Magnesium represents the fourth most abundant mineral contained in your body. It has great importance in many biological processes as shown by the research that GreenMedInfo has done. There are as many as 3,751 magnesium-related sites on human proteins.
For instance, magnesium is a great purifier against many kinds of toxins and heavy metals. It minimizes their damage and helps the general detoxification process. Also, the production of the most powerful antioxidant in your body, glutathione, depends on magnesium.
It helps reduce heart attacks, strokes, headaches, sudden cardiac deaths and even death in general from many different causes.
Over 300 different enzymes require this mineral. They are crucial for the biochemical processes, such as:
- Promotes the proper function of your bowel
- Relaxes the blood vessels
- Creates ATP (adenosine triphosphate), your body’s energy molecules
- Helps the proper growth of bones and teeth
- Assists the work of your heart
- Regulates your blood sugar levels
Most of these are vital for metabolic function.
Those Who Show Elevated Insulin Also Show Low Magnesium Levels
When it comes to regulating glucose, insulin sensitivity, and protecting you from type 2 diabetes, magnesium does not fall short. It keeps your metabolism running the way it should.
Here are some other interesting facts:
- A study conducted by ADA from October 2013 discovered that a higher intake of magnesium lowers the risk of decreased insulin and glucose.
It even slows progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes. “Magnesium intake may be particularly beneficial in offsetting your risk of developing diabetes if you are high risk.” – according to researchers.
- According to a study done in 2013, it turns out that most pre-diabetics had inadequate magnesium intake. Those with the highest magnesium intake lowered their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by a whopping 71 percent.
- The Hisayama Study, a Japanese study published in December 2013 in Diabetic Medicine, had reported findings that intake of magnesium represents a significant protective factor against type 2 diabetes.
This goes especially among those who are insulin resistant, had minimal inflammatory problems and a habit of drinking.
- Lastly, according to the Framingham Offspring cohort in 2006, the more magnesium one takes, the more improved the insulin sensitivity becomes, and, consequently, the less risk of type 2 diabetes.
Why Is Proper Metabolic Function So Dependent On Magnesium?
Magnesium homeostasis seems to require two specific genes when it comes to controlling insulin and glucose homeostasis. You also need magnesium for activating an “on-off” enzyme for many cellular functions, including the function of one’s insulin receptors, called tyrosine kinase.
It has been a well-known fact that people who have insulin resistance also excrete more magnesium in their urine. This only means one thing: diminished levels of magnesium.
It’s like an ironic and very dangerous cycle: the less magnesium you have, the more you are in danger of losing. This is putting it in simple terms, but it’s the truth of the matter. Elevated glucose and insulin levels are also nothing to be happy about.
Rarely does our world agree on one matter, well, in this case, it is unanimous: if one wants to lower their risk of type 2 diabetes and optimize their metabolism, they better make sure their magnesium intake is adequate. And sadly, that’s just it: over 80% of Americans appear to be deficient in magnesium.
Think You Belong to Those 80%?
Well, it depends mainly on you and your dietary choices. Most Americans do not get the daily intake of magnesium they need from their meals. But there are other factors at play here, such as:
- Alcoholism – around 60% of all alcoholics have a magnesium deficiency in their blood levels
- Age – the older you get, the less magnesium you are capable of absorbing (and the old-age medications one has to take don’t help either)
- Unhealthy kidneys – which can only increase your chances of lost magnesium through urine
- An unhealthy digestive system – it hinders your body in absorbing magnesium
- Certain medications – like those which treat cancer, antibiotics, and diuretics
- Diabetes – if poorly controlled, it can lead to losing more magnesium through urinating
Coronary Spasms, Heart Arrhythmias, and Seizures Can Be Results of Magnesium Deficiency
Surprisingly, only 1% of magnesium takes place in the blood. About 60% resides in your bones, and the rest is located in your soft tissue.
Hence, there is no accurate test you can do in labs which will give you a true picture of the magnesium in your tissues. The reason there aren’t any accurate tests is that most of the magnesium is inside your bones and cells, instead of the blood plasma.
But there still may be some ways to get a decently accurate reading of your magnesium levels, such as an RBC magnesium test. There’s also a test your doctor can perform on you; it includes a sublingual epithelial test or a 24-hour urine test. But it’s not an ideal evaluation, and doctors will usually need to evaluate the symptoms you exhibit along with them.
What are the symptoms you might ask? Early symptoms can include nausea, headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting, and feeling weak in general.
But there are also symptoms which arise after going long without sufficient magnesium to back you up, including seizures, contractions, muscle cramps, tingling and feeling numb, changes in personality, coronary spasms, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Dr. Carolyn Dean has published a book called The Magnesium Miracle, in which she states the 100 factors which will help you find out if you are deficient or not. She also has a blog called “Gauging Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms,” where you can follow her instructions along with a checklist for following every few weeks.
Instead Of Magnesium Supplements, Why Not Try REAL Food?
If you learn how to depend on a varied, healthy daily diet, you will not need to resort to taking medication. Eating a healthy, varied diet means consuming lots of leafy greens as well, especially the dark-green variety.
But here’s the thing: in order for the vegetables you eat to be truly high in magnesium and other nutrients, they need to be grown in nutrient-rich soil. That, unfortunately, is not the case with most bought organic foods.
These days, the earth in which they are grown is unnaturally depleted of magnesium as well as other nutrients. So, according to some magnesium experts like Dr. Dean, it turns out everyone needs to take magnesium supplement despite their healthy lifestyle. Sound depressing, we know.
