Magnesium: An Invisible Deficiency That Could Be Harming Your Health

by HealthyFood 2 views0

Magnesium is a vital mineral for the function of every single organ in our bodies, especially the heart, kidneys and muscles. If you are facing unexplained loss of energy or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms or muscle spasms and eye writhing you may have magnesium deficit.


You shouldn’t consider the blood test as a reliable test for magnesium level in your body, because the blood contains only 1% of the magnesium in your body.

The magnesium is stockpiled in the bones and the organs and is used for many biological functions. You could be facing magnesium deficiency but you are not aware of it, which is the reason why it is also called as the “invisible deficiency”.

According to a recent research, almost 80% of the Americans are not consuming the prober amount of magnesium or they are already deficient in magnesium. Another research proves that 25% of the adult Americans are consuming the required amount of 310-320 milligrams for women and 400-420 mg for men on a daily basis.

According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical and naturopathic doctor, this amount is “just enough for preventing deficiency.”

Magnesium Deficiency May Trigger 22 Medical Conditions

People are considering the magnesium as a mineral for the heart and bones only, which is not true. Today the researchers know about 3.751 magnesium-binding spots on human proteins, which proves the magnesium’s role in human health and disease is surely underestimated.

Magnesium is included in over 300 various enzymes in our body and has a crucial role in detoxifying process, which makes it very important for assisting to disable damage from outer chemicals, heavy metals and other toxins. Magnesium is also vital for:

  • Triggering muscles and nerves
  • Generating energy in the body by stimulating adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
  • Assists in digesting proteins, carbohydrates and fats
  • Serving as a building block for RNA and DNA synthesis
  • Acting as a prequel for neurotransmitters like setaonin

Dr. Dean has been researching and writing about magnesium for more than 15 years. Her latest addition of the book, The Magnesium Miracle was released in 2014. In this addition you can read about 22 medical areas that magnesium deficiency stimulates or causes, all of which are scientifically avowed.

Nervousness and panic attacks Asthma Blood lumps
Bowel ailments Cystitis Depression
Detoxification Diabetes Exhaustion
Heart ailment Hypertension Hypoglycemia
Sleeplessness Kidney ailment Liver ailment
Migraine Musculoskeletal conditions (fibromyalgia, writhing, chronic back ache, etc.) Nerve issues
Obstetrics and gynecology (PMS, infertility, and preeclampsia) Osteoporosis Raynaud’s syndrome
Tooth decay

The first symptoms of magnesium deficiency are lack of appetite, headache, sickness, exhaustion and weakness. Continuous lack of magnesium can cause serious symptoms, such as:

Numbness and shivers Muscle twitching and writhing Seizures
Changeable personality Abnormal heart rhythms Coronary spasms

The Role of Magnesium in Diabetes, Cancer, and More

Many people who are intending to prevent chronic diseases, aren’t considering the magnesium as a key factor in this process. There have been few remarkable studies about magnesium’s role in maintaining our metabolism functioning effective, particularly in terms of insulin sensitivity, glucose control and protection from type 2 diabetes.

Increased magnesium consummation diminishes the chance of impaired glucose and insulin metabolism and slows down the advancement from the pre-diabetes state to diabetes for middle-aged Americans. Researchers are claiming that: “Magnesium consummation could be very useful in offsetting the risk of expansion of diabetes, if you are high risk.”

Many studies have proved that increased magnesium consummation is related with increased bone mineral density in women and men. During a research in Norway has been proved a link between magnesium and consummation of water and a reduced risk of hip fractures.

It is also possible that the magnesium can reduce the risk of cancer, which was showed in a study released in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This study showed that increased consummation of dietary magnesium is related with a reduced risk of colorectal tumors. The results from the meta-analysis have pointed that for every 100mg augment in magnesium consummation, the chance of colorectal tumor is reduced by 13%, and the chance of colorectal cancer is reduced by 12%. According to the researchers, the magnesium’s anti-cancer properties could be associated with its ability to diminish insulin resistance, which may stimulate the expansion of tumors.

Surprising Factors that Influence Your Magnesium Levels

The richest sources of magnesium are the seaweed and green leafy vegetables such as spinach and Swiss chard. Also the beans, nuts and seeds like sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds are great source of magnesium. There is plenty magnesium in avocados too. Juice your vegetables in order to get all the magnesium included in them.

Anyway, today’s foods aren’t containing enough magnesium and other minerals, so it doesn’t mean if you are eating a lot of magnesium-rich foods you will intake the required amount of magnesium on a daily basis. Dr. Dean once said: “Magnesium is farmed out of the ground much more than calcium… A hundred years ago, we would get maybe 500 milligrams of magnesium in an ordinary diet. Today we’re lucky to get 200 milligrams.

Herbicides, such as glyphosate are acting as chelators, and are very efficient in obstructing the intake and exploitation of minerals in many foods grown today. This leads in difficulties in finding magnesium-rich foods. While cooking and processing the food you will diminish the magnesium levels inside.

