Marvellous Magnesium

Barry Harpur Principal Osteopath Kinesis Clinic
Barry Harpury
Principal Osteopath
Date Posted
January 17, 2018
Category

Do you ever have difficulty sleeping, even though you feel exhausted? Feel anxious, but you’re not sure why? Have cravings for sugar and salt no matter how much you eat? These could be signs of a deficiency in a specific nutrient: magnesium.

It is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth and responsible for over 300 biochemical functions in the human body, such as regulating heartbeat rhythms and helping neurotransmitter functions.

Magnesium is found in numerous food sources but modern lifestyles and diets have reduced our intake meaning the majority of people do not get the recommended daily allowance. It’s estimated that around 80% of adults are deficient in this vital mineral.

So what happens if you’re deficient?

In simple terms magnesium is used to relax the body, where calcium is used to contract or excite the body. Therefore too little magnesium can result in negative symptoms, including:

  • Muscle aches / spasms
  • Poor digestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia and trouble sleeping
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Behavioural disorders and mood swings
  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis
  • Restless leg syndrome

Other nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin K, vitamin B1, calcium and potassium

So why is it that magnesium deficiency is so common?

There are a few factors at play:

  • Due to modern farming methods soil is magnesium depleted, meaning plants growing on the soil (both vegetables and grass) are unable to uptake magnesium from the soil
  • Digestive disorders that lead to malabsorption of magnesium and other minerals in the gut
  • High rates of prescription medication and antibiotic use that damages the digestive tract to the point that magnesium cannot be absorbed and properly utilised from food

How can we get more magnesium?

Magnesium is found in various foods and in supplement form. Because magnesium can be absorbed through the skin, you can also use magnesium oil or Epsom salts to get your daily magnesium boost.

It’s always advisable to add magnesium-rich foods to your diet, as foods naturally contain other important balancing nutrients, before considering taking a magnesium supplement.

Which foods contain magnesium?

It’s found in foods such as green leafy vegetables, avocados, bananas, melon, legumes, nuts, seeds and certain whole grains. A good rule of thumb is that if a food contains dietary fibre, it also probably provides magnesium.

The top 12 foods high in magnesium are:

  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Black Beans
  • Mung Beans
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts

While it’s always recommended you get as much as you can from magnesium-rich food sources, magnesium supplements can help some people and it’s often recommended that adults take supplements regularly to prevent a deficiency.

If you do chose to take a magnesium supplement, it’s worth doing some research as the absorption rate differs depending on the type of supplement. Usually types that dissolve in liquid are better absorbed in the gut that less soluble forms. It’s believed that magnesium in citrate, chelate and chloride forms are absorbed better than magnesium supplements in oxide and magnesium sulfate form.

What are the health benefits of magnesium?

  • Helps Increase Energy

Magnesium is used to create “energy” in your body by activating adenosine triphosphate, also known as ATP. This means that without enough magnesium, you don’t have the energy you need and can suffer from fatigue more easily.

  • Calms Nerves and Anxiety

Magnesium is vital for GABA function – a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages through the brain and the nervous system, which produces “happy hormones” like serotonin. Certain hormones regulated by magnesium are crucial for calming the brain and promoting relaxation, which is one reason why a magnesium deficiency can lead to sleeplessness or insomnia.

  • Treats Insomnia and Helps You Fall Asleep

Magnesium supplements can help quiet a racing mind and make it easier to get a good night’s sleep.

  • Helps with Digestion by Relieving Constipation

Magnesium helps relax muscles within the digestive tract, including the intestinal wall, which controls your ability to go to the bathroom. Because magnesium helps neutralise stomach acid and moves stool through the intestines, taking magnesium supplements is a natural way to help improve bowl movement.

  • Relieves Muscle Aches and Spasms

Magnesium has an important role in neuromuscular signals and muscle contractions. When you don’t acquire enough magnesium, your muscles can actually go into spasms. Magnesium helps muscles relax and contract and also enables you to move around.

  • Regulates Levels of Calcium, Potassium and Sodium

Together with other electrolytes, magnesium regulates diverse biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes. This makes magnesium vital to nerve impulse conductions, muscle contractions and normal heart rhythms.

  • Important for Heart Health

Magnesium is very important for heart health. The highest amount of magnesium within the whole body is in the heart, specifically within the heart’s left ventricle. Magnesium works with calcium to support proper blood pressure levels and prevent hypertension. Without a proper balance of magnesium to other minerals like calcium, a heart attack can even occur due to severe muscle spasms.

