Magnesium madness

By: Eugene Sims

Many things in health seem to develop a ‘trendiness’ when knowledge about them increases to the point where most people are aware of them.

Case in point, magnesium. It would now seem that magnesium is better than sliced bread and that we should all be taking it if we want to survive in this busy, modern world.

The confusing part is that there is some truth in the virtues of supplementing with magnesium.  However this is only part of the picture, and it’s important to have a balanced understanding.

In fact, balance is exactly the point when it comes to magnesium. Actually, balance is the key in all nutrition but probably is most critical when we look at minerals and vitamins.

More than we need is not better – contrary to popular opinion.

Magnesium is a mineral that is essential to human health and wellbeing, deficiency in magnesium is linked to insomnia, muscle cramps, anxiety, irritability, constipation, increased urinary frequency, calcium deposits, PMS, seizures and convulsions.

Our demand for magnesium increases with physical and emotional stress and from recurrent infections, alcohol consumption and certain medications. Pregnancy is another time when demand for magnesium is great.

But when supplementing with magnesium to address these demands, it’s important not to overdo it.   

The common sign of having too much magnesium is typically diarrhoea. But the biggest issue with too much magnesium is the effect that it has on the rest of your mineral balance.

For example, magnesium aids the absorption of calcium. Too much calcium slows your metabolism, thyroid and adrenal function.
The best way to establish levels of magnesium is by Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA), which gives a good indicator of magnesium stored in the body.

The great thing with HTMA is that it shows levels of all the minerals needed for human function. This means we can clearly see imbalances and take the guess work out of supplementation. It helps us to re-establish balance and avoid throwing money away with unnecessary supplements. More importantly, it stops us from exacerbating imbalances and doing harm. Remember, too much of anything is toxic. When it comes to  supplementation, seek advice from someone qualified to give it.


Eugene Sims, Warkworth Natural Therapies
www.wnt.co.nz

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