Today’s magnesium deficiency has reached astounding proportions, as more than 80% of the American population is operating well below optimum performance levels.
The history of magnesium intake is a unique study in the de-evolution of the human condition, as the lack of magnesium as a dietary staple has effected the greatest overall concentration of societal health and wellness over the last 100 years. For example, in 1900, the average American daily intake was roughly 500mg of magnesium per day; today, the American populace consumes roughly 125-175mg on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the last century has witnessed mankind’s inability to maintain magnesium consumption through a variety of collective failings. And while a magnesium-poor diet is a good indicator of a deficiency, however, it cannot exclusively explain the 20% increase in low-magnesium levels within the U.S. over the last 10 years. Often, external factors are just as culpable for these low indices as is the human diet. In examining the dynamics of this widespread deficiency, the cumulative aspects of daily human life must be explored in order to understand this astonishing decline.
An excellent example of endemic magnesium depletion can be traced to the soil enrichment procedures employed by the majority of U.S. farming concerns. The rampant overuse of phosphate and potash-based soil as an inexpensive alternative to magnesium-rich fertilizers has further reduced the magnesium levels of our natural produce. Furthermore, there is a direct correlation of neurological diseases stemming from soils testing high in aluminum and low in magnesium and calcium. While many cite organic farming’s ability to retain more soil nutrients as the solution for this deficiency, factors such as acid rain and compromised irrigation systems have further reduced the overall capability to maintain effective nutrient levels. Likewise, the overuse of herbicides and pesticides are used to eradicate insects and soil bacteria; however, the removal of this bacteria makes it impossible for absorption of vital minerals. The overworked soil coupled with the inadequate farming techniques designed to accelerate plant growth has significantly reduced the magnesium’s ability to fixate within the crops. In addition, the emphasis placed on proper food preparation becomes a moot point: the lack of minerals in our food render the vitamins and enzymes useless, as these minerals are essential for proper functioning. As Dr. Linus Pauling states “every disease, sickness, and ailment is related to mineral deficiency. The reason is that minerals are required for every cell in our body to function.”
City water is often treated with chlorine and fluoride, which significantly reduces the magnesium content of tap water. While filtration systems remove contaminants, they too can remove the magnesium concentration. Well-water is often a good source for natural magnesium, whereas bottled water has generally tested very low.
The prevalence of refined, processed foods has become an accepted dietary norm. Society, in general, has replaced magnesium-rich foods such as leafy, green vegetables, nuts, beans, and unrefined grains for processed foods with chemically-treated foods. It is much more common to find steroidal treated foods laden with high sodium and excess calcium than foods with adequate magnesium levels. This creates a stressful condition within the body and thereby necessitating higher levels of daily magnesium for optimal health. In addition, people often cook and/or boil their daily intake of vegetables, which in turn creates a leaching effect, as the vast majority of magnesium is water-soluble.
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