Manage Restless Legs with Magnesium

Magnesium is the 9th most abundant element in the universe, 3rd most abundant element dissolved in Earth’s seawater and 11th most abundant element by mass in the our bodies.

How our body uses Magnesium

The adult body contains approximately 25gm of Magnesium. More than half is in bones with most of the remainder in soft tissues. Less than 1% is present in blood.

Magnesium is required to process more than 300 biochemical reactions including:Magnesium symbol

  • Creation and use of the energy molecules of your body
  • Relaxation of heart, skeletal and digestive muscles (working with Calcium’s contracting effect)
  • Synthesising key hormones e.g. Glutathione (our body’s dominant antioxidant/detoxifier)
  • Formation of bones and teeth
  • Blood glucose regulation
  • Active transport of calcium and potassium across cell membranes supporting nerves and heart rhythm

During times of stress, our adrenal glands pump out more adrenaline and cortisol to maintain the body in a high alert state. Magnesium is quickly used up during periods of stress to help deactivate adrenaline.

Magnesium is also essential in the function of GABA receptors, our ‘relaxing’ neurotransmitter. GABA level normalisation can avert complaints from stress, depression, waking with a racing mind, PMS to name but a few.

What are the causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Eating magnesium-rich foods should help you absorb enough Magnesium, however if our soils, from which we source our foods, are depleted of these minerals there may not be sufficient levels available.

Our small intestine absorbs Magnesium depending on availability. Homeostasis, “the position of sameness”, is primarily controlled by the kidneys via urinary elimination. Usually this is about 120mg each day.

Testing for Magnesium deficiency is difficult since less than 1% is carried in the blood.  Other methods including urine and saliva testing are also not a full representation of the body’s Magnesium levels.

Magnesium deficiency occurs due to limited absorption or excessive loss of the mineral. Insufficient diet, stress, impaired absorption, some antibiotics, high alcohol intake, oral contraceptive use, vomiting and diarrhoea can contribute also.

What are Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms (low Magnesium levels)

The most common factor in most Magnesium deficiency symptoms is related to brain transmission of impulses regarding muscle relaxation.

In the case of deficiency, nerve and muscular impulses become erratic and uneven. We recognise these as Restless Legs, Muscle Twitches, Eyelid Twitch, Muscle Cramps, Tremors, Numbness, Tingling and Muscle Tension.

Other signs can be Tension Headaches, Broken Sleep, Low Energy, Anxiety, Irritability, Sighing, Noise Sensitivity, Difficulty Breathing, Loss of Appetite, Fatigue and Weakness.

How common is Restless Legs Syndrome

RLS is a neurological disorder of movement that disturbs sleep and affects around 10% of people.  More women than men have this condition.

RLS is diagnosed by the symptoms.  The symptoms are uncomfortable sensations causing an overwhelming urge to move legs that increases or worsens at night. It can spread to the torso and arms.

Discomfort is often felt deep in the calves when sitting or lying down. The condition is described as burning, runaway legs, jittery, tugging, bugs in the bones, creeping, insects crawling in the legs, legs need to walk. Relief is found by stretching or walking.

Additionally many people experience twitching of the leg muscles during sleep which can result in daytime fatigue and low mood.

A 1998 study by the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg, Germany found that oral magnesium therapy may reduce symptoms in patients with RLS.

Other relaxation techniques that are known to help are: mediation & yoga, warm bath, muscle massage, moderate daily exercise, alternating hot and cold packs on the legs and avoidance of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.

What are Magnesium Rich Foods

Plants use chlorophyll to convert the sun’s energy into use. Chlorophyll has a magnesium atom at its centre to drive this essential process.  So green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and swiss chard are great options.

Other Magnesium rich foods are: bran, rice, wheat, oats, brazil, almond and cashew nuts, sunflower and sesame seeds, avocado's, sundried tomatoes, fish and other seafood, molasses, cocoa and some whole grains. Fresh, organically produced foods offer optimum bio-availability.

How soon will I notice Magnesium Benefits

The bioavailability of Magnesium is good. If you choose to increase your intake of Magnesium by oral supplementation or transdermal application, you may have an effect within 1-3 hours, particularly with cramps and weakness symptoms. In the case of a severe deficiency, about 4 weeks is required to replenish stores.

To support a restful night’s sleep, take magnesium supplements about 1 hour before going to bed.

How much Magnesium do you need each day

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97-98 %) individuals in each life-stage and gender group.

The NZ Government’s 1999 RDAs for magnesium for adults, in milligrams (mg) are:

Life-Stage           Men                       Women                                Pregnancy           Lactation

Ages 14 - 18        410 mg                  360 mg                              400 mg                  360 mg

Ages 19 - 30        400 mg                  310 mg                              350 mg                  310 mg

Ages 31 +             420 mg                  320 mg                             360 mg                  320 mg

 

O2B Magnesium Complex supports relaxed muscles, nerves and sleep and particularly assists with  Restless legs, Muscular tension and Restless sleep