Magnesium… “For Life”…

There are many articles floating around talking about the need and benefits of why our body needs magnesium.  Truth be told most of the patient’s I see are magnesium deficient and just connect the symptoms to other health issues.

 

Along with calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and chloride, ,magnesium is one of the 6 essential minerals required by our body in significant quantities.  It is involved in more than 300 enzyme reactions in the body. and we need magnesium for healthy bone formation, our muscular activity, our nerve transmission, our energy production, and even blood pressure regulation (how many folks are dealing with high blood pressure issues today?) .

It also plays a super important role in blood sugar balance, as well as the metabolism of any carbohydrates, fats and proteins we happen to eat.  Low magnesium status is directly associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome, called type 2 diabetes, and connected to cardiovascular disease too.

The functions of magnesium are so diverse that nearly every body system depends on it to operate and yet, it is not monitored as frequently as other minerals.  Blood levels of magnesium are typically measured only when someone displays symptoms of magnesium deficiency, or when a malabsorptive disorder is suspect.

The fact really is that most Americans do not consume near enough magnesium from the foods eaten. Coupled with the American standard dietary choices which are high in refined sugar and saturated fats, which yield very little magnesium.  Therefore, a magnesium test should be considered for a comprehensive metabolic assessment.  Normal ranges for serum blood magnesium, which is measured in milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L), are:

  • Adults                      Normal range: 1.8 to 2.6 mEq/L
  • child (2-18)             Normal range: 1.7 to 2.1 mEq/L
  • infants                    Normal range: 1.5 to 2.2 mEq/L

Although these are the ranges that are accepted as normal, serum magnesium is NOT reflective of total body stores.  So that means you may test in normal range for serum magnesium but still show signs of functional deficiency.  According to some experts, by the time your serum magnesium hits the low or mid-low range, your body already has a significant cellular magnesium deficiency.  The reason for this is that your bloodstream needs magnesium in order to buffer its Ph.  If the magnesium supply in the blood is low, the body must “steal” from the bones and tissues is order to keep the bloods buffer system intact.  Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

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What causes High Magnesium?

In most cases, high levels in the blood are caused by underlying kidney issues or excessive consumption of the mineral through supplements or magnesium containing laxatives.  More specifically, high magnesium can be due to:

  • Adrenal disorders like Addison’s disease
  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalance caused by chemotherapy
  • hyperparathyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • kidney failure
  • overuse of medications like antacids, thyroid meds, lithium, and certain antibiotics.

What are the symptoms of high magnesium?

Most common symptom associated is diarrhea, especially when the cause is excessive intake through supplements.  Other signs of hypermagnesemia include confusion, muscle weakness and reduced reflex response.

What are some lifestyle changes that can help?

  • Cut out simple carbohydrates like refined sugars and grains to balance your blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • drink approx. 2 to 3 liters of filtered water daily.
  • eat foods that promote kidney detoxification, such as artichokes, asparagus, melons, and parsley
  • increase your intake of foods that contain calcium, which is the main mineral that interact with magnesium and blocks its absorption in the body.

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So moving on… What causes LOW magnesium?

  • chronic stress, especially when it is due to surgery or physical injury especially severe burns.
  • diabetes or insulin resistance
  • diet high in sugar and saturated fats
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • excessive sweating or urination
  • gastrointestinal disorders, like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease
  • high calcium levels
  • high intake o coffee, tea or carbonated drinks
  • hypoparathyroidism
  • kidney disease
  • low dietary intake
  • prolonged diarrhea
  • uncontrolled diabetes
  •  the use of corticosteroids, loop and thiazide diuretics, estrogen replacement therapy, oral contraceptives ad tetracycline antibiotics
  • weight gain

Also as we age, or are recovering from illness, and even alcohol addiction raise your risk of magnesium depletion.  Lower levels are also seen in pregnant women and folks who exercise regularly.  In fact, folks who exercise all or most days need about 20% more then those who are sedentary.

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What are symptoms of low magnesium?

  • muscular and neurological symptoms like:
  • migraines
  • twitching
  • muscle spasms
  • restless leg
  • cramps
  • weakness of muscles.
  • fatigue
  • irregular heartbeat
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • omitting can also be signs of magnesium deficiency.

In addition, folks with low levels may experience anxiety, depression, decreased cognitive abilities, bone loss, insomnia, constipation, blood sugar disorders, high blood pressure and kidney stones.

