If you suffer from unexplained fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms or even muscle spasms and eye twitches, low levels of magnesium could be the reason.
Magnesium is one of the most crucial Nutrients for the health of your body. We need magnesium for 300 biochemical processes in the body.
- Activates muscles and nerves
- Creates energy in your body
- Helping digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats:
- in generating energy
- sometimes due to poor absorption of nutrients in the body due to Stress, old age, taking too much calcium etc, we must replenish magnesium in our everyday diet.
10 reasons for magnesium deficiency
According to a-fib.com, magnesium deficiency range from 65% to 80% in adults around the world because of
- Soil depletion of nutrients
- Medications like heart medication, asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy also hinders the absorption
- For a complete list of the specific drugs which can affect magnesium levels, read Causes of a Lack
- For a complete list of the specific drugs which can affect magnesium levels, read Causes of a Lack
- Antibiotics: Yes! antibiotics may give you temporary relief but they do permanent harm as they affect the digestive tract. Antibiotics kill good bacterias along with bad bacterias, hence compromising your immunity
- Wrong kind of magnesium: You are taking a multivitamin, but magnesium content is very low or it contains salt like magnesium Oxide that is very poorly absorbed by the body.
- Drinking Carbonated beverages with meals? Carbonated beverages have a compound called phosphate that will bind with magnesium in your food, making it unavailable for the body. So, stop drinking sodas with your healthy meals.
- Taking caffeine: Caffeine causes kidneys to excrete magnesium in urine.
- More than 7 alcoholic beverages per week
- Taking calcium supplements: Calcium and Magnesium ratio should be 1:1. Calcium supplements reduce magnesium absorption and retention.
- Older age (older adults are more likely to be magnesium deficient because absorption decreases with age. Also, the elderly are more likely to take medications that can interfere with absorption
- Stress depletes magnesium as well.
Importance of Magnesium for other bodily processes
Magnesium for healthy heart
The heart has more magnesium than any other organ in the body.
Low level of Magnesium in the body causes:
Major causes of Heart palpitations or Arrhythmia in the body are:
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Heart disease
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Anxiety disorder
Magnesium is beneficial for many types of arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation.
Magnesium is among the four important electrolytes that are critical for muscle function and heart is a big muscle.
If any of these electrolytes (Magnesium, sodium, potassium, and calcium) becomes imbalanced then palpitations can occur.
But, this is easy to fix. A simple blood or urine test will tell your doctor if this is the case. You can fix these electrolytes with a change in the diet only.
After reading a lot about benefits of low carb diet, I lowered my carb intake to less than 30 grams per day. Now Carbs and Fibre hold water in the body. Since I was not eating too many carbs, my body started losing water in the form of often urination. Frequent urination can cause a person to have too little potassium in the body.
I just added more potassium rich foods like Avocadoes and Swiss Chad in my diet and my palpitations were gone.
But, I do know friends who ignored these palpitations and later suffered from Hypokalemia
Magnesium for Blood pressure control
Addressing your high blood pressure is important, as it is a risk factor for both heart disease and stroke.
Human studies have shown that a deficiency in magnesium is associated with heart enlargement. The heart muscle becomes so enlarged that it can no longer pump blood effectively.
Magnesium sharply decreases the resistance against which the heart must pump.
Magnesium and Diabetes
People with “Insulin Resistance or Diabetes” excrete more magnesium in the urine
Further, there are now lots of studies stating relation of magnesium with insulin sensitivity, glucose regulation, and protection from type 2 diabetes
Migraines and Headaches
Magnesium helps with blood circulation and neurotransmitter functions, it helps in relieving headaches
One study actually found that regular intake of magnesium reduced the frequency of migraine attacks by 41.6 percent.
Medications for headaches do more harm than good. They may temporary take headache away but they have severe side effects. So before trying any painkiller for headaches, take the magnesium supplement.
Magnesium help relieves constipation
Magnesium acts as a laxative in your intestine. This means that your large intestine uses magnesium to bring in water into the bowl so that your stool becomes softer and easier to pass which is why supplementation is a great treatment for someone who has constipation issues.
That is why supplementation is a great treatment for someone who has constipation issues.
It also relaxes the muscles in the intestines which help to establish a smoother rhythm
For Constipation: Magnesium citrate:
Do not exceed the dose of 300mg 3X/day (total 900/day)
Magnesium Cures fatigue
Like petrol is to fuel the car, ATP is to fuel the cells in the body. Mitochondria inside the cells produce ATP by converting glucose, amino acids and fatty acids from our food. Without presence of enough magnesium, the nutrients we take in cannot be metabolized into useful energy
Magnesium is an ingredient for the energy-production process that occurs inside the tiny structures within cells.
Magnesium is helpful for Insomnia and Anxiety
Our brain uses Glutamate to activate the brain which is then used for various tasks like to solve Sudoku puzzles, to play games. Meaning glutamate fires the brain into higher states of activity
GABA calms the brain. It’s what your brain uses to shut itself down
Many of the medications and remedies for anxiety that are used today affect the levels of GABA and how it works in your brain
Magnesium is also essential for GABA activity, enhancing GABA sensitivity on nerve receptors
Magnesium is great as a muscle relaxant, and also has a calming effect – and it’s is one of the many minerals that is generally deficient in our modern diet, which goes a long way to explaining the increased levels of anxiety we see today
Magnesium plays an important role in your body’s detoxification processes. Glutathione is the master antioxidant in the body and it requires magnesium to be produced.
Test for Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium serum test
The blood test that is commonly done measures serum magnesium levels. This test does not efficiently measure the magnesium level within the cell where 99% of the magnesium in the body is found!
