There are literally dozens of serious health conditions that can arise as a direct result of magnesium deficiency, including ailments like migraine headaches, restless leg syndrome, high blood pressure and blood clots, to name just a few. Behavioral abnormalities like agitation and anxiety can also develop in the absence of enough dietary magnesium, as can certain respiratory illnesses and brain disorders. Even vital organs like the kidneys and gallbladder rely on magnesium for proper function.
Not a single system in the body, it turns out, is capable of functioning as designed without magnesium. This is why it is critically important to get enough of this mineral in your diet: to avoid developing an assortment of chronic illnesses later in life. But many people are severely lacking in magnesium intake and do not even know it, which can manifest as milder conditions like brain fog and insomnia, or more severe conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
"Magnesium itself is a co-factor and responsible for the function of 325 enzymes; is an absolute requirement for calcium to be incorporated into bone; keeps toxic chemicals out of the brain; dances with calcium to create nerve impulses and muscle impulses; keeps muscles relaxed, including the heart and blood vessels, and triggers dozens of health conditions if it is deficient," writes Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., in a piece entitled "The Magnesium Miracle."
Since conventional, processed foods lack magnesium, supplementation is often necessary
Dr. Dean is one of the leading experts on mineral magnesium and its importance in human health. She often addresses publicly the root causes of magnesium deficiency, which include a lack of magnesium and other minerals in growing soils. Conventional farming methods have repeatedly been shown to deplete trace minerals like magnesium from soils, rendering them "dead" in terms of their ability to sustain nutrient-dense foods.
"[I]t's deficient in the soil and most fertilizers don't contain magnesium, so most foods are lacking," she adds. "Also, cooking and processing foods depletes magnesium. It's found in whole grains, greens, nuts and seeds, but most people don't eat much, if any, of these foods."
Even though the government's recommended daily allowance for magnesium is between 350 and 400 milligrams daily for adults, Dr. Dean suggests taking at least twice this amount for optimal health. Since magnesium oxide is very poorly absorbed, Dr. Dean recommends taking magnesium citrate and magnesium taurate instead, as well as spraying magnesium oil on the skin for maximum bioavailability.
"Magnesium oil is supersaturated magnesium chloride and because it's used topically it doesn't cause a laxative effect," she writes. "[I]f I use magnesium oil, I only need to take half the amount of magnesium by mouth and therefore avoid loose stools."
In Dr. Dean's view, if you were to take only one supplement for your health, magnesium would be the one to choose. It is simply that powerful in terms of balancing health and maintaining homeostasis. You can learn more about the benefits of magnesium, including 22 common health triggers or conditions that may indicate a magnesium deficiency, by checking out "The Magnesium Miracle": http://drcarolyndean.com.
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