Magnesium is a mineral that is extremely important for bone structure in the body.  Low magnesium in the body have been linked to diseases such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, diabetes and stroke according to WebMD.  According to the Lifespan Magazine the recommended EU daily amount for adults is 375mg per day, but the average diet falls short at just 280mg per day for men and women due to the fact that people consume so much processed food today.

Foods that are high in fibre are normally good sources of magnesium.  Vegetables such as broccoli, squash and leafy green vegetables; nuts especially almonds; dairy products, meat and chocolate.  Magnesium can also be used for treating:

  • anxiety
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • fibromyalgia
  • attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • leg cramps at night
  • diabetes
  • migraine headaches
  • weak bones
  • restless leg syndrome
  • poor sleep
  • and chronic pain, just to name a few.

How does magnesium help our bodies?

It is required for proper growth and maintenance of our bones.  It is also required for proper function of our nerves, muscles and many parts of the body.  In the stomach it helps neutralise the stomach acid and moves stools through the intestines.

You can find quite a lot of different types of magnesium but from research it seems as if the following types are the best to use:

  • Magnesium Oxide

  • Magnesium Citrate

  • Magnesium Glycinate

  • Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate

  • Magnesium Taurate

  • Magnesium Sulphate

  • Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride has been found to have the highest bioavailability of all the types of magnesium, due to the solubility in water.    You can also bath or soak your feet in magnesium flakes which are excellent for a good night’s sleep as your skin absorbs magnesium as well.  A 20 to 30 minute soak is required.

Research shows that magnesium can aid in a reduction of tiredness and fatigue; electrolyte balance; normal energy-yielding metabolism; normal function of the nervous system; formal muscle function; normal protein synthesis; normal psychological function; maintenance of normal bones; maintenance of normal teeth and the process of cell division in which it plays a role.

According to Ancient Minerals magnesium activates over 300 enzyme reactions in our bodies, translating to thousands of biochemical reactions on a constant basis daily.  It’s crucial to nerve transmission, muscle contraction, energy production, nutrient metabolism and bone and cell formation.

So how do we know that we are deficient and need to top up our magnesium?  Apparently less than 30% of adults consume the recommended daily allowance of magnesium and nearly 20% get only half of the magnesium we need daily to remain healthy.

Getting the most out of your magnesium intake


  • Carbonated Beverages

    If you drink sodas with your food it will flush out the magnesium out of your system. The average consumption of carbonated beverages today is 10 times more than it was in 1940. This has contributed to the reduced magnesium and calcium availability in the body. This is why we do not advocate drinking sodas on a low carb lifestyle because of the high sugar content.

  • Pastries, Cakes, Desserts, Candies and other Sweet Foods

    Refined sugar is not only a zero magnesium product, but it also causes the body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys. Sugar strips the magnesium content entirely. The more sweet foods you consume in your diet, the more likely it is that you are going to be deficient in magnesium and other vital nutrients.

  • Stress or Surgery

    Stress can also be a cause of magnesium deficiency and can magnify the stress reaction making the problem worse. Studies show that adrenaline and cortisol, by products of the “fight or flight” reaction is associated with stress and anxiety, and associated with decreased magnesium. Stressful conditions require more magnesium in the body.

  • Caffeinated Tea and Coffee

    This is a risk for magnesium deficiency to be increased in your body as caffeine causes the kidneys to release extra magnesium regardless of body status.

  • Alcohol

    The effect of alcohol on magnesium levels in your body is similar to the effect of diuretics. Alcohol also contributes to Vitamin D deficiency which can also contribute to low magnesium levels.


  • Calcium and magnesium supplements

    Magnesium supplementation improves the body’s use of calcium.  The suggestion is to take calcium to magnesium in a 2:1 ratio although it depends on the individual’s current conditions as well as the risk factors for deficiency.  There is a risk of arterial calcification when low magnesium stores are coupled with high calcium intake.

    The researcher Mildred Seeling said:

    “The body tends to retain calcium when in a magnesium-deficient state.  Extra calcium intake at such a time could cause an abnormal rise of calcium levels inside the cells, including the cells of the heart and blood vessels… Given the delicate balance necessary between calcium and magnesium in the cells, it is best to be sure magnesium is adequate if you are taking calcium supplements.”

Do you experience any of the following:

  • anxiety
  • times of hyperactivity
  • difficulty getting to sleep
  • difficulty staying asleep

All these symptoms may be the neurological signs of magnesium deficiency. We need adequate magnesium in our bodies for nerve conduction and it is also associated with electrolyte imbalances that affect the nervous system. When we have low magnesium it is also associated with personality changes and sometimes depression.

Do you experience any of the following:

  • painful muscle spasms
  • muscle cramping
  • fibromyalgia
  • facial tics
  • eye twitches

These are classic signs of a potential magnesium deficit.  A good book to read on this subject would be “The Magnesium Factorby Mildred Seeling and Andrea Rosanoff concentrating on how one simple nutrient can prevent, treat and reverse high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions.

If you answered yes to the questions above and are also over 55

It seems as if older adults are more vulnerable to low magnesium levels in their bodies.  Aging, stress and disease all contribute to increasing magnesium needs.

How can you know for certain if you have a deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency is hard to pin down with absolute precision, even for cutting edge researchers.  Doctors Pilar Aranda and Elena Planells noted this in their report at the International Magnesium Symposium of 2007:

“The clinical manifestations of magnesium deficiency are difficult to define because depletion of this cation is associated with considerable abnormalities in the metabolism of many elements and enzymes.  If prolonged, insufficient magnesium intake may be responsible for symptoms attributed to other causes.”

What can you do to increase magnesium intake?

The longer magnesium levels remain low, the more likelihood that our bodily stores will be diminished.  According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., and expert on magnesium therapy, adequate magnesium can improve heart health, prevent stroke and obesity, and improve mood and memory.  Dr Dean has written “The Magnesium Miracle” in which she also says that she is convinced that to get enough magnesium today, you need to take supplements. A good way to do this is to combine supplements with a healthy diet.

Here are two excellent videos to watch, one from Dr Mark Hyman, M.D. and Dr Eric Berg M.D.

If you need any further info on expert videos about magnesium deficiency, please have a look at this webpage:  Ancient Minerals – Magnesium Videos

Another excellent article by Dr. Mark Hyman: What’s The Deal With Magnesium?

Lastly, remember LCHF is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change.

Excel with a Low Carb Lifestyle. Until next time!

Eunice & Gina

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