Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) have been shown to be deficient in the mineral, magnesium…
But is there a link between the two, and if so, what is it?
We’re not sure, but I have a theory.
Women with PCOS are most often insulin resistant…
One of the common causes of insulin resistance is too much sugar…
To process our body against excessive blood sugar requires a great deal of magnesium…
And when we use too much magnesium – without replacing it – we become deficient.
But what does this all mean and why should you care? That’s the topic for this mid-week post.
The Body’s Demand for Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral used in over 300 biochemical processes in your body.
Magnesium can improve your vitality and wellbeing, and help you function well in times of stress and support healthy moods. It also relaxes your muscles and plays a key role in energy production. This important mineral also helps your heart by supporting healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels, as well as maintaining a steady heartbeat.
Demands of Modern Lifestyles
The reality is that women from many countries are magnesium deficient. Common conditions such as stress, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes – all more common in women with PCOS – increase the body’s demand for magnesium.
This increased requirement is often not met due to our reduced dietary intake of magnesium-rich foods. Hundreds of years ago, our foods were naturally rich in magnesium and deficiency in this mineral was rare. However, with our modern day lifestyles increasing the need for food processing and the refinement of grains, these once magnesium abundant foods are now containing significantly less magnesium. For example, I saw it reported that the refined wheat flour often eaten today contains only 16% of the magnesium found in whole wheat grain. (Mind you, I do not recommending wheat flour!)
Need a Magnesium Boost?
A surprising number of people have low magnesium levels and early detection may assist in the prevention and improved management of certain health conditions. ..
When under stress, demand for magnesium is increased. Stress hormones are increasingly released when magnesium levels are low. When you are stressed, your body excretes more magnesium, at a time when you need it the most. This may lead you to feel uptight, anxious and even more stressed, thus perpetuating the cycle of ongoing stress and magnesium depletion. Magnesium and taurine combined with specific B vitamins and glutamine can help rapidly reduce these negative effects of stress and help break the stress cycle.
The heart loves magnesium
Women with PCOS are at increased risk of heart disease. Magnesium can be of great benefit in supporting cardiovascular health. Low magnesium levels can place stress on the cardiovascular system leading to hypertension and arrhythmias. Magnesium and taurine supplementation has been shown to decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and support healthy heart function.
Cramps and Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
Muscular cramps and tension are commonly associated with magnesium deficiency. Magnesium has long being recognised for its important therapeutic applications in enhancing muscle relaxation and relieving spasms. I have witnessed amazing results by combining Chiropractic care with magnesium supplementation in the reduction, and often complete resolution, of restless legs syndrome.
Other Health Challenges That May Result Or Be Exacerbated By Low Magnesium Levels Include:
- Chronic fatigue.
- High blood pressure
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Stress, nervousness, anxiety
- Muscles tension, cramping and tension
- Tension headaches and migraines
Choosing the Right Magnesium
Not all forms of magnesium are the same. When you want to increase your body’s magnesium stores, it is important to choose the right form. Magnesium diglycinate is a specific type of magnesium chelate that has an increased absorption rate. It has been shown to have over eight times greater absorption than magnesium oxide, without the digestive upset that can occur with other forms of magnesium.
Munch on Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium is found in a wide range of foods. Include the following fresh, nutrient-rich foods in your food plan each day:
• Green leafy vegetables; spinach, kale and silver beet.
• Nuts and seeds; raw almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
• Low glycaemic load and gluten-free whole grains
Replenish Your Reserves
Stress, cramps, fatigue and high blood pressure may require slightly different magnesium formulas.
Minimise consumption of refined and processed foods, sugar, tea, coffee, carbonated drinks and alcohol, as they all deplete your magnesium stores.
Magnesium is a wonderful mineral, that helps with so many different processes, and helps so many different health challenges essentially because your health relies on it so much.
So, while I go off to grab myself a snack of magnesium-rich nuts, take a few moments to think about how you can improve your magnesium level and your health with it…
Dr. Rebecca Harwin
The PCOS Expert
Chiropractor & Bestselling Author of Conquer Your PCOS Naturally