So you crave chocolate, especially before menses? Do magnesium.
If you crave sweets in general before menses, your sugar metabolism is wonky: check my posts about simple carbs. If you crave chocolate, you're low on magnesium.
So you've read all about getting only the very best, as expensive as you can afford, and to eat only one piece of it - and to savour that piece.
And your other half comes in, spots your just-opened box of the very best Belgian chocolate, and eats the lot in less than half an hour. Grounds for divorce, you say? Nah, just get another box, and find out if your other half craves sugar or magnesium. If the first, help his liver; if the latter, give him magnesium supplements with his morning tea.
As you've informed yourself, you're baffled at the sheer amount of choice: what kinds of magnesium supplements should I take, or give my other half?
There was a discussion on the herblist in October 2005.
In that thread, mjh, whose son had epilepsy (with all that entails in depleted magnesium and B6), said to use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of epsom salt (hydrated magnesium sulfate, MgSO4 - 7H2O) a day in a glass of water. She also says she uses milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide, Mg(OH)2) (1 teaspoon = 400 mg), and she's used epsom salt baths as well. She adds malic acid (C4H6O5) to her magnesium supplementation. (Others were cautioning about taking epsom salts internally, though).
In the same thread, Sharon said to eat greens: magnesium is in chlorophyll.
Nettles have been used as a source of chlorophyll, and nettles are allround good for you anyway, so drink your nettle tea, or eat your nettle stew. But while I've done a blog post about foods high in magnesium, dietary magnesium won't be enough if you're severely magnesium deficient.
Krispin Sullivan has done a nice info sheet on magnesium deficiency. She says that simple carbs, coffee, alcohol, and sodas reduce total body magnesium, as does too much calcium and/or sodium. She advocates chelated magnesium supplements.
Paul Bergner says that simple carbs, insulin, caffeine and alcohol are magnesium diuretics. He also says that calcium inhibits the absorption of magnesium, and that therefore calcium should be taken apart from magnesium - and he goes on to say most people don't generally need calcium.
He advocates 800-1200 mg a day of magnesium citrate, with 800 μg of chromium a day, and says he gets good results with this.
Magnesium absorption requires vitamin B6, and you can't do just one B-vitamin, so do a B-complex and 40-60 mg of B6 a day.
Krispin says not to use magnesium supplements if you have kidney trouble. I'd like input on that from people who actually do have kidney problems ...
The Hyperinsulinemia series: Cravings - Craving magnesium - Craving carbs - Doing without carbs - Syndrome X - Cell responses to insulin - Syndrome X supplements
Related entries: Hyperinsulinemia - Magnesium content of common foods - Hot vs. cold liver