Magnesium benefits – The miraculous healer and anti-aging hero
Is there one thing you can take that will hold back the ‘sands of time”, that will make you feel and think better? Yes. It is Magnesium (Mg) – the miraculous healer as magnesium benefits all parts of the body.
Few nutrients possess its remarkable and diverse benefits. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in cells after calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Magnesium is found in our bones… muscles… blood… and other tissues. It is needed by the body for energy production… fat and protein synthesis… muscle relaxation… nervous system function… and calcium metabolism.
Magnesium is a key mineral in human metabolism, and found in small to medium amounts in many of the World’s healthiest foods.
I am very interested in this wonder nutrient as I was very deficient like a majority of people . I was one of those many people who did not realise that their tiredness, their gut problems, their headache, their irregular heartbeat, their muscle cramps or even their mood and emotions could be due to a deficiency in a mineral. In fact not enough triggers or causes anxiety and panic attacks, depression, insomnia, kidney disease, bowel disease, cystitits, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, osteoporosis, tooth decay and problems in pregnancy and childbirth. Proof is that the introduction of Mg can help alleviate these conditions.
More importantly magnesium can act both as a disease preventative and a miracle cure.
Muscle strength: In a study conducted at the University of Palermo, Italy, researchers found that seniors with the highest levels of magnesium had the greatest muscle strength, including better grip strength, lower leg muscle power, knee-extension torque and ankle strength. People with low magnesium levels had poor muscle function and strength.
Bone Health: About 50 to 60% of a person’s magnesium is stored in the bone, and as such, it plays a key role in bone metabolism. Researchers have found that even a mild ongoing magnesium deficiency can lead to a significant amount of bone loss. Researchers at Yale University gave girls ages eight to 14 either magnesium or a placebo twice daily for one year. Result: The girls who took magnesium developed much stronger bones compared with girls who took a placebo.
Stress Buster: Because magnesium is such a good muscle relaxant, it often can help ease muscle tension. Magnesium also stimulates the body’s production of the calming brain chemical gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), so it also helps people to mentally relax.
Heart Benefits: Doctors at Harvard Medical School report that high levels of magnesium were associated with a significantly lower risk for sudden cardiac death, which causes about half of all deaths from coronary artery disease. A review of seven major clinical studies showed that intravenous magnesium reduced the odds of death by more than half in patients suffering acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Diabetes: in 2014 German researchers conducted a study in which they gave magnesium supplements to overweight, prediabetic men and women. Those taking magnesium had a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar, better insulin resistance and lower blood pressure compared with those given a placebo.
Asthma: In a study in Brazil, subjects became more resistant to common asthmatic triggers (such as cold air and allergens) and were able to reduce their asthma medication by almost 40%.
Neuropathic pain: In one study, British doctors used intravenous (IV) magnesium to treat people with postherpetic neuralgia, intense pain after a shingles (herpes zoster) outbreak. Pain was significantly reduced after just 30 minutes of receiving magnesium. Another study found that a onetime IV dose of 500 mg to 1,000 mg of magnesium sulfate eliminated nerve pain related to metastases in cancer patients.
Headaches: Research has found that magnesium levels affect serotonin receptors and other brain chemicals that affect headaches and can reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.
Antiaging: Studies show that magnesium is required to maintain telomeres, the protective tips of chromosomes (which are made up of genes). Researchers have found that magnesium-deficient cells have an abnormal shortening of their telomeres, which is strongly associated with rapid aging.
How do you know if you are magnesium deficient?
Unfortunately a simple blood test is not able to measure the level of magnesium in the body because most magnesium is inside cells or bone: 60% of all the magnesium is found in the skeleton, about 27% is found in muscle, 6% to 7% is found in other cells, and less than 1% is found outside of cells in blood.
As most doctors are trained to think drugs when faced with symptoms they are not geared up to look for alternatives that are lifestyle based. The easiest way of finding out if a mg deficiency exists is by taking mg for symptoms of muscle cramping, twitches, tics, restless legs, muscle tightness, back pain or exhaustion from exercise and then finding relief!
What causes deficiency?
