either way making sure getting enough salt is important.
For children, I do add a pinch of salt to water or use Concentrate Trace Mineral drops to water, but I also use Jigsaw Mag Soothe for their magnesium supplement. It contains a chelated magnesium glycinate along with sodium and potassium. As far as dosing I can only give what the manufacturer recommends, but keep in mind this chart doesn’t include food intake. For my children, I personally give 1/4 teaspoon of this to my 4 year old and 1/2 teaspoon to my 6 year old. When they were younger I started with 1/8 teaspoon. I usually try to give it twice per day, just depends! I do not use oral supplementation of magnesium with infants but epsom salt baths and topical magnesium lotion (I love Goodnight Lotion from Earthley) is a great way to support them. Again, very small amounts.
For adults I use different forms of magnesium. For all members of my family I tend to rotate things, but in general I like magnesium bicarb from Crucial Four sipped throughout the day, I use Smidge morning and evening magnesium (start slow), Jigsaw MagSRT, Magnesium glycinate from Seeking Health or Optimal Magnesium from Seeking Health. Orthomolecular has a great Reacted Magnesium as well. (All are available from my Fullscript except Crucial Four is from their website.) I use Earthley Goodnight lotion throughout the day not every day, again, we rotate things. Start very small, pea sized amount as it says on the bottle.
As with everything we do, we START SLOW and MOVE FORWARD. Pay attention to yourself and your children...you may notice better bowel movements, less reactivity, less anxiety and ability to cope with stress. The more you know!
PLEASE NOTE: This is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. These things are supportive in nature. This is not meant to be medical advice, this is meant to be educational. Please speak to your healthcare provider before changing anything in your healthcare routine.
Products mentioned above are linked below along with current promo codes at date of publication: