Free Press . . Allopathic
and Alternative Health News
September 20, 2010
Control Your Cravings
by Suzi Turner,
Do you crave chocolate and candy?
Chances are you are deficient in the mineral magnesium. When the body
needs something, there is automated cellular response and sensors go off
in the pursuit of a substance until the craving is satisfied. You probably
have heard someone say, "I could kill for chocolate." The meta-message
here is that the body is saying I desperately need magnesium and I know
where to get it -- chocolate! Chocolate is exceptionally high in magnesium.
The downside of this, however, is that chocolate is usually accompanied
by sugar which depletes magnesium in the body. Thus, it becomes a vicious
cycle: the more chocolate you eat, the more you deplete magnesium, the
more chocolate you crave.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals and the body needs lots
of it. It is one of the most prevalent minerals in the bones and calcium
absorption can not take place without it. Moreover, magnesium is essential
for a healthy heart, maintaining normal blood pressure, preventing and
inhibiting nocturnal leg cramps, and helping to control sugar levels.
Chocolate and sugar cravings have become quite common since magnesium
are now wide spread in the U.S. because of modern food growing techniques,
genetically modified foods, chemical additives, food processing, and poor
diet choices. Magnesium is
naturally abundant in nuts such as almonds and cashews, seeds, grains
and vegetables. Today, however, our grains, although originally high
in magnesium, are refined which removes the outer fibrous coat that contains
magnesium, zinc, and other minerals. Also, sugar and alcohol consumption
both increase urinary excretion of magnesium, leading to a
magnesium deficiency. I believe all drinkers or sugarholics should
supplement with 200 to 400 mgs of magnesium a day.
If you take a supplemental dose of 300 milligrams or more of magnesium
per day, your chocolate craving, according to Jason Schwartz, MD, should
fade; then whether you want to indulge or not will be under your rational
Not all magnesium supplements are the same. The most effective are either
a magnesium chelate or magnesium citrate. Magnesium oxide, although found
in many over the counter supplements, is very hard to digest and assimilate.
Cardiomyopathy (Heart problems)
In animals there is clear evidence that a low magnesium diet results in
heart muscle damage and leads to heart failure. In humans the picture is
not so clear that damage would result, but it is clear that that magnesium
is intimately involved in heart function. Getting enough magnesium may
help a compromised heart work better for a number reasons, according to
Sueta, M.D., Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Sueta says that magnesium
affects heart muscle contraction and magnesium deficiency can cause
abnormal heart rhythms and/or beats. Magnesium may offer extra protection
to help limit muscle damage during an attack.
Heart and Parathyroid
Lisa Ruml, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and a researcher in
the department of mineral metabolism at the University of Texas Southwestern
Medical Center at Dallas, says "Magnesium helps the muscle tone
of the heart (and) it's very important for all muscle function and, if
you're low in magnesium, it's harder to control blood pressure... when
magnesium is low, the parathyroid gland doesn't work well, and that is
what processes vitamin D to better absorb calcium.
Bronchial (Breathing) Aid --- Histamine Release ---
Magnesium helps relieve constricted airways in the lungs. It has been used
intravenously to relieve symptoms of life threatening drug resistant asthma
attacks. It seems magnesium is very important in controlling histamines
(The Complete Book of Vitamin Cures by the editors of Prevention
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
One British study found that people with CFS had below normal blood
levels of magnesium. After receiving magnesium injections, 90% of them
reported improvement in their condition. Dr. Magaziner recommended starting
with 500 milligrams a day. Dr. Cheney said that people with enzyme deficiencies
could suffer from CFS because the deficiency hampered their cells' ability
to convert food into energy and that extra magnesium improves enzyme
function, which results in greater energy production at the cellular level.
Bones, Teeth, and General Well Being
Magnesium helps calcium get into the bones and also converts vitamin D
to its active form in the body. Nearly one half of the body's magnesium
is found in the skeleton.
Alan Gaby, M.D., endowed chairman of therapeutic nutrition at Bastyr
University in Seattle, and author of Preventing and Reversing Osteoporosis,
says "We don't have enough research, but if I had to guess which
nutrient was most important to bone health, I would say magnesium."
Low magnesium availability, especially among those with reduced caloric
intake, can lead to shallow sleep and more nighttime awakenings according
to Dr. Penland (The complete book of Vitamin Cures, pg. 387.
