The Mineral Connection to Cravings

October 3, 2015

For anyone battling cravings—from craving bread to Diet Coke or chocolate—it’s not a lack of will power that makes you crave certain foods, it could be a mineral deficiency. Be it magnesium (which 75% of American’s are deficient in!), iron, zinc or potassium, listen in to learn if you too have low levels that may be affecting more than just cravings.

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Transcript

DAR: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'm Darlene Kvist, certified nutrition specialist and a licensed nutritionist. Dishing Up Nutrition is brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness, a company providing life-changing nutrition education and counseling. If you have been battling cravings for candy or cravings for Diet Coke or other cravings for bread or cravings for cereal or even cravings for cookies or maybe you have a craving for a coffee mocha.

KATIE: I hear a lot of people talk about the pumpkin spice lattes mochas that are out. So that's definitely a craving people are having.

DAR:  Or do you know what the number one craving might be?

KATIE:   I'm going to go with chocolate.

DAR: You are so right. So, stay tuned because we have a new look at cravings. It may be just one small change in your nutrition can actually keep your cravings under control. That's a thought.

KATIE: So, maybe it's not a change in our willpower. It's a change in the way we're eating. Our nutrition can change our cravings.

DAR:  So, that voice you hear is our cohost, Katie, who is a registered and licensed dietitian. And, Katie, you recently were on KARE11 news sharing nutrition tips for pregnancy.

KATIE: Yeah. It was a really good show. A lot of people were very interested in it and nutrition is very important for pregnancy and I think more important than most people realize. Sometimes we see where people in pregnancy kind of start just indulging their cravings, if you will. But this is a really critical time because as babies are developing, they're taking lots of nutrients from us. We want to make sure that we're eating more salt and that it's even more important than we ever even realize how the baby is actually taking nutrients to grow. And they take them right out of your body if you don't have them. If you're not eating them, they will take them from your stores. But, as I shared on KARE 11, it's so important to eat a variety of different foods, but one of them is sufficient protein for the growth of that little baby, especially for their bones and their muscles. It's also crucial to have sufficient good fats in a mother's diet. So, things we encourage eating, things like butter, olive oil, avocados, cream cheese, olives, mayo, and nuts. All of these are such good foods. Babies actually need those fats to develop their brain.

DAR: So, I think we have a really interesting show planned today. Our topic is how a deficiency in a mineral can cause cravings. I don't think a lot of people have ever thought about that before.

KATIE: No, I bet when people are having cravings they don't sit back and think, “Hmm, I wonder if I'm deficient in something.”

DAR: So, I think a lot of people know that when you're low on the mineral magnesium, because we've been talking about this for 12 years now, is that you crave chocolate. Also, low magnesium can lead to many other health problems.

KATIE: Yeah, it's a crucial mineral. So, in addition to talking about minerals and cravings, we also have a very special guest client joining us. Her name is Mary Burns. She'll be calling in just to share her insights about how her thoughts and her behaviors have actually changed after following the Weight & Wellness plan for just 12 weeks.

DAR:  So, if you're struggling with out of control eating, and I hear that a lot from a lot of clients, you're going to want to stay tuned because Mary has some remarkable insights into the reasons she always turned to sugar during stressful times. And it didn't matter if it was good stress or bad stress. She just reached for a cookie or a bag of chips. That was her answer for stress.

KATIE: So, that was kind of the reward, whether it was good stress or bad stress. And I bet a lot of people can relate to that. So, Dar, you mentioned that a deficiency of magnesium often leads to chocolate cravings. And I've noticed in our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program, many of the class members have chocolate cravings. And as we're going through the class and we're asking questions and the group is just engaged and talking, and that's something that comes up quite a bit. People will say, “I just I love my chocolate. I just crave chocolate. I have to have it.” So, the teachers were kind of thinking, “I wonder if they have a magnesium deficiency.”

DAR: Right. And I think one interesting thing is chocolate is high in magnesium.

