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Question
Posted by: Chris | 2014/12/29

Banting eating plan and magnesium deficiency

I've been on the Banting diet for 4 months with no apparent side-effects and have lost 10 kg's. Lately I've developed random muscle twitching all over the body (no cramping) - also feel slightly shaky, but no loss of strength. Could this be due to the effect of low carbs and, if so, would a blood test provide a reliable indicator to confirm magnesium deficiency? If I am magnesium deficient what is the best supplement

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageVitamin Expert
- 2015/01/20

Dear Chris,

Apologies, I see the answer I tried to post was never published. Firstly, congratulations with your weight loss, it must be a great relief and wonderful sense of achievement. A low carb diet is very likely to make one feel less energised, sometimes tired and even shaky as you describe. A blood test would be the best indicator of a magnesium deficiency, but a fast and more cost effective option than a blood test to consider is to take a magnesium supplement and monitor your symptoms over 5 days of taking the supplement. 
The nutrients your body may lack on a low carb diet, that may result in fatigue-like symptoms include:
- Magnesium (increase your intake by including red meat, dark green leafy veg such as broccoli, spinach, baby spinach and rocket, as these still are low carb); Supplement your diet with a magnesium supplement that provides at least 100-150 mg elemental magnesium, other nutrients that support magnesium absorption include vitamin B6 and Vitamin C, so these added into a magnesium supplement is beneficial.
- Glucose from simple and complex carbohydrates (your body's carbohydrate reserves in your liver and muscles is called glycogen - when this is depleted the chances are great that you will feel physically drained; include intermediate carb veg in your diet such as beetroot, onion, carrot and butternut to increase your carbohydrate intake without compromosing your diet)
I hope this helps.
Kind regards, 
Andrea du Plessis

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Chris | 2015/01/22

Thanks. I have just started to supplement with a magnesium oil spray as magnesium is better absorbed through the skin it's said.

Reply to Chris

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