Magnesium is probably not as familiar a nutrient as Vitamin C. But do you know that without magnesium, your body will not be able to digest, absorb, and utilize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. And magnesium is essential for insulin to open cell membranes for glucose. Yet studies on average magnesium intake have shown that less than 30% of adults in the United States are getting the daily-required amount of magnesium and only about 20% are getting half of the magnesium needed daily to stay healthy.
Why is magnesium one of the most important minerals?
Magnesium is critical in over 350 essential biochemical reactions in your body including digestion, energy production, muscle function, bone formation, the creation of new cells, activation of B vitamins, relaxation of muscles, and assists in the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, adrenals, brain and nervous system.
As you can see, magnesium is one of the most important elements your body needs, in addition to oxygen, water and basic food. And this important mineral can be found in your bones, teeth, and red blood cells. Unfortunately, the level of magnesium in your body is easily affected by excess consumption of alcohol, salt, caffeine, phosphoric acid in colas, profuse sweating, prolonged or intense stress, chronic diarrhea, excessive menstruation, diuretics (water pills), antibiotics and other drugs, and even some intestinal parasites. 
Are You Magnesium Deficient?
Magnesium deficiency is often misdiagnosed because it does not show up in blood work – and actually — only 1% of your body’s magnesium is stored in the blood. Most allopathic doctors and laboratories don’t even include magnesium status in routine blood work, so they don’t know when their patients are deficient in magnesium, even though studies show that most Americans are deficient and pretty much every known illness can be associated with a magnesium deficiency.
If you ignore the subtle stuff, some of the other more serious symptoms of a magnesium deficiency can develop.
Here are some examples of magnesium deficiency symptoms you’ll feel when your body is screaming for more magnesium.
20 common signs of magnesium deficiency
1. Low energy/fatigue
2. Hormonal imbalances like PMS
3. Trouble sleeping
4. Weakening of the bones
5. Muscle tension
6. Spasms and cramps
7. Abnormal heart rhythm
9. Feeling anxiousness
12. Kidney stones
13. Chocolate cravings
13. Occasional constipation
14. Eye twitches
15. High blood pressure
16. Osteopenia or osteoporosis
17. Muscle cramps
19. Nausea and vomiting
20. Mood disorders
Why Your Body Needs Magnesium
As mentioned, magnesium supports numerous key biochemical functions in your body such as insulin metabolism, nerve transmission, and blood pressure regulation. Without a healthy level of magnesium in your body, your body will start to experience one or more of the above undesirable symptoms.
The Magnesium and Weight Connection
Food cravings and overeating are usually caused by your desire to keep eating past fullness because your body is lacking nutrients. This is especially true if your diet consists of mostly processed foods. When you consume empty calories, you pack on the pounds while depriving your body of the essential nutrients that it needs to function optimally and effectively.
Therefore, the connection between stress and obesity is clear. The stress chemical cortisol signals a metabolic shutdown that makes losing weight almost impossible. Our body feels “under attack” and begins to hold on to all its resources, including fat stores, and won’t let go of them. The good news is that magnesium can effectively neutralize the effects of stress.
Magnesium and Metabolic Syndrome
Magnesium also has an important genetic role when paired with the all-important B vitamins. The process of metabolizing B vitamins is called methylation, and magnesium is necessary for proper metabolic functions in the body, including weight loss. I often work with patients that have taken on weight loss diets that have made them deficient in magnesium, as well as other important nutrients, which sets the stage for what is known as Metabolic Syndrome. 
Metabolic Syndrome is a chain of consequences due to prolonged nutritional deficiency, especially magnesium deficiency. Symptoms include high cholesterol and hypertension, obesity, elevated triglycerides, and uric acid.
Remember that magnesium helps support your body’s own insulin metabolism. Therefore without sufficient magnesium, your body will not be able to completely breakdown the nutrients especially protein that you consumed, resulting in higher than desirable levels of uric acid. Insulin resistance brought about by the lack of magnesium can eventually lead to diabetes, angina, and heart attack.
Low levels of magnesium in your body can also potentially “close” your cells’ doorway for glucose to enter and provide energy for your body to use. When glucose is left outside your cells, your glucose levels can get elevated, leading to weight gain and potentially obesity, diabetes and its related complications and potentially obesity, and kidney damage.
Magnesium and Depression
Studies have shown that magnesium is a safe, affordable and effective treatment for the symptoms of depression. Why? You may be familiar with serotonin, your body’s natural ‘feel-good’ brain chemical. Magnesium is a necessary element in the release and uptake of serotonin by your brain cells. With proper amounts of magnesium, sufficient “feel good” chemicals are created in your body, and you can experience emotional balance. But when stress and other issues deplete magnesium, a vicious cycle of not enough serotonin is created that can lead to depression.
This is why anti-depressants known as SSRIs (or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are prescribed. They increase the amount of serotonin in the brain and ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders. 
Magnesium and Restless Leg
Leg cramps may only be a subtle symptom of the bigger health issues that come from having a magnesium deficiency. Most magnesium is stored in our body tissues, so leg cramps, foot pain or muscle ‘twitches’, otherwise known as “restless leg” are usually the first signs of magnesium deficiency. Stress, caffeine, sugar and alcohol consumption can all deplete the levels of magnesium in your body. To replenish or increase your amount of magnesium intake through your diet, try incorporating more green vegetables. For a more therapeutic dose for treating an existing restless leg syndrome, a supplement that provides at least 400mg is necessary.
If you are dealing with restless leg syndrome, be sure to also evaluate and see if your levels of iron and dopamine are at healthy levels. Otherwise, they need to be supplemented as well for a more effective resolution of your restless leg syndrome.