KATIE: Our bodies are so smart, aren't they? They’ll find it. Talking to clients who have chocolate cravings, once they get a little magnesium in their system, they truly don't crave it as the same way. That's pretty amazing.

DAR: So, you wonder, does everyone have a chocolate craving and does everyone have low magnesium? Well, the reality of it is yes, because about 75 percent of Americans are deficient in the mineral magnesium. It's amazing. Now, think about that. 75 percent of us, unless they're taking magnesium. Americans generally are deficient in magnesium. So, in addition to chocolate cravings, as a deficiency of magnesium, there's many other symptoms that can be because when we're low on magnesium. So, let me ask listeners if they have any of these symptoms. Do you have muscle cramps? That means you're probably low on magnesium. Do you have leg cramps? Sometimes people call them Charlie horses. Those are often low magnesium. It's a simple solution.

KATIE: And another sign that I think of with people with low magnesium would be sleep problems. So insomnia. I know we work with a lot of people with sleep problems. Low magnesium is often the cause of people waking up frequently throughout the night or not being able to fall asleep. Restless sleep and restless legs. That feeling where your legs just have to dance, that can actually be magnesium deficiency. And sometimes that's such a simple solution. And another one that actually comes to mind is eye twitches. When people will be sitting there across the room and their eye starts to kind of twitch, twitch, twitch. That can be a magnesium deficiency.

DAR: And so, we know that if their eye’s twitching, they probably have other muscles that are twitching, and sometimes we call those muscle spasms. And sometimes they run up and down people's spines and they have muscle spasms in their back.

KATIE: Yup. Headaches or your toes are cramping, your fingers are cramping, all of these different things can be related just to magnesium. It's our relaxation mineral. If our tissues aren't relaxed, they're going to be tight or twitchy.

DAR:  I read a report about the health problems of low magnesium when I was getting ready for this show. The author was Sarah Johnson and she wrote, “Magnesium is very similar to a great opera singer. It is very demanding, but when everything is right, it can perform wonders.” So, we have to stop and think. Magnesium is involved in every cell interaction in your body and brain. That's amazing that one ingredient is involved in every cell in your body. So we need we need good amounts of it. So, it's really one of the most important minerals. And I think our NutriKey brand of magnesium glycinate is one of the best on the market. It really works so well for people. Before we keep going on minerals, on more things about magnesium, why we don't take a break.

KATIE: So, for listeners, we've got a lot of good information coming up about how minerals will relate to our cravings. But, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition and we're discussing the mineral connection to cravings and health conditions. Here's another one. We know that zinc supports immune function. So, if you're wondering if you have sufficient zinc to avoid the cold and flu season, I invite you to step into one of the Nutritional Weight & Wellness offices for a quick, free zinc test that takes less than a minute. If you're someone who craves sweets after a meal, you could be deficient in zinc. So check our website for locations of all of our offices around the Twin Cities. Call 651-699-3438. To find a location near you. We'll be right back.

BREAK

DAR:  Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I’m Darlene Kvist, licensed nutritionist and our cohost is Katie, who is a registered and licensed dietitian. If you're frustrated with your family's nutritional habits and you're concerned you're not providing them with good nutrition, but not sure where to start, let me suggest taking the Weekend Weight & Wellness series. And remember, nurses received 14.4 continuing education credits. So, really, this class benefits to all that take it.

KATIE:  And people loved taking that class. It's just a wealth of information and their brains feel a little full after the weekend. But it's a great, great class.

DAR: So, we had a couple of callers. They didn't want to go on air, but they left their questions.

KATIE: So, let's address those. We had one client, it sounds like she started to take magnesium and she was asking, “When I started taking magnesium, I started to break out in hives,” and asking why would that be?

DAR:  So, when I think about that, I would have to ask what was the brand of magnesium that she was taking? There's so many different brands out there on the marketplace. I think some of them are good. And then some of them are questionable. So, that would be the first place I would get to because taking magnesium should not cause hives. There might be a filler in it that's causing the hives. So, that would be my answer to that one.