  • Can Prevent Migraine Headaches

Because magnesium is involved in neurotransmitter function and blood circulation, it can help control migraine headache pain by releasing pain-reducing hormones and constriction of the blood vessels that raises blood pressure.

  • Can Help Prevent Osteoporosis

Magnesium is needed for proper bone formation and influences the activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts that build healthy bone density.

Magnesium also plays a role in balancing blood concentrations of vitamin D, which is a major regulator of bone homeostasis.

Our bodies lose stores of magnesium every day from normal functions, such as muscle movement, heartbeat and hormone production. Although we only need small amounts of magnesium relative to other nutrients, we must regularly replenish our stores either from foods or magnesium supplements in order to prevent deficiency symptoms.

If you do a lot of exercise, you are more likely to be magnesium deficient, as exercise causes increased magnesium excretion in the urine and sweat. Low levels of magnesium will then impair an athlete’s ability to build and repair muscle, get energy from food and efficiently transport oxygen around the body, all of which is essential to athletic performance.

So all in all, magnesium is really quite important for all of us, and research suggests many of us are not getting the amount we need for optimal health.

Whether you try to increase amount of magnesium rich food in your diet, opt to take a supplement or use Epsom salts to increase your magnesium levels, this marvellous mineral can have a positive effect on your long-term health.

For further advise, talk to one of our Osteopaths at Kinesis Clinic who can direct you to a recommended nutritionist for further information.

