The Holiday Mineral

The American diet is carbohydrate heavy. This means our body is forced to process more sugars than is healthy. Diabetes and chronic infection are rampant and growing in this country. Such a diet causes our body to become acidic which makes it easy for pathogens to grow. An acid terrain is the perfect welcome mat for pathogens to thrive.

Now add the holiday season with its pastries, the turkey stuffing, the sweet potato and other high carbohydrate dishes. We indulge in sweets, eggnog, more wine, spirits, beer and have to have a dessert. All these additional sugars cause our body to burn one mineral faster than any other…magnesium!

I have written about the specific functions and benefits of magnesium in this blog. Be sure to read it. This article is to remind you that seasonal indulgences will tax our mineral stores more as our body attempts to digest and metabolize all the carbohydrates we overindulge in during the holidays. In addition, the body requires magnesium to alkalinize the tissues and to fuel the detoxification pathways of the liver, to maintain bowel motility and regularity and muscle relaxation.

We need magnesium to:

  1. Metabolize carbohydrates
  2. Process toxins in the liver
  3. Facilitate bowel hydration and movement
  4. Keep tissue in proper ph
  5. Keep muscle in proper relaxation tone

If your source of magnesium has been at a certain level to maintain the above mentioned functions, changes in lifestyle from the holiday season can cause an increased need for magnesium.

What causes an increased need for magnesium?

Increases in toxic exposure increase our need for magnesium necessary for the processing of toxins by the liver.

Holiday toxic exposures included:

  1. Increased alcohol consumption
  2. Second hand cigarette exposure, and increased smoking habits including cigars
  3. Increased consumption of carbohydrates
  4. Increased consumption of gmo, pesticide ridden food, food additives, colorings
  5. Increased perfume exposure commonly containing known carcinogens
  6. Increased exposure to undigested food

Alcohol is metabolized to sugar and sugar increases the body’s requirement for magnesium to maintain proper alkalinity. Alcohol is absorbed directly through the gut lining contributing to the formation of leaky gut. This allow for food that is being processed to leak through these microscopic holes undigested. Undigested food should not be seen in the blood and lymphatic tissue. These undigested foods add to our toxic load and they feed pathogens! Pathogens defecate in our body and this further adds to our toxic retention as well as making our tissues more acidic. This fosters the cycle of acidity and the need for more magnesium.

Over the holidays we eat foods we may not eat during the rest of the year. We also eat greater quantities of these foods. Most of the time the food is not organic and gmo free, therefore it contains substantially more contaminants such as pesticides, chemical food additives, food colorings, food flavorings, and proteins and sugars that trigger genetic based inflammation (commonly found in gluten/wheat and cow dairy).

Holiday indulgences mean we often go to parties where people load themselves up with colognes and perfumes that commonly contain carcinogens affecting the user and those close enough to smell them. Perfumes can trigger immune sensitivities adding to the body’s immune stress (not just the food we eat).

Some individuals will smoke more at gatherings increasing their carcinogen exposure and toxic retention. Toxins make the body acidic and as I’ve said before, that becomes the welcome mat to contracting colds, flu, bacterial, viral, fungal, candida, mycoplasma and spirochete blooms of infection.

What are some telltale symptoms of magnesium deficiency?

When the liver becomes depleted of magnesium it begins to steal it from the tissues. When the colon is robbed of magnesium we experience constipation, hard stools and slow gut motility. When the muscles are robbed of magnesium we experience tight neck and shoulders, tight forearms, even leg cramps and spasms, sometimes a sore back.  When the blood vessels (which are lined with muscles!) become depleted of magnesium their elasticity gives way to stiffness and blood pressure can increase. Blood circulation suffers and we can suffer headaches, especially on the sides of the head.

If you suffer any of these symptoms acutely or chronically, reach for magnesium first!

How much magnesium should I take?

Magnesium is absorbed similarly to Vitamin C. When the digestive track cannot absorb any more vitamin C or magnesium, the unabsorbed amount is purged through the bowels. Therefore a common misconception is that we have absorbed enough magnesium once our stool becomes soft. Leaky gut and food sensitivities can hinder the absorption of magnesium. Therefore, my best recommendation for taking magnesium is to parcel the dose out throughout the day.

If you are suffering a severe acute situation described above, then to get immediate relief one can take a large dose of magnesium knowing that you might have loose stools shortly afterward. However, after that I recommend doses every two or three hours to allow the body to absorb on a more continual basis the magnesium that will help alleviate the symptoms.

Absent the above symptoms is it a good idea to increase one’s magnesium levels over the holidays? Absolutely, for the very reason that a shift in one’s diet consuming more carbohydrates, more animal protein, more alcohol and more toxic exposure will tax your magnesium reserves and hinder the efficiency of your liver to excrete toxins.  I say why wait for symptoms knowing how lifestyle can deplete us and once depleted we become a target for the colds and flu!

What form of magnesium should I take?

My first suggestion is to begin taking what you already have in stock. However, if you want the most bioavailable and easily digested form of magnesium that won’t deplete your body of B6, taurine and glutathione (all required to metabolize magnesium), then I would use Magneleuvers.

Immune Matrix clinics gives their patients Magneleuvers from Belgium. It comes in one dose powder packets that can be poured into your water, tea or smoothie. I recommend to my patients to start with half packets every 2 to three hours and continue through the day until they begin to get soft stool. Then stop for the day and begin again the next day. Each day’s dose will differ as the body begins to store unused magnesium. You need to replenish your magnesium stores in the body. You can purchase it through our blog store here.

We often reach for pain killers when that headache strikes. We wonder why our blood pressure might spike even when we’ve taken our medication. We might have horribly tight neck and shoulders and muscle and calf pains that often hinder the quality of our sleep. We might wonder why we get colds every year and we might wonder why we can’t seem to kick infections out of our body.

If your body can’t detox efficiently because it is lacking a key ingredient, magnesium, and if your body can’t alkalinize, then your body becomes a target for infection. The resulting magnesium deficiency to tissue, depending on where it is located, blood vessels, leg muscles, neck muscles, calf muscles, even the heart, can result in spasms and tightness. Listen to the symptoms of your body, pay attention to what you are eating and how that diet is shifting during the holidays and give your body more magnesium so that you can manage the holidays on less over the counter meds and pain pills and live healthy through the holiday season.

Finally, know that depletion of magnesium will also make it harder to stay hydrated. Consuming, soda, coffee, tea, and/or alcohol will dehydrate you. You need magnesium also to retain water in the cells. Drinking water when you are mineral deficient does not help prevent cellular dehydration. Minerals work with water to hydrate our cells. Therefore, know that along with the holiday indulgences we will become more dehydrated.  Dehydration will aggravate all the symptoms mentioned above and add to fatigue and brain fog. Therefore make an extra effort to drink more mineral water before your holiday party, when you come home and when you take your magnesium.

Try to drink half your weight in ounces (100lb person drinks 50oz in a day of mineral water/spring water). Check the ph of your water to make sure it is not below 7 otherwise it will add to the depletion of your minerals. Will sparking mineral water help? I tell my patients that when attending holiday social events, drink a glass of sparkling mineral water in between every party drink (that glass of wine, martini, beer, coffee,etc) so that you stay hydrated and still look festive. But don’t forget to drink good spring water before the party and when you return home. Making these efforts will see you healthier and therefore happier through the holiday season.

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.


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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan