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Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for many bodily functions. It plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, including muscle and nerve function, blood sugar control, and blood pressure regulation. It also helps to build strong bones and teeth, and is involved in DNA synthesis.


Magnesium in Foods

Magnesium can be found in a variety of foods, including:

  1. Leafy green vegetables: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are all excellent sources of magnesium.

  2. Nuts and seeds: Almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds are all high in magnesium.

  3. Legumes: Beans and lentils are good sources of magnesium.

  4. Whole grains: Whole wheat, oats, and quinoa are all rich in magnesium.

  5. Seafood: Fish such as salmon and halibut are high in magnesium.

  6. Fruits: bananas, avocado, and raspberries are good sources of magnesium.

  7. Dairy products: yogurt, milk, and cheese all contain magnesium.

  8. Dark chocolate: A small amount of dark chocolate can provide some magnesium.

Cooking and processing can reduce the amount of magnesium in foods. Eating a diet rich in whole foods is the best way to get enough magnesium in your diet.



Muscle Cramps

Magnesium plays a crucial role in muscle function, and a deficiency in magnesium can lead to muscle cramps and spasms. Magnesium helps to regulate the activity of nerve impulses and muscle contractions, and when levels are too low, muscles can become overactive and cramp.

Research suggests that magnesium supplements can help reduce the frequency and severity of muscle cramps. For example, a study found that athletes who took a magnesium supplement had fewer muscle cramps compared to those who took a placebo. Another study found that older adults who took a magnesium supplement had fewer leg cramps at night.

Magnesium can also be applied topically as a cream or oil, which can help to ease muscle cramps and spasms. A study found that a cream containing magnesium was effective in reducing muscle cramps and pain.


Sleep and Stress

Magnesium plays an important role in the body's stress response. Stress can lead to increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which can deplete the body's stores of magnesium. Additionally, magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system, which can help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.

Research suggests that magnesium supplements can help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. For example, a study found that taking a magnesium supplement reduced feelings of stress and improved mood in people with moderate to severe anxiety. Another study found that people who took magnesium supplements had lower cortisol levels and reported feeling less stressed.

Magnesium is known to have a relaxing effect on the body and can be helpful for sleep issues. It helps the muscles to relax, and that can ease the difficulty of falling asleep or staying asleep.

The best form of magnesium to take for stress and sleep issues would be magnesium glycinate or magnesium threonate.

Magnesium glycinate is well absorbed by the body and is easy on the stomach. It is also known to have a calming effect on the nervous system and can help relax muscles, which can promote better sleep.

Magnesium threonate is also well absorbed by the body and can cross the blood-brain barrier. It's been known to improve brain function and help with insomnia, also it's been reported to improve the quality of sleep.


Energy Production

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in energy metabolism. It is involved in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the primary energy currency of the body. Deficiencies in magnesium can lead to fatigue and weakness. Magnesium supplements are often used to increase energy levels.

The best form of magnesium to take for energy would be magnesium citrate or magnesium malate.

Magnesium citrate is well absorbed by the body and can help increase energy levels. It's also used as a laxative.

Magnesium malate is a form of magnesium that is combined with malic acid, which is a natural substance that is involved in energy production. It is well-absorbed and can help increase energy levels, particularly in people with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Supplement Types

It's important to note that not all forms of magnesium supplements are equal in terms of absorption and bioavailability. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine which form of magnesium is best for you and the right dosage that suit you.

Not all forms of magnesium supplements are equal in terms of absorption and bioavailability. There are several different forms of magnesium that are available as supplements, including:

  1. Magnesium oxide: This is the most common form of magnesium supplement and is the cheapest to produce. It is not very well absorbed by the body but it is a good source of elemental magnesium.

  2. Magnesium citrate: This form of magnesium is well absorbed by the body and is often used as a laxative. It can also be used to increase magnesium levels.

  3. Magnesium chloride: This form of magnesium is well absorbed by the body and can be applied topically as well as taken orally. It's often used to increase magnesium levels and for skin related problems.

  4. Magnesium lactate: This form of magnesium is well absorbed by the body and is often used to increase magnesium levels. It's also gentle on the stomach.

  5. Magnesium glycinate: This form of magnesium is well absorbed by the body and is often used to increase magnesium levels. It's also easy on the stomach and can help with muscle relaxation.

  6. Magnesium threonate: This form of magnesium is well absorbed by the body and can cross the blood-brain barrier. It's often used to increase magnesium levels and improve brain function.

Consult with a healthcare professional before starting to take any form of magnesium supplement, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition or are taking any medications. They can help you determine the right dosage and form of magnesium for you and to monitor any potential side effects.


Finding out if you have magnesium deficiencies


Magnesium deficiency can be difficult to diagnose through standard blood tests. This is because only about 1% of total body magnesium is stored in the blood, and serum levels may not accurately reflect the body's overall magnesium status. However, functional laboratory tests that can help identify magnesium deficiency include:

  1. RBC Magnesium Test: This test measures the amount of magnesium in red blood cells, which can give a more accurate picture of the body's magnesium status than a standard blood test.

  2. Magnesium Loading Test: This test involves administering a large dose of magnesium and then measuring the amount of magnesium in the urine. If a person is deficient in magnesium, they will excrete more of the magnesium in the urine, indicating a deficiency.

  3. Magnesium Tolerance Test: This test involves measuring blood magnesium levels before and after administering magnesium. If a person has a deficiency, they will have a greater increase in blood magnesium levels after the test.

  4. Ionized magnesium test : This test measures the level of magnesium that is not bound to proteins and is readily available to the body.

A hair mineral analysis is another option that can be used to evaluate magnesium status. A hair test can provide information about long-term mineral imbalances and can show patterns of mineral accumulation or depletion in the body.

Hair test is an easy, non-invasive method to measure the levels of minerals in your body, including magnesium. It's important to note that there are many factors that can affect the results of a hair mineral analysis, such as hair care products, medications, and even diet. Therefore, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional who is experienced in interpreting hair mineral analysis results to understand the test results and if they are accurate or not.



In conclusion, magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in many bodily functions. If you suspect that you may be deficient in magnesium, there are several functional laboratory tests that can help identify a deficiency.

If you're interested in finding out more about your bioavailability of magnesium, please don't hesitate to reach out me for more information.


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