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Supplements:

Not all magnesium supplements are created equal.  You want to choose one that is bioavailable, has the greatest solubility and absorption, and will be well tolerated by  your body.

But typically 250-500 mg. twice a day is sufficient for most folks.  Use magnesium asparatate, glycinate (my favorite) or amino acid chelate. Supporting bone building one should balance magnesium with calcium by a 2 to 1.

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My favorite Calcium brand that work well with my patients:

Magnesium Complex:  (click link):  

Benefits:
Highly bioavailable
Contributes to energy production
Promotes musculoskeletal health
How It Works:
Magnesium is an essential mineral. It is present in more than 300 enzymatic systems where it is crucial for energy production and other metabolic functions. The heart, brain and kidneys cannot function without adequate levels of this nutrient. Magnesium is used in reaction to form Tri Carboxylic Acid (TCA), which aids in the cells’ energy-producing cycle. It is also involved in smooth muscle contractions, affecting the heart, gastrointestinal, urinary and female reproductive tracts.
Ingredients:
Magnesium citrate and magnesium malate.
Recommended Use:
Take 2 capsules twice daily with meals.

Calcium-Magnesium, Synerpro:

Benefits:
Provides nutrients that support the structural system.
Vital nutrients for bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and skin.
May offer benefits to the circulatory system.
How It Works:
Calcium and magnesium depend on each other for proper assimilation in the body. Calcium is essential to the health of bones, teeth and muscles, and it plays an essential role in blood clotting, nerve conduction and many cellular functions. Magnesium is an integral part of more than 300 enzymes in the body and, with calcium, affects nerve and muscle functions.
Ingredients:
100 IU Vitamin D3, 400 mg calcium, 250 mg phosphorus, 200 mg magnesium, 7.5 mg zinc, 1 mg copper, plus boron, broccoli flower, cabbage leaf, carrot root, red beet root, rosemary leaf, tomato fruit, turmeric root, grapefruit bioflavonoid, hesperidin and orange bioflavonoid.
Recommended Use:
Take 2 tablets with a meal twice daily.

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Many want to reach for Magnesium Citrate and IF you struggle with inflammatory issues, you may find the citrate version gives much bowel distress.

Also, might I recommend if you have a headache try taking some magnesium before over the counter pain relievers, the headache may be caused from low magnesium, also if you  have trouble sleeping also try adding 2 Magnesium capsules about 1 hour prior to wanting to go to sleep. Magnesium helps to relax the body.

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Lifestyle changes:

  • Eat foods low in calcium, which interfere with proper magnesium absorption.  So asparagus, beets, cantaloupe, chicken, cottage cheese, eggplant, grapes, pineapple and strawberries, are great choices.
  • consume green veggies, like chard, kale, spinach, mustard greens.  Pumpkin seeds are the single richest source of magnesium.  Other good food sources include halibut, salmon, celery and bell peppers.
  • Reach for organic, free range meats as they lack chemical additives, hormones, and antibiotics.  Legumes like beans are also a good source.
  • limit or cut out soft drinks, especially dark colored doses.  The high levels of phosphates (phosphoric acid), which inhibit absorption of essential minerals. It’s also a great idea to reduce caffeine.
  • reduce stress as cortisol which is the stress hormone increases the excretion of magnesium from the body adding to lower levels.
  • If you don’t exercise think about starting…exercise prevents bone loss which decreases your need for calcium supplements.
  • __________________________________________________________________________
  • Conclusion:
  • Homocysteine, CRP, vitamin D, and magnesium are not typically included in traditional blood panels, they are of equal value hen it comes to assessing a total health pictures.  Homocysteine and CRP can provide a more accurate picture of your cardiovascular risk, as well as indicate the presence of more generalized conditions, these blood tests can play a key role in the prevention and proper diagnosis of common conditions ranging from blood sugar imbalance to osteoporosis.

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with me you can go to http://www.jodibarnett758.com and click on services.  These consults can be in office or as a phone consultation, ( I have patients all over the United States).

 

As always thank you for taking the time to read my posts and be sure to help a gal out and share the link to others who you think could benefit.

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

P.S. Be sure to check out my products/supplement website as well.

www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com (high quality affordable herbs/supplements)

 

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Health Lays In Our Neck?

