Magnesium uses are many and varied. Most people associate Magnesium and sleep since magnesium supplements are commonly used to relax muscles,and many take it before bed. But did you know that Magnesium is necessary for over 300 enzyme / metabolic reactions in the body, including virtually all aspects of our energy metabolism? (1) Magnesium is extremely important for heart health. Whereas calcium is necessary for the heart's contraction, magnesium is needed for its relaxation. This also applies to all the rest of the body’s smooth and voluntary muscles. Magnesium acts as a natural calcium-channel blocker to prevent excess influx of calcium into cells. It also helps produce glutathione, necessary for detoxification, mitochondrial function, and immunity. It plays vital roles in the nervous system, and in insulin function, making it a critical consideration for blood sugar issues, including diabetes. It is nessasary for the normal structure of our bones and cell membranes… and the list goes on and on.
What the magnesium is bound to is important!
So what forms comprise our Optimized Magnesium formula? Magnesium bisglycinate was our first consideration, since it is very highly absorbed. The amino acid glycine in this form is also used by the liver in its detoxification pathways. Our next consideration was magnesium citrate. Even though it is not quite as well absorbed as the bisglycinate form, the citrate molecule participates directly in our energy production, in what is sometimes called the Citrate Cycle. Citrate is also used by the kidneys to buffer and excrete excess metabolic acid. Hence it was the second form of Magnesium included.
Why did we add Magnesiun Oxide?
Yet if Magnesium is so critical internally, why then would we have added 50mg of magnesium oxide, as it the least absorbed of the 3 forms.The answer is related to what I see as a major misconception that has developed within the nutritional mindset of the public, i.e. that absorbing more is always better, while ignoring the profound effects on the body that are exerted from within the gut itself. In other words, in so many nutritional supplements we see “Absorbed 8x better”, and we assume this must mean the overall benefits are superior. But when it comes to magnesium, one of its critical functions is that of bowel activation and clearance…(something sadly lacking in the constipated health profile of the so many). And to be clear, I am not just talking about a stool-softening effect, but also the effect of bowel activation on our nervous system…specifically on our vagus nerve, which is hard wired into our colon, among many other organs.
You see when the vagus nerve gets stimulated, as it does when our colon is activated by filling or water influx, and we have to maintain muscular tone… and particularly when the contents are then released, (and you get that “Ahhhh” feeling of relief and satisfaction), one of the events that is occurring is that the vagus nerve is exerting profound anti-inflammatory and relaxing effects throughout the body by eliciting the systemic release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. (2,3,4,5,6) So by activating and clearing the colon, this not only helps eliminate wastes, it also “optimizes” and increases the relaxation effect that is gleaned from a magnesium formula.
Related article: Maddie’s Top 5 Supplements for Stress and Anxiety.
The profound influence of gut function, and the anti-inflammatory effects of stimulating the vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system are all things to watch develop as they are further elucidated in the upcoming decade. (By the way, the relief and relaxation you feel when you empty a bursting bladder is also tied into this phenomenon, and magnesium helps the smooth muscle in your bladder stay relaxed so it can hold more…something to consider if you suffer from incontinence. (7))
Always doing our best to stay on the cutting edge of nutritional strategies for living better!