The Magic of Magnesium….magnesium is a very important mineral needed in our bodies for many reasons. It is responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is mainly concentrated in the brain, muscles and bones.
A lack of magnesium in someone’s body may lead to tension, spasms or cramps. Bowels can be sluggish and slow. Brain and mood symptoms may include anxiety, panic, migraines and restless legs causing trouble sleeping. People with Type 2 Diabetes are statistically much more likely to have low magnesium as insulin affects both glucose and magnesium entry into the cell. Do you take a proton pump inhibitor (eg Nexium) or know someone who does? Magnesium levels are often lower in individuals who take these medications long term. See this link for a report by the Food and Drug Authority in the USA.
Why are we so deficient in this essential mineral?
Many of us eat a diet with practically no magnesium: refined foods eg bread and pasta, dairy and meat contains no magnesium.
Modern lifestyles commonly deplete our magnesium stores:
- Excess alcohol, salt, coffee and soda
- Prolonged stress
- Some intestinal parasites
- Absorption of magnesium requires vitamin D, B6 and selenium which can be lacking in our diets also.
Where do we easily get magnesium from food?
- Sea vegetables – seaweed
We regularly test the amount of magnesium in cells (red blood cell) rather than in the serum (fluid around blood cells) as this gives a longer term result on the amount of magnesium absorbed (over the past 3 months) rather than from intake over the past 24 hours. Depending on testing and symptoms, different types of magnesium supplementation are recommended on an individual basis.
An easy way to relax and absorb magnesium is to have a Epsom salt bath – relax in there for at least 20 minutes to allow the magnesium to be absorbed.
A great pre-sleep routine.
People with severe kidney disease or heart disease should only take magnesium under a doctor’s supervision.