Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body and 50% of magnesium is located in the bones. Magnesium, similar to zinc, is a necessary cofactor for over 300 biochemical reactions in the human body. This includes everyday processes, such as muscle building, maintaining nerve function, keeping a healthy heartbeat and sustaining optimal immune system function.
About 75-80% of the Australian population is deficient in magnesium. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include agitation and anxiety, restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep disorders, irritability, nausea and vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, confusion, muscle cramps, spasm and weakness, hyperventilation, insomnia, poor nail growth, and even seizures.
What causes Magnesium deficiencies?
1. Low intake of foods rich in magnesium
Magnesium is part of chlorophyll, the green pigment found in plants, so green leafy vegetables are particularly high in magnesium. The average Westerner consumes foods that are rich in energy and poor in micronutrients such as processed foods, sugar, sodas, and even meat.
Just 2.5 cups of spinach per day are enough to satisfy the daily requirement. Among this list, the green chlorophyll-rich vegetables are actually the best choice despite the fact that oat bran, for example, has more magnesium.
2. Poor intestinal absorption of minerals
Despite the fact that oat bran and brown rice are both very high in magnesium, they are actually a poor first choice. The reason for this also has to do with absorption. The magnesium in oat bran and many legumes is misleading in that the bio-availability is reduced as a consequence of these minerals being complexed (bound) to phytates. Humans are unable to digest phytate, thus phytate impairs the absorption of minerals (mostly zinc) but also magnesium to a lesser extent. In addition, high-dose supplementation with other minerals can result in competition for mineral digestive enzymes and can also impair mineral absorption. For example, relatively high doses of zinc (142 mg/day) have been shown to inhibit magnesium absorption.
3. Excessive excretion of minerals
Your kidneys play a major role in magnesium homeostasis by filtering magnesium and then allowing ~95% of this to be reabsorbed, but allowing the remaining 5% (approximately) to go on to be subsequently excreted in the urine.1 Your kidney is able to conserve magnesium and prevent deficiency by reducing its excretion. On the other hand, magnesium might also be allowed to be excreted in larger amounts in cases of excessive intake by being filtered but then not being re-absorbed in the ordinary proportions.
There are a few other factors that can significantly affect the reabsorption step that comes subsequent to kidney filtration:
Alcohol – this DOUBLES the excretion rate of magnesium in both acute (one time) and chronic (frequent) alcohol consumption cases.
Diabetes – type 1 and type 2 diabetics have an increased rate of magnesium excretion as a consequence of general kidney dysfunction.
Other ways that excessive excretion can come about and are not related to the kidneys’ homeostatic processes being disrupted include:
Gastrointestinal problems – Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel disease, etc. increase the secretion of magnesium into feces.
Excessive sweating from exercise or sauna can also result in magnesium loss but to a much lesser extent than any of the aforementioned reasons.
4. Depletion of our soils
You may be eating a so-called balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables but you are still not getting enough magnesium due to the over-farming of our soils. The excessive use of certain fertilizers such as NPK also depletes the soil of magnesium. Plants grown on these soils are notoriously deficient in magnesium.
Are you deficient in magnesium (or even other minerals)?
Visit my site Mineral Therapy Online and take the free Mineral Deficiency Assessment – no obligation and no strings attached. Results will be emailed to you within a day or two after completion of the assessment.
1. Grow your own greens. Unfortunately this is not always possible due to the available land you live on. People who live in apartments are severely disadvantaged if they want to grow their owns vegies.
2. Buy organically grown produce. Most of the organically grown produce is more expensive than 'ordinary' supermarket derived food. But paying the extra few cents will be a bonus in the long run.
3. Supplement with magnesium whilst trying to eat a balanced diet. The question arises: which forms of magnesium offered as supplements are the most effective ones?
Forms of Magnesium Supplementation
Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate
Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate is a mineral chelate form of magnesium containing an ion of magnesium oxide connected to a mixture of some other form of amino acid. This could be a lactate, a glycine, aspartate or arginate, etc. The best chelated amino acid form of magnesium is aspartate or arginate.