KATIE: And because we know that the supplement industry is not regulated. So, if she was taking it off brand, maybe trying our brand and seeing if it works better for her.

DAR: Yes. Or also, Metagenix has a great brand of magnesium glycinate. And there's other brands like that that would be good.

KATIE: And then it sounds like we had another gal call in and she said she started taking a diuretic. Her doctor prescribed a diuretic. And it sounds like she was eating the Weight & Wellness way. But then she started experiencing some gas, bloating, and heartburn after she started taking the diuretic. And then she said she was starting to eat more carbs.

DAR: Yes. So, I guess what I would probably do is go back and visit my doctor and say, “This diuretic is not agreeing with me. Maybe there's a different one and we could try something else.” Otherwise, the diuretic is changing her chemistry somehow. And maybe it's just a fact that in the past she would have more fluids in her body and everything would pass through faster. Maybe from the diuretics, she’s actually starting to have a little constipation and holding on to more fluids.

KATIE:  And eating more. She mentioned she was eating more carbohydrate-rich food. That will exacerbate the problem. People are eating too much of those processed carbs. They break down to sugar, and that alone will make us retain fluid and feel gassy, bloated, and have heartburn.

DAR: So, the other option is she certainly could come in and sit down with one of the nutritionists and see if we could manage her eating plan so that she doesn't really need to take a diuretic, which would be the best thing for her. So, lots of answers. Lots of questions and sometimes we have to ask a lot of questions to find out what we're really working with so we know how to direct people in the best way.

KATIE: Yes, absolutely. Well, great questions. Before we went to break we were actually talking about the magic mineral magnesium and how, when we're deficient in it, we can have, certainly chocolate cravings, and we were talking about some different body signs. So, another body sign that I think of when people are low and magnesium would be hypertension.

DAR:   And that's a lot of reasons that people are put on a diuretic. So maybe this connects to our caller.

KATIE:  Yeah, absolutely. So, again, going back to magnesium. So, hypertension or your blood pressure level can be affected by magnesium. So, when we have too little magnesium in our blood vessels, which really are small muscles, what happens is they constrict and they tighten and they cause our blood pressure to go up. So, when we have sufficient magnesium, it relaxes our blood vessels. And when our blood vessels are relaxed, then our blood pressure goes down.

DAR: A lot of times clients will come in and maybe they've been listening to the show. And they are taking magnesium. And they're taking one or two magnesium glycinate. And I think if you have a problem with blood pressure, hypertension, that probably isn't enough to make a difference. We need more. Usually, we need four to six hundred milligrams of magnesium to affect these small muscles that are inside of your blood vessels. I think having people get a picture that actually, those blood vessels are made up of muscles. It still is pretty hard for people to understand. It is even for us to understand that.

KATIE:  Yeah, I mean, even taking enough of it will make a big difference.

DAR: So, again, people with low levels of magnesium often have anxiety. When you're really low, you have more anxiety, and, of course, you have chocolate cravings. So, I just mentioned we probably need 400 to 600 milligrams of magnesium daily, because we're just not getting it from our food like we used to. I really recommend magnesium glycinate, which I think is the easiest form of magnesium to absorb and will not give you side effects.

KATIE:  Just going back to that anxiety piece, where we talked about how magnesium is our relaxation mineral. It’s like when the tissues in our brain are deficient in magnesium, it's like our brain feels more wired. And the brain chemicals can't cross and communicate as efficiently without the magnesium, so it makes a huge difference. So, as nutritionists and dieticians, we always kind of are thinking about, “Why is this person low in magnesium?” So, here's some reasons that many people are actually magnesium deficient. So, maybe as listeners, maybe some of you can relate. Here's one: stress. Who's stressed? So, it may surprise you, when you are experiencing ongoing stress, we're not talking about a small, stressful situation, but if it's ongoing stress, magnesium is depleted, which will lead to more anxiety, and not being able to handle the stressful situations as well.

DAR: So, you might need more magnesium as a supplement if that's the case, because we have stressful lives these days.

