Mighty Magnesium

by Pam McDermott of Cape Colon Hydrotherapy

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Americans intake of magnesium has dropped 50% in the last century, and the consequences are alarming. “A lack of magnesium underlies our epidemic of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis,” says Lawrence Resnick, MD, a professor of medicine at Cornell Medical Center.

If we do not consume enough magnesium, we may experience irregular heart beat, stiffer arteries, a rise in blood pressure, blood clotting, muscle spasms, bone loss, and constipation! And many people make the problem worse by loading up on calcium, especially as we age, assuming it’s best for bone strength. Yet excess calcium can flush magnesium out of the body.  It’s generally recommended to consume at least 1 milligram of magnesium for every 2 mg of calcium. Health practitioners recommend a daily supplement of 400 mg. Unless there are kidney issues, I usually recommend a slightly higher dose, especially if constipation or hard stools are present.

 10 Important Ways Magnesium Helps:

  1. Heart Arrhythmias: “People need to know magnesium deficiency predisposes them to serious, even deadly arrhythmias, irregular and abnormally fast heartbeats or atrial fibrillation” says cardiac specialist Michael Brodsky at the College of Medicine UC Irvine. In a British study, taking magnesium daily for six weeks reduced arrhythmias between 25% and 50%.

  2. Blood Pressure: Dr. Resnick also documented that the higher the magnesium inside your cells, the more apt you are to have lower blood pressure and healthier blood vessels.

  3. Type 2 Diabetes: “Diabetes is a magnesium deficiency state,” says Jerry Nadler, MD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He says supplements can improve insulin activity and may cut diabetes’ risk and complications. 

  4. Strong Bones: In a Swedish study, it revealed that it was magnesium, not calcium, helped prevent hip fractures in older women. Tufts researchers found high magnesium intake predicted higher bone mass and less bone loss in older people.

  5. Depression: Experts believe that magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood. And that low levels are linked to a possible increased risk for depression.

  6. Migraines: Many migraine sufferers have low levels of magnesium. And some encouraging studies suggest that magnesium can even help treat and prevent them. Magnesium rich foods may also aid in reducing symptoms.

  7. Sound Sleep: Several studies show a lack of magnesium can alter electrical activity in the brain, causing agitated sleep and frequent awakenings. “It looks like magnesium is important for a good night’s sleep,” says USDA researcher Forrest H. Nielsen.

  8. Anti Inflammatory Benefits: Magnesium has been shown to fight inflammation! People with low magnesium levels were shown to have high levels of the inflammatory marker CRP, which is C-reactive protein, and when given supplementation of magnesium, their CRP dropped!

  9. Pain relief: If you have leg cramps or other muscle cramps, taking 400 mg of magnesium daily may bring relief, “ says Mildred Seelig, author of The Magnesium Factor. It may also help chronic lower back pain, restless leg syndrome, painful myalgias, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

  10. Constipation: My personal favorite use of magnesium! Magnesium relaxes your bowel and pulls water into your colon helping with occasional constipation. There are several forms of magnesium, and I often turn to magnesium oxide for the laxative benefit. Please speak to your doctor and nutritionist on proper dosage that is right for you.

Can we get magnesium from food? YES!

Leafy greens are extremely healthy and loaded with magnesium. Spinach is high in magnesium. Other foods too, including: nuts and seeds, particularly pumpkin and sunflower seeds., almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts. Walnuts are also high in Omega 3’s.

Wheat bran, legumes, including tofu and miso., avocados and bananas are excellent sources as well. In addition, seafood, including shrimp and salmon, please consume wild or sustainable farm raised. (That’s for another blog!).

Any questions on this essential mineral that I love to call mighty? Feel free to contact me.

Pamela McDermott

Certified Colon Hydrotherapist

508-833-9855