Friday, 10 March 2017

New Research On Magnesium

At first, it seems strange that one simple mineral could have such dramatic effects on our health. But three months ago, yet another study was published, showing that optimal magnesium intake could lower the risks of certain chronic illness and mortality.

Released on the 8th of December, 2016, this study is a meta-analysis, in other words, a study of studies. Led by Fudi Wang, a research team from Zhejiang University's School of Public Health analysed 40 studies that involved a total of over one million people. Magnesium intake was determined by food frequency questionnaires and dietary recall. It was found that for every 100mg increase in magnesium intake, there was a 22% reduction in heart failure, a 7% reduction in stroke risk and a 19% lower risk of developing type II diabetes. The risk of dying from any cause fell by 10%. However, while supplementation is indeed effective, the authors noted that boosting magnesium intake by dietary changes can be hit and miss. There are many foods, such as some nuts, beans and whole grains, that are rich in magnesium, but it is best to not rely on only one food source if you want to improve your magnesium status.

If you grow your own food, this is how
 magnesium deficiency looks in plants.
As Dr George Lundberg points out, magnesium deficiency is unfortunately so common in spite of all the research demonstrating its benefits, and could be killing those we love and care about. In his article, Did Carrie Fisher Die From Chronic Magnesium Deficiency?, he raises the very real possibility that she may have died from an undetected mineral deficiency. With the recent study showing a 22% drop in heart failure for every 100mg of magnesium, chances are looking high. Years before this recent paper, it has been known that low magnesium can trigger cardiac rhythm abnormalities, and that magnesium infusions can restore healthy heart rhythms. And sudden, unexpected deaths affect several hundred thousand people in the USA alone, every year. This should concern us all, but half of all Americans, including two-thirds of teenagers and those over 80, do not consume the recommended amount of 300-400mg of magnesium.  Almonds, cashews, shellfish, spinach, peanuts, pecans, whole grains, soy, black beans, edamame, dark chocolate, brown rice, oatmeal, figs, apricots, and bran are some food sources of magnesium, but too many people primarily consume processed foods. Alcohol, cola and some pharmaceuticals such as diuretics and PPIs further deplete the mineral, and use of these are so common, especially in the elderly. Magnesium is used for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including nerve impulse conduction and energy production.

It may not just be what we eat, but how these foods are grown. Magnesium is found in significantly higher levels in foods grown organically, along with other nutrients such as vitamin C, iron and carotenoids. Fortunately, thousands of farmers across the world are turning to organic farming methods in order to improve their health, as well as that of their customers and the environment. And awareness of natural health, both things we can do ourselves and those that require a qualified naturopath (or other practitioner), is growing every day. Sudden death is not fate, it is preventable!

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