Bare with me as I get 'technical' for just a second and demonstrate just how important this power mineral is.
It is needed by every cell in the body including those of the brain. It has a vital role in hundreds of enzyme systems and functions related to reactions in cell metabolism, as well as being essential for the synthesis of proteins, for the utilisation of fats and carbohydrates i.e. all three macronutrients. Magnesium is needed not only for the production of specific detoxification enzymes but is also important for energy production related to cell detoxification. A magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every system of the body. Holy Wow!
Because of it's wide use in the body, along with the fact we're consuming less of it in our diets generally, we can very quickly become deficient in it. Add in a bit of stress along the way, antibiotics or medications, coffee, alcohol or nutrient depleted foods and some of the following symptoms start to sound familiar.
Deficiency symptoms to look out for include;
- "contraction of smooth muscles including constipation; urinary spasms; menstrual cramps
- a sensitivity to light and loud noises
- the central nervous system is greatly affected, symptoms can include; insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and premenstrual irritability. Symptoms involving the peripheral nervous system include numbness and tingling sensations
- signs the cardiovascular system is affected include palpitations, heart arrhythmias, and angina due to spasms of the coronary arteries and high blood pressure.
- people with magnesium deficiency often seem "uptight." Other general symptoms include a salt craving, both carbohydrate craving and carbohydrate intolerance, especially of chocolate, and breast tenderness." Dr Sidney Baker
- extensive research is continuing into magnesium's health benefits, but researchers believe maintaining adequate levels is beneficial in treating and managing the following conditions: asthma, diabetes, firbrromyalgia, high blood pressure, migraines, osteoporosis, pre-eclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension), premenstrual tension and restless leg syndrome.
- some studies indicate that magnesium deficiency increases the risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis and increasing magnesium intake may prevent bone density loss that leads to osteoporosis.
Where is it found?
Magnesium is found in varying levels in nuts, wholegrains, dark green vegetables, fish and meat. Rich sources include pumpkin and sunflower seeds, sea vegetables and my favourites, bone broth and cacao.
While whole foods are the ideal way to get magensium, the difficulty is our soils have become very depleted and no longer provide the levels we generally require, particularly in Western Australia.
- The bath. Add in a cup of epsom salts into the bath water. Great for the little and big kids alike.
- Topical. There are a couple of good oils that can be sprayed directly onto the skin after a bath or shower. I'm using a Western Australian Magnesium oil. Ancient Minerals is another good quality brand.
- Oral supplementation. Find a good quality natural supplement, without synthetic fillers or other vitamins or minerals we may not need.
For me, I've been adding Epsom Salts into my bath and the kids bath and using it topically, (a.k.a. transdermally) which seems to have been very effective. In the past week I've noticed my energy levels improve, my clarity of thought sharper, less irritable and it's easier jumping out of bed again!! It's made a difference. If you feel somethings' not quite right, it might be worthwhile experimenting with this miracle mineral.
"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
I'd love to hear if you've experimented with Magnesium? Or how you add it into your diet?