Magnesium and Body Functioning
Magnesium is one of the many minerals that are essential in improving overall health. It is known as the fourth most abundant mineral found in the human body. Around 50 percent of the magnesium in the body can be found in the bones. Magnesium is also important in protein and fatty acid formation, making new cells, activating B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood, and forming ATP (energy the body requires). Insulin secretion and function also require magnesium.
Magnesium is a ubiquitous mineral that has been found in abundance in the human diet for countless generations. Over the past half century, this essential nutrient has been systematically weaned from the vast majority of leafy greens and vegetables due to poor soil conditions and the rapid rise in consumption of processed foods where any required nutrients have been removed. Our intake of this essential mineral has declined sharply due to modern day food processing which can strip away up to 80% of the magnesium. And the reliance on fast foods, in place of mixed diets containing green vegetables greatly reduces magnesium intake. Official figures show that up to 72% of women and 42% of men receive less than the recommended level of magnesium.
Research from around the world is implicating magnesium intakes with a range of health issues including the health of the heart, the loss of bone strength as we age, health of the lungs, our vitality and energy levels and, in women, the monthly changes of hormone levels.
Magnesium has several important metabolic functions. It plays a role in the production and transport of energy. It is also important for the contraction and relaxation of muscles. Magnesium is involved in the synthesis of protein, and it assists in the functioning of certain enzymes in the body.
Magnesium is an essential mineral required to perform more than 300 critical biochemical enzymatic reactions within the human body. Optimal circulating magnesium levels are well known to promote cardiovascular health.
Magnesium and Nerve Functioning
Many health-minded individuals will want to supplement with magnesium to help prevent cognitive decline and improve brain plasticity to better deal with stress and anxiety. Anxiety disorders, including phobias and posttraumatic stress disorder, are among the most common mental maladies. This has led researchers on a quest to find non-pharmaceutical therapies to provide relief from these conditions that result in countless hours of lost productivity in the workplace and that cause billions to be spent on useless prescription medications.
Emerging evidence published in The Journal of Neuroscience explains the importance of this mineral to promote proper electrical and neurotransmitter function in the brain.
Researchers have found that magnesium is necessary to dissipate the effects of traumatic stress that can occur due to intense episodes of fear or anxiety. Writing in the journal Magnesium Research, scientists posit that optimal levels of the mineral may support energy-generating functions that control storage and retrieval of memories.
How Colloidal Magnesium can help:
- Relax muscles and ease athletic injury.
- Boost energy production and reduce fatigue.
- Promote healthy, restful sleep.
- Increase calmness and lessen stress.
- Keep blood pressure within normal limits.
- Maintain healthy blood sugar levels within normal limits.
- Encourage regularity and healthy digestion.
- Dissolve calcium buildup in joints, muscles, and arteries.
- Support healthy breathing and a healthy heart.
- Lessen or even eliminate headaches.
- Reduce symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).
- Build normal bone structure.
Why Colloidal Magnesium?
Not all magnesium supplements are created equal. There are many different forms of magnesium, each with a varying degree of absorbability and side-effects. For optimal health, many doctors recommend a daily intake of at least 500 milligrams of magnesium. Dr. Stewart recommends 1000 milligrams a day.
Cheaper forms of magnesium such as magnesium oxide or magnesium chloride — which are found at most grocery stores, drug stores and health food stores — make it very difficult to take a full 500mg's (let alone 1000mg's) without the side-effects of stomach rejection and diarrhea.
Colloidal Magnesium however is easy on your stomach, and also safe and super absorbent.
We use only 99.99% pure magnesium electrodes.
In most cases, magnesium works best in combination with vitamin B6 and zinc.
Toxic symptoms from increased magnesium intake are not common because the body eliminates excess amounts. Magnesium excess almost always occurs only when magnesium is supplemented as a medication.
An Alkaline Earth
Magnesium is the second lightest member of the alkaline earth metals. It is sometimes combined with aluminum to form a lightweight alloy. Magnesium forms a wide range of ionic compounds. Some common magnesium compounds include milk of magnesia, which is a suspension of magnesium hydroxide, and Epsom salts, which is magnesium sulfate hexahydrate. The ionic compounds of magnesium generally tend to be more soluble than the heavier members of the group. Magnesium can also form covalent bonds with carbon, an example of which is the Grignard reagent phenylmagnesium bromide. Chlorophyll, the compound responsible for the green color of leaves and for photosynthesis, is a coordination compound containing magnesium.
