A small group of international magnesium researchers proved the importance of magnesium not only as a nutrient for thousands of body processes but also as a medicine to treat magnesium-depleted health conditions. Drs. Bella and Burton Altura have performed laboratory research and clinical research to the tune of about 1,000 studies over the past 40 years. The Alturas personally confirmed 22 magnesium-related conditions.

walnuts are rich in Mg

walnuts are rich in Mg

SYMPTOMS OF MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY

The first symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be subtle. Most magnesium is stored in the tissues, so leg cramps, foot pain or muscle ‘twitches’ are usually the first signs. Insomnia, migraine headaches are also very common magnesium deficiency symptoms. And if ignored, some of the other more serious symptoms of Magnesium deficiency (low energy, fatigue, weakness, hormonal imbalances, inability to sleep, weakening of the bones, muscle tension, spasms and cramps, abnormal heart rhythm, headaches, anxiousness, nervousness, irritability, kidney stones) can develop.


Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the human body and is essential to good health. It is critical in over 350 essential biochemical reactions in the body including digestion, energy production, muscle function, bone formation, creation of new cells, activation of B vitamins, relaxation of muscles, and also assists in the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, adrenals, brain and nervous system.

In fact, Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body—it can be found in human bones, teeth and red blood cells, and activates more enzyme systems than both Iron and Zinc combined.

THE CORRECT MAGNESIUM-TO-CALCIUM RATIO

Supplementing with magnesium must also take into account the balance between calcium and magnesium. Finland, which, from 1973 to 1999 had the highest recorded incidence of heart attack in middle-aged men in the world, also has a high calcium-to-magnesium ratio in the diet at 4 parts calcium to 1 part magnesium. 16-17 Americans in general have a high calcium-to-magnesium ratio in their diet and consequently in their bodies; the U.S. ratio is 3.5-to-1. Our dietary emphasis on a high calcium intake without sufficient magnesium and because of the excessive emphasis on women taking high doses of calcium for osteoporosis, we are creating more imbalance between the two minerals.

Some researchers predict that the American ratio of calcium to magnesium is actually approaching 6-to-1, yet, the recommended dietary ratio of calcium to magnesium in the United States is 2-to-1. Current research on the paleolithic or caveman diet shows that the ratio of calcium to magnesium in the diet that our bodies evolved to eat is 1-to-1. 18 In order to offset the deficiency magnesium induced by excess calcium and to treat the above 22 conditions, people may find it necessary to ingest one part magnesium to one part calcium in supplement form for a period of months to a year. Stabilization on a healthy diet including green drinks may be possible after that time.

The most commons sources of magnesium are oxide, citrate, glycinate, and malate. People use oxide and citrate if they suffer from constipation to take advantage of magnesium’s laxative effect. Glycinate seems to cause little diarrhea and is the best choice for people who already have loose stools. Magnesium malate has been promoted for people with fibromyalgia to help break up lactic acid that seems to be part of the fibromyalgia picture.

TO INCREASE YOUR MAGNESIUM INTAKE:

Consume Green Vegetables and Whole Grains eating a wide variety of legumes, nuts, whole grains and vegetables will help you meet your daily dietary need for magnesium. Some of the foods rich in magnesium are: Buckwheat, baking chocolate, cottonseed, tea, tofu, legumes, soybean flour, almonds, cashews, pine nuts whole wheat and leafy green vegetables including collard greens and parsley.

The food items and weights in this list is adapted from those in 2002 revision of Home and Garden Bulletin No. 72, Nutritive Value of Foods.

FOOD

Milligrams (mg)

%DV*

Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces

90

20

Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce

80

20

Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce

75

20

Soybeans, mature, cooked, ½ cup

75

20

Spinach, frozen, cooked, ½ cup

75

20

Nuts, mixed, dry roasted, 1 ounce

65

15

Cereal, shredded wheat, 2 rectangular biscuits

55

15

Oatmeal, instant, fortified, prepared w/
water, 1 cup

55

15

Potato, baked w/ skin, 1 medium

50

15

Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce

50

15

Peanut butter, smooth, 2 Tablespoons

50

15

Wheat Bran, crude, 2 Tablespoons

45

10

Blackeyed Peas, cooked, ½ cup

45

10

Yogurt, plain, skim milk, 8 fluid ounces

45

10

Bran Flakes, ¾ cup

40

10

Vegetarian Baked Beans, ½ cup

40

10

Rice, brown, long-grained, cooked, ½ cup

40

10

Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, ½ cup

35

8

Avocado, California, ½ cup pureed

35

8

Kidney Beans, canned, ½ cup

35

8

Pinto Beans, cooked, ½ cup

35

8

Wheat Germ, crude, 2 Tablespoons

35

8

Chocolate milk, 1 cup

33

8

Banana, raw, 1 medium

30

8

Milk Chocolate candy bar, 1.5 ounce bar

28

8

Milk, reduced fat (2%) or fat free, 1 cup

27

8

Bread, whole wheat, commercially prepared, 1
slice

25

6

Raisins, seedless, ¼ cup packed

25

6

Whole Milk, 1 cup

24

6

Chocolate Pudding, 4 ounce ready-to-eat
portion

24

6

DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers developed by various governments to help consumers determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient. The DV for magnesium, for most counties, is 400 milligrams (mg). Most food labels do not list a food’s magnesium content. The percent DV (%DV) listed on the table above indicates the percentage of the DV provided in one serving. A food providing 5% of the DV or less per serving is a low source while a food that provides 10-19% of the DV is a good source. A food that provides 20% or more of the DV is high in that nutrient. It is important to remember that foods that provide lower percentages of the DV also contribute to a healthful diet.

Other ways to increase your Magnesium levels