This mineral is awesome. I have been reading tonnes about it and listening to a few talks and boy am I convinced that I should supplement with it and make a conscious effort to source it in my diet, which is very hard to do for reasons you will read about below. So below I am sharing some of the information I learnt recently both at the Poliquin course I did, the Poliquin website and a Health food seminar streamed online.
First of all how do I know if I am deficient?
Well like any mineral/Vitamin……Magnesium, glucose, D3,etc it’s best to get a blood test….the optimal level? (Notice how I don’t say the ‘normal’ level- side note that the norms you see for blood tests do not put you in healthy range…..these figures are based on what’s most often observed in the population…I.E. Homer Simpson is considered the norm….he will fit in the norms range for most things but that by no means says he is healthy)….so ye the optimal magnesium range is 4.2-6.8 mg/dl but ideally you want to be at least 6 mg/dl. However, due to our production methods, toxicity levels, social environment etc, we are most likely deficient. Personally….I don’t have the money or the time to get a blood test done right now….but given my reaction to taking magnesium (namely amazing sleep) I can safely say I am deficient….in addition, you really can’t overdose on minerals…
So what’s the hype?
Well magnesium is responsible for 325 different enzyme processes in the body which function to activate protein, metabolism, ATP, and create the energy in the body to name a few. There are 3700 magnesium receptor sites on the protein molecules in the human body and it is involved in 80% of body processes, especially in the proteins that are made.
70-80% of the world population get less than the RDA. In fact we probably need 2-3X the RDA so in sum, everybody is deficient.
Symptoms of deficiency:
Acid reflux, adrenal fatigue, blood pressure, cholesterol, high blood sugar, fibromyalgia, head ache, IBS, inflammation, insomnia, kidney stones, PMS seizures……everything. What’s wrong here? The symptoms really include everything and anything…..and are across a broad range of possibilities which is why it is so hard to pin it down to just a magnesium deficiency. In fact this is where the medical system deserves a mention-So many docs don’t want to look at it because it seems to cause ‘everything’ so they don’t believe it is responsible. In medical school they are taught that when patient comes in and recites more than 3 symptoms they are considered a hypochondriac,….time wasting (official consults should take 7minutes) and skews doctor’s mind as surely they can’t have all these symptoms!?! And finally doctors don’t learn about nutrients in medical school!
Ok surely I can get this nutrient in my diet?! I eat healthy!
Yes, in theory, we should be more than capable of getting all our nutrients from our diet. However, reality sucks. First, we eat tonnes of empty calories…and this does not only apply to junk food…ever eaten a strawberry that is abnormally huge and tastes like water? Well because that’s just it….it’s pumped full of water and grown artificially. All of this means we crave more food because we need more nutrients. Sadly this is an epidemic-we are killing ourselves with deficiency. Some of these nutrients are not in our food supply anymore…Food we eat today would not have the same amount of nutrients as the food our parents grew up on and their food would not have been as nutrient dense as that of their parents.
The main answer is that our soil is no longer as nutrient rich due to the chemicals we pump into it, and the huge stress we put on it for mass production. In addition, magnesium is a gentle nutrient which means it is affected by heat. So when you cook or process food you get rid of the magnesium.
From an internal perspective, stress depletes magnesium. And stress does not just mean literally stress…it includes things like the feeling of excitement, having surgery, running a marathon, even sweat.
Alcohol and coffee deplete magnesium as does the main culprit, sugar. Taking any medication depletes magnesium. Fluoride is another depeleter….so even the toothpaste you use or the water you drink is actually doing less good!
When you don’t get enough you may suffer from things like energy loss, getting stressed (feel tight/tense) easily, hypertension (cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar spikes).
The best test to check your levels is a red blood cell (RBC) test 4.2-6.8mg/dl. You want to be at least 6.
Our bodies are funny, complex systems but they are also great indicators for certain things. For example- the left ventricle has highest amount of magnesium than any part of the body-that has to mean something?!?!
The speaker in the presentation highlighted that In medical school they are told that if you didn’t hear it in medical school then it is rubbish…I.e. if we haven’t discovered already its rubbish. And yet this food revolution is still quite young- all these micronutrient relationships have only been studied over the past century or so and there is still so much more to learn. And on top of that, we are still updating the info- we have finally realised that heart disease is not a result of cholesterol.
What about having to take heart medication for the rest of your life? Surely that’s wrong… Why isn’t medication working? Surely we would be cured by now. People don’t stop to ask these questions. Now doctors are finally saying that heart disease is inflammation. What causes the inflammation? Well one factor is too much calcium and too little mag to dissolve the calcium. It’s calcifying the arteries and causing cell death (twitches, pains and cramps). Mag is a natural blood thinner but doctors can’t patent magnesium so they use toxic drugs to block calcium. The Calcium:magnesium ratio should be 1:1 (There is a misconception to think it’s 2:1). However, this is rarely reality because we are pumping our systems full of dairy products daily. Have you ever stopped to think why our generation has the highest rates of osteoporosis (80-90s saw a 700% increase in osteoporosis) and arthritis and yet we are also the largest consumers of dairy??
Mag and diabetes/blood sugar- mag is a medical sign of diabetes. Low mag = diabetes…..mag is necessary for proper production of insulin as it helps open glucose channels. If you don’t have enough mag, then glucose builds up and you gain weight and it gets stored in your cells. Take away message? It helps regulate blood sugar.
So there you go…..magnesium is great.
Recommended dose? Well of course it is best to get the RBC test and go from there. I did a dose of 1200mg for 12 days and then cut back to 1/2 that or a bit less.
Personal Experience-I personally feel amazing and most notably had greatly improved sleep (lie in one position and felt super rested) and weirdly felt more zen- I am a natural stress head and panic/stress over anything and everything. However, my stress reaction definitely subsided….a lot in fact. Both of these were almost immediate effects.
Taaa-daaaa- a bit of education on a Wednesday.
Have a great Wednesday!