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Nutritional Concepts Mid-Week Brief
May 1, 2013
Dear Valued Subscriber, 

 

The left column highlights our new sale for May. In case you missed April, we are also giving you one more day to take advantage. 

 

Just a few days left to raise $500 for Playworks Metro Boston. We are so close! Please help us reach our goal by downloading the Spring Cleanse 3-Day Challenge if you have not already. Share it with family, friends, and coworkers. We are so appreciative of your support. To download, Facebook users click here. Non-Facebook users click here.

 

Have a happy, healthy day. Bonnie and Steve Minsky

Reconnect With Magnesium.
Bonnie and Steve:
In case you have deviated from utilizing this tried and true mineral, here is a refresher on our favorite nutrient.


Magnesium is finally starting to be recognized by conventional physicians for its essential value. You think it would have happened sooner given that it is a critical co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body, and over 200 published clinical studies have documented the need for magnesium.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every organ system of the body. With regard to skeletal muscle, one may experience twitches, cramps, muscle tension, muscle soreness, including back aches, neck pain, tension headaches and jaw joint dysfunction. Also, one may experience chest tightness or a peculiar sensation that you can't take a deep breath. Sometimes a you may sigh a lot.

Symptoms involving impaired contraction of smooth muscles include constipation, urinary spasms, menstrual cramps, difficulty swallowing or a lump in the throat-especially provoked by eating sugar, photophobia, especially difficulty adjusting to oncoming bright headlights in the absence of eye disease, and loud noise sensitivity from muscle tension in the ear.

The central nervous system is markedly affected. Symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness with constant movement, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and premenstrual irritability. 

 

Magnesium deficiency symptoms involving the peripheral nervous system include numbness, tingling, and other abnormal sensations, such as zips, zaps and vibratory sensations.

Symptoms or signs of the cardiovascular system include palpitations, heart arrhythmias, angina due to spasms of the coronary arteries, high blood pressure and mitral valve prolapse. 

 

Other general symptoms include a salt craving, both carbohydrate craving and carbohydrate intolerance, and breast tenderness.

 

Be aware that not all of the symptoms need to be present to presume magnesium deficiency. However, many of them often occur together.


Diagnosing Magnesium Deficiency

Unfortunately, laboratory testing is not always the best gauge. Since magnesium is found primarily in the cells, serum magnesium may be normal in spite of a significant magnesium deficiency. 24-hour urine sample is more accurate. In fact, a study in last month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that low urinary magnesium excretion was associated with a higher risk of Ischemic Heart Disease. The authors suggested that an increased intake of magnesium, particularly in those with the lowest urinary magnesium, could reduce the risk of IHD. 

In our opinion, the best method of diagnosing magnesium deficiency is the combination of signs and symptoms, which improve with a therapeutic trial of oral magnesium, along with dietary and lifestyle changes.

 

How Can One Get Magnesium From Food? 

The best way of insuring enough magnesium is to eat a variety of whole, real foods, including whole grains (if tolerated), nuts, seeds and vegetables. The green color of green vegetables is due to chlorophyll, which is a molecule that contains magnesium.

Prevention and Treatment of Magnesium Deficiency

As most of us do not get the RDA of 350 mg of magnesium daily -- and the RDA is woefully low -- oral magnesium supplements can be quite useful. Magnesium is available in many forms. The cheapest is magnesium oxide, but this form is not well absorbed and may cause loose stool. We suggest magnesium oxide for constipation. Chelated magnesium, such as magnesium glycinate, is superbly absorbed and is not aggressive on the bowel. A therapeutic dosage could run between 400 mg and 1000 mg daily in divided doses. This should only be taken under the supervision of a licensed health professional.

Magnesium Supplementation for Various Medical Disorders
Oral magnesium supplementation may be helpful for a wide variety of medical disorders including: high blood pressure, asthma, angina pectoris, coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmias, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, all types of musculoskeletal disorders, epilepsy, mitral valve prolapse, anxiety, panic disorder and many other medical and psychiatric conditions.

For many acute conditions, such heart attacks, magnesium given by either an intramuscular injection or as an intravenous drip, is the preferred method of treatment. Studies show it reduces the death rate and complications of acute heart attacks. However, even though it is extremely inexpensive, it is not yet given routinely to heart attack victims.

 

Conclusion

We are hard-pressed to find a client who has not benefited from magnesium, as long as it is intelligently prescribed. Along with vitamin D, probiotics, multivitamin/mineral, and EPA/DHA, magnesium is the most important nutrient for the modern lifestyle. 


Cocoa on the Brain?
Steve: Last week, we had coffee on the brain. This week, it is cocoa's turn to show its prowess in thwarting neurodegenerative disease.
 
A new multinational study from the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry shows that cocoa polyphenols trigger neuroprotection by activating BDNF survival pathway, counteracting neuronal death. The findings have important implications for prevention of cognitive impairment in elderly and counteracting neurodegenerative disease progression. The study indicates for the first time that cocoa polyphenols do not act merely as an antioxidant.

Moreover, the authors suggest that understanding the preventive potential and mechanism of action of functional foods such as cocoa may provide a means to limit cognitive impairment progression in the future.
 
Steve: Interestingly, chocolate that contains 72% cocoa content or more has one of the highest amounts of magnesium of any food.
 
Take the Spring Cleanse 3-Day Challenge

Spring is the perfect time to replenish and rejuvenate your body for the summer. 

 

Spend three days on our safe, gentle, and smart food cleanse. You will not only be helping your body, but Boston school children as well.

 

For every download of Spring Cleanse 3-Day Challenge, we will donate $1 (up to $500) to Playworks Metro Boston, an official charity of the Boston Marathon. 

 

Playworks' vision is that one day, every child in America will have access to safe, healthy play every day. Play creates essential opportunities for children to explore their imaginations, to connect with other people and to stretch and grow physically, emotionally and socially.

 

To download your free copy, Facebook users please click here.

Non-Facebook users please click here.