The major cause of mg deficiency is the western diet based on the intake of more processed foods than fresh foods especially green leafy vegetables. Many processed foods contain enriched flour rather than whole wheat flour, and this refined wheat flour has most of the wheat’s natural magnesium removed. It is “enriched” with iron and 4 B-vitamins, but not enriched with magnesium.
Natural Sources of magnesium
Many foods contain magnesium, although most people don’t get enough magnesium from their diet. Foods rich in magnesium include green vegetables, such as spinach and dark-leaf lettuce. The green color of vegetables comes from chlorophyll, which contains magnesium. Other excellent sources of magnesium are mackerel, tuna, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, quinoa, soy beans and lentils. In general, foods containing dietary fibre provide magnesium which is often added to some breakfast cereals and other fortified foods.
However my favourite Magnesium sources are bananas, dried figs, plain non fat yoghurt, avocadoes and high quality dark chocolate.
What is the best magnesium supplement?
Most people can maintain healthy levels of magnesium by simply consuming plenty of foods rich in the mineral (like those foods above). However, there are certain factors which affect levels of magnesium you consume and your body absorbs…
1. Age – simply growing older, your body naturally faces challenges that can lead to decreases in nutrient absorption, especially magnesium because of its role in so many processes in the body.
2. Types of food you eat. Processed or non organic foods typically have lower magnesium levels due to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The levels of mg in food are dependent on the levels in the soil initially and then the type of processing.
3. Medications. Certain types of medications reduce the amount of usable magnesium in the body. Antibiotics, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, antidiabetics, proton pump inhibitors and the list goes on.
4. Practicality. It may simply not be practical to consume enough of the food that is naturally high in magnesium.
If you’re concerned about maintaining adequate levels of magnesium, you might want to consider a high-quality supplement.
But the problem is which supplement as there’s such a wide-variety of options. Certain supplement combinations can affect how well you absorb it and how much is available to your body.
Magnesium glycinate – A chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide effective levels of absorption and bioavailability.
Magnesium oxide – A non-chelated form of magnesium bound to an organic acid or fatty acid. Contains up to 60% elemental magnesium and has stool-softening properties.
Magnesium chloride/Magnesium lactate – Has better absorption capabilities than magnesium oxide which has 5 times the magnesium.
Magnesium sulfate/Magnesium hydroxide – These are typically used as laxatives. Milk of Magnesia is an example of this type of magnesium. Since magnesium hydroxide can have up to 42% elemental magnesium, be careful not to take too much.
Magnesium carbonate – Has antacid properties and can contain from 29-45% elemental magnesium.
Magnesium taurate – This contains a combination of magnesium and taurine (an amino acid) that together may provide a calming effect on the body and mind.
Magnesium citrate – Contains citric acid which has laxative properties. This can contain up to 16% elemental magnesium.
Magnesium threonate – This newer, emerging type of supplement has shown great promise in absorption, as well as potential tissue and cell membrane penetration.
The exciting news about the L-threonate form is the direct evidence of its role in cognitive functioning. In preliminary research published in the prestigious journal Neuron in 2010, MIT researchers demonstrated in an animal model that Magnesium L-Threonate—and only Magnesium L-Threonate—has the ability to cross into the brain and boost magnesium levels. In their experiments, this increase in brain magnesium concentrations resulted in real benefits in key cognitive measures.
One of the best ways to get a sufficient amount is to take it topically through your skin. A daily application first thing in the morning ( I do it after my shower) and last thing at night is enough to restore healthy mg levels.
The oil is made from mg chloride. It is not an actual oil but feels oily on the skin. Initial rubbing on might result in the skin stinging or turning red but it is just a sign that you are very deficient in mg. Keep applying to your body and absorption takes place in 20 minutes. Areas with more fatty tissue such as thighs, hips and belly are less sensitive and best places to start.
I use Ancient Minerals spray on oil but you can make it yourself.
Make Your Own Magnesium Oil
To 1 cup mg chloride flakes add 1 cup boiling filtered or distilled water. Do not heat but stir in flakes until dissolved. When cool, pour into your spray bottle.
Do you use magnesium oil? Have you noticed a difference after using it?
Whatever form you choose, absorption is key. To get the most benefit the magnesium oil has to be able to penetrate your tissues and cells. Therefore it is best to apply it topically. For times of stress you may need to take it both internally and topically.