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Importance of Magnesium

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People who schedule visits with nutritionists are usually surprised to find themselves almost always walking out with a bottle of magnesium tablets along with some suitable vitamins and a healthful eating program.

Well before conventional MDs became aware of the serious problems caused by low magnesium, nutritionally oriented physicians like Alan Gaby were voicing alarm. He began his own book with the sentence, “Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the industrialized world today.” And that was in 1998. Dr Carolyn Dean began her The Miracle of Magnesium by describing a typical magnesium-deficient patient “Mary felt as though she were constantly being run over by a slow moving bus…” and takes it from there.

Our bodies contain less than an ounce of magnesium and yet it is involved in more than 300 enzyme-related processes in all systems of the body. Magnesium regulates the rhythm of your heart, clots your blood, and is intimately involved in energy production, nerve function, muscle relaxation, and bone and tooth formation. Click here for details on magnesium from The World’s Healthiest Foods website.

Nutritionally oriented physicians regularly prescribe magnesium for fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, abnormal heart rhythm, high blood pressure, asthma, migraines, premenstrual syndrome, and to avoid the complications of diabetes. Because of the effect of magnesium on muscles, it also usually improves exercise performance.

Magnesium itself is situated inside your cells, rather than in the blood, so that when your doctor measures your serum magnesium level, she may not be getting the real picture of your magnesium status. If you want your levels measured, request “red blood cell magnesium.”

Unless you eat an exceptionally varied, plant-based diet, assume that your own magnesium levels are probably pretty pathetic. Also remember that foods that once were magnesium-rich contain less magnesium than fifty years ago. In addition, most bottled water doesn’t contain much magnesium and home filtered water actually removes it.

The bottled waters highest in magnesium (100 mg per liter or more) are:
• Adobe Springs
• Gerolsteiner (Germany)
• Noah’s California Spring Water
• Original Fountain of Youth Mineral Water
• Colfax (Iowa)
• St. Gero

These are in comparison to, say, Poland Springs (2 mg./L) or Deer Park (1 mg./L). Obviously some label reading of your favorite water is in order.

Foods especially rich in magnesium include whole grains, nuts, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach and swiss chard are all-stars), and shellfish.

You can also cover yourself by taking a magnesium supplement. The minimal daily requirement is 420 mg. However, people with chronic kidney disease should not take magnesium without first talking to their physician.

Two capsules of Integrative Therapeutics easy-to-swallow Magnesium Glycinate Plus provide 220 mg of magnesium. You can easily get the other half by careful food selection and thoughtful bottled water purchases.

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