There are also some foods that are able to affect your body’s ability for absorption of magnesium. If you are consuming alcohol in bigger amounts, it may affect with your body’s absorption of vitamin D, which on the other hand is very helpful for magnesium absorption. According to Dr. Danine Fruge, associate medical director at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida, the sugar can cause the body to discharge magnesium through the kidneys, which will lead to a net loss. Here are some factors that are related with reduced magnesium levels:

  • Increased uptake of soda or caffeine
  • Menopause
  • Older age (older adults are facing greater risk for magnesium deficient due to reduced absorption that comes with the ages and the older people are using some medicals that are affecting the absorption)
  • Some medications, like diuretics, antibiotics (gentamicin and tobramycin), corticosteroids (prednisone or Deltasone), antacids and insulin
  • Unhealthy digestive system diminishes the body’s ability for magnesium absorption (Crohn’s disease, leaky gut, etc.)

Calcium, Vitamin K2 and Vitamin D Must Be Balanced with Magnesium

You may think that you can reduce the risks of reduced magnesium simply by consuming a supplement, but it is not that simple. When you are consuming magnesium, you must to consume calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 too, because all of them are functioning together. Large amounts of calcium without the approximate amounts of magnesium can cause a heart attack and sudden death. According to a research on the Paleolithic or caveman diet has proved that the proportion of calcium to magnesium in the diet that our bodies evolved is 1 to 1. In the American’s diet the proportion of calcium to magnesium is around 3.5 to 1.

If you have extra calcium and lack of magnesium, your muscles will be inclined to go into spasm, which will affect your heart for sure. Dr. Dean states: “What will happen is that the muscle and nerve function that magnesium is charged for is weakened. If you are facing lack of magnesium, your muscles will go into spasm. Calcium stimulates the muscles to contract. If you are maintaining balance, the muscles will work properly. They will relax, contract and generate their activity.”

You should keep in mind that you need to consider vitamins K2 and D while balancing calcium and magnesium. These four compounds are upholding one another. Deficit of balance between these substances is one of the reasons why calcium supplements are related with bigger chances of heart attacks and stroke, and why some individuals are facing Vitamin D toxicity. One part of the explanation for these bad side effects is that the vitamin K2 holds calcium in its compatible place. If there is a lack of K2, extra calcium will make more problems than solves, by storing in the not compatible areas, such as your soft tissue.

Also, if you decide to intake vitamin D orally, it will be necessary to consume it in your food or take supplemental vitamin K2 and more magnesium. Consuming bigger doses of vitamin D supplements, without enough vitamin K2 and magnesium can cause vitamin D toxicity and magnesium deficiency symptoms, as well as inadequate calcification that could harm your heart.

Tips for Increasing Your Magnesium Levels

Juicing the greens is one of the best ways to boost your magnesium levels. You can drink one pint to one quart of fresh green vegetable juice daily, which can be a great source of magnesium. There can be a higher level of magnesium in organic foods that are grown in nutrient rich ground. If you decide to go for a supplement, you should know that there are many magnesium supplements on the shelves, because magnesium must be bound to another substance. There isn’t such thing as a 100% magnesium supplement.

The substance used in any given composition can leave an impact on the absorption and the magnesium’s bioavailability, and could yield a little bit different or targeted health benefits. In the following table are summarized the differences between the different forms. The best sources are magnesium threonate and citrate because of their ability to penetrate cell membranes, including your mitochondria, which will lead in boosted energy levels. It also penetrates our blood-brain barrier and looks like it does amazing job in treating and preventing dementia and betters memory. If you are using supplement you can use the “bowel test” which will show you if you are taking too much magnesium.  Dr. Dean gives an explanation:

The best way to know if you are taking enough magnesium is the “bowel test”. When you are taking too much magnesium your stools will become loose. This could be useful for people who are experiencing constipation… which is one of the ways magnesium deficiency manifests.”

Epsom salt baths or foot baths are another effective way for improving magnesium levels in your body. As a matter of fact, the Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate that can be absorbed through our skin. For topical application and absorption you can use magnesium oil. You can use whatever supplement you like, but make sure that you are avoiding any containing magnesium stearate, which is usual but potentially harmful additive.  

Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that inclines to yield the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability and is usually considered as perfect for those who are trying to get rid from the deficiency. Magnesium oxide is a non-chelated type of magnesium, bound to an organic acid or a fatty acid. Includes 60% magnesium, and has stool softening characteristics
Magnesium chloride/Magnesium lactate includes only 12% magnesium, but has better absorption than others, such as magnesium oxide, which includes five times more magnesium Magnesium sulfate/Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) are usually used as laxatives. Be careful because it is easy to overdose from these ones, which means you should ONLY intake as recommended
Magnesium carbonate is having antacid characteristics, includes 45%magnesium Magnesium taurate includes a combination of magnesium and taurine, an amino acid. Together, they incline to yield a restful effect on your body and mind
Magnesium citrate is magnesium with citric acid, which like most of the magnesium supplements has laxative characteristics but is easily absorbed and cost effective Magnesium threonate is a recently appeared type of magnesium supplement that occurs promising, first of all because of its superior ability to penetrate the mitochondrial lining, and may be the best magnesium supplement you can find