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Magnesium gives new hope for PMS sufferers

17 September 2014 13:46

Help could at last be at hand for millions of PMS sufferers, after doctors confirmed a link between eating magnesium rich foods and reduced symptoms.

Oestrogen connection

During a woman’s monthly cycle oestrogen levels rise and fall and when oestrogen levels start to fall during the 7-10 days prior to menstruation, cravings for sugar and starchy foods start to become more pronounced. There is a strong connection between oestrogen and serotonin, our ‘happy’ brain hormone, and scientists have discovered that women who suffer from PMS are less able to feel the effects of their serotonin during the premenstrual phase of their cycle. Eating foods that are high in starchy carbohydrates and sugar has been found to give serotonin levels a boost, which explains the link between oestrogen lows and premenstrual cravings. But by taking on board more magnesium, common cravings can be overcome thereby reducing those premenstrual symptoms.

Low magnesium status

The problem is that many of us don’t get enough magnesium from our modern-day diet. This is because refined or processed foods have literally been stripped of the magnesium they would naturally contain. Our soils have also become deleted in minerals so the foods that we eat now contain a fraction of the magnesium that they would have contained 50 years ago.

This mineral can also be hard to absorb so if you have poor digestion then this could also be affecting your ability to gain the benefit of the magnesium found in the food you eat. It’s now estimated that 80% of the population is magnesium deficient and over the last hundred years our average daily magnesium intake has reduced by 50%, with a current estimated level being 170mg per day – much lower than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of 350mg.

Magnesium supplements

An interesting study showed that of almost 200 women taking 400mg of magnesium daily for PMS, 95% experienced less breast pain and put on less weight. Nearly 90% suffered less nervous tension and 43% had fewer headaches. It has also been found that supplementing with magnesium eases sugar cravings and low blood sugar and there is plenty of clinical data to show that magnesium helps reduce other symptoms associated with PMS such as painful cramps.

There are lots of magnesium supplements to choose from and it’s best to look for a magnesium citrate or chelate which are known to have better absorption over magnesium carbonate. However, if you have digestive issues then you might gain more benefit from using a magnesium soak or magnesium oil both of which get absorbed through the skin.

The magnesium oil range is available independent health food stores and

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