There are few minerals which attract as much attention as magnesium. Not only does it take part in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body but it also helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, steady heart rhythm, normal blood pressure, healthy immune system, strong bones and a stable blood sugar level. It also plays a big role in preventing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and a whole range of other dangerous and debilitating diseases.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. About half of the total body magnesium is found in bones. The other half is found mostly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in the blood where it plays a vital role, so the body works very hard to keep the blood magnesium levels constant.
“… An important participant in enzyme processes which ensure protein biosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism. It is also very important for the nervous and muscular systems, helps to maintain the healthy tone of the blood vessels. Magnesium is a ‘calming’ element for the nervous system slowing down the brain activity. It expands the blood vessels and is a natural diuretic. Generally, it is vital for all body systems and processes.
An adult requirement in magnesium is 350-500mg per day. Fresh green vegetables, seafood, soybeans, special nutritional yeasts, seeds, apples and whole grains are rich sources.” http://www.traceminerals.com/research/magnesium.html
Magnesium has been found to:
- Stimulate protein/fat metabolism
- Reduce inflammation by lowering the levels of histamine and serotonin (mediators of inflammation)
- Speed up rehabilitation processes in the body
- Increase testosterone levels and sperm production
- Strengthen immunity
- Slow down ageing
- Reduce cholesterol levels in the blood
- Improve the functioning of the musculoskeletal system
- Reduce blood pressure
- Significantly reduce heart disease and mortality
- Lower the incidence of cancers
- Improve the functioning of the Nervous System
- Reduce the effects of stress
- Increase phagocytosis
- Speed up tissue regeneration
- Improve skin condition
- Speed up body metabolism
- Raise energy levels (magnesium is the essential mineral in the production of energy)
- Promote weight loss
It has been proved to be:
- Bactericidal / fungicidal
- Circulation booster
- Immune regulator.
What Happens When We Become Magnesium-Deficient?
Magnesium deficiency is more common than we realise. According to American nutritionists, an average adult needs 200mg more magnesium per day than what is obtained from the diet. The fact is that the dietary magnesium is not sufficient in providing the body with this important mineral. Magnesium deficiency can be explained by a number of factors, with the main reasons being depletion of soil in minerals.
“Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur.” http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium.asp
Magnesium deficiency may also lead to:
- Loss of energy
- Slowing down of metabolism
- Disturbance in calcium and potassium balance in the blood
- High cholesterol level
- Formation of cholesterol plaque
- Kidney and gallbladder stones
- Muscle tension
- Joint pain
- Nervous tension
- Chronic fatigue
- Poor immunity
- Menstrual pain
- Fertility problems.
How can we address magnesium deficiency?
The quickest and easiest way to deal with magnesium deficiency is to use it transdermally. Magnesium ions get absorbed by the skin within minutes. This is also the best way to replenish the mineral since not all of us can efficiently absorb magnesium from supplements. People with the digestive system that doesn’t function properly will have much of it eliminated with the faeces and urine.
How can we supplement magnesium through the skin?
- Rub magnesium oil on the skin. It can sting a bit if you have sensitive skin. In this case, you can use magnesium gel or add some water to magnesium oil By the way, in case it’s new to you, magnesium oil is not the oil we are used to thinking of. It’s simply a concentrated solution of magnesium chloride which feels like an oil on the skin.
- Have a bath either with magnesium flakes, Epsom salt or Dead Sea Salt. They are as good as each other, and Epsom salt may be a bit cheaper. Use 4 large handfuls in a warm bath. Add 5 drops of Lavender oil for a relaxing effect.
- Have a Far Infrared Magnesium Wrap. You can learn how to do it by taking one of our courses or book it with us if you can come to London. This is by far the fastest and most effective way to ensure absorption of magnesium into the body. It also has a lot of wonderful other benefits.
- Book a magnesium massage treatment – one of the most wonderful and relaxing procedures you can experience.
- Have a magnesium salt footbath. It’s not as effective as the other treatments but will still add a decent number of magnesium ions to the body. Use a large handful of Epsom salt or magnesium flakes in very warm water.
- Magnesium oxide is a poorly absorbed form of magnesium since it needs to be broken down by the body, a function which falls on the stomach acid, adding a strain to the digestive system. It also can cause stool softening and diarrhoea, so use with care. To be honest, while it is cheaper than other forms of oral magnesium, I would not recommend it.
- Magnesium chloride and magnesium lactate have about 12% of magnesium but are more readily absorbed than other forms.
- Magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt) – some people take it internally, but I would not recommend it since intake needs to be monitored. I suggest using it as a bath salt. It can also be used internally in liver detox procedures, but use with care, especially if you have kidney problems.
- Magnesium hydroxide – used as a calming remedy for the stomach and a laxative. Take care to avoid overdosing.
- Magnesium carbonate has antacid properties, so is not suitable for everyone.
- Magnesium bisglycinate (chelated form) – has a reputation as the most efficient supplement due to the highest absorption and bioavailability. Ideal for those who aim to correct magnesium deficiency.
- Magnesium taurate (chelated form) – a combination of magnesium and lauric acid. Has a calming effect on the body and mind.
- Magnesium L-threonate (chelated) – new supplement which has a higher ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane, so is seen as promising.
- Magnesium citrate (chelated) – a combination of magnesium and citric acid. Has laxative properties.
From this list, the ones I have tried as oral supplements and can recommend are magnesium bisglycinate and magnesium citrate. I am still to try magnesium L-threonate and magnesium taurate but have read good reviews of both.
Want to learn how magnesium salts can help you? Find out how to use it at home to treat 25 most common health conditions.
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Take a look at my books where I describe how minerals – salts, muds and clays – help us heal. They are some of the best remedies for our joints. The resorts where people go to get help with arthritis are the most solid proof that they work.