Hi, so today we’re going to talk about magnesium. At the conference, they had a panel of functional medicine physicians up there, and somebody asked if you were on a desert island, what one supplement are you taking with you? Which was an interesting question to pose because, you know, as you go through functional medicine, before you know it people are on 376 pills, and that’s just not practical.
So, in order to provide the best care for patients in the most practical manner, what has importance. It was interesting because every single physician came up with the same supplement, which would be magnesium. The assumption was that if you were on a desert island, you would be eating whole foods, healthy diet, so a multi-vitamin would not be needed. You’d be getting your sun, so vitamin D would not be needed. You’d be eating fish, so the fish oil would not be needed. So the next thing everybody wanted was magnesium. That can tell you how important magnesium is, that all of these top level docs all came up with the answer.
As you eat more sugar, it depletes the magnesium in your body, and so we’re seeing a lot of magnesium deficiency, more than you would really expect, and it’s an indicator of how much sugar is being consumed in our society. The best way to test magnesium is to get an RBC magnesium level, which is uncommon. The common magnesium test that we do in traditional medicine is a serum level, which truly doesn’t indicate what’s happening inside the cell.
The electrolytes, the salts that are in your body, live in one of two compartments. They either live inside the cell or outside the cell, and that is tightly regulated because it sets up all the electrical impulses that need to happen in your body. Magnesium is one of those that lives inside the cell, which is why getting an RBC magnesium level is the most accurate way to test magnesium.
So, I wanted to go over the ways that I recommend people take magnesium, what situations magnesium is beneficial for, and my least favorite way to take magnesium. There are lots of ways to make a salt out of magnesium, so it adds some confusion because there’s just so many different products on the market. My least favorite way of taking magnesium would be Mag Oxide because it’s the cheaper product, but it’s the least likely to get into your system. So, because it’s cheap, that’s why a lot of vitamins products have it on the market, but it’s the least likely to be effective for you.
Situations where magnesium might be important. First off, if you’ve listened to me for a while, you know I talk about ATP. Your body cannot use calories. Your body has to convert the calories into ATP. ATP is the money of the body. It’s the energy nugget that the cells need to work on. That ATP, it actually exists in a salt form combined with magnesium. So every cell in your body needs magnesium to stabilize the ATP so that it can be used by the cell.
So that’s why there are so many situations where magnesium can be helpful. If you are low in magnesium, you might struggle with anxiety, depression, irritability, headache, migraines. Migraines is a big one. Magnesium can be very helpful with migraine.
I’m sorry, magnesium is also important in releasing and the activity of insulin. So diabetics tend to be really low in magnesium.
You also need magnesium to build bone, so if you have osteoporosis, osteopenia, if you’re trying to heal a fracture, you need magnesium.
Blood pressure, magnesium helps to lower blood pressure. It kind of counteracts calcium and so it helps the muscles within the blood vessel wall to relax. Magnesium is a muscle relaxant on its own, so if you have fibromyalgia or restless leg syndrome, magnesium can be very helpful.
Fatigue, because of that stabilizing of the ATP. You also need to make sure you’ve good magnesium levels before you try and start any weight loss program, for that reason of converting the calories into ATP.
It’s also a bronchodilator, so it can be helpful in anything that is a reactive airway disease type of situation, problem.
So as you can tell, it’s a lot of different things where you need a goo magnesium level. It’s one of my top five recommendations for sure. So how do I go about replacing it?
Well, let’s start with the cheapest option. That would be this one, magnesium citrate. You’re going to find this in any grocery store or pharmacy section, any CVS, anything like that, Target, Fry’s, whatever your grocery store chain is. It’s going to be in the constipation products, wherever they have like Dulcolax and, you know, all those constipation, bowel health products. This will probably be on the very bottom shelf. This costs $1.99. It can be $.99. It is dirt cheap.
This is the motherlode of constipation blasters. When I’m using it for constipation, I have recommended to our clients to take half a bottle. Occasionally I get a client that doesn’t believe me, and they think more is always better so they take the whole bottle, and they always come back to me and they’re like, “I should have listened to you,” and I’m like, “Yeah. I told you.”
So if you’re using it for constipation, please just start with half a bottle. Refrigerate it. It doesn’t taste wonderful, so refrigerate it, take a half a bottle, let it work. Give it some time. Don’t take the whole bottle because you’ll regret it.
But as far as magnesium replacement, all you need to do is take a shot glass of this into a full glass of water every night and you’re good. So just a shot glass, just a swig, and this should last you quite a while. But that’s how you would use it for magnesium replacement instead of constipation.
Epsom salts, another good cheap product. Epsom salts are actually magnesium sulfate, and I put a big scoop into my bath water. You know, you’d like to do an Epsom salt bath every night as part of your sleep regimen. The magnesium soaks through the skin and it gets into your system, and can really help with muscle relaxation before going to bed and restless leg syndrome especially. So that’s a great way to replace magnesium.
I’ve had a couple of clients that they struggle with absorption of magnesium in their gut, and so I have recommended to them that they try some Epsom salt baths. So that’s a good one.
And then as far as pill form, I like magnesium glycinate. This is my favorite. This is actually my bottle. You can tell because I dropped it and I broke the cap, but magnesium glycinate, and my typical starting dose is 100 milligrams two to three times a day. So I like this product, and then these are my cheaper over-the-counter products. You definitely want to get some magnesium into your system.
Hope that was helpful, and I will talk to you later. Bye.