Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in our body!

Magnesium functions in over more than 300 biochemical processes, with its main role being cellular energy production.
Magnesium maintains normal muscle and nerve function; it keeps your heart rhythm regular, supports your immune system and keeps your bones strong. Due to its many functions, magnesium is effective in addressing a plethora of common diseases and conditions like Fibromyalgia, chronic pain, diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, constipation, menstrual cramps and headaches. In fact, correcting a magnesium deficiency can improve these conditions!

What causes Magnesium deficiency?

Most people are actually deficient in magnesium!

Nutrient depletion from soil and vegetables causes a decrease in magnesium that we get from food. Other factors that contribute to magnesium deficiency are common medical conditions (e.g. IBS) and medications (e.g. proton pump inhibitors, diuretics) that cause a continuous depletion of magnesium from the body. 

How to supplement Magnesium and ...with which type of Magnesium?

As a supplement, magnesium is usually combined with another molecule to stabilize it. Each combination, referred to as a chelate, (such as magnesium citrate) has different absorption, bioavailability and therapeutic value. These additional molecules can really impact the medicinal value of the magnesium and some even have beneficial effects in their own right.

Magnesium Oxide: also known as milk of magnesia – this is a strong laxative and can cause diarrhea. Even though it contains large amounts of magnesium, the magnesium is not very bioavailable – meaning you don’t absorb it well and most is lost.

Magnesium Sulphate: usually found as an injectable form or in Epsom salts. This is not used orally, but it is a great magnesium form for a relaxing bath, or for acute treatment of migraine headaches (intravenously).

Magnesium Citrate: has good bioavailability and some laxative effect – this is the run-of-the-mill kind of magnesium that you can use on a daily basis and as a treatment for constipation.

Magnesium Glycinate: Glycine is a calming amino acid, meaning magnesium glycinate is indicated in the treatment of chronic pain, muscle aches, agitation or even insomnia. This combination has good bioavailability and does not have a laxative effect, since glycine is actively transported through the intestinal wall.

Magnesium Aspartate: Aspartate increases the bioavailability of this magnesium form as compared to oxide or citrate. Since both magnesium and aspartate take part in cellular energy production, this form of magnesium has a positive effect on fatigue and muscle tension and is often used to address chronic fatigue syndrome.

Magnesium Malate: Malate is a substrate in the cellular energy cycle, which can improve ATP (the energy molecule in your cells) production; there is some preliminary evidence that it may reduce muscle pain and tender points in fibromyalgia patients.

Magnesium Orotate: Orotate can penetrate cell membranes, to deliver magnesium directly to the mitochondria (the cell’s energy powerhouses) and nucleus. Orotate increases the formation of RNA and DNA, which can help repair heart cells and therefore improve heart function! The combination has been shown to improve heart failure, symptoms of angina and exercise performance in clinical trials.

Magnesium Taurate: Both magnesium and the amino acid taurine share the ability to improve cardiac function; each has a potentiating effect on insulin sensitivity and also a calming effect on neuromuscular excitability. The actions of both have striking similarities when it comes to cardiovascular health. They both have blood pressure reducing effects, stabilize nerve cells, improve the contraction of the heart muscle and have an anti-thrombotic effect.

Magnesium-L-Threonate: This form of magnesium has recently been studied to improve memory and brain function. One preliminary study in animals found that it significantly enhanced both short-term and long-term memory, boosting scores by 15% for short-term memory and 54% for long-term memory compared to magnesium citrate. Based on this study, it appears that magnesium-L-threonate is a highly absorbable form of magnesium that can improve brain function.

Can you get Magnesium from food?

Absolutely! However, the amount of magnesium depends on the soil, the preparation and cooking practices used to prepare the food and can vary widely.

Some of the foods highest in magnesium content per 100g are:

  • Pumpkin seeds – 534mg
  • Hemp seeds – 499mg
  • Conch (sea snail), cooked – 480mg
  • Almonds, dry roasted – 270mg
  • Cashews, dry roasted – 267mg
  • Dark chocolate – 228mg

Are you ready to seek the root cause of your digestive symptoms, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, or other conditions?

Contact me to learn how naturopathic functional medicine can help to restore balance within your body and relieve your symptoms both naturally and effectively. 

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