How magnesium deficiency affects millions of Americans

magnesium-deficiency

According to the statistics, more than 80% of the Americans have magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is an important mineral for the body and it’s used by variety of organs such as heart, liver, bones and kidneys. The body uses magnesium for detoxification process in order to get rid of accumulation of heavy metals, chemicals, and other toxins. Magnesium is essential for protein synthesis, improving digestion, building and relaxing muscles, boosting energy and helping to absorb other valuable nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, fiber, protein and zinc.

Here are the top following factors and health risks that can lead to magnesium deficiency:

  • >> Crohn's disease or leaky gut: Unhealthy digestive system could result in deficiency in magnesium
  • >> Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can result in loss of magnesium in the body
  • >> Kidney issues: If your kidneys are not functioning properly, you could be losing magnesium via urine
  • >> Age: As you get older, your body cannot fully absorb valuable nutrients such as vitamin B12 or magnesium
  • >> Chronic alcoholism: Higher alcohol intake could lead to digestive issues and vitamin D deficiency and can result in magnesium deficiency.  
  • >> Other health issues such as diuretic, asthma, cancer or heart disease
  • >> Drinking sodas: Sodas contain phosphates which steals magnesium making magnesium unavailable for your body. 
  • >> Eating a diet high in sugar and carbs: Sugar depletes the body from valuable nutrients such as magnesium. In fact, your body uses fifty four molecules of magnesium in order to process one molecule of sugar.
  • >> Caffeinated beverages: Too much caffeine in tea or coffee can lead to excretion of magnesium via kidneys.
  • >> Constant stress or anxiety: Psychological and physical trauma of having constant stress and anxiety could result in higher production of adrenaline and cortisol and increase the chances of magnesium deficiency.  
  • >> Taking too much calcium: The ratio of magnesium to calcium is very important in overall health and vitality. According to researchers, those with higher intake of calcium to magnesium ratio have higher risk of developing heart disease including strokes. In the Western diet, the ratio of calcium to magnesium is more like 6 to 1, but researchers believe that that ratio should be like 1 to 1. According to Dr Mildred Seelig “The body tends to retain calcium when in a magnesium-deficient state. Extra calcium intake at such a time could cause an abnormal rise of calcium levels inside the cells, including the cells of the heart and blood vessels. Given the delicate balance necessary between calcium and magnesium in the cells, it is best to be sure magnesium is adequate if you are taking calcium supplements”.

Deficiency in magnesium could lead to more than 22 health risks such as depression, lack of energy and fatigue, liver problems, kidney issues, anxiety and panic attacks, insomnia, migraines, joint issues, bone decay/osteoporosis, diabetes, indigestion, tooth decay, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease and blood clot, nerve problems, and hypertension.

Early signs of magnesium deficiency are fatigue, painful muscle spasm and numbness, muscle cramps, fibromyalgia, eye twitch, facial tics, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, and depression.

The role of magnesium in preventing heart disease:

Magnesium is necessity for healthy function of heart muscles. Heart drugs such as diuretics, antibiotics, diabetic medications, and osteoporosis/anti-malarial drugs could interfere with magnesium absorption and deplete the body from magnesium. Keep in mind that when the body is depleted from magnesium, heart drugs such as digoxin can become toxic. Digoxin can also interfere with magnesium absorption and should not be taken with magnesium supplements. The Western diet has a ratio of calcium to magnesium of 6 to 1. According to researchers, high intake of calcium could increase the risk of heart disease including strokes and sudden death. Researchers suggest that magnesium IV is superior to heart drugs in preventing heart disease. In fact, heart patients who were given IV magnesium had 74% lower mortality rate compared to those who were given a drug trial called ISIS.

The role of magnesium in preventing diabetes:

Over 300 metabolic functions in the body are regulated with magnesium and normal glucose levels happen to be one of them. Magnesium deficiency is common in diabetics and people with diabetes should get enough magnesium via foods and supplements. According to researchers, people who eat a diet high in magnesium have lower risk of developing diabetes.

The role of magnesium in preventing osteoporosis:

magnesium

Although there is this misconception that foods high in calcium such as dairy products are essential for healthy bones, research shows that 60% of magnesium in the body is stored in the bones. Magnesium is found in over 325 enzymes in the body that control thousands of chemical reactions. Magnesium plays a key role in absorption of calcium and vitamin D. According to Dr Carolyn Dean, M.D, “It turns out that all the enzymes metabolizing vitamin D require magnesium as a necessary co-factor. When you take high doses of Vitamin D and if you are already low in magnesium, the increased amount of metabolic work drains magnesium from its muscle storage sites. That’s probably why muscles are the first to suffer magnesium deficiency symptoms — twitching, leg cramps, restless legs and charlie horses. Angina and even heart attacks affecting the heart muscle are all magnesium deficiency symptoms”.

According to a recent research published in the American Academy of Pediatrics, magnesium is more important in kids’ bone health compared to calcium. “Lots of nutrients are key for children to have healthy bones. One of these appears to be magnesium. Calcium is important, but, except for those children and adolescents with very low intakes, may not be more important than magnesium” says Dr Steven A. Abrams MD, professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

The role of magnesium in preventing cancer:

Researchers have discovered that higher magnesium intake could lower the risk of colorectal cancer. According to researchers, the risk of colorectal tumors could be reduced by 13% for every 100 mg increase in magnesium intake. “Our findings support the hypothesis that higher intakes of dietary magnesium are associated with lower risk of colorectal tumors. The consumption of magnesium-rich foods may be a new avenue to explore further in the search for cancer-prevention strategies” researchers say.

Research also shows that lab rats deficient in magnesium could develop tumors of the thymus (an organ of the immune system that helps to fight infection). Other studies show that magnesium deficiency could increase the risk of different cancers.  In another research with the tile of “Magnesium and cancer: a dangerous liason”, researchers suggest that increasing magnesium intake might be helpful in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

The role of magnesium in preventing migraines:

Researchers suggest that taking magnesium supplements could help to reduce migraine attacks. “These results have made us think that magnesium is a beneficial agent in prophylaxis of migraine without aura and might work with both vascular and neurogenic mechanisms” say researchers at University in Kayseri, Turkey.

Magnesium plays an important role in detoxification of the body:

Magnesium plays a critical role in detoxification of the body from toxins, chemicals, free radicals, and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and aluminum.

In a study, researchers suggest that magnesium could neutralize the toxicity of chemicals like sodium oxylate.  According to researchers, rabbits that were given toxic dosage of sodium oxylate died immediately except those who were given high dosage of magnesium. Keep in mind that lack of detoxification and accumulation of heavy metals and free radicals can lead to a wide range of health issues such as cancer and Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.  

Here are food sources high in magnesium:

    >> Raw organic cacao beans: Keep in mind that milk chocolates are filled with sugar, additives and preservatives that deplete body from magnesium. Most chocolates are not real and they are not made from real cacao. If you buy dark chocolate, make sure that it’s low in sugar and is made of more than 75% raw cacao beans.
  • >> Dark leafy vegetables: such as kale, spinach, chlorella and spirulina, and Swiss chard
  • >> Avocadoes and seaweed (such as sea kelp)
  • >> Nuts and seeds: cashews,  sesame, pumpkin seed, and sunflower
  • >> Beans and legumes
  • >> Herbs and spices: Basil, cilantro, red clover, burdock root, parsley cardamom, celery seeds, rosemary, saffron, oregano, thyme, yellow dock and chaparral are great source of magnesium
  • >> Wild sockeye salmon (lowest mercury fish=0.09): Avoid farmed fish that have tons of pollution

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