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Yours in Health: Magnesium, the wonder mineral

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By Dr. Andrea Wick EBS Contributor

Magnesium is an important mineral and electrolyte the body needs. It’s vital for many bodily functions, enzymatic processes and aids in healthy musculoskeletal and nervous system function, cardiovascular health and digestion. Low levels of magnesium have been associated with muscle cramping, constipation, irregular heartbeat, migraines, insomnia, depression and anxiety, to name a few.

According to the “Journal of American Board Family Medicine,” there’s a significant relationship between magnesium deficiency and depression in young adults. And experts say oral magnesium supplementation aids in increasing insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes.

One study in the “Headache Journal” assessed whether magnesium oxide supplementation helped relieve migraine symptoms in children. Although more research needs to be done, oral magnesium led to a decrease in headache frequency. Research also shows that supplementation with magnesium and B6 decreases the severity of PMS symptoms. With all the seemingly great benefits with magnesium, which forms are most effective?

There are many different forms of magnesium that serve for helping different metabolic functions. Magnesium glycinate is the easiest to digest and is easy on the stomach. Magnesium glycinate is also the most effective for aiding in brain function. For post-concussion injuries and Traumatic Brain Injury, it’s important to take 375-500 mg. Magnesium glycinate may help in alleviating depression symptoms associated with TBI. Magnesium glycinate is helpful in decreasing chronic inflammatory stress, muscle pain and cramping. Studies have shown that athletes who supplement have accelerated exercise performance and magnesium can act as a true ergogenic aid as reported by the medical journal “Current Sports Medicine Reports.”

Magnesium taurate, which is a combination of magnesium and the amino acid taurine, may be helpful for high blood pressure. Taurine in itself has blood pressure lowering effects. In a recent study, taurine supplementation decreased systolic blood pressure by seven points and diastolic pressure by five points.

Magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide are helpful for the digestive system and particularly constipation. Magnesium citrate works by pulling more water into the colon causing stools to become softer and easier to pass. Magnesium oxide is a more difficult form of magnesium for the body to absorb and assimilate. Due to the fact that it’s difficult to digest, it aids in helping relieve constipation and indigestion.

Lastly, magnesium threonate has the ability to penetrate the mitochondria of the cell. The mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell where energy production occurs. This form of magnesium is highly absorbable and has the least amount of impact on the digestive system.

The best way to get more magnesium comes from a diet rich in avocado, spinach, kale, swiss chard, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, almonds, black beans, figs, raspberries and bananas.

It’s important to consult with your doctor to make sure that magnesium is safe for you in case of possible drug interactions and medical conditions.

Dr. Andrea Wick is a chiropractor and applied kinesiologist. She graduated from Life University in Marietta, Georgia, and now practices in Big Sky. She has a passion for holistic health care and being active in the outdoors. Her practice, Healing Hands Chiropractic, is located in the Meadow Village Center. Visit drandreawick.com to learn more.

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