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Top benefits of magnesium

Staying healthy during the winter can feel like a challenge with kids back in school and cold and flu season among us. But, keeping ourselves healthy with important vitamins and minerals with a well-balanced diet and supplements can improve our overall health and immune defence. We rely on W. Gifford Jones’ to help keep us healthy with his article “Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency” to share helpful health tips.

Specifically, magnesium is an essential mineral involved in around 80% of our bodily metabolic functions. Magnesium delivers energy to the cells for the production of an important antioxidant, glutathione. Luckily, magnesium can be found in various foods such as pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, edamame, dark chocolate, avocado, salmon, black and kidney beans, peanuts and peanut butter and supplementing with magnesium can easily be done, with your medical practitioner’s consideration.

Unfortunately, magnesium depletion in soil and food processing has resulted in a magnesium deficiency in roughly 60% of North Americans and symptoms can be diverse. Gifford Jones’ article outlines migraines, fatigue, insomnia, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, angina, irregular heartbeat, decreased bone health, shortness of breath and maintaining sugar levels.

Migraine and magnesium

Did you know migraine attacks due to constricted blood vessels affect around 15% of the population? According to Gifford Jones, “[s]tudies show that blood levels of magnesium in migraine patients are low compared to healthy patients. But they are even lower during a migraine attack. An intravenous injection of magnesium relaxes constricted vessels and relieves migraine pain.”

Tired, weak, insomnia, chronic pain and magnesium 

Nutrition expert, Dr. Marita Schauch says, “Magnesium can be helpful in treating fibromyalgia. Magnesium is required for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the major form of energy in the body. ATP has been found to be decreased at sites of pain in those suffering from fibromyalgia.”

Depression, anxiety and magnesium

In a study of 800 people, participants aged 65 and older “revealed that those with the lowest level of magnesium were 22 percent more likely to develop depression.” Another study showed 450mg of magnesium improved the mood of participants. 

Angina and magnesium

Magnesium can help ease body spasms and pain. “In 1979, Dr. J.R. Chipperfield reported in the British journal, Lancet, that patients who suffer from angina often have low blood magnesium.” This mineral also adds oil to circulation preventing clotting, which can cause sudden death. 

Irregular heartbeat and magnesium

Irregular heartbeat diagnosis increases as people age. Low blood magnesium can negatively impact the electrical system the heart depends on for a regular heartbeat. A simple oral magnesium supplement can restore the normal rhythm. 

Shortness of breath and magnesium

According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, “research shows patients with asthma and other bronchial diseases have low magnesium.” Adversely, asthma treatment medications can cause a loss of magnesium which can increase the asthma symptoms. “Patients treated with magnesium report improvement in this disease. Dean adds that magnesium is a bronchodilator and an antihistamine, naturally reducing histamine levels which have a calming effect on the muscles of the bronchial tubes.”

Maintaining blood sugar levels and magnesium

Optimal magnesium levels help glucose enter cell membranes and increase sugar levels. For diabetics looking to optimize their sugar regulation, magnesium is a supplement to consider, with your medical practitioner’s knowledge and recommendation.

Bone health and magnesium

“The National Institute of Health states that magnesium is critical in the maintenance and repair of compact bone.”

Magnesium supplements

Gifford Jones recommends Certified Naturals Marine-Source Magnesium. These supplements are “based on research showing improved bioavailability of magnesium extracted from seawater and its content of 71 other important minerals that work synergistically with magnesium.”

It’s always important to speak to your doctor or a naturopath before taking any new medications or supplements.