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The Importance of Magnesium

There is a large body of evidence suggesting that less than one in three adults consume enough or consume the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of magnesium. And nearly one in five adults get only half of the magnesium they need daily to remain healthy.

A typical Westernised diet, which is rich in fat, sugar, salt and protein, not only is magnesium deficient but actually increases the need for magnesium in the body (King et al 2005). It is not uncommon to find adults and children who state, “I don’t eat things that are green.”

People take magnesium to prevent or treat magnesium deficiency.  Magnesium deficiency is not uncommon in the US, particularly among African Americans and the elderly.

Have a look at the early signs of magnesium deficiency which are extremely accurate in predicting the magnesium status in your body. Also if you can’t relax or you can’t stop, then it is likely that this is a symptom of magnesium deficiency.

Certain Diseases Associated with Magnesium Deficiency

Individuals who have diseases of the heart and blood vessels including chest pain, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, high levels of “bad” cholesterol called low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and heart valve disease (mitral valve prolapse)  may benefit from increasing their magnesium intake because these diseases are associated with magnesium deficiency. Heart attack victims may also benefit.

Athletes use magnesium to increase energy and endurance and to prevent magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is also used for treating the following conditions, again associated with low magnesium levels or magnesium deficiency: attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, leg cramps, diabetes, kidney stones, migraine headaches, weak bones (osteoporosis), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), altitude sickness, urinary incontinence, restless leg syndrome, asthma, hay fever, multiple sclerosis and for preventing hearing loss.

Magnesium supplementation may be indicated for persons with alcoholism. Low blood levels of magnesium and consequent magnesium deficiency occur in 30% to 60% of alcoholics and in nearly 90% of patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal (Elisaf et al 1998; Abbott et al 1994). Anyone who substitutes alcohol for food will usually have significant lower magnesium intakes.

Individuals with chronic malabsorptive problems such as Crohn’s disease, gluten sensitive enteropathy, regional enteritis and intestinal surgery may lose magnesium through diarrhoea and fat malabsorption (Rude et al 1996). Individuals with these conditions may need supplemental magnesium routinely in order to prevent magnesium deficiency.

Healthy kidneys are able to limit urinary excretion of magnesium to make up for low dietary intake. However, excessive loss of magnesium in urine can be a side effect of some medications and can also occur in cases of poorly-controlled diabetes and alcohol abuse (Ramsay et al 1994; Lajer et al 1999; Elisaf et al 1998; Abbott et al 1994).

Individuals with chronically low blood levels of potassium and calcium may have an underlying problem with magnesium deficiency. Magnesium supplements may help correct the potassium and calcium deficiencies (Shils 1999).

Geriatrics (older adults) is at increased risk of magnesium deficiency. The 1999-2000 and 1988-1994 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys suggest that older adults have lower dietary intakes of magnesium than younger adults (Ford et al 2003; Bialostosky et al 2002). In addition, magnesium absorption decreases and renal excretion of magnesium increases in older adults (Institute of Medicine 1999). Seniors are also more likely to be taking drugs that interact with magnesium. This combination of factors places older adults at particular risk for magnesium deficiency (Institute of Medicine 1999). It is very important for older adults to get recommended amounts of dietary magnesium and thus prevent magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is also used as a laxative for constipation and for preparation of the bowel prior to surgical or diagnostic procedures. It is also used as an antacid for acid indigestion. Magnesium paste is used on the skin to treat infected skin ulcers, boils, carbuncles and to speed up wound healing.

Medication might cause Magnesium Deficiency

Some medicine may result in magnesium deficiency, including certain diuretics, antibiotics and medication used to treat cancer (anti-neoplastic medication).

In short as a summary every individual can benefit from increasing their magnesium intake on a daily basis in order to give their bodies the ultimate chance of preventing and managing disease.

Dr Carolyn Dean, magnesium expert,  calls it “the missing link to total health”. Thus if you want to experience total health or optimal health and wellbeing and at the same time give your body a fighting chance against disease start taking magnesium today! It is never too late to add value to your health status, made a decision today to give your body what it really needs and experience the limitless potential of magnesium.

The best way to supplement magnesium in home conditions is by using magnesium oil – applying it on the skin daily, either by spraying it, or rubbing it in with a hand. For those of you who do not know what magnesium oil is – it is a highly concentrated solution of magnesium chloride and water. The skin has an amazing ability to absorb, and this allows magnesium to get into the body very quickly, bringing instant benefits. I have many people who have given me fantastic feedback after using magnesium oil only for a very short time. More profound effects are experienced when it is used regularly.