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Magnesium provided a good night's sleep

The Lawton Constitution

10-26-17

Q. I read about magnesium helping with sleep a couple of weeks ago in your column. I am very fit and healthy, but I have struggled with poor sleep for years. I wake up around 3 a.m. and can't go back to sleep.

I run a small business and am somewhat of a Type A personality. I am incredibly happy to report that from the very first night of taking 400 mg of magnesium, I have slept very well. It must calm my nerves. Since it is dirt-cheap and natural, I am even more pleased.

A. Magnesium is an essential mineral, but nearly half of Americans don't get the recommended amount in their diets (USDA, July 2009). Diuretics, corticosteroids and acid-suppressing drugs (PPIs) increase magnesium requirements and can lead to deficiency.

Many people are surprised to learn that magnesium supplements have been shown to improve sleep (Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, December 2012). Changes in the intercellular concentration of certain ions, including magnesium, in the brain control the sleep-wake cycle (Science, April 29, 2016). This may explain why a magnesium supplement could help promote sleep.

You can learn more about natural approaches to overcoming insomnia and early-morning waking in our "Guide to Getting a Good Night's Sleep." Access to this online resource may be purchased at www.peoplespharmacy.com.

Too much magnesium can cause diarrhea. Those with kidney problems should avoid magnesium supplements, as they could lead to toxicity.

Q. Can you tell me anything about blackseed oil? Is it safe?

A. Blackseed oil comes from so-called black cumin seeds. They are the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant of Southeast Asia and are used to impart a distinctive flavor to certain dishes popular in India or the Middle East.

Nigella sativa contains the compound thymoquinone. In preclinical studies, this natural chemical shows promise for slowing tumor growth and making certain cancers more vulnerable to treatment (Frontiers in Pharmacology, June 12, 2017).

Animal studies suggest that thymoquinone helps protect organs from druginduced toxicity (Pharmacological Reports, online, May 6, 2017; Pharmacognosy Magazine, January 2016, supplement).

We haven't seen any clinical studies in people specifically addressing its safety, however.

Q. I'm using XyliMelts

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