More on Magnesium

You might already know magnesium is a mineral. It naturally occurs in the soil and we should be getting this essential nutrient from our food. But levels of magnesium in the soil have been dropping since the advent of industrial farming. Consequently, our fruits and veggies contain way less magnesium than they once did. And we're getting a greatly reduced level in our diets.

Why is this a problem? Magnesium helps to regulate many different functions in the body. Muscles need magnesium in order to relax, for example. And a very important muscle--the heart--is affected by a lack of magnesium. This mineral also helps calm our mental state, makes us feel more relaxed, and allows for better sleep.

Are you deficient in magnesium? It's very likely. Check out this short blog with symptoms of magnesium deficiency:

If our foods are low in magnesium, how are we going to get enough? Supplements seem like the best solution. However, some of the supplements out there are not effectively absorbed into our bodies. And others may affect levels of copper and other minerals when they are absorbed. Besides taking magnesium in pill form, we can also absorb this nutrient through our skin.

BEFORE ADDING ANY NEW SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR DIET, PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR. Remember that all supplements have the potential to interact with your current medications, prescription or otherwise.

Here is a list of magnesium supplements (both oral and dermal) that are most readily absorbed by the body:

1) Magnesium Oil. This can be used to massage tense muscles. The magnesium is suspended in water, but it feels slippery, like oil. You can also purchase magnesium lotion.

2) Magnesium lotion. I've only used the oil (listed above) but I thought I'd post a link to the lotion in case someone might prefer this. Once absorbed, the oil feels very dry (like after you swim in the ocean) and I've read the lotion is more moisturizing.

3) Magnesium Citrate. This type of magnesium is absorbed more readily than magnesium oxide, which is what you will find in many multivitamins. Check your labels if you're already taking a magnesium supplement. If you are currently taking magnesium citrate, but do not feel you are getting the benefits you want (better sleep, less tension, fewer muscle cramps, etc.) you might want to explore some of the other magnesium supplements listed below. Magnesium citrate may affect levels of copper and other minerals in the body.

4) Magnesium Glycinate. Another form of magnesium that is readily absorbed by the body. You might want to experiment to find out which works best for you.

5) Magnesium Taurate. Yet another form of magnesium, especially effective for reducing heart palpitations, irregular heart beats, etc. Please check with your doctor before taking.

6) Epsom salts. You can dissolve these salts in your bath and soak either just your feet, or your whole body. Be careful of using too much if you have a septic system. Another option is using a small foot bath and dumping the leftovers in the garden. (Magnesium is good for the soil, but spread it out!)

7) Magnesium flakes. This is magnesium chloride, absorbed through the skin, and used in the same way as epsom salts. I haven't tried this brand (we use the Dr. Teal's brand above) but you may find this type is more effective.