08 June 2015

Magnesium 101 – why chocolate may be meeting a need, rather than being a simple addiction!

Want an excuse for those chocolate cravings? Having trouble sleeping? Are you bothered by cramps? What about muscle twitches under the eyes? Been a bit edgy lately? Feeling the effects of stress?

All of these symptoms could well be directly related to a magnesium deficiency. So this week, we examine what magnesium does; why so many of us are deficient and what to do about it. Then news of the Winter Webstore sale where downloads and CDs can be purchased more cheaply for the next 2 weeks, but first

             Thought for the day

You must not lose faith in humanity. 

Humanity is like an ocean;

If a few drops of the ocean are dirty,

The ocean does not become dirty.

                       Mahatma Gandhi 

The soils of Australia and New Zealand are notoriously deficient in magnesium. Therefore our food chain can easily be deficient making for an inherent problem. Processing of food, particularly food refining along with inadequate farming practices exacerbate the issue and in the USA around 30% of people are deficient. However, of equal concern with magnesium is that we tend to burn it up, particularly when tired, stressed or nervous.

Magnesium is essential to every cell in our body. It acts as a cofactor for over 300 enzymes many of which play a vital role in both aerobic and anaerobic energy production.

Then there is the impact magnesium has on our nervous system. As most will know, our nervous system is made up of nerves that radiate out across our bodies much like power lines radiating out from a power generator. Nerves are only so long, so as one ends, it needs to connect to the next. The connection is called a synapse and magnesium gets used up as it facilitates the nervous impulse crossing each and every synapse.

Hence magnesium’s connection to the nervous system and our nervous state. When our nervous system is active, we need more magnesium. When it is overactive, such as when we are worried, stressed, anxious or tired, it seems we burn more magnesium. If the diet is low, if the nervous energy/demand is high, then deficiencies can easily occur.

Severe signs of magnesium deficiency are relatively rare, but neurologic or neuromuscular problems are relatively common. Being overly irritable or hyper-excitable is a common sign, as is difficulty getting to sleep. Muscular weakness and tiredness, muscle spasms (including the very characteristic twitching of muscles under the eye), even loss of appetite, anorexia, nausea, and weight loss are not uncommon.

Irregular heartbeats can be a consequence of magnesium deficiency and high blood pressure can be aggravated by it. Some have recorded constipation as another sign.

In extreme cases tetany and even convulsions can follow.

Formal Australian recommendations are for adult women 310 – 320 mgm/day; for adult men 400 – 420mgm/day.


1. Improve the dietary intake – always the best option if it works.
There are many good dietary sources of magnesium, given that the foods in question have been grown on magnesium rich soils. For the gardeners, the best source of magnesium for your garden is dolomite. Dolomite is a natural substance similar to lime, but whereas lime is calcium carbonate, dolomite has roughly equal amounts of calcium and lime. So dolomite is good for alkalinising soils as well as adding the much needed magnesium.

Have a chocolate craving? Many causes for that! But one you might feel better about is that cocoa is rich in magnesium and a deficiency in this vital mineral can have you chasing chocolate. Remember, cocoa has many good properties and can be used freely. Chocolate comes with added issues, particularly sugar and saturated fats, so a little dark chocolate as part of an overall healthy diet is fine.

Next comes chlorophyll which is rich in magnesium, making any green vegetable a good source. In fact most well grown vegetables have good magnesium levels, as do most nuts and spices. Most unrefined cereals are reasonable sources, but most refined foods such as refined flour have little.

2. Consider a magnesium supplement
There are many of these but the cheapest and most common, magnesium oxide is poorly absorbed and really not worth taking when there are so many better options.

Basically, you need a biologically available form of magnesium and this requires taking magnesium orotate, aspartate, chloride, citrate or glycinate; all of which have about 4 times the bio-availablity of the oxide. Check the labels!

A basic supplementation level is 200mgm/day, but practitioners often recommend 400mgm/day for people confirmed as having a deficiency. Check with your practitioner.

If sleeping is problematic, taking your magnesium half an hour or so before retiring can be very helpful.

WEBSTORE WINTER SALE – Ends Monday 22nd June

Yes it is on again. With winter here and the natural inclination to turn inwards upon us, the webstore is making it easier for you to have some fuel for introspection!

All downloads are heavily reduced along with the Healing series of CDs.
Make yourself a cup of tea, stoke up the fire, climb into the comfy chair and away you go. Enjoy your chocolate; or should I say magnesium???   Connect here


Brisbane day workshop - Sunday, June 14th, 2015

A Relaxing, Regenerative Meditation Intensive 

Designed for experienced meditators, but definitely open to those newer to meditation

Date        Sunday, June 14th, 2015 from 10am (arrive 9.30) to 5pm
Venue     The Relaxation Centre, 15 South Pine Rd, Alderley, Brisbane
Enquiries and Bookings    The Relaxation Centre        Telephone: 07 3856 3733

Cairns weekend meditation intensive June 20 and 21 – Non-residential

Meditation is the greatest gift you can give to yourself, or someone you care for

Date              Saturday, Sunday 20th and 21st June. Starts 10am (arrive 9.30) to 5pm
Venue           Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Centre, 348 Severin Street, Cairns
Enquiries      Call  07 4041 5556    or email   info@yuloling.com
Bookings      Online, go to :  www.yuloling.com     or call Rinchen    07 4041 5556

Medicine of the MindCairns Evening Public Lecture – June 23

For everyone interested in the power within 

Date                Tuesday 23rd June, 2015      Starts 7pm (arrive 6.30) to 10pm
Venue             Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Centre, 348 Severin St
Enquiries        Call  07 4041 5556    or email   info@yuloling.com
Bookings        Online, go to :  www.yuloling.com     or call Rinchen    07 4041 5556

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