Magnesium is one of the least reactive of the alkaline earth metals. If heated it will react with water to form magnesium hydroxide and hydrogen gas, but this reaction occurs very slowly. Magnesium ribbon burns in air with a brilliant white light to form magnesium oxide. In fact, old-fashioned flash bulbs contained magnesium wire in an atmosphere of pure oxygen. Magnesium will also react with any of the halogens to form the corresponding magnesium halide, and will react with nitrogen to form magnesium nitride at high temperatures. When heated with sulfur, magnesium sulfide is formed. Magnesium reacts readily with acids and displaces the hydrogen from the acid as hydrogen gas.
Common Sources of Magnesium
Common sources of magnesium include seawater, and dolomite rock which is a mixture of calcium and magnesium carbonates.
Magnesium is generally obtained by the electrolysis of magnesium halides. In the production of magnesium from seawater the magnesium is precipitated as the hydroxide and converted to the chloride by reaction with hydrochloric acid. The magnesium chloride is recovered by evaporation of the solution, and magnesium metal is obtained by electrolysis of the molten salt.
Most dietary magnesium comes from vegetables, particularly dark-green, leafy vegetables. Other foods that are good sources of magnesium are soy products, such as soy flour and tofu; legumes and seeds; nuts (such as almonds and cashews); whole grains (such as brown rice and millet); and fruits or vegetables (such as bananas, dried apricots, and avocado,) seafood, and chocolate (although no one food contains very much).
Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in your body. Early symptoms of magnesium deficiency include body aches, leg cramps, fatigue or low energy, restless sleep, headaches and migraines, muscle twitches, chronic constipation, insulin resistance, severe PMS and more. Left untreated, a magnesium deficiency can lead to more life-threatening conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and others. Low magnesium levels predict heart disease risk and increase mortality by 50 percent. It is found that up to 80% of people have a magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium deficiency is rare. The symptoms include muscle weakness, fatigue, hyper-excitability, and sleepiness. Deficiency of magnesium can occur in alcoholics or people whose magnesium absorption is decreased due to surgery, burns, or problems with mal-absorption (inadequate absorption of nutrients from the intestinal tract). Certain medications or low blood levels of calcium may be associated with magnesium deficiency.
Mal-absorption will also occur as a result of bowel surgery and excessive kidney loss from diuretics or alcohol are further causes. Diabetes mellitus, with its increased kidney excretion, may also prove a source of loss, which is worsened by the transport of magnesium into the tissues by insulin.
Magnesium Deficiency symptoms - three categories:
•Early symptoms include irritability, anorexia, fatigue, insomnia, and muscle twitching. Other symptoms include poor memory, apathy, confusion, and reduced ability to learn.
•Moderate deficiency symptoms consist of rapid heartbeat and other cardiovascular changes.
•Severe deficiency symptoms could lead to tingling, numbness, and a sustained contraction of the muscles, along with hallucinations and delirium.
Problems of deficiency
Magnesium deficiency does us no good at all. This is particularly true of blood pressure and heart disease; a deficiency is found to be associated with hypertension and an increased risk of heart attack. Its interaction with calcium is thought to play a role in the formation of coronary heart disease and thrombus formation due to increased platelet stickiness.
To become deficient in magnesium requires a chronic lack of input because the kidney is very good at maintaining blood levels by shutting down excretion. So it becomes a matter of concern to osteopaths and naturopaths treating chronic fatigue.
Illnesses will cause magnesium deficiency in their own right. As noted before, one cause of deficiency is alcoholism. It is also associated with diabetes mellitus due to the increased urinary excretion and, as nutritionists at the Harvard School of Public Health drew attention to in a study (1), a significant increase in the risk of type II diabetes where there was an initial low intake of magnesium. It also impairs the secretion of parathyroid hormone and causes impairment of liver function as it progresses on to cirrhosis.
Problems to be expected from deficiency include a general fatigue and muscle weakness, with consequent aching in muscles and joints. The effect may be to cause muscle cramps and spasm, and this may be seen in hypertension particularly; and by the same token will affect heart muscle relaxation, causing arrhythmias. Other effects will be personality change, effects on the central nervous system, especially lack of coordination and an effect on gut motility. It has also been linked to diabetic retinopathy.
A study in 1994 (2) suggested that magnesium deficiency was associated with fibromyalgia, especially combined with selenium and thiamine deficiency. This was supported by a Belgian study in 1997 (3), which showed half of their chronic fatigue patients were magnesium-deficient.
The clinical use of magnesium supplements is quite widespread and injections have been used in the treatment of ME/CFS disorders, although reports of its usefulness have been conflicting. A history of excessive exercise and possible dietary insufficiency, together with symptoms of fatigue and muscle weakness, may engender suspicion.
