Are you getting enough Magnesium?


Recent studies show that almost 100% of the population doesn’t get enough magnesium, a nutrient critical for overall health. Magnesium deficiency is associated with numerous health problems, from cardiovascular disease to dementia to osteoporosis.

I want to talk about why magnesium is so important, why most people are falling short, and how to optimize your intake through diet and supplementation.

What is Magnesium?

It's involved in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body.

It helps:

· Muscles to contract

· Nerves to send and receive messages

· It keeps your heart beating steadily

· Keep your immune system strong.

· Maintains bone health and density

· Plays an important role in relaying signals between your brain and body

· Acts as the gatekeeper for NMDA receptors, which are involved in healthy brain development, memory and learning. It prevents nerve cells from being overstimulated, which can kill them and may cause brain damage.

Studies have also shown Magnesium to be a potential benefit for:

· Lowering Blood Pressure

· Improving Blood Sugar Control in Type 2 Diabetes

· Improving Sleep Quality

· Helping to Combat Migraines

· Reducing Symptoms of Depression

How Much Magnesium Do You Need?

Few people meet the recommended daily intake (RDI) of 400–420 mg for men and 310–320 mg for women that were established in 1997 based on average height and body weight. Since then body weight averages have increased, and if we update the numbers to reflect this increase, the RDI would look more like 535mg per day for women and 660mg per day for men.

A recent study showed that the current average magnesium intake is only 265mg for women and 340mg for men, so the majority of the population is still falling short.

Why is it so hard to get magnesium in our diet?

Many foods that are high in magnesium also contain compounds such as oxalic acid which impair magnesium absorption.

Due to changes in soil quality over the past few decades the amount of magnesium in our soil has decreased leaving our meats, fruits and veggies depleted by 15-26%. The soil data was published over 30 years ago, it is likely that today the magnesium content in food is even lower.

It can be difficult to eat enough high magnesium food each day.

We can only absorb 30-40% of listed magnesium values.

How Can You Get More Magnesium in Your Diet?

Being conscious about the foods you eat and choosing foods that are naturally higher in magnesium. Most people need some form of high quality supplementation.

What Form of Magnesium Should You Supplement With?

When supplementing with any nutrient, it is always best to be informed about which form is best absorbed by the body. Many over the counter magnesium supplements are not well absorbed and this can lead to undesirable GI side effects such as loose stools or upset stomachs.

· Magnesium Oxide

Least Absorbable form. Acts as a muscle relaxer and laxative if taken in high doses.

· Magnesium Citrate

Most common form. Citric Acid increases the rate of absorption. Usually has a strong

Laxative effect and can cause upset stomachs.

· Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium that is bonded to Glycine can increase relaxation. Can be the best form if you

are looking to use it for mental calm and relaxation.

· Magnesium L-Threonate

This form effectively crosses the blood brain barrier and so has recently been studied for uses such as patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive decline. A recent research study published in the medical journal Neuron showed that magnesium threonate creates improvement in learning abilities, working memory and both short and long term memory. Additionally it has the same benefits as any other magnesium including enhancing sleep quality.

Buffered chelated forms of magnesium are a better choice for absorption. Chelation is a natural process that usually occurs in the small intestine in a person with optimal digestion. Minerals are bound to an amino acid or peptide allowing for better absorption but the body and reducing GI irritation and side effects.


Avoid taking magnesium at the same time as zinc as it may reduce absorption.

It’s best to speak to your doctor before taking magnesium, since it can interact with common medications for high blood pressure, antibiotics or diuretics.

Maintaining optimal magnesium levels is critical for our health and longevity. Good body stores of magnesium will improve your brain health, mood and general functioning so finding the best form of magnesium for your current concerns is vitally important.

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