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Magnesium: Quick Reference Guide

4 May 2012 - Posted by Ashley under

Life doesn’t come equipped with a pause button, so it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on the latest health research. Luckily, we’ve taken the time to create a quick reference guide on the most important things to know about magnesium, to help you keep well-informed!

Functions of Magnesium

Without magnesium we could not produce energy, our muscles would be in a permanent state of contraction, and we could not adjust the levels of cholesterol produced and released into the blood stream.

Magnesium regulates:

Enzyme activity, enabling thousands of bio-chemical processes

Energy production and ATP, the energy storage of the body’s cells

DNA and RNA, the body’s internal instruction sheets

Mineral balance, necessary to maintain cell life

Symptoms of Deficiency

Classic “Clinical” Symptoms: Tics, muscle spasms and cramps, seizures, anxiety, and irregular heart rhythms are among the classic signs and symptoms of low magnesium.

“Sub-clinical” or “Latent” Symptoms: Caused by low magnesium intake prevalent in nearly all industrialized nations, they can include migraine headaches, insomnia, depression, and chronic fatigue, among others.

See a complete list of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

Causes of Deficiency

Magnesium depletion in healthy individuals can be caused by:

Low magnesium diets, processed foods and sodas

Soft water

Calcium supplements

Prescription and over the counter medications

And some conditions can increase vulnerability to deficiency, including:

Alcohol and other addictions

Aging, illness and stress

Digestive and genetic disorders

Sources of Magnesium

Magnesium can be delivered orally, intravenously or transdermally. Unfortunately, food sources of magnesium have seen a drastic decline over the years making it nearly impossible to achieve adequate magnesium through diet alone.

Oral supplementation of magnesium is most commonly found on shelves in the form of magnesium oxide. However, this form is one of the least bioavailable with absorption rates as low as 4% . Amino acid chelates of magnesium and magnesium chloride are among the most efficient forms when supplementing orally, but can still cause a laxative effect when taken in high enough amounts. Loose bowels can be avoided by using a topical magnesium supplement.

*Oral magnesium does not need to be discontinued if you choose to use a topical supplement.

Still not sure if you should be supplementing? Get a sense of where your intake may lie in the article Do You Need More Magnesium? 10 Signs to Watch For.

Or learn more about Topical Magnesium: How It Works.

Original Article

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