Ways to Beat the Blues
Let’s Talk Magnesium (Mg)
Researchers have now detected many thousands of magnesium binding sites on human proteins, indicating that its role in human health and disease may have been vastly underestimated. Magnesium is responsible for:
• Creation of ATP the energy molecules of your body
• Proper formation of bones and teeth
• Relaxation of blood vessels
• Action of your heart muscle
• Promotion of proper bowel function
• Regulation of blood sugar levels
Magnesium can benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke!
Magnesium also plays a role in your body’s detoxification processes and therefore is important for helping to prevent damage from environmental chemicals, heavy metals and other toxins. Glutathione, your body’s most powerful antioxidant, “the master antioxidant,” requires magnesium for its synthesis.
Magnesium is best found in:
• Green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard
• Sunflower & Sesame Seeds
What could be impairing your body’s ability to absorb magnesium:
• Unhealthy digestive system (Crohn’s disease, leaky gut, etc.)
• Alcoholism — up to 60 percent of alcoholics have low blood levels of magnesium
• Unhealthy kidneys, which contribute to excessive loss of magnesium in urine
• Diabetes, especially if it’s poorly controlled,
• Certain medications – (diuretics, antibiotics and medications used to treat cancer)
Other sources of whole foods high in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, some beans and nuts. (portions are just over three ounces):
➢ Seaweed, agar, dried (770 mg)
➢ Spices, basil, dried (422 mg)
➢ Spice, coriander leaf, dried (694 mg)
➢ Flaxseed (392 mg)
➢ Dried pumpkin seeds (535 mg)
➢ Almond butter (303 mg)
➢ Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened (499 mg)
Navigating Magnesium Supplements
Magnesium glycinate is a form of magnesium that tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency
Magnesium oxide is a type of magnesium and contains 60 percent magnesium, and has stool softening properties so it’s very good for relieving constipation! It’s poorly absorbed in the body so not good for the other bazillion things magnesium is good for, but as a laxative it’s great.
Magnesium chloride contains only 12 percent magnesium, but has better absorption than others and is often used as a topical form of magnesium
Magnesium sulfate / Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) are typically used as a laxative. Be aware that it’s easy to overdose on these, so ONLY take as directed
Magnesium carbonate, which has antacid properties, contains 45 percent magnesium so not best choice
Magnesium taurate contains a combination of magnesium and taurine, an amino acid. Together, they tend to provide a calming effect on your body and mind
Magnesium citrate is magnesium with citric acid, which has laxative properties as well. It is better absorbed than mag oxide for other ways to help the body. It’s a good value for the money for increasing bowel movements and helping everything else.
Magnesium threonate is a newer type of magnesium supplement that appears promising, primarily due to its superior ability to penetrate the blood brain barrier (it’s often called Neuro Mg).
Balance Your Magnesium with Calcium, Vitamin K2, and D
One of the major benefits of getting your nutrients from a varied whole food diet is that you’re far less likely to end up with too much of one nutrient at the expense of others.
For example, it’s important to maintain the proper balance between magnesium, calcium, vitamin K2, and vitamin D. Lack of balance between these nutrients is why calcium supplements have become associated with increased risk of heart attacks and stroke, and why some people experience vitamin D toxicity. Always use at least a 1:1 ratio of Magnesium to Calcium and best is 2:1 Mg/Ca.
Part of the explanation for these adverse side effects is that vitamin K2 keeps calcium in its appropriate place. If you’re K2 deficient, added calcium accumulates in the wrong places. Similarly, if you opt for oral vitamin D, you need to take it with food to absorb it, as it’s a fat-soluble vitamin. Always take Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K2 for best results. Taking mega doses of vitamin D supplements without sufficient amounts of K2 can lead to vitamin D toxicity symptoms, which includes inappropriate calcification.
Magnesium will also help keep calcium in your cells so they can do their job better. In many ways it serves as a nutritional version of the highly effective class of drugs known as calcium channel blockers which are used in the treatment of high blood pressure, angina, and abnormal heart rhythms. Magnesium and vitamin K2 also complement each other, as magnesium helps lower blood pressure, which is an important component of heart disease.
So, all in all, anytime you’re taking any of the following: magnesium, calcium, vitamin D3 or vitamin K2, you need to take all the others into consideration as well, since these all work synergistically with each other.
B Vitamins Deficiency: a big reason for the blues and low energy and fatigue
Vitamin B Deficiency can have the potential to “bring on the blues”. Taking all the B’s is best, not just B12. You need B2 to use and absorb B6 which you must have to use B12! Synergy is how your body works to maintain balance.
More on getting the gut working and system balanced
Your body is loaded with bacteria, of both good and bad varieties. In fact, about 100 trillion bacteria live inside you, which is more than 10 times the number of cells you have in your body! The ideal balance between these bacteria is about 85 percent “good” and 15 percent “bad”. This ratio is one of the critical factors determining your health. If 23 feet of anything in a human system is not optimized than for sure you will not be a happy camper.
Optimizing your gut flora is crucial for good health as many people start antibiotics for the cold or flu they got during the holidays. About 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, and your gut quite literally functions as your second brain. 90% of ALL signals go from your gut to your brain, NOT the other way around (as people tend to think).
So truly, your gut flora influences your whole body. Toxicity in your gut can flow throughout your body and into your brain, where it can cause symptoms of autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia and other mental disorders.
Is Your Gut Flora Damaged?
Your gut bacteria are very vulnerable to your lifestyle. For example, when you eat sugar your gut bacteria is damaged because sugar feeds bad bacteria and yeast. Your gut bacteria are also very sensitive to:
• Processed foods
• GMO foods
• Chlorinated/fluoridated drinking water
• Antibacterial soap
• Agricultural chemicals
With the typical American diet, it is likely that your gut is damaged. A damaged gut can precipitate inflammation and disease.
How to Promote Healthy Gut Flora
Probiotic supplements are widely available, and they can be effective in helping to “reseed” your intestinal tract with good bacteria depending on the problem. Long before the invention of the probiotic supplement, native peoples benefited from probiotics by way of cultured or fermented foods, and these are a fundamental part of any healthy diet, as is a wide variety of organic whole foods.
Non-pasteurized cultured foods like fermented vegetables and Kombucha are excellent sources of natural, healthy bacteria and nutrition, but they last only hours in the gut. Long lasting changes in the gut, if it’s damaged, need more in-depth work as to what is an issue.
Prebiotic foods and changing the diet to include as many different organic whole foods is often more important than a probiotic(.) If you must keep your probiotics in the refrigerator its quite possible they won’t last well in your body at 98.6, nor get thru your stomach’s digestion. Food allergies and sensitivities are also major issues for many people. Avoiding pesticides, GMO’s, and processed foods is the first step in healing a gut.
How We Can Help
Talk with a Functional Practitioner who can help you:
• Determine whether you have nutritional deficiencies, bacterial overgrowth, or “leaky gut”
• Help you properly balance nutrients in a ratio best suited for you
• Safely clean up your gut (which is 80% of your immune system) and get things “moving” well
• Develop a healthy lifestyle specific for your individual needs