Magnesium

Essential element

Magnesium (Mg) is the fourth most abundant element in the human body and the second most abundant within the cells (potassium is first). Around half of our Mg resides in bones – promoting bone growth and repair. Healthy bones are always remodelling & Mg is super important for this. Mg is active in brain, nerve and muscle function, enzymes, energy production, glucose, metabolism, DNA stability, and cell growth.

Over 800 of our enzymes use Mg.

Sources

The content of Mg in food is influenced by soil, water, fertilisers, refining, processing and cooking. Seeds, legumes, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, peanuts, whole grain breads, and cereals (brown rice, millet), some fruits, and cocoa are considered good sources of Mg. Green leafy veggies also contain Mg but sometimes this is not bioavailable.

Deficiency

Many of us are deficient in Mg. Symptoms of deficiency may include restless legs, muscle weakness, tremors, muscle cramps, fatigue, irritability, mental health, irregular heartbeat or palpitations.

Chronic Mg deficiency has been associated with diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and neurological disorders.

You may require extra Mg if you’re an athlete, older (age reduces nutrient absorption in the gut) or have Crohns, irritable bowel, ulcerative colitis, a gastric bypass and endocrine disorders.

The many forms of supplemental Mg can be confusing. To explain – naturally occurring elemental Mg needs to bond with other molecules or elements to be stable. The differing forms of Mg reflect these bonds.

Some forms of Magnesium

Magnesium citrate – easily absorbed. May have a laxative effect.

Magnesium chloride – easily absorbed. May have a laxative effect.

Magnesium lactate – easily absorbed. Less laxative.

Magnesium malate – easily absorbed. Less laxative.

Magnesium glycinate / bisglycinate easily absorbed. May be used to help anxiety depression.

Magnesium taurate – easily absorbed. May be helpful in blood sugar management – further research needed.

Bath or foot soak: Magnesium sulfate. Epsom salts – helps with stress and sore muscles.

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