In Parts 1 and 2 of my Magnesium Primer, you learned why Magnesium is one of the most vitally important nutrients for your health (#1 in my opinion), and also why it is very unlikely that you can obtain all of the Magnesium your body needs simply through diet alone, even if you are eating an organic diet that includes and abundance of Magnesium-rich foods.
Now I want to share with you some of the most common factors that all of us are exposed to that can severely deplete your body’s Magnesium stores. Lets’ start with the one that is most pervasive—stress!
“Stress!” and Magnesium Loss
If you only remember one thing from this article, let it be this:
The more “Stress!” you are under, the Mo’ Maggie you need!
This one fact, if you act on it by increasing your intake of Magnesium, both through foods and through Magnesium supplements, will change your health for the better. I guarantee it!
Here’s what you need to know about stress to understand how and why it is such a major Magnesium drain:
All of us experience stress to some degree or another each and every day. When we do, our body releases substances known as catecholamines and corticosteroids. In plain English, we know these substances as “stress hormones.” The release of stress hormones is part of our bodies’ built-in survival mechanism that dates back to the time of our ancient ancestors, when the flood of these hormones helped them to quickly react and protect themselves when their lives were threatened. Under such circumstances, these hormones furnished them with a temporary burst of energy and enhanced cardiac and musculoskeletal performance so that they could escape danger. Once the danger passed, their bodies dissipated the hormones and life went on as before. This biochemical reaction is today known as the “fight or flight” response.
The “fight or flight” response is also a built-in part of our bodies’ evolutionary design. However, unlike the days of our ancestors, today the response is triggered not only when we may be frightened or in danger, but also whenever we experience or perceive “Stress!” for any reason. In addition, today stress is increasingly chronic, meaning that it affects us on an ongoing basis, unlike the temporary exposures to danger that our ancestors faced. And today’s stresses are often due to unresolved emotional or mental issues, not just physical threats to our overall well-being. Whether you are angry, depressed, or being chased down the street by a mugger, the levels and types of stress hormones that our body releases under each of these circumstances remain the same.
Chronic stress results in the chronic release of stress hormones, and that’s where the problem lies, especially with regard to metabolic marvel, Maggie! You see, every time our bodies release stress hormones they draw upon and deplete our Magnesium stores and this inactivates Magnesium’s potential in the body, thereby preventing this most important mineral from performing its thousands of vital tasks.
During times of fleeting stress, this may not be problematic, but since chronic stress is hardly rare these days, it becomes a major drain of Magnesium.
But that’s not all. Researchers and physicians have shown since the late 1800s that stress hormones can and do cause the cells of our heart to die. This condition is known as Acute Catecholamine-induced Myocardial Necrosis, aka Cardiac Necrosis, or, in layperson terms, heart cell death.
You’ve probably guessed that the underlying mechanism behind heart cell death is the depletion of Magnesium that the release of stress hormones causes.
Here’s how it happens:
First, stress hormones deplete Magnesium. Then, without the regulatory effect of Magnesium, electrolytes (compounds in your body that help regulate the amount of water in your body, electrical potential of cell membranes, blood pH, muscle and nerve function, and other important processes) start to malfunction.
This, in turn, results in impaired or a complete stoppage of the production of ATP (our body’s main source of cellular energy) in the heart cells, causing them to die. When this happens often enough, the heart muscle tissue becomes compromised.
Left unchecked, this process of heart muscle cell starvation leads to our nation’s # 1 health problem and killer—heart disease. And I’m here to tell you that it is this sequence of events—stress, stress hormones, Maggie depletion, electrolyte dysfunction, heart cell death, inflammation, then fibrosis (calcification)—that is the true cause of heart disease, not elevated cholesterol levels and the other associated risk factors that cardiologists emphasize instead of checking their patients’ ability to create energy for heart muscle function, primarily Magnesium status.
This simple but vitally important and altogether overlooked fact is all you need to know to protect yourself and your loved ones from our nation’s most common killer. Providing that you act upon it, of course!
