The Flip Side of Calcium’s Coin

By:  Dr. Michelle Zarrillo

Remember growing up being told to drink your milk for strong bones?  Now a days, we all are concerned about taking our calcium to prevent osteoporosis.  The government even raised the RDA for calcium from 500mg to 1,000mg per day.  You would think that our bones would be rock solid  and  no longer an issue to contend with in America.  What if I told you, as a rule, our calcium intake is sufficient?  It is not lack of calcium…it is the inability to use the calcium we ingest. What if I told you in 1996,  it was general knowledge that the RDA for magnesium was too low and that even that was not being met? How about the World Health Organization’s petition to criminal court with the United Nations  to end death’s caused by magnesium deficiency?  Nutty idea? Nope, all true!

Calcium and magnesium have been described as opposite sides of the same coin…both equally important.  Calcium tends to excite nerves, tense muscles and clot blood.  Magnesium , on the other hand, relaxes nerves, calms muscles and helps blood flow.

Magnesium is essential, yet three quarters of Americans do not consume enough and most American women are deficient.  Most women faithfully take their calcium supplement, hoping to lower their risk of osteoporosis, never realizing that calcium needs magnesium to be absorbed.  In America we have one of the highest levels of calcium intake in the world, yet our levels for osteoporosis are going up, not down.    Studies with older women have shown that increasing their magnesium intake can increase bone density by as much as 11%.    Unabsorbed calcium  gets stuck in your muscles causing  cramps, tightness and even fibromyalgia.    In your kidneys, it can cause stones and in your arteries it can cause plaque, contributing to heart disease.    Magnesium has a natural relaxing effect on the heart, which has been shown to help prevent heart attacks.  It fights insomnia, depression, PMS, and migraines.  Some studies have linked chocolate cravings with magnesium deficiency, since chocolate contains high levels of magnesium.  There have been over 50 studies linking higher levels of mg/calcium to lower levels of heart disease.  Magnesium deficiencies is common in Lyme patients.  Remarkable work has been done with autism spectrum and magnesium.  There is even links between schizophrenia, violence and depression to low levels of magnesium.  Personally, I have used magnesium for leg cramps, asthma, Lyme’s, stress, P.D.D.  and as a sleep aid.

To enjoy the benefits of magnesium you can consume nuts, whole grains, wheat germ, fish and green leafy vegetables.  However, about 80% of the magnesium is lost when grains are processed.  We supplement.    Magnesium oxide is the cheep, common supplement.  I do not recommend this one.  It is the WORST for absorption and if you are not absorbing, it is expensive.  Magnesium citrate is best for every day supplement.  Do consult a doctor for doses, because you CAN get too much of a good thing.

Nothing here is new  radical information ; it is just facts that are over looked.  Our country is riddled with signs of magnesium deficiency.  To assume you get enough, is a big assumption.  Adding magnesium to your healthy lifestyle  is easy, fairly inexpensive and can make a big difference in your over all well being.


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