Magnesium for Superior Health, Cardiac Conditions, Angina, Muscle Cramps, Migraines, Diabetes, Reflux (updated May 20,2008)
5th November 2007 by Arrow Durfee Posted in Uncategorized
Dr. Mark Hyman, MD.
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A deficiency in this critical nutrient, magnesium, makes you twice as likely to die as other people, according to a study published in the journal “Critical Care.”
I remember using magnesium when I worked in the emergency room. It was a critical “medication” on the crash cart. If someone was dying of a life-threatening arrhythmia (or irregular heart beat), we used intravenous magnesium.
If someone was constipated or needed to prepare for colonoscopy, we gave them milk of magnesia or a green bottle of liquid magnesium citrate, which emptied their bowels.
If pregnant women came in with pre-term labor, or high blood pressure of pregnancy (pre-eclampsia) or seizures, we gave them continuous high doses of intravenous magnesium.
Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff — whether it is a body part or an even a mood — is a sign of magnesium deficiency.
Well, this critical mineral is responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues — but mainly, bone, muscle, and brain.
The list of conditions that are found related to magnesium deficiency is very long.
In fact, there are over 3,500 medical references on magnesium deficiency!
You might be magnesium deficient if you have any of the following symptoms:
* muscle cramps or twitches
* sensitivity to loud noises
* chronic fatigue
* kidney stones
* high blood pressure
* menstrual cramps
* irritable bladder
* irritable bowel syndrome
* trouble swallowing
By conservative standards of measurement (blood, or serum, magnesium levels), 65 percent of people admitted to the intensive care unit — and about 15 percent of the general population – have magnesium deficiency.
Why are we so deficient?
The answer is simple: Many of us eat a diet that contains practically no magnesium — a highly processed, refined diet that is based mostly on white flour, meat, and dairy (all of which have no magnesium).
When was the last time you had a good dose of sea vegetables (seaweed), nuts, greens, and beans? If you are like most Americans, your nut consumption mostly comes from peanut butter, and mostly in chocolate peanut butter cups.
Our processed diet contains almost no magnesium.
It is also often poorly absorbed and easily lost from our bodies.
To absorb magnesium we need a lot of it in our diet, plus enough vitamins B6 and D and selenium to get the job done.
Moreover, much of modern life conspires to help us lose whatever magnesium we get in our diet.
Magnesium levels are decreased by excess alcohol, salt, coffee, phosphoric acid in colas, profuse sweating, prolonged or intense stress, chronic diarrhea, excessive menstruation, diuretics (water pills), antibiotics and other drugs, and some intestinal parasites.
In fact, in one study in Kosovo, people under chronic war stress lost large amounts of magnesium in their urine.
So if you suffer from any of the symptoms I mentioned or have any of the diseases I noted, don’t worry — it is an easy fix!!
* Limit coffee, colas, salt, sugar and alcohol
* Learn how to practice active relaxation
* Check with your doctor if your medication is causing magnesium loss (many high blood pressure drugs or diuretics cause loss of magnesium)
Eat foods high in magnesium.
* These include kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, brazil nuts, dulse, filberts, millet, pecans, walnuts, rye, tofu, soy beans, brown rice, figs, dates, collard greens, shrimp, avocado, parsley, beans, barley, dandelion greens, and garlic
Take magnesium supplements.
* The RDA (the minimum amount needed) for magnesium is about 300 mg a day. Most of us get far less than 200 mg
* Some may need much more depending on their condition
* Most people benefit from 400 to 1,000 mg a day
* The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate, taurate, or aspartate, although magnesium bound to Kreb cycle chelates (malate, succinate, fumarate) are also good
* Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide. They are poorly absorbed (and the cheapest and most common forms found in supplements)
* Side effects from too much magnesium include diarrhea, which can be avoided if you switch to magnesium glycinate
* Most minerals are best taken as a team with other minerals in a multi-mineral formula
* Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is a good way to absorb and get much needed magnesium
* People with kidney disease or severe heart disease should take magnesium only under a doctor’s supervision
BACKGROUND: Magnesium deficiency can cause dyslipidemia and insulin hypersecretion, which may facilitate gallstone formation. However, the effect of long-term consumption of magnesium on the risk of gallstone disease is unknown.
METHODS: We prospectively studied magnesium consumption and risk of gallstone disease in a cohort of 42,705 U.S. men from 1986 to 2002. Magnesium consumption was assessed using a validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Newly diagnosed gallstone disease was ascertained biennially.
RESULTS: We documented 2,195 incident cases of symptomatic gallstones during 560,810 person-years of follow-up. The age-adjusted relative risks (RRs) for men with total magnesium intake and dietary magnesium, when the highest and lowest quintiles were compared, were 0.67 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.59-0.77, P for trend <0.0001) and 0.67 (CI 0.59-0.76, P for trend <0.0001), respectively.
After adjusting for multiple potential confounding variables, when extreme quintiles were compared, the multivariate RR of total magnesium intake (RR 0.72, CI 0.61-0.86, P for trend = 0.006) and dietary magnesium (RR 0.68, CI 0.57-0.82, P for trend = 0.0006) remained significant with a dose-response relationship.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest a protective role of magnesium consumption in the prevention of symptomatic gallstone disease among men.