The solution to heart disease is simple: Manage your stress levels and take Mo’ Maggie!
This simple formula will also help protect you from many other diseases, as well, since the risk of heart disease is only one of the many serious conditions for which risk dramatically increases in the face of stress and Magnesium-depletion.
Now let’s take a look at another far too common robber of Magnesium.
Fluoride—Another Major Magnesium Drain
It’s a well-known fact among chemists that certain compounds inactivate the properties of other compounds. This is certainly the case with fluoride in relation to Magnesium. Not only do fluorides deplete Magnesium in the body, they also negate the body’s ability to absorb, and therefore make use of Magnesium, even when we eat Magnesium-rich foods and take Magnesium supplements.
Unfortunately, the presence of fluorides in our environment is substantial, as various fluorides are used in many industrial activities, commercial farming, as well as food processing. Fluoride is also a common ingredient in most brands of toothpaste sold in the US, as well as certain mouthwashes, and, unlike other Western nations, is an additive in many municipal drinking water supplies across the country. I consider this to be a public health risk of the highest order, because fluoride, despite claims to the contrary, is a non-degradable poison that accumulates in soil, plants, and in the tissues, organs and bones of both animals and humans.
Here is what you must understand about fluoride:
Not only is it poisonous, it also prevents Magnesium from performing its multitude of important functions in the body!
Therefore, I recommend that you avoid anything that adds to the buildup of fluoride in your body. This can be challenging but is not impossible. Today there are a growing number of fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash products on the market, and with the ongoing rise of organic farms across the US, it’s becoming easier to obtain foods that are grown and harvested without the use of fluoride.
Unless you live in one of the few municipalities in the US that don’t add fluoride to their water supplies (you can find a list of such communities here: http://www.fluoridealert.org/content/communities), drinking and bathing in tap water is more problematic. You can filter your tap water, of course, but few water filtration systems filter out fluoride to any measurable extent.
That’s why I recommend a healthy diet that is rich in foods that both contain lots of Maggie, as well as a variety of other nutrients that support your body’s organs of detoxification. The bottom line is that we live in a poisoned planet and we cannot escape exposure to toxins completely no matter how hard we try. But we can improve our resistance to them, and, again, that starts with increasing your uptake of Maggie!
Oh, and there’s one other major source of fluoride that I haven’t mentioned yet…
Given how important Maggie is to your health, you would think that all doctors would test their patients for Magnesium deficiencies and educate them about their need to daily supplement with Maggie. Unfortunately, they don’t.
And they compound this problem by regularly prescribing pharmaceutical drugs that—you guessed it!—seriously deplete Magnesium stores.
For example, did you know that one of the primary active ingredients in approximately 55 percent of all pharmaceutical drugs sold in the US is fluoride? I bet you didn’t, and I’m willing to bet that many doctors are unaware of this fact, as well.
If you are taking these drugs, you are robbing your body of Magnesium. That is not a good way to regain your health. Not unless you think bailing water with a sieve is a good way to cope with flooding!
But fluoride-based drugs are not the only problem. Other types of drugs drain Maggie, as well. They include certain antibiotics and antifungal drugs, asthma drugs, blood pressure medications, corticosteroid drugs, diuretics, heart medications, and drugs containing estrogen, such as birth control pills and synthetic hormone replacement drugs.
For a more in-depth list of pharmaceutical drugs, I highly recommend you read the article 14 Drugs That Deplete Your Body of Magnesium by “America’s Most Trusted Pharmacist,” Suzy Cohen, R.Ph. You can find it here: http://www.jigsawhealth.com/resources/drug-muggers-suzy-cohen-magnesium.
The above three factors are three of the most serious reasons our nation is suffering from a severe epidemic of Magnesium-deficiencies. But they are far from the only ones. Next time I will tell you about things that are also robbing you of Magnesium.
Till then, as always, stay healthy by taking more Maggie!
To your health!