4 Health Experts Give
Their Advice For The
#1 Magnesium Supplement
It’s no secret that our soils have been long depleted of essential minerals and nutrients. Thanks to the rise of industrial agriculture, mono-crops, and chemical fertilizers that alter the plants ability to up take magnesium, this vital mineral is no longer in our soils (or in our food) in the magnitude needed to support our optimal health.
And to make matters worse, the stressful demands of our current lifestyle is sucking us dry of our intracellular magnesium levels.
Magnesium Is The ‘Spark Plug’ For Life On Earth.
Magnesium is a vital element involved in 300+ enzymatic reactions affecting virtually all aspects of life for every living thing(including plants, animals, and humans.
Every single cell in your body relies on magnesium for healthy function. It contributes to a strong immune system, robust cardiovascular system, balanced hormones, relaxed nervous system, intelligent neurological function, and strong bones and teeth.
The highest concentration of magnesium is actually in your brain and heart making these 2 vital organs extremely vulnerable to functional complication if magnesium deficiency is not addressed.
What Depletes Magnesium?
• Any kind of stress be it mental, emotional, or physical. Sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) dominance creates depletion of magnesium.
• Sugar consumptions and high starchy carb diets, surges in blood sugar deplete magnesium. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, the body needs a minimum of twenty-eight molecules of magnesium to metabolize a single molecule of glucose. Phytic acids found in legumes and grains bind with magnesium and make it unavailable to the body.
• Poor diet filled with processed foods as food processing removes magnesium. Anything from handling, refrigeration, transport, and storage, diminishes magnesium content. Even boiling or steaming removes what is left from the vegetables and puts it in the water.
• Alcohol and coffee consumption.
• Many prescription drugs including birth control, antibiotics, and insulin, deplete the body’s magnesium.
• Infections such as Candida and parasites. These infections trigger the immune system and create a stress response in the body. Magnesium plays a major role in detoxification and is drained as the detox pathways become overloaded with toxic byproducts from these pathogens as they live and proliferate in the body. During any kind of cleansing process to remove these unwanted inhabitants from your body, naturally your demand for magnesium goes up.
Testing For Magnesium Deficiency
“I don’t necessarily think a person needs to have their magnesium levels tested before taking magnesium. It’s a very safe mineral that does not build up in the body. If you take “too much” magnesium, you will just get the laxative effect that eliminates the excess.”
– The Magnesium Miracle, by Carolyn Dean, M.D.
Testing for magnesium deficiency can be tricky as blood serum levels are an insufficient way to gauge your numbers because they don’t tell you what your intracellular levels are (the actual amount in your cells and tissues.
The majority of your magnesium is in your skeleton, muscles, and cells. Only about 1% of your magnesium is actually in your blood.
One effective way to learn about your mineral ratios (as well as how fast your body is burning through magnesium) is through Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) with an experienced analysts. Minerals work in partnership with one another, simply supplementing with one will effect the other.
For example Magnesium works in conjunction with Calcium. Calcium will not be properly absorbed or metabolized without magnesium; it will be dangerously deposited in your soft tissues (like hardening your arteries) rather than put to use where it should be (your bones).
11 Major Symptoms of Mag. Deficiency
Magnesium deficiency symptoms make up an extensive list. It’s as if every ailment is connected to magnesium deficiency and it’s no surprise because this mineral is needed to create more than 325 enzymes in the body (including essential liver detox enzymes) and is needed for healthy function of our parasympathetic system (rest and digest).
Magnesium protects your cells from heavy metals such as cadmium, aluminum, mercury, and lead. A magnesium deficiency contributes to heavy metal deposits in the brain which is correlated with Parkinson’s, MS, Alzheimer’s, and learning disorders.
As a result, without enough magnesium in you diet, you can be left feeling anxious, tired, sluggish, and totally strung out (at the least). To keep it simple here is our top 10 common major red flags of magnesium deficiency:
- Constipation & gut disorders including ulcers, Crohn’s, colitis, food allergies, leaky gut
- Muscle cramps and weakness
- Cavities and Osteoporosis
- Autoimmune conditions, all types
- Neurological conditions such as anxiety, Alzheimer’s, ADD, autism, depression, Parkinson’s
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Heart disease
The extensive list includes:
• Angina pectoris
• Anxiety disorders
• Arthritis—rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
• Auto-immune disorders
• Cerebral palsy in children of Mg deficient mothers
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Congestive Heart Failure • Constipation
• Crooked teeth/narrow jaw in children from Mg deficient mothers
• Dental caries
• Diabetes, types I and II
• Eating disorders—bulimia and anorexia
• Gut disorders including peptic ulcer, Crohn’s disease, colitis
• Heart disease
• Kidney stones
• Lou Gehrig’s disease
• Mitral valve prolapse
• Multiple sclerosis
• Muscle cramping, weakness, fatigue
• Myopia—in children from Mg deficient mothers
• Obesity—especially associated with high carbohydrate diet
• Parkinson’s disease
• PMS—including menstrual pain and irregularities
• PPH (Primary pulmonary hypertension)
• Reynaud’s syndrome
• SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
• Syndrome X
• Thyroid disorders
Source: Primal Body—Primal Mind, by Nora Gedgaudas.
