Magnesium is vital to the health of almost every cell in the body, particularly the muscles, kidneys, and heart. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency are muscle spasms, unexplained fatigue, eye twitches, and abnormal heart rhythms.
According to 2011 data, around 45 % of American adults do not receive the RDA, i.e., recommended dietary allowance of magnesium from their usual diet.
The statistics for the teens are even more dreadful. According to a 2014 data around 92 % of teens from the age of 14-18 do not receive the estimated magnesium requirement from food because they do not consume fresh vegetables regularly.
However, it is not that simple to find out whether you are deficient in magnesium. The best thing to do is track and evaluate symptoms and signs of magnesium insufficiency.
Also, to make sure that you consume foods that are rich in magnesium or take a magnesium supplement and balance it with calcium, vitamin K2, and D3.
Magnesium is Crucial for Optimal Health
Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body. It is part in more than 600 various reactions in the body. It is crucial for the optimal health and biological function because magnesium plays a role in:
Metabolism of potassium, calcium, NO, i.e., nitric oxide, phosphorus, acetylcholine, iron, hydrochloric acid and sodium, and thiamine activation.
Creation of ATP, i.e., adenosine triphosphate, the energy currency of the body.
Regulation of insulin sensitivity and blood glucose that is crucial for preventing type 2 diabetes.
Magnesium is necessary for increasing mitochondrial efficiency and the number of mitochondria in the cells.
Normalizing blood pressure and relaxation of blood vessels.
Detoxification, this includes the synthesis of glutathione.
Function of muscles and nerves, this includes the action of the heart muscles.
Antioxidant defense through numbers of mechanisms, this includes the support of mitochondrial and endothelial function and anti-inflammatory activity.
Physical and mental relaxation, stress antidote.
Magnesium Deficiency Is Commonplace
Magnesium deficiency can deteriorate mitochondrial function and impede the cellular metabolic function, which in turn might cause more severe health problems.
Consuming plenty of foods that are unprocessed and organic is best thing to do. However, most soils are severely depleted of nutrients. Because of this fact, some magnesium experts believe that everyone needs to take magnesium supplements.
In this video, Dr. Dean explains about magnesium deficiency and how it affects the health. We already know that magnesium plays a role in many bodily systems.
Therefore, magnesium deficiency might cause a broad range of health issues, all the way from mild to life-threatening issues.
Common pathologies linked to magnesium deficiency include:
- Muscle weakness and muscle cramps
- Decreased hearing
- Because magnesium catalyzes the neurotransmitters that regulate the mood such as serotonin it can lead to depression, premenstrual syndrome, anxiety, aggression and mood swings.
- Increased chance of death
- According to estimations almost half of all people with diabetes are deficient in magnesium. Low levels of magnesium can also affect insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes type 2.
- High levels of insulin which are common with insulin resistance can also cause additional magnesium loss .
- Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, sudden cardiac death, and arrhythmias.
- Peroxynitrite damage, this includes Alzheimer’s disease, migraines, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.
- Fungal infections because of depressed immune function.
- Liver and kidney damage.
- Impotence (also related to low levels of NO).
- Persistent and recurrent bacterial infections like middle ear, sinus, throat and lung infections because of low NO levels.
Magnesium Supplementation for Migraines
Magnesium (might affect the use and production of neurotransmitters and serotonin receptor function) also has been shown to play a crucial role when it comes to treatment and prevention of migraines.
Furthermore, it is said that people that suffer from a migraine are more likely to have a magnesium deficiency in comparison to those that do not have migraines.
According to the theory of researchers people that suffer from a migraine might develop a deficiency of magnesium for different reasons such as low nutritional intake, increased excretion because of stress, poor absorption, and renal wasting.
In most cases, obtaining high magnesium dose might abort an attack in progress. The best way would be IV or intravenous infusion. Except this option, the best option when it comes to oral supplement is magnesium threonine.
Magnesium Supplementation for Anxiety
According to some studies, magnesium can help treat anxiety. One French study with 264 participants with generalized anxiety disorders showed promising results.
In this study, a statistically notable number of women and men reported to experience improvements thanks to their magnesium regimen. Another study came to the discovery that magnesium can also have a positive effect on depression.
However, both anxiety and depression are often related, since both result in disaster thinking and fatigue. The fact is that it is unlikely that magnesium can treat everyone’s anxiety.
Probably the reason why magnesium is so efficient is since many individuals are experiencing anxiety symptoms as a result of their deficiency in magnesium. Simply by taking supplements, these people are no longer deficient.
Also, any effects that magnesium might have had on their overall health actually become less problematic. Furthermore, there is a notable link between how the mind feels and how the body feels.
For instance, if you are not getting enough magnesium and then you take magnesium your body feels better because every process starts running correctly. As a result, you feel more relaxed and healthier, and that helps improve the battle with anxiety.
Symptoms and Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
The bad news is that there is no simple routine to determine the level of magnesium. The best option is to do an RBC magnesium test.
It would be smart to carefully track and evaluate symptoms which are linked to magnesium insufficiency like:
- Increased number of migraines or headaches.
- Muscle spasms, spasms in the calf muscle or “charley horses” that occur when you stretch the leg or tingling or numbness in the extremities, eye twitches, and seizures.
- Loss of appetite, fatigue, low energy.
- Insulin resistance.
- Coronary spasms or heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure.
Risk Factors That Increase the Risk for Magnesium Insufficiency
The main risk factor for magnesium deficiency is consuming a processed food diet. In case you rarely consume leafy greens and other whole foods which are rich in magnesium (below) you are probably getting a small amount of magnesium from your usual diet.
