Did you know that magnesium is responsible for more than 350 bodily processes? Without it, every single one of our cells struggle. City Savvy’s Tina Pace and trainer, Feres are here to talk about the effects of magnesium deficiency and how to properly get to your optimal level.
“Magnesium is the most important mineral in the body,” Feres told me after a blood test showed that my body was quite deficient. “We need it for nerve transmission, heart function, muscle activity, temperature regulation, recovery, detoxification, formation of healthy bones, and improving insulin sensitivity.”
Magnesium deficiency can cause: anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, stroke, migraines, nasal congestion, hypertension, nausea, pain, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, PMS, reproductive issues, preeclampsia, Syndrome X, polycystic ovarian syndrome, complications before and during pregnancy, and kidney stones. It also puts a person at higher risk for brain injuries and surgery.
I have to admit that in the months prior to hiring Feres as my trainer, I had experienced more than a few of those things listed above.
Why Are We Deficient?
Due to the use of pesticides and farming techniques, our soil has become magnesium deficient. The refining and processing of our foods strips away the mineral by more than 50% and acid rain, which occurs in industrial and urban areas with air pollution, attacks the magnesium in the soil. Even foods which are naturally rich in magnesium such as leafy green veggies lose some of the mineral when grown with chemical fertilizers.
Stomach Acid and Magnesium Absorption
“Like I’ve said in past articles, when you’re serious about getting healthy, the stomach is the place to start. All of my clients have come to me with low stomach acid, and unless you live in the savanna and are getting the best from nature, I’d suspect most people have the same problem. Low stomach acid perpetuates the problem of magnesium deficiency even more,” says Feres.
Taking magnesium before checking your gut health is like a bald man buying expensive shampoo.
Inefficient digestion leads to deficiency and when you’re deficient in magnesium, gastric acid production is diminished further, which decreases your ability to absorb magnesium. It’s a vicious cycle.
- Feres’s Tip Top Advice: Factory-farmed food is deficient in magnesium, so organic is always the best choice, even if it costs more.
The two most accurate ways to test the level of magnesium in your body is by a 24 hour urine sample and the red blood cell magnesium test. “Don’t get a serum blood magnesium test,” says Feres, “it’s common, but very ineffective. You see, if you are under stress your body pumps magnesium out of the cells and into the blood, giving the mistaken appearance of a normal level.”
An ideal level is 5-6,8 mg/dl.
If so many medical issues are related to a lack of magnesium, why hadn’t the multiple doctors with whom I’d consulted in those months offered it as a solution? “While some doctors are good about continuing education and are well versed in wellness, most doctors don’t typically spend a great deal of time studying nutrient supplementation. They’re trained to look for disease, which leaves little time for educating patients on wellness. If your doctor sends you for a serum blood test, it’s probably a good indication that their focus isn’t wellness,” Feres says. “Sometimes the solution to an annoying ailment or even a serious health condition can be found in something as simple as a supplement.”
There’s Good News
You can correct a magnesium deficiency by eating the right foods and through supplementation. It can take as long as 6-12 months, however, to reach a healthy level.
A for sure sign of magnesium deficiency is if you take a supplement and find that you can’t sleep. There is also a spray form available for people that experience side effects of oral doses.
With so many magnesium options, where does one start? “In general, magnesium citrate is a good choice,” says Feres, “and I’d stay away from L-threonate, oxide and chloride as they don’t absorb as well.”
As far as dosage, a good rule of thumb for both men and women is 6-8mg per kilogram of body weight per day, taken with food. Most people experience very little side effects or none at all.
Have you set a New Year’s Resolution to get fit and healthy in 2016? Coach Feres is offering all City Savvy readers a free one hour training session where he’ll also answer all your questions about health and fitness. Offer good until 15 January. Just mention City Savvy Luxembourg.
Feres Romdhane is a strength and conditioning coach, professional boxer, BioSignature/Bioprint practitioner, International certified Poliquin coach, and has studied under the best in the fitness industry in the areas of functional medicine, nutrition and blood analysis. His clients range from competitive athletes to those who simply want to improve their overall health and fitness. Using his expertise in BioSignature and BioPrint, Feres helps his clients meet their fitness goals through personalized nutrition and exercise plans, and has particular success with those that are obese or overly stressed.
Where: Feres trains clients at various gyms in Luxembourg, Institut National des Sports in Cents, and also does home training.
Languages: English, French, German
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 661 488 444
Featured photo: Sue Salisbury/flickr(file)
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of City Savvy Luxembourg. The words and other content provided in this article, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.