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Addiction to exercise

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j1745 (Published 26 April 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j1745

Essential nutrient deficiencies Re: Addiction to exercise

Addiction to exercise and essential nutrient deficiencies.

Addiction to exercise can be a common problem.1 Deficiencies of essential nutrients, especially of zinc and magnesium are also common and adversely impair brain and body functioning. Even mild isometric exercise impairs muscle function if cellular magnesium levels, measured in red blood cells, are low resulting in prolonged irregular muscle contractions.2 Zinc and magnesium deficiencies also play an important part in osteoporosis.3
Although the human race evolved to do hard physical work, stone age diets usually supplied enough essential nutrients. In contrast, modern diets of mostly high allergy addictive foods can be poor in essential nutrients and also can interfere with absorption of essential nutrients.4 Use of exogenous hormones can also cause mineral deficiencies and imbalances.5

1 Hausenblas HA, Schreiber K, James M Smoliga JM. Addiction to exercise BMJ 2017;357:j1745.
2 Howard J. Muscle action, trace elements and related elements: the myothermogram. In Chazot Gea, Ed. Current Trends in Trace Element Research. Smith-Gordon. 1989.
3 McLaren-Howard J, Grant ECG, Davies S. Hormone replacement therapy and osteoporosis: bone enzymes and nutrient imbalances. J Nutr Environ Med 1998; 8: 129-138.
4 Grant ECG. Food allergies and migraine. Lancet 1979;1:966-69.
5 Grant ECG. The pill, hormone replacement therapy, vascular and mood over-reactivity, and mineral imbalance. J Nutr Environ Med 1998;8:105-116.

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 May 2017
Ellen C G Grant
Physician and medical gynaecologist
Retired
Kingston-upon-Thames. KT2 7JU. UK