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Everything you need to know about Magnesium

Everything you need to know about Magnesium

Written by Anna Pattison - Clinical Myotherapist and Remedial Massage Therapist | 8th November 2023

I will often suggest to my patients with tight muscles or those sleeping poorly that they try a magnesium supplement, as there is great evidence of the health benefits for our muscles and bones.

What is Magnesium?

  • Magnesium was first discovered outside the Greek city Magnesia.
  • It is the ninth most abundant element in the universe.
  • It is one of the six vital minerals for body function, present in nearly every cell of your body.
  • It has been used in water at the famous Epsom Spring in England since the 1600’s as a popular health remedy.

Where is it located in the body?

  • 60% of the magnesium in your body is found in bones and teeth.
  • 30% in the muscles.
  • 1% in the blood, and the remainder in the heart and liver.
  • Magnesium is absorbed by the small intestine, although, only 20-50% of magnesium intake is actually absorbed.

What does Magnesium do?

Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions. It helps to improve:

  • Contraction and relaxation of muscles
  • Prevention of cramps
  • Regulation of bone renewal
  • Absorption of vitamin D and calcium
  • Glucose metabolism- and control blood sugar levels
  • Regulation of melatonin- improving sleep quality.

Symptoms when Magnesium levels are low:

When your Magnesium levels are low, you may experience some or all of the following:

  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pins and needles
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Migraines
  • Poor sleep

Factors that cause low levels of Magnesium:

  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Caffeine and alcohol
  • Certain Pesticides
  • Certain prescription drugs - always speak to your pharmacist
  • Overdosage of zinc supplements

Magnesium food sources:

  • Green leafy vegetables: kale, spinach, silverbeet
  • Fruit: banana, avocado
  • Nuts/seeds: almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Grains: oats, brown rice, quinoa
  • Soy: tofu, soy milk
  • Fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, halibut

Magnesium supplements:

There are many types of magnesium supplements. The two most favoured ones are:

  1. Magnesium glycinate - most bioavailable and easily absorbed, least likely to induce diarrhoea, good choice for long term supplement.
  1. Magnesium citrate - bioavailable and easily absorbed, but may affect bowel movements.

Additionally, you can try Epsom bath salts, Magnesium creams and oils – which are absorbed in small amounts through the skin.

Side effects of excess Magnesium:

Excess magnesium is eliminated by your body, but side effects include loose stools and upset stomach. If you have a kidney disorder or use blood pressure medications you must check with your pharmacist or practitioner prior to taking Magnesium.

At CHH, we offer a range of Magnesium products that may be able to help you reduce your musculoskeletal symptoms.

Please feel free to chat to one of our practitioners today to find out more.