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  • Writer's pictureSara Aloimonos

Magnesium: the good, better, and best forms

MAGNESIUM: What is it and WHY is it so important??

🌱Norman Shealy (pioneer of pain medicine) once said ‘every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency; it’s the missing cure to many diseases.’ Over 1/3 of Canadians aren’t getting the required magnesium from their diets and 80% of Americans are deficient! 🤸‍♀️First of all, magnesium is an important mineral involved in SO many functions within the body such as energy production, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose and blood pressure regulation (just to name a few). It helps relieve constipation, promotes relaxation and sleep, helps prevent headaches and muscle aches, and even benefits the brain and heart. One thing I love about magnesium is it’s affect on hormones. It indirectly helps with detoxification of excess estrogen in the body and also, aids progesterone production = happy hormones.

🥀Why are so many of us deficient in magnesium?! A lot of it comes down to the fact that the soil in which our food is grown, has become deficient in this vital mineral. Also, GMOs and chemicals in our food has decreased the amount of magnesium (another GREAT reason to opt for organic foods when possible). Digestive diseases are on the rise (such as leaky gut, Crohn’s disease, Celiac, etc), causing malabsorption of this, and many other nutrients. **Medication use also contributes to malabsorption thru damage to the gut. Another big one is age. Something we cannot control but should be aware of it’s affect on our inability to absorb as much nutrients and often, less food and/or poor quality is consumed. Always keep in mind that STRESS from any source can drain magnesium.

🎋Signs of deficiency includes: muscle aches, cramps or weakness constipation fatigue heart rhythm irregularities headaches restless leg syndrome *hyperactivity *insomnia *anxiety All 3 marked with an * require magnesium for GABA function (neurotransmitter known to calm the brain)

🤷‍♂️Something I get asked a lot is ‘what form should I be taking?’ It’s easy to be told "you need to increase magnesium and to go buy a supplement". As a Functional practitioner, I aim to fit the correct supplement with the correct ailment, not slap a band-aid one-size-fits-all solution to something that requires a very specific remedy.

🧚‍♂️There are several types of magnesium on the market. Always opt for 3rd party tested, high-quality brands = more expensive but you pay for quality!

Magnesium Forms:

Citrate: poorly absorbed making it an ideal option for constipation. It has laxative properties…downfall is that it pulls water from the intestines which can lead to dehydration Taurate: supports cardiovascular health Threonate: supports brain health Helps reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and ADHD along with increasing memory Glycinate: GREAT form for correcting deficiencies as it’s well absorbed. Promotes relaxation and can reduce nerve pain. This is a great form for those suffering PMS, anxiety, and estrogen dominant symptoms Malate: used for chronic fatigue. This form improves energy levels and decreases muscle pain (helpful for those suffering with fibromyalgia) Oxide: may reduce cholesterol, helpful with constipation and regulation of blood pressure.

🥑Top foods containing magnesium: green leafies, banana, raspberries, avocado, legumes, nuts, seeds, spinach, dark chocolate, almonds, figs...I always recommend getting your nutrients from food however sometimes, this just isn't realistic depending on personal circumstances.

🙋‍♀️I cannot enforce the fact that, everyone needs a different form for different reasons (as goes with ANY supplements). It's never a good idea to remedy yourself based on single symptoms. We need to look at your body as a whole as there may be other issues going on that specific forms are not meant for. Check in with your Functional practitioner, ND, or other alternative medicine practitioner to see if you even need such supplement and which form.

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