In continuing on walking you through the importance of your Endocrine System; we come upon the Thyroid & Para-Thyroid glands. Which is the next stop realizing I’m working my way from the top down in the body.

thyroid

The thyroid gland is located in the lower front part of the neck and is shaped like a butterfly.  It produces the hormones thyroxine & triiodothyronine.

This gland is one that most folks are familiar with, & we are seeing more & more people struggling with “hypo or Hyper” performing thyroid glands.  Our diets are so void of adequate amounts of iodine that the proper function of this important gland is  evident in many, as well as chemical toxins that inhibit this gland from being able to uptake proper amounts of iodine.

Dr. N.W. Walkers’ description of The Thyroid Gland says, “The thyroid has a strong controlling influence on all the chemical processes which are carried on in the body.  One of the substances which is created by this gland is the hormone known as “thyroxine.”  This is the simplified name compounded from the chemicals composing it, namely: trihydro-triiodo-oxyindol-propionic acid.  Among the elements or ingredients which the thyroid uses to make this hormone is a protein known as casein.  The body manufactures its own casein out of the atoms present in our food, in the same manner that the cow generates the casein in her milk from her feed.  Casein is one of the important components of milk, but when cow’s milk is used by humans of any age, it is not digested properly or completely under any circumstances.  That is the reason why the use of milk not only creates a great amount of mucus in the system, but also has the tendency to disrupt the function of the thyroid gland.  The casein in cow’s milk is 300% more concentrated than that in mother’s milk.  When cow’s milk is pasteurized or cooked by boiling, the casein is changed still worse than in its raw state. (My emphasis here, “we are the ONLY mammals that drink milk past the whelping stage… why?)

Unless the thyroid is able to generate efficiently the thyroxine hormones, many disturbances can result.  Among these is the wasting of body tissues, irritability of the nerves, damage to teeth & muscles, affliction of the sex organs, thickening & coarsening of the skin, dry & unsightly hair, to name but a few.  These conditions are all regulated by the thyroid gland & its thyroxine hormones.” (D.N.SC.n.d.)

There are two malfunctions that can occur with the thyroid gland; one is when it becomes over active also know as Hyperthyroidism.  Phyllis A. Balch, CNC in Prescription for Nutritional Healing describes this disorder; “when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, resulting in an overactive metabolic state  All of the body’s processes speed up with this disorder.  Symptoms include nervousness, irritability, a constant feeling of being hot, increased perspiration, insomnia & fatigue, increased frequency of bowel movements, less frequent menstruation & decreased menstrual flow, weakness, hair & weight loss, change in skin thickness, separation of the nails from the nail bed, hand tremors, intolerance of heat, rapid heartbeat, goiter & sometimes, protruding eyeball.

The thyroid gland is the body’s internal thermostat.  It regulates the temperature by secreting two hormones that control how quickly the body burns calories & uses energy.  If the thyroid secretes too much hormone, hyperthyroidism results; too little hormone results in hypothyroidism.”  (Phyllis A. Balch n.d.)

Parathyroid Gland: Don’t hear too much about this gland but it’s important too!

There are 4 glands that are attached to each side of the thyroid gland.  Their function is to regulate the blood calcium levels & regulate calcitonin which is produced in the thyroid gland.  They also influence the lymph system in neutralizing certain types of toxins in the body.  Dr. Norman Walker D.Sc. states that the parathyroid glands” are responsive to the negative emotions, such as worry, anxiety, fear, anger, hatred, jealousy and so on, under which circumstances they excite or stimulate secretion from the Adrenal glands.  Adrenalin, is highly poisonous & affects the whole system when secreted to excess.

The principle function of the parathyroid glands, however, is the regulation of the calcium metabolism, the calcium content of the blood, in tooth & bone formation, & not residual calcium in the tissues.  It is most important to realize that these glands do NOT have the SELECTIVE ability to choose between organic & inorganic calcium.  That is to say that they will take whatever calcium atoms or molecules come along, irrespective of whether they are dead, or vital, live elements.  If our Creator had given them this ability to choose the live & reject the cooked or processed elements, we would have no arthritic victims, we would have marvelous teeth all our lives & no one would have any deformed bones, so long as we ate sufficient raw nourishment.

