Can you Guess the #1 Mineral Most Americans are Likely Deficient in?
If I had to bet my life savings (well, during these tough economic times it’s worth about $53.76) on which mineral most Americans are deficient in…I would guess magnesium.
Now if you guessed, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, or chromium you may in fact be right, but I believe after working with many patients, that many common health problems are as simple as magnesium deficiency. In my article “The Nine Best Natural Medicines for Depression,” I discussed the importance of magnesium.
All doctors are always checking in to make sure that their patients have enough calcium, but they should be checking that they aren’t deficient in dietary sources of magnesium as well.
What is magnesium’s role in the body?
Magnesium helps SAMe donate methyl groups to form neurotransmitters, and is also needed for muscle relaxation. It is also needed for over 400 enzymatic processes in our body, including detoxification pathways, and is also beneficial for constipation, muscle cramping, torticollis, acute angina after myocardial infarction, stroke, asthma, kidney stone prevention, dysmenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, acute gastrointestinal spasms or cramping, eclampisa, heart disease especially cardiomyopathy, diabetes mellitus, nocturnal muscle cramping, mitral valve prolapse, toxemia of pregnancy, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, lead toxicity, and fatigue.
The best sources of magnesium are leafy greens and whole grains. So it is no wonder so many people are magnesium deficient.
Think about it.
If you haven’t had a single serving of green veggies today, you likely are magnesium deficient.
Do you have eye or muscle twitches? Could be calcium or magnesium or both.
Taking a cal/mag supplement before bed is a great way to improve sleep, top off your minerals, and prevent those painful nighttime Charlie horses that occasionally happen. I always use calcium citrate vs calcium carbonate.
Keep in mind that too much magnesium can cause diarrhea, and that athletes and those with certain chronic health conditions may need more magnesium for muscle relaxation. Calcium and magnesium should be used at a 2:1 ratio.
Please check with your naturopathic physician before using magnesium as a therapeutic above the 400-800mg range as long term over use of magnesium may cause osteoporosis.