Magnesium's Importance Far Greater Than Previously Imagined

Magnesium's Importance Far Greater Than Previously Imagined

Calcium deficiency is a common nutritional concern, but how many folks consider the vital importance of magnesium in human health and disease?  

New research published in the journal BMC Bioinformatics indicates that magnesium's role in human health and disease is far more significant and complicated than previously imagined.

While it is well known that all living things require magnesium, and that it is found in over 300 enzymes in the human body, including those enzymes utilizing or synthesizing ATP (the molecular unit of currency for energy transfer), the new studied titled, "3,751 magnesium binding sites have been detected on human proteins," indicates that a deficiency of magnesium may profoundly affect a far wider range of biological structures than previously understood.[i]

The proteome, or entire set of proteins expressed by the human genome, contains well over 100,000 distinct protein structures, despite the fact that there are believed to be only 20,300 protein-coding genes in the human genome.  

The discovery of the "magneseome," as its being called, adds additional complexity to the picture, indicating that the presence or absence of adequate levels of this basic mineral may epigenetically alter the expression and behavior of the proteins in our body, thereby altering the course of both health and disease.

Indeed, modern medicine and nutrition fixates primarily on calcium deficiency (due, in part, to the WHO's highly unscientific definition of osteoporosis), even in the face of accumulating peer-reviewed research indicating that excess calcium consumption can greatly increase cardiac morbidity and mortality.  

Magnesium Research

Research relevant to magnesium has been accumulating for the past 40 years at a steady rate of approximately 2,000 new  studies a year. Our database project has indexed well over 100 health benefits of magnesium thus far.  For the sake of brevity, we will address seven key therapeutic applications for magnesium as follows:

  • Fibromyalgia: Not only is magnesium deficiency common in those diagnosed with fibromyalgia, [ii] [iii] but relatively low doses of magnesium (50 mg), combined with malic acid in the form of magnesium malate, has been clinically demonstrated to improve pain and tenderness in those to which it was administered.[iv]
  • Atrial Fibrillation: A number of studies now exist showing that magnesium supplementation reduce atrial fibrillation, either by itself, or in combination with conventional drug agents.[v]
  • Diabetes, Type 2: Magnesium deficiency is common in type 2 diabetics, at an incidence of 13.5 to 47.7% according to a 2007 study.[vi]   Research has also shown that type 2 diabetics with peripheral neuropathy and coronary artery disease have lower intracellular magnesium levels.[vii] Oral magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce plasma fasting glucose and raising HDL cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes.[viii] It has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects.[ix]
  • Premenstrual Syndrome: Magnesium deficiency has been observed in women affected by premenstrual syndrome.[x] It is no surprise therefore  that it has been found to alleviate premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention,[xi] as well as broadly reducing associated symptoms by approximately 34% in women, aged 18-45, given 250 mg tablets for a 3-month observational period.[xii] When combined with B6, magnesium supplementation has been found to improve anxiety-related premenstrual symptoms.[xiii]
  • Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: Low serum magnesium concentrations predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.[xiv]  There are a wide range of ways that magnesium may confer its protective effects. It may act like a calcium channel blocker,[xv] it is hypotensive,[xvi] it is antispasmodic (which may protect against coronary artery spasm),[xvii] and anti-thrombotic.[xviii] Also, the heart muscle cells are exceedingly dense in mitochondria (as high as 100 times more per cell than skeletal muscle), the "powerhouses" of the cell," which require adequate magnesium to produce ATP via the citric acid cycle.
  • Migraine Disorders: Blood magnesium levels have been found to be significantly lower in those who suffer from migraine attacks.[xix] [xx] A recent Journal of Neural Transmission article titled, "Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium," pointed out that routine blood tests do not accurately convey the true body magnesium stores since less than 2% is in the measurable, extracellular space, "67% is in the bone and 31% is located intracellularly."[xxi] The authors argued that since "routine blood tests are not indicative of magnesium status, empiric treatment with at least oral magnesium is warranted in all migraine sufferers." Indeed, oral magnesium supplementation has been found to reduce the number of headache days in children experiencing frequent migranous headaches, [xxii] and when combined with l-carnitine, is effective at reducing migraine frequency in adults, as well.[xxiii]
  • Aging: While natural aging is a healthy process, accelerated aging has been noted to be a feature of magnesium deficiency,[xxiv] especially evident in the context of long space-flight missions where low magnesium levels are associated with cardiovascular aging over 10 times faster than occurs on earth.[xxv] Magnesium supplementation has been shown to reverse age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans.[xxvi] One of the possible mechanisms behind magnesium deficiency associated aging is that magnesium is needed to stabilize DNA and promotes DNA replication. It is also involved in healing up of the ends of the chromosomes after they are divided in mitosis.[xxvii]