Best Food Sources Of Magnesium
When grown in mineral rich soil dark leafy greens are naturally abundant in magnesium as magnesium is found in the centre of every chlorophyll molecule; it’s largely responsible for converting sunlight into energy.
• Dark leafy greens
• Nuts and seeds especially almond, cashews, and brazil nuts
• Foraged greens like wild nettles and chickweed
• Sea salt
• Seaweed and algae such as kelp, nori, chlorella, spirulina
• Bone broth
• Blackstrap molasses
• Nutritional yeast
How The Pro’s Supplement Their Magnesium
Not all magnesium is created equal. Each different form (citrate, orotate, glycinate, etc) functions in the body differently targeting different tissues. Some are more bioavailable than others while some are just down right useless or dangerous (like Magnesium Stearate).
Magnesium glycinate is highly absorbable and has an affinity for targeting the liver and muscle tissues where as Magnesium orotate tends to work more on the vascular system while Magnesium oxide is commonly used as a natural laxative to relief constipation.
Ionic forms are more effective in smaller doses and can be better for people with impaired digestion as they are better put to use inside your cells (where it’s needed most) rather than excreted out the colon via loose or soft stools.
Our ability to buffer oral magnesium with healthy kidneys is very high so transdermal magnesium sources that bypass digestion such as “magnesium oil’ or Epsom salts are very effective at boosting your magnesium levels.
“The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is between 350 and 400 milligrams per day, which is just enough to ward off outright deficiency. But for optimal health and for the twenty-two conditions that are triggered by magnesium deficiency, perhaps twice as much magnesium is needed.”
– Carolyn Dean, The Magnesium Miracle
To maximize on magnesium absorption it’s better to take smaller doses a few times a day. Try alternating between different forms to see which type of Magnesium your body needs most as we all have unique nutritional needs, what works for one person might not for the other.
Carolyn recommends taking your first dose early in the morning and another in the late afternoon, as these times correspond to times when magnesium levels are low in the body.
Dr. Dominic D’Agostino PhD.
Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida College Of Medicine, Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology. He is the senior research scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and his research is even supported by the office of Naval Research as well as the Department Of Defense.
Dr. D’Agostino is an avid supporter and researcher of the ketogenitc diet, especially its therapeutic role in cancer prevention and treatment. He noticed he was getting frequent cramps when he first started on the ketogenic diet (muscle cramps are a classic symptom of magnesium deficiency). He started supplementing with magnesium to remedy the cramps.
Here’s what Dominic takes:
Form: Magnesium citrate, Magnesium chloride and Magnesium glycinate.
Brand: Natural Calm – Magnesium citrate powder
More with Dr. D’Agostino:
TED Talk: Starving Out Cancer.
Podcast with Dave Asprey on Bulletproof Radio: Mastering Ketosis
Nora Gedgaudas, Board-Certified Clinical Neurofeedback Specialist
Nora is an experienced nutritional consultant, speaker and educator and author of the international best-selling book, Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and A Longer Life. She maintains a private practice in Portland, Oregon as both a Board-Certified nutritional consultant and a Board-Certified clinical Neurofeedback Specialist.
The Dose: Can vary depending on dietary habits and health condition. The average dose is 2.5 to 4.5 mg of magnesium per POUND of ideal body weight. For maximum absorption take smaller doses throughout the day: 100-200mg 2 or 3 times a day.
Form: Ionic magnesium and Magnesium glycinate.
Avoid: Magnesium stearate
Friendly Advice: Remember, no nutrient functions on its own. Even if you are supplementing make sure you are eating foods that provide adequate minerals such as calcium to provide the partner for magnesium.
Peter Attia MD.
Graduated from Stanford University and completed his residency at John Hopkins hospital and conducts research at National Cancer Institute.
Dose: 600-800mg per day
Form: Alternates between Magnesium Sulfate and Magnesium Oxide, and takes Calcium Carbonate 2x per week.
Brand: Jarrow Formulas and Now Foods
Friendly Advice: Spikes in blood sugar deplete your magnesium levels and raise both insulin levels and insulin growth like factor (IGF) which accelerates aging and drives many forms of cancers. Essentially you age at the rate as you produce insulin. The amount of magnesium supplementation you consume is the fastest way to drop that value. Supplementing with magnesium is probably one of the best methods for anti-aging.
More on Peter:
Personal Blog: The Eating Academy
Ted Talk: Is the Obesity Crisis Hiding A Bigger Problem
Podcast with Dr.Chris Kresser: The Keys to Longevity
Charles Poliquin, Elite Strength Training Coach
Elite strength training coach who’s worked with all the pro’s: Olympic gold medalist, NHL players, and even Stanley Cup champions.
Form: Magnesium Threonate, but prefers taking different chelated forms such as Magnesium glycinate , orotate, or glycerophosphate
Brand: GabaMag (Trilogy Nutrition Supplements)
Friendly Advice for You Insomniacs Out There: Magnesium threonate is more of a GABA inducer which improves sleep. Take 2 grams of Magnesium threonate before bed after your last meal to encourage a deep restful sleep.
More on Charles:
Interview with Tim Ferris
If you are interested in diving deeper into the therapeutic use of Magnesium supplementation I highly recommend you check out the book, The Magnesium Miracle, by Carolyn Dean, M.D.