Why is magnesium so important? Magnesium is a vital mineral involved in more than 300 enzymatic processes at the cellular level. Magnesium is also the 4th most prevalent electrolyte in our bodies; electrolytes are what allow us to be living, electrical beings. They are responsible for all electrical activity (and thus brain conductivity) in the body. Without electrolytes like magnesium, muscles can’t fire, your heart can’t beat, and your brain doesn’t receive signals. Simply put, we need magnesium to stay alive. As soon as we don’t have enough of it, we start to lose the energy and conductivity that keeps us going. Technically, as soon as we become deficient, we slowly begin to die, getting more aches and pains day by day, feeling worse year after year.
The current statistic is more than 75% of Americans do not get even the minimum RDA of magnesium in their diets. On top of low intake, the American lifestyle/diet actually depletes our magnesium stores and worsens deficiency. You may have experienced symptoms of magnesium deficiency most of your life and never knew what they were caused by… The top four deadly non-communicable diseases, (diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer), are all tied to low magnesium levels or their risk is significantly reduced by increased magnesium intake.
Common symptoms include:
- Anxiety (including disorders such as OCD)
- Behavioral disturbances
- Impaired memory/thinking
- Sleep disturbances
- Muscle cramps
- Chronic back pain
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- Muscular pain
- Brain fog
Courtesy of Positive Health Wellness:
Health Issues From Insufficient Mg
The number of health issues that can arise from insufficient magnesium are far too numerous to write… Magnesium is used everywhere in your body: blood, muscles, bones, teeth, vital organs, hair, and nails. It is necessary for transmission of nerve impulses, temperature regulation, and detoxification in the liver. For the sake of time let’s limit discussion to just the four major, non-communicable diseases:
Diabetes: In a meta analysis of 13 cohort studies, 536,318 participants, and 24,516 cases of diabetes, increased magnesium intake was found to be “significantly” inversely correlated with type 2 diabetes. (source)
Stroke: In a meta analysis of 7 studies, 241,378 participants, and 6,477 cases of stroke, increased magnesium intake was found to have a “modest, but statistically significant” inverse correlation with stroke risk. (source)
Ischaemic Heart Disease: In a meta analysis of 16 studies and 313,041 individuals, there were 11,995 Cardiovascular Disease cases and 7,534 of those were Ischaemic Heart Disease (2,686 of which were fatal IHD events). They concluded that “circulating and dietary magnesium are inversely associated with CVD risk.” (source)
Low magnesium levels are also the best predictor of heart disease.
Cancer: In a meta analysis of 8 studies, 338,979 participants, and 8,000 Colorectal Cancer cases, increased magnesium intake was associated with “a modest reduction in the risk of CRC, in particular, colon cancer.” (source)
Other research suggests that magnesium deficiency increases cancer risk significantly.
The Weston A. Price foundation writes, “Magnesium alone can fulfill the role of many common cardiac medications: magnesium inhibits blood clots (like aspirin), thins the blood (like Coumadin), blocks calcium uptake (like calcium channel-blocking drugs such as Procardia) and relaxes blood vessels (like ACE inhibitors such as Vasotec) (Pelton, 2001).”
According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, “Based on experience, it is our conviction that many patients with so-called exclusion diagnoses (as for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) would have their symptoms improved through Mg therapy.—Similarly, patients with diagnoses of depression, epilepsy, diabetes mellitus, tremor, Parkinsonism, arrhythmias, circulatory disturbances (stroke, cardiac infarction, arteriosclerosis), hypertension, migraine, cluster headache, cramps, neuro-vegetative disorders, abdominal pain, osteoporosis, asthma, stress dependent disorders, tinnitus, ataxia, confusion, preeclampsia, weakness, might also be consequences of the magnesium deficiency syndrome.”
Also, in a study of ADHD children, magnesium deficiency was found in 95% of the 116 children tested. (source)
Some ways that magnesium is commonly depleted in our bodies include: stress, coffee consumption, sugar consumption, exercise, pesticides… OrganicOlivia from collective-evolution.com answers the question, “Why Are We So Deficient?”: “Number one, we’re being poisoned by our food. Number two, we’re increasingly stressed out. We’re running our engines on high to keep up with life and it’s draining us. Stress hormone production requires high levels of magnesium and stressful experiences lead to depletion of magnesium stores. Number three, we’re eating more sugar than ever. For every molecule of sugar we consume, our bodies use 54 molecules of magnesium to process it. Fourth, low levels in the soil and modern farming techniques deplete stores of magnesium. And lastly, magnesium is depleted by many pharmaceutical drugs and estrogen compounds such as oral contraceptives, antibiotics, cortisone, prednisone, and blood pressure medications (“Drug-induced nutrient depletion handbook,” Pelton, 2001). Diuretics in coffee and tea (caffeine) also raise excretion levels. Oh and by the way – flouride competes for absorption with magnesium!
Nowadays, nearly everyone is magnesium deficient – no test needed. Refined/processed foods are stripped of their mineral, vitamin, and fiber content. These are anti-nutrient foods because they actually steal magnesium in order to be metabolized. When consumed, they demand that we supplement with magnesium or we are destined to break down eventually due to severe deficiency. Like I said, sugar is the worst offender. Every single molecule of sugar you consume drags over 50 times the amount of magnesium out of your body.
Well, what if you eat a healthy diet? Processed products are not the only foods that are devoid of magnesium. In general, magnesium has been depleted from topsoil, diminishing dietary intake across the board while our need for magnesium has increased, due to the high levels of toxic exposure we come across in our daily lives (air, water, plastics, chemicals, the list goes on!). The soil is depleted of magnesium because of the pesticides that are sprayed on all conventionally grown plants and worldwide pollution that affects even the cleanest fields. Pesticides also kill those beneficial bacteria/fungi that are necessary in order for plants to convert soil nutrients into plant nutrients usable by humans.”
The Best Ways To Get Magnesium
Swim in the ocean every day. With 1300 ppm of magnesium, (not to mention potassium, calcium, iodine, etc.), bathing in sea water everyday will bring your levels up to nominal most efficiently.Eat magnesium rich foods grown on organic soil, such as dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale), almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, brown rice, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.,…Soak in Epsom salt baths, best if it is a full body soak but just the feet are OK too. This will provide not only magnesium, but sulfur for your liver as well.Apply magnesium oil to your skin! Besides Epsom salt baths, this is the next best way to raise your levels. Spraying it on throughout the day could be more effective for you because it may be more convenient than an Epsom salt bath. But you don’t need to buy the expensive stuff at the store – you can make your own! *(See recipe below)*Take oral magnesium supplements such as magnesium citrate or magnesium theonate (more expensive but numerous studies show it has added benefits for the brain and nervous system).
How To Make Magnesium Oil:
1/2 cup filtered water1/2 cup magnesium chloride flakes or magnesium sulfate (epsom salts – much cheaper! And the sulfur is good for the liver.)4-oz Spray bottleBring the water to a boil in a non-aluminum saucepan. Turn off the heat and stir in the magnesium flakes until dissolved. When cool, pour into your spray bottle.
- Oxford Journals – Magnesium Basics: http://ckj.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/Suppl_1/i3.full
- Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD: http://drcarolyndean.com/magnesium_miracle/