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Do you need Magnesium?

| By Dr Debbie Tan (Chiropractor)

Magnesium chloride -sea salt in wooden spoons-close up

Magnesium is a mineral that is needed in the body. It can be found naturally in foods, as a dietary supplement and in medication. Magnesium is needed for the regulation of biochemical reactions in the body, such as blood glucose control, muscle and nerve function, protein synthesis, and blood pressure regulation.1,2 Magnesium is needed for processes such as energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis, all of which play a part in bone growth and are essential for the production of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione.1,2 Magnesium is also required for the active transport of potassium and calcium ions across cell membranes. This process is important in maintaining nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm.1 An insufficient intake of magnesium has been linked to many different harmful health outcomes such as the development of diabetes mellitus, headaches, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.3

We highly recommend taking magnesium as a dietary supplement as we require 25g of magnesium in our body to function. 50-60% of this magnesium is located in the bones and majority of the rest is in soft tissues.1 Hence, when clients present with tingling, numbness, or muscle contractions and cramps, magnesium is usually recommended.

Magnesium can be consumed in powder and tablet form. However, our preference is towards powder as it is more easily absorbed by the body. Also, make sure you purchase a magnesium product that contains a high percentage of the active ingredient and that it is an absorbable form. For example, magnesium citrate has a high rate of absorption while magnesium oxide is less easily absorbed.4 Magnesium can also be in the form of Epsom salts or bath salts. Most float tank spas have a high concentration of magnesium in their tanks to allow you to float and absorb the mineral through your skin. Epsom salts can also be added to your next bath. They are readily available from supermarkets and health food stores. Roughly 2.5 cups of epsom salts added to your bath (optional: add 5-6 drops of lavender oil) and a 20 minute soak should be enough to feel a difference and let your muscles feel relaxed. It is highly recommended closer to have an Epsom salt bath closer to the end of the day, so you can have an easier sleep.

For more information, please contact us on the above links.

  1. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Magnesium [document on the Internet]. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2016 Feb 11 [cited 2016 Jul 27]. Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
  2. Nica AS, Caramoci A, Vasilescu M, Ionescu AM, Paduraru D, Mazilu V. Magnesium supplementation in top athletes – effects and recommendations. J Rom Sports Med [serial online]. 2015 [2016 Jul 27];11(1):2482. Available from: ProQuest. http://search.proquest.com
  3. Ford ES, Mokdad AH. Dietary magnesium intake in a national sample of U.S. adults. J Nutr [serial online]. 2003 [2016 Jul 27];133(9):2879-82. Available from: ProQuest. http://search.proquest.com
  4. Coudray C, Rambeau M, Feillet-Coudray C, Gueux E, Tressol JC, Mazur A, et al. Study of magnesium bioavailability from ten organic and inorganic Mg salts in Mg-depleted rats using a stable isotope approach. Magnes Res [serial on the Internet]. 2005 [2016 Jul 27];18(4):215-23. Available from: http://www.vitamindwiki.com/tikidownload_wiki_attachment.php?attId=2890

Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should contact your own physician or other qualified health can provider with any questions you may have regarding your condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on information from this content. Relying on information provided by this content is done at your own risk. Although the authors have made every effort to provide the most up-to-date evidence-based health information, this content should not necessarily be considered the standard of care and may not reflect individual practices in other geographic locations.

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