What is Magnesium?
We all know that Magnesium is a chemical element. Within the human body, it is a mineral that is present in every organ and is vital for over 300 biochemical reactions that regulate our overall health and well-being. In other words, the level of Magnesium in our bodies is of vital importance. It stands to reason, then, that Magnesium deficiency can result in various health and medical issues.
Are you Magnesium deficient?
It is thought that a large proportion of the population may be either Magnesium deficient or, at the very least, not meeting their recommended intake for optimal health.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, “in 2011-12, one in three people aged 2 years and over (37% of males and 34% of females) did not meet their requirements for Magnesium. Inadequate intakes of magnesium were more common in those aged 9 years and over, with 61% of males aged 14 to 18 years consuming less than their requirements for magnesium, and 72% of females of the same age. In contrast, almost all children aged 2-8 years met their magnesium requirements. Males aged 19 years and over were more likely than females of the same age group to have inadequate intakes (41% compared with 35%).”
So what are the signs of Magnesium deficiency?
It is important to note that many of the symptoms commonly associated with Magnesium deficiency may also be attributed to other causes, so you should always check with your GP or health professional if you experience any of the following. Having said that, some of the conditions that may be experienced as a result of Magnesium deficiency include:
- Muscle pain and cramps
- Anxiety and depression
- High blood pressure
- Migraine and headaches
So how much Magnesium do you need and how can you increase your Magnesium intake?
The RecommendedDaily Allowance (RDA) for Magnesium varies depending on your age and sex.
Magnesium is found in many items we commonly consume in our daily diet but, for various reasons, we may not always get the benefit of this mineral simply by consuming these items. For example, unfiltered drinking water contains Magnesium but many of us drink filtered water these days. Soil where food is grown is depleted of natural minerals like Magnesium due pesticide use and over-farming. Consumption of caffeine and sugar can deplete Magnesium in the body, as can stress.
The following foods are rich in Magnesium and therefore good choices to include in your diet if you’re looking to keep up your levels:
- dairy products
- dark green leafy vegetables
- whole grains
- nuts and seeds
- dark chocolate
What about oral Magnesium supplements?
There are many Magnesium supplements on the market but it is thought that a large percentage of oral Magnesium is lost in the gut. Magnesium supplements must be absorbed by the digestive system and pass through the kidneys. It has been estimated by experts that only 20-55% of internal Magnesium from supplements is absorbed, meaning that most of the Magnesium supplements are exiting the body in the urine. (This is also why oral Magnesium supplements can stress the kidneys for people with certain conditions). Oral Magnesium supplements can also upset the digestive system.
Alternatively, trans-dermal application of Magnesium via direct application to the skin has been found to provide a much higher bio-availability than oral methods, along with quick results when it comes to pain relief in particular.
What is topical/trans-dermal magnesium?
Topical or trans-dermal Magnesium is simply Magnesium that is applied directly to the skin as opposed to being taken orally. Most commonly, it is in the form of magnesium oil, which is not actually an oil but Magnesium Chloride flakes mixed with water. It is also available in a convenient roll-on gel and bath flakes.
Finally, 10 benefits of using topical or trans-dermal Magnesium
- Joint pain – rub into affected areas and on the tops of your feet before bed.
- Muscle pain & cramps – rub onto muscles and cramp prone areas before activity and also after activity.
- Back & neck pain – rub into affected areas as required.
- Migraine & headaches – rub into the back of the neck and base of the skull each morning to help prevent headaches. Use on the back of the neck, temples and jaw to help relieve pain.
- Restless legs – rub onto legs around 20 minutes before bed.
- Post workout & exercise – rub into affected areas before and after exercise.
- Insomnia – rub onto the back of your legs, tops of your feet and heels before sleep.
- Stress – rub onto the tops of your feet and backs of your legs before bed to keep stress levels down.
- Skin – apply directly to skin to help alleviate oily skin, acne and rosacea.
- General well-being – use twice daily on under arms and behind the knees.
Because of its highly concentrated formula, some people (especially those with sensitive skin) may experience stinging or tingling when applying Magnesium to their skin. If this is the case, you can try diluting the formula with water.
Disclaimer & Warning:
The writer is not a health professional. The information, claims & statistics in this article have been obtained from information available publicly on the internet, as well as the Amazing Oils website. This information and any recommendations are of a general nature only and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are concerned about your Magnesium levels and/or any medical condition that may be affected by your Magnesium levels, or may benefit from increased Magnesium intake, it is recommended that you consult your GP or healthcare professional. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult your healthcare professional before using Magnesium products. Of course, you should only use as directed on the packaging and, if symptoms persist, please see your healthcare professional.
Sources: draxe .com; organicauthority .com; wellnessmama .com; huffingtonpost .com.au; emed .com.au; abs.gov .au; amazingoils .com.au