Magnesium is the most common mineral deficiency we see at Cincinnati Health Institute. Magnesium is the most utilized mineral in the body and is responsible for actions ranging from relaxation and decalcification of the arteries, to utilizing sugar in the cell, to improving mood. We cannot survive without it. It is hard to measure total body stores, since 99% of magnesium is stored in the tissues and only 1% is in the blood. We can be depleted of magnesium in our body compartments, but our blood will show we are normal, because this accounts for only 1% of our total magnesium. Our bodies use that 99%, to keep the 1%, in the normal range. For example, our brain tissue may be very low and our blood levels may indicate a normal level. Due to diet and environmental factors, assume you are magnesium deficient, as most of us are (over 80%).
Before the commercial agriculture boom and processed foods we had a lot more magnesium in our diet. In fact, the ratio of magnesium to calcium was 1:1. It is now near 1:6. This ratio has worsened with the introduction of large scale row crop farming. We have nutrient depleted soil with very little organic matter, so the food we grow, is nutrient deficient. Most of our food supply is processed and magnesium isn't present in significant amounts. Another cause of depletion of magnesium is diuretic medications (hydrochlorothiazide is one of the most common) used to treat high blood pressure. This causes long term magnesium depletion which causes high blood pressure.
Magnesium comes in many different forms and if you want to actually absorb it you will need the right kind. Your doctors office (nutrition oriented doctors office that is) or higher end health food store or specialty pharmacy is the place to start.
- Magnesium Taurate: The taurate portion of the magnesium chelate is very calming to the brain and works in synergy with magnesium to help with mood.
- Magnesium Glycinate: It does not create GI upset like Mag Oxide and is very effective in higher doses without side effects of diarrhea.
- Magnesium Oxide: Cheaper magnesium brands are made of this. You get a lot of concentrated magnesium in one pill, but only absorb about 4% of it. This should only really be used for constipation and not to replenish magnesium stores. If being cheap is more important than whether it works effectively, then you should choose this one (see you at the crapper).
- Magnesium-L-Threonate: A newer, higher absorption form of magnesium. Studies have shown increased absorption potential, especially in the efficient transfer through the central nervous system.
- Magnesium Citrate: Which is good for constipation and but still allows absorption of magnesium, can cause loose stools in high doses. Magnesium citrate is cheaper than the previously mentioned magnesium chelates and overall is good form magnesium.
- Epsom Salts: Scientifically this is known as magnesium sulfate and is absorbed through the skin while soaking in them. So go ahead and run a warm bath with Epsom salts. It really can boost magnesium levels
- Topical Magnesium oils: There are many formulations on the market for topical, or transdermal, magnesium oils. Magne-gel by Designs For Health is a pure, 100% natural solution of magnesium chloride. The magnesium chloride comes from high quality magnesium salt derived from the depths of the earth’s interior – all from the ancient Zechstein seabed in Europe. Ultra-pure and untouched by pollutants, this magnesium salt was protected at depths of 5,000-6,500 feet in the Zechstein seabed for the past 250 million years. This transdermal delivery system is highly efficient, allowing for rapid assimilation in the body.
When choosing your magnesium, be careful it is not combined with magnesium oxide,which is used to decrease costs and lessens efficacy of the good magnesium. Magnesium oxide is not an absorbable form of magnesium.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
- Heart Arrhythmia
- High Blood Pressure
- Leg & Menstrual Cramps
- Headaches & Migraines
- Restless legs
- Kidney stones
Magnesium Taurate by Cardiovascular Research
NeuroMag by Designs For Health
Magnesium Citrate by Pure Encapsulations