Organic foods may have higher magnesium content, but it is very hard to tell whether they are grown in nutrient-rich soils or not.
It’s not all hopeless. There is a way to get your magnesium through juicing your greens. On a daily basis, one pint to one quart of freshly squeezed vegetable juice is enough for your primary sources of magnesium.
Some other natural things to consume for higher magnesium levels are almond butter, sweet, dried whey, dried basil, unsweetened, dry cocoa powder, dried pumpkin seeds, dried coriander leaf, dried agar (a type of seaweed) and flaxseed.
How Much Do You Need to Take?
The guidelines for magnesium intake among adults can vary from 300 to 420 mg a day. But this all depends on the usual factors such as age, gender, lactation, and pregnancy.
Like previously mentioned, most people are lacking. They consume less than the minimum required 300 mg per day.
Since you also lose magnesium during sweating or by being under constant stress, it is advisable to take as much as 700 mg daily! At least according to the current researches that they’re conducting on the subject.
Let’s Give You A More Accurate Idea of All The Magnesium Supplements
If, you do decide on taking a supplement, you need to be aware that there are multiple types of magnesium supplements on the market. And since magnesium needs to be bound to another substance, each and every type has different characteristics.
It is simply impossible for there to be a supplement that 100% made of magnesium, and the substance with which it is bound can have an effect on many things. For example, the bioavailability and way you absorb the magnesium.
In other words, it may provide unexpected health benefits. But since there are quite a few types and each differs with the benefits it gives, we’ll be taking a closer look below.
One of the best sources is likely Magnesium threonate. It appears to infiltrate cell membranes, the mitochondria included. The results of this are higher levels of energy. Moreover, it’s also wonderful for treating and preventing dementia and improving your memory by infiltrating your blood-brain barrier.
Other ways of boosting your magnesium levels are taking Epsom salt baths and/ or foot baths. Epsom is great for this purpose since it is a magnesium sulfate. You can easily absorb it through your skin.
While we’re on the topical application for absorbing magnesium, there is the magnesium oil. But whichever supplement you decide upon from all these, just make sure it doesn’t contain magnesium stearate. It is an additive, but it hides a potential danger.
The Table of Magnesium Supplement Types
1. Magnesium sulfate / Magnesium hydroxide They are typically used as a type of laxative. Just be careful not to take a too large dose. It’s best to take them according to directions.
2. Magnesium carbonate contains 45 percent magnesium and can boast with antacid properties.
3. Magnesium taurate like its name suggests is a mixture of magnesium and taurine.
Taurine is an amino acid, and when bound with magnesium, they have a tendency to create a soothing effect on the mind and body. It may very well become the best supplement on the market due to its fantastic penetrating ability and easily making its way into your mitochondrial membrane.
4. Magnesium citrate it has laxative qualities because it is basically magnesium combined with citric acid.
5. Magnesium threonate is a promising, new type of magnesium supplement that has recently emerged.
6. Magnesium glycinate is perfect for those whose goal is to get rid of a deficiency. Magnesium works best in bound form because it provides the most bioavailability and absorption.
7. Magnesium oxide ha as much as 60 percent magnesium, which gives it stool softening characteristics. It does not fall under the category of chelated magnesium. Rather, it is bound to a fatty acid or an organic acid.
8. Magnesium chloride / Magnesium lactate it has much better absorption despite its low levels of actual magnesium (only about 12 percent)
The beauty about eating a varied whole food diet, is that your chances of eating too much of one nutrient, while lacking another are much more reduced. Plus, relying on Mother Nature is much easier than having to do calculations on which and how much of each supplement you’ve taken.
The great thing about real and natural food is that it has already done the math for you. It is balanced out the way it should be, so when you consume the food, it is easier to keep track.
A Balanced Diet is the Key
Here’s an example to complement the theory: You need to take the right amounts of vitamin D, vitamin K2, magnesium and calcium to maintain your health. But what exactly does that mean? Well, calcium to magnesium ratio happens to be 1:1. And it might be hard to make sure you get it right with the others too.
And yet there must be a balance since these nutrients all need to work together. The reason why many have recently associated calcium supplements with things like strokes and heart attacks is that there has been an imbalance of sorts.
Scientists at Zhengzhou University and Zhejiang University in China discovered that over one million people across 9 different countries who had the highest magnesium intake turned out to have a 12% lower risk of stroke, 10% of coronary heart disease, and even 26% of type 2 Diabetes.
This mineral is extremely useful and healthy, and the fact that many connect it to something bad or hazardous is unjust. Same goes with how and why some people may experience vitamin D toxicity.
But enough gloom. Time for some good news: you can easily prevent type 2 diabetes and almost certainly reverse it! It concerns the loss of leptin and insulin sensitivity. But to prevent it, one has to take a many-sided approach. Ensuring you take enough magnesium daily is definitely one of the things you can do. But it’s far from all.
We Think Some Sound Advice Is in Order
Here comes the cautionary advice against the fructose a.k.a. sugar in your diets. It’s no surprise that it has a wicked effect on your metabolic hormones.
So, make sure to take control of the sugar content you ingest on a daily basis. Other factors which you need to take into consideration are improving your gut flora and doing some exercise.
In the case that you’ve already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you’d do yourself a favor by avoiding pharmacies. However tempting they may be. The reason is that the drugs intended for diabetes tend to do more harm than good. They simply fail when it comes to addressing the primary problems.
Take Avandia, for example. Compared with other treatments, it appears to increase the risk of heart attack by up to 43% and as much as a 64% risk of cardiovascular-related deaths! So, before taking the easy road by buying traditional medications, you might want to think twice.