Next time you’re in for treatment, ask me about supplemental Magnesium instead of Calcium.
Magnesium has received a lot of buzz lately. Recent studies have found that nearly 68% of Americans are low in the RDA for magnesium (a pitifully low dietary suggestion to begin with) and that a projected 200 million Americans suffer the consequences of magnesium deficiency. But why? Activating over 300 enzymatic reactions and assisting with thousands of biochemical functions within the body, magnesium’s vital role as a healing agent has a far-reaching medicinal history. This magnificent mineral has been the subject of documented western research dating as far back as the 1600’s! Yet, due to several haphazard trends of our modern health and dietary practices, this essential mineral has detrimentally slid off the radar until now- even for some of the most avid “health seekers.”
3 Reasons Why You Might be Magnesium Deficient
1. Synthetic Supplements & Fortification
Some vitamins and minerals are consumed at overwhelmingly high rates while others are neglected. A tragic example of this asymmetry is the ignored physiological relationship of calcium and magnesium. Calcium is responsible for signaling muscle contraction, whereas magnesium is required for muscle relaxation. While research has confirmed that calcium to magnesium ratios in the paleolithic diet were 1:1, our “bone building calcium-craze” has left modern individuals with a warped exposure, reaching anywhere from 5:1 to 15:1 ratio. Studies have clearly demonstrated that excess calcium destroys magnesium, while magnesium supplementation significantly improves the body’s use of calcium.
2. Caffeine, Alcohol & Carbonation
Caffeine-containing beverages like coffee, tea and soda are all stimulants that have a diuretic effect. Once ingested, they have been found to cause an accelerated flushing of magnesium through the kidneys, regardless of whether or not your body needs the magnesium. The body’s physiological need for magnesium is secondary to the diuretic effects! Coupled with high caffeine content, dark-colored sodas contain phosphates which bind magnesium in the digestive tract, preventing any gastric mineral assimilation. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant, but through suppression of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), it also causes increased magnesium loss through the kidneys. Moreover, alcohol contributes to Vitamin D deficiency as well as digestive malfunction, further minimizing the body’s ability to absorb magnesium effectively.
3. Chronic Stress
Research has found that the frequent release of adrenaline and cortisol involved in an unresolved stress response is strongly correlated with decreased magnesium. What’s worse is that it all works in a vicious cycle: since magnesium is an integral part of nerve conduction and electrolyte balance, low levels can confound sensations of anxiety, sleep disturbance and depression.
“I’m convinced that to get enough magnesium today, you need to take supplements”