What Drains Our Magnesium?

Learn which environmental factors deplete your body’s magnesium, how they’ve risen over the last few decades, and what you can do to limit/avoid them to maintain higher magnesium levels.

++ Page Overview

One of the main reasons why experts say it’s very difficult to reverse magnesium deficiency without supplements is because we are exposed to more environmental factors which deplete our magnesium, than ever before in our history. This page shows us:

  1. How the human body loses magnesium via all forms of stress.
  2. What exactly qualifies as magnesium-draining stress.
  3. What are all the sources of magnesium-draining stress to watch out for?

You also learn about two free apps that help you optimize your modern environments to improve your health and mitigate magnesium depletion.

++ Helpful tip

This page has a lot of powerful info to help you resolve your problems. 

If you’re busy or want to understand things better, please read each section’s quick summary.

1. How & why we lose magnesium to stress:
As Dr. Richard Danel of The Magnesium Health Institute explains: magnesium, water and oxygen were all involved in the evolutionary development of all our organs and tissues, which explains why magnesium is ingrained in the function of every organ, including our stress response organs: our adrenal glands.

All stress depletes magnesium

Our adrenal glands’ primary role is to create the hormones that help our bodies respond to all forms of stress,[1,2] including cortisol, adrenaline, and nor-adrenaline. The critical facts are:

  1. Magnesium is required to make all stress-response hormones due to its role in protein synthesis [3-8] and electrolyte balance.[9]
  2. Our body prioritizes our magnesium for stress hormone production because it is an immediate survival mechanism (fight or flight).


What exactly is magnesium-draining stress?

Stress is any stimulus which forces our body to restore its physiological balance. Sometimes stress benefits us when it activates our body’s super-compensatory response. This is when our body grows stronger and more resilient than it was before the stress was experienced. This form of human adaptation is called hormesis[11], and two simple examples are:

  1. When our immune system becomes stronger after successfully defeating a virus.
  2. When our muscles grow stronger after recovering from the stress of a workout.

However hormetic stresses are only beneficial if the body has the surplus of nutrients it needs for the added work of this adaptation. If we lack a surplus of nutrients (the most vital of which is magnesium) then even stress that would otherwise make us stronger, instead damages  our body, (such as that of too much exercise while deficient in magnesium).[12]

++ Summary

All stress depletes magnesium: Our adrenal glands are the organs that respond to stress by making special hormones, for which they use magnesium.

2. Why our stress & magnesium depletion are so high?

Here is a general look at our current situation of net magnesium balance that looks at how much we lose everyday versus how much we absorb:

A magnesium deficiency graph that shows the cause of widespread low magnesium levels. Our magnesium intake has declined since 1950, while our sources of magnesium depletion have increased. The depletion of our soils and the increasing environmental stress show us that we can no longer get enough magnesium without supplementation.
  1. Total environmental stress that drains our magnesium
  2. Magnesium in our soil and healthy foods
  3. Our intestine’s ability to absorb magnesium from food and pills
  4. Our body’s ability to make magnesium – will always remain at zero.

As we can see, our levels of magnesium depletion are rising, while our access to dietary magnesium is dropping. We are losing more while absorbing less:

The critical factor is that stress in the human body not only directly drains our magnesium, but it also causes inflammation which damages and hinders our intestine[13-18]:

Our intestine is the organ responsible for absorbing magnesium from food and pills.[19,20]  This is why in today’s world of high environmental stress, the average person’s digestive capacities and gut health are far below optimal.[21-27]

Also, in North America it is mandated to add inorganic iron into various foods which not only feeds gut bacteria but also leads to iron toxicity which even further stresses our body and damages our intestine. [28-31]

When we add the fact that even in a healthy gut, a maximum of only 30-40% of magnesium from food can be absorbed, it helps us see why magnesium deficiency is widespread:

Our environments hit us with increasing amounts of magnesium-draining stress AND magnesium absorption prevention, WHILE providing less magnesium in our agriculture.

++ Summary

Environmental stress levels are at all-time highs, while magnesium in our food supply is at all-time lows.

Furthermore stress damages our intestine which impedes dietary magnesium absorption. Thus, we are losing more magnesium while absorbing less.

3. Which magnesium-draining stressors to avoid and how.

What sources of stress should I limit?

All these sources of stress contribute to our low magnesium levels:

  • airborne pollution
  • synthetic diet (GMOs, inorganic fertilizers from non-organic produce)
  • processed food and poor food combinations
  • psychological and emotional stress
  • prolonged exposure to blue/artificial light from digital technology screens  *1
  • synthetic contaminants from household products
  • daily ingestion of high amounts of fluoride from tap and bottled water
  • plastic toxins that leach into water from water bottles and juice boxes
  • intense exercise while in a magnesium-deficient state
  • WIFI and electromagnetic radiation  *2

*1  Artificial Light: Our brain’s hypothalamus runs our biological clock which regulates processes that prevent aging and deterioration. When we stare into a computer or phone near bedtime, the artificial light stops our hypothalamus from stimulating the release of detoxifying, regenerating, and sleep-inducing hormones. There are two free apps that change the light on our devices to a natural orange/red which reduces these effects.

