Is Magnesium Deficiency Linked to Chronic and Deadly Illness?
When scrutinizing vitamins, do you ever stop and consider minerals? They’re absolutely of equal importance.
But here’s the kicker.
If you’re eating a healthy, whole-foods diet, chances are, you’re getting the right vitamins.
...you can’t guarantee that you’re getting enough minerals!
I’ll share some causes of deficiency coming up.
While I want to share a lot more about minerals in the future, today we’re talking about magnesium.
Magnesium is vital to:
- Muscle function
- Strong bones
- Energy production
- DNA synthesis
- Healthy heart function
- Delivery of other crucial minerals
All in all, magnesium is an electrolyte that plays a role in hundreds of enzyme systems. That means that magnesium is a requirement for many things your body does naturally to stay healthy.
Today, we’re going to learn more about how this is linked to chronic and potentially deadly illness.
Along the way, you may find a sign or symptom that indicates that you may be magnesium deficient.
Fortunately, there are steps everyone can take to prevent and replenish.
Of course, we’re going to cover those, too, so hang in there!
Mineral Depletion: How Did We Get Here?
Sadly, our lack of magnesium has a lot to do with modern food production.
Studies present all sorts of disturbing data proving the consequences.
The consequences come as a result of overgrazing by livestock, crop fertilizers, and pesticides, among other factors.
Healthy, mineral-rich soil gives us nutritious food.
However, our soil isn’t what it used to be.
Over the last 50 years, vitamin and mineral levels in food have been suffering.
Consider this long-range study conducted by the Kushi Institute.
It finds that vitamin C levels have dropped 30%. While, vitamin A decreased by more than 20%.
Iron? It’s gone down 37%.
Still, it’s not all about dirt. As it turns out, our modern lifestyles are a perfect storm of mineral deficiency.
For example, take water.
Many of us soften and filter our water to sort out the minerals!
Look, I get it.
“Hard” water wreaks havoc on hair and skin.
Additionally, it can taste “funny”. Depending on where you live, it can even cause kidney stones.
Be that as it may, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t touch it at all.
Finally, we have processed foods.
What’s that you say?
Don’t you eat packaged snacks or frozen dinners?
Well, processing is part of more than just your stereotypical unhealthy foods.
For instance, flour loses value during milling. As a result, some processed foods like flour have been “enriched”.
Now, what do we do with this information?
First, I recommend going non-GMO when you can.
Getting the feeling that modern vegetables and fruits just don’t have what you need? Eat more of them. We have to compensate for the loss.
I have more to share on how to get more magnesium. But right now, let’s get into the tough stuff.
Could you be magnesium deficient? What role does magnesium deficiency have in chronic illness and disease?
Signs and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
To start... I want to make sure that this information isn’t unnecessarily worrying to you. Especially since I will be drawing a link between a lack of this mineral and certain deadly illness.
A more reliable way to know whether or not you’re deficient isn’t here.
It could be at your doctor’s office. If you suffer from the symptoms or illnesses shared here, book an appointment for testing.
This is very important.
To be fair, accurate magnesium levels can be hard to detect. Still, your doctor will know more about what form you can take and the best dosage for you.
There are various tests used to detect magnesium levels.
The most common would be a simple serum test.
Just for your info...
...here are some symptoms and illnesses associated with low magnesium.
Anxiety and depression
It’s fascinating to me how, over time, mood disorders and mental illnesses are increasingly shown to be precipitated by physical factors.
For example, gut issues and mineral deficiences.
Certain forms of magnesium supplementation can lift the fog of depression. It can happen within a week!
This study recommends that magnesium content reaches “pre-twentieth century” levels. Which really enforces the idea this is a modern problem we can treat.
Muscle spasms and cramps
Why is magnesium so soothing to anxiety sufferers?
Let me explain.
It’s a natural muscle relaxer! Therefore, if you’re low, you can experience muscle spasms, cramps, and tightness.
Some assert that magnesium is a viable treatment for chronic conditions like Parkinson’s and fibromyalgia.
Additionally, a lack of minerals which protect our brains can lead to heavy metal buildup.
Don’t believe me?
This is one potential cause of diseases like Parkinson’s.
So, not only is low magnesium a suspect for the cause but taking it seems to be a viable treatment. This definitely makes a “chronic” illness symptom seem slightly less chronic!
Still skeptical about magnesium’s role in stopping spasms? I was, too, but it’s not hooey.
Exploratory testing shows that it can decrease the number of seizures in those with drug resistant epilepsy.
You can’t sleep.
And to top it off, you’re a migraine sufferer. This leads to a bit of “which came first” confusion.
Is the stress the cause of insomnia and headaches? Or is the persistent migraine the cause?
Perhaps a magnesium deficiency causes all three.
That seems to be the case when you consider that magnesium supplementation is a treatment for these symptons.
Most encouraging is magnesium’s effectiveness in treating migraines “with aura”. Migraines with aura cause visual disturbances.
Actually, magnesium can be effective against other unpleasant symptoms that accompany the pain of a migraine, like nausea.
Moreover, magnesium can reduce the number of migraines you get.
One frequently-cited study shows that it is 25% more effective in reducing a number of migraines suffered than a placebo.
In general, we believe that calcium is what we need for solid bone health.
But a crucial bit of information is missing from this advice.
For it to work, we need magnesium, too. In fact, magnesium isn’t even secondary to calcium for bone health.
That’s because magnesium is essential to dissolving calcium in the bloodstream.
Without the magnesium, calcium in many forms can settle where you don’t want it. Like in the kidneys and arteries.
Hence, we must get as much calcium as we do magnesium.
This is, unfortunately, gravely understated when discussing bone health and osteoporosis.
