Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body because it’s needed for over 600 different enzyme reactions in the body.
Some of the key areas of the body that magnesium is involved in include:
- Adrenals and Energy: It helps us manage stress and nourish our adrenals to help us produce more energy
- Blood Sugar: It regulates sugar metabolism by helping clear insulin from the blood.
- Cell Membrane Permeability: Meaning that magnesium helps movement of minerals and nutrients across the cell. This movement of minerals is crucial to proper nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm.
- Relaxation of the Muscle: When magnesium and calcium get out of balance, it can lead to muscle pain or aches or twitches. This is because the muscle has too much calcium (which is common in many people) and is very good at contracting, but not enough magnesium to actually relax and release it.
You’ll find most of your magnesium in muscles, liver, heart, and pancreas, but also in the bone. Thus, it’s truly needed in abundance throughout the entire body. That’s why it’s extremely important to ensure that you have adequate levels of magnesium.
Unfortunately, it is lost very easily.
How We Lose Magnesium
Magnesium is one of the easiest minerals to lose, and this is due to stress. Stress causes our bodies to lose it very easily.
We are under chronic stress in today’s world through having way too much on our plates, not getting enough sleep, and the toxic chemicals we come into contact with through products we use for cleaning, personal care, food storage, and more.
Plus, athletes are at even greater risk of magnesium deficiency because of the extra demands they put their bodies under through training and competition.
Thus, it’s a highly needed mineral but also a very easily depleted mineral, and deficiency is very common.
Do you have magnesium deficiency?
Curious whether you have magnesium deficiency? Tick the boxes below of the symptoms you experience.
- low blood pressure
- muscle weakness
- muscle twitches and cramps
- blood sugar issues
- high blood pressure
- loss of appetite
- abnormal heart rhythms
The more boxes you checked, the greater the chance you have magnesium deficiency.
Other Factors Contributing to Magnesium Deficiency
As previously mentioned, stress is a big contributor to magnesium deficiency. However, there are other factors at play that could be contributing to it.
There are several cofactors that are helpful for magnesium absorption, including Vitamin B6 and boron. Both of these help magnesium get into the cell, so even if you are getting adequate amounts, you might not be taking these to support absorption.
Taking the Wrong Kind of Magnesium
There are 8 types of magnesium, and most are not easily absorbed by the body.
If you look at most multivitamins and other “calming” products on the market, there’s a good chance that either magnesium citrate, carbonate, or oxide are the type listed. These are two that just don’t get absorbed by the body as well as could.
Additionally, some types like citrate can cause loose stools or diarrhea, which can be great if you’re constipated, but less so if you are trying to boost your manganese levels.
Thus, it’s very important to take the right kind of magnesium supplements.
Birth control is associated with a number of mineral and vitamin deficiencies, including B vitamins and minerals like magnesium.
Heavy Metal Accumulation
All of us have heavy metals in our bodies – and some of us have a lot of them. Heavy metals like mercury and aluminum cause stress on the body and can drive magnesium out.
Additionally, they can lead to a lot of health issues if left unaddressed in the body.
Women who use (or have used) either hormonal birth control or the copper IUD are at increased risk for copper toxicity. It’s a fairly unknown phenomenon that many women suffer from.
Additionally, we’re starting to see more children and men with copper toxicity because stress raises copper as well as chemicals in things like plastics and food chemicals leach estrogen mimicking chemicals into the body. Estrogen raises tissue in the body.
Elevated tissue copper depletes magnesium, as well as other important minerals and vitamins such as zinc, B6, vitamin C and phosphorus.
How Much Magnesium You Need
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium ranges from 310-420mg, depending on your gender, age, and other factors. However, this doesn’t take into account the amount of stress people are under, which, as we’ve discussed, quickly depletes that.
When we run labs on clients and find magnesium deficiency, we typically determine they need two-to-three times that amount, which we base on a person’s weight.
Ways To Get Magnesium
There are many foods rich in magnesium and it is important to get a good amount into your diet daily to help you reach the RDA. Organic foods tend to have higher levels than non-organic ones.
Foods rich in magnesium, include:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Swiss chard
- Dark chocolate (we recommend over 72% cacao)
Before supplementing with magnesium, we strongly advise you to test your levels to determine how deficient you are. It’s important to work with a trained practitioner who can help you determine not only how much you need, but also what kinds to use.
Supplemental magnesium can be taken orally through capsules and powders and also be applied to the skin via lotions, oils, and baths.
Testing for Magnesium Deficiency
Most basic blood panels, like the ones you get at the doctor’s office during your annual physical, assess magnesium. However, that’s not the best test for determining your levels.
This is because magnesium is an intracellular mineral, which means 99% is within the cell. So when you look at blood levels of magnesium, it doesn’t actually give you that much information because it’s only really addressing the 1%.
The Best Test for Magnesium: HTMA
The best test for magnesium levels is a hair tissue mineral analysis. This test looks at the mineral and metal content of the hair – which is looking at what’s going on inside the cell.
Beyond magnesium, minerals are at the base of our health:
- they influence our hormones
- can impact our neurotransmitters
- play a huge role in our genetic expressions
- and more!
And the test can show us what’s going on in so many different areas of our body, including metabolism, thyroid health, adrenal health, hormonal balance, blood sugar balance, and cardiovascular health.
It also tests for toxic metals like mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum – all of which can create massive health issues.
If you are interested in testing your mineral levels with an HTMA, I have a low-cost testing package that includes the test, a consult with me, and 30 days of support. Check it out by clicking the button below!