“If you had to choose only 1 supplement, what would it be?”
The question I get asked the most! And the answer?
Magnesium! Or Maggie, as it’s known in my house! Why? Because we’re ALL deficient in it.
Why are we deficient?
See, our soil used to be abundant in trace minerals, but through our unnatural farming methods, ruthless use of GMOs, the level of antibiotics used within cattle rearing (35 million lbs of antibiotics used in animals alone), among many other human-induced factors, we have altered the biodiversity of our soil, reducing the natural trace minerals (such as magnesium, sodium, calcium etc) that used to be found in our drinking water after it ran over and through the soil on the mountains before getting to us.
These minerals are essential to human health, based on our natural evolution, and we’re now not getting enough.
So, though I’m a big advocate for “get all minerals and vitamins from food where possible”, there are some which now, unfortunately, have to be supplemented (which ends the argument of “our ancestors didn’t need supplements!”. No, Nigel, they didn’t.)
Not to mention the fact that our tap water is chlorinated and fluoridated, among the 70+ other toxins found in tap water (including hormones, altering our natural hormonal state).
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for human health. It’s involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and some experts – including Root Cause Protocol founder, Morley Robbins, believe it to be the most important factor in human health.
As a mineral and electrolyte, magnesium is essential for:
- Energy production
- Immune function
- Absorption of other minerals and vitamins
- Muscle, nerve and tissue function
- Supporting strong bones
- Balancing nitric oxide
- Blood sugar control
- Reducing anxiety
- Blood pressure regulation (lowers blood pressure by relaxing the smooth muscles in blood vessels)
- Natural beta blocker
- Neutralising stomach acid
- Moving stools through the intestine
- Supporting growth and development in babies and children
- Helping regulate sleep
- Reducing inflammation
- Reducing symptoms of PMS
The kidneys control levels of magnesium within the body and allow us to excrete magnesium daily, which is one reason why urination is reduced when magnesium stores are low, and with muscle movements, hormone production and even heartbeats, we use and lose more magnesium.
Although magnesium is the mineral we hold the least amount of – relative to others – it’s the one we need the most, for all the bodily processes mentioned above processes.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency
This is an interesting one, because there are, of course, well-known signs of magnesium deficiency, however many of our health problems could be due to low magnesium, as it helps so many of the body’s processes and helps us to absorb other essential vitamins and minerals. Some symptoms of magnesium deficiency:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle cramps
- Restless leg syndrome
- Bad sleep quality
- Numbness & tingling
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Lowered immunity
- Issues with teeth and gums
Where else can we get magnesium?
Magnesium-rich foods include:
- Leafy green vegetables (Swiss chard, spinach, kale – organic only)
- Nuts and seeds
- Flax seeds
What can we do about the water?
A huge part of increasing magnesium (and other mineral) intake and absorption, is through the quality of our water.
I recommend using a reverse osmosis water system (to remove any harmful toxins and hormones). This is the one I recommend. Once my water is dispensed into a jug, I then add trace minerals drops so I know my family are getting enough trace minerals through water, then we also use other forms of supplementation which I’ll get to now. (For anyone who really wants to go down the rabbit hole with water, we also put our jug next to our Somavedic overnight, which restructures what would now – after those processes – be dead water, into beautiful water whose nanoparticles will now be alive and resemble snowflakes, not jumbled messes of dead nothingness, essentially making our water do anything but hydrate us).
Which types of magnesium do we need? (Recommendations added below)
People usually get to the point where they are excited to start taking magnesium supplements after reading all the above, but then get overwhelmed by how many different types of magnesium there are. Here’s a description of what they all do to help you work out which you need:
1. Magnesium Glycinate
The “all-rounder”. If you’re not sure where to start, start here. Magnesium glycinate is the most absorbable form of Maggie and recommended if you know you are deficient. Many forms of magnesium have a laxative effect, where glycinate doesn’t. Good for relaxation, gut and nerve support
2. Magnesium Malate
Good bioavailability, great for muscle pain and increased energy levels
3. Magnesium Citrate
Through my research, I’ve found that magnesium citrate can negatively affect ceruloplasmin which is the protein that makes copper functional in the blood (as copper transports iron around the blood, we don’t want this to happen). Citrate can also irritate the gut, so while It does have some benefits – such as improving digestion and preventing constipation – I feel we can get these benefits elsewhere
4. Magnesium Taurate
Great for heart health and goes nicely with glycinate and malate
5. Magnesium L-Threonate
Magnesium L-threonate is the one for you if you suffer from depression. It has a high level of absorbability/bioavailability since it can penetrate the mitochondrial membrane and readily crosses the brain’s protective filter – the blood-brain barrier – to get into the brain where it is needed. It needs to be taken in the chelated form (when the magnesium molecules are bonded to another molecule to make it more bioavailable), but as scientists have now developed chelated magnesium L-threonate, those with low cognitive function, depression and other brain-related difficulties, will benefit hugely. It is also said to help with neuroplasticity, so a great all-rounder for brain health
6. Magnesium Chloride
Magnesium chloride is usually what we find in the oil form (transdermal spray) of magnesium that we rub on the skin, which, especially for children and elderly people, makes it much more absorbable. It’s great for digestive issues, endurance, muscle pain and to help heal wounds and skin irritations. For children, I use just this rubbed on the legs a few times a week, along with the trace minerals drops in water daily. For adults, usually this a few times a week alongside a well-chosen supplement
7. Magnesium Sulphate
A combination of magnesium, sulphur and oxygen, or, as we know it, Epsom Salts for baths. A brilliant added way of relaxing muscles, detoxing, and helping sleep
8. Magnesium Oxide
If you’ve ever heard of Milk of Magnesia (a remedy of old), that’s what magnesium oxide is. Historically taken to relieve constipation, heartburn and acid reflux. It’s not absorbed particularly well and, if one has a balanced diet and is getting enough of the right types of magnesium, they shouldn’t need magnesium oxide.
Below are recommendations of magnesium products I have used myself, and believe to be the highest quality with the least side effects:
Seeking Health Magnesium Glycinate powder (great to add to smoothies)
There you have it, everything you need to know about what magnesium is, why we’re deficient in it, why we need it, how to get more of it, and which forms you personally need!
Love & health,
Disclaimer: I am not medically trained and any information I provide is as a result of my own research. Any points you wish to follow from my articles are taken with this in mind, and I recommend doing your own research
NB: affiliate links added