Magnesium - The Missing Piece


Magnesium is one of the most common substances in the Universe. It is found in soil, animals, plants and humans. Ironically according to the World Health Organization, humans are severely deficient in this important mineral. [1]

Magnesium is responsible for over 350 critical enzymatic reactions in the body. It is important for proper function of the brain, heart and skeletal muscles as well as many other biological processes including:

  • Muscle function

  • Nerve function

  • Protein synthesis

  • Bone formation

  • DNA synthesis

  • Energy production

  • Heart health

  • Maintaining blood pressure

  • Maintaining blood sugar levels

Risk factors for Magnesium deficiency include [2]:

  • Crohn's disease, Celiac disease and other gastrointestinal diseases

  • Type 2 Diabetes

  • Alcohol use disorder

  • Advanced age

  • Certain medications, such as Proton Pump Inhibitors and Diuretics

  • Being an adolescent female

  • Smoking

There are three ways to supplement your body's supply of Magnesium including supplementing with foods, supplements or topically.

A. Supplementing with Foods

Here are the top 10 Magnesium-rich foods, according to the USDA:

1. Spinach, cooked - 1 cup: 157 mg (39% DV)

2. Swiss chard, cooked - 1 cup: 150mg (38% DV)

3. Dark Chocolate -1 square: 95mg (24% DV)

4. Pumpkin seeds, dried - 1/8 cup: 92mg (23% DV)

5. Almonds - 1 oz: 75 mg (19% DV)

6. Black beans - 1/2 cup: 60mg (15% DV)

7. Avocado - 1 medium: 58mg (15% DV)

8. Figs, dried - 1/2 cup, 50mg (13% DV)

9. Yogurt or kefir - 1 cup: 46.5mg (12% DV)

10. Banana - 1 medium: 32mg (8% DV)

More foods that are excellent sources of magnesium:

• Quinoa, cooked: 33% of the RDI in a cup (185 grams)

• Halibut: 27% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams)

• Cashews: 25% of the RDI in a quarter cup (30 grams) • Mackerel: 19% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams)

• Salmon: 9% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams)

B. Supplementing with supplements

The office of Dietary Supplements at the American National Institutes of Health recommend the following daily allowances of magnesium:

• 400-420mg for adult males

• 310-320mg for adult females

• 350-360mg during pregnancy

C. Supplementing with Trans-dermal (Topical) Magnesium

• Epsom Salt or Magnesium Flakes bath soaks

• Magnesium oil* applied topically to areas of pain, soreness, spasm or inflammation

*Magnesium oil is a mixture made by mixing flakes of magnesium chloride with purified water. The magnesium oil is applied to the skin's surface and then diffuses out of its vehicle (water) into the skin

Please note: Those with impaired kidney function or severe renal insufficiency should consult their physician before adding magnesium. Magnesium toxicity can occur in people with hypothyroidism, those using magnesium containing medications such as antacids, laxatives, cathartics, and those with certain types of gastrointestinal disorders, such as colitis, gastroenteritis, and gastric dilation, which may cause an increased absorption of magnesium. Medications that may negatively interact with Magnesium include: Amiloride, Calcium Acetate, Dexamethasone, Misoporstol, Spironolactone and Triamterene. Magnesium could reduce the effectiveness of Warfarin, Tetracycline and Doxycycline.

For optimal effects use a Magnesium oil product that has a high content of Magnesium and that is formulated to be gentle on the skin. Ancient Minerals Ultra products are highly recommended for those looking for an effective, easy to use topical magnesium supplement. For more information visit their website.

You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other supplementation to determine if it is right for your needs. This article is intended only for educational purposes.

[1] Calcium and Magnesium in Drinking Water: Public Health Significance. World Health Organization, 2009, https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/43836/9789241563550_eng.pdf;jsessionid=EF2DF6EDFE6AE49C55EF0C60F0CBF0C8?sequence=1.

[2] “Magnesium Overdose: Symptoms, Likelihood, and Risk Factors.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323349.php.

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