December 25, 2017
A major cofactor in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body! It is necessary in adequate levels for energy production, insulin function, protein synthesis and blood pressure regulation as well as muscle/nerve function. This encompasses every major system in the body!
Oh and by the way, you need it to make DNA/RNA and the detoxifying chemical glutathione (my personal favorite). Magnesium is located about half in our bones and the other half in tissues. Our blood has less than 1%. Our kidneys keep the blood level of magnesium in tight control.
Magnesium is insanely important to us! Where can we get it? The best HEALTHY sources of mag are spinach, nuts, beans, oatmeal, avocado, soy, potato and banana. Fish, chicken and beef have reasonable amounts as well.
Insufficiency and deficiency occurs primarily in people with gastroenterological disorders (Crohns, celiac and ulcerative colitis), alcoholism, type 2 diabetes and a poor quality diet. Medicines like antacid proton pump inhibitors, certain antibiotics and diuretics will lower magnesium levels.Adults need to be aware of the fact that most drugs have a negative effect on micronutrient function. If you are taking a chronic medicine, know the side effects on micronutrients.
Magnesium deficiency causes problems with blood pressure control and heart function.
Osteoporosis is a long term consequence of chronic magnesium insufficiency. Migraine headaches are associated with low magnesium levels. Diabetics lose more magnesium in their urine because of elevated blood sugar levels. The low magnesium in turn worsens insulin sensitivity. A vicious cycle!
We use it frequently in the emergency setting to save a life when someone is dying from a cardiac arrhythmia or asthma attack.
Insufficiency is also a problem for neurological function. Low magnesium levels are associated with increased anxiety, insomnia, constipation, ADD, IBS, chronic fatigue and a laundry list of other issues.
In order to absorb magnesium well, you need vitamin D and B6 as well as selenium and the amino acid taurine. This of course happens naturally when we eat vegetables, fruits and get sun exposure.
Take home point: if you or your child feels mentally or physically tight, you are likely low in magnesium. Load up the nuts, organic spinach, salmon, organic soy and beans. Get out in the sun for 20 minutes daily without sunscreen. If that does not work, take magnesium supplements like magnesium taurate or glycinate. Watch out for citrate - it can give you a nasty bout of #3.