Magnesium and Insomnia
By now, you get a sense of how important magnesium is to your body’s overall well-being. And me adding that magnesium affects your sleep quality should not be surprising to you. Research has shown that supplementing your diet with magnesium can help you keep insomnia at bay. 
Magnesium and Stress Management
As mentioned, stress and magnesium have an interdependent relationship in your body. Magnesium has been found to suppress your brain’s locus coeruleus activity that helps desensitize your body’s overall response to stress. Magnesium can also help inhibit the release of the “stress hormones” – cortisol, in your body. When your body does not have enough magnesium, your body’s ability to respond to stress “hormones” decreases. The higher levels of stress “hormones” in your body further reduce the level of magnesium in your body and the vicious cycle continues. Hence it is important to always maintain a healthy level of magnesium in your body. 
Can Magnesium affect the Heart?
Believe it or not, magnesium is necessary for your body to maintain a steady heartbeat and normal blood pressure. Magnesium is so essential to a healthy heart because it is involved in the transportation of electrolytes such as calcium and potassium into your cells. And these electrolytes are responsible for transmitting the nerve signals and muscle contractions necessary for a normal heartbeat.
Magnesium and PMS
Menstrual cramps are extremely common among young women. I am sure either you or someone you know who unfortunately must deal with that pain each and every month. There are several causes of menstrual cramps. From hormones to stress to nutrients deficiencies and lifestyle factors. Shy of seeking medical treatment for menstrual cramps, some of these monthly cramps can be relieved or even eliminated by simple diet changes and the right supplements such as magnesium. Magnesium can help relax your muscles and also your nervous system and thereby relieving the cramps that you are experiencing.
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Why would your Magnesium Levels be Low?
Below are several known reasons why the levels of magnesium in our bodies can be low.
- Consuming high amounts of sugar, alcohol, coffee, colas, and salt
- Industrialized wheat and grains refined to the point where the magnesium is no longer present
- Conventional food production of meat, dairy, and eggs using growth hormones and refined grains
- High calcium diet and/or calcium supplementation
- Fluoridated water and tap water
- Heavy metals from dental fillings, vaccinations and many fish that we eat
- Pesticides, GMO’s and other toxins
- Prolonged or intense stress
- Profuse sweating
- Chronic diarrhea
- Acid rain
- Antibiotics and prescription drugs*
* This list is extensive and includes drugs such as acid blockers, antacids, cholesterol-lowering drugs, hormone replacement therapy, immunosuppressants, aromatase inhibitors, osteoporosis drugs, and more.
Just our diets alone can contribute to an overwhelming reason why so many people suffer from some degree of magnesium deficiency.
Which Food has more Magnesium?
Adding foods that are high in magnesium is a great way to keep your magnesium levels in check. Some of these foods include nuts such as almonds, cashews and brazil nuts, sea vegetables such as kelp and dulse seaweed, whole grains such as brown rice, leafy greens such as collard greens, dandelion greens, and parsley, and other fruits and vegetables such as avocado, beans, and so much more. 
See my list of the 25 Healthy Magnesium-Rich Foods and get started on increasing your levels through a healthy diet.
Magnesium-Rich Food Recipes
Check out the following recipes that are loaded with beneficial magnesium:
- Chocolate Peppermint Fat Bombs
- Sunflower Pumpkin Herb Seed Cheese
- Chocolate Mousse – A Guiltless Choice
What is the Best Magnesium Supplement?
The RDA (minimum amount needed) for magnesium is about 300 mg a day. Most of us get far less than 200 mg but most people benefit from 400 to 1,000 mg a day. The good news is that upping our magnesium levels is relatively easy. Let’s start by looking at all the different forms of magnesium and what they do. The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate, taurate, or aspartate. [7, 8, 9]
Magnesium Buffered Chelate Glycinate is the best absorbed, best retained and most gentle form of magnesium, as compared to other forms. Plus, it does not cause any of the unfavorable gastrointestinal distress or loose stools as other forms of magnesium can due to the very stable chelate form between the two glycine molecules and each magnesium ion used in the proprietary process.
This form of magnesium is a highly bioavailable form of magnesium bound to malic acid which is a compound found naturally in fruits and vegetables. Magnesium Malate is an intermediary of the ATP-generating Krebs cycle, so it may help support energy levels.
Magnesium citrate is a soluble organic salt form of magnesium that helps promote bowel relaxation. It also supports the ability to fall asleep and may be combined with inositol or taurine to help promote the ability to stay asleep throughout the night. MagCitrate powder provides 300 mg of magnesium in each one teaspoon serving and is a convenient delivery system with a great-tasting lemon flavor. This product also supports the ability to fall asleep and can be taken along with our Inositol Powder or capsules for a restful night’s sleep.
This form of magisterium as found in NeuroMag™ is superior to other forms of magnesium at getting through the blood-brain barrier because it can transport magnesium ions across lipid membranes, including those of brain cells. Not all magnesium supplements are readily absorbed into the central nervous system. In studies, it was shown that magnesium L-threonate as found in NeuroMag was able to boost magnesium levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (the liquid around your brain and spinal cord) by as much as 15% after only 24 days. Help maintain your brain health with the Neuromag way!
Magnesium chloride is a soluble inorganic salt form of magnesium that is effective when applied topically and absorbed into the skin which not only contributes to total body magnesium absorption, but it may directly improve the condition of the skin it is applied to. MagGel™ provides a high-quality transdermal delivery system, allowing rapid assimilation in your body. I especially like to use this product at night before bedtime for a relaxing effect.
Magnesium is truly a miracle mineral. It is essential for lifelong vibrant health so be sure you are getting enough every day. CONTACT ME today and let me help you find your way to all the benefits magnesium can offer you.