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Magnesium Deficiency

3 May, 2017


Magnesium, the second-most abundant element in human cells and a major component of Epsom Salt, helps to regulate the activity of more than 325 enzymes and performs a vital role in muscle control, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins.

The Epsom Salt Industry Council (ESIC) reports that magnesium may:

  • Ease stress and improve sleep and concentration
  • Help muscles and nerves function properly
  • Regulate activity of 325+ enzymes
  • Help prevent artery hardening and blood clots
  • Make insulin more effective
  • Reduce inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps
  • Improve oxygen use

The National Academy of Sciences, however, reports that most Americans are magnesium deficient, helping to account for our society’s high rate of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis, joint pain, digestive problems, chronic fatigue and other ailments. The Academy estimates the average American male gets only 80% of the magnesium required for good health, while females get only 70% of their recommended levels. The ESIC reports that Americans’ magnesium levels have dropped more than 50% in the past century.

This drop is due to a variety of factors including intensive farming practices that deplete magnesium from the soil and the fact that magnesium is not a standard component in most fertilizers. So, a diet that would have supplied enough magnesium a century ago may not supply enough today.

Aggravating the problem is the current American and British diet, which is rich in fat, sugar, salt and protein. This diet not only contains less magnesium than a healthy balanced diet, but these foods actually accelerate the depletion of magnesium from our systems.

So, too, does our use of calcium as an antidote for bone disease because calcium drains magnesium from the body. You see, calcium can only function when sufficient magnesium is present. The ESIC reports that taking a calcium supplement without ensuring the body also receives enough magnesium can result in a shortage of both nutrients. The ESIC goes on to say that researchers have found most Americans have five times as much calcium as magnesium in their bodies; however, the proper ratio for optimum absorption of both minerals is about two to one.

So, how can you remedy your shortage? Add two cups of Epsom Salt to your standard-sized bath. (Double this amount for an oversized tub.) Do this three times weekly; soaking for at least 12 minutes each time.

Henry G.Bieler, MD
 Food is Your Best Medicine

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