As it is, the calcium from pasteurized milk & cooked milk products, as well as that from grain & starch foods has become inorganic through the process of heating.  Under these circumstances no matter how much calcium we take into our system by eating these foods or taking calcium in tablet or similar form, the body cannot utilize it constructively without eventual damage to the calcium bearing parts of our system.  We have the proof of this in the swollen calcified joints in arthritis, in the degeneration of the teeth & bone, in impactions in our blood vessels as in tumors, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, high & low blood pressure & of course all the signs of premature old age.

It is necessary to furnish the body with the nourishment rich in organic or vital, live calcium elements which the parathyroid glands can work with to our best advantage.  These elements are found only in the raw vegetables & fruits & their fresh raw juices.

Among the richest calcium food’s, we have carrots, turnips, spinach, dandelion, to name but a few.” (N.W. Walker n.d.)

The biggest mistake I see folks making is in “knowing” that the diets they are consuming on a daily basis are void of the nourishment they require so they are trying to make up for it by swallowing a boat load of pills in the name of healthy.  Now don’t misunderstand me; I use herbs & supplements in my practice and recommend some of them when needed in the nutritional programs for my patient’s, but in the process I am also encouraging them to make major shifts in their lifestyle and dietary habits.

Cleaning out the chemicals that are going to inhibit their thyroids ability to uptake the much needed iodine.  Some of those chemicals:

  • fluoride (in tooth pastes and mouthwashes, and also given in a rinse form at the dentist)
  • chlorine (which is in most city drinking water supplies, and used in swimming pools)

When thinking about hormones, I want you to think parking garages for a minute.  Every hormone produced also has what’s referred to as a hormone receptor sight.  Meaning it has it’s own parking garage with its name plaque on it.  When we have impostors or inhibitors that come on the scene, they can occupy those reserved parking slots which don’t allow for proper hormonal reception to happen.  We see many people who are taking synthetic hormones in an attempt to balance what is imbalanced in the body.  There are some folks who’s thyroid is so iodine starved that taking synthetic hormones may need to be part of their daily routine.  However, they end up believing that their problem is solved once they begin taking them and make ZERO lifestyle changes.

I want folks to begin to realize that medicating any health issue doesn’t solve the on-going imbalance and nutritional deficiency, especially if you don’t make any needed changes.  Remember, the imbalance didn’t just show up because you were an unlucky chap.  We are not created to be “unhealthy”, our body in fact has many checks/balances built in.  When those checks/balances can no longer balance is when we start to see & feel unhealthy.

I don’t recommend supplements & herbs in the same capacity as folks are used to using them. Which for the most part is the same way they use prescriptions. I use them like that of a work out routine designed to strengthen what has become weak with the goal of getting stronger and back to God’s given working order. Not for you to assume that the supplements need to be a part of your daily lifetime intake.  You need to allow your body to rely on what it needs from the fuel you put in your engine, meaning what foods you are eating!

So are they herbal products you can use to help support the thyroid, absolutely.  A few that I highly recommend:

Benefits:
Supports the glandular system
Provides glandular extracts, amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, and phytonutrients
Helps support thyroid function
Supports a healthy metabolism
How It Works:
Thyroid Support is a blend of nutritional and herbal supplements specially designed to nourish the thyroid gland and to support the actions of the thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormones regulate many body functions, including oxygen use, basal metabolic rate, cellular metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature.
Ingredients:
Vitamin B6, zinc, copper, manganese, l-tyrosine, kelp leaves and stems, thyroid substance, nettle leaves, protease blend, pituitary substance and hypothalamus substance.

  • Zinc: ( Click here to purchase this product)
  • The body needs zinc for many functions, with regards to the thyroid, it encourages the thyroid to uptake proper amounts of iodine.

Benefits:
Supports immune function.
Provides 25 mg zinc per tablet.
How It Works:
The trace mineral zinc is involved in hundreds of important functions in the body, including sugar metabolism, DNA formation, protein metabolism and energy production. It is also needed for the growth and development of bones. Pregnant and lactating women require extra zinc. More zinc is found in the body than any other trace element except for iron. Relatively large amounts are found in bone and muscle. It’s also prevalent in the prostate and retina.
Ingredients:
25 mg of zinc (167% of the Daily Value) plus calcium, phosphorus, kelp leaves and stem, thyme leaves and alfalfa aerial parts.

