In case of Stress (short term & long term) there will be sooner or later shortage of some minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc. A well balanced diet is very important with plenty of fruits & vegetables, but in case of nutrition-deficiency because of stress, this may not be sufficient.
In this article we will discuss more about role of these minerals in stress situations and in overall functions of our body.
Stress is a Magnesium Burner
Magnesium (and calcium) are two different sides of a coin. Magnesium is necessary to muscles to relax and calcium makes muscles contract. Too little balance between magnesium and calcium can be both uncomfortable and unhealthy.
Magnesium is the most important mineral in our body. Around 86 % of all the magnesium is found in the bones (60 %) and to 26 % in the muscles. The rest is in brain, heart, liver, kidney and body fluids. Magnesium helps to boost energy levels, relax nerves, support healthy blood pressure, relief muscle discomfort, improve bone health, heart function and regulation of pH-balance. Magnesium in combination with calcium has effects as a natural tranquilliser.
What Can Cause Deficit of Magnesium?
- Some forms of acute & chronic stress situations
- Too much sugar in our nutrition
- A high carbohydrate diet
- A high calcium and low magnesium diet
- Low thyroid
- High sodium diet
- Chronic metabolism diseases
- Medical drugs of some types
Support for our Natural Energy Level — ATP & Magnesium
Magnesium is the activator of many enzymes requiring ATP, the main energy releasing agent of the body. ATP stands for adenosine triphosphate and is our “energy centrum”. Energy is important (“essential”) for some functions such as the cyclic contraction of cardiac muscle and other muscular contraction f.e. skeletal muscle. ATP also is for central and peripheral nervous system.
Which Form of Dietary Magnesium Supplement to take?
I recommend good forms of magnesium with high absorbed potential such as magnesium chelate, magnesium citrate, magnesium Lysinate or all forms together in one dietary supplement. Magnesium glycinate also is another good form and this is ideal in acute stress situations.
Recommended magnesium intake: As a dietary supplement, 300 to 350 mg/day. The therapeutic dosages are 300 to 1.500 mg/day. The dosages are different when you take medical drugs.
Calcium and its Positive Effects in our Body
The mineral salt calcium makes up about 70 % of bone by weight and gives our bone its strength and rigidity. Calcium regulates the secretion of various hormones in the functioning of various enzymes within the body. Calcium protects the heart too.
- Calcium is essential for proper utilisation of phosphorus and vitamins B6, A, D.
- Stimulates enzymes in the digestive process
- Blood clotting
- Speeds all healing processes
- To regulate your nervous system
Which form of Dietary Calcium to take?
The best forms are for me are coral calcium, calcium citrate or calcium aspartate. Or one dietary supplement consisting of calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Recommended calcium intake: As a dietary supplement, 800 to 1000 mg/day. The therapeutic dosages are 1000-1500 mg/day. The dosages are different when you take medical drugs.
Zinc and Stress
Zinc is very important for our immune system and controls many functions of our body. The immune system is a very important “control center” of stress. In case of too much stress level, we can be sure that our immune system is down.
- Zinc helps strengthen the immune.
- Zinc can help promote wound healing (a wound is stress for the body).
- Zinc helps the pancreas to produce insulin and keep normal blood sugar.
- Zinc protect against heavy metals f.e. such as cadmium or lead.
- Zinc activates the enzyme level SOD (super oxid dismutase) and may protect against free radicals.
A good dietary supplement of Zinc is recommended for:
- Low immune system
- Chronic fatigue
- Insulin resistance
- High copper level (serum)
- Candidiasis (why ? A overproduction of fungi’s in the body is stress too)
- Medical drugs such as oral contraceptives or other hormones. It can increase level of copper and this reaction decrease zinc levels.
Which form of Dietary Zinc Supplement to take?
Zinc in form of zinc chelate, zinc orotate, zinc gluconate and as picolinate is important in my nutrition consultation. Zinc in combination with a good vitamin c (f.e. ester-c or ascorbyl-palmitate) may have a better potential.
Recommended zinc intake: As dietary supplement, 15 mg/day. The therapeutic dosages are 15 mg to 50 mg/day. Or for short-term, 100 or 200 mg/day. The dosages are different when you take medical drugs.
Sources of Dietary Minerals
Magnesium: dried fruits like apricots, bananas, figs, brown rice, cashew, almonds, brazil nuts, cereals, green leafy vegetables, peas and other legumes (f.e. mung dal), wholemeal bread, chapati (flat wheat bread), carob, yoghurt.
Zinc: legumes (f.e. mung dal), carob, peanuts, peanut butter, nutritional yeast, rice (more in brown rice), wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, whole grains, almonds, milk, yoghurt, fish & sea fruits, egg.
Calcium: yoghurt and other milk products such as cheese, broccoli, green vegetables f.e. kale, watercress, dried apricots, figs, almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, fish, chapati (flat wheat bread).
How Different Medical Drugs Can Cause Magnesium, Calcium and Zinc Deficiency
- Magnesium, Calcium & Zinc: oral contraceptives pill (of hormonal birth control) and other hormone drugs
- Magnesium, Calcium & Zinc: Corticoids (also known as steroid hormone)
- Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc: tetracycline (a group of broad-spectrum antibiotic)
- Calcium: barbiturate (that act as central nervous system)
- Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc: amino glycoside (effect as antibiotics)
- Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc: anthracycline (chemotherapy drug)
- Magnesium: cisplatin (chemotherapy drug)
- Magnesium, Zinc: ACE-inhibitor (treatment f.e. of high blood pressure)
- Magnesium: furosemide (diuretic drug)
- Calcium: colestipol/bile acid sequestrant (is a generally classified as hypolipidemic agent/lowering cholesterol)
- Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium: aluminium-containing antacids (to treat too much stomach acidity)
- Calcium, Magnesium: neomycin (is an amino glycoside antibiotics, that is i.a. found in tropical medications creams, eye drops)
- Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium: phenytoin (ant epileptic drug, it is a treatment option of trigeminal neuralgia or cardiac arrhythmias too)
- Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc: thiazid-diuretica (a class of diuretics, often used to treat high blood pressure and edema in the body)
- Zinc, Magnesium: penicilliamine (a form of immuno suppression to treat f.e. rheumatoid arthritis)
Food Factors Which Reduces Mineral Absorption
- Magnesium & Calcium: caffeine f.e. from coffee, cocoa, soft drinks such as cola
- Magnesium, Calcium & Zinc: sugar, when too much
- Calcium: oxalate (spinach)
- Calcium: fat-rich food (fast food/junk food)
- Zinc: cocoa and dark chocolate, when too much
- Melvyn R. Werbach, M.D., Nutritional Influences On Illness – A sourcebook of clinical research, Third Line Press.
- Dr. Michael Colgan, The New Nutrition: Medicine for the Millenium, Apple Publishing