KATIE:  It's almost, I think of it as, when someone is chronically stressed, it's kind of like they burn through their nutrients really quickly. They burn through their magnesium that much quicker. They need that much more to support their system.

DAR: So, here's another reason for a magnesium deficiency. Maybe you're a big-time coffee drinker. If you drink too much coffee, your kidneys excrete extra magnesium. So, think about who might be big-time coffee drinker. I know one of the groups of people that I've noticed is a lot of people that are in recovery from an addiction like alcohol. There are the ten-cuppers.

KATIE: Yes. It's not just the one cup in the morning. It's the mug of coffee in the hand all day.

DAR:  Otherwise, I think most people maybe will drink a couple of cups of coffee a day and that's about what they drink. Maybe one or two. Unless they have a job where they have to stay awake and they're drinking coffee all night long just to stay awake. But you are actually excreting more magnesium, your kidney’s getting rid of it with the coffee cup that much quicker.

KATIE: So, that's something for people to think about. Or, here's another one. Maybe you have a lot of diarrhea and you deplete your magnesium. It's like you just can't absorb the nutrients from your food. Or maybe you're a long-distance runner or someone who is kind of like a long-distance endurance athlete in general. We can actually sweat the magnesium right out of our cells. So, if you have symptoms kind of like what we've been talking about: restless leg, headaches, anxiety, muscle cramps, eye twitches, then I would really recommend adding 400 to 600 milligrams of magnesium to your supplements. Again, we love that magnesium glycinate form.

DAR: And we love it because it works so well. So, it is that time again Kate.

KATIE: When you're having fun it just goes so fast! But, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Stay tuned because when we come back, Mary Burns will be joining us by phone to share how just eating the Weight & Wellness way has changed her cravings and reduced the aches and pains in her knee. I think that sounds pretty nice. So we'll be right back.

BREAK

DAR: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. And Mary, welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition this morning. Thank you for being on. We really appreciate you taking this time this morning to call in and share a little bit of your story. I'm just going to give people a little bit of history here before you come on, Mary.  I know you made an appointment at Nutritional Weight & Wellness because your blood test showed that you were pre-diabetic, right?

MARY:  Yes, that is correct.

DAR:  And your cholesterol is a little too high. And that you had a lot of knee pain.

MARY: Yeah, a lot of aches and pains all over.

DAR: And, of course, you wanted to lose some weight. And you know that you have quite a bit of weight to lose. But, you also kind of have come to realize that there's no quick fixes, are there?

MARY: No, because I tried them all. If there was an easy way I would have found it!

DAR: So, I remember, you saw me for an initial appointment and then we kind of talked about it and we kind of decided that the weekly support from the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program is something that you kind of needed to do. So, you have had amazing success in that first 12 weeks of the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series. So, share some of your insights and how you’re starting to not do for everyone else, but you're starting to take care of yourself more even though you have a busy schedule.

MARY: Yeah, I think the big turning point for me was I hit that big milestone birthday of 50 and I started to look and think, “What am I doing? How long can I keep going this way?” And I was having, like I said, I had had some knee surgery. I was having aches and pains and kind of just generally not feeling good. And the diagnosis of the insulin resistance was huge for me. I thought, “This is this is a big wake up call.” And yet, I was so frustrated because I had literally, you name it, I've tried it on the diet plans. And I even hate that word “diet” because that is out of my vocabulary now. And as soon as I came in and talked to you and started taking the classes, what I realized was, I couldn't figure out before why, I'm a very strong person, very goal-orientated, very motivated, very strong-willed, why couldn't I get my hands around this this healthy eating? I just couldn't figure out why I couldn't do it. And then of course you start to look at it as a character flaw. You think, “Well, why can’t I be strong enough to do that?” When I started taking the classes was when this light bulb came on and I went, “Oh!” I was completely doing everything wrong and sabotaging myself. And I feel like the knowledge from the classes was what really, each week they're giving you more knowledge and these light bulbs kept going off where I thought, “Well, no wonder I couldn't do it before!” I was setting myself up for failure. And that was just, I just still can’t believe what I didn't know.

