Friday, May 15, 2009

The Importance of Magnesium

Have you had your magnesium levels checked? Magnesium is a very important mineral that is used in over 300 different biochemical reactions. Unfortunately, magnesium levels have significantly declined in recent years. The best food sources of magnesium include green vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds as well as unrefined grains. Eating a diet largely consisting of refined foods will ensure magnesium deficiency.

My clinical experience has clearly shown that magnesium deficiency is occurring at epidemic rates. Over half of new patients that I see are magnesium deficient on rbc magnesium testing (red blood cell testing). Serum magnesium tests are worthless.

A recent study showed low blood levels of magnesium had a 25% increased risk of stroke. The researchers studied over 14,000 subjects for nearly 15 years. The rate of stroke was highest among the subjects with diabetes and hypertension. What is a direct cause of diabetes and hypertension? You guessed it, low levels of magnesium.

What can you do? Number one, eliminate refined foods from your diet. You should eat unrefined foods with their full complement of minerals. I also think it is important to use a good multivitamin/mineral product since the mineral content of our food supply has declined over the last 20 years. Due to the poor quality of our food, I am not sure that it is possible to get adequate amounts of minerals and vitamins from eating a healthy diet. I think it is wise to supplement with a quality vitamin/mineral product.

It is best to work with a health care professional knowledgeable about nutrition. He/she can check your levels and provide the appropriate guidance on how best to achieve your optimum health. Ensuring adequate magnesium levels is a big step to helping you achieve that goal.

How much magnesium should you take? Generally 100-400mg/day of magnesium is adequate. MG-200 from Optimox or MG-zyme from Biotics Research are two good companies selling excellent magnesium products.


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