By: Carlos M. Viana, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist (USA)
Over a billion years ago massive stars exploded creating several new metals. One of these, magnesium began its interstellar journey, destined to play a major role in our physical bodies. Magnesium is an essential mineral for life, involved in body functions ranging from energy production to cell communication.
Magnesium deficiency has major implications for health. The average intake of magnesium tends to be under the normally recommended amount. Causes include low dietary intake, alcoholism, diarrhea, increased urinary loss, poor absorption from the intestines, and diabetes. Medications may also cause low magnesium, including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to reduce stomach acid and water pills. When we see low magnesium levels in your blood test, we know the pancreas is inflamed and the liver is developing scars.
Many medical complains are often magnesium deficiency. Low magnesium can cause constipation, tiredness, generalized weakness, muscle cramps, abnormal heart rhythms, increased irritability of the nervous system with tremors, burning or prickling sensation that is usually felt in the hands, arms, legs, or feet, perceived abnormalities of the heartbeat, low potassium levels in the blood, hypoparathyroidism which might result in low calcium levels in the blood, calcification of your joints, abnormal muscle tightness and muscular spasms, migraines, epileptic seizures, brain calcifications and in extreme and prolonged cases coma, intellectual disability or death
Magnesium plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism. Deficiency may worsen insulin resistance, a condition that often precedes diabetes, or may be a consequence of insulin resistance. Type two diabetes (T2D) is insulin resistance when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver do not respond well to insulin and cannot use glucose from your blood for energy. To make up for it, your pancreas makes more insulin. The high amount of insulin produces high blood pressure, makes you gain body fat, what is called metabolic syndrome. Eventually, untreated, your blood sugar levels go up.
Truly relevant today, magnesium deficiency is a common and yet underdiagnosed problem. Magnesium deficiency has been seen in 50% of all ICU patients. These patients requiring mechanical ventilation and have significantly higher morbidity and mortality rate. All because an easily preventable problem. Magnesium is an essential cofactor for over 300 reactions in the body, yet research estimates that approximately 75% of Americans are not receiving the proper daily recommended dietary allowance (RDA). This also means our children are not getting enough sufficient magnesium either. The easiest way for parents to spot a magnesium a possible deficiency in their child is to see if they exhibit signs of poor sleep habits and constipation.
In general, rich sources of magnesium are greens, nuts, seeds, dry beans, whole grains, wheat germ, wheat, and oat bran. The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium for adult men is 400-420 mg per day. The dietary allowance for adult women is 310-320 mg per day. I always recommend supplements given to children be dosed according to their body weight (mg/kg) by a nutritionist or qualified health practitioner.
The best way to insure you are getting sufficient magnesium is to take a dietary supplement after the biggest meal. Magnesium is a very safe supplement. Unlike many nutrients, magnesium is eliminated from the body daily – in fact, it needs to be replaced about every 12 hours. Also, the body has a built-in failsafe mechanism: when there is too much magnesium, it is excreted through the bowels, which is why many people find relief using magnesium for constipation. Be sure to get a high-quality magnesium to ensure absorption. I have noted cheaper, tablets exiting the body without being digestated.
Get The Point! As the world turns to healthier, home cooked meals, Phyllis and I are even more careful to choose the freshest, local, organic produce possible, many from our own container garden. Using our blood/metabolic type food list, we still add quality food supplements. Magnesium helps keep our blood pressure normal, bones strong, and the heart rhythm steady. How blessed are we, that from the death of a star, the universe sent us star dust for a healthy life.
CARLOS VIANA, Ph. D. is an Oriental Medical Doctor (O.M.D.) having studied in China; a US Board Cert. Clinical Nutritionist (C.C.N.), an Addiction Professional (C.Ad.), Chairperson of the Latin American Committee of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), a Rejuvenating Cell Therapist specializing in Age Management, has a weekly radio program, writes and lectures extensively. For information: VIANA HEALING CENTER, Kibaima 7, St Cruz TEL: 585-1270 Web Site: www.vianaheal.com.