Magnesium - The Miracle Mineral

Magnesium has been called the "The Forgotten Mineral" and the "5-Cent Miracle Tablet" by medical researchers. It is an essential mineral for human nutrition and it is the fourth most abundant mineral (Not Macro but Major) in our body. Magnesium is more important than calcium, potassium or sodium and is essentially required to regulate these three plus many many more in the body. Magnesium has a role that permits perpetuity of functions throughout the body and the lack of it impacts our cell’s efficiency and duration of its useful life. It has an effect on overall cell physiology that cannot be equalled by anything else in the world of medicine. It is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body and helps genes function properly. Of the total body magnesium, 50 percent is found in the bone and the other 50 percent is found in the body tissues and organs. The highest accumulation of magnesium can also be found in the heart ventricles. So the importance of magnesium in the day-to-day functions of the heart can easily be perceived.

Magnesium is involved in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Some fuels cannot be stored in our muscle cells unless adequate supplies of magnesium are available. The metabolic role of magnesium is so diverse that it is difficult to find a body system that is not affected by magnesium deficiency. Our cardiovascular system, digestive system, nervous system, muscles, kidneys, liver, hormone-secreting glands, and brain all rely on magnesium for their metabolic function.

Over 8 out of 10 people do not take enough daily magnesium for even the minimum daily amounts recommended. The main reason for magnesium deficiency in the human body is stress. Magnesium is flushed out through the urine or bowels when the body is under stress. Deficiency of this mineral causes the body to accumulate toxins, degenerate quickly and premature aging leading to a host of other diseases. The U.S. minimum RDA for magnesium is about 320 mg per day for women and more than 400 mg per day for men, while optimum daily amounts are closer to 500 to 700 mg per day.


HEALTH IMPACTS

Regulates Calcium - Calcium is regulated and controlled by magnesium. Three hormones (PTH, Calcitonin and Vitamin D) that control the level and location of calcium in our body are activated by magnesium. If magnesium isn't available, the mineral ion channels in cells are left wide open and calcium floods in leading to it's calcification. Loss of magnesium leads to a relentless increase of sodium and calcium which ultimately becomes the greatest form of cellular "Stress." Dominance of calcium over magnesium produces symptoms of muscle spasm. Migraines, eyelid twitch, heart flutters, back aches, premenstrual tension, leg cramps and constipation are all linked to calcium overload. Excessive calcium may also result in kidney stones and heart valve calcifications. Therefore, the ratio of calcium to magnesium has to be 1:1, as compared with a 5:1 to 15:1 ratio in present-day diets. The countries that have the highest mortality rates in the world are the Scandinavian countries and New Zealand where more calcium is consumed from dairy products, while for comparison the lowest mortality rates in the world are in Portugal and Japan where calcium-rich dairy products are not consumed regularly.

Strong Antioxident, Healthy Immune System & Cancer Prevention - Protects body from Reactive oxygen species (ROS - Oxygen free radicals, Peroxides, and Singlet oxygen.) On an ongoing basis the cells in our body become old, die and are replaced with new cells. In a diet lacking essential minerals and vitamins, molecules in the body lose electrons and become free radicals. These free radicals attack healthy cells to take back electrons damaging even more cells. As the cell’s efficiency degenerates in long term, the genetic material in the cell gets damaged or changes, its processes go wrong and produce mutations. Magnesium deficiency can lead directly to cancer.

Maintains Normal Muscle and Nerve Function - Magnesium is a muscle relaxant, while calcium is a muscle constrictor. Low magnesium intake is associated with muscle spasm, tremors and convulsions. Athletes sometimes use magnesium to increase energy and endurance.

Strong Bones & Osteoporosis Prevention - In order to develop strong and durable bones, the human body requires 18 different nutrients other than just Calcium. The most important of those elements is magnesium which activates alkaline phosphates, the much needed enzyme that facilitates the best bone cell activity and strong bone formation. Diets that provide recommended levels of magnesium are beneficial for bone health, bone metabolism and osteoporosis.

