Magnesium – The Most Important Mineral We All Overlook

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Why is magnesium important to the body?

If you are interested in remaining youthful with increased energy and vitality, then you should continue to read this. There is a lot of talk about antioxidants, omega oils, calcium and several other nutrients and yet we may have overlooked the missing link in our diets, the mineral magnesium. Magnesium is involved in numerous biochemical reactions carried out within the body (over 350 in fact!) and interestingly the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are identical to those found in old age and include irregular heartbeat, clogged arteries, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, low energy levels, high blood pressure and insulin resistance.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and can be found in the teeth, bones and red blood cells. In fact half is found in bone and the rest in soft tissue in the body. The body jealously maintains about 1% of its magnesium within the blood making blood tests notoriously difficult to identify a deficiency. It activates more enzymes systems in the body than iron and zinc combined. It is estimated that a staggering 70% of the adult population may be magnesium deficient. People at serious risk of magnesium deficiency include the elderly, diabetics, those on low calorie diets, those over-indulging in alcohol and those engaged in heavy exercise.

Given the facts on magnesium deficiency, why are our diets simply not capable of providing us with this vital mineral? In the early 1900’s, our foods and water supplied us with sufficient magnesium. Unfortunately, nowadays our drinking water is filtered stripping vital minerals including magnesium, and modern farming methods have depleted the soils. In fact, magnesium levels in our water and foods are half what they were hundred years ago. Foods rich in magnesium include pumpkin seeds and spinach but one would have to eat a lot to even remotely try and counter deficiencies and frankly only supplementation will help to address this deficiency.

Benefits of Magnesium:

Low Energy & Fatigue

Magnesium is a key mineral in the enzyme processes that convert food into energy. Several studies indicate that individuals with low magnesium levels use more energy and therefore tire quickly. Magnesium is critical for both the synthesis and secretion of insulin which helps to break down glucose into energy at a cellular level. More often than not, diabetics are deficient in magnesium and there is justification in the use of magnesium supplements in diabetes not only to improve glucose tolerance but also to reduce the risk of many diabetic complications. Research indicates that magnesium deficiency may lead to chronic fatigue syndrome as cellular functions slow down.

PMS & Hormonal Imbalances

Premenstrual Syndrome is a name given to varied physical and emotive symptoms such as abdominal bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue, irritability and anxiety that occur two to seven days before the onset of menstruation. Sufferers of PMS have significantly lower levels of magnesium suggesting a clear association. In fact research by Dr David Thomas showed sufferers of severe PMS will tend to have common elements within their diet. They will consume only half the average intake of iron and zinc. They will consume only a quarter of their necessary magnesium and will consume almost 80% more dairy and a staggering 275% more sugar!

Insomnia

The inability to sleep may also be linked to magnesium deficiency. If you find it difficult to sleep or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with muscle spasms, cramps or stiffness, you may benefit from magnesium supplements. Several studies indicated that magnesium supplements were found to benefit sleep quality by decreasing the release of cortisol, the stress hormone that is responsible for sleep deprivation.

Bone Health

Although calcium is the most abundant skeletal mineral and the best known nutrient for maintaining bone density, new research has indicated that magnesium supplements may be of great value in both the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. The fact is that calcium is very poorly soluble on its own. It requires primarily sufficient quantities of magnesium and vitamin D in order for it to be absorbed into the bone. Magnesium deficiency alters calcium metabolism and affects the hormone that regulates calcium balance in the body. Research indicates that osteoporotic women have less bone magnesium and that magnesium intake is a significant statistical predictor of bone mineral content.

Cramps & Spasms

Like calcium, magnesium is essential for the proper function of muscles. Calcium is responsible for the contraction phase of muscles whilst magnesium is needed for the relaxation phase. Painful cramping at night and irritating twitches in the eyelids are usually the first signs of magnesium deficiency. Restless Leg Syndrome, a poorly understood neurological disorder, responds favourably to magnesium supplementation.

Headaches

Many studies indicate that there is a relationship between headaches, migraines and low levels of magnesium in the bloodstream. Magnesium’s benefits appear to be related to its muscle and nerve relaxing properties. In cluster headaches, people suffer from up to 20 bouts of pain daily in a single siege that can last for months. Magnesium infusions may end those cluster headaches with some relief often within a seven day period.

Anxiety, Nerves & Irritability

Magnesium works with calcium for the optimal function of the nervous system. Without adequate magnesium, the nerve cells cannot give or receive nerve impulses resulting in sensitivity to all types of stimuli such as lights may appear too bright, noises too loud and emotional reactions exaggerated. A deficiency in magnesium can result in the symptoms of anxiety and irritability since magnesium is required for the manufacture of adrenal stress hormones.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones, one of the most painful urinary disorders, have beset humans for centuries. A kidney stone is a hard mass of chemicals from urine. The most common type of kidney stone contains calcium oxalate. Studies indicate that magnesium helps prevent recurrence of calcium oxalate kidney stones due to its effects on solubilising calcium in urine.