DAR: Yes. When you went through the class the first time, you understand level one. But, I know that you're signed up to repeat the class coming up. And you'll go to another level of understanding.

MARY:  I had mentioned to you that I'm a big note taker in class. I have a whole notebook of notes that I took going to the first class. I'm so anxious to compare. I will make a bet that my notes during the second class, that I won't even repeat the notes I took the first time. The information comes in and you're just so excited about it. And it's just so amazing to see explanations for what you've been struggling with that I think you can't absorb it all the first time.

KATIE: Yeah, that's great that you're taking it again. I think that was an interesting statement that you made. The knowledge that you get from the class. It's interesting because it's like we learn so much from the class, but then with the knowledge we start to apply, and it’s that application of the Weight & Wellness eating plan of eating real food that really kind of just starts to change your brain.

DAR: And it really does. And I never, ever would have thought before that I could ever be on and an eating change where I wasn't hungry. I wasn't craving things. I mean, when I look back now, I cannot believe, I could have never overcome those cravings doing anything else.

KATIE:  So, you found out that it's not it's not a lack of willpower.

MARY:                  Right. And that was my biggest thing is, I thought, “Why can't I get a grip on this?” And now I know that it's not about willpower. It's about what's happening in your body by the foods that you're putting in it or not putting in it.

DAR:  Last Monday when you were in for your consultation. You share that in the past, Diet Coke or chocolate cake worked really well for a brief moment to control your feelings.  But it was a fleeing fix and it didn't last very long. And then you felt worse, right?

MARY: Absolutely. And coming to that realization where I can I can walk away from things now that I couldn't walk away before, because I can see now where it can lead to. And I don't want to feel like that again. So, when I started out I initially thought, “Oh, this is all about the insulin resistance and it's all about weight loss.” It's really not. I had said to you last week, I said, “Boy if I never lost another pound, I already feel 100 times better than I ever did before.” And I think that I can make those choices now. We're walking away. I know how I'm going to feel after I have that. I mean, I had a general achiness, really in my body from my head to my toes. And I have four kids and they're very good, healthy eaters and active athletes. And my oldest son had said to me, “Mom, I think that's the diet pop.” Because these kids are educated and they know these things and I thought, “Oh that's crazy. How could that be?”

DAR:  Well, because there are a lot of programs that recommend to lose weight, drink diet pop.

MARY: Absolutely. So just that alone made a huge difference.

KATIE: What a freeing feeling to just feel good. So, again, we were kind of mentioning this. You signed up to repeat that Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series, which is great. I think it's so important for people to take the class again, because you just get more and more knowledge, more information. But what are you hoping to accomplish in the next 12 weeks when you're taking that series again? Because it sounds like you've really come to realizing that eating this way, this nutritional approach to diabetes, inflammation, and pain, it's not just a three-month deal. it's a lifetime. So, what are you kind of hoping to accomplish this next time through?

MARY: I think to continue to build, you know, I've learned the skills. I've learned what works. And it's not easy, it's hard to ignore. I think about things. I mean, it was 22 years of bad habits. And that’s not gonna change overnight. I know that I need that continued support and that continued boost of, “OK you can do this.” Because there are still times when it's very much a struggle. But, for different reasons. Because I don't have the cravings that I had before. It’s more, I think, the emotional cravings where you used to, like I said, you'd have that chocolate and that works for a few minutes. I mean it really does make you feel better. And I think that realization that this is this is going to be a lifetime goal, a lifetime change, a big part of it for me is that I realize that if I would have kept going down the path that I was going on, my husband and my kids were going to continue to live a healthy life, continue to do the things that I would want to do, but I was going to be left behind. I don't want to be left behind. I don't want to be the one who says, “Well, you guys go ahead and hike because I can't anymore.” And that's a big turnaround for me, is that I realized that no one else is going to take care of this for me. It's my responsibility. I have to do it. But I have to have the tools to be able to do it. I have to have the knowledge. And that's where I'm looking for the classes to continue to teach me how to do this for the rest of my life.

