Magnesium is a mineral that is present in relatively large amounts in the body. Researchers estimate that the average person’s body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, and about half of that is in the bones. Magnesium is important in more than 300 chemical reactions that keep the body working properly including muscle function, heart rhythm, blood pressure, immune system functioning and blood sugar level.
Yet it is estimated that 80% of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.
Symptoms of deficiency can include constipation, fatigue, weakness, pain, spasm, tremor, cramping, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, depression, irritability, lethargy, and insomnia.
Magnesium has been linked to reduced incidence of common conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome in large peer-reviewed, long-term studies. Studies today focus on whether active magnesium supplementation may be one of the missing links to preventing these diseases, as well as several disorders affecting the brain, muscles and skin.
The U.S. Department of Health has placed magnesium on its short list of nutrients of concern, and many experts actually recommend increases to magnesium’s Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).
The good news is that magnesium supplementation is a safe and effective way for most people to ensure they are getting enough magnesium to stay healthy, before deficiencies arise.
Benefits of Magnesium!
1. Better sleep - The sleep regulating hormone melatonin is disturbed when Magnesium is deficient. Furthermore, Magnesium brings balance and controls stress hormones. Stress and tension are often reasons why people suffer from insomnia in the first place.
2. Relaxes the nervous system - Serotonin, which relaxes the nervous system and elevates mood, is dependent on Magnesium.
3. Bigger, stronger muscles - Magnesium allows the body to produce more Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1), which is a major contributor to the growth and strength of muscles. Furthermore, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the cell's energy store, and is created with help from Magnesium.
4. Better flexibility - Magnesium loosens tight muscles. Without Magnesium, muscles do not relax properly and cramps occur. Magnesium is important for flexibility, because low Magnesium results in a buildup of lactic acid, causing pain and tightness.
5. Bone integrity and strength - Magnesium helps to fix calcium properly. It may blow some people's mind that the calcium supplements they're taking are not only useless, but are actually contributing to osteoporosis! There are actually about eighteen essential nutrients that contribute to bone health; Magnesium is definitely one of the most essential, because it stimulates a particular hormone called calcitonin. And, it also suppresses a hormone called parathyroid that breaks down bone.
6. Remineralizes teeth - Magnesium deficiency causes an unhealthy balance of phosphorous and calcium in saliva, which damages teeth.
7. Alkalizes the body - Magnesium helps return the body’s pH balance. Magnesium reduces lactic acid, which is partly responsible for post-exercise pain (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
8. Hydrates - Magnesium is a necessary electrolyte essential for proper hydration.
9. Helps to relieve constipation - Magnesium can be used to cleanse the bowels of toxins.
10. Enzyme function - Enzymes are protein molecules that stimulate every chemical reaction in the body. Magnesium is required to make hundreds of these enzymes work and assists with thousands of others.
11. Diabetes - Magnesium enhances insulin secretion, which facilitates sugar metabolism. Without Magnesium, glucose is not able to transfer into cells. Glucose and insulin build up in the blood, causing various types of tissue damage, including the nerves in the eyes.
Magnesium and Constipation!
Magnesium is an all natural, healthy way to treat constipation on a regular basis. Products like laxatives, stool softeners and Miralax can be very damaging to a healthy gut if used daily. Magnesium Citrate increases water in your intestines which help initiate peristalsis (the wavelike motion which moves fecal matter through your intestines). Peristalsis also pushes food into your stomach.
The laxative effect of magnesium appears to come through two different mechanisms:
-Magnesium relaxes the muscles in the intestines---this helps to establish a smoother rhythm that helps eliminate constipation.
-Magnesium also attracts water---this increased amount of water in the colon serves to soften the stool, helping to make stools easier to pass and thus removing constipation.
Since your intestines will be absorbing this excess water from your body it is very important to drink plenty of water after taking Magnesium. This will keep you from becoming dehydrated.
Magnesium Citrate should be taking daily as needed to treat AND prevent constipation. Daily dose will vary depending on the bodies current needs. One day you may need 2 teaspoons and the next you may need 4. Adjust your dose according to your bowel movements. If your stool is hard and you are feeling constipated increase dose, if your stool is loose and you have diarrhea decrease your dose.
Good Forms Of Magnesium
-Magnesium citrate -- Magnesium citrate is the most popular magnesium supplement, probably because it is inexpensive and easily absorbed. Since citric acid is a mild laxative, magnesium citrate functions as a constipation aid as well as a magnesium source. It is a great choice for individuals with rectal or colon problems but is unsuitable for those with loose bowel movements.
-Magnesium taurate -- Magnesium taurate is the best choice of magnesium supplement for people with cardiovascular issues, since it is known to prevent arrhythmias and guard the heart from damage caused by heart attacks. Magnesium taurate is easily absorbed (magnesium and taurine stabilize cell membranes together), and it contains no laxative properties.
-Magnesium malate -- Magnesium malate is a fantastic choice for people suffering from fatigue, since malic acid -- a natural fruit acid present in most cells in the body -- is a vital component of enzymes that play a key role in ATP synthesis and energy production. Since the ionic bonds of magnesium and malic acid are easily broken, magnesium malate is also highly soluble.
-Magnesium glycinate -- Magnesium glycinate (magnesium bound with glycine, a non-essential amino acid) is one of the most bioavailable and absorbable forms of magnesium, and also the least likely to induce diarrhea. It is the safest option for correcting a long-term deficiency.
-Magnesium chloride -- Though magnesium chloride only contains around 12 percent elemental magnesium, it has an impressive absorption rate and is the best form of magnesium to take for detoxing the cells and tissues. Moreover, chloride (not to be confused with chlorine, the toxic gas) aids kidney function and can boost a sluggish metabolism.
-Magnesium carbonate -- Magnesium carbonate is another popular, bioavailable form of magnesium that actually turns into magnesium chloride when it mixes with the hydrochloric acid in our stomachs. It is a good choice for people suffering from indigestion and acid reflux, since it contains antacid properties.
Forms of Magnesium to Avoid
-Magnesium oxide -- Magnesium oxide is the most common form of magnesium sold in pharmacies, but it is non-chelated and possesses a poor absorption rate compared to those listed above.
-Magnesium sulfate -- Magnesium sulfate, also called Epsom salt, is a fantastic constipation aid but an unsafe source of dietary magnesium, since overdosing on it is easy.
-Magnesium glutamate and aspartate -- Avoid these two forms of magnesium completely. Glutamic acid and aspartic acid are components of the dangerous artificial sweetener aspartame, and both of them become neurotoxic when unbound to other amino acids.