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122: Magnesium for stress and anxiety with Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo

Join Dr. RitaMarie Loscalzo, founder of the Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology, as she delves into the crucial role of magnesium in mental health. Learn about its calming effects and Neurotastic formulations’ advantages.

Magnesium has long been considered as a vital nutrient to ensure good mental health, brain functioning, and overall well being as it promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being through the production and function of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a neurotransmitter known for its calming effect on the brain.

I’m excited to kick off this series as I am joined by one of my personal health experts who is also a dear friend of mine – Dr. RitaMarie Loscalzo. Since she is the founder of the Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology who played a significant role in developing our Neurotastic formulations, she’s the perfect guest to join us as we discuss the remarkable advantages of magnesium for mental health.

Stress and its impact on society.

Statistical results in 2022 show that 37% of Americans rated their mental health as fair or poor whereas stress levels were at an all-time high, with 59% feeling extreme stress in the past year. Moreover, it has been emphasized that college students were those significantly impacted by high stress levels, with 34% experiencing depression and anxiety.

Mental health issues are a significant and pervasive concern among college students, often resulting in academic challenges and hindering their overall ability to thrive in an academic environment. Dr. RitaMarie explains that stress is triggered by various factors, including media-induced fear, activating the sympathetic nervous system's fight-flight response.

Chronic stress affects our well-being, underscoring the need to activate the calming parasympathetic nervous system. The media's emphasis on negative news contributes to perpetual stress, highlighting the need to focus on positive news for a more balanced perspective.

Magnesium’s role in stress, nutrient deficiencies, and mental health.

There are still many people who are unaware of the fact that stress shouldn’t be downplayed. In fact, even with a healthy diet, stress can impair digestion and nutrient absorption, emphasizing the need for strategic supplementation. Thus, Dr. RitaMarie, an expert in functional endocrinology, highlights the importance of magnesium supplementation, particularly for those under chronic stress.

Magnesium deficiency is often overlooked. Many people are deficient in magnesium due to processed food consumption, making supplementation essential. We have to take note that genetic predispositions and lifestyle factors can exacerbate deficiencies, affecting vital nutrients like magnesium, vitamin D, and B12.

In our culture, stress has become the norm, and it's crucial to actively counter its effects on our body and brain. Dr. RitaMarie and I often discuss ways to maintain a calm, parasympathetic state despite the daily stressors.

In my training sessions for practitioners, I stress the importance of magnesium for various bodily functions, including brain support, blood sugar balance, and stress levels. For individuals with ADHD or anxiety, magnesium supplementation can be transformative, often resulting in improved behavior and sleep. Personally, I rely on magnesium for better sleep and muscle relaxation. Magnesium supplements with L-theanine and magnesium glycinate are particularly beneficial for brain health and sleep.

Women going through menstrual changes or menopause also benefit greatly from increased magnesium intake. It's essential to recognize the diverse benefits of magnesium and incorporate it strategically into our lives for improved well-being.

Magnesium plays a crucial role in excreting oxalates found in certain foods like spinach and kale. While some advocate for a low oxalate diet, magnesium deficiency can hinder the excretion of oxalates even when consuming normal amounts.

Oxalates can crystallize and cause joint problems, gout, vulvodynia, and brain fog when they enter the bloodstream. Magnesium, along with vitamin B6, can bind to oxalates in the intestinal tract and facilitate their removal.

Hopefully, this episode sheds light on how magnesium influences neurotransmitters and addresses genetic variants that impact our biochemistry insofar as understanding these genetic variations is essential for parents and individuals navigating health concerns and making informed choices.

Supplements for ADHD and autism management.

Magnesium is a supplement that's often overlooked but can have an immediate calming effect for many individuals, particularly children. As mentioned, it improves sleep quality and supports neurotransmitters to regulate the nervous system.

For kids who may have adverse reactions to psychiatric medications, starting with magnesium as a supplement can be a beneficial first step in addressing their reactions and promoting a sense of calm. It's also important to note that kids with ADHD and autism often have low magnesium levels, affecting their memory and behavior. Thus, incorporating magnesium-rich foods and supplementation can significantly benefit them.

Balancing dietary magnesium intake is crucial to ensure optimal health. While dietary supplements like magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, and magnesium hydroxide can supplement magnesium levels effectively, caution is vital to avoid excessive consumption and prevent too much magnesium in the system.

It is important to note that elevated magnesium levels, particularly from oral magnesium supplementation, can potentially lead to complications such as high blood pressure. It's essential to strike the right balance and consume enough mg of magnesium, often considering magnesium carbonate as an option. Consulting a healthcare professional before taking magnesium supplements is advised to tailor intake and avoid any adverse effects on health.

Focusing on magnesium-dense foods and supplements is crucial for our mental health and well-being considering that magnesium is a fundamental nutrient, essential for numerous chemical processes in our body. Starting with magnesium can help manage symptoms and provide a foundation for teaching additional relaxation techniques to children, aiding in a more focused and calm state.

With its potential to reduce stress, aid relaxation, enhance sleep quality, and support mental health, magnesium serves as a valuable supplement in promoting overall well-being. As a readily available and affordable option, magnesium can complement a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle, providing a foundation for a more relaxed and balanced state of being.

For more information, you may read this blog post: Best Magnesium For Stress Relief.

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