Best Sources of Magnesium In The Diet

The best source of magnesium is from food, and one way to identify magnesium-containing foods are those which are green, i.e. chlorophyll rich. Chlorophyll, which enable plants to capture solar energy and convert it into metabolic energy, has a magnesium atom at its center. Without magnesium, in fact, plants could not utilize the sun's light energy.  

Magnesium, however, in its elemental form is colorless, and many foods that are not green contain it as well. The point is that when found complexed with food cofactors, it is absorbed and utilized more efficiently than in its elemental form, say, extracted from limestone in the form of magnesium oxide.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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FIBROMYALGIA WARNING: Be careful of high oxalate sources



While it's true that dark leafy greens and nuts are rich in magnesium they're also often high in oxalates.  A high oxalate diet (and over absorption of oxalates) is suspected by many to be a chief cause of fibromyalgia.  I've been on a low-oxalate diet for a year now and it's made a HUGE difference.  Magnesium citrate (in supplement form) is recommended. It actually bonds with the oxalates in food to usher them out. 

What if Healthy… Isn’t? By KerryAnn...

http://www.cookingtf.com/what-if-healthy-isnt/
 

That said, I've seen many a case of Heart arrhythmias 'fixed' almost overnight when someone started taking a good quality magnesium supplement. Make sure to combine it with a food source of potassium (veggies, most fruits, dairy) for the best absorption. 

another source of calcium?



Can you get extra magnesium from Epsom Salt baths?

Magnesium



Thank you for this article. While it is very important to include Mg in your diet, if you are like me, then the reason you are deficient is largely because of eating wheat/gluten! Once I removed this from my diet, and supplemented Mg for a while, I was able to rebalance, and as my digestive tract heals, I need less Mg in the form of a supplement as I seem to be able to utilize what is coming from my foods better. Mg is also very important for those who are constipated. I don't understand the mechanisms, but it works. It should be taken to tolerance level (overdose causes the opposite effect). It is also important to keeping an even keel on anxiety/depression/stress (for adults) and ADD-type mood disorders for children....it has a calming effect. The doctor I see told me that Mg supplements resolve the majority of ADD/ADHD symptoms they see in kids, and we are seeing the result in our own children, and quite rapidly too. I believe many of these kids are not able to tolerate gluten and/or pasteurized dairy products, and this leads to damage in the intestinal balance, as well as ability to absorb what they need. It is a crime that these kids are instead being drugged with products like Ritalin.

Mg



Magnesium is also an electrolyte and pH buffer and as such helps maintain body charge and oxygen penetration...the common denominator in all the above mentioned conditions and more.

Ocean of life



Let us not forget that mothers womb attempts to recreate the ocean during the first 13 weeks of gestation. She will rob magnesium from her own cells to accomplish the task, exhausting her Mg+ATP stores. ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the main source of energy in cells, must be bound to a magnesium ion in order to be biologically active. What is called ATP is often actually Mg-ATP. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_in_biology.

Magnesium chloride (oil) is an excellent form of topical application for the 90%+ of the population that are magnesium deficient. Dr. Sircus and Dr. Barbara Hendel have written extensively on this subject.

The Mag Oil I prefer is found at http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-ultra-dr-barbara-hendels-magnesium-oil-64-fl-oz-1-9-l-liquid

Dr. Sircus has an extensive website about Magnesium in human physiology at  http://magnesiumforlife.com/

Sea-crop also provides trace minerals for humans and plants that may not otherwise be available, at a reasonable price http://sea-crop.com/.

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