The Master Mineral
Magnesium is the most important mineral in the human body. Experts say that after oxygen, water and basic food, magnesium is the element most critical to health. Magnesium is more necessary than calcium, potassium or sodium, and in fact, it regulates all three of those.
Unfortunately, studies show the majority of Americans are deficient in magnesium. The deficiency is often misdiagnosed because only one percent of the mineral is stored in the blood, making blood tests useless in diagnosis. Because doctors are not trained to recognize a magnesium deficiency, and because the early symptoms are subtle, millions of people are suffering without understanding the cause. Many of these are being treated with expensive drugs that will not help them.
According to Dr. Norman Shealy:
Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency…Magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.
Because allopathic medicine practitioners are not trained to recognize magnesium deficiency, it is incumbent on you as an individual to tune into your own body and be aware of possible signs of deficiency. In the beginning, you may crave salt, or have both carbohydrate cravings and intolerance. Other signs include leg cramps, foot pain, or muscle “twitches,” loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. As the deficiency progresses, you may experience numbness, tingling, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and even coronary spasms.
In a recent article, Dr. Sidney Baker writes:
Magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every organ system of the body. With regard to skeletal muscle, one may experience twitches, cramps, muscle tension, muscle soreness, including back aches, neck pain, tension headaches and jaw joint (or TMJ) dysfunction. Also, one may experience chest tightness or a peculiar sensation that he can’t take a deep breath. Sometimes a person may sigh a lot.
Symptoms involving impaired contraction of smooth muscles include constipation; urinary spasms; menstrual cramps; difficulty swallowing or a lump in the throat-especially provoked by eating sugar; photophobia, especially difficulty adjusting to oncoming bright headlights in the absence of eye disease; and loud noise sensitivity from stapedius muscle tension in the ear.
The central nervous system can be affected, resulting in anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness with continuous movements, panic attacks, and agoraphobia. Sometimes you can feel a vibration along the nerves. There may be heart problems.
Every cell in the body needs magnesium, including brain cells. Magnesium is essential for synthesizing proteins, and for utilizing fats and carbohydrates. Your body must have magnesium to product certain detoxification enzymes and for energy production related to cell detoxification. A deficiency affects every system in your body.
Plant foods are the best source of magnesium. Concentrate on leafy greens, nuts and seeds, whole grains, bananas, coffee and cacao. You can also supplement. The best forms are magnesium citrate (unless you have loose stools, which it may exacerbate), magnesium taurate, magnesium malate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium chloride and magnesium carbonate. Avoid magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), and magnesium glutamate and magnesium aspartate, which are difficult to absorb.