Magnesium: The Painful Truth

National studies show almost 100% of UK adults do not meet the Recommended Daily Allowance for magnesium

It’s an unfortunate reality is that magnesium intakes within the UK population are still frankly shocking, with national studies revealing

that almost 100% of adults in the UK are not meeting even the RDA for magnesium

When you consider the RDA is a guide to the very lowest amount required to prevent outright deficiency, it makes the figures even more alarming!

Indeed what it means is that hardly anyone in the UK is getting the optimal amounts of magnesium required for their bodies to function properly.

And with magnesium being involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies, the painful truth is that virtually the entire population of the UK is magnesium deficient!

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Essential for energy production

Magnesium is perhaps the most important nutrient involved in the body’s energy production processes. This is not just particularly significant for athletes and sports people but to enable energy production for everyday activities too, hence why general feelings of fatigue and lethargy are common symptoms of a deficiency of this important mineral.

Optimal muscle function

Muscles actually contain about 26% of all magnesium found in the body, with 60% in bone and the rest in soft tissue and body fluids. Muscle cramps, spasms and tremors are common symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

Nature’s tranquilliser

A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that a deficiency of magnesium intensified adverse reactions to stress. Magnesium deficiency can commonly lead to symptoms of mood swings, irritability and depression.

Why aren’t we getting enough Magnesium?

Ideally we all should be able obtain all of the essential nutrients you need from your food. However due to a number of factors (such as farming methods that leave the actual soil that crops are grown in deficient) it has become increasingly difficult to obtain all of the nutrients our bodies need even from a healthy well-balanced diet.

Add to that the fact that a large proportion of the population relies on nutrient sparse convenience foods for their staple diet, and is it any wonder there’s such widespread magnesium deficiency here in the UK?

Let’s look at little deeper into this:


Food processing techniques often remove the part of the plant that contains the highest nutrient levels. For example, safflower seeds contain 680 mg magnesium per 1000 calories, yet safflower oil contains no magnesium at all. Refined grains remove 80 – 97% of magnesium during processing. One tablespoon of molasses contains 25% of the magnesium RDA yet refined sugar contains none.

Intensive Farming

Intensive efforts are aimed at breeding new varieties that have greater yield, better resistance to pests, or adaptability to different climates. Yet, evidence is mounting to suggest that when crops are artificially selected in this way, they may grow bigger and faster, but might not necessarily have the ability to make or uptake nutrients at the same, faster rate.

Soil Content

It is now well accepted that crop quality is decreasing. A 2004 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition compared nutrient content with 1950 levels and found declines to be as much as 40%. Pesticide use is a known problem for soil quality, as they are known to destroy organisms that provide nutrients to plants. Vitamin-fixing bacteria in the soil, earthworms, natural soil aerators and fertilizers are being lost from farmland, which then produces crops with dramatically reduced nutrient content. Minerals are more vulnerable to negative effects from the decline in soil quality than vitamins - many vitamins can be produced by growing plants, but plants can only be rich in minerals if they are first present in the soil. Modern fertilizers add to the problem of worsening nutrient content of crops. For example, modern nitrogen-based fertilizers are known to produce crops, which are bigger but lower in nutrients. Potassium fertilizers are widely used and known to reduce magnesium and calcium uptake by plants.

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‘Western’ Diet

Even if magnesium levels in crops were as buoyant as they naturally should be, the typical ‘Western diet’, low in fresh fruits, vegetables and wholegrains and high in refined, processed, sugary foods still wouldn’t supply optimal amounts. Magnesium is predominantly found in nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrains and green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach – foods, which are sadly lacking from a typical Western diet.

Absorption of Magnesium

Magnesium absorption rates can vary and can sometimes be as low as 20%, in addition there are a range of factors, which can interfere with absorption. Phytic acid and oxalic acid found in certain foods and some prescription drugs can affect magnesium absorption.

The majority of medications deplete magnesium – fact!

The fact that our diets are deficient in magnesium is exacerbated by the fact that many, if not most, drug treatments deplete magnesium too. When you look at any list of drug/nutrient interactions, the most frequently mentioned nutrient affected by the most commonly-prescribed drugs is, guess what . . . magnesium!

These factors make it seems very wise to supplement with magnesium to optimise your intake for great health.

