600 Benefits of Magnesium

A recent study published in the journal, Atherosclerosis, found that over a period of 10 years, the rate of death from heart problems was more than double in people with low levels of magnesium than in those with higher levels. And the death rate from all causes was more than 7 times higher in people with low levels.*

Another study from Harvard found that women with the highest levels of magnesium had a 77% lower risk of sudden cardiac death compared to women with the lowest levels.* 

Now I don’t want to alarm you with this data, but I do want to make you aware of it because while the consequences can be severe, the action you can take to address the underlying issue is so easy.  

It’s truly amazing what can happen
when your body is properly fueled with magnesium

By some estimates, more than 70% of adults are deficient in this essential mineral that is responsible for more than 600 vital metabolic reactions throughout the human body. Every cell in your body contains it and needs it.**

Simply put: Magnesium plays a crucial role in just about every aspect of your well-being—from a healthy cardiovascular system, strong bones and optimal brain function, to maintaining normal blood pressure and calcium levels, to the ability to focus and stay calm under stress.

Without magnesium, your cells can't make energy, your nerves and muscles (including your heart) won't work properly, and your blood vessels and arteries will harden over time.

Scientific studies show that optimal levels of magnesium can:

  • Boost your heart health and slash your risk of death from cardiovascular issues**
  • Support healthy blood pressure and circulation***
  • Keep the lining of your blood vessels and arteries smooth and elastic*
  • Promote healthy muscle and nerve function*
  • Increase bone density by regulating calcium transport*
  • Balance your moods and promote a sense of calm*
  • Help you get more restful sleep*

Please keep reading because I’m about to help you understand why a magnesium deficiency is so common, as well as the safe and natural way to get all of the wellness benefits that magnesium can provide. I’ll also let you in on the two mistakes you absolutely don’t want to make when choosing a magnesium supplement – one of which can be quite unpleasant.

Are you magnesium deficient?
Know the signs and the dangers

Since it is estimated that 7 in 10 adults have low levels of magnesium, unfortunately the chances are high that you may be suffering from a magnesium deficiency, and you’re probably not even aware of it.**

Magnesium is often referred to as the “relaxation mineral.” One telltale sign that your magnesium levels are low is difficulty relaxing, whether physically or mentally. Anything in your body that feels tense, tight, cramped or stiff can be a sign of magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium also helps blood vessels relax while keeping the lining of your arteries smooth and elastic to facilitate proper blood flow. And it helps muscles contract and relax in a healthy manner and supports a calm mental attitude and restful sleep.

For some people, a magnesium deficiency causes noticeable symptoms such as:* 

  • Muscle cramping and pain
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Frequent headaches or migraines
  • Heart rhythm changes
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Food cravings – especially for sweets and chocolate

If you have any of these symptoms—and especially if you have several of them—you need to take action right away to boost your magnesium levels.

Why are 70% of adults magnesium deficient?

There are two primary reasons that such an overwhelming majority of adults are deficient in magnesium. The first reason is that we just don’t typically get enough of it in our diets. The highly processed foods many people eat on a daily basis contain little to no magnesium.

Leafy greens like kale and spinach, cacao, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and quinoa are all relatively good sources of magnesium, but still you would need to eat an awful lot of these foods on a daily basis to get the amounts of magnesium needed for optimal health.

In addition, there are many other factors that can decrease your body's magnesium levels, including poor digestion, stress and taking certain medications.

The second reason is that most doctors don’t catch this deficiency since it isn’t easy to test for because less than 1% of your body's magnesium is actually found in the blood. The other 99% is found in bone and muscle tissue, making it nearly impossible to diagnose using standard lab tests.*

Too many people—even many doctors—never recognize the symptoms, and this is why this potentially life-threatening deficiency is frequently overlooked, often with tragic consequences. According to Dr. James B. Pierce, author of Heart Healthy Magnesium: Your Nutritional Key to Cardiovascular Wellness, up to 50% of sudden heart attacks may be caused by a magnesium deficiency.* 

Magnesium helps to lower blood pressure
and promote healthy blood flow

High blood pressure is often called "the silent killer," because you feel just fine until suddenly you don't.

Magnesium plays a critical role in regulating blood pressure and keeping the endothelial lining of blood vessels smooth and elastic, helping to ensure proper dilation and relaxation of blood vessels.

Research has shown that daily doses of 200-400 mg of magnesium can effectively lower blood pressure and improve parameters of blood vessel health. One notable double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study examined the effects of magnesium supplementation (300 mg/day for 12 weeks) on blood pressure levels in healthy adults and found that magnesium lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure substantially (-17 and -7 mmHg respectively).****

Magnesium is vital for strong bones
and to help keep you calm

In addition to its cardiovascular health and blood pressure benefits, magnesium is essential for building strong, healthy bones.

Multiple studies have shown that higher magnesium intake is associated with a higher bone mineral density. The bones serve as the main depository for magnesium in the body, and plenty of it is needed to escort other minerals like calcium into your bones. And perhaps most importantly, it also promotes the growth of osteoblasts, the cells that build new bone.***

And as I mentioned earlier, magnesium is often referred to as the relaxation mineral. It has been called “the natural chill pill.”

In the brain, magnesium helps regulate the receptors that play a critical role in learning, memory and mood. Without sufficient magnesium, these receptors become hyper-excitable, causing brain cells to become overstimulated. This neuronal dysfunction caused by a lack of magnesium can also lead to both mood disorders and problems with the ability to focus and make decisions.*

How to (and how not to)
quickly correct a magnesium deficiency

The good news is that taking a high-quality magnesium supplement can quickly correct a deficiency. But there are several distinctly different kinds of magnesium and if you are taking the wrong type, this could lead to two problems, 1) an unwanted laxative effect, and 2) poor absorption, which doesn’t allow your body to properly utilize this supplemental magnesium.  

Magnesium oxide is one of the most widely used forms of magnesium because it is inexpensive and delivers high potency. But its poor absorptive qualities can cause gastrointestinal upset because it draws high levels of water into the colon. You should NOT take a supplement that features this oxide form of magnesium.

Magnesium citrate is often used for its laxative effect in preparations designed to aggressively cleanse the colon before undergoing diagnostic procedures like a colonoscopy.  Not what you want to be taking on a daily basis.

Magnesium Carbonate is nearly insoluble and is often used in over-the-counter antacids but can have a laxative effect if taken regularly or in large doses which makes this carbonate form of magnesium a bad fit for a daily supplement.

Inflammatory Foods

Pain stemming from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be eased through physical therapy — and by cutting back on the foods which set off a chain reaction of inflammation. High-sugar, fatty foods are often inflammation culprits, as are junk foods high in additives.

Transitioning to the classic Mediterranean diet, with its emphasis on healthy fats like olive oil and fish, as well as on high-fiber fruits and vegetables, is one way in which nutrition can help reduce bodily inflammation.

Vitamin Deficiencies

The lack of vitamins and other nutrients can exacerbate — or even cause — chronic pain. It is believed that Vitamin D deficiency, for example, contributes to painful conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

Additional nutrient deficiencies linked to these painful conditions include inadequate Vitamins A and C, selenium, zinc, and flavanols. If a physical therapist suspects diet might be contributing to chronic pain, he or she would likely recommend your doctor orders blood work to measure any nutrient deficiencies. In general, however, eating healthy proteins, a “rainbow” of fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamin-fortified beverages and cereals, can often get you on the right track.

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