Why Are We So Deficient In Magnesium?

Magnesium deficiency in the general population is high (about 80% of us are deficient) and today I want to share with you some of the major reasons why this is such a widespread problem. 

Most of us are totally unaware that we are magnesium deficient. For this reason, it’s important to understand the different ways magnesium can be depleted so that we’re not supplementing without any health gain.  I mean what’s the point of bringing in magnesium if its constantly being depleted.

With magnesium being responsible for over 600 different biochemical reactions in the body, it’s been noted that magnesium deficiency is the single largest health problem in our world today.

Magnesium deficiency can result in numerous health issues that can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, muscle aches, pain, GI disturbances, numbness, anxiety and the list goes on.

The following are the top 15 causes of magnesium deficiency and is a good summary in seeing what we’re up against in our magnesium depleted world.

Poor diet and processed foods provide no real nutritional value at all. During the processing and refining process of food, a lot of magnesium can be lost. Sugar products especially drain magnesium levels.

Depleted soils make it impossible to get the magnesium we need from foods. Magnesium has been farmed out of our soil without it being replaced.

Alcohol causes magnesium deficiency due to its diuretic effect

Caffeine also has a diuretic effect and stimulates the adrenal glands, causing adrenaline surges and magnesium loss.

Medications often cause massive magnesium deficiencies.  Magnesium depleting drugs include proton pump inhibitors, antacids, diuretics, ACE inhibitors, antibiotics, birth control pills, chemotherapy, statins, corticosteroids, nicotine and insulin.

Fluoride is a big magnesium robber. Fluoride in water, from dental procedures, toothpaste and in drugs binds to magnesium, which then makes it unavailable to the body.

Herbicides and pesticides kill worms and bacteria which means fewer minerals are absorbed by plants.  Herbicides like Roundup bind with magnesium and makes it unavailable for plants to use.

Poor absorption from intestinal disease such as leaky gut, IBS, Celiac, Crohn’s, low stomach acid, gluten and dairy sensitivities, parasites and fungi interfere with the absorption of magnesium.

Oxalic acid, tannins & phytic acid (seeds, grains & legumes) block the absorption of magnesium.  Oxalic acid is found in rhubarb, spinach and chard and tannins found in teas bind and remove minerals, including magnesium.

Stress or trauma will cause magnesium deficiencies.  Excess sympathetic activity will also reduce stomach acid and this decreases our absorption of magnesium.

High protein diets also have the potential and capacity to decrease magnesium.  These diets also need more magnesium for digestion.

Sweating, whether it be from athletic performance, exercise, or sauna causes mineral loss and creates a magnesium deficiency.

We don’t consume enough magnesium rich foods, although our soils are depleted we can still get some magnesium from these foods and should be incorporating them into our diet daily.

Excess calcium, from foods, supplements and dairy products depletes magnesium. It’s important to remember that we need adequate amounts of magnesium to properly absorb, metabolize and distribute calcium.

High dose Vitamin D can deplete your magnesium stores.  Anything over 2000IU can deplete magnesium levels in the body.

Did you know? For every molecule of SUGAR, you consume, it takes 54 molecules of MAGNESIUM for your body to process it! That gives you an idea of how fast magnesium can be depleted when consuming sugar. ⠀

Magnesium deficiency is real and with our soils being so depleted of minerals due to modern farming practices, getting enough magnesium from our diet can be difficult. This is the reason why there is a pivotal need for high quality and effective magnesium supplementation. 

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Dr. Barb Woegerer, ND

Dr. Barb Woegerer, ND

Dr. Barb Woegerer is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She also provides naturopathic telemedicine/virtual services through the Ontario Telemedicine Network for any patients in the province of Ontario. Dr. Barb is passionate about empowering individuals to take control of their own health. Her primary focus is to explore the underlying root cause and provide individualized patient centered care. She utilizes evidence based therapies and provides patients with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed. Her clinical focus is in women’s health, stress management, and inflammatory conditions. Dr. Barb also spends a great deal of time educating individuals on the importance of magnesium and why we all need to add this mineral to our health toolbox. You can find her on Instagram at @drbarbwoegerer where she has shared a wealth of information on magnesium and inflammation! Alternatively she can also be contacted via email at barbwoegerer@gmail.com.