Can you Guess the #1 Mineral Most Americans are Likely Deficient in?

by in Holistic Nutrition Tips, Kitchen Sink, Minerals March 24, 2009

PhotobucketBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

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.

  1. I was glad to read this!

    I have read books that explain that Calcium and Magnesium need to be balanced, and that the body can not even use Calcium in the bones properly without adequate magnesium. Supposed ly blood levels Will be kept stable at the expense of the tissues (because it is so important) but if the tissues have a prolonged shortage, and calcium is being supplemented without mag. to balance, all kinds of problems can occur.

    This is a supposed to be a common occurence these days due to the popular recommendation to take calcium supplementations for bones, and the bodies natural design to hold on to calcium but release magnesium more easily – due to calcium used to be a more rare mineral in our diet (before dairy products were such a heavy factor) and magnesium used to be plentiful -seeds, plants etc. But now our diets are often the opposite (dairy heavy, vegi weak) so magnesium is bady needed by most.

    From your post here, sound like what I’ve been reading could be on target?

  2. How much magnesium do you recommend for constipation?

  3. Well this pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with me! Thanks Doc off to go buy some magnesium. Is pizza and beer a good source of magnesium?

  4. I would not have guess this. What an informative article. It also explains why I feel so much better when I juice my greens in the AM and drink it first thing before anything else. It just seems to set the tone for my whole day. Thank you for sending me these pages I really enjoy them and learn something every single time.
    Hugs, Robin

    Robin Easton’s last blog post..Know someone like this?

  5. Hi Sonya I’ll write more in an article because magnesium isn’t the best long term choice for constipation. I generally start with 400-800mg and go up from there. Milk of Magnesia (MOM) has about 10,000mg or something really high like that, but that can be pretty extreme. Check out the fiber section because really it is all about water, stress reduction, exercise, and fiber.

  6. Ummm Robert as I discussed previously your body needs more magnesium for detoxification. So try to order a spinach salad or wild greens salad next time you have that pizza and beer 😉 Baby steps!

  7. […] See the original post here:  Can you Guess the #1 Mineral Most Americans are Likely Deficient … […]

  8. I started taking it for migraines and could actually tell a difference in my muscles and fibro pain. I haven’t taken it in a while, may be time to stock up again!


    Miss MatchMaker’s last blog post..The porch swing test…

  9. I started to take hydro -cal a week ago for my sleep problems and head aches.Can anyone tell me how long before i get results.

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