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Magnesium Deficiency and Supplements in Singapore. Or Not?

Updated: Mar 31

Singapore magnesium deficiency

With well known and sometimes learned health influencers telling us that 50% of Americans are magnesium deficient, many of us in Singapore have seemingly caught the magnesium supplement bug and are turning en masse to pills. Does Singapore have a magnesium deficiency, like 50% of Americans? 50% of what Americans, eating what, with what lifestyles? You, me, Aunty and Uncle? We have no idea.


By all means it can be worthwhile getting tested to understand one's own nutritional deficiencies and make informed health choices. But first and foremost, as competent health speakers will advise, focus on getting diet and eating practices right before taking supplements.

Most people we have spoken to, stating that they are on a magnesium supplement, outside of sharing that they get tired have said that they have no idea if they are deficient or not.

As ever, please talk to your doctor or medical practitioner most familiar with your medical history before implementing any changes in diet, exercise or lifestyle, especially if you are under treatment. Links to supporting studies and resources are found at the end of page.

 

So, where to get magnesium from diet? Good sources of magnesium include:


  • Nuts: Almonds and cashews

  • Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower, flaxseed, chia seeds

  • Greens: Chard, broccoli, kale, spinach, turnip greens and mustard greens

  • Beans: Black beans, lima beans, peanuts, peanut butter, soy beans (see below) and dark chocolate (yes, it’s a bean product)

  • Soy products: Soy beans, soy milk, tofu or edamame

  • Grains: Brown rice, rolled oats, whole wheat bread, quinoa

  • Seafood: Salmon, mackerel, halibut

  • Dairy Products: Yogurt and milk

  • Fruit: Avocados, bananas, papaya

 

Eating real - whole - foods not only provides magnesium but a host of other macro and micronutrients: protein, prebiotic fibre, complex carbohydrates and polyphenols. Delivering far more health than any high dose mineral pill. But it does mean eating real food and, for many, taking an interest in changing eating practices for the better.


Take the small steps to get eating practices in place that will support your health, performance and longevity in a way that no supplement protocol can ever match. Consider the DASH diet and its eating practices to increase magnesium (and other micronutrient) intake. And, perhaps a single multivitamin and mineral pill (probably including some magnesium) can support you further on you journey to health.


In the next news cycle we will undoubtedly be advised that there is another missing competent to our micronutrient stats. Given the fundamental role that hypertension has in society's ill health, perhaps blood pressure lowering potassium (considered as a nutrient of public health concern in the US Dietary Guidelines 2015 to 2020) should be a worthwhile place to look... fortunately it is also found in many of the foods listed above.


Stay Healthy,


Alastair

 
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Related Resources



Kiani AK, Dhuli K, Donato K, Aquilanti B, Velluti V, Matera G, Iaconelli A, Connelly ST, Bellinato F, Gisondi P, Bertelli M. Main nutritional deficiencies. J Prev Med Hyg. 2022 Oct 17;63(2 Suppl 3):E93-E101. doi: 10.15167/2421-4248/jpmh2022.63.2S3.2752. PMID: 36479498; PMCID: PMC9710417.


US Preventive Services Task Force; Mangione CM, Barry MJ, Nicholson WK, Cabana M, Chelmow D, Coker TR, Davis EM, Donahue KE, Doubeni CA, Jaén CR, Kubik M, Li L, Ogedegbe G, Pbert L, Ruiz JM, Stevermer J, Wong JB. Vitamin, Mineral, and Multivitamin Supplementation to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2022 Jun 21;327(23):2326-2333. doi: 10.1001/jama.2022.8970. PMID: 35727271.


Fiorentini D, Cappadone C, Farruggia G, Prata C. Magnesium: Biochemistry, Nutrition, Detection, and Social Impact of Diseases Linked to Its Deficiency. Nutrients. 2021 Mar 30;13(4):1136. doi: 10.3390/nu13041136. PMID: 33808247; PMCID: PMC8065437.


Razzaque MS. Magnesium: Are We Consuming Enough? Nutrients. 2018 Dec 2;10(12):1863. doi: 10.3390/nu10121863. PMID: 30513803; PMCID: PMC6316205.




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