I have always had a strong interest in nutrition but, like most people, have often been bewildered by the overwhelming amount of information and general lack of focus of what there is to be learned.

I take the GNC supplements for men over 50. It certainly has a lot of stuff in it, but in regard to two key minerals, even the GNC formula is deficient. These minerals are iodine and magnesium.

The American diet is seriously deficient in both these essential minerals. I plan to write about iodine later. For now, I want to focus on magnesium.

The array of bodily functions that can work normally only with sufficient magnesium is staggering. Every system of the body is affected, but most particularly the circulatory system. This is critical because every cell of the body depends on an adequate flow of blood.

Magnesium deficiency is implicated in cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, mental illness, kidney malfunction, fatigue, migraine, elevated cholesterol, liver ailments, and many other illnesses and conditions. Magnesium is routinely used by doctors in hospitals to treat heart attacks and illnesses associated with pregnancy. There it is administered intravenously in large doses. I have a friend who is a doctor who is researching the possibility of treating numerous chronic illnesses, cancer included, with large doses of magnesium sulphate. His idea is that the cause of many illnesses is hyperactivity of the body's stress reaction and that magnesium can slow this reaction when it has gotten out of control.

Why is no one told that magnesium deficiency may be a cause of so many disease states? Could it be that dietary magnesium is incredibly cheap to produce and purchase, whereas the prescription medications that are used to treat these diseases once they have set in makes the drug companies rich beyond imagining?

Here is an article to read about a book called The Miracle of Magnesium.

How can you get sufficient magnesium? You can't through food - our food supply has been so depleted of nutritional value by poor soils and growing conditions that food is no longer enough, even if, in the case of magnesium, you regularly ate green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli where it is normally found.

But there is a simple solution - take a level teaspoon of Epsom salts once a day in a glass of warm water. This meets the RDA but is far smaller than the therapeutic dose of Epsom salts used as a laxative. Epsom salts are also used routinely while bathing as a muscle relaxant.

After two days of taking Epsom salts, the muscle cramps in my legs that had been bothering me for years were gone. I felt more relaxed and peaceful, not surprisingly, since magnesium also promotes the production in the body of serotonin, the substance found in the brain that makes us feel at ease. It's a shortage of serotonin that doctors treat with dangerous and expensive antidepressants.

So you mght find it worthwhile to become better acquainted with magnesium - the miracle mineral.