One of the most common nutrient deficiencies we see in Naturopathic practice is magnesium. Although magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral found in the body, it is also one of the most common deficiencies found in practice. 50-60% of bodily magnesium is stored in the skeletal system alone, and the rest is found in the muscles, soft tissues and bodily fluid. Magnesium is also responsible for hundreds of important biochemical reactions in the body. Clearly this is a mineral that should not be overlooked.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Considering that magnesium is so critical for your overall health and wellbeing, it makes sense that symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be seen in many aspects of our health. Here are a few symptoms of magnesium deficiency:
- Appetite Loss
- Migraines & Headaches
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Fatigue & Weakness
- Muscle Cramps & Spasms
A Naturopath will review your medical history, current symptoms and diet to uncover whether or not magnesium deficiency is a concern for you.
Why is Magnesium so Commonly Deficient?
Poor Nutrition: Diets that are high in processed or packaged foods are incredibly nutrient deplete. This is typical of the "standard American diet," and lead to a variety of nutrient deficiencies and chronic health concerns.
Medications: Antibiotics and diuretics are medications that decrease the absorption of magnesium.
Soil Depletion: Nowadays the agriculture industries methods have changed to fast producing and a money making industry. The depletion of stripped soils has left no nutrients in the soil, which was once rich in magnesium.
Gut Problems: Chronic digestive issues impact the absorption of nutrients including magnesium.
Benefits of Magnesium
Bone Health. Magnesium helps to assimilate calcium into the bone. Magnesium deficiency can lead to low bone mineral density and osteoporosis.
Calcium Absorption. Magnesium helps you absorb calcium in the gut and assimilate calcium in the bone. Supplementing with calcium without magnesium can increase your risk of kidney stones, and arterial calcification. Having said this always make sure to supplement with magnesium if you are taking calcium - this ensures that both minerals are properly metabolized and working together in the body.
Mood Regulation. Not getting enough magnesium can have an effect on our hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which can predispose us to anxiety. Magnesium helps our nervous system relax, reduces perceived stress, lowers anxiety, and improves sleep.
Heart Health. Magnesium is important for the health of our muscles, including our heart, and helps transmit electrical signals throughout the body. Having adequate magnesium levels lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, including hypertension and atherosclerosis.
Blood Sugar. Did you know for every 100 mg per day of magnesium intake increase, up to a point, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes decreases by approximately 15%? Magnesium plays an important role in carbohydrate, and glucose metabolism. Low levels can put you at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Recommended Magnesium Intake
Recommended daily allowance for magnesium depends on your age and gender.
- Infants to 6 months: 30 mg
- 7 to 12 months: 75 mg
- 1 to 3 years: 80 mg
- 4 to 8 years: 130 mg
- 9 to 13 years: 240 mg
- 14 to 18 years: 360 mg for women; 410 mg for men
- 19 to 30 years: 310 mg for women; 400 for men
- 31-plus: 320 for women; 420 for men
- During pregnancy: 350 to 360 mg
- While breastfeeding: 310 to 320 mg
Magnesium Rich Foods
- Spinach, 1 cup cooked: 157 mg
- Swiss chard, 1 cup cooked: 154 mg
- Mung beans, 1 cup: 97 mg
- Dark chocolate, 1 square: 95 mg
- Pumpkin seeds, ⅛ cup: 92 mg
- Cashews, ¼ cup: 91 mg
- Almonds, 1 ounce: 80 mg
- Black beans, ½ cup: 60 mg
- Avocado, 1 medium: 58 mg
- Salmon, 1 fillet: 53 mg
- Kefir, 1 cup: 50 mg
- Figs, ½ cup: 50 mg
- Banana, 1 medium: 32 mg
- Broccoli, 1 cup: 32 mg
- Brussels Sprouts, 1 cup: 32 mg
If you feel like you are experiencing any symptoms of magnesium deficiency, a Naturopathic doctor will be able to determine whether or not this is the case for you. If you are found to be deficient, Naturopath 's not only provide detailed dietary plans, but can also recommend therapeutic supplementation when needed. There are many different types of magnesium supplements, and some are better absorbed then others. A Naturopath will be able to recommend which magnesium supplement and what dose is best for your individual health needs.
To book an appointment with a Naturopath at Juniper Family Health please contact the clinic at 778-265-8340 or firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to book online.