Driving to work this morning, listening to Radio 2, I had the pleasure of hearing Chris Evans and Michael Moseley discussing Magnesium supplements.
For many years, I have suggested the use of magnesium supplements to my clients – to help with all manner of ills – and it was lovely to hear someone so esteemed backing up my advocacy of this important nutrient! Many people could be deficient in this vital mineral and could therefore benefit from supplementation.
Written By Jenny Logan DNMed. (Jenny is a Nutritional Therapist who has worked with clients in Health Foods Stores and Private Clinics for over 20 years.)
WHICH MAGNESIUM IS BEST?
One of the first things discussed this morning was the fact that Magnesium supplements come in many different forms. The best one available, as I have always believed, is Magnesium Citrate – this is the most gentle and bioavailable way of taking Magnesium.
The show then went on to discuss how, currently, Magnesium appears to be being hailed as a bit of a ‘miracle pill’. Dr Moseley mentioned that he personally found it improved his sleep, whilst other comments included people who found it useful for migraines.
IS IT A ‘MIRACLE PILL’?
The first thing to address then, is why Magnesium appears to have such a wide range of potential benefits. When we explore the roles of magnesium within the body (as proven and approved by EFSA), we can start to uncover the potential for Magnesium supplements:
- Magnesium contributes to the normal function of the nervous system and normal psychological function – this means that people may find it helpful if they are suffering with stress, anxiety or poor sleep – just as Dr. Mosely found it helpful for sleep.
- Magnesium contributes to normal muscle function – meaning that any problem involving muscle spasm or tension could benefit from magnesium supplementation. This would include migraine or cramps.
- Magnesium contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism and a reduction in tiredness & fatigue – showing that for those who are feeling a bit run down or tired could find Magnesium helpful.
- Magnesium supports the maintenance of normal teeth and bones – meaning that magnesium supplements could be as important as Calcium and Vitamin D. People who are wanting to support bone health should therefore take a combination of all 3 nutrients, rather than simply focussing on Calcium and Vitamin D.
COULD YOU BE LOW IN MAGNESIUM?
Unfortunately, Magnesium is easily depleted. Its absorption is reduced by tea, coffee and cola, as well as salt and bran fibre! All of this suggests that many of us may be at risk of low magnesium levels. I always ask my clients the following questions when we meet:
- Do you suffer with cramps?
- Do you get twitches or restless legs in bed at night?
- Do you get muscle tension in your neck and shoulders?
- Do you get headaches or migraines?
- Do you have anxiety or insomnia?
- Have you ever had palpitations?
- Do you struggle with constipation?
If they answer yes to the majority of these questions, my assumption is that they may be low in Magnesium – so we introduce a Magnesium Citrate supplement. It is surprising how often these kind of symptoms will clear up!