When I worked in traditional medicine, we used magnesium in the emergency room to stop pre-term labor or to relax a heart that had a life-threatening irregular beat.
In my clinic, I use magnesium for its powerful effects on blood sugar levels, to lower blood pressure, build bone, treat pain, for anxiety, and to boost heart and overall health.
Magnesium will also help to relax any part of the body that is tight or cramped.
And I prescribe magnesium for fatigue, as it literally is involved in creation of energy in the body.
Few people get optimal – or even adequate – magnesium
The bad news is that most of us are deficient in this important nutrient.
Magnesium is one of the most depleted minerals in our soil, so the foods of today have much less than in our grandmothers' day.
In fact, studies have shown that 30% of the U.S. population has significant magnesium deficiency.

Since magnesium is difficult to measure in the blood, it is likely even higher than that.
And as we age, we tend to absorb less of the magnesium we consume, making generous intake even more important.
The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for magnesium for women range from 310mg to 400mg, and for men, the RDA ranges from 410mg to 420mg.
Magnesium deficiency signs, and 5 ways to ensure you get enough
Here are some symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency and 5 simple ways to raise your levels and optimize your health.
A magnesium deficiency is likely if you have:
  • Anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Headaches
  • Palpitations
  • Constipation
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Chronic fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • PMS/Menstrual cramps
  • Muscle cramps or twitches
  • If you take a diuretic for high blood pressure, or medications for acid reflux
Here are five ways to maximize your magnesium:
1) Increase your consumption of magnesium rich foods.
Top food sources of magnesium include:
  • Fish*
  • Cocoa
  • Shellfish
  • Peas and beans (legumes)
  • Dark greens (such as spinach and chard)
  • Soy products (such as soy flour and tofu)
  • Whole grains (such as brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, and millet)
  • Fruits or vegetables (such as bananas, dried apricots, and avocados)
*Especially wild salmon, halibut, and sablefish.
2) Cut the cola
Most dark colored sodas contain phosphates.
Phosphates find magnesium in your digestive tract and bind it making it unavailable to your body.
So even if you eat a wonderful meal rich in magnesium, if you wash it down with a cola your body will never receive the magnesium.
3) Slash stress
The hormones released when we are under stress have been shown to decrease magnesium.
Even mild stress such as driving in traffic, getting through a day of emails, meetings or home management with children is enough to decrease our magnesium.
4) Take a supplement
The most absorbable forms of supplemental magnesium are magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate taurate, and magnesium aspartate.
The chief side effect of too much magnesium is diarrhea.
5) Soak in magnesium
My very favorite way to get magnesium into the body is topically.
Epsom salts are magnesium sulphate and are wonderful as a bath or foot soak in the evenings.
Topical magnesium has been shown to be extremely absorbable.
All of us can benefit from this miracle mineral and relax into all it has to offer us.
Tell me if you any questions and please share.
Health is contagious – pass it around!
Tami Meraglia, MD

About Dr. Tami
Tami Meraglia, MD, is the best-selling author of The Hormone Secret, and a physician who's double board-certified in Cosmetic Medicine and Integrative Medicine.
Dr. Tami, as her patients call her, focuses on hormones and ways to boost and balance them.
Learn more about her and her passionate advocacy for women's health at drtami.com.

Note from the Editor: You may be interested in magnesium news from past issues of our Vital Choices newsletter:
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  • Chiuve SE, Korngold EC, Januzzi Jr JL, Gantzer ML, Albert CM. Plasma and dietary magnesium and risk of sudden cardiac death in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2011;93:253-60. [PubMed abstract]
  • Del Gobbo LC, Imamura F, Wu JHY, Otto MCdO, Chiuve SE, Mozaffarian D. Circulating and dietary magnesium and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;98:160-73.
  • Dibaba DT, Xun P, Fly AD, Yokota K, He K. Dietary magnesium intake and risk of metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis. Diabet Med. 2014 Nov;31(11):1301-9. doi: 10.1111/dme.12537.
  • Du J, Zhu M, Bao H, Li B, Dong Y, Xiao C, Zhang GY, Henter I, Rudorfer M, Vitiello B. The Role of Nutrients in Protecting Mitochondrial Function and Neurotransmitter Signaling: Implications for the Treatment of Depression, PTSD, and Suicidal Behaviors. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Nov 3:0. [Epub ahead of print]
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  • Hruby A, Meigs JB, O'Donnell CJ, Jacques PF, McKeown NM. Higher magnesium intake reduces risk of impaired glucose and insulin metabolism and progression from prediabetes to diabetes in middle-aged americans. Diabetes Care. 2014 Feb;37(2):419-27. doi: 10.2337/dc13-1397. Epub 2013 Oct 2.
  • Johnson S. The multifaceted and widespread pathology of magnesium deficiency. Med Hypotheses. 2001 Feb;56(2):163-70.
  • Joosten MM, Gansevoort RT, Mukamal KJ, van der Harst P, Geleijnse JM, Feskens EJM, Navis G, Bakker SJL. Urinary and plasma magnesium and risk of ischemic heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;97:1299-306.
  • Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A. Dietary magnesium intake and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:362-6. Long S, Romani AM. Role of Cellular Magnesium in Human Diseases. Austin J Nutr Food Sci. 2014 Nov 18;2(10). pii: 1051
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  • Peacock JM, Ohira T, Post W, Sotoodehnia N, Rosamond W, Folsom AR. Serum magnesium and risk of sudden cardiac death in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Am Heart J 2010;160:464-70.
  • Rayssiguier Y, Durlach J, Gueux E, Rock E, Mazur A. Magnesium and ageing. I. Experimental data: importance of oxidative damage. Magnes Res. 1993 Dec;6(4):369-78. Review.
  • Rayssiguier Y, Gueux E, Nowacki W, Rock E, Mazur A. High fructose consumption combined with low dietary magnesium intake may increase the incidence of the metabolic syndrome by inducing inflammation. Magnes Res. 2006 Dec;19(4):237-43. Review. Rosanoff A. [Magnesium and hypertension]. Clin Calcium. 2005 Feb;15(2):255-60. Review. Japanese.
  • Rumawas ME, McKeown NM, Rogers G, Meigs JB, Wilson PW, Jacques PF. Magnesium intake is related to improved insulin homeostasis in the framingham offspring cohort. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Dec;25(6):486-92.
  • Seelig MS. Consequences of magnesium deficiency on the enhancement of stress reactions; preventive and therapeutic implications (a review). J Am Coll Nutr. 1994 Oct;13(5):429-46. Review.