Common magnesium deficiency symptoms

• Muscle Pain & cramps
• Poor sleep
• Headache
• Migraine
• High Blood Pressure
• Anxiety

• Menstrual cramps
• Low mood
• Respiratory problems
• Fatigue
• Irregular heart beat

Who is at risk

• Those with gastrointestinal, malabsorption or kidney problems
• Those with poorly controlled diabetes
• Alcoholics
• Those taking certain medications, including diuretics and antibiotics
• Stressed individuals
• Elderly people
• Menstruating females
• Athletes and people taking part in regular exercise

But remember studies have shown that virtually EVERYONE is at risk considering barely anyone consumes the minimal amount recommended for day to day living

Magnesium rich foods

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• Green leafy vegetables

• Unrefined grains

• Nuts such as almonds & cashew nuts

• Legumes such as beans, pulses & lentils

• Whole grains such as brown rice and millet

10 things you didn’t know about Magnesium

Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the human body and is absolutely essential to life.

2. At the centre of every chlorophyll molecule, in every green plant, there is a magnesium ion. Hence why leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale are a great source of this essential mineral

3.The human body contains about 4-6 teaspoons of magnesium; 50 – 60% of this is found in bones and teeth. The cells of a healthy heart contain about ten times the amount of magnesium found in blood

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4. Many conventional drugs interfere with magnesium absorption and retention in the body, including chemotherapy treatments, allergy and asthma medications, some antibiotics and diuretics

5. 7-11% of hospitalized patients and 65% of intensive care patients are deficient in magnesium.

6. About 13% of our planet’s entire mass comes from magnesium. This means there’s enough magnesium within earth to make a planet the same mass as Mars and still have enough left over to make three more planets the same mass as the moon. Wow!

7. Magnesium is the ninth most abundant element in the universe and the eighth most abundant element in the earth’s crust.

8. Magnesium was first discovered outside the Greek city of Magnesia. In ancient times, it was used as a natural cure in the form of Epsom salts and as a laxative.

9. Without magnesium, the body can’t produce energy, contract and relax muscles or make many vital hormones. Magnesium & sleep are closely interconnected – if magnesium levels are too low, sleep disturbance can occur.

10. Magnesium has a boiling point of 650°C and a melting point of 1090°C.

9 science based facts about magnesium

1. Magnesium is involved in over 600 processes in the body, including energy creation, protein formation, helps create and repair DNA, muscle movements and nervous system regulation
2.Boosts exercise performance
3. Magnesium fights depression
4. It is effective again type 2 diabetes
5. Magnesium can lower blood pressure
6. It has anti-inflammatory effects
7. It can help prevent migraines
8. Magnesium reduces insulin resistance (which leads to diabetes)
9. It can help ease PMS symptoms

At The Perrymount we use Nutri’s fantastic magnesium range

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Nutri Advanced have an entire range of magnesium products painstakingly and specifically formulated to suit a whole range of needs.

Because magnesium is involved in so many different reactions in the body having different versions with differing ingredients which maximises their effectiveness. Also importantly, all of Nutri’s products use the glycinate form of magnesium, which makes them easy to absorb and well tolerated.

Nutri has different Magnesium formulations to help:

  • Muscle function to improve cramps and tightness and spasm
  • To aid restful sleep
  • To speed sports recovery and aid sports performance
  • To calm the nervous system from stress
  • To improve energy levels
  • To help balance the female hormone systems

Not all forms of magnesium are created equal – it pays health dividends to understand the difference

There are many different forms of magnesium you can supplement with, all varying greatly in regards to effectiveness. So why is Nutri’s magnesium so potently effective?

Well essentially it’s because Nutri use magnesium in the glycinate form. Importantly Nutri product formulations have been meticulously developed so that absorption and intestinal tolerance are enhanced. This is in direct contrast to many other cheaper products that are not well absorbed and can leave you with nasty side effects, such as diarrhoea (which is more common than you’d think!).
Cheapest is rarely best

Numerous studies show the form of magnesium Nutri uses is up to 8 times better absorbed than standard magnesium oxide and 3 times better than magnesium sulphate and other less potent (and cheaper) forms on the market. Nutri also opted for glycinate as it does not put an extra strain on the bowel.

In addition, numerous synergistic nutrients have been added to Nutri’s MegaMag® range of powders to make certain every single scoop of these formulas is a power-house of nutritional goodness.

Scientifically formulated – backed by 30 years of expertise

  • Backed by more than 30 years of clinical expertise, the Nutri Advanced range of products is based on cutting edge, scientific research and meticulously formulated to optimise effectiveness.

  • Superior absorption: delivering magnesium in glycinate form, which has been shown in studies to have superior absorption when compared with other forms of magnesium.

  • Well tolerated formulas: not only does magnesium have better uptake in the glycinate form, it is also better tolerated, with lower risk of gastric side effects, such as diarrhoea, than other forms of magnesium.

