Magnesium is an extremely important and valuable mineral. Its value for great health and wellbeing is just now being re-recognised by mainstream physicians.
At some point in time, you may have soaked some part of your body in Epsom salt due to injury. This is magnesium at work.
Nearly every function in your body requires magnesium. Magnesium is a critical co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions within your system. It is even used in the emergency department for cardiovascular incidents.
Every day, I see first-hand how magnesium benefits women in my practice suffering with fertility challenges related to a magnesium deficiency. Additionally, advantageous improvements are often noted clinically in patients with insomnia, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, stress, muscle pain, joint and nerve pain, and cancer, to mention just a few.
Is magnesium deficiency linked to depression?
Depression is a huge resulting symptom of prolonged and chronic magnesium deficiency. Serotonin, a mood-elevating neurotransmitter, is dependent on magnesium; when you are deficient, you can easily become depressed and quickly sink into a rut of anxiety or sadness.
How do you diagnose a magnesium deficiency?
Technically speaking, laboratory values are of little significance. Clinically, most conventional lab values of both serum magnesium and red blood cell magnesium levels in patients are routinely low or low-normal, attesting to this widespread deficiency.
With a 24-hour urine test, serum magnesium and red-blood cell magnesium blood levels can be run by your provider to determine a need to supplement your magnesium, and to ensure you do not have any rare conditions that would make magnesium supplementation dangerous.
Magnesium from food sources
Getting vitamins and minerals from food is the most optimal way to actually ‘supplement’ anything your body requires. The best way is to consume an alternating variety of organic wholefoods, including whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and good fats. Eat any and all green veggies you can get your hands on and stuff your face!
The green colour is from chlorophyll, whose main component is magnesium. At all costs, avoid refined and processed foods, especially white sugar and white flour products, as the vital magnesium mineral is removed or non-existent.
Absorbing magnesium through your skin
An extremely beneficial and effective way to get magnesium into your system is with transdermal magnesium. This means applying magnesium oil (magnesium chloride) or taking Epsom salt baths (magnesium sulphate), and allowing the magnesium to absorb directly through your skin and into your body. Notice the plural, “baths,” as Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will one bath restore waning magnesium levels!
Soaking in large amounts of Epsom salts is one of my consistent recommendations to get stronger concentrations of magnesium.
How much magnesium should you take?
This is truly a million-dollar question. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 350 milligrams taken orally. RDAs are usually low, so to get a therapeutic benefit, higher doses are usually necessary. Most people do not even reach the RDA of 350 milligrams. It is best to ask your healthcare practitioner to determine how much magnesium you need.
Medical Conditions Benefited by Magnesium
Oral and transdermal magnesium supplementation is shown to be useful in a wide variety of medical conditions including (but certainly not limited to):
High blood pressure
Coronary artery disease
All types of musculoskeletal disorders
Mitral valve prolapses
There is so much information about the benefits of magnesium. As practitioners of natural and integrative medicine, we look for the underlying cause of disease. One thing that can be said for sure is that maintaining healthy levels of magnesium can truly help get to the root cause of many conditions that would otherwise go untreated or be treated improperly.