Claudine Phillips

Episode 25 | The Health Benefits of Magnesium and How to Increase Magnesium Levels

In this episode of The Wholistic Greatness Podcast, I share the health benefits of magnesium and my experience with a protocol called the Morely Robbins’ Root Cause Protocol. Magnesium is an underestimated mineral that is essential to our health and healing.

“Minerals are the spark plugs of your body, powering all enzymatic functions”

What you will learn in this week's podcast:

Magnesium is a mineral that is important for normal bone structure in the body. Low magnesium levels in the body have been linked to diseases such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, hereditary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. 

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Memory problems
  • Anorexia
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tremors
  • Vertigo
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat

Clinical Conditions of Magnesium Deficiency

  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • ADHD
  • Asthma
  • Colon Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sleep disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraine headaches
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension
  • Type II diabetes

How to Find Out What Your Magnesium Levels Are

To order Blood Work and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) for an RCP Consult, Morley has compiled a list of laboratories here.

The list that he suggests is:

  • “Iron studies”, including:
    • Serum Iron
    • Total Iron-binding Capacity (TIBC) and/or Saturation
    • Serum Transferrin
    • Serum Ferritin
  • Serum Copper
  • Serum Ceruloplasmin
  • Red Blood Cell (RBC) Magnesium
  • Plasma Zinc
  • Hemoglobin (or Haemaglobin)
  • If possible, Vitamin A (Retinol), and Vitamin D (storage form: 25-OH)

Many people are able to work with their healthcare professional to order some (or all) of these tests, and have some (or all) of the costs covered by their health insurance. Some are not… Your mileage will vary based on what State you are in, your health insurance, and your healthcare practitioner.

  • Blood
    • Request A Test – This option is a bit more expensive that Ulta Labs, but it is available in a wider range of States, and also includes Vitamin A & D.
    • Ulta Labs – This option is less expensive than Request A Test, but it is not available in all States.
  • HTMA

Health Benefits of Magnesium

The following information is from an interview with Morley Robbins on the benefits of magnesium in the diet.

Magnesium regulates calcium. All three of the body’s calcium-regulating hormones (calcitonin, parathyroid hormone (PTH), and vitamin D) are dependent upon Mg for their proper production and regulation. Excess, unregulated calcium is a cause of many problems in the body, and is a prime cause of “brittle bones” in our skeletal structure, which happens when there is insufficient Mg in our body.

Magnesium activates vitamin D. There is no more misunderstood hormone on this planet than vitamin D.  Our bodies require Mg to convert storage vitamin D (the form of the supplement you are likely taking) to active vitamin D (the form of the hormone that does so many amazing things in your body).

Magnesium regulates the electrolytes. We are giant batteries that run on electricity. The source of that electricity is minerals, especially the four key electrolytes: calcium, sodium, potassium, and, of course, magnesium. The sodium/potassium (Na/K) pump that is in our cells of our body, and is central to our overall well-being, is totally dependent on Mg to run properly and keep these minerals in balance.

Magnesium is essential for digestive enzymes. The macronutrients we eat daily (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) each require a different set of enzymes to ensure proper metabolism and use in our bodies. It turns out that Mg is key to the production of all three classes of enzymes.

Magnesium prevents sudden cardiac death. Since the pioneering work of Chipperfield and Chipperfield (whose findings were published in Lancet in1973), medicine has known that severe Mg deficiency was the cause of sudden death related to heart events. This fact was recently re-confirmed in a study this past year, just to amplify the point for the latest generation. Heart disease is a symptom of Mg deficiency. Readers beware.

Magnesium regulates the enzyme that makes cholesterol. The body makes cholesterol for a reason. All steroid hormones that run our bodies (stress hormones, sex hormones, and so forth) are ultimately made from cholesterol. So, high cholesterol means I’m stressed out? Likely. So what’s a better way to deal with stress? Get more Mg in your diet and take more Mg supplements.

Magnesium is essential for energy production. We derive our energy from the Krebs citric acid cycle (the sequence of reactions most living cells generate energy). Every molecule of glucose that gets metabolized requires 28 molecules of Mg to make it happen. In fact, every transaction in the body that requires energy (most do, by the way) requires the presence of Mg and energy-storing adenosine triphosphate (ATP)–it’s that central to our energy status, as well as our health status.

Magnesium is essential for proper insulin levels. You cannot produce insulin, you cannot secrete insulin, and your cells cannot recognize insulin without proper levels of Mg. Study after study has proven the central role of Mg in controlling blood sugar levels. Your doctor has told you that, right? And if you’re diagnosed with prediabetes (as 75 million Americans now are), you’ve had your Mg levels checked, right?

Magnesium prevents depression. Scientists have known since 1926 that excess calcium, and too little Mg, correlates with people reporting they feel depressed. You mean it’s largely a mineral imbalance? Yup. The fact that many of the top 20 highest-selling drugs in America are antidepressants is indicative of how imbalanced our bodies have become. (See #1, above…)

Magnesium is deficient in most Americans’ bodies. Numerous studies over the last several years have confirmed what the Mg-oriented health practitioners and researchers have known all along: We are missing sufficient levels of this critical nutrient. 

General Guidelines for Magnesium

The average adult may only get 66 percent of their daily-recommended magnesium in their normal diet. This could be a result of the amount of processed foods we eat. Following is a general guideline of how much we need a day.

The National Institutes of Health recommends the following daily intake of magnesium:

  • Children 1-3 years: 80 mg
  • Children 4-8 years: 130 mg
  • Children 9-13 years: 240 mg
  • Teens 14-18 years: boys 410 mg and girls 360 mg
  • Adults 19-30 years: men 400 mg and women 310 mg
  • Adults 31+ years: men 420 mg and women 320 mg

Grain and Dairy Free Magnesium Rich Foods

The following 8 foods are the top grain free and dairy free sources of magnesium I incorporate into my diet on the regular. 

  • Spinach (157 mg)
  • Quinoa (118 mg)
  • Almonds (80 mg)
  • Cashews (74 mg)
  • Peanuts (49 mg)
  • Dark Chocolate (64 mg)
  • Black Beans (120 mg)
  • Avocado (58 mg)

Phytic acid, the storage form of phosphorus in seeds, nuts, beans, legumes, and grains can bind to magnesium in the GI tract, making it less available to our bodies. To reduce the anti-nutrient effects of phytic acids in foods, try to soak, sprout, ferment, and cook plant food and use vinegar in salad dressing and cooking to enhance mineral absorption and offset phytic acid.

Helpful Resources to Find out More Information on Magnesium

I am Claudine Phillips, a Registered Dietitian, Yogi,  and wife and mom to 3.  I blog, vlog, and podcast my experiences to a healthy and wholisitc lifestyle to inspire you find your #wholisticgreatnessl. I termed the phrase #wholisticgreatness to embrace spiritual, emotional, and physical health in order to become your best self. I share my personal stories as well as partnering with guests as they share their inspiration, tactics, and strategies to be their best selves!  I can be found speaking locally and nationally, bloggingvlogging and connecting with you on my podcast, The Wholistic Greatness Podcast, and on all the socials at @claudinephillips. I can’t wait to connect!

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