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What are some of the potential causes of magnesium deficiency, an extremely important nutrient? In a nutshell, it's stress, poor diet, diuretics, and a few other possibilities. Here are the details:
The main idea - intake and/or absorption: Lack of consuming magnesium rich foods and lack of absorption can both play a role in magnesium deficiency.
Processed, refined, and junk "foods": The typical American diet, which is rich in fat, sugar, salt, synthetic vitamin D, phosphates, protein, and supplemented calcium, not only is deficient in magnesium but actually increases the need for magnesium in the body. (1)
Stress: When you're under stress, the body creates stress hormones, including cortisol, which cause a host of physical effects, all of which use up magnesium. (1)
Healthy foods lacking minerals: Did I seriously just suggest that?! Even healthy foods lack the magnesium that they had years ago because the soil isn't as rich in nutrients.
Diuretics, Alcohol consumption, Starvation, Anorexia, or GI diseases: Diuretics and alcohol can cause magnesium to not be absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and/or kidneys. (2) Inadequate dietary intake of magnesium occurs in alcoholism, catabolic states and gastrointestinal diseases. (3) Additional loss of magnesium occurs when the body isn't receiving sufficient quality energy/nutrients from the diet. (4)
Carbonated beverages and coffee: These are diuretics and may also contain sugar which is an additional stress on the body. As mentioned, stress is a factor in depleting the body of magnesium. (1)
Fluoride in our environment: Fluoride is found in our water and environment and intake of it can increase the long-term metabolic requirement for magnesium. (5)
Certain medications: Medications can block the absorption of magnesium. (6)
Psychological stress: The adrenergic (whatever involves adrenaline) effects of psychological stress induce a shift of magnesium from the intracellular to the extracellular space, increasing urinary excretion and eventually depleting body stores. (7)
Stay tuned for upcoming posts in which we'll talk about some SOLUTIONS.
(1) Book: "The Magnesium Miracle"
(6) Book: "Drug Muggers: Which Medications Are Robbing Your Body of Essential Nutrients--and Natural Ways to Restore Them"