Magnesium is a critical nutrient, and most Americans have a deficiency.  Women are especially prone to a deficiency because it is one of the most important nutrients that is depleted by the hormonal birth control pill.  Why do we need magnesium?  Magnesium is a cofactor for more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body.  300?  Whoa!  Many reactions contribute to the production of energy and cardiovascular function.  It is also a natural tranquilizer (which we could all use these days!), helping to relax skeletal muscles and the muscles of the GI tract.

There are numerous benefits of magnesium including help with muscle and period cramps, calms the central nervous system, and helps the body relax and sleep.  It also supports our bones, reduces fatigue, alleviates depression, relieves constipation, and lowers blood pressure.

Where can we find magnesium?  There are many sources of magnesium rich foods including spinach, black beans, avocado, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and even delicious dark chocolate.

Why is the US population so deficient in magnesium?  Many factors contribute to this, but one major culprit is the depletion of magnesium and other vital nutrients from our soil.  Stress is a major killer, and alcohol, diuretic drugs, caffeine, and sugar all contribute to magnesium loss.  Magnesium also requires an acidic stomach environment for best absorption.

Should I supplement?  Estimates show that 75% of people are deficient in magnesium, so supplementation is typically recommended.  I prefer to take 300-400 mg of magnesium glycinate before bedtime.  Magnesium toxicity is rare, but symptoms can occur if calcium intake is low.  As always, check with your doctor or a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner before starting a new supplement regimen.  Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing supplements.