Greetings! Let's talk about Magnesium.
(From the Wikipedia page. Don't worry, the references are there.)
"Magnesium is a vital component of a healthy human diet. Human magnesium deficiency (including conditions that show few overt symptoms) is relatively rare although only 32% of people in the United States meet the RDA-DRI; low levels of magnesium in the body have been associated with the development of a number of human illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Taken in the proper amount, magnesium plays a role in preventing both stroke and heart attack. The symptoms of people with fibromyalgia, migraines, and premenstrual syndrome are less severe, and magnesium can shorten the length of the migraine symptoms.
Intracellular magnesium is correlated with intracellular potassium. Magnesium is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, with more absorbed when status is lower. Magnesium competes with calcium in the human body, in this way it actually keeps calcium in check. However, this can cause a calcium deficiency if calcium levels are already low. Low and high protein intake inhibit magnesium absorption, and other factors such as phosphate, phytate, and fat affect absorption. Excess dietary magnesium is excreted in feces, urine, and sweat. Magnesium status may be assessed roughly through serum and erythrocyte Mg concentrations and urinary and fecal excretion, but intravenous magnesium loading tests are likely the most accurate and practical in most people. In these tests, magnesium is injected intravenously; a retention of 20% or more indicates deficiency. Other nutrient deficiencies are identified through biomarkers, but none are established for magnesium.
The UK recommended daily values for magnesium is 300 mg for men and 270 mg for women. Spices, nuts, cereals, coffee, cocoa, tea, and vegetables are rich sources of magnesium. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach are also rich in magnesium as they contain chlorophyll. Observations of reduced dietary magnesium intake in modern Western countries compared to earlier generations may be related to food refining and modern fertilizers that contain no magnesium.
Numerous pharmaceutical preparations of magnesium, as well as magnesium dietary supplements are available. Magnesium oxide, one of the most common forms in magnesium dietary supplements because it has high magnesium content per weight, has been reported the least bioavailable. Magnesium citrate has been reported as more bioavailable than oxide or amino-acid chelate (glycinate) forms."
Prior to adding a supplement, I was having frequent muscle spasms and charlie horses. A muscle in my neck pulled so hard one day, I nearly passed out, started vomiting, and ended up in the ER. At times my leg muscles would contract so hard for so long, I couldn't extend my legs to put them on the ground for hours. It was excruciating. Add migraines and lower digestive muscles crawling at a snail's pace and you have yourself a pretty miserable existence. Mag has been a life-changer for me, but it's been a pretty daunting task to find the right kind of supplement and the right dosage to balance out my chaotic potassium shifting and contradictory medications. Magnesium Oxide turned out to be worthless due to low bioavailability, but Citrate in pill and powder form seemed to be effective. Finding the ideal dosage has been the challenge, and I'm still working on it.
My doctor suggested I try Milk of Magnesia instead of Citrate, so I obliged. Unfortunately, I had to give it the boot within a week, as I basically couldn't leave my house thanks to the waves of pain crashing onto the shores of my abdomen like a Category 3 hurricane on Dauphin Island.
I love similes. Don't you?
Humor is the only way, people.
You're a big fat liar, Phillips.
Anyway, back to my Mag Citrate for now. No offense those who suggested it, but if I'm going to feel like I'm in labor, it would be nice to have an actual baby in my arms at the end of the day.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled program. :)