In this post I want to discuss the different kinds of magnesium available to help you make the right purchase.
I won’t get into all of them today but, there are at least 7 different types of magnesium (maybe more) available in oral supplements. They include magnesium oxide, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium carbonate, magnesium citrate, magnesium lactate, magnesium chloride, and magnesium sulfate. It’s no wonder many people get confused when shopping online, or in store, for a good magnesium supplement.
The following chart “compares the amount of elemental magnesium in different types of magnesium supplements” (Source: Magnesium Fact Sheet) The more popular types of magnesium are on the left and, the less popular types are on the right.
Magnesium Oxide is very popular in supplements - usually what you’d find at Target, Walgreens, your local grocery store, etc. - because it’s cheap to produce. However, it is poorly absorbed by the body and won’t do much for you. I made the mistake when I bought the cheap stuff from Nature Made before I knew better.
After doing some research I purchased Natural Tranquility - with magnesium carbonate and citric acid - from Vitacost for only $3-$4 more than the Nature Made stuff. When mixed with water it creates ionic magnesium citrate which has high bioavailability (a.k.a: a high absorption rate).
This type of supplement, magnesium carbonate and citric acid, is very popular and can be found in many, higher quality brands. I want to make sure that you’re getting the right kind of magnesium and help save you a few dollars in the process.
If you’re interested in learning more about magnesium, here are some great links:
I’ll also do a post about the benefits of taking magnesium (hint: it’s almost as important as Vitamin D) in an upcoming post. Whether or not you follow the paleo diet, I think magnesium is important for many people.
After reading Dr. Hyman’s article on the dangers of gluten, I wanted to start a series of back-to-paleo-basics posts and try to simplify why paleo folks avoid certain types of foods. I want to keep each post short and to the point and I’ll start off with grains and gluten.
By definintion a grains are small, hard, dry seeds (with or without hull or fruit layers attached) harvested for human food or animal feed. Grains can be found in any of the following: maize (corn), sorghum, millet, wheat, rice, rye, barley, oats, and many other forms.
Gluten, derived from the Latin word for glue, is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species. Basically it makes dough rise, keep its shape, and give bread a chewy texture.
For starters, our Paleolithic brothers didn’t eat grains or, at least didn’t eat them in the same quantities as most American’s do today. They also didn’t eat the same kinds of grains. There may have been some ancient grains available to them but certainly not the genetically modified, gluten-added varieties that are stocked in every single grocery store in America. Grains are an “evolutionary novel item” that our bodies aren’t designed to handle even though they’re in almost every single meal.
And, when you eat grains you ingest gluten which, according to the study you’re at risk for
osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, (v) and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases.
as well as neurological issues such as…
So, while eating that yummy, nutrient-lacking bagel, and getting many unnecessary carbs, you’re also putting your long-term health at risk. Why take the chance?
The study also states that an estimated 99% of people with gluten sensitivity don’t even know they have it which means, that if you suffer from any of the issues listed above, you should consider eliminating all grains from your diet.
Get your good carbs from sweet potatoes, bananas, acorn squash, apples, and other fruit and move on. Don’t worry about the government suggesting that ~25% of your diet should be grains…people lived just fine on this Earth before the USDA was formed in 1862.
Further reading for those of you who want more gritty details on the danger of grains and gluten: