Magnesium! It’s one of my absolute FAVORITE supplements that I think almost everyone should take. Why you ask? Because magnesium is involved in over 300+ biochemical processes in the body and most of us don’t get close to the amount of magnesium required to carry out and maintain all of its jobs.
Sadly, with the depleted soil quality that our food is grown in, we don’t get as much magnesium as we did even 50 years ago. Add that to a hectic, western lifestyle where most people take over the counter medications and you can pretty sure that a big majority of the population has some sort of magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium is a vitally important mineral that helps regulate body temperature, strengthen bones, produce energy, and dilate blood vessels. Many common health complaints are caused by magnesium deficiency.
Common magnesium deficiency health issues
- heart arrhythmia or palpitations
- heart disease
- muscle spasms
- headache and migraine
- PMS, PCOS and painful periods
- many more!
Not all magnesium is created equal
Unfortunately most of the common supplements you find in your neighborhood drugstore have magnesium oxide…which is worthless. Magnesium oxide isn’t well absorbed (only about 4%). So don’t waste your money on that and DO spend your money on one of these types:
Magnesium Citrate – Popular, inexpensive, and easily absorbed. Good for those with slow bowels or constipation.
Magnesium Taurate – Best choice for those with cardiovascular issues like cardiac arrythmias or palpitations. Easily absorbed and has no laxative properties.
Magnesium Glycinate – Great for correcting a long term magnesium deficiency. Good absorption rate and unlikely to cause diarrhea. Also supports increased mental calm and relaxation.
Magnesium Malate – Highly absorbent and great for those suffering with fatigue and low energy.
Magnesium Chloride – Great absorption rate and good for detoxing cells and tissues. Benefits digestion, especially those with low stomach acid (read: acid reflux sufferers)
Testing for Magnesium Deficiency
Unfortunately it is difficult to test for magnesium deficiency. The standard serum magnesium test that most doctors order is an inaccurate assessment of the total magnesium in the body. A common and more accurate, but not perfect, test is the magnesium RBC (red blood cell) test, which measures the magnesium in your red blood cells. You can ask for this specific test from your doctor or order it individually from www.RequestATest.com or www.DirectLabs.com.
The range of magnesium RBC levels is usually 4.2-6.8mg/dL. For optimum health, you want to aim for a level of 6.0-6.5mg/dL, which is the high end of the normal range. If you do start supplementing with magnesium, it’s a great idea to test yourself in the beginning and then every 4 months or so and use your results as a guide for how much you should take.
If you or someone in your family struggles with multiple health issues and want to know more about benefits of magnesium, I suggest you pick up Dr. Carolyn Dean’s book called The Magnesium Miracle. It’s a fantastic book that is easy to understand and may shed some light on your chronic health issues.