Even if your magnesium intake is normal, certain medications can keep
your body from absorbing magnesium efficiently. The most common are probably
diuretics (water pills).
Protect Your Hearing --- Meniere's Disease --- Tinnitus
Human ears, even young, healthy, normal hearing ones, can benefit from
extra magnesium, Dr Attias says. He found that Israeli soldiers who got
an additional 167 milligrams of supplemental magnesium daily had less inner
ear damage than soldiers receiving placebos (blank look alike pills). According
to Doctor Attias, quoted in The complete book of Vitamin Cures, a more
recent study showed that supplemental magnesium intake has the same protective
effect against long-term noise exposure. If you experience a sense of fullness
in your ears and have balance problems, experts recommend that you be checked
for Meniere's disease (HMS has an interesting article on Meniere's which
can mailed to you on request (The article is titled
Drunk or Dizzy?)
Social Drinking --- Nervousness --- Tension --- Hangover
A study in connection with alcohol consumption showed that magnesium
excretion increased five-fold after consumption of just 70 cc of alcohol
(70 cc is not very much). Symptoms of magnesium deficiency (nervousness,
tension, hangover jitters) are common in social drinkers (Adelle Davis,
Get Well, pg. 70)
B6 --- Muscles --- Cholesterol --- Lecithin
According to Adele Davis in Let's Get Well, Lecithin cannot be synthesized
in the body without enzymes containing vitamin B6. These enzymes are active
(can only be active) if magnesium is present. Extremely severe atherosclerosis
has been produced in a variety of animals kept on diets that were adequate
except for vitamin B6. When monkeys were on such a diet, the arteries in
the heart, pancreas, kidneys, abdomen, limbs, muscles, and all tissues
were clogged with fatty deposits; and blood analysis showed both extremely
low lecithin and high cholesterol.
Important Magnesium Diabetes Connection
Important Diabetes Connection: A six year medical
study conducted by the Department of Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins
Serum and Dietary Magnesium and the Risk for Type
2 Diabetes Mellitus concluded that "among white participants,
low serum magnesium level is a strong, independent predictor of incident
type 2 diabetes. That low dietary magnesium intake does not confer risk
for type 2 diabetes implies that compartmentalization and renal handling
of magnesium may be important in the relationship between low serum magnesium
levels and the risk for type 2 diabetes." There can be little doubt
that magnesium can play a role in preventing or managing diabetes and that
low serum levels may predispose to diabetes. (Author/Article information
is available rom the Department of Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins University
School of Hygiene and Public Health (Ms Kao and Drs. Nieto and Brancati),
and the Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine (Dr Brancati), Baltimore, Md; the Division of Epidemiology, School
of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (Dr Folsom); the
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North
Carolina Chapel Hill (Dr Mo); and the Division of Epidemiology, University
of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson (Dr Watson). Reprints of the diabetes
study components are available from: Frederick L. Brancati, MD, MHS, Welch
Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, The Johns Hopkins
Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21205-2223 (e-mail: email@example.com).
High Blood Sugar --- High Blood Pressure --- Retina
Protection --- Fatigue
Low levels of magnesium have been linked to degeneration of the eye's
retina, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and clotting problems that
can lead to heart disease. More studies need to be done, but Doctors
in Italy found that people with Type II diabetes who took 450 milligrams
of supplemental magnesium produced more insulin and cleared sugar from
their blood streams better than before they started taking the magnesium
supplement according to The complete book of Vitamin Cures. Dr Eades said,
"People with diabetes tend to lose magnesium through their urine." During
her therapy (starting with 1,000 milligrams of magnesium twice per day
for four weeks to assess their responses, most people experience some improvement
in blood sugar, blood pressure, and have less fatigue.
Many diuretics contribute to the need for additional magnesium and
calcium. The deficiency of calcium/magnesium of is often evidenced by muscle
cramps (remember this is not medical advice and you should refer
problems to your own physician).
Persons with impaired kidney function or impaired heart function
should always consult a physician before taking a magnesium supplement.
Natural Sources of Magnesium:
Almonds, Carp, Cod, Flounder, Halibut, Herring, Leafy, green vegetables,
Mackerel, Molasses, Nuts, Ocean perch, Shrimp, Snails, Soybeans, Sunflower
seeds, Swordfish, Wheat germ
©2010, US Medical Guide, Suzi Turner
US Medical Guide
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