“Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency” and “magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.”
-Dr. Norman Shealy
Our Food & Soil
It’s hard to imagine being malnourished in our flamboyant society, we have ample sources of nourishment, even those less fortunate have access to food banks and soup kitchens. We’ve endeavoured to grow grow grow (using unsustainable practices) and by doing so rapidly depleted the minerals in the soil. Our reliance on NPK fertilizers wreaks havoc on the magnesium levels of the soil. Quality over quantity also comes into play. We are over fed yet undernourished because the foods we are eating use up more energy than they give. Refined foods strip minerals out of our bones, as do many pharmaceutical drugs.The body requires 28 molecules of magnesium to assimilate one molecule of glucose. Our food choices as a collective are becoming less and less nourishing and more than ever in history we are spending only a small percentage of our total earnings on what we eat.
“Magnesium is not some wonder drug touted by a pharmaceutical company in an aggressive marketing campaign. It is a simple element, a mineral vital to life and health, and easily obtained.”
-Dr. Carolyn Dean
Minerals have been stripped right out of our water, along with pollutants that could potentially do us harm. Water is where we used to absorb a large percentage of the minerals we need for properly functioning bodily systems. We take them out and add in a bunch of stuff to make the problem worse, like fluoride and chlorine and pharmaceutical wastes that can’t be filtered out. The water sources themselves are polluted with chemical runoff from farms and commercial operations of various sorts, none of which can ever be completely filtered out and exacerbate mineral deficiencies all the more. Fluoride in drinking water binds with magnesium creating an insoluble compound which collects in our bones and joints.
So many of us, especially those who lead stressful lives, are lacking magnesium.
Here are some common signs of deficiency
• Angina pectoris
• Anxiety disorders
• Arthritis—rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
• Auto-immune disorders
• Cerebral palsy in children of Mg deficient mothers
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Congestive Heart Failure • Constipation
• Crooked teeth/narrow jaw in children from Mg deficient mothers
• Dental caries
• Diabetes, types I and II
• Eating disorders—bulimia and anorexia
• Gut disorders including peptic ulcer, Crohn’s disease, colitis
• Heart disease
• Kidney stones
• Lou Gehrig’s disease
• Mitral valve prolapse
• Multiple sclerosis
• Muscle cramping, weakness, fatigue
• Myopia—in children from Mg deficient mothers
• Obesity—especially associated with high carbohydrate diet
• Parkinson’s disease
• PMS—including menstrual pain and irregularities
• PPH (Primary pulmonary hypertension)
• Reynaud’s syndrome
• SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
• Syndrome X
• Thyroid disorders
Source: Primal Body—Primal Mind, by Nora Gedgaudas.
Magnesium is responsible for the metabolic function of over 350 enzymes in the body. Up to 80% of North Americans are deficient in this vital mineral. It is difficult to test in the blood, thus rarely will a doctor diagnose someone as magnesium deficient. Two researchers developed a more accurate method to test levels of magnesium ions in the tissue but it is not in widespread use. The best method is to look at the signs and symptoms.
Food sources of magnesium really depend on soil quality. The more you know where your food comes from the better!
- Raw green vegetables contain high levels of magnesium
- Nuts and seeds- especially hemp seeds, walnuts, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds (when properly soaked or sprouted to remove phytic acid which inhibits mineral absorption).
- Wild foods are particularly good, nettles per 100 g contain 860mg while chickweed offers 529 mg per 100g, kelp and other sea vegetables, and good sea salt are essential dietary magnesium sources.
- Bone broths contain all minerals and are incredibly nourishing.
- Supplementation is helpful especially for those suffering any of the symptoms mentioned above.
Those with renal insufficiency or kidney disease, extremely slow heart rate, or bowel obstruction should avoid magnesium therapy. Or use it topically.
General dosage recommendations range from about 3 to 10 milligrams per pound of body weight, depending upon physical condition, requirements for growth (as in children), and degree of symptoms.
Chronic magnesium deficiency can leave you with a reduced capacity to absorb magnesium internally. Resulting in loose stools and not enough magnesium absorption to be effective. In this case try the liquid ionic magnesium like the one from Trace Minerals Research which contains all the other trace minerals as well or topical magnesium oil
- There are a few different forms of magnesium that you might consider taking.
- Epsom Salts in a bath are highly absorbed through the skin and can be effective, especially in promoting muscular relaxation and helping insomnia. Magnesium Sulfate passes quickly through the body.
- Ionic Liquid Magnesium
- Magnesium Citrate which is the form in a product called “natural calm” they recommend combining it with hot water to create an ionic version of magnesium.
- Magnesium Oxide is often used for a laxative effect. This effect is indicative that your body has reached it’s peak magnesium absorption. When starting a magnesium supplement do so slowly to avoid unwanted runny stools.
- Magnesium Glycinate has less of a laxative effect. Magnesium Malate is used for people with fibromyaligia to help break up lactic acid.
- Magnesium Oil for people with gut issues
- Homeopathic Magnesium Phosphorica 6x in combination with the above therapies can greatly improve absorption
If you want to learn more about Magnesium, the Magnesium Miracle by Dr. Carolyn Dean M.D and N.D is a great resource.
This article also sheds a light on this neglected mineral and it’s importance
The Magnesium Miracle Dr. Carolyn Dean
Eades M, Eades A, The Protein Power Lifeplan, Warner Books, New York, 1999
Altura BT, Altura BM, “Measurement of ionized magnesium in whole blood, plasma and serum with a new ion-selective electrode in healthy and diseased human subjects.” Magnes Trace Elem, vol 10, no 2-4, pp 90-8, 1991-1992