So far we’ve discussed how to combat stress and inflammation with Cherry Juice Concentrate and Omega 3s. This month we will focus on Magnesium, the most critical mineral for coping with stress.
Magnesium (Mg) is a mineral your body needs in large amounts (macro-mineral). It is extremely valuable to the body because every single organ in the human body needs it to function properly. Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate different biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation.1-3
Unfortunately, dietary surveys of people in the United States found lower than recommended intakes of Mg.4 Low magnesium intakes and blood levels have been associated with a myriad of conditions including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, atherosclerotic vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, osteoporosis, migraine headache, asthma, and colon cancer.4-7
So, what’s the easiest way to get Mg into our bodies?
- Via food: Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, are good sources. Absorption rate ranges from 30% – 40%2, 8
- Via supplements: Oral vs topical vs shots
- Oral: Not the best option
- Solubility & absorption rate of each supplement varies based on type of supplement. See the Immune Health Science webpage for more information.
- Supplements are alkaline, which can neutralize stomach acid, leading to mal-absorption.
- May cause loose stools
- Topical: Transdermal (via skin). Far superior to oral supplements
- Mg is easily absorbed through the skin and taken up by cells bypassing the digestive system.
- Magnesium concentrations vary by the form of the topical magnesium:
- Mg Oil: 560 mg per teaspoon
- Epsom salt: 495 mg per teaspoon
- Sea/Ocean water: No data on this. If you are vacation or lucky enough to live by the sea, swim a lot!
- Oral: Not the best option
How much do I need?
The recommended daily allowance of Mg is 400mg. However, according to Dr. Mildred Seelig & Cheryl Wardlaw, it depends on your lifestyle. Normal lifestyle requires less magnesium than an active or stressed lifestyle.
- Normal Lifestyle = 2.4mg/lb
- Active/stressed = 4.5mg /lb
With this formula, 125lb individual with a normal lifestyle requires 300mg of Mg per day, while an active/stressed individual requires almost twice as much.
How do I get it?
- Food: Check out the Nation Institute of Health’s for the list of Mg rich foods.
- Epsom Salt Bath: For more information download our Fact sheet entitled Fight Negative Effects of Stress in 20 Minutes.
- 2 cups of Epsom salt in pelvis deep bath or 1 cup in ankle deep footbath ≅ 200mg
- Use Cool or warm water (hot water depletes your body of Mg)
- Duration: 20 – 25 minutes
- Magnesium oil Spray
- 8 sprays rubbed into skin ≅ 100mg
- Do not use on face on sensitive areas
For more detailed information on Mg, please see the references below.
- National Institue of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Magnesium: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/#h3. Accessed November 7, 2013.
- Rude, R. Magnesium. In: Coates P, Betz J, Blackman M, et al, eds. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. New York, NY: Informa Healthcare; 2010:527-537.
- Rude, R. Magnesium. In: Ross A, Caballero B, Cousins R, Tucker K, Ziegler T, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012:159-175.
- Rosanoff, A, Weaver, CM, Rude, RK. Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated? Nutr Rev 2012;70:153-164.
- Huerta, MG, Roemmich, JN, Kington, ML, et al. Magnesium deficiency is associated with insulin resistance in obese children. Diabetes Care 2005;28:1175-1181.
- La, SA, Lee, JY, Kim, DH, Song, EL, Park, JH, Ju, SY. Low Magnesium Levels in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome: a Meta-Analysis. Biol Trace Elem Res 2015;
- Seelig, M. Magnesium Deficiency in the Pathogenesis of Disease: Early Roots of Cardiovascular, Skeletal, and Renal Abnormalities. Springer Science & Business Media; 2012.
- Fine, KD, Santa Ana, CA, Porter, JL, Fordtran, JS. Intestinal absorption of magnesium from food and supplements. J Clin Invest 1991;88:396-402.