Magnesium for health

Magnesium for your health

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In the book “Optimum Sports Nutrition”, Dr Michael Colgan maintains that 80% of magnesium in food is lost by removal of the germ and outer layers of cereal grains and making so-called white or “enriched” flours.

Reasons People have a high rate of magnesium deficiency.

Farmers use artificial fertilisers devoid of magnesium for planting crops. Vit D is added to milk and there is an overconsumption of dairy products. If you increase calcium consumption, you also need to increase magnesium consumption.

Best form

Magnesium chelate (citrate and aspartate) absorbs 2X better than carbonate (inorganic) and sulphate.

Sources of magnesium

Fresh green vegetables (essential element of chlorophyl), raw unmilled wheat germ, soybeans, legumes, esp. peanuts, pulses, shellfish, whole grains (except wheat), seafoods, figs, corn, apples, oil-rich seeds and nuts, especially almonds.


Magnesium requires an acidic environment for optimum absorption, so taking it between meals or at bedtime is recommended. Ratio 2:1 calcium to magnesium.

Magnesium helpers –

Vit B1, especially Vit B6 (pyridoxine), Vit C, Vit D, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, so if any of these are added, it is good.

Magnesium robbers –

Large amounts of calcium (supplements/milk products), proteins, fats, oxalates (spinach, rubarb), phytate (bran, whole wheat), alcohol, diuretics, aspirin, stress, sugar, coffee, refined and processed carbohydrates, birth control pills, Vit. D supplementation or fortification (added to products like milk , cereals, etc).

So don't take your magnesium at a meal where robbers are involved, especially phytates as it absorbs/binds the calcium and magnesium and oxalates form salts binding calcium/magnesium in the body.

Beneficial effects

  • Helps lower cholesterol and keeps arteries healthy.
  • Strengthens bones and teeth.
  • Promotes healthy muscles, by helping them relax, esp. bronchial smooth muscle.
  • Preserves health of nervous system.
  • Helps alkalinise the body, can be used in stead of antacids.
  • Associated with regulation of body temperature.
  • Involved as co-factor in many enzymes in the body.
  • Essential for proper functioning of nerves and muscles (esp. heart).
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Essential for energy production.
  • Increases HDL levels, helps reduce cholesterol.
  • Decreases platelet aggregation and prolongs clotting time (thins the blood).

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency

Apprehensiveness, short temper, muscle twitches, muscle cramps, muscle tics, tremors or weakness, tantrums, nosebleeds, tremors, confusion, irregular heart rhythm, depression, irritability, sensitivity to noise, disorientation, insomnia, anxiety, hypoglycaemia, PMS premenstrual tension, loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, pancreatitis, nervousness, depression.

Magnesium may be beneficial for the following ailments:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, colitis, angina, alcoholism, anorexia, low blood pressure, tetany, convulsions, kwashiorkor, diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, kidney stones, migraine, mytral valve prolapse, osteoporosis, asthma, cirrhosis of the liver, prostrate trouble, atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, psoriasis, obesity, apathy, confusion, poor memory, decreased learning.

If you have any of these conditions, you can do no harm to take magnesium supplements (in the right ratio). If you have a serious condition, check with your doctor. Make sure your doctor is clued up about nutrition, has done additional research about it, over and above the prescribed textbook knowledge.

NOTE: Remember doctors get a kick-back from drug companies for the products they sell, so they may have a vested interest in your illness. Sick, I know.

Successful in the treatment of :

Successfully used in the treatment of convulsions of pregnant women and epileptic patients.

Angina and Heart attacks:

Magnesium deficiency has shown to produce coronary artery spasms and is thought to be a cause in non-occlusive heart attacks. Men dying of heart attacks have significantly lower levels of magnesium and potassium than control subjects.

Athletes and Sports

Athletes and anyone doing strenuous or endurance work or sports should supplement their diets with magnesium as it is lost during sweating and muscle metabolism during activity. The Colgan Institute uses magnesium supplements of 400-1200mg/day with athletes.

Recommended dosage:

Approximately 300mg/day for nutritional use, more for therapeutic use. Ratio 2:1 calcium to magnesium. Add helpers.


None below 1000mg. Almost unknown in nutritional context as excess is eliminated in the faces and urine, but can occur when calcium intake is low. In extreme cases magnesium overload can cause death.


Nutrition Almanac – Dunne
The Optimum Nutrition Bible – Patrick Holford
Staying Healthy with Nutrition – Elson M Haas
Optimum Sports Nutrition – Dr Michael Morgan
Encyclopaedia of Natural Medicine – Micheal Murray N.D. & Joseph Pizzorno N.D.
Reader’s Digest Guide to Natural Medicine


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