Magnesium Supplements Are Essential For Optimal Health
In every cell of the human body magnesium plays a role in:
- The use, transfer, and storage of energy. This includes respiration, which is the combining of glucose and oxygen to release energy, the storage of energy by converting ADP to ATP, and the safe storage of healthy fats.
- Protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism, and
- Maintenance of normal cell membrane function.
- DNA synthesis.
- RNA synthesis.
- Structural stability of the ribosomes, where cells use RNA to code new proteins.
- The production of proteins.
- Making sure that DNA does not “unwind” in the double helix (unless it is supposed to). A detoxifying mechanism known as phosphorylation.
Every cell needs magnesium to stay alive. Therefore, magnesium deficiencies can disrupt nearly every organ system in the body. Magnesium is critical in the nervous system because it blocks the release of a chemical called acetylcholine. As a result, nerves don’t fire too often.
This is the reason magnesium supplements often have a calming effect, and why it can often be a solution to insomnia. Magnesium also slows down the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands. Magnesium is essential for the normal functioning of the parathyroid hormone, which in turn regulates calcium flows all over the body.
Even moderate deficiencies of magnesium can create vascular resistance and raise blood pressure. Most noteworthy is that fact that severe shortages of magnesium can and do result in fatal rhythm disturbances of the heart. Therefore, one can clearly see why it is so important to regularly take magnesium supplements.
Most of Us Don’t Get Enough Magnesium
There aren’t any minerals that are “more essential” than all the others, but an essential fact about magnesium is that most of us don’t get enough naturally. Here are the statistics derived from clinical observation. At any given time:
- About 2 percent of the population suffers from a deficiency that would be diagnosed as hypomagnesemia (low magnesium), severe enough to justify in-hospital IV treatment.
- From 10 to 20 percent of people in hospitals need magnesium treatment (usually by IV) to recover from their other illnesses.
- Roughly 25 percent of diabetics suffer severe magnesium deficiency.
- About 30 percent of alcoholics are critically deficient in magnesium.
- From 50 to 60 percent of people who have recently had heart attacks are so deficient in magnesium that they need IV magnesium.
- And about 75 percent of the population as a whole fails to get enough magnesium in their diets. 
How can you know whether you need to take magnesium supplements? Chances are you have absolutely no doubt that something is wrong. You already have a medical diagnosis. You just don’t know that magnesium can help to restore normal structure and function of your body to assist medicine in addressing it.
With 75 percent of people deficient in magnesium, it is no wonder that over a billion people worldwide suffer high blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, and/or chronic fatigue.
Magnesium Deficiency and the Potential Side Effects
Furthermore, deficiencies of magnesium have also been linked to increased rates of allergies , aneurysms , asthma , attention deficit syndrome , calcium deposits in muscles , stiffening of muscle tissue , osteoporosis , fibromyalgia , congenital hearing loss , irregular heart rhythms , irritable bowel syndrome , migraines , menstrual cramps and/or irregular periods , muscle cramps , and temperomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome .
If you have one of these conditions, chances are that you are deficient in magnesium, or your body is not responding to it because you are taking too much calcium. A simple and inexpensive blood test that any doctor can order can tell you for sure. You will probably want to take magnesium supplements regardless of the blood test, however, because it will help you either way.
What Foods Do We Need for Magnesium?
One of the most important tasks for magnesium in nature is enabling plants to use chlorophyll in order to make carbohydrates and release oxygen when they are exposed to sunlight. As a result, all leafy greens are rich in magnesium. In addition, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, however, are even better for getting your magnesium because they concentrate the mineral for the growing seedling.
Every adult needs about 400 mg of elemental magnesium every day. Here are some great sources of magnesium for your daily diet. Each one of the following delivers all the magnesium your body needs for an entire day:
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of rice bran contains 781 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of dried seaweed contains 770 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of wheat bran contains 611 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of raw pumpkin seeds contains 535 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of roasted pumpkin seeds contains 534 mg of magnesium. Roasting does not reduce mineral content.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of ground flaxseed contains 392 mg of magnesium. Whole flaxseeds are not completely digested and do not release their nutritional content.
Adding Magnesium Rich Foods to Your Diet
If you are thinking, “Eww, I don’t want to eat two whole packages of dried seaweed every day,” you are not alone. We just don’t have the appetites for the foods that provide all of the magnesium we need. It is possible, however, to get your RDA of magnesium from a balanced diet rich in seeds, nuts, sea vegetables, and leafy green vegetables.
