Paleo – Magnesium Experiment

So, lately I’ve been reading a bit about magnesium.  In Terry Wahl’s new book (she’s a medical doc with MS who is very successfully treating it with a Paleo approach), she mentions that magnesium acts as a buffer for your cells against glutamate.  Glutamate is a neurotransmitter in your body, and strangely, I’m highly highly allergic to MSG (monosodium glutamate).  I’ve gone into anaphylactic shock many times after consuming it, and it’s quite scary. 

Terry Wahl’s comments about magnesium acting as a buffer made me wonder if I was magnesium deficient.  Apparently there’s not a good blood test for magnesium, as it’s not stored in your blood.  So, I decided to do some research and found some things that suggested that probiotics can increase your glutamate, which may explain why I was feeling like I was going into anaphylactic shock after taking some.  See this post from 2012.  When I was in Boulder listening to Robb Wolf and Chris Kresser, I asked about glutamate and probiotics, and Kresser confirmed this could be an issue and also warned me to avoid bone broth.  Wait a sec… I thought bone broth was good for RA!  Oh well.  This may be explaining my quirks and why some things that people say are beneficial for them don’t work for me.  I’m finding each person’s Paleo is a little different, and this may be a difference for me.

I’m up to episode 156 of Robb Wolf’s podcasts, and he frequently talks about magnesium and taking Natural Calm at bedtime, which supposedly helps with sleep.  I bought some magnesium and had been taking it off and on for a while (before I learned about this glutamate connection), but hadn’t seen any changes.  Well, apparently the kind I bought was not a bioavailable type, so I probably wasn’t absorbing much, if any, of it.  I then tried magnesium citrate, which seemed to help a little, but now have bought Natural Calm, which is also magnesium citrate, but in a powder that you dissolve in 3 oz of hot water, like a small tea.  Well, I should have just listened from the beginning.  I’ve slept much much better the last few nights of taking Natural Calm (the non flavored version).  Chris Kresser recommends some other magnesiums.  I may try those when my Natural Calm runs out.

Interesting articles:

Chris Kresser on magnesium supplementation (long article, I would do a “find” on magnesium).

Things I learned:

Proper levels of magnesium are important for Vitamin D absorption, which may explain why I continue to be Vitamin D deficient despite supplementing.

Low levels of magnesium can be associated with kidney stones (which I had in November).

Low levels of magnesium are associated with leg cramps (which I have).

Something to know:

If you decide to try this, build up to a full dose, as too much can cause the trots (think milk of magnesia).  I’m going to keep trying it.  If anything new happens I’ll update.


One thought on “Paleo – Magnesium Experiment

  1. Been taking Natural Calm at bedtime for a week now. Wow, very vivid dreams. I am sleeping better, but there’s still room for improvement.

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