Magnesium: The Adaptogen Mineral

Magnesium is an essential mineral in the body. It plays a key role in over 300 diverse biochemical reactions in the body. These reactions range from those involved in energy production and protein synthesis to blood sugar control and blood pressure regulation. In other words: Magnesium is pretty important to our health.

50 to 90 percent of us are deficient in Magnesium due to factors like medication use, soil depletion, and major pitfalls of the standard American diet.

Why do I call this fantastic mineral an adaptogen? An adaptogen is a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes. In essence, it improves the resilience of the body. Magnesium is a mineral worthy of this title. It has been proven to help provide a relaxation state in the body.

Ironically even though it helps the body deal with stress, our body actually excretes Mg out of the body during periods of acute stress (hello modern life). So when in a prolonged stressed state, you are constantly peeing Mg out of the body which makes it harder to achieve a relaxed state in the body.

This becomes a vicious circle: stress -> dump Mg -> body is now less relaxed and more stressed -> dump even more Mg.

Overall, Mg deficiency will reduce the tolerance to secondary stress that comes with life. Repleting low levels is paramount for helping the body enter a relaxed state.

SOME MAGNESIUM BENEFITS:

✅Kicks depression and anxiety out of the brain

✅Stomps on cravings (helps sensitize insulin)

✅Welcomes a restorative sleep in the body

✅Improves tolerance to stress (makes you a stress ninja)

✅Improves PMS symptoms

✅Reduces muscle aches and spasms

✅Treats and prevents headaches/migraines

✅Lowers blood pressure

SIGNS OF DEFICIENCY:

✅ Muscle twitches or spasms

✅ Tense muscles

✅ Painful periods or heavy flow

✅ Chocolate cravings

✅ Constipation

✅ Anxiety or hyperactivity

✅ High blood pressure or irregular heart beat

Testing for magnesium deficiency is tricky. Extracellular (outside of the cell) magnesium accounts for only ∼1% of total body magnesium, which is found primarily in serum and red blood cells. Testing serum or RBC magnesium levels don’t reflect your intracellular (inside the cell) levels which is where 99% of body magnesium exists. This is why most cases of magnesium deficiency go diagnosed.

I find the best way to determine if someone is deficient is to presumptively treat them magnesium if they are experiencing a number of deficiency symptoms. If there is an improvement in symptoms, then this confirms a magnesium deficiency.

Which Magnesium Do I recommend?

  • Magnesium Bisglycinate – This is a highly bio-available form (meaning easily absorbed). I recommend 200mg-600mg per day depending on the case. See your healthcare practitioner for more information on what your dosage should be.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507250/

https://openheart.bmj.com/content/5/1/e000668#ref-31

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