Osteopath Reviews

Keeping people active and pain free in Guildford
Jason treated a debilitating back injury that had left me in pain for more than a year. Prior to this, I had seen every specialist going and nothing seemed to be working, I had almost given up hope that it would ever get better. I am so glad that I came here on recommendation, as I am now almost completely pain free and can manage any twinges at home with the exercises provided.Jason was very well informed and knowledgeable, able to explain everything very clearly and talked me through treatment and what to expect every step of the way. He used a mixture of laser therapy, dry needling and manipulation and sent follow up exercises, amending my treatment plan as time went on - a completely tailored service that was adapted to my personal recovery. I felt in completely safe hands and couldn’t believe that finally, after such a long time I was seeing progress.If you’re considering seeking treatment and have tried lots of different avenues to no avail, I highly recommend giving this a try, I’m so glad that I did. The difference it has made to my day to day life is unbelievable, and I’m extremely grateful!
Lily Csombor
Lily Csombor
1717479382
Five years ago I had spinal surgery following a fracture. Whilst relatively successful giving a better range of movement initially, by year three years post op intense pain had returned. I could not walk very far and only with the support of a cane.On recommendation, I booked an appointment with Barry Harpur at Kinesis Clinic in October 2023. The scar from my spinal operation is approximately eight inches long and was, in Barry's word's, like concrete. No wonder I couldn't move much.Under his care and more recently Zaneta Kwiecien, things have much improved. Zaneta has a special interest in scar tissue and has worked hard on mine, additionally giving me exercises to improve my core and general mobility and introduced me to acupuncture which I believe has been beneficial.My mobility has much improved and the scar tissue itself has improved so much that it no longer restricts my ability to bend. I only wish I had attended the clinic sooner.Today I spent four hours walking around RHS Wisley Gardens, without once resorting to the support of my cane. It is difficult to express how this feels and how grateful I am to the Kinesis Team for getting me this far in improving both my physical and mental health. I have had a particular walking goal for the last three years, and I know that this year I will achieve it.I would encourage anyone with scar tissue that has an adverse affect on health and mobility to consider a consultation at Kinesis Clinic
Chris Costa
Chris Costa
1712779072
I injured myself weightlifting and my backpain was waking me up and preventing sleep. Jason was fantastic, very professional, calm and great at explaining everything he was doing and why, which made me feel very comfortable and literally 'in safe hands'. He not only manipulated the injured area but also used a laser therapy which felt amazing. He kept the exercises I needed to do at home simple, and sent a video for future reference. Having had an awful experience of another osteopath who literally sat behind his desk, lectured me and did nothing re actually treating my injury beyond a few at home exercises, Jason and Kinesis were brilliant. The pain gradually got better and now I simply come in for a top up if anything tweaks.I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Sally Davis
Sally Davis
1711782111
Six years ago I fell out of a raft whilst white water rafting, bouncing over some rocks I cracked some vertebrae.The following year having fallen again I started to have severe pains in my hip and leg making it painful to walk.Over the next years I tried all sorts of treatment, painkillers, injections and manipulation. Nothing seemed to work and I was beginning to give up.In October last year a friend suggested I try once again with a practice in Guildford called Kinesis Clinic.I made an appointment for an initial assessment and met Miss Zaneta Kwiecien. Having been assured that something could be done to lesson the pain I booked for treatment to begin.I could not believe it but after just a few sessions I began to feel an improvement. Now months on I walk my dogs for a hour or more a day with only a little discomfort and some days NO pain.The mixture of laser, aquapuncture, manipulation and most important designed exercises has changed my life.Many, many thanksRobin Gardner
robing
robing
1711465023
I came to Zaneta with severe lower back pain and symptoms of sciatica. She was able to quickly diagnose the root cause as weakness stemming from pregnancy and labour. The treatments provided significant relief from the pain and she has been equipping me with functional exercises to improve strength and ensure that it doesn't flare up again. I've been amazed by the results so far, Zaneta has been fantastic.
Hannah E
Hannah E
1700852974
I cannot recommend the Kinesis Clinic highly enough. Earlier this year I came to Barry on the recommendation of my son for muscle pain in different areas of my body. To date he has worked a miracle and seem to be relatively pain free. Throughout this process I have tried other practitioners and none compare with Barry and his in depth knowledge. One of the most impressive things is the knowledge of his individual patients and the attention he gives you. I must also add that Lucy on reception is a real asset and is always willing to help in any way for the benefit of the clients.
Maureen kulik
Maureen kulik
1700686071
There's simply no one better than Kinesis. If you're looking for an osteopath, you've found the answer! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Marc Gorman
Marc Gorman
1700459240
I had been in pain for 7 years and thought that was what life had to be like, and then I found Barry! He worked out immediately what my issue was (a long list of people had failed!!) and in one session reduced my pain significantly. Over 4 sessions he has made significant progress on my hip and shown me what the plan is going forward. Finding Barry literally changed my life and I couldn't be more grateful to him.
Ellie Apperly
Ellie Apperly
1693281266
I went to see Barry for rehab after fracturing my spine. He’s an excellent Osteopath, taking time to understand the issues, and provide the right treatment and a tailored home exercise program. His YouTube exercise videos are also very helpful to follow. My mobility and strength improved significantly as well as much less discomfort. Thank you Barry!
Tom
Tom
1692120023
I had a reoccurring shoulder dislocation injury due to playing various contact sports and after numerous operations my shoulder was weak, the muscles trembled as I tried to strengthen it. After struggling with it for over 10yrs I went to see Zaneta in the clinic. The main problem for me was the trembling and shaking as I tried to exercise and lack of flexibility. Zaneta used some instrument (big stainless-steel spoon in my non-medical world) to breakdown the scar tissue. After a few weeks my shoulder was unrecognisable. I can now exercise without the shaking, meaning I can strengthen it. Interestingly, I now have a greater range of movement than my ‘good’ shoulder.
Richard Leader
Richard Leader
1692114852
Ms Zaneta helped me a lot, especially when my back was falling apart after pregnancy! Huge thanks!
Ola Dos
Ola Dos
1688457910
Gareth has provided to me a fantastic and very personal service regarding my shoulder and lower back problems. I would thoroughly recommend him – well done
Peter Craig
Peter Craig
1660667097
I can't praise Jason highly enough, I've been seeing him for a few months and he's helped me so much, he's much more than my osteo, he's also a counsellor, business coach and all round great listener.Whenever I leave our session I feel better inside and out.
Susan Walsh
Susan Walsh
1652885930
Cannot rate Barry and the clinic higher, I have met everyone there and they are all professional but very friendly. They have been great at fitting me in, supporting me and making me feel like a valued customer. Have recommended to a number of friends that have had the same experience.
Lisa Collins
Lisa Collins
1636450785
I am so grateful to the whole team at Kinesis Clinic for all of the treatment I have had with them over the past 2.5 years following an accident. For the past year, Barry has helped me to heal my neck, and the dizziness associated with the injury. I feel that he really cares about his patients' recovery, and has so much wisdom to share. He has helped me to see how my mind and emotions also play a role in recovering, and this has prompted me to change patterns in my life that were worsening my symptoms. His approach to treatment has been gentle, but very effective. I can't recommend Kinesis Clinic enough. Thank you :)
Megan McInnes
Megan McInnes
1632602100
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Let's treat your pain today

Barry Harpur

Principal Osteopath

Taking the first steps to becoming pain free is a commitment that we respect.

My team and I are here to reassure you that you will be treated with respect, care and honesty.

Please book your appointment and we’ll be ready to help you become pain free, move and feel great again.

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