Magnesium Deficient People 76% More Likely to Get Pancreatic Cancer – 80% of Us Are Magnesium Def.
Magnesium is used by every organ in the body, especially the heart, muscles, and kidneys. It is critical for the proper functioning of over 300 metabolic reactions in the human body. Researchers have also identified 3,751 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins. (Mercola, 2015)
“To name a few (uses), the nutrient is necessary for neurotransmitter, enzyme, and hormonal activity; mitochondrial protein, DNA and RNA synthesis; and glucose homeostasis, active transport, and glutathione and ATP production.
“Conversely, inadequate magnesium levels can contribute to insomnia, seizures, anxiety, pain, and other neuropsychiatric problems.
“Low dietary intake and low magnesium serum levels are associated with numerous critical health conditions including, hypertension, elevated C-reactive protein levels, TNF alpha, triglycerides, and fasting glucose; decreased high-density lipoprotein; sudden cardiac death; type 2 diabetes; metabolic syndrome; asthma; and osteoporosis. In one study, dietary-induced magnesium deficiency (longer than four weeks) in lean subjects led to a reduction in insulin sensitivity.” (Bartlik, Bijlani, & Music, 2014)
Yet magnesium deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in American adults. About 80% of us consume far too little of this necessary, anti-inflammatory mineral – to our great detriment. (Ware, 2016)
Decades of research have demonstrated the importance of getting enough magnesium but magnesium deficiency is often overlooked as a cause of poor health. (Axe, 2016) MAGNESIUM’S HEALTH BENEFITS
These are some of the many vital health benefits provided by magnesium:
The body requires magnesium to perform other important functions, including:
Synthesizing fatty acids & proteins
Transmitting nerve impulses
Handling stress & relieving anxiety
Protecting against arthritis & Alzheimer’s
Protecting against insulin resistance & diabetes
Protecting against metabolic syndrome
Protecting bone health
Protecting against colon cancer
Protecting against pancreatic cancer
Treating high blood pressure, diabetes & respiratory issues
Activating muscles and nerves
Creating energy in the body by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
Helping digest proteins, carbohydrates & fats
Serving as a building block for RNA & DNA synthesis
Acting as a precursor for neurotransmitters like serotonin
Detoxifying the body to prevent damage from environmental chemicals, heavy metals, and other toxins
– (Fassa, 2016), (Mercola, 2015), (Ware, 2016) & (Williams, 2016)
SIGNS OF A MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY
High blood pressure & cardiovascular disease
Kidney & liver damage
Peroxynitrite damage that can lead to migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma & Alzheimer’s disease
Nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin K, vitamin B1, calcium & potassium
Restless leg syndrome
Worsened PMS symptoms
Anxiety, behavioral disorders & mood swings
Insomnia & trouble staying asleep
Recurrent bacterial or fungal infections due to low levels of nitric oxide or a depressed immune system
Muscle weakness & cramps
Type II diabetes
Increased magnesium intake is given to resolve these issues. – (Axe, 2016) & (Fassa, 2013) FIBROMYALGIA AND MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY
There’s strong evidence that fibromyalgia is also linked to a magnesium deficiency. (Atlanta Pain Management Center, 2014)
MENTAL ILLNESS AND MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY An association between magnesium deficiency and mental illnesses has also been found. Conversely, supplementation with magnesium has been found effective in resolving many psychiatric problems. (Bartlik, Bijlani, & Music, 2014) Mental Illnesses Associated with Increasingly Severe Neuronal Magnesium Deficiency
MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY AND PANCREATIC CANCER
Incidence and death rates for pancreatic cancer rates are both on the rise. (Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 2013).
Some statistics on pancreatic cancer from The National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, which reported an average rise of 0.06%/year in recent years: Estimated new cases in 2016: 53,070
Estimated deaths in 2016: 41,780
Percent surviving 5 years (2006-2012): 7.7%
Prevalence of this cancer: In 2013, there were an estimated 49,620 people living with pancreatic cancer in the United States.
– (National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, 2016)
You can greatly decrease your risk of developing this deadly form of cancer by increasing your daily magnesium intake.
“In a landmark human study, there were marked reductions in pancreatic cancer risk in those who ingested higher amounts of magnesium primarily in dietary supplements.” (Faloon, 2016)
MAGNESIUM, CALCIUM AND COLON CANCER
Magnesium and calcium in the proper ratio provide protection against colorectal cancer and the recurrence of colorectal polyps. Polyps in the colon and rectum are a precursor to colorectal cancer. (Life Extension Update, 2008)
Studies have shown colon cancer risk reductions in response to higher magnesium intake. (Faloon, 2016)
MIGRAINES AND MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY If you’re a migraine sufferer, this is for you.
“It’s generally accepted that migraines are a result of changes in blood flow to the brain. The difficulty in eliminating migraine headaches stems from the fact that there are dozens of different “triggers” that can cause these blood flow alterations. These can include stress, skipping meals, lack of sleep, hormone imbalance, temperature or barometric pressure changes, bright lights, loud noise, strong odors, exertion, mineral and/or vitamin deficiencies, and many others.
“One of the most commonly overlooked migraine triggers is magnesium deficiency. The precise role of this mineral in the development of migraines is still being unraveled, but we do know that magnesium deficiencies allow serotonin levels to flow unchecked. A serotonin increase causes vascular spasms, which then reduces blood flow and oxygen to the brain. It also brings about the release of other pain-producing chemicals.