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When it comes to the calcium and para-thyroid support, I NEVER recommend a calcium supplement to any of my patients.  I encourage a calcium rich diet which includes plenty of fresh fruits & vegetables on a daily basis and I highly encourage juicing and blended salads (especially for those with digestion weaknesses), but I DO HIGHLY recommend supplementing with :

Magnesium: (click here to purchase product)

The difference between Calcium & magnesium is one of a push me pull me routine.  Meaning, calcium is the mineral that encourages contractions in the body when it comes to muscles (and isn’t every thing in the body with the exception of our teeth & bones a muscular composition?), and Magnesium I refer to as the mineral of movement, it is what relaxes, but it also is what encourages the body to place calcium in the proper places in the body.  So instead of supplementing with calcium, if you want to maintain better calcium levels, #1, CHANGE your diet, and #2 incorporate more magnesium.  It’s of a water soluble nature meaning you won’t overdose on magnesium, if you get more than your body can metabolize (use) it will clean out the pipes (south pole).

Benefits:
Highly bioavailable
Contributes to energy production
Promotes musculoskeletal health
How It Works:
Magnesium is an essential mineral. It is present in more than 300 enzymatic systems where it is crucial for energy production and other metabolic functions. The heart, brain and kidneys cannot function without adequate levels of this nutrient. Magnesium is used in reaction to form Tri Carboxylic Acid (TCA), which aids in the cells’ energy-producing cycle. It is also involved in smooth muscle contractions, affecting the heart, gastrointestinal, urinary and female reproductive tracts.
Ingredients:
Magnesium citrate and magnesium malate.

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It is my hope that as I continue to walk you through the endocrine system and explain the importance of each of these glands that you become encouraged to make changes in your diet/lifestyle or course; but that you also begin to understand more of how magnificent your body is with the intricate internal workings that take place every hour of every day.

The next endocrine gland stop will be the Thymus gland….

Thank you for taking the time to read, like and share the articles I post.  You folks are the BEST!

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.jodibarnett758.com

http://www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com

 

 


What Is The Best Kind of Magnesium For YOU….

magnesium

 

I’ve had several clients who feel confused about which form of Magnesium they should be supplementing with as there are different types out there.  I know it can be confusing, so I am hoping to shed some light on that.

One thing you’ll notice about supplements is that everyone is pretty convinced that their product is “THE BEST”! However, it’s a little hard to believe when every product on the shelf claims the same thing.

You would think something like magnesium, which is a mineral, would be pretty straightforward. Naturally, that is not the case at all. Nothing is straightforward about it and sadly, there is no easy answer as to what is the best kind of magnesium, other than to answer what is the best kind of magnesium for you and what particular nutritional deficiency based on your physical symptoms may be.

WHY IS MAGNESIUM SO IMPORTANT?
Magnesium (Mg) is a mineral that is involved in almost every process in your body from muscle relaxation and proper muscle movement to hormone processing. Clinically it is used to treat muscle cramps, restless leg syndrome, high blood pressure, constipation and chronic stress. Magnesium is pretty much everywhere – it’s the fourth most abundant element in the earth as a whole and the ninth in the universe as a whole.

Magnesium is also highly water-soluble and is the third most common element dissolved in sea water. But you cannot drink sea water. Generally, the composition of sea water and the composition of our bodies internal mineral balance is reasonably similar (although sea water is significantly higher in sodium) and, as humans, we function best when we have a rich supply of magnesium in our system.

Magnesium is the center of the chlorophyll molecule in plants, so any dark green plant is a rich source. Magnesium is central to all of our energy-forming reactions in every cell in the human body and there are over 300 enzyme pathways in humans that are dependent on magnesium to run.

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTS?

Magnesium cannot just be by itself as a molecule – it needs to be bound to something else to be stable, so the biggest difference in magnesium products comes not from the magnesium itself (which is all the same) but from the molecule it’s bonded to.  The most common bonding agents I’ve seen are oxide, citrate, glycinate, sulphate or amino acid chelate. There are two things to look for about the molecule it’s bonded to: size, and function. There is the secondary consideration of absorption.

