Magnesium is one of the prime minerals on the earth and in the sea. We are surrounded by its presence in plants, trees, animals, and in us. Every cell in our body contains magnesium, and it is an essential mineral for the healthy functioning of our brain, heart, and skeletal muscles.
What is Magnesium Bisglycinate?
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Also known as magnesium glycinate, magnesium bisglycinate is elemental magnesium combined with glycine. Glycine is an amino acid that helps to boost magnesium levels in the body. About 60% of the magnesium in your body is in your bones, and more is stored within your muscle, soft tissue, and fluids such as your blood. This makes it difficult for your exact magnesium level to be accurately monitored.
A negative fact, but one you should be aware of, is that magnesium levels in the diets of many people are insufficient. This deficiency is partly due to certain food processing methods, as well as the depleted nutrients in non-organic soils used for mass production of crops. In some cases, it is also due to poor dietary choices. A lack of sufficient magnesium in your body can lead to health issues such as depression, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, metabolic syndrome, pre-menstrual stress, and migraine headaches.
One of the great advantages of magnesium bisglycinate is that it is well-tolerated and easily absorbed by the body. The combination of magnesium with the amino acid glycine has been found to assist brain chemicals, otherwise known as neurotransmitters, to encourage feelings of calm and promote better quality sleep, also to achieve a healthy circadian rhythm.
As well as having powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, magnesium bisglycinate may be used to improve blood sugar levels. It is also less likely to have a laxative effect than other forms of magnesium, but instead promotes relief from stress, insomnia, and anxiety.
Dietary Changes to Boost Magnesium
Encouragingly, there are natural ways to help yourself with ensuring a plentiful supply of magnesium into your body.
Adding certain foods to your diet on a regular basis will do much to increase your magnesium levels, but there are other factors to bear in mind when tweaking your diet to include greater access to magnesium.
Most of the magnesium in your diet is from plants such as green vegetables, nuts, and seeds such as almonds, black beans, cashews, pumpkin seeds, also from dark chocolate, and those food choices are acceptable to most people. Unfortunately, the quality of the soil that plants are grown in often do not provide crops with the magnesium needed for human health. Many environmental practices can ruin the mineral richness in the soil. Pesticides used to kill weeds and bacteria, also potassium-based fertilisers get into plants, replacing minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
Buying organic produce, although a little more expensive, is something you may wish to consider. Crops grown in organic soil will have a higher magnesium content than those produced under conditions where the growing medium may have been nutritionally depleted and chemically altered.
There are other factors at work too in robbing you of your rightful supply of magnesium. Factory food processes, too much caffeine, excesses of alcohol, antacid medications, and diuretics (the last two probably having been medically prescribed) can all result in leaving you badly lacking in vital magnesium.
Instead of choosing foods manufactured from ingredients such as refined flours, white, polished rice, and highly processed convenience foods, go for bread and bakery items made from wholemeal flour, brown rice and fresh foods, particularly dark green leafy vegetables. Cook them briefly and try steaming them instead of allowing much of their goodness to be leached away into a pan of boiling water and then tipped down the drain.
Foods that contain high levels of magnesium are:
- Brown rice
- Dark chocolate
Why We Need Magnesium?
Scientific papers have been published, based on research and medical case studies, illustrating the reasons why depleted magnesium is often the root cause of symptoms of depression. Research has found that due to food production techniques your regular diet has been robbed of much of its natural magnesium. For instance, the process of refining flour removes a significant amount of the natural magnesium that would otherwise be available in wholewheat.
A deficiency of magnesium within the body creates a dangerous imbalance because magnesium ions are necessary to regulate the flow of calcium irons into neuronal calcium channels. It is this process which regulates neuronal nitric oxide production. But when there is a deficiency, the brain’s need for magnesium may not be met and this causes neuronal damage which manifests as depression.
There have been numerous studies into the effectiveness and safety of treating depression with magnesium supplements. One paper, entitled ‘Rapid Recovery from Depression Using Magnesium Treatment’ gives a clear explanation of this process. The research-scientist writers of this paper claim that there is a possibility that magnesium deficiency may be a contributing factor to some depressive disorders as well as related mental health problems including IQ loss and addiction.
Those affected by mental health issues may find relief by boosting their magnesium intake as it plays an important part in brain biochemistry. Any deficiency can result in neuromuscular and psychiatric symptoms, as well as in depression.
Psychological issues benefitting from a boost of magnesium:
- Memory and Cognition – Sufficient magnesium levels may help with cognitive agility and recall.
- Insomnia – Promotes sound sleep and reduces daytime fatigue.
- Low mood – Has a stabilising effect, reducing symptoms of anxiety, irritability, and depression.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome – Studies show that magnesium proved effective in treatment of this condition.
- Overexcitability* – May be soothed by sufficient magnesium.
