Magnesium is responsible for converting light energy from the sun into biochemical energy for life process on earth (center of the chlorophyll molecule). It is a direct cofactor in over 300 enzymatic reactions involving DNA and RNA synthesis, protein synthesis, glucose uptake and metabolism and has a major role in releasing energy from ATP in the body.
It is implicated in hormone synthesis, nerve cell function, digestion and muscle contraction/relaxation, responses of heart and blood vessels and our emotional state. But, only about half of the population gets enough magnesium from the foods they eat. RDAs run from 300-420 mg/day with older folks needing more and for those of us who are under stress.
Magnesium deficiency can induce anxiety and can also cause depression according to Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, Nutritional Magnesium Assn. medical advisory board. “A deficiency of magnesium magnifies anxiety, depression and stress. Serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical that is boosted artificially by some medications, depends on magnesium for its production and function. If the deficit is not corrected anxiety, depression and further health problems can linger.”
Under stress your body pumps magnesium out of the cells and into the blood making normal lab test show you have enough when in fact, you have body-wide depletion. A Magnesium RBC (red blood cell) test can give you better results. If you continue to be stressed out the stress hormones begin to mobilize magnesium from vital tissues such as the heart putting the body in jeopardy. It is a cofactor for potassium and calcium channels so they should be taken in combination to keep a proper balance of these minerals.
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You may not know if you are deficient in magnesium or potassium, but if so, it will have a substantial effect on your health. Magnesium is a co-factor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate biochemical reactions in the body including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation and it is essential to heart health. Studies have shown people have less heart attacks and strokes when they have sufficient levels of magnesium. Diets with good magnesium levels are associated with a significantly lower risk of diabetes as low blood magnesium levels may worsen insulin resistance.
Potassium is needed for proper function of cells, tissues and organs. It is also a required electrolyte that conducts electricity and is essential for nerve transmissions. But, potassium must be balanced with other electrolytes including magnesium. It is also crucial to heart health as well as playing a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction which effects not only muscles but digestion as well. Potassium also plays a role in regulating blood pressure in relationship with sodium. Insufficient potassium is associated with poor bone health and muscular weakness including heart failure and cramping.
According to the NHANES Dietary Survey done from 2007-2010, none of the 17000 participants met their average requirement for potassium and it was estimated that 52% of Americans do not get their required magnesium each day.
Foods high in magnesium are beans and nuts, whole grain bread and green leafy vegetables. Foods high in potassium are squash, yogurt, fish, avocados, beans, green leafy veggies. But if you are concerned that although you eat this you may not get enough, run to the health foods store and get a supplement.
Balanced diets can give us enough magnesium, but as we age we become more susceptible to conditions of the body that create deficiencies and/or are a result of deficiencies.
Magnesium deficiency leads to pathological changes int he immune system that are related to the initiating of an inflammatory response. There is evidence linking low magnesium to aging and age-related diseases due to the lack of sufficient magnesium in Western diets. Diseases of the bowel like Crohn’s and celiac are triggered by low magnesium. Also long-term use of diuretics and other medications can leech magnesium from the body.
The DV for magnesium is 400 mg although specific conditions would warrant increased dosage. Conditions helped by adequate levels of magnesium include, constipation, diabetes, hearing loss, kidney stones, migraines, mitral valve prolapse, osteoporosis, PMS, Hypertension, leg cramps, restless legs, cholesterol levels, and C-reactive protein levels (inflammation). As for supplementation, magnesium citrate seems to have the best absorption, but magnesium oxide is a close second and action gets more of the magnesium into the body per percent absorbed than the citrate. It is also important to note that is is prudent to take calcium with magnesium to facilitate proper utilization. At least 1:1 or 2:1 (mag/cal) ratio.
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Posted in Supplements
Tagged anti-inflammatory, antiaging, celiac, constipation causes, Crohn's, hearing loss, leg cramps, low magnesium symptoms, magnesium, PMS, restless legs
Traditional medical approaches to fostering bone health is to reduce the activity of the osteoclasts. Osteoclasts are the cells that resorb, or break down and absorb, bone tissue back into the body. Osteoclasts are highly specialized cells that must work in perfect synchronization with osteoblasts to maintain the skeletal system. Unfortunately allopathic drugs in reducing the osteoclast activity has the unfortunate effect of not ony preventing bone loss, but also does not foster the renewal of bone. Therefore, the body will be subjected to the increased possibility of microfactures and other factors that weaken bones.
We have found that calcium (particularly eggschell calcium) can improve bone marrow density, but it must be used in conjunction with other co-factors like collagen protein (silicon supplements support this), vitamin K-2 menaquinone-7 and magnesium. The K2 will activate osteocalcin (bone gla protein) a non-collagen protein abundant in bone. Magnesium has been shown to keep calcium in the bones and must be balanced with calcium intake in a 1:1 ratio. In addition a good electrolyte-forming trace-mineral supplement, (www.electroblast.com) that includes boron, manganese, copper, and silica is needed to help remineralize the bone. Vitamin D is well-known as a hormone involved in mineral metabolism and bone growth. It facilitates intestinal absorption of calcium, although it also stimulates absorption of phosphate and magnesium ions. In the absence of vitamin D, dietary calcium is not absorbed at all efficiently. Therefore, vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) supplmentation should be added to your diet if you do not get enough sun nor eat fish. D3 is the natural form of D. D2 is synthetic so we advise going natural.
Information extracted from: K.M. Rynder; “Magnesium, etc.” Jnl of the Am. Geriatrics Soc. 53(11), 1875-80 (2005); K.J. Ruff, “Eggshell, etc.” Clin. Interv. in Aging 4, 235-240 (2009)