This form of magnesium has moderate levels of elemental concentration and 30% bio-availability rates. Magnesium carbonate has a strong laxative-effect when taken in high amounts. It is also commonly known as chalk, and is used as a drying agent by pitchers, gymnasts, rock climbers and weight lifters.
Derived from the magnesium salt of citric acid, this form of magnesium has lower concentration, but a high level of bio-availability (90%). Magnesium citrate is commonly used as to induce a bowel movement, but has also been studied for kidney stone prevention
Magnesium Chloride is a form of magnesium showing moderate concentrations, but higher levels of bio-availability when compared to magnesium oxide.
Magnesium Chloride as Magnesium 'Oil'
This substance is odorless, smooth and the World's Best….the most effective way to assist in relaxing muscles and nerves and rapidly raise cellular magnesium levels.
What is Magnesium Oil?
Magnesium oil is not actually an “oil” after all, but instead was coined as such due to the high saturation of magnesium chloride in water, which presents itself in an “oil-like” texture.
Magnesium chloride is the name for the chemical compounds with the formulas MgCl₂ and its various hydrates MgCl₂ₓ. These salts are typical ionic halides, being highly soluble in water. Due to this solubility magnesium chloride is easily absorbed through the skin.
Magnesium chloride works quickly to relax muscles and raise magnesium levels 12 times faster than oral supplementation, by-passing the digestive process completely. It increases cellular energy, assists in calming nerves and a general state of wellbeing.
Where Does Magnesium Oil Come From?
Ancient Minerals ultra pure magnesium oil is extracted from the Ancient Zechstein Seabed in Europe, 1600 to 2000 meters deep in the interior of the Earth. Well protected for the last 250 million years, it is the purest magnesium oil in the world and a mark of purity on every bottle of Ancient Minerals. See www.magnesiumforlife.com and tab to product analysis.
This type of magnesium shows moderate concentrations, but higher levels of bio-availability as compared to magnesium oxide. Magnesium lactate is a mineral supplement that is most commonly used for treating digestive issues. Magnesium lactate should be avoided by those with kidney disease or kidney-related problems.
Magnesium Orotate is the most effective form of magnesium supplement, created through the use of the mineral salts of orotic acid. Both plants and animals use orotates to create DNA and RNA. Extensive scientific research by Dr. Hans A. Nieper, M.D. shows orotates can penetrate cell membranes, enabling the effective delivery of the magnesium ion to the innermost layers of the cellular mitochondria and nucleus. Magnesium orotate contains many properties that can help protect you and your health, while offering your cells the most readily absorbable form of magnesium on the market today.
Magnesium Oxide is also referred to as “Magnesia”. Magnesium oxide is commonly used therapeutically as a laxative and relief for acid reflux. This type of magnesium shows high levels of concentration, but poor levels of bio-availability (only 4%).
Magnesium phosphate (Mag phos) has been traditionally used for the relief of physical and mental exhaustion, nerve pains and muscular spasms. Examples of conditions where Magnesium phosphate (Mag phos) may be indicated are, stomach or abdominal flatulence and colic; tension headaches; migraine headaches; dysmenorrhoea, particularly uterine cramping with lower back pain; muscular cramps and spasms anywhere in the body; neuralgia; nervous tics and twitches; sharp, shooting, darting pains; sciatica.
An inorganic form of magnesium with an elemental concentration of 10% and lower levels of bio-availability. Magnesium sulfate contains magnesium and sulfur and oxygen. It is commonly referred to as Epsom Salt. Magnesium Sulfate is a very potent laxative.
Magnesium Glycinate, Malate & Taurates
Chelated forms of magnesium holding moderate to low concentrations and higher levels of bio-availability. All three types of magnesium have a variety of uses, but none are as beneficial as the previous magnesium supplements listed above.