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The Power of Magnesium

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I recently got Covid and had an experience that showed me first hand the power of magnesium.

I shared bits and pieces of my experience on Social Media and got so many questions about it that I’ll be writing up a full report detailing my Covid experience, what it was like, what supplements I took, and my last lingering symptom I’m still dealing with. 

But today, I want to share my experience with the powerhouse mineral, Magnesium. 

One of the main symptoms I experienced was brain fog and lack of motivation for doing anything. It went beyond the “I’m sick and don’t feel like doing anything” way. 

I was taking heavy doses of a variety of supplements (post to come later), but Magnesium was not one of them. In fact, I’m a regular magnesium taker and I had put taking it on hold to manage all the other supplements. 

I was amazed at how quickly that Magnesium deficiency showed up! 

Around day 5 I finally took my magnesium drink.  I like to drink this at night and mid way through, I could literally feel my brain start to wake up. I had a second serving immediately after because my body responded so positively, it was apparent the stress I had been under burned right through all my magnesium stores. 

The next morning I felt the light switch in my brain turn on again. I was sitting at my desk returning emails and operating on all 6 cylinders within hours. 

So what gives?

Why did I experience such a dramatic impact from taking a little Magnesium?

Magnesium is the mineral that plays a part in almost every major process in the body.

And get this – it’s estimated about 80% of us are Magnesium deficient. 

About 40% of all magnesium exists within our cells, 60% is in our teeth and bones, and less than 1% circulates in our blood. 

In fact, there’s hardly any organ or body system that does not rely on this powerhouse mineral to function optimally! 

Which is why one of the labs I run for all my clients is a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. 

Common Reasons We’re So Deficient

  • Poor diet – processed foods don’t contain Magnesium
  • Industrial farming depletes Magnesium out of the soil and it doesn’t get replaced 
  • Not consuming enough Magnesium rich foods 
  • Taking Magnesium depleting drugs such as PPI’s, Diuretics, ACE inhibitors, Antibiotics 
  • Fluoridated water! Fluoride binds to Magnesium and reduces absorption.
  • Poor digestion and low stomach acid prevents us from absorbing Magnesium 
  • Over consumption of sugar! For every molecule of sugar you consume, it takes 54 molecules of Magnesium for your body to process it
  • Excess sweating
  • Stress

Top 5 Benefits of Magnesium

  1. Boosts mood and energy. 

Magnesium’s role in supporting brain chemistry and neurotransmitter regulation is so big, this is why I went from feeling unmotivated and borderline depressed to feeling like someone turned the lights back on inside my brain. Research shows low levels of magnesium can increase the risk of depressive behavior in adults. Magnesium also activates our main source of energy (ATP), which gives us energy and motivation!

  1. Helps balance blood sugar and reduces Insulin Resistance.

When muscle and liver cells lose their ability to effectively absorb sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream, Insulin Resistance occurs. This leads to Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. Insulin receptors depend on Magnesium and high levels of insulin, deplete it. When we have adequate Magnesium levels, we also have healthy glucose and insulin metabolism. When we have low levels of magnesium insulin resistance and  metabolic dysfunction are more likely. 

  1. Improves PMS

Daily oral supplementation of magnesium has been shown to reduce mild PMS related symptoms. 

  1. Reduced Stress

Magnesium is known as nature’s “chill pill” because it’s so supportive in modulating the HPA Axis, aka our body’s stress response system. Our stress response depletes Magnesium which leads to MORE feelings of stress and anxiety. Under acute stress (like a viral infection!) the body excretes increased levels of Magnesium through the urine. 

  1. Reduces Inflammation

A Magnesium deficiency results in the production of free radicals. These free radicals produce a systemic inflammatory response and Magnesium acts as an antioxidant by protecting the mitochondria from that oxidative stress that contributes to inflammation.

Magnesium Rich foods

Magnesium rich foods graphic

How to test for Minerals 

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) uses a hair sample to help us identify the specific mineral imbalances in your body. This gives us insight into what may be throwing the body off balance and how we can support you with diet and supplementation recommendations designed specifically for you. 

Through HTMA testing we can learn about:

  • Mineral deficiencies and imbalances 
  • Adrenal function 
  • Heavy metal toxicity 
  • Metabolic rate (fast and slow)
  • Thyroid function 
  • Nervous system imbalances

The Bottom Line

Most of us are deficient in Magnesium and unless you are eating a large variety of Magnesium rich foods AND digesting and absorbing them perfectly, you would likely benefit from supplementing with Magnesium. 

Doing an HTMA analysis can give us even greater insight into your mineral needs including Magnesium and several other minerals and their interactions with each other. 

If you’re interested in learning more about one of my signature programs and running an HTMA, let’s talk!  

Sources

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23950577/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22364157/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2067759/

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/5/429/htm

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20388094/

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Kristen Barrett, FNTP, FDN-P

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