The size of the molecule matters because most people don’t want to take a tablespoon of something, they usually want to take a reasonably small amount – like maybe the amount that will fit into one or two capsules.  Magnesium itself is a very small molecule, but if it’s bonded to something large and floppy then you get a very small amount of magnesium, mixed in with a pretty large amount of something else.  So magnesium by weight is higher if it’s bonded to an extremely small molecule (like oxygen in Mg oxide) than if it’s bonded to a large molecule like glycine (in Mg glycinate) or an amino acid (in magnesium amino acid chelate). Citrate and sulphate molecules are somewhat in the middle for size.
The function of the additional molecule is also something to consider. Oxygen is obviously useful to body tissues, as are amino acids, but some amino acids have functions that may enhance one particular effect of the magnesium that you might be looking for clinically. We’ll go over different forms of magnesium individually.

HOW IS MY BODY GOING TO GET THE MAGNESIUM IN TO PUT IT TO USE?

Absorption is a separate concern. Magnesium itself is reasonably poorly absorbed (35% absorbed in the worst case scenario and 45% absorbed in the best). Generally if you are magnesium-depleted then your body will absorb any magnesium better than it would otherwise.

If you are taking a combination supplement that has Calcium and Magnesium, you need to understand that Calcium and magnesium will compete for absorption, so if you take calcium and magnesium together because they will compete with each other (means you will absorb less of each). Also high or low protein intake can reduce magnesium intake as well as phytates from some vegetables.

Phytate is known by eight different names but the most common are phytic acid, inositol hexaphosphate and IP-6. Phytate is found in all plants because it stores the phosphorus needed to support germination and growth. An enzyme called phytase neutralizes the phytate to release the phosphorus. Plants and most animals have their own phytase. Unfortunately, humans don’t. Bacteria in the intestine produce small amounts, but not enough to digest phytate. The phytate then binds with iron, calcium and zinc, which means the minerals can’t be properly absorbed.
Grains
The amount of phytate you’ll get from any food source varies depending on growing conditions and processing techniques. Measurements used to report phytate content are sometimes stated as a percentage of dry weight and other times as milligrams in a 100-gram portion. Regardless of these differences, you’ll find wheat bran, rice bran, whole wheat, corn, rye, oats and brown rice at the top of the list. Phytate is highest in bran-based products. Whole-wheat flour has about half the phytate of bran but double the amount in corn, oat, rice or processed white flours, according to the book “Food Phytates.”

Beans and Nuts
You can count on beans and nuts to contain phytate, but the amount ranges from approximately .4 percent to as high as 2 to 3 percent of dry weight, according to “Food Phytates.” Soy, pinto, kidney and navy beans, as well as peanuts, are at the high end. They have double the amount of phytate found in peas, lentils, chickpeas, white beans, walnuts and mung beans. Unlike grains that have a large concentration of phytate in the bran, phytate is equally distributed throughout seeds.
Potatoes
When dry weights are compared, potatoes have almost as much phytate as seeds, according to a study published in the April 2004 issue of the “Journal of Food Composition and Analysis.” Even though cooking typically eliminates some phytate, that’s not true in potatoes. Whether potatoes are baked, boiled, microwaved or fried, they retain virtually all of their phytate. Based on average consumption, the researchers noted that phytate consumed in cooked potatoes may account for a substantial portion of the average American’s daily intake of phytate. This is the heavy hitter in most folks diet, they have some form of potato for breakfast in the form of hash browns, or fried potatoes with eggs & bacon, they have French fries with lunch, and either mashed or baked or fries for dinner meal. Most do this “DAILY”….
Preparation
Some methods of commercial food processing destroy phytase, which means that the food retains more phytate. Other processes that actually reduce total phytate are soaking, fermenting and sprouting. Soaking rice, beans and raw nuts for 24 hours, followed by cooking them for the longest time possible, can reduce phytates by 50 percent, according to the Weston A. Price Foundation. When beans are sprouted, total phytate goes down by as much as 75 percent. Sprouting retains nutritional value, but the longer you soak and cook food, the more essential vitamins and minerals you’ll lose together with the phytate. Following recommended daily intakes should ensure you get sufficient nutrients, because the recommendations are adjusted for the possibility of substances such as phytates that impact bioavailability

Generally if you’re taking a magnesium supplement it’s best on an empty stomach. Magnesium also absorbs well through the skin (potentially far better than through the digestive tract), so Epsom salt baths (magnesium sulphate) and magnesium lotions, gels or oils (usually magnesium chloride) can be a great way to increase your body stores. Topical forms can be best if you’re using magnesium for it’s muscle relaxation and calming properties.
Orally, magnesium citrate is the best absorbed form (but it’s bonded to a big molecule so there is a smaller amount of magnesium by weight). Mg oxide is the most poorly absorbed form but has the highest Mg per weight, so actually you may get more elemental magnesium out of the same dose of Mg oxide vs. another magnesium, simply because of the size. The other forms of magnesium are somewhere in the middle in terms of absorption.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF MAGNESIUM

