- Most people take it for granted that calcium and
magnesium are good for you.
- In many ways these minerals are very important; your
nerves and muscles depend on them.
- In most instances, based on government recommendations,
adults under age 50 should take about 1000 mg of calcium daily. Over age
50 the recommendation is 1200 mg daily. The safe upper limit from all sources
is 2000-2500 mg daily.
- Taking too much calcium, or using the wrong form of calcium,
TUMS for example, may lead to kidney stones, bone spurs or calcifications.
- The government also suggests dairy as a key source of
calcium, but this is not always health promoting.
- Dark green leafy vegetables supply a more usable form
of calcium, as do a number of herbs, seeds, beans and legumes.
- From an optimal use perspective, daily intake of
calcium should be 750 mg - 800 mg.
- Calcium does not work alone in your body. It requires
vitamin D, parathyroid hormone and healthy saturated fat in order
to be utilized for strong bones, teeth and muscles.
- Bone health not only requires calcium, but an array of
other vitamins, minerals and hormones to complete that process.
- Magnesium is a critical mineral for health. Magnesium
is necessary for some 300 reactions in the body, it is used by every
organ in the body, especially your heart, muscles, and kidneys.
It contributes to teeth and bones as well as activating enzymes,
contributing to energy production, and helps regulate calcium, copper,
zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients.
- Intestinal flu, stomach and bowel diseases, diabetes,
pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, kidney malfunction, and use of diuretics
can lead to low magnesium levels. Too much coffee, soda, salt, alcohol,
excessive sweating, and prolonged stress can also lower magnesium levels.
- Low levels of magnesium may lead to agitation, anxiety,
restless leg syndrome, sleep disorders, irritability, nausea and vomiting,
abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, confusion, muscle spasm and
weakness, hyperventilation, insomnia, poor nail growth, seizures, migraine,
asthma, allergies, fibromyalgia, ADD, and nervous disorders.
- Foods rich in magnesium include unrefined grains, nuts
and green vegetables. Green leafy vegetables are particularly good sources
of magnesium because of their chlorophyll content.
- The RDA for adult magnesium intake is between 270 mg
- 400 mg.
- As RDA is a minimum intake level, I generally suggest
about twice that amount from all sources.
- If you look at plants and babies you notice their high
degree of flexibility. This comes from a higher magnesium and lower calcium
level, 3 or 4 to 1.
- For this reason I have suggested for years a 2-to-1 ratio
of magnesium to calcium which is not commonly used. This was the common
recommendation from biochemists in the 1940s-1960s.
- Calcium should be taken during the day. Magnesium
is best taken at bedtime for better utilization and better sleep. The reason
for this is that calcium is antagonistic towards magnesium, as they act
biochemically to cancel each other out.
- Look for high absorption mineral supplements when selecting
these important minerals at your local health store. It may be that you'll
need to purchase additional magnesium to take with your quality, daily
multivitamin-mineral supplement. Remember to read labels before you make