“Studies show that up to 50 percent of migraine patients have lowered levels of magnesium during an attack, and an infusion of the mineral can provide rapid and sustained relief. Additionally, routine oral use of magnesium can reduce both the frequency and severity of such attacks.” (Williams, 2016) WHY HAS MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY BECOME SO COMMON?
This is how Dr. Josh Axe’s answers that question:
“A few factors are at play: soil depletion that lowers the amount of magnesium present in crops; digestive disorders that lead to malabsorption of magnesium and other minerals in the gut; high rates of prescription medication and antibiotic use that damages the digestive tract to the point that magnesium cannot be absorbed and properly utilized from foods.
“The body loses stores of magnesium every day from normal functions such as muscle movement, heartbeat, and hormone production. Although we only need small amounts of magnesium relative to other nutrients, we must regularly replenish our stores either from foods or magnesium supplements in order to prevent deficiency symptoms.
“The kidneys primarily control levels of magnesium within the body and excrete magnesium into the urine each day, which is one reason why urinary excretion is reduced when magnesium and other electrolyte statuses are low. Magnesium is actually the least abundant serum electrolyte in the body, but it’s still extremely important for your metabolism, enzyme function, energy production, and for balancing nitric oxide (NO) in the body.” (Axe, 2016)
Bartlik, Bijlani, & Music also mention:
“Despite its benefits, many people are magnesium are deficient due to the frequent consumption of highly processed foods in the standard American diet and modern water treatment processes that remove magnesium from the water supply.” (Bartlik, Bijlani, & Music, 2014)
Medical and Naturopathic doc Carolyn Dean says “Magnesium is farmed out of the soil much more than calcium… A hundred years ago, we would get maybe 500 milligrams of magnesium in an ordinary diet. Now we’re lucky to get 200 milligrams.” (Mercola, 2015)
Dr. Mercola adds that “herbicides, like glyphosate, also act as chelators, effectively blocking the uptake and utilization of minerals in so many foods grown today. As a result, it can be quite difficult to find truly magnesium-rich foods. Cooking and processing further deplete magnesium.” (Mercola, 2015)
This is a good argument (among many) for avoiding GMO foods! FOODS RICH IN MAGNESIUM
Some foods that are (or should be) high in magnesium:
Baked potatoes (with the skin)
Baked acorn squash
Mushrooms (white, portabella, brown, crimini, enoki, shiitake, maitake)
– (Fassa, 2013) & (HealthAliciousNess, 2016)
Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who’s sure the foods you consume are grown in magnesium-rich soil or water, see the next section for a caveat about relying on food to get sufficient magnesium.
WHY SUPPLEMENT WITH MAGNESIUM
Unfortunately, even if we’re eating foods regarded as good sources of magnesium, most of us will still need to take magnesium supplements. The reason for this has to do with how depleted our food-growing soil has become:
“The challenge when assessing dietary magnesium intake is the inconsistency of the amount of magnesium contained in food.
“Magnesium is not manufactured inside plants like disease-fighting polyphenols. This means the quantity of dietary magnesium is largely dictated by the amount of magnesium in the soil the food is grown in, or the mineral content of the water one drinks, both of which are highly variable.” (Faloon, 2016)
Officially Recommended Daily Allowances for Magnesium
As you see in the chart above, the US government’s recommended daily amount of magnesium (as set by the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements) is 310-320 mg for women and 410-420 mg for men. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean and many other nutritional experts, this amount is “just enough to ward off outright deficiency.”
Research shows that only about 25% of Americans get even these meager RDAs. (Mercola, 2015)
IS THERE A BLOOD TEST FOR MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY?
The short answer is no. Here’s the reason:
“If you’ve recently had a blood test, you might assume it would show a magnesium deficiency. But only 1 percent of magnesium in your body is distributed in your blood, making a simple sample of magnesium from a serum magnesium blood test not very useful.
“Most magnesium is stored in your bones and organs, where it is used for many biological functions. Yet, it’s quite possible to be deficient and not know it, which is why magnesium deficiency has been dubbed the “invisible deficiency.” (Mercola, 2015)
There are, however, other ways to attempt to measure magnesium in the body:
“Assessing magnesium status is difficult because most magnesium is inside cells or in bone. The most commonly used and readily available method for assessing magnesium status is measurement of serum magnesium concentration, even though serum levels have little correlation with total body magnesium levels or concentrations in specific tissues. Other methods for assessing magnesium status include measuring magnesium concentrations in erythrocytes, saliva, and urine; measuring ionized magnesium concentrations in blood, plasma, or serum; and conducting a magnesium-loading (or “tolerance”) test. No single method is considered satisfactory. Some experts but not others consider the tolerance test (in which urinary magnesium is measured after parenteral infusion of a dose of magnesium) to be the best method to assess magnesium status in adults. To comprehensively evaluate magnesium status, both laboratory tests and a clinical assessment might be required.” (National Institutes of Health, 2016)
TWO HIGH QUALITY MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTS
There are many forms and brands of magnesium supplements. These are the ones I use.
For my needs, I take two capsules after breakfast.
For my needs, I take one capsule after lunch and two capsules before bedtime.
The total dose of magnesium supplementation I take/day is 732 mg: 300 mg as magnesium glycinate chelate and 432 mg as magnesium threonate.
This works well for me. It may not be correct for you.
There seems to be no firm agreement on how much magnesium we need for optimal health. The following is what I found on the topic. See also the section, FACTORS INFLUENCING MAGNESIUM LEVELS, below.