Allerton Health Centre

Health & Wellbeing

Magic of Magnesium!

Magnesium plays a key role in all of the body’s functions. A scarily 80% of us are deficient in it!
Magnesium is important for muscle and bone function, immune system support, mental and psychological health and regulating blood sugars.

Magic of Magnesium!

Magnesium plays a key role in all of the body’s functions. A scarily 80% of us are deficient in it!
Magnesium is important for muscle and bone function, immune system support, mental and psychological health and regulating blood sugars.
Magnesium therefore helps reduce tiredness and fatigue, balance electrolytes, balance the functioning of the nervous system, balance muscle function, balance protein synthesis, aid normal psychological function, maintain bone and teeth health.
Symptoms of deficiency are: fatigue, mental confusion, irritability, muscle weakness cramps and pains, heart disturbances, headaches, loss of appetite, insomnia, predisposed to stress.

The primary cause of deficiency are; todays western diet having a severe lack of wholesome nutrients, overcooking of foods leaching minerals, poor food choices, foods themselves lacking nutrition from situations like over farming.
Secondary causes of deficiency are illness from small intestine problems, kidney and liver disease.

The link to muscular health.

We know that magnesium is very important in electrolyte balance of skeletal muscle. This helps in the correct functioning of the muscle, most importantly the relaxation of the muscle. In this way it can be very helpful in treating cramps and spasms, tension headaches, back pain, restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia. Internally it can help with pre menstrual cramps, angina, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation, again by helping the muscles to relax.

The link to bone health.

Magnesium converts Vitamin D to increase calcium absorption. Magnesium is thus important for strengthening bones. So when you choose your calcium multivitamin make sure you choose one which includes magnesium!

Sources of Magnesium (per 100g of the food)

  • Kelp 760g
  • Wheat bran 490mg
  • Almonds 270mg
  • Cashews 269 mg
  • Molasses 258mg
  • Brazil nuts 225 mg
  • Peanuts   175mg
  • walnuts 131mg
  • Tofu 111mg
  • Brown rice 88mg
  • Figs 71 mg
  • Aprictos 62 mg
  • Dates 58 mg
  • Avocado 45mg
  • Cheddar cheese 45mg

Guidelines (guidelines supplied by Nutrigold)

The current guidelines are 300mg a day for men and 270mg a day for women. However this should actually be based on individual circumstances such as body weight and therefore a more appropriate method of working out how much magnesium you should be having is 6mg of magnesium per kg of weight.

In todays western diet the actual average daily intake of magnesium has been found to be only 120-200 mg per day, so we need to find solutions to increase our intake. We can do this by having better food choices from the table above. Or alternatively we can add supplements to our diet alongside a magnesium rich diet.
If you choose to add a supplement be sure to try and avoid the ‘oxide’ or ‘carbonate’ form of magnesium as this is poorly absorbed by the body due to stomach acids and instead go for the ‘citrate’ form. This is 4 times better absorbed!
For those suffering from back problems it can be helpful to have a bath of Epsom Salts as this enables absorption of magnesium sulphates.
When using a supplement with calcium the ideal ratio for greatest absorption of calcium is to have a ratio of 2:1 Magnesium:Calcium.
It is important to spread capsule intake across the day, take capsules after food, avoid taking them with alcohol or caffeine as these can inhibit the action. And taking before bedtime can help sleep!

This article is based on the Nutrigold data by Dr Elisabeth  Phillips, 20/8/2013

Article Info

  • Brief:

    Find out about how Magnesium can help boost your health

  • Published on: 04th Sep 2013
  • Written by: Jennifer Green