Here are some more options for getting your magnesium from food:
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of peanut butter contains 355 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of blackeyed peas (cowpeas) contains 333 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of almond butter contains 303 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of edamame (whole soybeans) contains 280 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of roasted almonds contains 274 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of raw almonds, buckwheat, dark rye flour, lima beans, white beans, sesame-crunch candy, pine nuts, cooked mollusks, or quinoa contains 200 to 250 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of sun-dried tomatoes contains 194 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of raw or roasted peanuts contains 188 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of spirulina contains 184 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of Marmite yeast spread contains 180 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of raw Irish seaweed contains 144 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of instant mashed potatoes contains 98 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of boiled fresh spinach or Swiss chard (silverbeet) contains 88 mg of magnesium. 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of boiled frozen spinach contains 84 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of raw Swiss chard (silverbeet) contains 81 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of raw spinach contains 80 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of cooked sweet corn contains 28 mg of magnesium.
- A 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of baked or fried white potatoes contains 27 mg of magnesium.
Why Supplementation is a Great Idea
Coffee, tea, and most spices are also rich in magnesium. The problem with the American diet is that most people try to get their magnesium from French fries or sweet corn rather than from greens, nuts, and whole grains.
In addition, the widespread use of antacids and a variety of prescription medications for heartburn and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) compounds the deficiency of magnesium. Stomach acid is essential for releasing the magnesium from food because magnesium tends to be bound with fiber in the bran of seeds or in the fibers of green vegetables.
Between not eating right and treating heartburn, just about everyone in the modern world will benefit from magnesium supplements because they are convenient and easily absorbed by the body. We recommend that you make an effort to do both: add magnesium rich foods to your diet and supplement with magnesium glycinate. By doing so, you will ensure optimal levels of magnesium for your mind and body.
Which Magnesium Supplements Are Best?
There is an easy way to remember not to take the wrong magnesium supplement. Magnesium is what makes Milk of Magnesia laxative. Most magnesium supplements can cause diarrhea if they are taken in large amounts. It’s a good idea to take just 200 mg of magnesium at a time until you are sure that you will not experience stomach upset. This side effect usually wears off after 2 or 3 days while the intestine begins to regulate water balance.
Magnesium Glycinate to the Rescue
Your solution is simply to take a form of magnesium known as magnesium glycinate.
Magnesium glycinate is a kinder, gentler, non-laxative compound of magnesium than some other forms including magnesium citrate. A glycinate is a compound containing the amino acid glycine. The body absorbs glycine compounds very easily. Glycinates pass easily through the blood-brain barrier so that the whole compound is more readily available to the brain than other forms of magnesium.
Once magnesium glycinate reaches the brain, it releases its calming magnesium. In addition, glycinates also help to regulate electrical impulses between neurons, likewise keeping them from firing too often as they do in anxiety states.
The glycine also frees up glucose in the liver, so it can release quick energy when the body needs it. Glycinate in the brain is calming, while glycinate in the liver helps it prevent slumps in blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, magnesium glycinate also has an antioxidant effect that other forms of magnesium supplements do not. It can immobilize iron compounds on the surface of the cell membrane. It keeps them at bay so they do not enter and oxidize vulnerable proteins inside the cell.
Magnesium itself is not an antioxidant, but when it is provided in its glycinate form, it is. Magnesium glycinate is the best kind of supplement for preventing the mild to severe magnesium deficiency that most of us have.
Taken in two 200-mg doses every day, it brings magnesium levels back to where they need to be, restoring them in a gentle way that supports calm, steady energy. When making a purchase, make sure to choose magnesium supplements with glycinate.
When You Take Magnesium, Remember:
Your body can’t absorb iron and magnesium at the same time. Iron and magnesium supplements should be taken separately. Your body can’t absorb the biphosphonate drugs used to treat osteoporosis and magnesium at the same time. If you take your medication for osteoporosis in the morning, you should take your magnesium in the evening, or vice versa.
Taking more than 30 mg of zinc per day will deplete magnesium (and copper) levels. If your doctor has told you that you need to take high-dose zinc, then you also need to take regular doses (but not “high” doses) of magnesium and copper.
Magnesium interferes with the action of tetracycline and quinolone antibiotics. There are dozens of antibiotics in the quinolone class, many of which have names that end in -floxacin. One of the most commonly used antibiotics in this class is ciprofloxacin, which is also known as Cipro.
Magnesium supplements are OK when you are using topical antibiotics to treat skin infections.
People who have a neurological condition called myasthenia gravis can have a very negative reaction to magnesium supplements. Taking excessive amounts of magnesium can cause muscle weakness and a “myasthenic crisis” as symptoms worsen. Therefore, make sure you take magnesium supplements in balance with the other substances you may be ingesting. You always want to consider the interactions of different substances and become aware of how they might affect your unique situation.
Magnesium is certainly one of the most important factors in your overall health, so you will most likely benefit from taking magnesium supplements on a daily basis. It is a critical component of optimal mental and physical health.
So, if optimal health is something that you are striving for, then you should try taking magnesium supplements with glycinate for at least one month and see what kind of difference it can make for you. Many people experience a wide range of positive effects once they begin taking a magnesium glycinate supplement on a regular basis.