In general, estimation of serum magnesium may be unhelpful. Since it is very inexpensive and really very safe, there is a lot to be said for a trial of treatment. Oral salts are, of course, the easiest, although not very well absorbed. Magnesium chloride, the citrate, the gluconate and the sulphate are most commonly used. Injections weekly for 10 weeks have been used with some benefit being claimed. Since its main indication is in the relief of fatigue disorders it should certainly be thought of – but only in the context of any present thyroid and adrenal insufficiency being reliably treated first.
As a matter of interest, Laylander (4), writing about chronic fatigue, underlined the double effect of fluoride excess and magnesium deficiency on enzyme systems. When we learn that fizz-drinking, poorly fed children in Birmingham, fluoridated 40 years (5), are now developing Type II Diabetes, our anxieties become sharply focused; perhaps we can understand the thinking that led the FDA in America to being accused, through their own negligence, of causing millions of needless deaths. If an informed public anger, mindful of this, would challenge the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (who claim that fluoride, whether medicine or poison, does not fall within their brief), perhaps the disgraceful science that backs fluoride could be shown up for the fraud that it is.
Magnesium toxicity is not to be expected and is likely only as a result of very excessive intake of magnesium-containing supplements; but the effect on the heart, causing arrhythmias, may be fatal.
These are the recommended daily requirements of magnesium:
◦1-3 years old: 80 milligrams
◦4-8 years old: 130 milligrams
◦9-13 years old: 240 milligrams
◦14-18 years old (boys): 410 milligrams
◦14-18 years old (girls): 360 milligrams
•Adult females: 310 milligrams
•Pregnancy: 360-400 milligrams
•Breastfeeding women: 320-360 milligrams
•Adult males: 400 milligrams
When most people think of magnesium they probably think of fireworks, but in fact the element is quite extraordinary and crucially important for the proper working of the body. Even so, the average person may have no more than 1 or 2 oz of it at best in their entire body. Half of this amount is within the bones (magnesium supports bone mineralization); much of the remainder is in the soft tissues and only one percent in the blood itself. As with calcium, magnesium in the bones acts as a reservoir for use in times of need.
It is generally reckoned that we need 300 - 400 mg per day, although 450 mg per day is a better target. The fundamental activity of magnesium resides in the way it is needed for hundreds of enzyme systems. In the production of energy from glucose, through the tricarboxylic cycle, adenosine diphosphate (ADP) is uprated to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and magnesium catalyses this crucial energy reaction. Magnesium also catalyses synthesis of protein, fat and nucleic acids, together with cellular membrane transport systems.
Its manifold tasks in keeping us alive don’t end there. Together with calcium, magnesium gets involved with muscle contraction – calcium promoting contraction and magnesium inhibiting it. And the two minerals partner blood-clotting in the same way. As an extension of this, both calcium and magnesium have a role to play in the maintenance of blood pressure and the mechanics of breathing. It is also one of the many nutrients supporting the immune system.
In 1977 the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) stated that 80 percent of people in the USA were deficient in magnesium and predicted a death rate of over 3 million in the next 21 years from this cause alone. (As a result, the FDA was charged, in a Californian lawsuit, with ‘genocide’ in 1998 for failing to prevent this epidemic of deficiency.) In 1997 the NAS, in a follow-up study, confirmed that most Americans are magnesium-deficient.
The problem is likely to be over-processing of foodstuffs and the excessive consumption of fizzy drinks that contain phosphates, which compete with magnesium for absorption. Another cause of deficiency is an excess fitness regime. Quite simply, too much can be lost in body sweat and unreasonable exhaustion should ring a warning bell, as the British Olympic Paula Radcliffe discovered when she was forced to take magnesium injections (Times, January 21).
1.Lopez-Ridaura R, et al. Magnesium Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Men and Women. Diabetes Care 2004:27:134-40.
2.Eisinger J, et al. Selenium and magnesium status in fibromyalgia. Magnes Res 1994 Dec; 7(3-4):285-8.
3.Moorkens G, Manuel Y, Keenoy B, et al. Magnesium deficit in a sample of the Belgian population presenting with chronic fatigue. Magnes Res 1997;10:329-37.
4.Laylander JA. A Nutrient/Toxin Interaction Theory of the Etiology and Pathogenesis of Chronic Pain-Fatigue Syndromes, Parts I & II. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 1999; 5:67-126.
5.Etisham S, et al. Prevalence of Type II Diabetes in Children in Birmingham. Letter to Ed. BMJ 2001; 322:1428.
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