By far, my favorite supplement is magnesium. It is estimated that 90% of Americans are deficient in this mineral. The reasons are caffeine, soil depletion and quite frankly the nutrient-poor American diet. We can try to decrease our caffeine, but that would mean removing coffee for me (so screw that). We could be kinder to our soils with nutrient enrichment, but maybe this is a little late as current mass crop production is dependent on petroleum-based fertilizers. Now, this is zany talk but we could eat a bunch of magnesium-rich foods such as almonds, spinach, and avocados. The foods are ideal, but I find it really is hard to make up for the deficiency once you have gotten into a magnesium-deficient state.
The lab tests are not very accurate, so I assume everyone is deficient as there is no such thing as overdose, unless you have chronic renal failure, and in that case, be very careful with supplementation. I especially assume those with hypertension, leg cramps/restless legs and asthma have a magnesium deficiency, and I am usually proven right by clinical resolution of symptoms.
I will just focus on hypertension, as this is quite easy to explain. Smooth muscle makes up a large portion of your blood vessels. Increased pressure requires contraction of these smooth muscles which is determined by calcium influx into the smooth muscle cells and this is why we have things for blood pressure like “Calcium channel blockers” like Norvasc. What was the original calcium channel blocker? Why it was, and is, magnesium! It is the yin to calcium’s yang.
Magnesium is inexpensive and has many other health benefits like improving blood sugar, relieving anxiety, helping you poop, etc. and for about 60 cents a day. My new favorite is UltraMag Magnesium, from Pure Encapsulations, which gives you super absorbable magnesium in just 3 pills a day which is equivalent to 5 pills of magnesium glycinate and magnesium taurate. (Avoid Mag Oxide, as it’s cheap and not absorbed). With blood pressure, I would start with 1 pill at bedtime (magnesium helps with sleep) and increase every week until you get to 3-4 pills at bedtime. If stools get loose, decrease by 1 capsule per day.
Try adding magnesium supplements to your routine and see the positive impacts for yourself.