Low magnesium is known in research circles as the silent epidemic of our times.
Many of the symptoms of low magnesium are not unique to magnesium deficiency, making it difficult to diagnose with 100% accuracy. Thus quite often low magnesium levels go completely unrecognized… and untreated.
Firstly, magnesium is necessary for the proper transportation of calcium across cell membranes. Why? Calcium needs other nutrients that help get calcium into bone matter. Those other nutrients are silica, vitamin D, vitamin K, and, you guessed it – magnesium. Excessive calcium intake has been linked to heart health issues by staying in the blood long enough to calcify into arterial plaque.
By some estimates, up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and may be deficient. Other research shows only about 25 percent of US adults are getting the recommended daily amount of 310 to 320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400 to 420 for men.
While we don’t get enough magnesium, many of us get too much calcium. Calcium is added to many processed foods, dairy or dairy alternatives and even orange juice.When calcium levels in the body become too high, calcification can occur. Common sense, but big problem. Each cell in the body has a sodium:potassium pump that regulates the balance of minerals inside and outside the cells.
MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS:
- Behavioral Problems
- Chronic Fatigue
- Anxiety or Poor Reactions to Stressors
- Muscle Spasms and Cramps
To make matters scarier, this condition can be difficult to detect with medical tests. Since only 1% of magnesium is found in your blood (most is in your bones or organs), a simple needle prick often won’t help determine your levels. Instead, Fruge says diagnoses are usually made through process of elimination and by examining a patient’s lifestyle.
Conversely, consuming too much magnesium typically causes diarrhea as the body attempts to excrete the excess. High magnesium foods include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit, dark chocolate, and more. The current daily value (DV) for magnesium is 400mgtake vitamin D orally with food, extra vitamin K2, and added magnesium.
Buying foods from your local farmers market and foods that are grown organically may have higher levels of magnesium. The soil from conventional farms is depleted of magnesium because they don’t rotate their crops or let the land rest. Also, they typically only put nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium back in the soil, but leave out magnesium.
There three basic reasons we can’t get enough magnesium in the diet:
- Reduced levels due to processing.
- Reduced levels due to soil conditions.
- Changes in eating habits.
Magnesium-rich foods include dark chocolate, avocados, nuts, legumes, tofu, seeds, whole grains, fatty fish, bananas and leafy greens.
Loaded with multivitamins, heart-healthy nutrients, and disease-thwarting chemical compounds, avocados are one of the most nutritious and versatile produce picks around. Add one sliced avocado to your salad or sandwich at lunch, and you’ll easily consume 15 percent of the recommended daily amount of magnesium.
Some health conditions can lead to magnesium deficiencies, including:
- gastrointestinal diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease
- kidney disease
- stomach viruses that cause vomiting and diarrhea
|Age in Years
||Aim for an intake of
|Men 31 and older
|Women 31 and older
|Pregnant Women 19-30
|Pregnant Women over 30
|BreastfeedingWomen over 30
Other Sources/References Included:
Featured image source: wisemindhealthybody.com