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Spotlight on: Magnesium

Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium is a mineral which is becoming increasingly deficient from the diet and this is because it is depleted from the soil due to intensive farming methods.

Magnesium deficiency is not something that is very well known about and, therefore, it’s not routinely tested. It’s incredibly common, in fact,  I’m willing to bet that if you test anyone that doesn’t supplement, even someone that has a very good diet, the likelihood is they’re going to have a deficiency in magnesium.


Uses

Magnesium is a mineral that has many uses and is involved in hundreds of processes in the body. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to restless leg syndrome, muscle cramps and muscle fatigue. There is a huge need for magnesium in the muscles and, therefore, those who exercise frequently will have a greater need for the mineral. We also know that magnesium has a calming affect and has been shown to be incredibly useful for anxiety and stress and also for helping people to fall into a natural sleep. Magnesium is depleted when we drink alcohol so anyone that routinely drinks alcohol is more than likely going to be to deficient in magnesium and would really benefit from supplementing, particularly if you’re a binge drinker. Magnesium supports the production of neurotransmitters and has been linked to mental health conditions like depression. Magnesium is also very important for bone health. We often think about calcium when it becomes to bone health but actually calcium is pretty useless if it’s not taken alongside magnesium, and vitamins D and K. So magnesium has a pivotal role in bone density and often you’ll see that bone support supplements contain a complex of these nutrients.


How To Take

Magnesium is a odd nutrient because it’s not particularly well absorbed when taken orally, particularly if it’s taken as a tablet. Interestingly, the best way to take magnesium is trans-dermally and this means to apply to the skin. There are oils, gels, and lotions that are infused with magnesium that you can apply, which are a far superior way of taking magnesium than taking a tablet. Sticking with the theme of absorption via the skin, Epsom salt baths are also a fantastic way to get a magnesium boost and is particularly useful if you have achy muscles as the combination of heat and magnesium is very relaxing. If you think you will struggle with applying a lotion or finding the time to have a bath and then you may have to opt for an oral supplement. In this case it’s best to take a powder or capsules, but avoid tablets.


 

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