What is Magnesium & it’s importance as a Mineral?
Magnesium is a mineral – a mineral is a substance which originates in rocks or metal ores! Many minerals are essential for our health & we now generally get them from plants, fruits or vegetables. Magnesium is a Macro-mineral which we need every day. Minerals work together to make and break down body tissues & regulate metabolism.
Magnesium, calcium, potassium & sodium are important in cell functions, particularly in muscle contractions & in the transmission of electrical impulses along the nerve fibres. This is important as magnesium is known to help the nervous system and relax muscles.
What does Magnesium do?
Magnesium is essential in the formation of our bones & teeth. As I say above, it is essential along with calcium, sodium & potassium in transmitting nerve signals around our body & causing muscles to contract / move. As it’s role in muscle contraction is so important it is used medically to reduce irregular heart rhythms or contractions of the uterus in pregnant women!
How do we take Magnesium?
Basically, we often don’t get enough magnesium in the food we eat as the soils now lack in the minerals or the veggies loose it once they finally reach your plate (via shipping, getting to the supermarket & then your fridge). So the supplements we can take come with a carrier. This mineral needs an amino acid carrier like glycine, arginine, taurine, citrate – to improve their absorption by the body.
Here are the different types of Magnesium you can get & how they help the body:
Best: Magnesium glycinate Highest bioavailability, non-laxative effect, best used to replenish low magnesium levels quickly. It helps PMS, lumpy breasts, sleep, anxiety & cramps. Best taken at night.
Great: Magnesium chloride Used topically, it’s a great way to increase magnesium levels and bypass the gut, especially helpful for people with leaky gut and digestive issues. So it’s good for IBS, pain/achy muscles, poor sleep. Take in the evening.
OK: Magnesium citrate Good absorption but can create a laxative effect in many. Hard to replenish low levels because of that. Great for women with constipation.
OK: Magnesium malate Decent absorption rate and highly stimulating. It’s great for people with chronic fatigue & fibromyalga to energise, but do not take at bedtime – take it at breakfast.
OK: Magnesium threonate It crosses the blood-brain barrier and therefore improves learning and memory functions; helps with age-related cognitive decline.
Not recommended: Magnesium lactate It is derived from lactic acid which is milk.
Not recommended: Magnesium aspartate Studies show that it does not dissolve well in water, its bioavailability is therefore low.
Worst: Magnesium oxide Only has 4% bioavailability and can cause negative reactions. Companies that use it tend to add other low-quality ingredients. I do not recommend using it at all.