Transcript #10: Magnesium, The Incredible Mr Baker and a Hot Take

This is a full transcript of Podcast Episode #10: The Gut Rumble: Magnesium, The Incredible Mr Baker and a Hot Take. You can listen to the audio version here.


Welcome to the Gut Heroes podcast.

It is an absolutely beautiful spring evening here in London. I hope the weather is glorious where you are as well.

This is the first of my gut rumble rambles. Not quite got the name right there, but I’m just playing around with a different type of episode. This is going to be more of a mix of things that I found interesting (and I hope you find useful throughout the week).

I’m just going to dive straight in.

Magnesium Intake

Something I talk a lot about in Gut Heroes is magnesium because it’s one of those essential minerals that almost all of us, particularly in the so-called developed world, are deficient in.

It’s such a big problem that it’s been called a crisis in many research papers. The modern diet, the quality of soil, and the lack of variety in our food contribute to this deficiency.

Modern food production means that we’re not getting enough magnesium through diet alone for the most part. This means that most people probably need to supplement their diet with magnesium.

I will do a separate and more detailed podcast and article about magnesium, as there are many different types you can take and various benefits it can provide.

It’s something I take personally, and it has had one of the most significant effects on my health since I started.

Magnesium is particularly important for people struggling with autoimmune diseases or chronic inflammation.

People like us are often more deficient than the average person. One of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency I struggled with the most was night cramps.

Since supplementing with magnesium, those cramps have completely gone away. It really is powerful stuff.

To give you a quick overview of what I personally do, the two forms of magnesium I rate highly are magnesium malate and magnesium glycinate.

Glycinate is a great one to take before bedtime as it can aid with sleep, while malate is excellent for absorption. I’ve tested different types of magnesium, and these seem to work best for me.

I always take magnesium in pure powder form, ensuring it’s the only ingredient without any binders or fillers.

The amount you should take will vary. You can follow the packet instructions, but remember this podcast is not medical advice.

Personally, I found that taking more than the recommended daily amount, with the consent of my doctor, especially in the early stages of tackling my autoimmune condition, really helped me reach a baseline.

Now, I take the recommended daily amount.

A great tip I learned from Dr Rhonda Patrick, a podcaster I follow, is to spread your magnesium intake throughout the day rather than taking it all in one dose.

The body absorbs magnesium in different ways, and taking it all at once means you’ll likely pass most of it through.

By drip-feeding it throughout the day, you can maximise absorption.

Typically, this could be around 100 to 150 milligrams per dose.

For example, if you’re supplementing with 300 milligrams a day, split it into two doses, one at lunchtime and one at dinner. This approach helps ensure you get the most out of your supplementation.

J.A. Baker and ankylosing spondylitis

I recently started reading a book by J.A. Baker called The Peregrine.

He had a magnificent way of expressing his love for birds through words. Baker suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, conditions I also manage.

His meticulous nature and attention to detail reminded me of a conversation I had with my friend Nathan, who also has ankylosing spondylitis.

We discussed the mental side of chronic disease and how some people with this condition seem to have a specific personality type.

There’s a sense of fine attention to detail and sensitivity to environmental stimuli.

Brain states can trigger inflammatory markers, and I wonder if cognitive predisposition might contribute to the severity of our condition. This is purely anecdotal but worth exploring.

Here are a few quotes from The Peregrine by J.A. Baker that I found particularly beautiful:

“I have always longed to be part of the outward life, to be out there at the edge of things, to let the human taint wash away in emptiness and silence as the fox sloughs his smell into the cold unworldliness of water, to return to town a stranger. Wandering flushes a glory that fades with arrival.”

“For an hour till grain has covered all, the water shone like milk and mother of pearl, the sea breathed quietly like a sleeping dog.”

“The hardest thing of all to see is what is really there.”

Discovery Lab

I’ll finish by talking about my Discovery Lab. This section of Gut Heroes features various experiments I run on myself, testing different supplements, exercises, and routines.

The latest experiment I’m conducting is with water.

Living in London, the tap water is heavily processed. I wanted to see what would happen if I changed my drinking water completely.

To avoid microplastics, I decided to try distilled water produced in a metal container and decanted into a glass jar.

I’m about a week into the test and feeling really good. Distilled water removes everything, including minerals (definitely something to bear in mind) but since I supplement, this isn’t a concern for me. I’m looking forward to finishing this test and sharing the results with you.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast. Please share it with anyone who might find it useful. If you have any feedback or topics you’d like me to discuss, I’d love to hear from you. All the best, and I will catch you next time.

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Friendly reminder: Please remember this is for information purposes only. Gut Heroes does not offer medical advice. We are all different and what works for me may not work for you. I setup Gut Heroes to share information with you. To shine a light on my own personal discoveries (as I currently understand them) and to help you with your own personal research.

Listen to the Gut Heroes podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Or search ‘Gut Heroes’ on your favourite podcast app

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