Magnesium plays a vital role in many processes throughout the body. A deficiency of magnesium increases the risk of a host of chronic health problems including:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Cognitive decline
The health risks associated with low magnesium levels should come as no surprise since it is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions throughout the body. But, surprisingly, the average American intake of magnesium, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES Study) is critically low: Many Americans fail to consume the estimated average requirement (EAR) established by the Institute of Medicine. In addition, more than 57 % of the population does not meet the United States Department of Agriculture requirements for magnesium in the diet.
Intracellular magnesium levels are decreased by excessive intake of alcohol, salt, coffee, phosphoric acid found in sodas, diets high in calcium and high-stress levels. Because of the widespread nature of magnesium deficiencies, adequate daily intake of magnesium is critical for proper hydration, stress response, muscle relaxation, promoting healthy blood pressure levels, optimal bone mineral density, and blood sugar regulation.
If you have followed Vitopia Health for long, you probably know magnesium is among our top 3 supplements we essentially recommend for everyone. This is because of its critical role in health and the fact it is a low-cost mineral. So from a health perspective, you get a lot of bang for the buck!
However, while inexpensive, there are many poorly absorbed magnesium supplements on the market. The importance of bioavailability is obvious. If consuming a magnesium supplement has little effect on improving the body’s magnesium balance, there is no reason to ingest it. Signs of inferior mineral supplements include the use of cheap, poorly absorbed, rock-salt minerals like calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide. These mineral forms slow and limits absorption, relying on adequate stomach acid to release magnesium ions which then enter the body via passive diffusion. And, because they tend to remain in the intestines longer, these forms of mineral supplements can cause intestinal distress such as constipation (calcium carbonate) or diarrhea (magnesium oxide).
While studies show almost everyone would benefit from supplementing with magnesium, we do recommend specific forms based on individual health needs. This is why we recommend you consult with your healthcare practitioner on the best supplements for you, and why at Vitopia we provide so much educational material around supplement selection. For instance, we recommend Mg citrate for patients suffering from constipation and indigestion, Mg glycinate to relieve stress and muscle relaxation and Mg theonate for memory.
Another great and inexpensive way to supplement magnesium, especially if you prefer not to take pills, is to add Epsom salt to a warm bath. This can be especially beneficial at night to promote relaxation and improve sleep.
While we utilize all these forms of magnesium in our practice, based on individual needs, our most commonly used form is Reacted Magnesium. This is because it provides three unique forms of highly-absorbed magnesium to ensure maximum absorption. Most magnesium supplements use only a single-source of magnesium, which can easily overwhelm a single pathway of absorption, and limit uptake of high-dose magnesium regimens. Reacted Magnesium takes advantage of three unique pathways of absorption by providing magnesium as di-magnesium malate, magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate for enhanced absorption, improved utilization and gastrointestinal (GI) comfort. Some individuals, who take other forms of magnesium supplements, often experience GI side effects, including gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation or a combination of these symptoms. The forms of magnesium used in Reacted Magnesium preserve GI comfort while maximizing absorption and restoring magnesium levels in the body.
In summary, magnesium plays a vital role in maintaining the biochemistry of the body and a deficiency of magnesium increases the risk of a host of chronic health problems.
Higher magnesium consumption, via diet and supplementation, has been demonstrated to provide numerous benefits, including improved cognitive function, regulating blood sugar and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.