I recently read somewhere that magnesium deficiency is actually one of the most common, if not THE most common nutrient deficiency in the Western world today. As magnesium is known to be extremely important mineral in cell metabolism, this information caught my attention straight away, and I had to find out more. Magnesium is usually not included in any routine blood tests, but even if they did, magnesium deficiency is often misdiagnosed because it does not show up in blood tests. Only very small amount of the body’s magnesium is stored in blood.
Not many people are aware how important magnesium actually is for us, not even doctors. It is probably the most important mineral in our cells, more important than calcium, potassium or sodium and actually regulates the three of them. When there is not enough magnesium to balance these minerals, it leads to our cells containing too much calcium. As a consequence of having too much calcium in your body leads to the whole body, muscles, tissues and arteries being “calcified”. Our arteries harden leading to heart disease, our blood clots easily, joints and muscles ache and cramp. Cells are not functioning properly which leads even to cell death. We have low energy levels as magnesium is required to produce ATP energy in your cells. Lack of magnesium even affects REM sleep leading to poor sleep. Calcium is displaced to tissues, starving bones which leads to osteoporosis.
There are also many other different symptoms that are connected to magnesium deficiency, such as low energy levels and fatigue, anxiety, restlessness, hyperactivity, migraines, poor sleep, joint pain and muscle cramps, back ache, neck pain, insulin resistance and diabetes and high blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency can basically affect every organ system of the body, including heart. Magnesium is very important when preventing cardiac arrhythmia. There are several studies about the positive effect magnesium has on cardiac health and preventing cardiac related sudden death.
Magnesium is a cheap, efficient preventative treatment. Also vitamin D3 is very important as it is known that low levels of vitamin D do lower magnesium levels too. Vitamin B6 is very important in magnesium metabolism.
Magnesium rich foods include at least dark chocolate. dark leafy vegetable such as spinach, broccoli and almonds. Unfortunately though, modern farming has resulted in our food containing less and less minerals and micronutrients, and also many of us consume too much sugar and grains in our diets, depleting our magnesium stores, so mostly we do need magnesium supplements.
Magnesium is available in supplements, of which magnesiums oxide is the most difficultly for the body to absorb and therefore should not be used.
There are many suggestions that all magnesium supplements are actually very poorly absorbed in through the digestive tract with many people, which is why there are also recommendation to use magnesium topically, as oil or body butter availably in some health shops. You can also buy magnesium flakes which you can use to make your own magnesium products like body butters or bath salts.