Picking the most important mineral is like choosing between your children. They are all special in their own way, right? Well, maybe not the eldest, he is a lost cause.
All kidding aside, let’s delve in the world of minerals. So, zinc is important for thyroid function, gut health, immune response, testosterone production, & sperm development. It must be the master mineral. Calcium builds our bones, contracts our muscles, & facilitates neuronal firing so it must be the master mineral. We cannot forget about potassium with its vital roles in heart contraction & cellular homeostasis. I will even give a shoutout to selenium for being an essential component in thyroid conversion, glutathione production, & mitigating the effects of methylmercury. However, I give the title of master mineral to our friend magnesium. Although there is some stiff competition for the belt, magnesium comes out victorious in my opinion.
Magnesium is involved in at least 400 enzymatic reactions within the body & I am sure that more will be discovered as time goes by. If you do not know by now, enzymes are kind of, sort of, important stuff. They are proteins that facilitate chemical reactions throughout the human body. So, just think how many processes will slow down or completely halt if 400 enzymes are not working properly because we are lacking adequate magnesium. You may experience cognitive decline, fat malabsorption, fatigue, headaches or slow healing, to name just a few common symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency. The majority of us walking around are low in magnesium, mostly because our soil has become so depleted through improper farming methods. Then there is the fact that chronic stress will deplete our magnesium levels. If you are not stressed out these days, then you likely do not have a pulse.
One of the most important duties of magnesium is to balance out intracellular calcium. Like I said earlier, calcium is important for nerve impulses & muscle contraction as it travels into the cell. However, that calcium may overstay its welcome in the cell without adequate magnesium to help shuttle it back out. This is why many people will feel a sense of calm when supplementing with magnesium since now there is better calcium regulation & less beta brain waves due to overstimulation of the neurons. Many people today are sympathetically driven, which is one reason why we see so much anxiety in our society, so adding the master mineral to your daily regimen can have profound effects on calming down that side of the nervous system.
Did you know that we need energy in the form of ATP to relax our muscles? In fact, the act of muscle relaxation requires more ATP than that of the contracted state. An easy way to picture this is through rigor mortis. We have all seen those unfortunate raccoons or opossums, stiff as a board, on the side of the road. Once their tissues use up the remaining ATP that is left, the muscles go into a contracted state instead of a flaccid state. Where magnesium comes into play when discussing energy is that most ATP in the body needs an attached magnesium ion for it to function optimally. Essentially, we want appropriate levels of magnesium circulating so that our daily energy demand does not exceed the supply, which will be experienced as some level of fatigue. Anybody ever experience fatigue? Exactly.
Segueing from fatigue into carbohydrate metabolism and insulin sensitivity makes sense at this point. The entire world, due to the spread of the western diet, is experiencing an obesity pandemic which is mainly driven by the overconsumption of sugar. Magnesium will not be able to compensate for our transition into Wall-E world, but it can be a vital tool to reverse some insulin resistance when combined with healthy lifestyle changes. In order for glucose to enter into muscle tissue, it must attach to a receptor known as tyrosine kinase (enzyme). According to a review by Gommers et al., (2016), 2 magnesium ions will attach to the tyrosine kinase which then acts like a Star Trek tractor beam for ATP. ATP provides energy for the reaction to occur and allows glucose into the cell. No magnesium available, then the bouncer aint letting glucose in the cell’s night club. Insulin resistance starts rearing its ugly head and prediabetes is not too far away.
Before we get into the various magnesium supplementation options out there, I want you to know that you want your doctor to measure RBC magnesium levels, not just the serum levels. Reason being, this gives a better representation of your true magnesium status since serum levels may be normal as the body begins stealing it from the bones. If your body is not transporting magnesium effectively, then you may want to try adding more vitamin B6 in the form of P5P.
With magnesium supplementation, you can use somewhat of a targeted approach. For example, the best form for brain health is typically magnesium threonate. For enhancing calmness, magnesium glycinate is the go-to. Improving heart contractility, I usually reach for magnesium orotate. When trying to improve liver detoxification pathways, magnesium taurate is the likely candidate. Chronic soreness or fibromyalgia, I choose the malate form. If you need to get the bowels moving quickly, then magnesium citrate can be helpful. There are others and these are mostly interchangeable, but I wanted to give you an idea of different ways of incorporating this mater mineral. My favorite way though has to be the tried-and-true Epsom salt bath since it seems to get me into slower brain waves like alpha & theta. My meditation is almost seamless with this soothing activity. The skin is rather absorbable to magnesium and the sulphate component helps support the liver as well.
If you would like assistance on your health journey and are fed up with the conventional medical model, then contact our office at (727) 789-4020 and Janine will get you all set up for your initial consultation. I look forward to meeting you and helping you to be your best self. We dedicate as much time as needed to get you back on track.
Gommers, L. M., Hoenderop, J. G., Bindels, R. J., & de Baaij, J. H. (2016). Hypomagnesemia in type 2 diabetes: a vicious circle?. Diabetes, 65(1), 3-13.