Solutions that make sense in the battle with fatigue
BY SUZY COHEN Dear Pharmacist
Saturday, September 29, 2012
9/29/12 at 4:19 AM
Dear Pharmacist, Dr. Oz said magnesium was the No. 1 thing for exhaustion. Do you agree? What are the best supplements? - C.T., Charlotte, N.C.
Magnesium is definitely needed for energy production. But no, I don't agree it's the "No. 1" thing you need. Symptoms of mag deficiency include sugar and chocolate cravings, cardiac arrhythmias, irritability, panic attacks, anxiety, muscle weakness or spasms, tearfulness, depression, personality changes, constipation, leg cramps, and fatigue.
Your body needs mag all day long; some of it is used to fuel biochemical reactions, you urinate some out and require some to make dopamine (a happy brain chemical). Here's what Dr. Oz didn't say on that segment: Magnesium is leached by medications, something I've termed the "drug mugging" effect. More than 200 medications deplete mag, among them antacids, antibiotics, digoxin, heartburn/reflux medications, birth control, methylphenidate, corticosteroids, almost all blood pressure medications and diuretics.
There are other muggers too, including coffee, black and green tea, green coffee bean extract, and white refined sugar. Just having Celiac disease, Crohn's, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic diarrhea can reduce magnesium.
Eating nutrient-dense foods is always my first choice to restore minerals, but in this case, eating magnesium-rich foods may not be enough to correct a serious deficiency. The best supplements are "chelated magnesium" or "magnesium glycinate" or my favorite "magnesium taurate." That last one provides your body with both magnesium and taurine, and taurine is imperative for your heart cells! I buy Cardiovascular Research's brand of magnesium taurate at Amazon.com because it's a specialty product, and I can't usually find it at health food stores.
My point is that fatigue is not usually due to low mag. There's more involved, such as iron deficiency anemia, or poor B vitamin status. My column "Stressed Out?" can truly help you, so I've archived it at my site tulsaworld.com/Pharmacist