Magnesium – what is it and why it’s important

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals that is vital to your overall health. Magnesium deficiency is quite common and has profound effects. According to Katthie Swift from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine ” It works in partnership with other nutrients as an important catalyst for more than 375 reactions that we need to keep our systems going strong.”

Magnesium, a vital electrolyte regulates many biochemical reactions like protein synthesis, blood glucose control and blood pressure. It also impacts cardiovascular function, digestion and sleep functions. Additionally, it helps regulate muscle function and nerve transmission. It helps your muscles relax. Magnesium deficiency is often manifested by neuromuscular problems like cramping, spasms, fibromyalgia and facial tics.

If magnesium levels drop too low you may experience numbness, tingling, mood swings, abnormal heart rhythms and possible seizures.
Magnesium at work:

1. Heart Function – is vital to heart muscle function. This electrolyte assists in transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes. It also is crucial in all nerve and muscle function – particularly keeping heart and peripheral blood vessels relaxed.

2. Insulin Regulation – assists  insulin in regulating blood sugar by controlling proper insulin secretion from the pancreas. Studies indicate that magnesium deficiency is  linked to insulin resistance which is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and some cancers. 

3. Detoxification – magnesium assists the liver in detoxing, removing and neutralizing toxins from the body. It helps by activating other nutrients like thiamine and glutathione to do their jobs in detoxification and antioxidant defense. Adequate levels of magnesium counters the damage by environmental toxins and heavy metals. 

4. Vitamin D metabolism – the mineral is  crucial to vitamin  D absorption. It is as also been shown to help reverse vitamin D resistance. According to Andrea Rosanoff PhD, ” Magnseium is crucial in supporting the proteins that transport vitamin D in the blood.”

5. Bone health – 50% of your body’s magnesium is stored in your bones. It is involved in cellular activity that is responsible for breaking down bone tissue ( osteoclasts) and building new bone ( osteoclasts). Magnesium is just as important as calcium as it pertains to bone health ( preventing osteoporosis).

6. Restorative sleep – this multifaceted mineral aids sleep by stimulating neurotransmitter receptors that help our brains relax so we can fall asleep. 

Testing for Magnesium Deficiency:

The magnsieum red blood cell test ( mg RBC) is the best test currently  available. The ionized – magnsieum blood test looks at actual magnesium ions in your blood – providing a more accurate reading. 

Good Sources of Magnsuium:

Quinoa, almonds, cashews, spinach, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, white and black beans, avocado, brown rice and halibut. 


Organic bound magnesium salts like magnesium citrate, glycinate or  gluconate. 

300 – 500 mg recommended dose.