In addition, magnesium is lost through:
- Prescription drug use (drugs that contain fluorides like fluoroquinolone antibiotics, fluoride, diuretics, and statins)
- Alcohol consumption
- Lack of sleep
- Heavy sweating
Magnesium Rich Diet
Although most people believe that magnesium supplementation is necessary because of the denatured soils, still it would be wise to try and obtain magnesium from your diet as much as possible.
The best thing is to opt for unprocessed organic foods. However, if these foods are grown in soil that depletes magnesium, even these unprocessed foods might be low in magnesium.
Dark-green leafy vegetables come at the top of the list regarding the magnesium content. Another alternative it to juice your greens and in that way enhance your intake.
Greens that are most abundant in magnesium are kale, turnip greens, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, Bok Choy, Romaine lettuce, Collard greens, and Beet greens.
Other Foods That Are Abundant in Magnesium:
Berries and Fruits
Foods high in magnesium are watermelon, papaya, cantaloupe, raspberries, strawberries, and tomato. For instance, one papaya of medium size might provide around 58 g of magnesium.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder and/or Raw Cacao Nibs
One ounce that is 28 g of cocoa powder or raw cacao nibs provides around 64 milligrams of magnesium.
One avocado of medium size provides around 58mg of magnesium. The avocados are also a good source of potassium. The potassium can help offset sodium and its hypertensive effects.
Nuts and Seeds
Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds rank among the highest. The only ¼ cup contains an estimated 28 %, 48 % and 32 % of the RDA, i.e., recommended daily allowance of magnesium.
Other good sources are Brazil nuts, cashews, and almonds. In fact, one ounce of cashews provides around 82 mg of magnesium, that is around 20 % of the RDA.
Spices and Herbs
Spices and herbs pack many nutrients in tiny packages including magnesium. Varieties that are rich in magnesium are cloves, coriander, basil, chives, fennel, chives, mustard seeds, cumin seed, and parsley.
Fatty fish like mackerel and Alaskan salmon that is wild-caught are rich in magnesium. For example, a half fillet which is around 178 g of salmon contains around 53 m of magnesium. This is equal to 13 % of the recommended daily allowance.
What Type of Magnesium is Best and How Much Do You Need?
In an ideal situation, magnesium should be obtained from the usual diet, but it is advisable to use supplements in these following cases:
- Symptoms of deficiency or insufficiency
- Risk of heart attack or have suffered from heart attack, or have ventricular arrhythmia
- Congestive heart failure or hypertension
- Taking diuretics
- Planning or have had open heart surgery or heart transplant
The recommended daily allowance is from 310 to 420 mg on a daily basis depending on your gender and age. However, according to some researchers for optimal health people need from 600 to 900 mg on a daily basis.
Effective and ideal way to find out what is perfect dose it to use the intestinal reaction as a marker. You can start by taking around 200 milligrams of oral magnesium citrate on a daily basis and then with time gradually increase the dose until you develop loose stools.
You should know that the excess magnesium is flushed out, so you can find out your cutoff point. Remember, you should begin gradually and slowly increase. You will be able to tolerate larger amounts over times.
When it comes to supplements that can help optimize the level of magnesium, the most efficient seems to be magnesium threonate. It is most efficient at penetrating the cell membranes; this includes the mitochondria that can aid boost your level of energy.
Also, it also can penetrate into your blood-brain barrier and might help improve your memory.
It is crucial to maintain a proper balance between vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin K2, and calcium.
The improper balance between magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and K2 is the reason why calcium supplements have become linked to increased risk of stroke and heart attacks and the reason why some individuals have vitamin D toxicity.
Unfortunately, the precise, perfect ratios between these nutrients are not known. However, there are some general considerations and guidelines which include the following:
The perfect ratio of calcium and magnesium is thought to be one to one. Remember that from your diet you are probably getting more calcium than magnesium and your need for magnesium might be from 2 to 3 times greater in comparison to calcium.
The optimal and perfect ratios between vitamin K2 and D have yet to be determined. According to Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue for every 1,000 IUs of vitamin D, you can benefit from 100 mcg of vitamin K2 and maybe from 150 to 200 mcg (micrograms).
To find out about your personal dosage of vitamin D, you need to test your vitamin D level at least twice per year in the winter and summer. The perfect way to optimize your vitamin D levels is sun exposure.
However, if you want to use supplements, the ideal dosage is the one you will add to the therapeutic range from 40 to 60 ng/ml.
If Your Energy Levels and Health Are Flagging, You Might Need More Magnesium
Bear in mind, the need for magnesium may be magnified by some factors like poor kidney function, advancing age, unbalanced gut microbiome, stress, prescription drug use, lack of sleep, diabetes and insulin resistance, alcohol consumption and more.
If you experience any of the risk factors above mentioned or if you consume a lot of processed foods you need to consider about magnesium supplement and also reconsider your everyday diet.
Also bear in mind that even though the best thing to do is obtain your magnesium dose from your diet, it is likely that many foods are deficient in minerals including magnesium because nowadays many foods are grown in soils that deplete minerals.
Certain fertilizers such as glyphosate act as chelators, which means it effectively blocks the utilization and uptake of minerals. Therefore, it might be prudent for most individuals to consider taking a magnesium supplement.
Or another alternative is to juice your vegetables. In this way, you will consume much greater quantities.
Now all you need to do is decide how you will include more magnesium. Consult your doctor about your thoughts on this topic and get the most of it.