Magnesium is an essential macromineral

Magnesium is vital for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It supports muscle and nerve function and is involved in the regulation of blood pressure.

Sufficient magnesium is important for the prevention of many chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Magnesium is necessary to maintain the health of the muscles. Without enough magnesium the muscles can’t relax properly which can result in cramping and spasms. Low magnesium can contribute to a lactic acid build-up which causes the muscles to feel especially sore after a workout.

Magnesium plays a key role in glucose and insulin control. A deficiency of magnesium can worsen insulin resistance. 

Magnesium is also useful in the treatment and prevention of headaches due to its impact on the neurotransmitters. A deficiency can aggravate headaches and migraines.

Magnesium can be helpful to relieve bloating, mood symptoms and breast tenderness associated with PMS. Post menopausal women need sufficient magnesium to prevent bone loss, improve bone crystal formation and reduce the risk for osteoporosis. Magnesium helps to regulate calcium and vitamin D levels. 

People suffering with mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, or even those just struggling with a high stress load will benefit from additional magnesium.

A diet high in wheat based refined carbohydrates can lower magnesium levels.

Good sources of magnesium are almonds, cashews, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, as well as avocado’s, bananas, legumes and chocolate.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremeties
  • Seizures
  • Personality changes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart rhythm changes

The body uses lots of magnesium during times of stress so for that reason, most people can safely supplement.

Different types of magnesium are available in supplement form

I like to use the following types:

Magnesium L Threonate – this form is designed to help support cognitive health. It can cross the blood brain barrier and nourish the brain directly. It binds to neurotransmitter receptors and is a co-factor for neuronal enzymes. It is used for managing brain disorders, depression and age-related memory loss.

Magnesium Citrate – this is a magnesium preparation in salt form using citric acid. This form is good for people who struggle with constipation. I would not recommend it for people who are prone to diarrhea.

Magnesium Glycinate – this form has a calming effect on the brain due to the presence of the amino acid glycine. It helps to relieve anxiety and promote better sleep.

Magnesium Malate – this form combines malic acid with magnesium, which is good for mood, blood sugar control, exercise performance and chronic pain. 

Epsom Salts – known as magnesium sulfate, this is a combination of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. Soak in a warm  bath with a cup of epsom salts after exercise or a long day to relax and ease stiff muscles..

Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 20 August to learn more.

Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am