RLS (or Restless Leg Syndrome) is characterised by the compelling urge to move the legs, particularly when in bed and trying to sleep. The underlying cause is still unknown, but it is thought to involve a malfunctioning of the nervous system. A deficiency in critical vitamins and minerals has been linked to the muscle twitching associated with RLS
4 of the most important of these are Magnesium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) and Iron. Magnesium is essential for neurotransmitter function, muscle contraction and muscle relaxation. Researchers believe that magnesium makes it easier for muscles to relax. This may be because of its calcium-blocking abilities, which help regulate the nerves and muscles instead of letting calcium “activate” the nerves. If magnesium is low, calcium isn't blocked and nerves become overactive and trigger muscle contractions
One of the problems linked with RLS is low dopaminne levels in the nerves and the combination of Vitamins B9 and B12 help to regulate dopaminne, thereby relaxing the muscle twitch. The B9 also helps with the improvement of blood flow.
You could go and buy all of those 4 supplements separately but there are a quite a few good supplements on the market containing all the necessary ingredients, but the one I recommend to my patients is a product called ActiveMg.
What I like about it, is the fact that they use activated Magnesium, meaning it absorbs 4 times better than standard magnesium and the Vitamin B12 is in the methyl form, which is the most absorbable form for the nerves and is critical to this combination working well. ActiveMg, at the full dose rate of 3 capsules per day, provides 300mg of elemental magnesium, 900 mcg of Folate (Vitamin B9) and 900 mcg of Vitamin B12, which is ideal for RLS
So what about the Iron?
I mentioned Iron as a critical element for treatment of RLS and other leg cramps. Low Iron levels have often been associated with RLS and Iron should be a critical part of your diet to ensure full recovery from the symptoms of RLS, however long-term supplementation with Iron can have some undesirable side effects for some people and for this reason I don’t suggest you take it everyday. Perhaps it is one reason why the ActiveMg supplement doesn’t contain Iron, but you can simply purchase a good iron supplement and take it separately.
What I normally suggest is that you supplement with Iron on an occasional basis, (perhaps every alternative month) taking around 20mg per day. Iron supplements are readily available at any pharmacy and are very cheap, so they are an easy add on to your supplement regime.
The other reason it is probably not in the ActiveMg formula, and other similar products, is that for maximum absorption Iron is best taken on an empty stomach, while Magnesium supplements are best taken with food, so they are best taken separately.
What I recommend to my patients is to take their Magnesium and B Vitamin supplements, be it ActiveMg or any other of their choice, in the morning with breakfast, or in the evening with dinner, then take your additional Iron supplement just before going to bed, on an empty stomach. A supplement such as ActiveMg would be taken every day, continuously, and the Iron could be taken every day for one month, then one month off.
This would be the ideal mix to give you maximum absorption of all elements in a safe and productive way. The ActiveMg that I mention here is available in Australia & NZ through Global Health Direct and in the USA & Canada through Deham Care. They both sell a single bottle containing 90 capsules (30-45 day supply, depending on dose rate you choose) and they have deals on 3 bottle packs. I believe the Australian distributor has a special offer for Newmaker readers for the single bottle, just use discount code MYRLS and they will include a second bottle for free. This gives you a great test period because 2 bottles will last you potentially 90 days.
Both distributors offer a full money back guarantee, but I have not known one of my patients to say it hasn’t helped in some way.
Stay safe and hopefully this has been informative in such a stressful time.
Natural Health Media
Natural Health Media, a division of the Complimentary Healthcare Group (CHG), provides media articles backed by clinical data and research on complimentary options for healthcare. Supported by a unique group of Doctors from around the world, NHM provides a snapshot on alternative health and the growing clinical evidence to support the uses of alternative medicines.
Dr David Goldstein