Table of Contents
- What is the Importance of Magnesium to the Body?
- What is the Reason for the High Magnesium Deficiency Cases?
- Calcium, another Magnesium Culprit?
- Effects of Magnesium Deficiency in the Body
- The Solution to Magnesium Deficiency
- Topical Magnesium
- How to Use It
- Top 10 Foods Rich in Magnesium
Last updated on: February 7th, 2020
Some surveys estimate that more than 90% of the world population is affected by magnesium deficiency. They also claim there seems to be an upward rise in the number of new magnesium deficiency cases over the last few decades.
What is the Importance of Magnesium to the Body?
Magnesium plays a vital role in ensuring the overall health of the body.
It is not only essential in regulating blood pressure, the body’s immune system, and metabolism but also necessary in overseeing more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.
Some researchers argue that magnesium deficiency could be the single most significant health issue in the world currently, and they might be right.
What is the Reason for the High Magnesium Deficiency Cases?
Not surprisingly, magnesium deficiency cases are more common in these modern times than it used to be in the past.
In the past, soil used to be a rich source of magnesium, and consequently the plants that grew on those soils and the animals that fed on those plants were abundant in magnesium too.
However, due to modernization and overuse, soils conditions have become deteriorated and magnesium levels depleted.
Similarly, water used to be a rich source of magnesium.
However, nowadays it is rare to find pure water as it’s often treated with chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride which bind to magnesium and diminish magnesium levels in the water.
Additionally, high levels of stress also use up the body’s magnesium level.
That is not all; typical everyday substances that many cannot do without daily such as sugar and caffeine also reduce magnesium levels in the body.
If you’re like most people, perhaps you cannot avoid all of these magnesium drainers.
Well, if you are, some additional magnesium might be the solution for you.
Calcium, another Magnesium Culprit?
Recent studies reveal that excess calcium intake reduces the level of magnesium in the body and leads to other health issues. (1)
While sources rich in magnesium are hard to come by, there is no shortage in the supply of calcium, and we might just be consuming a bit too much.
Calcium is an additive to a range of processed foods, dairy products, and even some juice.
Excess calcium levels in the body could lead to calcification, which has severe effects on the body.
The body has within each cell a sodium: potassium pump that is responsible for regulating the balance of minerals around the cells, both within and without.
However, when there are low magnesium levels in the body, the pump does not function correctly.
Since there is excess calcium, the ratios are distorted, and the pump allows surplus calcium into the cells.
The low levels of magnesium also result in more calcium intake within the cells.
The calcification process is affected by several other factors such as the presence of Vitamins such as Vitamins K and D.
Nevertheless, Magnesium levels in the body are still the leading factor for over-calcification. (2)
Effects of Magnesium Deficiency in the Body
Calcification of the Arteries
It is one of the signs of magnesium deficiency in the body, and it could be life-threatening.
It could lead to the development of coronary diseases such as heart disease and heart attack (4).
Magnesium chloride injections are used to treat nearly half of all heart attack cases worldwide.
Muscle Cramps and Spasms
Cramps and spasms are a common sign of magnesium deficiency in the body.
Muscle cramps and spasm occur as a result of stiffening of the muscle tissues which is caused by calcification.
For pregnant women, a healthy dose of magnesium intake would work wonders to ease the muscle cramps and spasms.
Anxiety and Depression
Several studies have been conducted that prove the link between magnesium deficiency in the body and its impact on mental health.
According to Psychology Today, magnesium plays a vital role in controlling the activation of the NMDA receptor in the brain.
With low magnesium levels, the receptor can be activated irregularly which leads to cell death in the brain, a difficult condition to fix.
Hypertension or High Blood Pressure
It is one of the well known systems of magnesium deficiency and one which a lot of research has been done.
A recent Havard study which involved more than 70,000 research participants revealed that the subjects with a high level of magnesium intake had healthier blood pressure count compared to their counterparts with low levels of magnesium intake.
Hormonal Imbalance Issues
These issues are more common in pregnant women than other women.
Magnesium deficiency leads to higher progesterone or estrogen levels during pregnancy.
This explains why pregnant women complain more of leg cramps and muscle spasms because their magnesium levels are low.
The same case occurs in women during their PMS in the second half of their cycles when their estrogen or progesterone levels are higher than magnesium levels in their body.
It also explains why women crave for chocolate since it’s a rich source of magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency in the body is also said to be a significant cause of mood swings during pregnancy and other pregnancy-related issues.
Magnesium deficiency results in more frequent morning sickness episodes, muscle cramps, headaches, and hypertension.
An increased intake of supplemented magnesium can help treat these issues.
Pregnant women should try out transdermal magnesium because of its quick absorption into the body.
It is not surprising with all the listed effects of magnesium deficiency that one would find it hard to sleep.
According to a one Dr. Mark Hyman, Magnesium acts as relaxation agent to the mind and body helping one to have a peaceful sleep.
Moreover, magnesium helps in enabling GABA receptors in the brain, which are neurotransmitters that allow the brain to rest, to function correctly.
Magnesium is essential for the creation of energy at a cellular level in the body.
The reason is that adenosine triphosphate or ATP, a vital compound in the creation of energy in the cells, requires magnesium ion to attach to it for it to be active.
Low magnesium levels would lead to tiredness, lack of drive and low-energy.
Most people are aware of the importance of calcium in bone development.
However, fewer people know of the equally important role of magnesium in bone health.
When there are low magnesium levels, Vitamin D absorption is hindered.
The reason is that magnesium is required for Vitamin D to activate calcium absorption.
Similarly, magnesium is vital in enabling proper calcium use as it helps to activate the hormone calcitonin which pulls calcium out of the body’s soft tissues and into the bones.
Other Mineral Deficiencies
Magnesium works synergistically with many other minerals and vitamins in the body to keep one healthy.
It, therefore, means low magnesium levels in the body will affect the intake of other minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin D, calcium, Vitamin K and potassium just to name a few.
External or transdermal intake of magnesium, where the magnesium is applied to the skin, ensures that the body only takes in a healthy amount of magnesium.
The Solution to Magnesium Deficiency
Despite the severe effects that magnesium deficiency has on the body, it is a simple condition for the body to remedy given the right form and amount of magnesium.
The market is full of magnesium supplements, most of which are pills or solutions that have to be taken orally.
While they could be helpful, they could lead to digestive problems and might also take a toll on the kidneys.
Furthermore, research indicates that only 20-55% of magnesium is absorbed in the digestive system signifying that a significant proportion goes to waste.
We recommend using topical magnesium which is a solution of magnesium that can be applied externally to the skin.
It is absorbed directly into the body restoring the body’s magnesium level and easing pressure on the kidneys.
You can check out this recipe for making homemade magnesium oil (topical magnesium), or if you have a few bucks to spare, you can purchase this high-quality brand of magnesium oil.
How to Use It
Mark Hymen, a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic recommends taking up to 1000 mg/day for adults and 4-500 mg/day for kids.
This dosage can be achieved by spraying the magnesium all over your body every night before bed.
Top 10 Foods Rich in Magnesium
We also highly recommend consuming the following organic foods that are rich in magnesium regularly:
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Black Beans
- Dark Chocolate
If you have any of these symptoms you can confirm your doubts by a simple test. So first talk to your doctor. And eat magnesium rich food.