*2  WIFI & Electromagnetic Smog: In the 50s scientists discovered the Earth’s geomagnetic pulse, which NASA and others later found was vital to human health and that being removed from this pulse has negative effects on our biological clock. Modern prevalence of WIFI and microwave frequencies drown out most of this pulse known as the Schuman Resonance. There are several measures we can take to mitigate this blockage:

  • Turn off all technology where we sleep & put cellphones on airplane mode
  • Turn off the WIFI signal at night when the internet is not being used
  • Increase your exposure to nature, especially in the form of walking barefoot on natural ground. This is known as grounding, and is based on Maxwell’s laws of electromagnetism.

We live in a new world where our daily environments are always depleting our most vital and diversely needed nutrient. To help ourselves and loved ones prevent disease, it’s critical to restore and maintain healthy magnesium levels:

Solutions: Safe and smart magnesium restoration

To effectively restore the human body’s magnesium to healthy levels for disease prevention and optimal health, a multidimensional approach works best.

1. Do your best to reduce the environmental, psychological and physical factors that cause stress and thus deplete magnesium.

2. Eat a magnesium-smart diet and avoid the tricky magnesium-rich foods.

3. Use a natural, transdermal magnesium-chloride supplement as a base to restore your body’s overall magnesium levels. One may also use a secondary magnesium supplement for added mental and cardiovascular support, such as magnesium-orotate, taurate, or glycinate.

Click here to learn more about the various molecular forms of magnesium supplements, including magnesium chloride, orotate, glycinate and taurate.

Click here to learn how magnesium deficiency affects all your body parts.

++ References
  1. Adrenal Glands. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0022159/
  2. Stress and adrenal function. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6097634
  3. Role of magnesium in genomic stability.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11295157
  4. The linkage between magnesium binding and RNA folding.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11955006
  5. Bidentate RNA-magnesium clamps: on the origin of the special role of magnesium in RNA folding.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21173199
  6. A thermodynamic framework for the magnesium-dependent folding of RNA.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12717727
  7. RNA-magnesium-protein interactions in large ribosomal subunit.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22712611 
  8. A recurrent magnesium-binding motif provides a framework for the ribosomal peptidyl transferase center.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19279186
  9. Regulation of sodium and potassium pathways by magnesium in cell membranes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8274363
  10. The Important Role of Nutritional Magnesium and Calcium Balance in Humans Living with Stress, A Continuing Education Study from The Nutritional Magnesium Report. Andrea. Rosanoff,
  11. Intestinal inflammation caused by magnesium deficiency alters basal and oxidative stress-induced intestinal function.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17657590
  12. The role of magnesium deficiency in cardiovascular and intestinal inflammation.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20971697
  13. Magnesium and inflammatory bowel disease.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3294519
  14. How Stress Induces Intestinal Hypersensitivity. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1592668/
  15. The stressed gut: Contributions of intestinal stress peptides to inflammation and motility. http://www.pnas.org/content/102/21/7409.full
  16. STRESS AND THE GUT: PATHOPHYSIOLOGY, CLINICAL CONSEQUENCES, DIAGNOSTIC APPROACH AND TREATMENT OPTIONS.  http://www.jpp.krakow.pl/journal/archive/12_11/pdf/591_12_11_article.pdf
  17. Intestinal magnesium absorption. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8264506
  18. Site and mechanism of intestinal magnesium absorption. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2250624
  19. The prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in different countries. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8547526
  20. Prevalence and clinical spectrum of gastroesophageal reflux: a population-based study in Olmsted County, Minnesota. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9136821
  21. Epidemiology of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: a systematic review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1774487/?tool=pubmed
  22. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099351/
  23. Prevalence of Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth Diagnosed by Quantitative Culture of Intestinal Aspirate in Celiac Disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2643326/
  24. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890937/
  25. Review article: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth–prevalence, clinical features, current and developing diagnostic tests, and treatment. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23957651
  26. Nutritional iron turned inside out: intestinal stress from a gut microbial perspective. http://femsre.oxfordjournals.org/content/38/6/1202
  27. Iron fortification adversely affects the gut microbiome, increases pathogen abundance and induces intestinal inflammation in Kenyan infants. http://gut.bmj.com/content/early/2014/08/20/gutjnl-2014-307720.short
  28. The effects of iron fortification on the gut microbiota in African children: a randomized controlled trial in Côte d’Ivoire. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/92/6/1406.short
  29. Meeting Micronutrient Requirements for Health and Development. Page 123: https://books.google.ca/books?id=jZc6AQAAQBAJ&pg=PA123&hl=en&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
  30. Hormesis Defined. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2248601/
  31. Overtraining, Exercise, and Adrenal Insufficiency. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648788/

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