Why You Should Care About Magnesium: How to Get Your Levels up the Right Way

Why You Should Care About Magnesium: How to Get Your Levels up the Right Way


Magnesium is so much more than a tiny square on the periodic table.


This mighty mineral powers the spark in fireworks, densifies the earth’s crust, and fuels the human metabolism.  Pretty cool, right?


Much of life depends on magnesium (not exaggerating). 


Let’s discuss why you shouldn’t brush a magnesium deficiency under the rug and how you can fix it naturally.


So Why Do We Need Magnesium?


More than 300 processes in the body require magnesium to work optimally. 


We’re talking about major things like


  • Nerve function
  • ATP (energy) synthesis 
  • Blood sugar control
  • Insulin production
  • Immune defense
  • Blood pressure management
  • Kidney function
  • Bone and teeth structure
  • Mood regulation

Just to name a few.


Magnesium is crucial for switching your nervous system from sympathetic mode (fight or flight) to parasympathetic mode (rest and digest) – a shift that’s become increasingly difficult in our stressed-out modern world of non-stop hustle.  


When we’re stuck in fight or flight mode, our body has a hard time prioritizing things like proper digestion, stress management, and recovery.  Magnesium has earned the nickname “relaxation mineral” because it helps your body do just that– relax.  It’s seriously good at bringing the body back into homeostasis and lowering inflammation. (1, 2)

This is great news for your hormones.


Magnesium regulates the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPAA), the body’s hormone and stress response headquarters.  Its regulating effect on the HPAA helps you cope with stress appropriately and lower cortisol levels.  A calm and resilient nervous system leaves your body with plenty of resources for healthy hormone production.  (3


Magnesium is also vital to the hormone production process because it powers the cell's mitochondria, where steroid hormones are constructed and released.  This matters because steroids trigger corticosteroids, androgens, estrogen, and progestogen– kind of important.  


Low levels of magnesium and sluggish mitochondria function inevitably lead to all kinds of hormone imbalances.  So keeping these chemical messengers in check is a must for your overall health and well-being.

Other vitamins and minerals depend on magnesium to thrive.


As with everything else in life– balance is key.  And since most minerals in the body have a synergistic relationship, it’s important not to play favorites.   


Magnesium and calcium have an extra special partnership because, without enough magnesium, calcium can’t properly assimilate, which can lead to it storing up in the wrong places. (4) And since magnesium depletes in times of stress, we often don’t have enough of it to help calcium do its thing. 


Potassium is another mineral that does better with more magnesium.  Studies show that low magnesium exacerbates “potassium waste” within the cell.  (5)


Vitamin D is also happier with magnesium around. This is because the enzymes in your liver and kidneys require magnesium to break down and utilize vitamin D.  This is important because (you guessed it) vitamin D assists in the absorption of calcium and magnesium.  It truly is all connected.


Do You Have a Magnesium Deficiency? (probably)


Yep, it’s true.  With stress on the rise and soil nutrients at an all-time low, you can bet your bottom dollar a lot of us aren’t getting enough magnesium.  


Here are some of the telltale signs you might need to up your mag


  • Poor sleep: magnesium inhibits GABA receptors in your brain to stop racing thoughts– not having enough may rob you of your beauty sleep. (6)
  • Anxiety:  without enough magnesium to bind to calming receptors, the risk for anxiety and depression skyrockets. (7)
  • Excess sweating: an amped-up stress response could lead to more than enough sweat for some, which further depletes magnesium stores. (8)
  • Heart arrhythmia: low magnesium could throw off the heartbeat rhythm by reducing the ventricular threshold for fibrillation and making the signal more random. (9)
  • Frequent headaches: magnesium blocks certain sensory and pain receptors that bring on migraines– low levels could be the culprit behind your pounding head. (10)
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness: since low magnesium interferes with potassium’s ability to activate muscle cells, it can quickly leave you feeling more drained than usual.  (11)

  • This isn’t something you want to ignore for long because studies show that chronically low magnesium may eventually lead to a number of diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis. (12) Women are particularly prone to low magnesium.  But no fear– it’s never too late to start making small changes and being mindful of magnesium.


    How to Increase Magnesium Naturally + Safely


    So you’re ready to reunite with this oh-so-critical master mineral, but where to start?


    Hearing the word “deficiency” might send you to the nearest health food store, where you’ll find a plethora of magnesium capsules, tablets, gummies, flakes, sprays, you name it.  


    It can be overwhelming.


