Magnesium plays an important role in the body, yet 80% of us are suspected to be deficient of this vital mineral. Did you know that magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical functions in the body?
Other roles of magnesium include:
- Helping with regulating heartbeat rhythms and blood pressure
- Keeping bones strong
- Relieving muscle cramps and tingling limbs
- Soothing joint pain
- Prevents migraines
- Improves osteoporosis
- Assisting to move stool through the intestine to prevent constipation,
- Is necessary for our bodies to absorb Vitamin D
- Is required for synthesis of DNA
- And it’s an electrolyte!
Many of us are not getting the proper amount of magnesium from the foods we eat, and absorption of magnesium decreases with age. And certain medications, including diuretics, can further reduce magnesium absorption.
We do not need much magnesium to experience its benefits and some food sources include dark leafy greens like spinach, almonds, beans and avocados. It’s best to consume magnesium rich foods regularly. Taking magnesium through supplementation can also make a huge difference, but finding the correct type of magnesium you need is key to finding relief.
Magnesium is never available as a pure substance, and always bound to something else. There are as many different types of magnesium as there are different ways to supplement . . . some are better than others, depending on the health benefits you are looking for.
- Magnesium Citrate (pill form) - This is magnesium that has been combined with citric acid. It may have a laxative effect when taken in high doses but is commonly recommended as it can improve digestion and prevent constipation.
- Magnesium Glycinate (pill form) - this is a very absorbable type of magnesium bound to the amino acid glycine and is recommended for anyone with a magnesium deficiency. It is less likely to have laxative effects than other types of magnesium and has a calming effect on our brain. It can help relieve anxiety and promote better sleep. It also keeps our bones strong and helps control blood sugar, which may lower the risk of developing diabetes. It decreases abnormal heart rhythms, muscle spasms and can reduce PMS symptoms.
- Magnesium Oxide (pill form) - this is the most widely purchased magnesium and is what is commonly found on pharmacy shelves, yet it is the type of magnesium that is very difficult for our bodies to process and absorb. Combined with oxygen gives it the strongest laxative effect andmakes it the least safe and useful for our muscles, bones and nervous system..
Pill form is not the only way to benefit from magnesium supplementation. Magnesium can also be added to bath water as Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt) and applied topically to the skin or bottoms of feet as Magnesium Chloride (Oil).
There are few risks associated with magnesium supplementation, but common side effects of taking too much include diarrhea, nausea, or cramping. There is little concern with getting too much magnesium from food sources, so eating sources of magnesium rich foods is always our first recommendation.