Approximately 68% of all magnesium in the
human body is found complexed with calcium and phosphorus in bone salts. About
26% is found in muscle, with the remainder found in soft tissues and body
Magnesium is important as a cofactor for enzymes that
convert adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to adenosine pyrophosphoric acid (ADP),
with the subsequent release of energy. As a constituent of these enzymes,
magnesium is essential to reactions involving the synthesis and metabolism of
carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids.
Magnesium acts to relax muscles after calcium stimulates
contraction. It is also necessary for the attachment of RNA to the
protein-synthesizing ribosomal protein and for the synthesis, degradation, and
stability of DNA.
Magnesium has been termed a natural tranquilizer due to
its therapeutic effect on the nervous symptoms of magnesium
Magnesium absorption occurs in the upper
part of the small intestine and is anywhere from 25% (during high intake) to
70% (at low intake) efficient. Absorption is hindered by the presence of
calcium, alcohol, protein, phosphates, and fats. Vitamin D and lactose intake
enhance magnesium absorption. Urinary excretion of magnesium is carefully
regulated by the kidneys.
Magnesium is essential as a cofactor in the synthesis of
RNA from DNA. It is important in the synthesis and degradation of DNA, and also
plays a vital role in binding messenger RNA to the 70's subunit of the
Magnesium is an essential cofactor in the transfer of a
high energy phosphate group from phosphoenol pyruvate to adenosine
pyrophosphoric acid (ADP), synthesizing adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This is
an important energy-producing step in glycolysis.
Magnesium ions are essential for the activity of amino
peptidases, which are secreted from the mucosal cells in the intestine to aid
in the digestion of proteins.
Magnesium competes with calcium for binding to the
troponin molecule found at regular intervals along actin filaments. Troponin
undergoes a conformation change and a shift in position upon calcium binding,
and hence allows the binding of actin and myosin filaments that occurs prior to
muscle contraction. Because magnesium can compete with calcium for troponin
binding, it can inhibit this contraction mechanism. A supplement with calcium
and magnesium together is not a problem for magnesium absorption if both
minerals are chelated and in a plant-base concentrate. Tests have indicated
that this type of formula does not inhibit magnesium absorption.
Antimicrobial or anti-infective agents such as neomycin,
cycloserin, erythromycin, sulfonamides, tetracycline, penicillin, and
para-aminosalicylic acid, tend to inhibit magnesium absorption.
Various gastrointestinal disorders, such
as diarrhea and vomiting, may result in magnesium deficiencies. Magnesium
supplements can be used in conjunction with rehydration therapy as a
preventative measure against neuromuscular irritability (e.g., tremor and
spasms) which can result from low serum magnesium.
Magnesium is useful and essential in the treatment of
malnutrition in preventing a tetany-like reaction, and in curtailing nervous
symptoms brought on by magnesium deficiencies. Burn victims frequently have
excessive losses of magnesium and supplementation may be advisable.
Magnesium is useful in protection against heart muscle
disease and, in conjunction with vitamin B-6, aids in the removal of kidney
Magnesium is among the trace minerals and vitamins used
in the experimental treatment of autistic behavior.
Magnesium deficiency is associated with
starvation, persistent vomiting, the trauma of surgery, and inadequate
absorption and/or absorption time. Alcohol increases magnesium excretion and
can accentuate deficiency. Infants suffering from kwashiorkor may also
experience magnesium deficiencies.
Magnesium deficiency can result in a loss of control over
the relaxation and contraction of muscles. More severe cases can result in
convulsive seizures. Calcification of soft tissues can occur as a result of
increased calcium absorption during magnesium deficiencies.
Magnesium deficiency results in decreased resorption of
bone as well as increase calcification of soft tissues. This induces
hypocalcemia (a condition of low serum calcium level).
Magnesium deficiency inhibits the normal metabolism of
potassium and calcium, and in some cases results in anorexia and
Magnesium toxicity is very rare except in
certain instances where renal failure prevents urinary excretion (i.e., in the
situation where magnesium-containing drugs are given to a patient with renal
inabilities). Symptoms include central nervous system depression, skeletal
muscle paralysis, and in extreme cases, coma and death. Calcium infusion tends
to counteract magnesium toxicity.
Healthy kidney function excretes magnesium rapidly and
efficiently, with little possibility for toxic buildup. Levels up to 1600 mg
daily have proven to be no problem as long as there as a balance of at least
50% calcium intake at the same time.
- Bone Meal
- Brown Sugar
- Hot Cocoa
- Beans (dried)
- Green Peas
- Orange Juice
- Peanut Butter
- Whole Wheat
Damaged Heart Muscles and Blood Vessels
Susceptibility to Kidney Damage
Neuromuscular Malfunctions, i.e.,
Tremors and Convulsions
Unstable Internal Cell Structure
Inadequate Stiffening of Cell Membrane
Inadequate Production of Intracellular Enzymes
Including Those Necessary For:
Inadequate Hormone Production
Poor Body Growth, Repair, and Cell Maintenance
Deficiency May Be Caused By:
Too Many Refined Carbohydrates and Processed
Gastrointestinal and/or Kidney Disease
Excessive Alcohol Intake
Excessive Competitive Mineral Uptake (such as