I don't claim to know lots about supplements, and I'm not a nutritionist or doctor ; ) but I would like to share the amazing change magnesium supplements made in my life.
I spent most of this year (2008) on the couch. My back hurt too bad to sit for more than a couple minutes, standing hurt, even laying on the couch didn't help very much. In September I started taking muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory something-or-others ; ). I took them through the month of September, then in October my DH happened across an article online about magnesium deficiency causing muscle spasms and abnormal heart rhythms. (I hadn't mentioned it much, but my heart was beating VERY abnormally. Scary abnormal.) I thought, "Well, I can't lose anything by trying." so I bought some magnesium pills and started eating magnesium-rich foods. This is the most amazing thing ever, I think. ; )
On Saturday I asked my DH if he would cut my toenails for me, because I couldn't bend to reach them. I started with the magnesium on Sunday and by Tuesday I cut my own toenails! I could sit, stand, bend...it was simply amazing!
One week I was talking to my mom and cousin, telling them a funny story while laying on the couch, and I wanted to get up to demonstrate a funny part, and couldn't stand up. At all. That was scary, I was wondering if I'd end up unable to do *anything* for myself. The next week I was sitting, standing, walking, helping my mom around the kitchen, doing laundry...AMAZING!!!
Three days of magnesium supplements helped more than a month of muscle relaxers!
Now, I'm not saying magnesium will help everyone. But, if you're having muscle spasms it's worth a try! The pills aren't expensive, so you wouldn't be out much even if they didn't work. If they do work, you'll be glad you did! : )
One thing I don't mention, it bothers me quite a bit, though, and I'll tell this part of the story here, too, so you know more about why I was so worried about it. My brother suffered from severe muscle spasms for about 10 years before he died because of an aortic aneurysm at age 30. I think that perhaps if I had known what I do now he might have been spared. I've always thought back problems ran in my family...now I wonder if it's not a problem with excreting too much magnesium instead. (My dad suffered from severe back pain, also.)
(A couple other things. I started out supplementing with 5 or so pills a day, instead of the one to three the bottle said. Also, my asthma has improved to the point where I haven't had to use my inhaler for two months (when I was using it daily), and I'm no longer craving chocolate!)
SO, for the sake of knowledge, I leave you with these links to begin your research on magnesium and the benefits of magnesium supplements.
Office of Dietary Supplements-Magnesium
Conditions Linked to Deficiencies of Magnesium