Magnesium deficiency is all too common. It likely also affects you, because it’s estimated that 68 to 80 percent of Americans are magnesium deficient. This should not be surprising because magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body; however, it is not sufficient in the food supply, and it is also wasted by your body during times of stress. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of magnesium is 400-420mg for men and 310-320mg for women; these values are not getting met through the average (or even stellar) diet. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, ND, MD, “Magnesium is farmed out of the soil much more than calcium… A hundred years ago, we would get maybe 500 milligrams of magnesium in an ordinary diet. Now we’re lucky to get 200 milligrams.”
If you’re not getting enough, it’s time to pay attention. Almost everyone could use magnesium therapy to support their body against both deficiency and disease. In her book, The Magnesium Miracle, Dr. Dean explains 22 conditions that can be triggered by magnesium deficiency that have been scientifically proven and recorded. They include:
- Blood clots
- Bowel diseases
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Liver Disease
- Muscle and nerve problems
- Tooth decay
- Raynaud’s Syndrome
- Anxiety and panic attacks
That’s a pretty daunting list of conditions linked to magnesium deficiency, which is why you should not ignore this deficiency. It’s not going to get better if you don’t put in the effort. While magnesium supplements are increasingly popular to counteract deficiency, certain forms of magnesium are poorly absorbed. Magnesium citrate and oxide have lower absorption rates, but they are often popular for their laxative-like effects by offering relief to constipation, but not to magnesium deficiency. Better forms are that of glycinate, orotate, and malate from a reputable source. It is, however, an uphill battle using oral supplements alone. For those with compromised absorption such as low stomach acid and/or leaky gut, magnesium supplements are poorly absorbed through the gut, making replenishing magnesium levels difficult orally. To make matters worse, magnesium deficiency also has a direct correlation with the epidemic of gut problems, creating a vicious cycle.
Although it’s best to get this important mineral from foods including dark chocolate, whole grains, and leafy greens, a combination of methods provides a more aggressive approach. Transdermal sources that allow you to absorb magnesium through your skin, such as that of magnesium oil, magnesium spray, and epsom salt baths can be a very effective way to reverse deficiency. According to a 2010 study, transdermal magnesium is highly effective at increasing magnesium levels in the body:
After 12 weeks’ treatment 89% of subjects raised their cellular magnesium levels with an average increase of 59.7% recorded. Equivalent results using oral supplementation have been reported over 9-24 months. Furthermore all patients showed an improvement in the calcium/magnesium balance ratio where the mean improvement seen over the trial period was 25.2%.”
The application methods in this particular study had the participants applying 20 sprays to their body using a solution of 31% magnesium chloride, as well as a two 20 minute magnesium foot soaks per day for 12 weeks.
If you’re still ignoring your magnesium deficiency, perhaps it’s time you got serious about reversing it by using transdermal methods to accompany your intake of magnesium-rich foods and some supplements if needed. The best way to be sure is to test your magnesium levels by doing a hair tissue mineral analysis to ensure your magnesium and other minerals are sufficient.
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Do you suspect a magnesium deficiency? How are you combating it?
Dean, Carolyn, ND, MD. Magnesium Miracle. Retrieved on December 17, 2013 from http://drcarolyndean.com/magnesium_miracle/
Magnesium and calcium as regulators of intestinal permeability.