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Hi all,

Im just wondering on what the general consensus is on magnesium here?  It is often claimed to help with cramps and muscular tension, nervous system, anxiety etc.  I’ve heard that most people are deficient, and as a result it may be a good idea to introduce a supplement to the diet.

I feel as though I am more able to relax when I am taking a magnesium tablet daily however I am not sure whether this is purely placebo.  I am wary of supplements in general as I feel that a lot of times one can be wasting their money and putting extra strain on the organs which have to excrete such things.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences with magnesium supplements that they would like to share?  If you have found that they have helped you, I would also be interested to hear what type and when you found was the most effective time to take it.

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15 hours ago, Ryan_F said:

Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences with magnesium supplements that they would like to share?

Sure, always best to get your nutrition from whole-food sources, but if you can't (or don't) for whatever reason, then supplements can be a great option.

Magnesium is super important. It can help with all of the things you mentioned, as well as sleep and more. I wouldn't say most people are deficient, but perhaps most people eating a standard junk/processed foods diet. If you're going to supplement, I'd suggest 200-400mg at night following dinner. Avoid magnesium oxide and chloride, as excess is more likely to cause gastrointestinal issues. Citrate is relatively cheap and okay, but I'd recommend glycinate chelate. I like Doctor's Best. You can also take Epsom salt baths to get some extra magnesium in through the skin.

15 hours ago, Ryan_F said:

I feel as though I am more able to relax when I am taking a magnesium tablet daily however I am not sure whether this is purely placebo.

If you have the money to spare and feel like the effect is worth it, does it matter if it's a placebo? This is a question you'll have to answer for yourself since you'll also be supporting certain industries, there is an environmental impact from manufacturing and distributing these products, etc., but I don't see any inherent issue with taking advantage of the placebo effect.

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I find topical magnesium works quite well for me with localised cramps and muscular tension. It also seems to help with general relaxation and sleep. I'd go so far as to say it's been one of the better supplements I've used in terms of actually noticing a positive effect, whether real or placebo, if there's a difference. With topical application there's no problem with excess and gastrointestinal issues, plus it does seem to have a more localised effect.

For reference, I've only really used the Ancient Minerals products in the past and am now testing out some of the products offered by Amazing Oils.

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On 2/7/2021 at 11:58 AM, Nathan said:

however I am not sure whether this is purely placebo

I have researched and written extensively on this (and even more on its evil twin, the nocebo effect). (I can expand in another thread if anyone is interested.)

Because medical research has tried ruthlessly to exclude the contribution of the placebo effect from any treatment or protocol (there are many good reasons for this, from a researcher's perspective), one of the most useful modes of intervention has been cast aside as though somehow it is not a good thing. Anything that helps you get where you need to go is a good thing. The reason why medical research tries so hard to exclude the placebo effect's contribution to an outcome is that research is only interested in the active ingredient or what actually achieves the result from a technical, mechanical, or chemical perspective. From the user's perspective, though, and this is the Stretch Therapy perspective, as long as you are clear about what is contributing to the end goal and why you want to get there, there is no downside to maximising the placebo effect.

One of the great upsides of the placebo affect is that it has no harmful side-effects! No medicine can make that claim.

Now getting back to the OP's post: I reckon it's always a good idea to have a blood assay done before supplementing yourself with anything. That is just the researcher in me wanting to know whether I am adding something to my diet which is only going to improve the magnesium concentration of my urine! In Australia, blood assays are available free on Medicare, and Liv and I have one done every year. You need to have a doctor who is sensitive to what it is you're trying to do and who can order the tests that are specific to that goal. Be aware though, in discussions with your doctor, that recommended daily allowances ("RDAs") are conservative. An argument can be made for having more of any particular substance if there is a specific goal you want to achieve.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Magnesium is a powerful anti-inflammatory - as far as I can tell, it's the most powerful anti-inflammatory that you can get in practice through your mouth (bearing in mind the quantities that are in other foods, the amounts we can eat, etc). Most of us are in a central  pro-inflammatory state anyway, and it is a good idea to tip the balance towards being anti-inflammatory as much as you can. Also, many people with chronic pain conditions associated with inflammatory disease find taking magnesium via mouth or the skin (gels, Epsom salt baths) are very effective. I take it every day, even though I have no clear pathologies (in spite of what some might think). And it is difficult to overdose on it (it just comes out in diarrhoea).

