Magnesium: the amazing mineral

Magnesium is an essential mineral required by every organ in the body for a range of activities including bone production, protein metabolism and fatty acid formation. It is also essential in activating vitamins B and D, relaxing and activating muscles (including the beating of your heart), regulating calcium levels and helping blood to clot, as well as being required for the secretion of insulin.

Many of us do not get enough magnesium in our diets. Adults require about 300 to 400 milligrams a day.

What does a deficiency look like

Some of the more common symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:

  • fatigue
  • back or neck pain
  • muscle cramps
  • palpitations
  • weakness
  • loss of appetite
  • insomnia
  • loss of balance
  • headaches
  • anxiety and depression

Magnesium is useful for treating and managing conditions such as:

  • asthma
  • diabetes
  • fibromyalgia
  • high blood pressure
  • migraines
  • osteoporosis
  • pre-eclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension)
  • premenstrual tension
  • restless leg syndrome

Where is it found?

Magnesium is commonly found in leafy green vegetables. It’s also in avocado, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, and spices such as basil and coriander leaf. Crazy as it sounds, you may eat plenty of these foods and still be magnesium deficient. That’s because the magnesium level in food is dependent on the level of magnesium in the soil where that food was grown. Unfortunately, much of our soil has been depleted of magnesium due to commercial farming, so aim to eat organic foods as much as possible.

What type for what condition?

Everyone needs to make sure they have adequate magnesium levels. Consult a nutritionist or naturopath if you think you do not get enough from your diet, or if you are suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above that don’t have any other cause.

Things such as too much stress, processed food, caffeine and alcohol, or heavy periods, can lower your levels. It’s relatively easy to become mildly deficient in magnesium, but simple dietary changes or supplements can restore your levels quite quickly.

Type of magnesiumBest used for…
GlycinateOne of the most bioavailable and absorbable forms of magnesium, and also the least likely to cause diarrhoea. It is the safest option for correcting a long-term deficiency
OxideAlso referred to as ‘magnesia’, magnesium oxide is commonly used therapeutically as a laxative and relief for acid reflux
CitrateCommonly used as to induce a bowel movement, but has also been studied for kidney stone prevention. Not to be used in those with loose bowel motions
OrotateOne of the most effective form of magnesium supplement used to create DNA and RNA – orotates can penetrate cell membranes, enabling the effective delivery of the magnesium ion to the innermost layers of the cellular mitochondria and nucleus
LactateMost commonly used for treating digestive issues. Magnesium lactate should be avoided by those with kidney disease or kidney-related problems
SulfateCommonly referred to as Epsom salts, a fantastic constipation aid but an unsafe source of dietary magnesium, since overdosing on it is easy. Good for soaking in for muscle aches and pains
MalateA great choice for people suffering from fatigue, since malic acid – a natural fruit acid present in most cells in the body – is a vital component of enzymes that play a key role in ATP synthesis and energy production.
TaurateThe best choice of magnesium supplement for people with cardiovascular issues, since it is known to prevent arrhythmias and guard the heart from damage caused by heart attacks. Easily absorbed and it contains no laxative properties

Need some input on your health and wellbeing? Call us now at the Natural Chemist: 1300 882 303.

Consult your healthcare practitioner before supplementing.

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