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Posted on 12-13-2016

Magnesium is a multifaceted mineral that plays many valuable roles within the body. Here is a list of just a few areas that magnesium helps and why it is vital to get good sources through your nutrition and supplementation.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 metabolic reactions within the body. It plays a role in helping with optimal performance of every cell, tissue, bone, muscle and organ systems. It is important in both physical and mental health. Most of the food found in our super markets is depleted of many important minerals including Magnesium and some of our habits (DIETARY COMPONENTS, PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION) can interfere and limit magnesium absorption.  There is an estimate that 75% of Americans have daily magnesium intakes less than the RDA (WHO. Calcium and Magnesium in Drinking Water: Public Health significance. Geneva. World Health Organization Press; 2009)

Why is magnesium so important you ask? Here is a list of some of the roles played by Magnesium.

1. Energy: We make a molecule called ATP within our bodies which is used for energy. However ATP is useless without Magnesium because the synthesis of the Mg-ATP complex is one of the enzymatic reactions when making complete ATP.  ATP MUST bind with Magnesium to become active!

(Acta Crystallogr D Struct Biol.2016 Aug:72(Pt 8): 912-21.Structural basis for the binding of succinyl-Coa synthetase. Juang J & Fraser ME)

2. Antioxidant help: One co-factor property of Magnesium is that it is required for the synthesis of Glutathione, one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants. Glutathione plays a role in fighting free radical damage and helps to remove them from the body.

(Drug Chem Toxicol.2016 May 5:1-10. Comparative study of ant fibrotic activity of some magnesium-containing supplments on experimental liver toxicity. Molecular study. El-Tantawy WH et.al)

3. Nerve Impulse Conduction: Our nervous system is the master system of the body and is constantly communication with the cells, tissues, muscles and organ of the body.  Magnesium has been shown to optimize impulse transmission because of it’s ability to regulate ion exchange in nerve cells.

4. Muscle Function: One of the MOST IMPORTANT functions is the maintenance of healthy muscle function. Calcium and magnesium help to regulate the contraction/relaxation cycle of the muscle. Magnesium is responsible for relaxation. It can be an excellent support for muscle cramps

5. Immune system Function: Magnesium helps with the production and activation of white blood cells (the immune system army cells of the body).

6. Healthy teeth and bones: Magnesium helps to build strong bones, however the process of it’s influence is still up for debate. However it is clear that magnesium is needed for reactions involved with bone and tooth health. A recent study showed that treatment of the human tooth with solutions saturated with magnesium induced positive changes to the outer protective enamel.

(Acta Biomater. 2016 Jun ; 37: 174-83. Diagenesis-inspired reaction of magnesium ions with surface enamel mineral modifies properties of human teeth. Abdallah MN et al.)

7. Inflammation Support:  Magnesium concentration within the body has been correlated with stress. It has been reported that a moderate deficiency of Mg may lead/contribute to chronic inflammatory stress. Low levels of Mg were associated with a higher level of CRP (C-reactive protein, which is a by-product of stress). Another study showed that supplementation with magnesium improved blood and metabolic inflammatory markers.

8. Restful sleep:  We need restful sleep in order to give our body the time to repair from the day. Stress can disrupt the circadian rhythms that affect sleep, body temperature and hormone concentration. If you do not have the adequate amount of magnesium to buffer our stress hormones and molecules then sleep gets disrupted. There was a recent study with 100 men and women ages 51-58 who suffered from poor quality sleep. They were given either 320 mg and the other half received a placebo supplement. The magnesium group had lower C reactive protein (inflammatory marker) and better restful sleep compared to that of the placebo group. Magnesium can help increase deep levels of sleep, regulate brain patterns and improve abnormal brain wave patterns associated with insomnia.  

(Nielson, FH et al. Mag sup improves indicators of low magnesium status and inflammatory stress in adults older than 51 years with poor quality sleep. Magnes Res 2010; 23(4): 158-168)

9. Mental Health: Magnesium may positively affect mental status and has been used for patients suffering from depression. Studies are now showing depressed patients have been linked to lower levels of magnesium.  Magnesium buffers our stress hormones and can reduce the damaging effects. Inversely, as you increase stress you deplete magnesium concentrations if you are not adequately ingesting enough to refill your stores.

(Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016 Jun; 171(2): 275-82. Serum magnesium status in patient subjects with depression in the City of Yazd in Iran 2013-2014. Rajizadeh A. Et al.)

10. Healthy Vitamin D Levels: Vitamin D is a very important vitamin for optimal health. Magnesium activates vitamin D so it is very beneficial to take the supplements at the same time.

 (Scientific World Journal. 2015: 318595. Vitamin D, Essential Minerals and Toxic elements. Schwalfenberg GK & Genuis SJ)

This is just 10 of the many reasons why Magnesium is such a valuable mineral. There is a number of ways to get Magnesium in your diet. Supplementation is one. I use the brand Calm (Magnesium Citrate) however there is a number of different brands that provide a high quality supplement.  You can also increase your mineral intake with good quality nutrition. Foods rich in magnesium: Almonds, cashews, avocado, sprouts, dark leafy green vegetables (especially artichokes), fish (Salmon), beans, yogurt and bananas to name a few.

(Always check with you care provider prior to adding a new supplement into your regimen)

Info source: Nutri-west

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