Magnesium RBC Test
The good news is that many labs now offer an “erythrocyte magnesium level” or “red blood cell magnesium level” test. These tests provide far more insight into your magnesium levels and are available from labs across the country.
Results of six mg/dl or higher indicate strong magnesium reserves in the body
Magnesium EXA Test
EXA test is an intracellular magnesium test. The EXA test will estimate for 99% of the body’s total magnesium and is the most accurate diagnostic test for magnesium currently
WBC test is more accurate than the RBC test.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
A deficiency in magnesium can affect 4 different areas and related signs for Magnesium deficiency are:
- Irritability and anxiety
- Memory problems
- Behavioural disturbances
- loss of appetite
- Muscular Symptoms
- Muscle Spasm and Cramps
- Vertigo and Difficulty Swallowing
Natural Sources of Magnesium
RDA for Magnesium: Our body needs 500-800 mg/ day.
I take magnesium together with B-complex because vitamin B-6 levels in your body determine how much magnesium can be absorbed into your cells.
The best source of any nutrient in the diet is from the food itself. Buying foods from your local farmers market and foods that are grown organically may have higher levels of magnesium
- Spinach — 1 cup: 157 mg
- Chard — 1 cup: 154 mg
- Pumpkin seeds — 1/8 cup: 92 mg
- Yogurt or Kefir — 1 cup: 50mg
- Almonds — 1 ounce: 80 mg
But, it can be quite difficult to find truly magnesium-rich foods. Cooking and processing further deplete magnesium.
I stay in a country Germany where are strict food quality control, but still, I have seen a massive health improvement adding magnesium in my diet.
If you drink every day 1 glass of vegetable juice you might not need extra supplements. But make sure you have the right combination of the variety of vegetables. Adding greens are most important.
Epsom Salt, Magnesium Oil and Magnesium spray
Another natural way to improve your magnesium levels in the body is to take regular Epsom salt baths or foot baths or swim in the ocean. Ancients Greeks called it “Healing from the sea”
As our skin absorbs magnesium from the water and transport directly into the body where it is required
Soaking in magnesium salts has been shown to markedly improve
- skin hydration
- speed wound healing
- decrease inflammation.
- stress relief and relaxation
- Great for soaking achy muscles and joints
Magnesium Oil: They are rapidly absorbed into the skin, look for Ultra-pure and highly concentrated. One teaspoon contains approximately 560 mg of elemental magnesium.
Magnesium oil is tolerated well by those who require large doses of magnesium due to existing deficiencies
As a last resort:
With our busy lifestyles, we do not always have time for magnesium baths, massages and to take care of magnesium rich foods. So it is always advisable that for such stress periods or when you are traveling keep some magnesium tablets with you.
On the market, there are plenty of magnesium supplements available. So, It’s not just about the amount of elemental magnesium found in the supplement. The formula must have high absorption capabilities.
Taking supplements and their absorption in the body are two different stories
Here is a list of magnesium salts to look according to the symptoms:
|Sleep and anxiety||Magnesium Glycinate (highest levels of absorption)|
|Digestive Issue||Magnesium Chloride (with meals)|
|Heart Disease||Magnesium Taurate|
|Muscle Cramps||Magnesium Sulfate|
|Constipation, Migraines||Magnesium Citrate|
|For Bodybuilders||Magnesium Arginate (With Meals)|
Take magnesium salt ending with *ate* like glycinate, theorenate, citrate are some of the best sources, as it seems to penetrate cell membranes, including your mitochondria, which results in higher energy levels.
** Do not take magnesium stearate, asperate and oxide*
I started reading about the type of magnesium salts when I despite taking magnesium oxide had muscle cramps and fatigue, at that time I was taking Magnesium oxide.
Recent studies have shown Magnesium L-theorenate the best. I was personally taking Magnesium glycinate because of its high absorption rate in the body.
Time Taken: In the Afternoon. As food is not required for its absorption so taking it with meals is not necessary
How I take Magnesium: From Foods, Magnesium Salt Baths and I take a supplement which had (Vitamin D+ Calcium+Vitamin K2 and Magnesium), all four in one Capsule. This Product is great if you do not have any special needs and just want to maintain good levels of magnesium in the body. The product is called Bone Restore K2 and You can buy it here:
The days I work out, I take extra Magnesium. Since Magnesium is among the Top 5 Vitamins that I recommend taking daily. I always have extra magnesium in my cupboard. You can buy it here. This one is my recommendation:
Magnesium relation with other Minerals
Calcium, Vitamin K2, and Vitamin D Must Be Balanced with Magnesium
If you are supplementing with Calcium, make sure that magnesium to calcium ratio is 1:1. If your symptoms of Magnesium deficiency does not improve try to stop taking calcium for a while and then try to see the difference.
If you have too much calcium and not enough magnesium, your muscles will tend to go into spasm
The first side effect of overdoing the magnesium would be loose stools.
Too much magnesium from food does not pose a health risk because the kidneys eliminate excess amounts in the urine. However, high doses of magnesium from dietary supplements or medications often result in diarrhea that can be accompanied by nausea and abdominal cramping
But, the cases of Magnesium Toxicity are very rare.
- 65-80% of world´s population is Magnesium Deficit
- Magnesium is the missing link to healthy bones
- Magnesium is the key nutrient to Healthy heart
- Magnesium helps fight Blood Pressure
- Magnesium acts as Laxative and helps relieves constipation
- Magnesium help relieves frequent Migraines and Headaches
- One teaspoon of Magnesium contains 560 mg of elemental magnesium.
- For muscle cramps relaxation, try an Epsom Salt Bath (Natural Magnesium)
I hope this article was informative. Please feel free to share How are you optimizing your magnesium levels?