Regulating Blood Sugars & Obesity prevention- Magnesium plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism. It also influences the release and activity of insulin, the hormone that helps control blood glucose (sugar) levels. Low blood levels of magnesium (hypomagnesemia) are frequently seen in individuals with type 2 diabetes. If there is not enough magnesium to do this job, both insulin and glucose become elevated. The excess glucose gets stored as fat and contributes to obesity.

Prevents Brain Disorders - Magnesium is essential for proper electrical and neurotransmitter function in the brain. It help prevents cognitive decline and improve brain plasticity to better deal with stress and anxiety.

Promote Healthy Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Health - Epidemiologic evidence suggests that magnesium may play an important role in regulating blood pressure. A diet with high magnesium, potassium, and calcium, and low sodium and fat is ideal for loweingr blood pressure. Optimal blood levels of magnesium lowers risk of coronary heart disease, reduce the risk of having a stroke and abnormal heart rhythms.



Magnesium is indicative in playing a role in the prevention and/or treatment of the following health conditions:

Alcoholism
Anxieity & Depression
Angina pectoris
Arrhythmia
Asthma
Autism
Chronic fatigue
Congenital heart disease
Congestive heart failure
Coronary artery disease
Diabetes
Eclampsia
Epilepsy
Glaucoma
Heart attack
HIV/AIDS
Hypertension
Hypertriglyceridemia
Inflammatory bowel disease
Migraine
Multiple sclerosis
Osteoporosis
Peptic ulcers
PMS
Pre-eclampsia
Raynaud's syndrome
Systemic lupus erythematosus


Symptoms due to a lack of magnesium have three categories.
Early symptoms:
Anorexia
Apathy
Confusion
Fatigue
Insomnia
Irritability
Muscle twitching
Poor memory
Reduced ability to learn

Moderate deficiency symptoms:
Heart (cardiovascular) changes
Rapid heartbeat

Severe deficiency:
Continued muscle contraction
Delirium
Numbness
Seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)
Tingling

Testing
Since 99 percent of magnesium resides inside living cells, blood serum levels are not a good indicator of magnesium deficiency. Ionized magnesium testing is the only effective way of diagnosing accurate magnesium levels in the body.


Who may need extra magnesium?

- Some medicines may result in magnesium deficiency diuretics, antibiotics, and medications used to treat cancer (anti-neoplastic medication).

- Individuals with poorly-controlled diabetes may benefit from magnesium supplements because of increased magnesium loss in urine associated with hyperglycemia.

- Magnesium supplementation may be indicated for persons with alcoholism. Low blood levels of magnesium occur in 30% to 60% of alcoholics, and in nearly 90% of patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal.

- Individuals with chronic malabsorptive problems such as Crohn's disease, gluten sensitive enteropathy, regional enteritis, and intestinal surgery may lose magnesium through diarrhea and fat malabsorption.

- Individuals with chronically low blood levels of potassium and calcium may have an underlying problem with magnesium deficiency. Magnesium supplements may help correct the potassium and calcium deficiencies.

- Older adults are at increased risk for magnesium deficiency as magnesium absorption decreases and renal excretion of magnesium increases in older adults. Seniors are also more likely to be taking drugs that interact with magnesium.

Food Sources
The absolute best source of magnesium is raw organic cacao. Yes, healthy high quality chocolate is extremely rich in magnesium!

Other good sources of this essential mineral are green vegetables because of their content of chlorophyll. The center of the chlorophyll molecule contains magnesium. Foods that are high in fiber are generally high in magnesium. Dietary sources of magnesium include legumes (such as soybeans, baked beans, lentils and peanuts) whole grains (In refined and processed grains, the magnesium-rich germ and bran are removed), vegetables (especially broccoli, spinach, squash, and green leafy vegetables), seeds, and nuts (especially almonds). Many fish (such as halibut and cod) contain magnesium. Other sources include dairy products, meats, and coffee. Water with a high mineral content, or “hard” water, is also a source of magnesium.

A great source of trace minerals, which are important for many of your body's functions, is Himalayan Crystal Salt, which contains all 84 elements found in your body.

Note: Many antacids and laxatives contain magnesium. When frequently taken in large doses, these drugs can inadvertently lead to excessive magnesium consumption and hypermagnesemia, which refers to elevated levels of magnesium in blood.