the biggest 5 reasons you need magnesium

Do you have restless legs?

Do you get stressed irritable and fatigued, have trouble getting to sleep?

Do you get cramps, suffer from fibromyalgia, muscle aches and pains?

Do you suffer from period pain – mood swings, fluid retention, premenstrual migraines?

Well, magnesium could be the missing link as these are all indicators that you have a mineral imbalance and your magnesium levels are now below where they should be.

Magnesium is found in foods such as dark leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, cocao, as well as whole grains and soy.

Processing, refining and cooking removes a significant amount and often has to be added back through artificial means – not the best way to get it – so it is important to have fresh, clean food in your diet and avoid refined and processed.

The things that impact your magnesium levels include:

  • Stress – particularly when it is acute or prolonged – chronic
  • Inadequate sleep – night shift workers
  • Profuse perspiration
  • Excessive drinking of caffeinated, carbonated, alcoholic drinks – coffee, coke, soft drinks, beer, wine,etc
  • Excessive salt intake – more than just a sprinkle, plus all the hidden salts in our foods
  • Eating a diet high in processed and refined foods.
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Taking multiple medications
  • Hormonal changes as we age resulting in lower enzyme production and digestive function
  • Gut problems – diarrhoea, vomiting, Crohns disease, Coeliac, Diverticula disease, etc.

Magnesium is an essential micro-mineral and is the second most abundant intracellular cation. It is required by the body for numerous functions for not only humans but for all mammals.

The 5 biggest reasons you need magnesium

  1. It is a co-factor for more than 300 enzyme systems involved in metabolising what you eat – carbohydrates, proteins and fats (Lipids).
  2.  It is critical in energy requiring metabolic processes – protein synthesis, membrane integrity, hormone secretion and in intermediary metabolism
  3. Nervous tissue conduction, muscle contraction/neuromuscular excitability.
  4. Major structure component of bone – the synthesis of bone matrix, bone mineral metabolism and the maintenance of bone density.
  5. Deficiency results in both neurological and muscular effects – including depression, migraine, fatigue, muscle cramps and abnormal heart rhythms.

What are the Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency?

Classic “Clinical” Symptoms

    . These physical signs of magnesium deficiency are clearly related to both its physiological role and its significant impact on the healthy balance of minerals such as calcium and potassium. Tics, muscle spasms and cramps, seizures, anxiety, and irregular heart rhythms are among the classic signs and symptoms of low magnesium

“Sub-clinical” or “Latent” Symptoms

        . These symptoms are present but concealed by an inability to distinguish their signs from other disease states. Caused by low magnesium intake prevalent in nearly all industrialized nations, they can include migraine headaches, insomnia, depression, and chronic fatigue, among others.

SIGNS OF MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY

The classic physical signs of low magnesium are:1 2 3

Neurological:

Behavioral disturbances
Irritability and anxiety
Lethargy
Impaired memory and cognitive function
Anorexia or loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Seizures

Muscular:

Weakness
Muscle spasms (tetany)
Tics
Muscle cramps
Hyperactive reflexes
Impaired muscle coordination (ataxia)
Tremors
Involuntary eye movements and vertigo
Difficulty swallowing

Metabolic:

Increased intracellular calcium
Hyperglycemia
Calcium deficiency
Potassium deficiency

Cardiovascular:

Irregular or rapid heartbeat
Coronary spasms

Among children:

Growth retardation or “failure to thrive”

CONDITIONS RELATED TO PROBLEMS OF MAGNESIUM

In addition to symptoms of overt hypomagnesemia (clinically low serum magnesium), the following conditions represent possible indicators of chronic latent magnesium deficiency:3 4 5 6

  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • ADHD
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Migraine
  • Cluster headaches
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension
  • Type II diabetes
  • Asthma

Dr. Ronald Elin of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Louisville makes this point clear:

The definition of magnesium deficiency seems simple, but it is complicated by the lack of available clinical tests for the assessment of magnesium status. Ideally we would define magnesium deficiency as a reduction in the total body magnesium content. Tests should be available to identify which tissues are deficient and the state of magnesium in these tissues. Unfortunately, this definition is incompatible with current technology.”7

In light of evidence that sub-clinical  magnesium deficiencies can increase calcium imbalance, worsen blood vessel calcification, and potentially lead to type 2 diabetes, the World Health Organization in 2009 issued a call for improved and more scientific methods of setting daily magnesium requirements and more accurate and accessible methods of assessing magnesium deficiency.7

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References:

  1. Fox C, Ramsoomair D, Carter C. Magnesium: its proven and potential clinical significance. Southern Medical Journal. 2003;94(12):1195-201. Available at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/423568_1. Accessed March 8, 2010. [] []
  2. DiSilvestro R. Handbook of Minerals as Nutritional Supplements. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2004. []
  3. Kimura M. Overview of Magnesium Nutrition. In: International Magnesium Symposium. New Perspectives in Magnesium Research. London: Springer-Verlag; 2007:239-260. [] []
  4. McCarthy J, Kumar R. Divalent Cation Metabolism: Magnesium. In: Schrier R, series editor. Atlas of Diseases of the Kidney. Volume 1. Wiley-Blackwell; 1999: 4.1-4.12. []
  5. Elin RJ, Rude RK. Oral magnesium and wellness. The Magnesium Report: Clinical, Research and Laboratory News for Cardiologists. 2000. []
  6. Liebscher DH, Liebscher DE. About the misdiagnostics of magnesium deficiency. In: Xth International Magnesium Symposium. Cairns (Australia): 2003. [] []
  7. World Health Organization. Calcium and Magnesium in Drinking Water: Public health significance. Geneva: World Health Organization Press; 2009. [] []

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