Magnesium is the mineral that is essential for overall physical and mental health. It is the second most (after calcium which works counter to magnesium) with abundant mineral in the body and is important for the optimal function of all the cells in all the organs in your body. It is most especially plays a vital role in muscle function, heart rhythm, blood pressure immune function and blood sugar regulation. It is its role in muscle function that led to the supports its use as a laxative for generations.
Magnesium is needed for normal muscle function and the intestines are but a long muscular tube. A land mark study conducted with almost 4,000 Japanese women a few years ago validated the direct link between constipation and low magnesium. The study showed that the link between constipation and magnesium deficiency was much compelling than that between the intake of water or dietary fiber. Adequate magnesium allows the muscle walls of the intestines to be relaxed enough to establish a smooth regular rhythm (peristalsis). Moreover, magnesium attracts water into the colon and softens the stool making it easier to pass.
There are many different types of magnesium supplements including oxide, citrate, chelate, and sulfate. The oxide form (as in Milk of Magnesia) is least absorbed and may have unwanted side effects if take regularly (I discovered). Magnesium citrate has proven to be the most cost effective and safe way to deal with constipation, especially, IBS related constipation. The recommended dosage is 400 mg daily and the powdered dosage can be adjusted to your personal needs with respect to regular bowel movement.
The added blessing of magnesium supplementation is that alleviates many of the other disorders that are related to magnesium deficiency. Many of the distress associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome are stress related and this is an indication dysfunction of nervous system. Since magnesium is vital to the transmission of nerve impulse, deficiency can cause depression and or anxiety (central nervous system), muscle spasm, cramps (peripheral nervous system), cardiovascular disorder and high blood pressure (muscle and nerve combination). Insufficient magnesium in the diet even reduces the pancreas ability to secrete insulin and adversely alters of insulin resistance in the cells- diabetic like conditions. Increasing you magnesium intake can have many benefits some of which are experienced almost overnight. You have nothing to lose and potentially so much to gain from this wonderful mineral. Why not give it a try!