Magnesium is involved in many essential metabolic processes. Most Magnesium is found inside of cells, where it activates enzymes necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids. By countering the stimulative effect of calcium, Magnesium plays a very important role in neuromuscular contractions. It also helps regulate the acid-alkaline balance in our bodies.
Magnesium helps promote absorption and metabolism of other minerals, like calcium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium. It also helps utilize the B-complex, Vitamins C and E in our bodies. It aids during bone growth and is necessary for proper functioning of the nerves and muscles, including the heart. Evidence suggests that Magnesium is also associated with the regulation of body temperature. Sufficient amounts of Magnesium are needed in the conversion of blood sugar into energy.
Magnesium appears to be widely distributed in foods, being found chiefly in fresh green vegetables, where it is an essential element of chlorophyll. Other excellent sources are raw, unmilled wheat germ, soybeans, figs, corn, apples, and oil-rich seeds and nuts, especially almonds. Dolomite, a natural dietary supplement, is also rich in Magnesium and is a good source of calcium and essential trace minerals.
Absorption & Storage
Nearly 50% of the average daily intake of Magnesium is absorbed in the small intestine. The rate of absorption is influenced by the parathyroid hormones, the rate of water absorption, and the amounts of calcium, phosphate, and lactose (milk sugar) in our bodies. When the intake of magnesium is low, the rate of absorption may be as high as 75%; when the intake is high, the rate of absorption may be as low as 25%.
The adrenal gland secretes a hormone called aldosterone, which helps regulate the rate of Magnesium excretion through the kidneys. Losses tend to increase with the use of diuretics and with the consumption of alcohol.
Dosage & Toxicity
The National Research Council recommends a daily Magnesium intake of 350mg for the adult male, and 300mg for the adult female. The amount increases to 450mg during pregnancy and lactation.
Evidence suggests that the balance between calcium and Magnesium is especially important. If calcium consumption is high, Magnesium intake needs to be high also. The amounts of protein, phosphorus, and vitamin D in the diet also influence the Magnesium requirement. The need for Magnesium increases when the blood protein is high. Magnesium Oxide is preferred over dolomite, but if dolomite is taken, additional supplementation of hydrochloric acid is needed to ensure that the dolomite is properly dissolved. Because Magnesium acts as an alkali, it should not be taken after meals.
Large amounts of Magnesium can be toxic, especially if the calcium intake is low and the phosphorus intake is high. Excessive Magnesium is usually excreted adequately, but in the event of kidney failure, there is a greater danger of toxicity because the rate of excretion will be much lower than normal.
Deficiency Effects & Symptoms
Magnesium deficiency can occur in patients with diabetes, pancreatitis, chronic alcoholism, kwashiorkor, kidney malfunction, a high-carb diet, or severe malabsorption as caused by chronic diarrhea or vomiting. Some hormones when used as drugs can upset metabolism and cause local deficiencies.
Magnesium deficiency is thought to be closely related to heart disease. An inadequate supply of this mineral may result in the formation of clots in the heart or brain, and may contribute to calcium deposits in the kidneys, blood vessels, and heart. Magnesium naturally regulates blood pressure.
Symptoms of Magnesium deficiency may include apprehensiveness, muscle twitches, tremors, confusion or disorientation. The first step in treating deficiency, especially among children, is to eliminate milk from the diet. Calciferol (synthetic vitamin D), like flourine, tends to bind with Magnesium and carry it out of the body; since milk contains large amounts of this substance, it contributes to the deficiency. This is another good reason to supplement the diet with natural fish-liver oil instead of synthetic vitamin D, which is ten times more active as a magnesium binding agent.
Beneficial Effects on Ailments
Magnesium is vital in helping prevent heart attacks and severe coronary thrombosis. Magnesium seems to be important in controlling the manner in which electrical charges are utilized by the body to induce the passage of nutrients in and out of our cells. It has been successfully used in treating prostate troubles, polio and depression. It has also proved beneficial in the treatment of neuromuscular disorders, nervousness, tantrums, sensitivity to noise and hand tremors.
Magnesium also helps to protect the accumulation of calcium deposits in the urinary tract. It makes the calcium and phosphorus soluble in the urine and prevents them from turning into hard stones. Adequate amounts of magnesium can help reduce blood cholesterol and keep the arteries healthy.
Magnesium, not calcium, helps form the kind of hard tooth enamel that resists decay. No matter how much calcium is ingested, only a soft enamel will be formed unless Magnesium is present. The Magnesium supplement dolomite is beneficial in fighting tooth decay.
Magnesium therapy has been successful in treating diarrhea, vomiting, nervousness and kwashiorkor. Since Magnesium works to preserve the health of the nervous system, it has been successfully used in controlling convulsions in pregnant women and epileptic patients. Because Magnesium is very alkaline, it acts as an antacid and can be used in place of over-the-counter antacid pills.
Magnesium also plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism, so it influences the release and activity of insulin. Low blood levels of Magnesium are commonly found in those with type 2 diabetes.
Magnesium May Be Beneficial For The Following Ailments
- Blood/Circulatory system - (Arteriosclerosis, Atherosclerosis, Cholesterol levels (high), Diabetes, Hypertension)
- Bones - (Fractures, Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, Rickets)
- Bowel - (Colitis, Diarrhea)
- Brain/Nervous system - (Alcoholism, Epilepsy, Mental Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, Nervousness, Neuritis, Parkinson's disease)
- Heart - (Arteriosclerosis, Atherosclerosis, Hypertension)
- Intestine - (Celiac disease)
- Joint - (Arthritis)
- Kidney - (Kidney Stones/Renal Calculi, Nephritis)
- Leg - (Leg Cramps...Magnesium Oil applied onto the skin (transdermally) can give instantaneous relief in many cases)
- Muscles - (Muscle Tension/Excitability)
- Skin - (Psoriasis)
- Stomach - (Vomiting)
- General - (Alcoholism, Backache)