The Hardest Working Mineral in the Body Does More Than You Know!
Very few people give a moment’s thought to what goes on at the cellular level in our bodies. We have trillions and trillions of cells in our bodies, each one less than a nanogram, each one performing enzymatic reactions, energy transfers every millisecond. Magnesium is a pivotal part of this dance in and around our cells.
The Multi-Tasking Mineral
Every cell in our bodies relies on magnesium. It’s known as the ‘the spark of life’ because without magnesium, the very process by which our cells derive energy ceases to function.
Magnesium is critical for the success of hundreds of biochemical or enzymatic reactions across all bodily systems: for our nerves, brain, muscles, bones, organs and hormones, magnesium is essential.
There are only 7 macro-minerals in the body, and magnesium is ranked 4th in terms of abundance. Magnesium’s multi-tasking properties are linked to the way it partners with other nutrients. Magnesium is a cooperative mineral, aligning itself with other nutrients to help them perform their functions.
Magnesium and Calcium
Magnesium lives in the centre of the cell, and with adequate levels, keeps calcium on the outside of the cell where it belongs – until the body calls for energy and then calcium floods the cell.
Too much calcium and not enough magnesium creates an unhealthy balance, allowing calcium to seep into the cell. Calcium in the centre of the cell puts the body in a perpetual state of excitement.
There is ample evidence that tension-based conditions such as migraines, restless legs, muscle cramps, PMS and even day-to-day stress can be attributed to the troubling imbalance of too little magnesium and too much calcium.
Health Benefits of Magnesium
Every muscle and nerve in your body relies upon magnesium to maintain normal function. This includes the biggest muscle of them all – your heart – and magnesium also has a direct connection to the electrical system of your heart, keeping heart rhythm steady.
Magnesium supports a healthy immune system, in part through its work with omega-3s.
It has a crucial, yet little-known role in maintaining strong bones and teeth. Magnesium is the mineral that activates the vitamin D that assimilates calcium into your bones to help keep them strong.
This critical mineral also regulates blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is an enormously complicated process that utilizes DNA, RNA, amino acids and ATP (energy) to form proteins at the rate of hundreds of proteins per second in a healthy cell.
Magnesium’s multi-tasking properties are so diverse that deficiency is thought to be a key contributor to the diseases described as Metabolic Syndrome. “Metabolic” refers to the chemical processes of an organism. Metabolic Syndrome is so named because the diseases of Metabolic Syndrome – specifically Heart Disease and Diabetes – show similar deficiencies at the cellular level.
Magnesium is also instrumental for temperature regulation, electrolyte balance, and activating nutrients including the vitamin B group and Omega 3s, as well as crucial hormones such as melatonin and serotonin.
How Much Magnesium Do You Need?
According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. and bestselling author of The Magnesium Miracle, most North Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium. Dean recommends 500 mg daily as a healthy starting place, in line with the intake common for adults 100 years ago.
Health Canada sets a lower bar, suggesting 350 mg/day as an adequate intake. Even based on this modest figure, up to 65% of us fall short. Today, many Canadian adults are getting only 200 mg/day.
Unlike many nutrients, magnesium is depleted every twelve hours. It must be constantly replenished.
As a supplement, it’s non-toxic; any excess is safely eliminated. While too much magnesium is almost never a problem, too little can be a health disaster.
Who is Deficient and Why?
We just aren’t getting enough magnesium through food. Lifestyle, processed foods, and modern agriculture’s depleted soils are to blame. What magnesium we do ingest is often poorly absorbed or depleted by medication, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, excess calcium and stress.
Low magnesium is even more dangerous given Canadians’ high intake of calcium through dairy, fortified foods and supplements. Calcium and magnesium need to be in balance for the chemistry of our cells to function properly. When calcium is in excess, we may experience symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
Common Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium deficiency can manifest as a number of symptoms because magnesium is such a wide-ranging, multi-tasking mineral. These include:
- Headaches and migraines
- Stress, nervousness, panic attacks and anxiety
- Insomnia and poor quality sleep
- Restless legs, muscle spasms, cramps and twitching
- Depression and irritability
- Fatigue, low energy
- Chronic neck and back pain, stiff, sore muscles
- Sugar cravings and weight gain
- Abnormal heart rhythm and palpitations
- PMS and hormonal imbalances
- Constipation, indigestion, and acid reflux
- Teeth grinding
Conditions Associated with Magnesium Deficiency
In addition to everyday symptoms, there are a number of conditions with strong links to low magnesium. These include:
- Blood clots
- Bowel disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hearing loss
- Hypertension and heart disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Kidney disease and kidney stones
- Low bone density and osteoporosis
Research shows that supplementation with an effective, absorbable magnesium can help.The Multi-Tasking Mineral