Did you know that magnesium is responsible for the regulation and execution of over 300 enzyme processes in the body…..yes 300!!
It is one of the most abundant minerals in the body. But what is it? And what does it do? What are the types of magnesium? And why are some of us deficient?
Firstly, let’s talk about some of these 300 processes magnesium is involved with….
It regulates protein synthesis and muscle building, maintains healthy nerve function, regulates blood pressure and keeps a healthy heartbeat, sustains optimal immune function, it is responsible for helping bone to form, has a role in DNA and RNA synthesis and repair and also contributes to the production of antioxidants within your body.
Magnesium is not easily absorbed in the body unless it is attached to a transporting substance. For this reason, many supplement manufacturers have “chelated” magnesium to organic and amino acids. So what are the different types?
- Magnesium Glycinate: A magnesium salt of a compound called glycine, which is an amino acid. It is usually the best option to help correct magnesium deficiency, is easily absorbed and has a fairly high bowel tolerance level
- Magnesium Oxide: A less bioavailable form of magnesium and is usually used for treating acid reflux and sour stomachs. It is also useful for those wanting to alleviate constipation.
- Magnesium Citrate: A combined form of magnesium and citric acid. It is usually used by doctors preparing patients for a colonoscopy. It has an acidic PH and is good for maintaining healthy serum magnesium levels.
- Magnesium Malate: Magnesium paired with malic acid, which is commonly found in fruits. It is ideal for targeted fatigue-specific conditions and depression, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Malic acid is also part of the Krebs cycle, which is where much of our cellular energy is generated.
- Magnesium Taurate: Magnesium combine with Taurine, which has been shown to be one of the most beneficial elements in helping to promote longer lifespans. Magnesium taurate supplements have demonstrated the ability to treat cases of depression, vascular health and the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders and migraines.
- Magnesium Threonate: This is a relatively new form of magnesium, used to treat neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimers disease.
So, how do you know if you have a magnesium deficiency?
There are some signs that may indicate you are low in this mineral. Signs of magnesium deficiency include; fatigue, constipation, tension and migraine headaches, hormone imbalances, PMS and loss of appetite. As the deficiency worsens numbness, tingling, muscle contractions/cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms and coronary spasms.
How do you get Magnesium deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency can be due to poor diet, or due to candida, parasites, bacteria or fungi within the body, which are large consumers of magnesium. What happens here is a “competition”, they take a large percentage and then the body is left with less magnesium than it needs to function properly.
Furthermore, and I think most importantly, a lot of our foods are becoming depleted in magnesium due to modern day farming where crops are not rotated and the land is not rested. This is decreasing the bioavailability of magnesium to us through our food- which is where we get it from.
So how can we increase our magnesium intake naturally?
Foods including green leafy vegetables (in particular spinach & kale), pumpkin seeds, yoghurt, black beans, almonds, figs, dark chocolate, bananas, salmon, coriander, cashews, goats cheese and artichokes all contain good amounts of magnesium. Furthermore, one way to increase the bioavailability of the magnesium is to add green leafy vegetables to your juice.
Another way that magnesium can be absorbed is through the skin. Magnesium can help with the relief of muscle tension and also muscle spasms. For this reason, we use magnesium creams in our osteopathic treatments, to help the relaxation process of the muscles during your treatment.
Do you think you may be magnesium deficient? If you would like to investigate this further, please book an appointment with our Osteopath and Naturopath, Dr, Rebecca Farthing. She will be able to assess you and put a management plan in place that is specific to you.