Recommendations

By now you will have realised the crucial role of magnesium in the body’s processes, understood how deficiencies arise and that dietary intake from foods is simply not achievable. This leads us to simply accept that we do need to supplement magnesium. Unfortunately, magnesium supplements, either in a multivitamin or otherwise, are ill-absorbed by the body with average absorption rates of only 20%. Our intestines are simply not efficient at absorbing magnesium from supplements and increasing the intake simply results in diarrhoea. Absorption is dramatically reduced with poor digestive efficiency, particularly as we age or when unwell. This is why hospitals will always favour a slow, gradual supply (IV drip) rather than an oral intake. So how can we achieve optimal levels of magnesium in the body if supplements simply do not provide enough of this vital mineral? Having researched all the different types of magnesium supplements on the market, I endorse Pure Magnesium Oil which is a supersaturated solution of magnesium chloride derived from ancient Zechstein seabed mineral salts. Magnesium chloride is the form favoured by our bodies. In fact whatever the compound we take, it is converted to the chloride form in the stomach for better absorption and retention.

Magnesium Oil is not actually an oil but when applied to the skin it simply feels like an oil that is quickly absorbed through the skin to deliver magnesium to the body without any of the side effects associated with the oral route of taking magnesium liquids or tablets. Several studies have shown that using Magnesium Oil raised magnesium levels to the top of the reference scale within eight weeks (and without side effects) whilst the oral route can take two years or even longer! Magnesium Oil is also available as bath soaks or flakes and this method also deliver therapeutic quantities of magnesium into the bloodstream.

Magnesium Oil applied directly to the skin quickly floods and bathes cells and over the course of a day Magnesium Oil offers a gradual and optimally absorbable supply of magnesium. This particular Zechstein Inside source has been protected, filtered and condensed one mile underground for 250 million years! Unlike open-water sources it has absorbed no man-made pollutants from the atmosphere and is the purest natural form or magnesium chloride known. For this reason Magnesium Oil and Flakes are supplied to a number of medical institutions including the University College London hospitals. Small regular applications provide an excellent way for outpatients or parents to self-administer. Magnesium Oil is suitable for use in children and during pregnancy as it does not require primary processing by the stomach or organs so no diarrhoea effects.

Skin Health

The positive effect on muscle cramping tends to be noticed very quickly indeed but you will also see an improvement in the health of your skin. Magnesium is necessary for the elasticity and dermal protection of the skin and you will notice a smoothing and softening. In fact those suffering from psoriasis and eczema will experience a reduced irritation, redness and repair. Magnesium Flakes provides an excellent way to gradually and gently increases magnesium levels while providing wonderful muscle relaxation. Simply apply to a body bath or a foot bath and relax for 20 minutes.

Caution

Because Magnesium Oilis not processed by the digestive system or organs there are no reported contra-indications. However we would always advise patients with severe cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and those taking warfarin or tetracycline should not take magnesium supplements unless on the advice of a physician.

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This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

Shabir Daya | , , ,
  • Liz

    This sounds like it would be helpful for my Mum, she has age related diabetes and gets painful legs at night. She is 99 and brilliant for her age but has a pacemaker fitted so would this be suitable and safe for her to use?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    All the research I have read indicates that magnesium oil is suitable for
    use with pacemakers where a magnesium deficiency exists but it would be
    prudent to check with the consultant. Shabir

  • Karina

    Hi, is this product safe to use whilst pregnant?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Karina, Pure Magnesium Oil Spray is considered to be completely safe for use during pregnancy at the recommended doses. Shabir

  • caroline heanley

    can you explain why i get a reaction to the spray that is rather like prickly heat. This happens within a few minutes of applying the spray. It can be really uncomfortable, almost wanted to wash it off… Someone suggested it is do with de-hydration of the skin and that moisturiser should be applied over the top… is this correct?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Caroline, this type of a prickly sensation is confirming that you are magnesium deficient. What happens is that when there is a magnesium deficiency, the magnesium chloride is being drawn into the body rapidly which causes the nerve sensations you have described. This often normalises within a few days but for those who cannot put up with this sensation, there is a slightly lower strength spray called Magnesium Oil Sensitive Spray. Shabir

  • caroline heanley

    Thank you Shabir.. I have only just purchased the LifeFlo Pure Magnesium Oil Spray- so don’t really want to have to purchase another product. Is the mention of applying moisturiser over the top of any significance or would this negate the work of the magnesium? Thank you

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Caroline, I completely understand. You can of course mix four or five sprays into a body lotion or cream to reduce these effects because the moisturising base will slow down the absorption of magnesium into skin. Shabir

  • caroline heanley

    Thank you Shabir, that is most helpful.. Just one more Q. Will I still feel the benefits if the spray is combined with the oil. When you say it slows down the absorption, does this in fact make it less effective? Thanks

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Caroline, the magnesium oil is not strictly an oil – it feels like an oil but it is actually a water-based ingredient. When mixed with any moisturiser, the magnesium oil will penetrate skin albeit slightly slowly – sufficient usually not to cause the prickly sensations. After two or three weeks usage, I am sure you will be able to spray directly onto skin without feeling these sensations. Shabir

  • caroline heanley

    Thank you .. I will give that a go..

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    You are welcome Caroline.

  • Joanna Gutmann

    I’ve been taking glucosamine for years (not sure if it’s done any good) and had a half knee replacement recently as all cartilage and departed that side of the joint. I’m impressed by the magnesium argument and intend buying the spray… does that mean I can/should stop the glucosamine? Thank you

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Joanna, you can use glucosamine alongside magnesium spray because the two products have a different mode of action- glucosamine is supposed to be a long term “repairer” of degraded cartilage whilst magnesium alleviate pain.

  • Joanna Gutmann

    Many thanks for prompt and informative response.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    You are welcome.