Are you Deficient in This One Important Mineral?
by Dr. Fiona Smulders, ND
Can you guess which mineral half of the US population is deficient in, and is associated with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, migraine headaches, asthma, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer and other inflammatory conditions?
If you guessed magnesium, you are correct!
Magnesium is needed for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It maintains the health and integrity of our blood vessels and nerves, it keeps our muscles limber, it regulates our heartbeat and blood pressure, it promotes a restful sleep, it keeps our bones strong, it balances our blood sugar levels, and so much more.
Causes of Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium is in a constant dance with calcium. These minerals oppose one another. Calcium contracts muscles, while magnesium relaxes them. Calcium excites nerves, while magnesium soothes them. Calcium hardens bones, while magnesium provides bones with more elasticity.
Problems arise when we have too much of one over the other. We receive calcium through dairy products, leafy greens, soy, nuts, meat and seafood, but it is much more difficult to get magnesium through the diet. Most modern farming techniques have depleted our agricultural soils of magnesium, leaving our produce very low in magnesium levels.
Stressful conditions also increase our body’s use and metabolism of magnesium. With the constant demands and responsibilities that we experience in our society, our daily lives can also cause further depletion of our magnesium stores.
So what can you do about it?
Magnesium supplementation can make a world of difference for a lot of people. There are four main types of magnesium:
- Magnesium glycinate (or bisglycinate) – this is the most easily absorbed and the most helpful for migraines, tension headaches, muscle tension, cardiovascular health and anxiety. It is also the least likely to cause diarrhea.
- Magnesium oxide – this magnesium is not absorbed easily, but it can be used to treat acid reflux, indigestion and constipation.
- Magnesium citrate – this is more acidic than other forms of magnesium and is used to help eliminate excess oxalates and relieve constipation.
- Magnesium malate – this magnesium is used in our kreb’s cycle, which generates cellular energy. It is most helpful for fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression.
If you would like support in finding the correct type and dose of magnesium for you, you can book a visit with me to determine the best option for you.
Dr. Smulders is a Naturopathic Doctor and offers appointments at Local Health Integrative Clinic on Tuesdays , Thursdays and Saturdays. Click here to book an appointment with Fiona.