Are You Getting Enough Magnesium

magnesium

Magnesium is an important mineral that helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. It creates protein and strengthens bones and the immune system. Involved in heart, nerve and muscle function, magnesium may also help to prevent liver problems.

Food processing, soil conditions and dietary habits all play a role in decreasing levels of magnesium. Vitamin and mineral depletion in the soil has been linked to the use of pesticides and fertilizers by some experts. Also, the amount of magnesium in refined oils, sugar and grains have been reduced to almost zero.

Mother Earth News, Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. and agricultural expert explained:

High nitrogen levels make plants grow fast and bulk up with carbohydrates and water. Although the produce is heavier and larger, they lack in nutritional quality.

Dr. Mildred Seelig, author of The Magnesium Factor:

If restaurant, homemade, or store-bought food contains fat, refined flour, and/or sugar as one or more of the major ingredients, it is a low-magnesium, and quite possibly high-calorie, food. A steady diet of such foods year after year can produce a magnesium deficit. The deficiency can develop in to metabolic syndrome X, a major factor in heart disease.

Foods that contain magnesium:

Beans, oats, spinach, curly kale, beet greens, baked potato, artichoke, butternut squash, plantain, Swiss chard, okra, raspberries, blackberries, whole grains, fish, mackerel, halibut, blackeye peas, nuts and cooked quinoa. Spinach, dark chocolate and almonds are good sources for magnesium, however, they contain oxalates that may hinder absorption.

Those who have difficulty digesting foods, or have a liver disorder and the elderly  may become deficient in magnesium.

Symptoms of low magnesium levels:

Low calcium and potassium levels, sodium retention, tremors, fatigue, loss of appetite, numbness, tingling, weakness, muscle spasms, nausea, abnormal heart rhythms and mood changes.

Supplemental Magnesium

There are various forms of magnesium. Oxide is the most prevalent, but is not very effective. Aspartate is not recommended because it is similar to excito-toxins aspartame and msg. Other forms include citrate, malate, glutamate, glycinate, taurinate, lactate, chloride and a few more.

Magnesium lactate and chloride absorb better than the oxide form. Malate is combined with malic acid, which is found in apples, and helps to produce bile. It is also recommended for fibromyalgia and rheumatism. The B vitamins assist in magnesium absorption.

Daily Dose of Magnesium

The amount on average over the age of 19 are 200 to 250 milligrams every day. Not common at this dose, there exist a potential of a toxic overload, therefore an occasional three month program may be all that is needed to boost magnesium levels.

Liz Olivia

Why We Need Sleep

Sleep-deprived people who are tested by using a driving simulator or by performing a hand-eye coordination task perform as badly as, or worse than, those who are intoxicated. Sleep deprivation also magnifies alcohol’s effects, so a fatigued person who drinks will become much more impaired than someone who is well rested. Drowsiness is the brain’s last step before falling asleep; driving while drowsy can, and often does, lead to disaster. Caffeine and other stimulants cannot overcome the effects of severe sleep deprivation.
  
 Some studies suggest that sleep deprivation affects the immune system in detrimental ways. Some experts believe sleep gives neurons used while we are awake a chance to shut down and repair themselves. Without sleep, neurons may become so energy depleted and polluted with byproducts of normal cellular activities, they begin to malfunction. Sleep also may give the brain a chance to exercise important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate from lack of activity. While rats normally live for two to three years, those deprived of REM sleep survive only about 5 weeks on average, and rats deprived of all sleep stages live only about 3 weeks.
Getting too little sleep creates a “sleep debt,” which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually, the body demands that the debt be repaid. We don’t seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need; while we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired. Infants generally require 16 hours daily, and teenagers require nine. Most adults generally need 7 to 8 hours every night

Many of the body’s cells show increased production and reduced breakdown of proteins during deep sleep. Proteins are the building blocks needed for cell growth and for repair of damage from factors like stress and ultraviolet rays. The deep sleep stage may help people maintain optimal emotional and social functioning when awake. Like deep sleep, rem sleep is associated with increased production of proteins. People taught a skill and then deprived of non-rem sleep had recall of it after sleeping, while people deprived of rem sleep didn’t have recall.   

 

      

   

We spend nearly all of our sleep time in stages 1, 2, and REM. The first rem sleep period usually occurs 1 to 1½ hours after falling asleep. A complete sleep cycle takes on the average of 100 mins. The first sleep cycles each night contain relatively short rem periods and long periods of deep sleep. As the night progresses, rem sleep periods are longer while deep sleep is shorter. When awakened after sleeping more than a few minutes, we are usually unable to recall the last few minutes before having fallen asleep. This is why we often don’t remember the alarm going off in the morning if we go right back to sleep after turning it off.
  
Caffeinated drinks and drugs such as diet pills and decongestants stimulate some parts of the brain and can cause an inability to sleep referred to as “insomnia”. Many antidepressants suppress the ability to experience rem

Circadian_rhythm
circadian rhythm

sleep in the natural manner. Different neurotransmitter signals in the brain have an influence on sleep and wakefulness and foods and medicines that change the balance of these signals affect the quality of sleep. Neurons in the brainstem, which connects the brain with the spinal cord, produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine that keep some parts of the brain active while we are awake. Other neurons at the base of the brain begin signaling when we fall asleep and appear to “switch off” the awake signals. Stages 1 through 4 and REM (rapid eye movement) progress in a cycle then the cycle starts over again with stage 1.

Suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN (biological clock), is a pair of pinhead-sized brain structures that together contain about 20,000 neurons and rests in a part of the brain, the hypothalamus directly above the optic nerve. Light that reaches photoreceptors in the retina (a tissue at the back of the eye) creates signals that travel along the optic nerve to the SCN structures. Signals from the SCN travel to several brain regions, including the pineal gland, which responds to light-induced signals by switching off production of the hormone melatonin. The body’s level of melatonin normally increases after darkness falls causing drowsiness. The SCN also governs functions that are synchronized with the sleep/wake cycle such as body temperature, hormone secretion, urine production, and blood pressure.

 

   

 

    

 

Workers on 3rd shift have an increased risk of heart problems, digestive disturbances, and emotional and mental problems, all of which may be related to their sleeping schedules. The number and severity of workplace accidents also tend to increase during the night shift. Major industrial accidents attributed partly to errors made by fatigued night-shift workers; three mile isle, and medical interns on the 3rd shift are twice as likely as others to misinterpret hospital test records.

 

Long-term use of melatonin may create new problems, the potential side effects of melatonin supplements are still largely unknown, therefore most experts discourage its use. Extreme sleep deprivation can lead to a psychotic state of paranoia and hallucinations in otherwise healthy people, and disrupted sleep can trigger episodes of mania (agitation and hyperactivity) in people with manic depression. The chemicals our immune systems produce while fighting an infection are powerful sleep-inducing chemicals and sleep may help the body conserve energy and other resources that the immune system needs to fight infection.

 

Once sleeping problems develop, they can add to a person’s impairment and cause confusion, frustration or depression. Patients who are unable to sleep also notice pain more and may increase their requests for pain medication. Better management of sleeping problems in people who have other disorders could improve their health and quality of life.
The use of alcohol, such as a nightcap, can only help for falling into a light sleep as it prevents the restorative stages and rem sleep. It causes a lighter stage of sleep, being easily awakened throughout the night. Abnormally hot or cold temperatures can disrupt the rem stage of sleep also because the decreased ability to regulate body temperature.

May you sleep well,

astrolivia