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There are many people that supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals, a practice encouraged by many, but thought to be unnecessary by others. Those who say we don’t need vitamin supplements will suggest that with a proper diet vitamins are not necessary, but who eats properly?
The purpose of this discussion is the role of magnesium in maintaining health, and specifically whether this mineral may help with nocturnal (night time) leg cramps.
There have been studies to determine if magnesium can help with this issue. Some studies indicate that it is not effective. Quinine was used for many years to treat leg cramps, but is no longer available over the counter. The FDA only approves quinine for the treatment of malaria, and there is little evidence that it is effective. So if you suffer from leg cramps, what can you do?
It is generally agreed that magnesium is important for many processes in the body, and many sources will say that magnesium is important in regulating muscle and nerve function. If this mineral is essential for these functions, then does it play a role in nocturnal leg cramps?
It is generally agreed that muscle cramps can occur due to mineral deficiency (calcium, magnesium, and potassium), dehydration, and exercise. Holding a position for a long period of time, like sleeping, can contribute to cramping.
Mark Hyman, MD who has appeared on shows like the Today Show, The Katie Couric show, and Dr. Oz, has written about magnesium and suggests that “muscle cramps or twitches” could be a cause of vitamin deficiency.
From Livestrong.com you can find the following;
“Magnesium serves many functions in the body. One of the more important is for contracting and relaxing muscles, but this mineral is also essential to transporting energy, maintaining the immune system and strengthening the bones, to name only a few.”
The Mayo Clinic says the following on their website;
“Too little potassium, calcium or magnesium in your diet can contribute to leg cramps. Diuretics — medications often prescribed for high blood pressure — may also deplete these minerals.”
Given the fact that magnesium is safe, and statements to the essential nature of the mineral in your health, if you have leg cramps why not supplement your diet. We carry a product, Magnesium Fizz-Plus (also contains potassium), which comes as a powder. It is mixed with water, and has a pleasant lemon-lime taste. This is a product that I personally use daily for cramps in my calf and feet. Stop by and get a container and give it a try.