22 December 2010

Do you need to increase your calcium intake? Get some magnesium!

The lack of sufficient calcium in our 
body is one of the leading causes of osteoporosis. However what we are very rarely told are two very important facts related to the intake of calcium:

1. It is almost impossible for our body to absorb the calcium coming from cow's milk and dairy products;

2. If we don't have enough magnesium in our system the body cannot absorb calcium at all;

Even though it is true that cow’s milk and dairy products have a very high content of calcium, it is unfortunately in a form which is very difficult for our body to absorb. Many of you are certainly aware that some people cannot drink milk at all, they are lactose intolerant. What happens is that when we are born, until we start eating solid foods, our body produces an enzyme, called lactase, which is required to properly digest milk. When we get to three or four years of age the huge majority of people (around 98%) stops producing the enzyme lactase. However, while some people have a very strong reaction to milk and have to stop drinking it at all, others have just very mild symptoms which, very often, are not even identified as being caused by lactose intolerance.

This means that, even though some people may be more sensitive to the lack of that enzyme and therefore have a strong allergic reaction to any intake of milk and dairy products, the rest of us, who do not show any symptoms and keep on drinking milk for the calcium intake, are actually wasting time and resources. Not only that… When we drink cow’s milk and eat dairy products, because of the lack of that enzyme, our body has to work harder to digest it and in doing that it uses more calcium. So, not only we don’t get the benefit of absorbing the calcium in the milk we drink, but we actually consume more calcium from our reserves in the process.

Non-dairy sources of calcium include sesame seeds, most nuts, green leafy vegetables and pulses.

Sesame seeds

However, regardless of how high is your intake of calcium through food and calcium supplements, if you have a deficiency of magnesium your body will not be able to absorb the calcium at all.

The best way to have a good intake of magnesium is through the skin (transdermal) as this is the fastest way into our body system. You can get Magnesium Flakes and use them in a bath, soaking yourself after a long day at work and relax. Magnesium is fantastic for the muscles as well and I use it quite often in my massage therapy to achieve better relaxation.

If you are a woman and use the anti-conception pill or if you are going through menopause you are very likely to have a magnesium deficiency. Symptoms of lacking magnesium in your body are sleeplessness, leg cramps and that very annoying eye twitch that everyone of us has experienced one time or another. A regular use of magnesium flakes in your bath, or the use of magnesium oil will easily fix all these problems and give you a very good, restoring night of sleep. 

I buy my Magnesium Flakes from www.echolife.com.au and I highly recommend them for their friendly approach and professionalism.

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