By the way, I started taking magnesium as a supplement because at night I'd get muscle cramps (this happens because as you get older your calcium levels arent controlled as accurately, and magnesium opposes the effect of calcium - hence also its anti-inflammatory effect; that, on top of lots of hard stretching leaving the muscles irritated). It worked well.

Jim.

 

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33 minutes ago, Jim Pickles said:

I have no clear pathologies (in spite of what some might think)

:lol:

Speaking of anti-inflammatory supplements that are good to take for general health maintenance, curcumin seems to be great all-around, judging from the research so far. Perhaps another for you to consider, Jim.

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@Kit_L

Kit - I guess once something has entered your stomach, the magnesium is released as magnesium ions Mg2+, so the actual form you take it in wont matter much. I take one Cenovis Magnesium tablet/day (I think its 1000 mg - that size used to be labelled but isnt now - and has just over 300 mg elemental Mg/tablet), but that's just because its the biggest Mg tablet our local chemist sells.

 

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On 3/3/2021 at 10:52 PM, Jim Pickles said:

Kit - I guess once something has entered your stomach, the magnesium is released as magnesium ions Mg2+, so the actual form you take it in wont matter much

Not entirely true, Jim.

The absorption rate of any element will be affected by the compound in which it is bound.  No less true for magnesium salts than any other.  This is particularly important when considering gut irritability.

For instance, magnesium oxide has lower absorption than most magnesium salts, but more elemental magnesium by weight.  So, it is generally the most commonly found in magnesium supplements, due to low cost.  The lower absorption rate can cause gastrointestinal side-effects such as diarrhoea and bloating.

Magnesium citrate, also very commonly found in supplements, has higher bio-availability, but is more expensive and thus not as common as mag oxide.

Also common are magnesium amino acid chelates (magnesium bound to an amino acid).

Most supplements tend to use a blend, to balance cost, absorption etc.  For most people blends with magnesium oxide will not cause issue in prescribed doses.  But if you encounter issues, it would be worth finding an alternative.

With respect to transdermal (through the skin) applications: everyone knows about epsom salts (magnesium sulphate), as it is cheap and widely available.  But magnesium chloride (sold as magnesium "oil" sprays) is much more bio-available and relatively cheap if you source the magnesium chloride yourself in bulk.

 

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On 2/6/2021 at 7:23 PM, Ryan_F said:

I’ve heard that most people are deficient, and as a result it may be a good idea to introduce a supplement to the diet.

There is a LOT of information in this review.  But with respect to the ubiquity of deficiency, this is interesting:

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/4/1136/htm

Quote

Data from many studies indicate that in about 60% of adults, magnesium intakes from the diet is insufficient and that subclinical magnesium deficiency is a widely diffused condition in the western population. Hence, more attention should be paid to the preventive role of magnesium for social pathologies, encouraging a more adequate dietary intake of the cation and supplementations. As extensively described above, magnesium is found in a wide variety of non-refined foods and is among the less expensive available supplements. Moreover, magnesium trials have shown that magnesium supplements are well tolerated and generally improve multiple markers of disease status.

Not terribly surprising really.  A typical western diet is likely to be deficient, at best.  But with intensive farming practises, mono-cropping etc, the quality of soils is leading to ever-lower levels of nutrients.  This will also have a flow-on effect to the animals that eat the nutrient-deficient plant material.

Yet another reason to source, wherever logistically and financially possible, a wide range of quality food from sustainably managed farms.  Otherwise, magnesium supplementation is safe and cheap.

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