    But it’s important to keep in mind that even though it says magnesium on the bottle, it may not be the most bioavailable option out there.

    There are several different forms of magnesium.


    The most bioavailable ones are 


  • magnesium bicarbonate: easily absorbed by the small intestine, bicarb is a great go-to option.  Only available in liquid form as it's impossible to find in food.
  • magnesium glycinate: a bioavailable option that can be taken orally in capsule form.
  • magnesium chloride: usually applied to the skin in a spray, lotion, or flakes.  Hint: you may notice a slight tingle or itch when using topical magnesium chloride if you’re deficient– what a great at-home litmus test!

  • It can be a good idea to support the body using each form of magnesium to cover all your bases.


    (And don’t forget to consider all the minerals in your system before pushing one excessively, as this could make you feel even worse).

    We love transdermal magnesium supplementation.


    Our fave form is hands-down, topical magnesium chloride.  You don’t have to worry about overdoing it and experiencing any unwanted irritation as with ingestible forms (i.e., abdominal cramping or diarrhea).


    We prefer a fat-based lotion for maximum absorption.  Sprays and bath flakes can dry out the skin, making them less effective. Hydrating the skin enhances its permeability allowing the magnesium to get where it needs to go. (13)


    With this in mind, we created our Magnesium Body Lotion to ensure you're getting all the benefits and none of the side effects– perfect for kiddos (and adults) with sensitive tummies.  


    And remember how amazing magnesium is for minimizing perspiration?  What better way to use it than in a deodorant?  Our Mag Stick Deodorant works overtime to keep your pits dry and smelling, well, like nothing.  Oh, and you don’t have to worry about endocrine-disrupting ingredients or artificial fragrances killing your vibe.  Our no-fuss deodorant has you covered for at least 24 hours.


    As always, while we hope to be a no-nonsense resource, we encourage you to do your own research to find the healthiest options for you and your family.  You can check out our whole collection of good-for-you, tallow-based skincare products by clicking the link below.  We hope to see you there!


     SHOP ALL FATSKN MAGNESIUM OFFERINGS





    REFERENCES:


    1. Barbagallo M, Dominguez LJ. Magnesium and aging. Curr Pharm Des. 2010;16(7). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20388094/ 
    2. Boyle NB, Lawton C, Dye L. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017 Apr 26;9(5):429. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452159/ 
    3. Cuciureanu MD, Vink R. Magnesium and stress. In: Vink R, Nechifor M, editors. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. Adelaide (AU): University of Adelaide Press; 2011. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507250/ 
    4. Iseri LT, French JH. Magnesium: nature's physiologic calcium blocker. Am Heart J. 1984 Jul;108(1):188-93. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6375330/ 
    5. Huang CL, Kuo E. Mechanism of hypokalemia in magnesium deficiency. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2007 Oct;18(10):2649-52. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17804670/ 
    6. Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703169/ 
    7. Tarleton EK, Littenberg B. Magnesium intake and depression in adults. J Am Board Fam Med. 2015 Mar-Apr;28(2):249-56. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25748766/ 
    8. Manav V, Türk CB, Kara Polat A, Erdil D, Baş S, Koku Aksu AE. Evaluation of the serum magnesium and vitamin D levels and the risk of anxiety in primary hyperhidrosis. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2022 Jan;21(1):373-379. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25748766/ 
    9. Stühlinger HG, Kiss K, Smetana R. Der Stellenwert von Magnesium bei Herzrhythmusstörungen [Significance of magnesium in cardiac arrhythmias]. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2000;150(15-16):330-4. German. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11105328/#:~:text=Magnesium%20is%20of%20great%20importance,AV%20node%20are%20both%20prolonged 
    10. Talebi M, Savadi-Oskouei D, Farhoudi M, Mohammadzade S, Ghaemmaghamihezaveh S, Hasani A, Hamdi A. Relation between serum magnesium level and migraine attacks. Neurosciences (Riyadh). 2011 Oct;16(4):320-3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21983373/ 
    11. Huang CL, Kuo E. Mechanism of hypokalemia in magnesium deficiency. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2007 Oct;18(10):2649-52. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17804670/ 
    12. Swaminathan R. Magnesium metabolism and its disorders. Clin Biochem Rev. 2003 May;24(2):47-66. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1855626/ 
    13. Kim, B., Cho, HE., Moon, S.H. et al. Transdermal delivery systems in cosmetics. biomed dermatol 4, 10 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41702-020-0058-7 



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