Approximately 80% of North Americans are deficient in magnesium (Mg). But why? The fruits and vegetables we find at the grocery store today, even in the organic section, contain significantly lower amounts of minerals than 20 years ago. On top of that, the soils that our produce grows in are themselves depleted of this important mineral, as well as many others. Magnesium deficiency can also be explained by our gut’s inability to absorb nutrients due to inflammation, toxin and pollutant exposure, and digestive conditions. Some medications can also decrease the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Plus, some of our daily habits can contribute to magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is therefore excreted from our body instead of being used.
These habits include:
- Drinking carbonated beverages regularly – Such beverages contain phosphates. Phosphates bind with magnesium inside the digestive tract, making it unavailable to the body.
- Eating sugary treats daily – Refined sugars have been stripped of their magnesium. They also cause the body to excrete Mg via the kidneys.
- Experiencing negative stress – Stress can be a cause of Mg deficiency. A lack of Mg tends to magnify the stress reaction, making it worse!
- Drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages regularly – Caffeine and alcohol cause the kidneys to excrete magnesium.
But why is magnesium so important? And why do our practitioners recommend it to patients? Magnesium is an essential mineral for our body’s function. Our musculoskeletal health depends on it. Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical processes in the body. One of its most important roles is the production of energy. It helps muscles and nerves function normally. It keeps our heart beating regularly. Mg supports our immune system to help us fight off sickness. It also contributes to keeping our bones strong. If Mg is so important to our body’s function, a deficiency can lead to all sorts of negative symptoms and conditions.
Chronic Muscle Pain
Magnesium plays an important role in keeping our chronic pain receptors relaxed. A magnesium deficiency can lead to overactive pain receptors and can even amplify pain! If you constantly feel back and neck pain from sitting at your desk all day, or if you feel you can’t quite recover from your workouts, Mg may be what you’re missing!
Magnesium is known as our body’s muscle relaxant. It plays a fundamental role in muscle contraction and relaxation. Low levels of magnesium can lead to muscle weakness and cramping.
Migraines & Headaches
Magnesium is often known as an anti-stress mineral. It helps to relax muscles and keep blood vessels open. Since stress is one of the main triggers of migraines and headaches, magnesium can help your body deal with it and prevent unwanted symptoms. Mg also helps keep our serotonin levels balanced. Serotonin deficiency can result in migraine headaches and depression.
Searching for Mg in the supplement aisle can be confusing. There are so many different forms. Oxide, sulphate, citrate, aspartate, glycinate, malate, taurate. Each form of magnesium has its properties and benefits. Our body can absorb some forms better than others. When it comes to your musculoskeletal health, our chiropractors recommend magnesium glycinate. Glycine is an amino acid. It is the simplest possible amino acid. It is known as a calming amino acid. The combination of magnesium and glycine has good bioavailability. This means it can be transported easily through our intestinal wall and therefore absorbed by the body. Due to the calming effect of glycine, magnesium glycinate helps with chronic muscle pain and tension, muscle spasms, migraines, and headaches, as well as fibromyalgia.
Even though many of our foods don’t contain the vitamins and minerals that they used to, a balanced diet is still the foundation of good health. What we eat and move contributes significantly to how our body feels and functions. Eating for your musculoskeletal health means consuming the necessary nutrients to decrease the risk of bone, muscle and joint disease. And when we just can’t get enough of those key minerals from food alone, we can increase our intake with high-quality supplements.
At Curavita, we are proud to carry Magnesium Glycinate by Pure Lab Vitamins. Pure Lab Vitamins is an Ottawa-based natural health company with years of experience helping people live healthier lives. Talk to your practitioner about the many benefits of magnesium glycinate as well as the recommended dose.
Book a consultation online or call 613.860.8600 for our Byward clinic, or call 613.237.9000 for our Glebe clinic.