Are you magnesium deficient?
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body. Magnesium is essential for our health and is involved in over 300 metabolic reactions. Especially, important for energy production, nerve signalling, muscle contraction and blood pressure regulation1.
Should you take a magnesium supplement?
If you think you are one of the estimated that 75% of us that are deficient in this essential mineral, the answer is probably yes. I am easily able to assess this with our functional lab tests. Most of us are deficient because our food and soil is, and most of us have unknown gut issues (even if you don’t have obvious symptoms).
Older people, especially menopausal women tend to be deficient, similarly if you have insulin resistance, stress, diabetes, drink alcohol or have digestive issues, you are more than likely to be deficient!
I always prefer to get our nutrients from organic food, however, even our soils are problematic, especially if you are in the USA. However, Magnesium can be found in the following foods11
- Vegetables: spinach, kale, avocado
- Nuts: almonds, peanuts, cashews
- Whole grains: oatmeal, whole wheat
- Legumes:black beans, edamame
- Others: dark chocolate (70%+)
Generally speaking, if you don’t need it, your body will just eliminate it in urine. However, excessive dosing can cause mild symptoms like diarrhea or upset stomach. There is also a rare possibility of toxicity. Signs of toxicity include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, irregular breathing, lethargy, and urinary retention.
Most people do not realise that there are actually more than 10 types of magnesium! All have a slightly different function:
Magnesium glycinate is formed from elemental magnesium and the amino acid glycine, used in protein construction. It also found in many protein-rich foods, such as fish, meat, dairy, and legumes.
Glycine is often used as a standalone dietary supplement to improve sleep and treat a variety of inflammatory conditions, including heart disease and diabetes2.
I like this form as it is most easily absorbed and may have calming properties. It can also potentially help reduce anxiety, depression, stress, pain and insomnia.
Magnesium citrate is one of the most common forms, bound with citric acid, found naturally in citrus fruits. Some research suggests that this type is among the most bioavailable forms meaning that it’s more readily absorbed in your digestive tract3. This is super important as absorption is a critical reason for low levels of magnesium.
This type of magnesium helps with anxiety, depression and muscle relaxation4, and at high dosages, it does have a natural laxative effect!
Magnesium chloride is a magnesium salt that includes chlorine — and is excellent as magnesium oil for transdermal application. Make sure it is 100% pure and organic! It can also be taken orally to lift magnesium levels, heartburn, and help with constipation. You can also dilute and add to skin creams to help with muscle pain, although best as an oil.
I make a version of this, combined with my menopause essential oil blend for my clients and the feedback is always amazing! This is the best type of approach with anyone with gut issues.
Magnesium lactate is the salt formed when magnesium binds with lactic acid and is good to assist with stress and anxiety and may be tolerated better by people with gut issues. Some studies have found it is better tolerated than some forms5.
Magnesium malate includes malic acid, which occurs naturally in foods like fruit and wine. It may also assist with pain, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome8.
Magnesium L-threonate is the salt water-soluble form. This form is used to help with neurological issues such as depression9 and age-related memory loss.
Magnesium sulfate is most commonly known as Epsom salt. This is a cheaper form of Magnesium and is great to use in a bath to soothe sore muscles and relieve stress.
Magnesium orotate includes oretic acid, a natural substance involved in your body’s construction of genetic material, including DNA. It is also said to be easily absorbed and doesn’t have the strong laxative effects. Early research suggests that it may help with heart health and energy production pathways in your heart and blood vessel tissue10. It is very popular with elite athletes. However, it is one of the most expensive supplements!
So now you know why Magnesium really is magnificent, it helps with an array of symptoms12 and in my experience also helps menopausal women13.
As always, you should consult your healthcare provider before adding any dietary supplements to your routine. The information contained in this article, is for information purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. This information is not intended to replace medical advice. The Author has made every effort to ensure the information contained here is accurate but cannot guarantee accuracy. The author makes no representations or warranties in relation to this information.