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Dr. Paul Hrkal

Posts by: Dr. Paul Hrkal

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in over 300 metabolic/enzymatic reactions in the body. Its name comes from the district of Magnesia in Greece, an area that contains a vast amount of magnesium ore. Magnesium plays a key role in cardiovascular health (normal blood pressure and steady heart rhythm), bone health, the transmission of nerve impulses, immune function, and the production of cellular energy. Most people are deficient in magnesium, but are totally unaware of it. This is further compounded by low levels in foods and low-quality supplements. While there are blood tests that can assess magnesium levels in the

Understanding Magnesium Deficiency

“Magnesium has largely been farmed out of our nation’s soil without being replaced. Unfortunately, most foods are mineral deficient due to processing. Our soil has been depleted of minerals due to modern farming practices, so getting enough from the diet without supplementing is difficult.” A gradual depletion of nutrients from our soil has left many plants (vegetables, nuts, whole grains and seeds) with lower levels of magnesium. Large-scale and non-sustainable agricultural practices often use nitrogen-based fertilizers to maximize crops, rather than aiming for qualitative outcomes. These practices neglect to restore trace minerals back into the soil.1 Acid rain further leaches

How is Magnesium Absorbed

After being absorbed from foods and supplements, magnesium passes through the gastrointestinal tract (GI) via the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. When the magnesium compound reaches the stomach, the acidic environment starts to dissociate magnesium ions which bind with water molecules. Magnesium is absorbed primarily in the lower part of the small intestines and passes from the villi, tiny finger-like surfaces inside the small intestine, and into capillaries, blood vessels surrounding the small intestine. Magnesium Absorption Categories: Magnesium that is not absorbed in the small intestine travels to the large intestine, where a small amount is


WHAT IS PQQ? An exciting new member of the vitamin B family In 2003, scientists discovered a compound called Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) that was classified as part of the B-vitamin family. PQQ is considered an essential vitamin because our bodies do not produce it and therefore it must be obtained from food or supplements. It also falls under the B-vitamin category because it plays a role in the metabolism of the essential amino acid lysine, which helps form collagen (essential to all connective tissues) and aids in the production of immune system components, hormones & enzymes. WHAT DOES IT DO?

Magnesium Supplementation

We have established that to some extent, most people are deficient in magnesium, and that food sources usually do not have a high enough magnesium content to exert a rapid change of levels in the body. This means there is a pivotal need for high quality and effective magnesium supplementation. Unlike other natural substances, magnesium supplements come in many different forms, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s explore the differences in forms so that you can identify which one is best for you. Both in nature and in supplements, minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and calcium must be

Forms of Magnesium

Magnesium Hydroxide: This form is often used as an antacid and/or in laxatives. It can be found in over-the-counter products, such as milk of magnesia. Because It has poor bioavailability, it is considered one of the least optimal forms to use as a supplement. Magnesium Oxide: This form of magnesium is one of the most commonly used in supplements. It is desirable because it is inexpensive and the compound is very small, so large amounts of elemental magnesium can be delivered without taking up much space in a tablet or capsule. Magnesium oxide has long been considered a poor source of magnesium,

Food Sources of Magnesium

Getting your Magnesium through Food and Supplementation We have established why magnesium is so important for essential cell function and how it impacts so many health conditions, we need to explore how to optimize magnesium intake. The first place to start is with food sources. Despite a decrease in the amount of magnesium found in soil, some foods still provide a valuable amount of the mineral. See the table below for the foods that have the highest levels of magnesium. Food Serving Size Mg (in mg) Pumpkin or squash seeds, no shell. 60 mL (¼ cup) 317 Brazil nuts, without