Low In Energy? You May Be Low In Magnesium

“Magnesium is a critical co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body, and many are tied to energy production.”

Magnesium is known for relieving muscle cramps; and because the heart is a muscle, magnesium is also effective for cardiovascular health. What about magnesium and osteoporosis? Most people think of calcium for osteoporosis forgetting the importance of magnesium in balancing calcium. Did you know that magnesium can also have powerful antioxidant qualities? Take a minute with me to learn a little about magnesium.

Magnesium is a critical cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body. Many of them are tied to energy production. Deficiencies in magnesium ultimately yield lower energy states, which means cells can’t maintain balance, which means they are more susceptible to environmental toxins and infections, which causes free radicals to increase.

The typical American diet creates a relative acidic chemistry. Excess acids can also cause free radicals. Magnesium helps buffer excess acid because it is a key alkalizing mineral. If we are deficient in magnesium, this lowered energy state is what causes the nervous system to be compromised which means muscles can’t fire properly and spasms can occur anywhere but especially in the heart and vascular tissue.

Magnesium acts as an antioxidant and protects DNA and intracellular proteins. Over 95% of magnesium is in the cell, so lowered magnesium levels translate into increased levels of inflammation in the cell.

Three major factors push magnesium levels toward deficiency. First: reduced dietary levels. Although we can get magnesium naturally from grains, artichokes, bananas, certain nuts and many different vegetables, we still aren’t getting enough magnesium in the foods we eat. One study by the National Institute of Health shows 68% of Americans are depleted in magnesium, while other experts put the number closer to 80%. Those who are in that 80% are at a cellular disadvantage.

Then comes the next factor: the ratio of calcium to magnesium. One way to reduce a mineral is to increase another mineral that competes with it. For example, if we want to reduce copper, we give zinc. The National Institute of Health now recommends that the optimum calcium intake be raised to 1500 mg/day to prevent osteoporosis. This recommendation disregards the already substandard American magnesium intake, which is less than 300 mg/day. That would bring our Ca/Mg ratio to 5/1 which is higher than Finland’s 4/1 ratio.

Finland has the highest heart disease death rate for young to middle-aged men. On one hand, people take higher amounts of calcium for osteoporosis but they may be setting themselves up for heart disease. Speaking of osteoporosis, bone loss is accelerated in the face of magnesium deficiency. So, excess calcium in magnesium deficient people will further exacerbate the deficiency.

The third factor is the amount of stress that we experience. Dr. Mildred Seelig, formerly one of the world’s authorities on magnesium, stated that stress, both physical and emotional, evokes release of stress hormones. “Stress hormones in excess cause magnesium loss and inactivation and can be implicated in cardiovascular disorders.” Can you see how stress further depletes magnesium?

So how much magnesium do we need? Dr. Seelig suggests a sliding scale based on sex, weight and stress. For “new tissue formation and repair” which includes most people, higher doses may be recommended. With my patients, I suggest Mg-Zyme by Biotics Research. Mg-Zyme provides 100 mg of elemental magnesium in the aspartate, gluconate and glycinate forms.

True prevention is really about making our cells as healthy as possible which allows every cell to utilize its own defense mechanisms. We need a balance of ALL nutrients for energy production and that includes making sure we get enough magnesium.

If you have concerns about muscle cramps, osteoporosis, cardiovascular health or you just need more energy, ask Dr. Godo about the benefits of magnesium. Dr. Godo can help you find the right dosage and put together a plan that will get your body in balance. You may be TRYING to eat healthier; taking vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids as you should; even making better lifestyle choices; but it never hurts to make sure you are getting enough magnesium to energize your cells for optimal muscle function, heart function, bone health and boosting antioxidants to combat free radicals.

Hopefully you are asking yourself. “Am I getting enough magnesium?” Talk to your Dr. Godo and find out.

Dr. Jason Godo


Want Healthier Bones…Try Bone Soup

“Half of all Caucasian women over 65 and at least 1 in 5 men in the U.S. will have osteoporotic breaks in their lifetime due to eating food that cause calcium loss.”

Did you ever wonder why non-western cultures consume less calcium than we do yet  they have stronger bones and fewer cases of Osteoporosis? In the United States, half of all Caucasian women over 65 and at least 1 in 5 men will have one or more osteoporotic breaks during their lifetime. One reason is that people in our society eat foods that cause us to lose calcium in our urine.

When food is used for fuel by the body, an ash or residue is left. This residue has an effect on the rest of the body. Let’s cover a little basic chemistry; just a little, don’t worry. There is a scale called pH where the concentration of hydrogen ions is measured. The scale goes from 0-14. 7 is distilled water and neutral. As the number goes below 7, the solution is considered acidic; and when the number goes above 7, it is considered alkaline.

The body is very sensitive and works hard to make sure the pH stays in the correct range. Very small changes can result in huge metabolic changes; and although still technically “alkaline,” these changes can produce a state of relative acidity. When the body is in a state of relative acidity, enzymes, cell membranes and even the hemoglobin’s ability to release oxygen is compromised.

Some of the other effects of relative acidity are reduced bone formation, accelerated bone breakdown, suppression of growth hormone and pituitary hormones, increased free radical production and fluid retention. Dr. Godo has a comprehensive osteoporosis program including prevention, but here’s a practical culinary way that can help regulate pH and maintain healthy bones, “bone broth.”

You heard me right, and here’s why. If you have an acidic chemistry, calcium and other key minerals are pulled out of your bones to buffer or neutralize metabolic acids. What happens if we create an acid based medium in a soup pot and use healthy soup bones and organic vegetables as a base? Exactly, the minerals will be pulled out of the soup bones just as they are pulled out of our bones.

