Posted on: 17.01.2023 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

June 19, 2004

Fatigue &

Low Energy

Mighty Minerals That Fight


Most doctors looking for causes of fatigue don’t

think to look for evidence of a potassium and/or magnesium deficiency—even

though fatigue is a textbook symptom of both. If they do run tests,

they make the mistake of checking blood instead of cellular levels,

even though you can have perfectly normal blood levels of both minerals

and still have cellular levels too low to support normal function,

including energy production.

Anyone at any age can suffer from a potassium or

magnesium deficiency. As we age, however, the odds get worse. We

become less efficient at absorbing and assimilating the nutrients

in food, and more prone to conditions that impair our ability to

keep mineral levels in balance, such as kidney disease and diabetes.

We also take more drugs that affect mineral levels, such as diuretics

that cause potassium loss. I’ve also noticed a growing number of

women who have magnesium deficiencies as a result of an imbalanced

bone-health program. They consume vast quantities of dairy products

fortified with vitamin D, not realizing that doing so decreases

their magnesium absorption. Or they take supplemental calcium and

fail to balance it with enough magnesium.

Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) often

have low magnesium levels. In a study published in the Lancet

(1991), 32 such patients were given either a magnesium supplement

or a placebo. Twelve of the 15 who received the magnesium reported

significant improvements in energy levels, while only one of the

17 receiving the placebo reported a similar result.

“The Housewife Syndrome Study,” published

in 1962, enrolled 84 exhausted housewives (who bore a startling

resemblance to today’s overextended women) and 16 of their equally

tired husbands. After only six weeks of supplementation with potassium

and magnesium aspartate, 87 percent showed significantly improved

energy levels. Similar studies conducted during the ’60s, involving

almost 4,000 subjects, typically showed improved energy levels after

as little as four days of supplementation.

When your fatigue is the result of magnesium shortage,

a magnesium-rich diet is an essential first step—but it can’t

guarantee that you’re getting enough of this precious mineral. To

truly be sure, you need to take a magnesium supplement every day.

Start with a good, high-potency multivitamin- multimineral

supplement that provides at least 400 mg of magnesium each day.

If your fatigue is such that it’s hampering your lifestyle, take

an additional 200-500 mg of supplemental magnesium each day. (Note:

If you’re taking a calcium supplement for low bone density, you

may need to add even more magnesium to keep the calcium and magnesium

in your regimen in the optimal 2:1 ratio—that is, you should

match every 100 mg of calcium with 50 mg of magnesium.)

All forms of magnesium are well absorbed. I recommend

consuming at least some supplemental magnesium in the form of magnesium

aspartate, as the aspartate also supports ATP production. Avoid

magnesium sulfate, hydroxide and chloride, as these forms are more

likely to cause diarrhea. If you develop loose stools while taking

magnesium, cut back your dosage.

Maximizing your intake of this essential mineral

by eating potassium-rich foods is the healthiest approach for two

reasons. First, these foods provide a wealth of other nutrients.

Second, they provide potassium in a well-tolerated form; high doses

of potassium supplements, in contrast, can cause GI distress.

But when you’re suffering from a potassium deficiency,

you do need a bit more “potassium insurance” than diet

alone can provide. I have found that 100-300 mg per day of potassium

aspartate is the ideal solution: it provides enough potassium

and aspartate to support energy production, with virtually no risk

of GI problems. Start at the low end of the range, and give it a

month to work. If you don’t feel an improvement, increase your daily

dose to 200 or 300 mg.

Read More on Fatigue & Low Energy:

Getting Started

Acid Overload

Stress Can Wear You Out

Conquering Fatigue: A True Tale

Keep it SIMPLE Energy tip — Chamomile


Nutritional Therapies

Anti-Fatigue Diet

Nutrients for Boosting Energy

Mighty Minerals that Fight Fatigue

Foods Rich in Potassium and Magnesium

Complementary Therapies

Energizing Soup Recipes

Acupressure for Fatigue Relief



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