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Healthy Bones Need Magnesium. How to Tell if You're Deficient

Magnesium is a vital mineral for bone health. For whatever reason, when it comes to bones and vitamins and minerals, traditional recommendations have centered around calcium and vitamin D. Despite the fact that bones need magnesium, it is left out most of the time.

Since magnesium plays huge role in human health and is involved in over 300 everyday reactions in the body, this is unfortunate. Magnesium is involved in energy production, blood sugar regulation, sleep cycles, immune system, bone health, and more (1).

And to make matters worse, magnesium deficiency is very common and increasing. The reasons include:

  • Overuse of magnesium-depleting medications including diuretics and proton pump inhibitors
  • Eating processed and refined foods (which are often very low in magnesium), Depleted soils result in lower magnesium in crops (2)
  • Magnesium losses in sweat that are not replaced
  • Over-consumption of alcohol

Lastly, magnesium deficiency often goes undiagnosed. When levels are actually tested, the amount in the serum plasma and red blood is tested. Unfortunately, this only accounts for about 1% of the total magnesium in the human body. Most of it is found in cells and tissues.

It is entirely possible, and even likely, to have adequate serum magnesium and still be deficient (3). It can be helpful to determine if you might be deficient in magnesium based on signs and symptoms. Here are 8 ways to tell so you can protect your bones.

BONES NEED MAGNESIUM. HERE ARE 8 WAYS TO TELL IF YOU'RE DEFICIENT

1. LOW ENERGY IS A SIGN OF MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY

Low energy plagues many adults.

We have busy schedules, demanding jobs, and often don't get enough sleep.

However, if you find that you are low in energy despite adequate sleep, there may be more to it. You may be deficient in magnesium.

Magnesium is crucial for energy production. When adults become deficient, they don't produce energy properly despite otherwise healthy diets and sleeping patterns. If you find that your energy vastly improves with magnesium supplementation, this was likely the issue.

Another sign of magnesium deficiency is fatigue or weakness in your muscles themselves. This may be due to low magnesium directly, or a loss of potassium in the muscles, which is also associated with magnesium deficiency (4).

2. MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY RESULTS IN MUSCLE WEAKNESS

Muscles need magnesium to properly contract and expand. Without adequate amounts in the blood and tissues, muscles do not maintain strength and their ability to do work well.

If you find that your muscles feel weak without explanation, it may be magnesium deficiency.

3. SLEEP ISSUES AND INSOMNIA 

Magnesium affects sleep in 3 ways:

  1. Magnesium activates the parasympathetic nervous system to induce relaxation (5).
  2. It regulates the hormone melatonin, vital in the sleep-wake cycles and circadian rhythms (6).
  3. Magnesium binds gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that is responsible for calming nerve activity (this is a similar action as induced by medications like Ambien) (7).

If magnesium is deficient, any or all of the sleep-inducing actions may be malfunctioning.

4. MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY MAY RESULTS IN HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND HEART ARRHYTHMIAS

If you have high blood pressure, magnesium deficiency may be at least partly to blame.

Animal studies and human studies suggest human studies that deficiency increases blood pressure, and supplementation reduces it (8, 9).

Heart arrhythmias, palpitations, and heartbeat changes are also linked to magnesium deficiency (10).

If you suffer from any of these signs, consider supplementing magnesium to correct them and promote bone health.

5. MUSCLE TWITCHES AND CRAMPS

Do you suffer cramps or twitches in your legs, feet, or other muscles while you’re awake or sleeping?

Twitches, tremors, and muscle cramps are signs of magnesium deficiency (11). When magnesium is deficient, it affects muscles and bones. There may be an imbalance of calcium that enters cells (including nerve cells) resulting in convulsing muscles. And oftentimes, magnesium supplements correct this condition.

6. ASTHMA

When individuals with asthma are tested for magnesium levels, they are often deficient compared to healthy people (12).

But, why?

Magnesium and calcium balance affects muscles. The muscles around the lungs may be affected. In fact, many experts believe low magnesium causes a buildup of calcium in the muscles lining the airways of the lungs. They over-constrict, which causes breathing difficulties (13).

For muscle and bone health, it's all about the balance of magnesium and calcium.

7. CONSTIPATION

It's unclear whether lack of magnesium actually causes constipation, or if supplementation just relieves it. Either way, magnesium is a tried-and-true constipation remedy.

If this is an issue for you and you have other signs that you are deficient in magnesium, it's worth considering supplementation for better digestion and bone health.

8. LOW BONE DENSITY AND OSTEOPOROSIS

Finally, bones need magnesium. Optimize your magnesium levels if you've been diagnosed with low bone density or simply want to protect your bones.

Magnesium deficiency is a risk factor for osteoporosis. Low magnesium may weaken bones directly, or it may cause issues with the absorption of calcium into the bones (14). Again, it's that calcium-magnesium balance.

WANT TO INCREASE MAGNESIUM LEVELS? HERE'S HOW

Like most nutrients, you can increase magnesium via supplement or food. Interestingly, your skin absorbs magnesium directly. To increase your intake:

Eat High-Magnesium Keto Zone Foods:

  • Raw Cacao
  • Hemp Heart Seeds*
  • Spinach
  • Almonds, Cashews, and Peanuts*
  • Avocado
  • Plain Yogurt

*Of note, nuts, seeds, and grains contain phytic acid. Phytic acids bind magnesium and make it more difficult to absorb, rendering some foods as low bioavailability for magnesium even though they contain the mineral.

Use Epsom Salts and Magnesium Sprays: Traditionally, magnesium soaks, oils, and lotions have claimed therapeutics increases in magnesium levels. However, most of these therapies must be used consistently, and any actual increase in magnesium in studies has been inconclusive (14).

Still anecdotally, many people claim better sleep, energy, muscle strength, and more with Epsom salt soaks. If you want to use Epsom salts or footbaths, try 2 cups Epsom salt in a standard bathtub or 1 cup in a foot soaking pan, and apply for at least 15 minutes. If using another type of magnesium salt, lotion, or oil, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTATION: THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHOD TO INCREASE MAGNESIUM TO SUPPORT BONE HEALTH

Magnesium Supplementation: Using a high-quality magnesium supplement like our Joint Formula is the most effective way to increase levels. Most adults need 100-300 mg per day to maintain healthy amounts of magnesium in the body. The best absorbed and most effective magnesium supplements are magnesium citrate, malate or other well-absorbed forms. Magnesium oxide is generally the least-tolerated and absorbed form.

Within the full Silica System, magnesium is a vital mineral for bone health. Remember, it's about mineral balance. Often, recommendations are skewed towards calcium, but bones need magnesium, too. Get yours today.

 

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