What are the factors that affect your magnesium deficiency, and why it is so important to restore it for your mental and emotional health? RD&T’s contributing writer, Dr. Maya Sarkisyan, explains.
It is surprising to me how many people I test for nutrient deficiency are low in magnesium. The micronutrient test is one of the favorites in my clinic, and the results of it generally clearly correlate with my patient’s symptoms. Magnesium is one of these minerals that is involved in so many biochemical reactions that it makes it extremely important, not only for physical health, but also for regulating emotions.
It is crucially important in DNA translation, production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and others. The correct levels of it are essential for functioning and regeneration of bones, heart, and brain, and it has to be present in every cell of your body.
Starting The Right Magnesium Supplement
The first thing my patients report after being on the right kind of magnesium (yes, there are many different kinds – for different symptoms) is they are in the better mood and have better energy levels. It helps to treat depression and ADHD, along with some essential dietary changes.
It is known that most magnesium in the body is stored in the skeletal and other body tissues, and only slightly more then 1% is in the blood, so your regular whole blood test is not going to give you a reliable number. I always suspect magnesium deficiency if symptoms include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and constipation. I also select different types of magnesium for different system presented.
What Causes Magnesium Deficiency
Physical and emotional stress drain the body of magnesium. Especially chronic stress. When you are stressed your cortisol levels go up, and it requires sufficient levels of magnesium to respond to stress and calm it down. When you are in a state of chronic stress, you need higher levels of magnesium. In fact, you need to evaluate what is stressing you and make changes in the way you respond to the stressor or do something to eliminate that stressor if possible.
There is much supporting evidence that plants are now low in magnesium due to soil mineral depletion. Soil needs to be rotated and taken care of to regenerate in minerals. Also, toxic pesticides and other chemicals are also stored in the ground, further adding to the issue.
Magnesium is found in bran and germ of grains. When grains are being commercially refined, these parts are gone, along with all the nutrients they contain. Processed foods pose many health dangers due to a high concentration of chemical elements.
A diet rich in fat, sugar, salt, synthetic vitamin D, phosphates, protein, and supplemented calcium is not only is deficient in magnesium but increases the need for magnesium in the body. So does the intake of alcohol, caffeine, and soft drinks.
Examples are antacids, acid-blockers, some antibiotics, anticonvulsants, diuretics, blood pressure medication, corticosteroids, cholesterol agents, an osteoporosis medication, and many others.
The Missing Link to Your Mind
There is overwhelming research linking levels of magnesium with neurotransmitters and cortisol. It plays a crucial role in creating neurotransmitters and supporting their action. For example, magnesium interacts with GABA receptors to help you relax and keeps glutamate within healthly levels. It regulates both serotonin and dopamine for your balanced mood, attention, focus, concentration, and clear mind.
Your central nervous system needs high levels of magnesium to function properly, and when it’s deficient, I see many issues such as difficulty with memory and concentration, depression, anxiety, fatigue, emotional instability, irritability, insomnia, migraines, headaches, constipation, fibromyalgia, and many others.
Fortunately, studies show that magnesium repletion — restoring normal levels of the mineral — produces positive changes in body aches disappearing, muscles relaxing, better mood and cognition, healthy eating behavior, healthy stress responses, and better quality of sleep.
If you are an adult and experiencing or been diagnosed with depression, it is almost always a good idea to supplement with 450 mg of magnesium daily – at meals and bedtime. I like NeuroMag or magnesium glycinate, and you can find my favorite brands here in my pharmacy under the Cognitive Health category. You will need to create an account to see my favorites (and your information will be accessible only to me accordig to patient privacy regulations.)
Along with magnesium, you need to take: vitamin D3 to increase the cellular uptake of the mineral, and B6 to help magnesium accumulate in cells. I recommend B-Complex rather than single B6.
An organic form such as glycinate or citrate improves absorption by protecting the mineral from antagonists in the digestive tract. Taking it with a meal that includes carbohydrates improves absorption of the mineral.
I collected them all under the Cognitive Health in my pharmacy, and you can get them all at the same time:
The Daily Dose:
- NeuroMag or Magnesium glycinate – 450 mg in divided doses
- D3/K2 liquid – 5,000 mg
- B complex – 1-2/morning
Chances are, you will start feeling better in a couple of weeks. It takes time to restore magnesium levels. You need to keep taking it because, unfortunately, we can no longer rely on food sources to provide us with adequate nutrients.
The good news is that we have access to pharmaceutical grade, organic and clean sources of nutrients in capsules and liquid form.
Rotating your daily regimen every few months provides you with much healthier, happier you!