Q. Dear Terry, “My husband has been getting very bad leg cramps, sometimes after walking or bike riding. The cramps wake him up at night and are very painful. What can he take as a natural remedy to help?”– Regina C., Port St. Lucie, FL
A. Dear Regina, While leg cramps can arise from a variety of reasons, I believe certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies may play a role.
I think that magnesium, vitamin B6, and zinc would be great additions to his daily regimen. Magnesium has been clinically studied and shown to significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of leg cramps. Using magnesium in the glycinate form increases absorption and can help with muscle relaxation and resistance to nerve excitability.
For magnesium, one of the best partner nutrients is vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps magnesium absorb better and is often recommended as a second ingredient to relieve muscle cramps and other conditions. When looking for a formula, I strongly recommend choosing one that features vitamin B6 in the form of pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P) in combination with magnesium glycinate. P-5-P is the biologically active form of vitamin B6. Many people (some estimate up to 30% of the population) cannot fully utilize B-vitamins from food and supplements because these forms of B-vitamins must be converted into the active form before they will function. By using the form of vitamin B6 that is identical to the kind your body utilizes, you bypass this problem entirely.
Generally, if people are deficient in one mineral, like magnesium, they are often deficient in others. I also think that zinc can be very useful for muscle aches and cramps. I prefer zinc in the zinc glycinate form.
I would take vitamin B6 (as P-5-P), magnesium (as magnesium glycinate), and zinc (as zinc glycinate) three times daily.
Terry . . . Naturally
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