Magnesium is second only to Vitamin D on the list of deficiencies in the developed world. Yes, millions of people across the world are deficient in a dietary mineral that is one of the most important substances for your body – and these people don’t live in a place where they have to walk 15 miles barefoot in climates that kill most vegetation, just to get water that may or may not be diseased.
No, these magnesium deficient people live in places where the water in the toilet bowl is cleaner than the stuff people drink in the third world.
So, how can this happen? And what will correcting one’s magnesium intake do for one’s quality of life?
We examined the science and silliness that has brought this situation about, and present you with options that can help you overcome the negative effect of too little magnesium.
What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral and must be obtained through dietary means.
It is the second most widespread electrolyte in our bodies, which means it can also be lost via perspiration / sweating.
What Does Magnesium Do for Us?
Optimal and/or supplemental levels of magnesium helps us:
- Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
- Improve Insulin Sensitivity
- Improve Aerobic Exercise and Muscle Oxygenation
- Improve Bone Mineral Density
- Avoid too much Neural Excitation (which can lead to seizures)
- Protect against Depression and ADHD
- Reduce likelihood of Migraines
- Improve Sleep Quality
- Reduce Symptoms of PMS (only works if the missus takes it *wink*)
As you can see, there are multiple reasons to make sure you have enough magnesium in your body.
An interesting thing to note is that once the body has enough magnesium, it will simply stop absorbing it and it will pass unused. See the dosage section for more details.
Why Might You Be Magnesium Deficient?
The reason that magnesium deficiencies are common in the developed world is diet and nutrition. Many people – especially men (even more so when they are single) – don’t get enough magnesium in their diets.
The western “grain” diet is useless here because grains are a poor sources. Additionally, the green leafy vegetables and nuts that are good sources of magnesium are eaten much less often than other food types.
The good news is that you can fix a magnesium deficiency by changing your diet accordingly.
You can also supplement it to correct a deficiency quicker than would otherwise be possible. When you do so, if you were suffering the ill effects of being deficient, it will improve your quality of life.
People tend to understand that junk food is bad, but they also tend to forget why the healthy food is good for you. It’s almost as if a healthy diet is thought of as “not junk” rather than what it really is, which is the essential vitamins and minerals that help you feel happy and full of vitality.
You might crave fast food, but it’s only because your stomach bio-chemistry has been conditioned to crave it. After all, the organisms that live there are there as a result of what you feed yourself, and what you feed the bacteria in your gut is what that bacteria lives off. Stick with a healthy diet for long enough and that is what your stomach will be conditioned to crave.
How Much Magnesium do You Need?
The recommended daily dose is between 200mg and 400mg. The most common form that is supplemented is Magnesium Citrate.
Magnesium Citrate should be taken daily with food, and goes very well with your Vitamin D supplement.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Hopefully you can understand why Magnesium deficiencies are far too common, even in the developed world.
If you are someone who is suffering from some of the negative symptoms associated with lack of magnesium, then you can also see that it is a situation that is easily remedied.
Dietary changes might take some discipline but there are always supplements to help you in the meantime.
For what they each do for us, it’s amazing that both Magnesium and Vitamin D are the two things we lack the most, and it’s for no good reason.
Get out there today and change your quality of life for the better.
Here are some of the studies researched:
- Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F – Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind controlled trial
- Guerrero-Romero F, Rodríguez-Morán M – Magnesium improves the beta-cell function to compensate variation of insulin sensitivity: double-blind, randomized clinical trial
- Mooren FC et al – Oral magnesium supplementation reduces insulin resistance in non-diabetic subjects – a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial
- Carpenter TO et al – A randomized controlled study of effects of dietary magnesium oxide supplementation on bone mineral content in healthy girls
- Golf SW et al – On the significance of magnesium in extreme physical stress