Dr. Francis Pottenger, author of the famous cat studies, taught that the stock pot or soup pot was the most important piece of equipment to have in our kitchen. Not only do we get the minerals from bones, but we also get cartilage factors, collagen, gelatin, amino acids, and glycoaminoglycans. Actually, some of these factors may be more important than the minerals.

Gelatin, for example, has been hailed as an aid for its ability to improve digestion in both infants and adults. Gelatin appears to improve the digestibility of milk and beans as well as the utilization of grains and meats. Cartilage factors in bone broth are known to heal cartilage and stimulate connective tissue repair. Let me emphasize, it is important to use bones from “healthy” animals. So let’s think soup. In traditional cookbooks when we talk about bone broths, we are really talking about making soup stocks. So the term broth and stock are really similar for what we are trying to accomplish. You can consult cookbooks for recipes or simply click below for a sample recipe.

The easiest method is to use a crock pot. At night before you go to bed, add bones from beef, fish, chicken or lamb and enough water to cover the bones. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar per 1 quart water or per 2 pounds of bones. Turn it on low, and go to sleep. In the morning skim off surface impurities, add your choice of root vegetables like carrots, turnips, etc. and cook on low all day. When you come home from work add fresh vegetables, beans, rice or other favorites until they are tender. Throw away the bones and enjoy an awesome meal.

Coming home to a house filled with the aroma of fresh soup is a wonderful thing. Broth may be also frozen for months or kept in the refrigerator for 5 days until you are ready to add veggies and make more soup. Perhaps you never knew that bone broth was so good for you, but give it a try for numerous health benefits plus a natural way to regulate pH and help you maintain healthy bones. Enjoy the soup.


Are Your Vitamin D Levels Too Low?

“He blew me away when he mentioned that in his practice only 1% of the 2,700 new patients he tested had sufficient levels of vitamin D.”

The latest research tells us, for the most part, we’re just “not getting enough vitamin D.” I was listening to Dr. Mitchell Glen who holds advanced degrees in Osteopathy as well as a PhD in anti-aging medicine. He blew me away when he mentioned that in his practice only 1% of the 2,700 new patients he tested had sufficient levels of vitamin D. The majority of them are from the “sunshine” state, Florida. So we’re not getting enough vitamin D from the sun.

Also a colleague of mine, Julie Burns, works with professional athletes. She tested “trained and fit” professional hockey players from the Chicago Blackhawks. Their vitamin D levels were woefully deficient. She supplemented to help them reach optimal levels. I’m not saying it was the reason they won the Stanley Cup, but optimal levels of vitamin D can help increase performance and reduce injuries.

According to Dr. Glen’s research, patients should have vitamin D levels of 60-100 ng/ ml. So the ranges seem to keep going up as more data accumulates. I must confess I worry about my patient’s pocketbooks when it comes to ordering an expensive vitamin D lab test. Pre and post testing can be a little expensive; but in reality, the benefits outweigh the cost; and I’d like to give you two reasons why. The first reason comes from a study about the lack of vitamin D in “over the counter” supplements. The study was presented at the June 2010 meeting of “The Joint Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers” and “America’s Committee on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.” Are you ready? The mean vitamin D content from 10 different “over the counter” brands was only 33% of the label claim. The actual numbers ranged from 0.24% to 81.7% of what was listed on the label. That means when you purchase vitamin D and think you are taking the right dose, you have no idea if you are approaching sufficiency.

There are two sides to the coin of sufficiency. Side A: What is in the capsule? We need to know if what companies print on the label is really in the tablet or capsule. Side B: What are you digesting and absorbing? Sadly the state of the GI tract for many of us is less than optimal.

With my patients, I use Bio-D-Mulsion Forte from Biotics Research Corporation. It’s a form of vitamin D that is already emulsified and goes right into the lymph system and doesn’t have to be broken down or digested in an already compromised GI tract. I am always surprised when other doctors are surprised that Bio-D-Mulsion Forte raises blood levels so consistently. I am thinking, “Isn’t that what it is supposed to do? Why are you surprised?” But considering many products don’t meet label claims, it’s no wonder they are impressed with Bio-D-Mulsion Forte.

Here’s the second reason that pre and post testing is necessary. If tests reveal you are low in vitamin D, it can be a marker for inflammation. If you have inflammation markers, you can make life style “choices” to manage them. These usually include diet, supplementation, and exercise. Vitamin D levels are becoming more popular as one of many inflammation markers. However, sometimes doctors may not be up to speed on the newest levels and may miss the opportunity to optimize your health.

In the past, normal levels were 20-56 ng/ ml. Here are the latest guidelines supplied by one of the professional laboratories who have been at the forefront of vitamin D testing. Vitamin deficiency is defined as 0-5 ng/ml; insufficiency is 5-20 ng/ml; hypovitaminosis 20-40 ng/ml; sufficiency is 40-100 ng/ml; toxicity is greater than 100 ng/ml. Deficiency, insufficiency, and hypovitaminosis are just academic terms. The point is, we want to make sure you have enough vitamin D for optimal gene function and physiological performance.

As I mentioned, Dr. Glen found only 1% of his patients in the sunny state of Florida had the levels of 60-100 ng/ml, the levels considered optimal for cancer prevention and gene protection. Dr. Godo provides reliable testing for vitamin D levels. The price for the Vitamin D test is $77. You can purchase the test and go to a blood drawing station near you https://www.labcorp.com/wps/portal/findalab

I think it is important to take responsibility for you own health. Get tested. Obtaining and maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D can be a major factor in preventing all kinds of diseases. For some it will be life “changing;” but for all, it will certainly be life “enhancing.”