Magnesium is a nutrient that we need to maintain a functioning body.  It is the 4th most concentrated mineral in the human body and almost all of it is stored in our bones.  Some of the things that magnesium does includes regulating muscle and nerve function, maintaining blood sugar and blood pressure levels at an ideal state and helps to synthesize protein, bone and DNA.  Low levels of magnesium have been linked to several chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, migraines and heart disease. What would we do without magnesium?

Getting magnesium through your food is ideal.  Some of these foods include: beans, nuts, green leafy vegetables and even avocados.  Even with magnesium being found abundantly in many healthy foods the World Health Organization estimates that 60% of adults in the United states get inadequate amounts of magnesium on a regular basis.  Even if you eat a healthy diet it is still possible to be low in magnesium. That’s when taking a supplement can be very helpful.

The next question is what type of Magnesium is right for you?  It comes in many different forms. Here is some information on the most widely used supplements:

  • Magnesium Oxide- least optimal form of magnesium supplementation but has a strong laxative effect.  As a side note, if magnesium causes loose stool for you it means that it is not being absorbed well in your body.  Taking magnesium on an empty stomach (or at night) can help. Start with a low dose of magnesium and then build up slowly to find your ideal level.
  • Magnesium Citrate-most widely recommended supplementation, because it is widely accessible and has solid bio-availability (can be used easily in your body).
  • Magnesium Sulfate-otherwise known as Epsom salts!  Very low bio-availability when swallowed but soaks up well into muscle which is why it is a popular supplement in a bath.
  • Magnesium lactate- this type of magnesium is often used to treat digestive issues and has a higher level of bio-availability than magnesium oxide.  It can be hard for the kidneys to filter though and that must be taken into consideration.
  • Chelated magnesium-this simply means that the magnesium is bound to an amino acid which contains nitrogen.  Our bodies easily absorb amino acids, so this can be an ideal way to supplement magnesium. Some common examples of amino acids that can be bound to magnesium are malate, aspartate or arginate.

Hopefully some of your questions about magnesium have been answered.  But post below if you would like to know more or ask at your next chiropractic visit!  And don’t forget that magnesium is the supplement of the month so stock up and keep your body functioning to its full potential.  

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