  • Pleasant-tasting powders for superior nutritional therapy: the powdered form of delivery allows input of a wide range of nutrients at clinically meaningful dosages. A single dose of powder in some cases is equivalent to 20 capsules.

  • Professional strength amino acids: powdered formulas allow therapeutic amounts of amino acids (such as glutamine, taurine, creatine, glycine and n-acetyl-carnitine), which is difficult to achieve in tablets or capsules.

  • Formulated with synergistic nutrients: each product has been expertly formulated to provide synergistic nutrients that support each clinical application.

Your Guarantee of Quality from Nutri

“This is the best way we can underline the confidence we have in our product range and how much we value your custom. This industry-unique guarantee is not built on a vague promise but on absolute trust in our relationship with you. So, if you are not completely satisfied with the quality of any Nutri product, simply return it to us within 30 days of purchase. As soon as we receive it, we will send you a full refund.”

The Nutri range of Magnesium

  • Ultra Muscleze
  • £29.75
  • Ultra muscleze combines magnesium with synergistic ingredients to aid muscle recovery (orange flavour)
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  • MegaMag Calmeze
  • £29.90
  • Ultra muscleze combines magnesium with synergistic ingredients tocalm the nervous system and the stess response (orange flavour)
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  • MegaMag Energen Plus
  • £29.45
  • MegaMag Energen combines magnesium with synergistic ingredients to energy levels and optimise performance (orange flavour)
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  • MegaMag Fem Balance
  • £29.90
  • Ultra muscleze combines magnesium with synergistic ingredients research to help balance female hormones (orange flavour)
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  • MegaMag Night Formula
  • £31.30
  • MegaMag Night Formula combines magnesium with synergistic ingredients aid a restful calm sleep (camomile flavour)
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  • MegaMag Creatine Plus
  • £26.50
  • Ultra Creatine Plus combines magnesium with synergistic ingredients to aid sports performance and recovery (orange flavour)
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Or call Nutri direct to order on 0800 212 742. Nutri only sells to patients recommended by a registereed health professional so you will have to tell them my name, Christian Bates, when asked.

So what can be done at The Perrymount to help you?

When using natural medicine or “Functional Medicine” you are viewed as a whole person, not just a thyroid gland! I personally use a device called the Avatar to help me find which organ we need to support and which supplements will best suit you. As you have already learned it might be the thyroid, or adrenals, or liver or bowel.

The supplements used to help you could be vitamins and minerals to correct deficiencies, they could be amino acids to supply your body the ingredients to heal itself or some herbs that are known to support specific organ function.

On top of this of course we have food choices and eating plans to use along with other lifestyle changes such as exercise or relaxation advice.

You can read more on the Avatar and another device I use called the VedaPulse by clicking here.

If anything in this article sounds like you and you are interested in help then leave us a couple of details below and will be in touch.

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Christian has been an osteopath and naturopath for 20 years and he founded up The Perrymount Clinic in 2009The Perrymount has won numerous awards and Christian has won the prestigious Complementary and Alternative Medicine practitioner “Outstanding Contribution to the Community”.

In 2014 Christian wrote the book Calming Colic - How To Help The 10 Causes of Colic & since has written numerous other e-books all focused on helping mother and baby.

Christian approaches each patient holistically and will use osteopathy and nutrition in tandem with most patients. The form of nutrition he uses is often called “Functional Medicine” where the patients whole lifestyle is taken into account. Christian uses the Avatar and Vedaulse devices to delve deeply into the CAUSES of a clients problems.

References for this article:

1. Henderson et al (2002) National Diet and Nutrition Survey: adults aged 19 to 64 yrs. The Stationery Office, London

2. Commission Directive 2008/100/EC on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs as regards recommended daily allowances, energy conversion factors and definitions. Official Journal of the European Union. 29.10.2008

3. Seelig M.S. Consequences of Magnesium Deficiency on the Enhancement of Stress Reactions: Preventive and Therapeutic Implications (A Review) J Am Coll Nutr 1994; 13(5): 429-446

4. Schuette SA, Lashner BA, Janghorbani M. Bioavailability of magnesium diglycinate versus magnesium oxide in patients with ileal resection. J Parenteral Entral Nutr 1994; 18 (5): 430-435

Interested in getting some natural help for your thyroid? Leave us a few details below and someone will call you back

Or feel free to email me a few details about yourself and I’ll see if I can help.

My email is

Feel free to download any of our self-help and educational e-books, just click the link below

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