Type II diabetes
If you have type II diabetes, there’s a great chance you’re low on magnesium. High glucose can increase the loss of magnesium through urine.
This loss leaves you open to more disease, like osteoporosis.
For those that don’t have type II diabetes, magnesium can lower your risk.
Funnily enough, this may be linked to its muscle-relaxing capabilities. Your insulin resistance decreases when muscles aren’t tense, lowering blood sugar.
Additionally, magnesium can aid in the conversion of glucose to glycogen.
That muscle relaxation and health can also reduce diabetic neuropathy. The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include tingling and prickling sensations in the extremities.
I just want to remind everyone that type II diabetes is often reversible.
Proper magnesium intake can boost your energy levels.
Regular exercise, along with stellar nutrition, is indispensable in reversing this life-threatening condition.
Hypertension and cardiovascular disease
Hypertension ranks pretty high among our most deadly, chronic illnesses. It can cause heart attacks and strokes, two leading causes of death.
Are you having trouble lowering your blood pressure?
According to the American Heart Association, magnesium is one way to see a beneficial drop.
Interestingly enough, many doctors recommend you get that extra magnesium through food - not supplements.
The choice is yours.
...we will go through the options.
Studies show that it can take just a month for blood pressure to drop with the right supplements.
Overall, your heart needs magnesium more than any other organ.
After all, your heart is a muscle.
Contractions and spasms due to magnesium deficiency can impact your heart.
The presence of magnesium in your system is directly linked to a marked decrease in the risk of suffering cardiovascular disease.
Surefire Ways to Get More Marvelous Magnesium
1. Proper Supplementation
Watch this short video showing you 10 Foods High in Magnesium.
If it’s pretty clear that you’re deficient, you may want to consider supplementing.
The trouble is, there are many kinds of magnesium supplements out there. Not all of them are as effective as the next.
This is true of most supplements. But sadly, the magnesium selection is among the worst.
But you're probably wondering:
So, I will explain.
Look at the back of any magnesium product and it will probably be in one of the following forms:
- Magnesium oxide
- Magnesium orotate
- Magnesium hydroxide
- Magnesium sulfate
- Magnesium taurate
- Magnesium malate
- Magnesium carbonate
- Magnesium citrate
- Magnesium chloride
- Magnesium lactate
- Magnesium threonate
- Magnesium glycinate
- Magnesium amino acid chelate
That’s a lot to consider, right?
Your concern with choosing a magnesium supplement should center around bioavailability.
Right off the bat, I’d avoid magnesium oxide. It can relieve constipation, but it’s not for treating a deficiency.
The same goes for magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salts. It has its uses, but it’s not what we want to boost magnesium levels.
Honestly, we could spend weeks assessing the different varieties. The pros and cons, the available info - it’s all truly exhausting.
For the sake of brevity, I’d encourage you to go for a chelated version.
Chelation helps the magnesium survive your digestive tract.
As always, if you are on any meds or have any medical conditions, speak to your physician. Discuss with them what kind of magnesium supplement is safe for you prior to starting them.
Also, be aware that a lot of different magnesium supplements can have a laxative effect.
It’s otherwise quite safe with few reported side effects.
My favorite way to get vitamins and minerals, there are many food sources of magnesium.
Now, given that we know how mineral depletion in our soil has affected the presence of magnesium, there are concerns.
You should try to buy local and in-season. If possible, know the source of your food.
Do your best to avoid genetically modified foods (GMOs) that should contain magnesium. I know it’s a controversial subject and avoiding GMOs completely, is impossible.
Still, having knowledge concerning the production of your food can make getting more essential vitamins and minerals easier.
The foods you should eat the most for magnesium include:
- Swiss chard
- Black beans
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Dark chocolate
- Whole grain brown rice
As you can see, that’s a wide variety. And great news - you don’t have to go raw, as some suggest.
For example, a cup of cooked spinach should contain nearly 40% of your daily magnesium.
That’s more than triple the amount you get from eating it raw.
That may come as a surprise, but some vegetables vitamins and minerals are much more absorbed when cooked.
3. Topical Application
So, supplements aren’t for you.
You’re not alone! We all have trouble eating all the right foods, all of the time.
The good news!
You can absorb some magnesium through your skin.
It may not be the most effective standalone treatment for a deficiency. However, if you’re already suffering from muscle cramping or migraines, it’s a good option.
4. Don’t Deplete!
Increasingly, Americans are breaking up with soda.
It’s about time!
In addition to sugar which robs our bodies of minerals, soda contains phosphoric acid. Phosphorus is another mineral we need.
But this acid, present in soda, can prevent our bodies from absorbing minerals.
Take processed foods off of your grocery list, too. In particular, skip processed grains in favor of whole.
Processed grain is separated from components containing magnesium. Afterwards, any remaining magnesium is likely destroyed by chemicals used to process.
Final Word on... Is Magnesium Deficiency Linked to Chronic and Deadly Illness?
Frankly, the statistics are rather shocking.
Nearly 70% of Americans don’t get enough daily magnesium.
I don’t want this number to include any of my readers!
If you get enough magnesium daily, you can:
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Manage type II diabetes
- Lower risk of type II diabetes
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce migraine symptoms
- Relieve depression and anxiety
- Have fewer muscle aches
- Prevent osteoporosis
- Get more energy
Personally, I think changing our diets is the best choice we have.
The fact is, our food is becoming less nutritious with time.
At this point, we only have room for the good things. We have to eat more of them to get the amount of magnesium we need.
Tell me, have you ever spoken with your doctor about magnesium?
Did they have anything to say about what form of magnesium is best?
What about you - what do you notice when you get (or don’t get) enough magnesium?
Share with everyone below, and I’ll see you again soon.