DAR: So, Mary, maybe share a little bit of your insights because you are a wonderful caregiver. You got four kids, you got a husband, you got friends, and you're always there for people. But, maybe not there for yourself as much.

MARY: I completely wasn't there for myself. I absolutely wasn’t. And then I remember telling you one time when we met that I really thought that I couldn't be that and take care of myself. I really did. I believed that, “Well I certainly can't be a good mom and a good caretaker and a good friend and a good daughter and a good wife and all those things and still take care of myself.” Because I thought there's just not enough hours in the day. How can I do that? And now I'm realizing that I am actually a better caretaker, a better all the roles that I play in my life, because I feel better and I'm taking care of myself. It's really amazing. I have more energy, I'm more focused, and I'm absolutely more present. I feel like I've said to Dar before that there was this kind of a fog there. And that is lifting and I am definitely more in the moment, more present than I even thought I could be.

DAR:  That was beautiful. And, I know we've talked about this, but I wouldn't like to invite you to come back on the show every few weeks and just give us an update on how you're doing and kind of report back to us a little bit. So listeners can get to know you a little bit. But I want to share something else, kind of on a happy side note. Mary's full-time job is taking photos of newborn babies.

MARY: I have the best job ever.

DAR:How can people get a hold of you if they want to come out and take pictures of their new baby?

MARY: Through my website. It's really simple. www.maryburnsphotography.com

DAR: So, thank you Mary, we appreciate all the great comments and have a great day.

KATIE: Oh, that was fun to have her on. Just really good for listeners to hear others stories.  We'll say them over the air. But just to have them, to actually hear it from the source is so great. We have to go to our last break here, so you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition.

BREAK

DAR: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Our guest, Mary Burns, is looking ahead to the holidays and is taking the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program. So, if you want a look and feel your best, it is time to start your Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program. You'll be amazed at how fast twelve weeks go by. They'll come and they’ll go and you’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel by the end of it. It's not too late to make the commitment to your health. Just like what Mary was saying. Just eating this way, she just feels more present. She just feels like the fog is lifted and she's gotten rid of all of that inflammation in her body, which is just so important. So, she's healing.

So, we could have used a two-hour show for this one. We were talking about magnesium a lot. But now we've got a couple other minerals that we want to go over. So, here's a question for our listeners. What mineral are you deficient if you crave ice or dirt? If you or a friend chew ice or have brittle nails or have cracks on the side of your mouth or you have very pale skin or trouble concentrating or restless legs or all of the above, what mineral are you lacking?

KATIE: So, think about it. Listeners, have you guessed what mineral you might be deficient in if you're craving ice and you have restless legs, a dead giveaway. We would think iron. Iron is what you were deficient in there.

DAR: So, again, you've said it before and our bodies are so smart. The question is, “Why am I so low in iron?” For women, it is often related to heavy periods. Or if you have blood in your stool from hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, even colon cancer, or people who are vegetarian can be low in iron. And who else could be low in iron?

KATIE: Pregnant women. So, this is really interesting. I know prior to the pregnancy, iron wasn't something that I was low in. But recently, they requested that we get a ferritin done. And ferritin is kind of our first store that will drop when we start to become deficient in iron. And I thought this is a fantastic idea. I would love to do that. And it turns out that my ferritin was low, so my iron stores are starting to be low, which makes perfect sense.  Even though I eat well, nutritionists can be low in iron. It is amazing. But, again, with pregnancy, when we're growing that baby, the baby needs lots of nutrients to grow. So, she's actually taking iron stores from my body to grow. I'm willing to give them to her. But some other things that I've noticed that have made the connection, like once I know that my iron levels have been dropping, I've noticed a couple of things, one of them being having trouble catching my breath a little bit more. One, I think it's the baby pressing on my lungs. But the other thing is when we are low in our iron, it can affect our hemoglobin and hemoglobin delivers oxygen to our tissues. So, that makes perfect sense. So, that affects your energy and your breathing and everything. So, pregnant women, make sure they get their ferritin levels checked as well.

