Magnesium Deficiency, Symptoms, Benefits, Supplements - Page 2
The free form is not bound to other substances and remains active, a characteristic that researchers believe enables it to counteract ill side effects in various ways.
Up to half of the people who suffer from head pain are deficient in the free and active form of magnesium, which is known as serum ionized magnesium.4 If free magnesium levels fall too low, the vessels supplying blood to the head area may clamp down inappropriately, hindering blood flow to the head. These vessels may become stuck in the contracted state, leaving the pain switch jammed in the on position. Inflammatory substances may be released that heighten pain sensations.
In 1993, two different studies were performed by Alexander Mauskop, MD, one of the nations leading authorities and author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You.5,6 Mauskop and his team found that people in the throes of a head pain had lower levels of free magnesium in their blood.
Their next step was to determine whether replacing the missing magnesium would lessen the pain. In 1995, Mauskop and his colleagues gave intravenous injections of magnesium to patients who were in the throes of pain and also had low levels of free magnesium.7 The magnesium injections lessened the pain, sometimes in as little as 15 minutes. Mauskop found that the lower the initial level of free magnesium in migraine sufferers, the more substantial and long lasting was the relief offered by the injections. The following year, Mauskop published a study reporting equally good results among 40 people.8
After learning that an intravenous infusion of magnesium could lessen pain in progress, researchers wondered whether taking daily magnesium supplements could keep head pain from striking in the first place. German researchers addressed that question in a study of 81 subjects.9 The volunteers in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, suffered from various head pain for an average of 3.6 times each month. For 12 weeks, half of the subjects were given 600 mg of elemental magnesium daily, while the other half received a placebo.
Dr. Mauskop agreed that magnesium supplements could indeed help with pain, noting, a trial of oral magnesium supplementation may be recommended to a majority of sufferers of headaches and/or migraines.4
Deficiencies of magnesium are widespread and significant percentage of Americans suffer from chronic magnesium deficiency.11 Even minor magnesium deficiencies may be enough to trigger pain in susceptible people. A daily dose of 300-800 mg of elemental magnesium appears to be effective for most people. Most informed health experts recommend splitting the dose by taking each half with one meal early in the day and the other half later on in the same day.
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