The Magnificence of Magnesium: A Mineral Must for Maintaining a Healthy Body

by Jon P. Frieda

Magnesium is one of the most important nutrients needed by the human body. It is critical for the optimal performance of over 300 essential biochemical reactions. Primarily, magnesium is calming and soothing on muscles and the nervous system as well as a powerful anti-inflammatory, but the broad range of which it affects our health is both magnificent and awesome.

Would you be interested to know that there are many symptoms of magnesium deficiency and several health conditions that can occur or be accentuated by an inadequate amount of magnesium in the body? If so, read on as we highlight and explore causes of magnesium deficiency, as well as some of the most significant benefits of maintaining optimal magnesium levels to ensure that your body and all of its vital processes can operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Interestingly, up to 80% of Americans are believed to be magnesium deficient, although this phenomenon is wholly underreported. The reason for this misunderstanding is that when a magnesium deficiency is suspected, the standard test used by the medical community is to measure magnesium serum levels in the blood. In reality, only about 1% of this mineral is found in the blood, with approximately 66% found in the bones, and the remaining 33% in muscle. While the body works hard to maintain an adequate blood serum level of magnesium, a more appropriate method of how to assess true magnesium levels in the body is to measure its content in the red blood cells. It is for this reason that many individuals who are determined to have sufficient magnesium blood serum levels are actually magnesium deficient.

Why are most Americans deficient in magnesium? The simple answer to this question is a universal phenomenon that we have explored in previous newsletters, which is responsible for many of the health related deficiencies and ailments that have reached epidemic proportions in the United States, that being the typical American diet. Magnesium is the most deficient element in the modern American diet.

If you recall, the American diet consists of approximately 62% processed foods. To put this in perspective, we Americans eat around 31% more packaged/processed food than we do fresh foods like fruits and vegetables. The result is a “double whammy” in that our diets are lacking in essential minerals like magnesium and rich in synthetic additives and preservatives.

Magnesium can help to improve brain function and lessen symptoms of depression. Supplementing with magnesium has been clinically shown to increase brain function by improving brain electrical activity and promoting better learning ability, sharper memory and improved focus.

Magnesium can help to decrease inflammation and improve heart health. Inflammation is not only an obstacle to recovery from improper gastrointestinal health, and physical and emotional stress, it is also a major contributor of inflammation related disorders such as heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

Magnesium can help to build stronger bones and prevent osteoporosis. While calcium is often praised for building stronger bones, it does nothing but build up in the blood and tissues of the body unless you have adequate levels of magnesium and vitamin D3.

Magnesium can help to increase insulin sensitivity and prevent obesity and the development of diabetes. Low levels of magnesium can decrease your insulin sensitivity, and make it more difficult to regulate your blood sugar and loose excess fat.

Founded as a traditional apothecary style pharmacy in 1932, Neels Pharmacy is an established compounding and prescription pharmacy in its fourth generation of family leadership. Today, Neels Pharmacy has evolved into the pharmacy of the future and provides regular and innovative custom compounded prescription medications for humans and animals, as well as the latest and most effective over-the-counter products, including: clinical nutrition, homeopathy (for humans and animals), herbal remedies, therapeutic teas, aromatherapy and essential oils , skin care and high quality personal grooming products.

Also, a low magnesium level in pregnant women is another epigenetic deficiency that can cause the development of diabetes and metabolic syndrome in the child after birth. Metabolic syndrome is an inflammatory condition that encompasses a group of risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing heart disease, and other life threatening conditions such as diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer’s.

Low magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D3 levels are common in pregnant women, as the fetus places additional demand on the mother to provide these nutrients for its development, leaving the mother with a deficiency unless supplementation is implemented. These deficiencies can cause complications for the mother and infant, so consult with your pharmacist or physician to ensure that your vitamin and mineral intake is sufficient to accommodate you and your baby’s needs. Often prenatal vitamins provide only minimal concentrations of these nutrients, and so additional supplementation is necessary.

As a full service pharmacy, Neels Pharmacy offers a variety of services including individualized human and veterinary compounding, and personalized clinical nutrition consultations that are conducted by our in-house clinical nutritionist/ pharmacist, Patty Frieda. Additional services include free local delivery of prescription medications and over the counter products, as well as mail, UPS, and express overnight delivery.

For more information contact Neels Pharmacy at 314-849-3123, 8 Crestwood Executive Ctr., Crestwood, MO 63126.