Magnesium Oxide
Magnesium Oxide (MgO) is simply bonded to oxygen, which is obviously also something your body needs so there is nothing unnecessary in the product. The oxygen is useable by your body but will not strongly affect the way you feel taking the Mg. This is the least absorbed form, but also has one of the highest percentages of elemental magnesium per dose so it still may be the  highest absorbed dose per mg. This is a great general purpose magnesium if really Mg is all you need.  It makes a simple muscle relaxer, nerve tonic and laxative if you take a high dose.
Magnesium Citrate
This is one of the most common forms of Mg on the commercial market. This is Mg bonded to citric acid, which increases the rate of absorption. Citrate is a larger molecule than the simple oxygen of oxide, so there is less magnesium by weight than in the oxide form. This is the most commonly used form in laxative preparations. With further research, this form of Magnesium is not the best avenue to apply for magnesium source, and can actually leach magnesium from your system. However, IF you know your already have high inflammation issues, I do not recommend the Citrate form.

Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate
In this form, Mg is bonded to the amino acid glycine. Glycine is a large molecule so there is less magnesium by weight, but the glycine itself is a relaxing neurotransmitter and so enhances magnesium’s natural relaxation properties. This could be the best form if you’re using it for mental calm and relaxation.

Magnesium amino acid chelate is usually bonded to a variety of amino acids, which are all larger molecules. In this form there is less magnesium by weight but the individual amino acids could all be beneficial for different things. Every formula is different so if you need both Mg and a particular amino acid, then this could be the way to go.
Magnesium Taurate
This is a less common form, and is typically taken for cardiac conditions and heart function in general. Magnesium helps the heart muscle relax, as well as the blood vessels that feed the heart to open and deliver more blood to the heart tissue itself. Taurine is an amino acid that is known to feed cardiac muscle and enhance the quality of contractions of the heart so if you’re taking Mg for heart function this is probably the best form for you. Again, taurine is a larger molecule so there is a lower Mg by weight.
Magnesium Sulphate and Magnesium Chloride
These forms are both typically used topically, although there are some oral preparations as well. Mg sulphate is best known as Epsom salts. If you’ve taken this internally you know it tastes horrible and has a very strong laxative effect, but when used in a bath or soak it is extremely relaxing to the muscles and can ease aches and pains. Epsom salts baths can also help to lower high blood pressure and reduce stress levels.

Magnesium chloride

is more common in the lotion, gel and oil preparations that can be used topically for muscle cramps and relaxation.
Generally magnesium is one of those universally necessary elements that needs to be in your body for proper function, no matter what. Great dietary sources include coffee, tea, chocolate, spices, nuts and, of course, green vegetables with chlorophyll. Good body stores of magnesium will improve your health, mood and general functioning so finding the best kind of magnesium for you is tremendously important.
Magnesium L-threonate

A newer player on the magnesium front is magnesium threonate, or magnesium L-threonate. This form effectively crosses the blood brain barrier and so has recently been studied for uses such as patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive decline.  A recent research study published in the medical journal Neuron showed that magnesium L-threonate creates improvement in learning abilities, working memory and both short and long term memory.  Additionally it has the same benefits as any other magnesium including enhancing sleep quality.

Magnesium Malate

Magnesium malate is very similar to magnesium glycinate – malate is a big molecule but has it’s own health benefits so this one is often used for fibromyalgia.

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Cream: Some people struggle with bowel tolerance when trying to get magnesium into their nutritional routine.  If that is the case for you, I recommend Ancient Minerals Magnesium Cream because it doesn’t leave the salt water feel on your skin like some magnesium creams/lotions can.

I hope you find this breakdown of the different forms of magnesium helpful.  If you’d like further help on which form of magnesium would benefit your nutritional needs, please schedule a consultation with me at http://www.mkt.com/harvested-health-llc.

Healthfully yours,

Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC.

 

Resources:

http://www.healthyeating.sfgate.com/foods-high-phytates-3307.html

Amy Neuzil, N.D. – Peoples Wellness Center

http://www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com