DAR: So, one of the other things that you mentioned before while we were on break that you you're actually craving more beef. And you're eating it.

KATIE: And I'm eating it now and beef is a fantastic form of iron. So, sometimes when we're having these pregnancy cravings, and a pregnancy craving is truly like beef, like a good steak or something like that. My body is so smart it's actually looking for the iron stores. Very cool. Some other good food sources of iron would be things like liver. Not a lot of people eat a good beef liver anymore. Clams, oysters, pumpkin seeds, spinach, beef, and even sardines. So, food first. That's some great sources where we can get some good iron.

DAR: And we also know that vitamin C helps your body absorb iron. So, think about this. Chili Is a perfect food to build up your iron. The beef is high in iron and vitamin C from tomatoes helps absorption of the iron.

KATIE: And it's so interesting because chili has been a food that I've especially liked lately. So, we always recommend having your levels tested before adding an iron supplement in. So, when adding a supplement, if your iron levels are low, look for a chelated iron, such as iron glycinate, reacted iron from Ortho Molecular is also a good brand. It's easy to digest and usually no constipation occurs.

DAR: I think we have some callers and we want to make sure that we get a few of those. And we just kind of ran out of time and we apologize.

KATIE: Yes. And if anybody does have questions we don't get to you can certainly call our office. So, Coral has a question for us and she's wondering, it looks like some mineral water question. So, welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition, Coral.

CALLER:Hello. I have recently had a reverse osmosis drinking water system installed and I'm wondering on the need for buffering now with minerals.

DAR:  Well, I always think more minerals come from food. Protein gives us lots of minerals. And so, I never worry about adding minerals to my water.

KATIE: Yeah, I agree. I think just trying to get it from the food sources as much as you can vs even looking into water.

CALLER: And I do take supplements and I have, I think, a very healthy, good, well-regulated diet. So, with all of that, I just have heard rather conflicting reports and nothing really concrete on the subject and I knew you'd have the information you need. So, I thought I'm going to call the source right away without wasting any more time.

KATIE: Yeah, sometimes it's just easier to focus on the food. Thank you for the call. That's a great call. And sometimes we have Richard from Richard's Custom Water on and he's the water expert, so you can always check him out. We have a couple of other callers. Helen, welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. You have a question for us about sleep?

CALLER: Yes. I've been taking magnesium glycinate for several years. With 400 up to 500 up to 600mg  and I don't really see any difference. Sometimes it takes me an hour and a half to fall asleep. It took me till three o'clock.

DAR: OK, so you're having trouble falling asleep?

CALLER: Well, if I get up in the middle of the night then I have trouble getting back to sleep.

DAR: OK. I think I would try a little bit of sublingual melatonin under my tongue. One milligram or two or three and see if you can't get right to sleep with the melatonin. As we get older, our pineal gland is not making melatonin as well as it did when we were younger. So, then, a lot of older people have trouble getting to sleep. And it's such a simple solution. And you don't want to take too much, because you'll wake up feeling groggy the next morning. You want to just start with one milligram and see if it gets you to sleep. I know some people need five and I know for myself if I took five milligrams I probably wouldn't get up for two days. But I even take like a half a milligram sometimes because that's all I need. So, try that Helen, and see if that doesn't work for you.

CALLER: So, how do you do that? In the evening?

DAR: Half an hour before you go to bed. Get in bed, put it under your tongue, and then in about half an hour you should be asleep.

CALLER: Thank you very much.

KATIE: Good question. Sleep is so multifaceted. So, sometimes people need to add a little calcium with the magnesium. I've noticed that relaxes people. We've talked about progesterone in the past that if you're having trouble sleeping, calling us and coming in for a consultation is great. Well, the show went so quick, we had lots of information.

DAR: We have a whole packet of information on other minerals.

KATIE: Looks like we'll have to have another show on minerals and cravings.

DAR: I think so. Thank you for listening, everyone.

KATIE:  And remember: change your food, change your life.

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