Kristi Whitley

MAGNESIUM

Healthy Living

This mineral supplement will give you super powers! 
 
Magnesium is a mineral necessary for smooth muscle relaxation, critical in cardiac and vascular health. It converts blood sugar into energy, activates enzymes for proper protein and carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, and is a constituent of bones and teeth. Magnesium is important for the metabolism of phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, B-complex vitamins, and vitamins C and E. It is necessary in the production of testosterone and progesterone, is essential for heart rhythm, nerve transmission, bone growth, body temperature, and arterial health. It is also vital for DNA and RNA production (orthomolecular.org).
 
Researchers believe most Americans are magnesium deficient. USDA surveys show that the Standard American Diet (SAD) contains only 40% of the RDA of magnesium. Remember, the RDA is the minimum to sustain life, not the optimal amount for everyone in every stage of health.

It is no wonder we are deficient when you consider that processing depletes all grains of magnesium. Besides that, sugar, phosphates, soft drinks, stress, diuretics and calcium channel blockers used for hypertension and heart disease, aluminum toxicity, and high protein diets all contribute to magnesium deficiency.
 
Of the twenty-plus articles I came across in my research, two were most compelling. One was written from the perspective of cardiovascular health and the other brain health. The one about magnesium deficiency and cardiovascular health was titled “Is Your Cardiologist Killing You?” The author, Dr. Sherry Rogers, traced the path of the cardiologist's patient getting sicker and sicker with every prescription when the original diagnosis should have been magnesium deficiency. As mentioned above, magnesium relaxes smooth muscle. In arteries, that means reduced blood pressure, in heart muscle, it reduces angina. It is also critical in nerve transmission maintaining heart rhythm.  The problem is often aggravated by medications prescribed for hypertension and angina. Diuretics, usually the first line of treatment for hypertension, deplete magnesium, as do calcium channel blockers prescribed for hypertension and angina. Dr. Rogers writes that 90% of physicians never check for magnesium deficiency before prescribing these drugs. In fact, magnesium is never used until the patient is admitted to the hospital for a heart attack or stroke, then IV magnesium is given.
 
Dr. Russell Blaylock dedicated his entire January 2011 newsletter to magnesium. Written seventeen years after Dr. Roger’s article, Dr. Blaylock cited more recent studies confirming the downward cardiac health spiral caused by doctors ignoring magnesium deficiency. He added that Alzheimer’s, diabetes, depression, anxiety, seizures, stroke, and suicide are major risk factors of magnesium deficiency. Restless leg syndrome, Raynaud’s syndrome, potassium deficiency, spasm of the colon, bronchial tubes (asthma), migraines, and chronic fatigue are all symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Dr. Blaylock elaborated on the downward spiral of the insulin resistant patient becoming a full-blown diabetic because of magnesium deficiency. He says that the same is true for Alzheimer's and dementia. Magnesium deficiency causes weakening of the blood brain barrier allowing aluminum to pass into the brain tissue and cause damage. Aluminum toxicity then causes even more magnesium deficiency and down the patient goes. 
 
Again, not only are American diets deficient in magnesium to begin with, modern medical practices and lifestyles deplete our bodies of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is difficult to detect. A blood test will not be accurate as 99% of magnesium is inside the cells. Hair analysis is the most reliable method of detection. To avoid the hassle of testing just assume you are deficient and eat right and/or supplement. 

The good news is that whole, unprocessed foods are teeming with magnesium! Buckwheat, oat germ, beans, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, figs, molasses, licorice, and kelp are all good plant sources of magnesium.

If recovering from one of the above-mentioned illnesses, supplementation is advised. Because of magnesium’s cardiovascular benefits, I supplement daily with at least 400mg. My doctor advises up to 800mg per day in separate doses. Dr. Blaylock suggests 500mg of magnesium citrate/malate twice a day.
 
I hope you can benefit from magnesium supplementation. I would love to hear from you if you do! Meanwhile, enjoy this sweet, magnesium-rich recipe courtesy of Dr. Furhman!
 
All the best,
K
 
Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
Serves: 6 Preparation Time: 15 minutes (active prep time)
Ingredients:
2 cups cooked or canned no-salt-added or low-sodium black beans, drained
10 pitted medjool dates or 1 1/4 cups domestic dates
2 tablespoons raw almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup natural, non-alkalized cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground chia seed
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Combine the black beans, dates, almond butter and vanilla in a food processor or high-powered blender. Blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again. Spread into a very lightly oiled 8 x 8 inch baking pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Cool completely and apply topping if desired. Cut into small squares.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to one week.
 
Optional Topping:
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup of water
4 tablespoons natural, non-alkalized unsweetened cocoa powder
5 medjool dates
splash vanilla extract
Blend topping ingredients