* Now a recognised term meaning ‘a heightened physiological experience of stimuli resulting from increased neuronal sensitivity’.
Several studies have found that many sufferers of migraines also have low levels of magnesium in their blood and tissue. Magnesium supplements can reduce the frequency of migraines, but this treatment should be managed with the advice of a doctor.
There are the means of communication between the brain and the body, and it has been found that hormones controlling the menstrual cycle may be helped by sufficient magnesium, helping to reduce pre-menstrual problems.
Heart and Lungs
- Heart Disease
- Studies have shown that those whose diets are richer in magnesium have a lower risk of certain cardiovascular issues. It is still difficult for medical scientists to ascertain how much the results of these studies are attributable to magnesium and how much are due to the presence of other nutrients.
- Heart Rhythm
- Magnesium has been found to help with maintaining normal heart rhythm. This has been found to be particularly helpful in post-menopausal women.
- Magnesium acts as a muscle relaxant and this may help to reduce asthmatic spasms, although scientific reports state that further research is needed to establish whether oral administration can be significantly successful. It has been established that inhaled (nebulised) magnesium is helpful and intravenous magnesium is used in certain extreme circumstances.
Much of the magnesium in our body is stored in the bones. They act as a sort of magnesium reservoir. Healthy bones are very dependent upon magnesium and those with higher intake of magnesium have a higher bone mineral density. This helps greatly in lessening the risk of fractures and the onset of osteoporosis.
Boosting magnesium in food, or taking it as a dietary supplement, may help older women improve their bone mineral density and thereby avoid the possible onset of osteoporosis. Further research is needed to fully understand whether magnesium supplements can be used to treat osteoporosis once it is already diagnosed.
Magnesium is a necessary mineral needed to help keep normal nerve and muscle function. Because of its place in the production of energy to fuel muscle function and also its ability to maintain blood glucose levels, magnesium is known as a vital aid for athletes, but should also be heralded as a support for everyone wishing to sustain a good level of day-to-day fitness.
Having a healthy gut and well-functioning digestive system is vital in keeping you well-nourished and hopefully as free from disease and viruses as possible. At least 70% of your immune system stems from your gut where good bacteria maintain a balanced environment, geared up to eliminating free radicals (unstable atoms that can damage cells).
Magnesium plays an important part in supporting gut enzyme systems in their work to change food into nutrients to be absorbed and used to nourish you. These processes include the breaking down and production of energy from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
As the largest organ of your body, the skin needs much care and attention. Until things go wrong, we all tend to take our skin for granted, yet the importance of having supple, healthy skin is vital.
Magnesium helps with the production of collagen and elastin, thereby supporting healthy and supple skin. Drinking plenty of water is also a great way to support skin health and better than any amount of expensive moisturiser applied to the surface.
Magnesium Bisglycinate Supplements
To ensure sufficient magnesium levels, it may be a preferred choice to take a supplement in addition to adding magnesium rich foods to your diet. This will ensure benefits to cellular function as well as helping other specific health issues.
Some people may be more vulnerable to having reduced levels of magnesium and for this reason may find a magnesium supplement particularly beneficial. Medical health professionals will usually recommend magnesium supplementation to those with the following conditions:
- Gastrointestinal diseases such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis
- Long-term alcoholism
- Blood Sugar and Type 2 Diabetes
For anyone with insulin resistance or sensitivity, managing blood sugar is a tricky balancing act. This is partly because insulin resistance causes the body to lose more magnesium in their urine and this leads to lower levels of the mineral in the body.
Magnesium can help in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. This is because magnesium can break down sugars and thereby reduce the risk of insulin resistance. Taking magnesium as a supplement has been found to increase the magnesium levels in the blood and give improved diabetes control. For those currently diagnosed as pre-diabetic, a magnesium supplement may greatly help prevent type 2 diabetes. Research is being carried out into the possibility of magnesium as a treatment for those who already have type 2 diabetes.
Choosing a Magnesium Bisglycinate Supplement
Supplement Place offer a highly bioavailable and natural magnesium supplement with the added benefits of glycine which is gentle on the digestive system. It has been developed by a team of experienced natural-health professionals to give the ultimate support to those wishing to ensure their levels of magnesium are sufficient to give support in the recovery or maintenance of good mental and physical health.
Is Magnesium Likely to be Harmful?
Because magnesium is a mineral that occurs naturally in a wide range of foods, it is not harmful, and its consumption does not need to be limited. Unless you have kidney disease your body will be able to naturally eliminate any surplus to requirements magnesium via urine. However, if you are taking magnesium as a supplement, you should not take more than the recommended daily amount unless recommended by your doctor.
There are certain areas where it is advisable to seek medical advice before supplementing. If you are taking antibiotics, or using regular antacid or reflux medication, it is recommended you discuss with your doctor the advisability of taking additional magnesium to that which is supplied by your food. It’s also advisable to check with your GP if you are taking birth control medication.
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