What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium is very important for all Academicians.......
Magnesium is one of the most neglected minerals in the human body. It is crucial for a healthy and productive life, and its deficiency dangerously affects every function of the body. As an intracellular ion, magnesium works as a co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions (Manuel et al, 2009). Most of these enzymes are involved in energy metabolism (Schrader, 1999).
Magnesium, as a miracle mineral, stabilizes the cell membrane and is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and fats. It also helps in digestion and absorption.
Dr. Carolyn Dean states in her book, The Magnesium Miracle: "Magnesium is very important in health and medicine. It is extremely important for the metabolism of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, sodium, lead…….. Magnesium is a particularly crucial element for mediating the vital functions of the nervous and endocrine systems.
Evidence suggests that magnesium has an important function in many biochemical and physiological processes which directly affects human lung function, asthma management, joint pain, smoothening of muscle function, neuromuscular excitability, immune function, inflammation and oxidative stress (Kazaks, 2006).
Dr Dean adds: Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve functions, keeps heart rhythm steady, support a healthy immune system and keeps bones strong."
The brain and heart require the highest concentration of magnesium while only one percent of magnesium is present in the blood stream. Magnesium is required in human tissues to provide energy. Magnesium is also required for the production of deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA, and it is also present in the structure of chromosomes. In fact, magnesium is required in all enzyme reactions leading to the production and processing of DNA. Many researchers such as Dr. Carolyn Dean (2007), Dr.Steven Johnson and Mark Sircus, (2007) agree that magnesium deficiency is among the major factors responsible for many severe and life threatening diseases.
Magnesium is the solution to many mysterious illnesses encountered in modern medicine, if only doctors would acknowledge its vital function to the body. Magnesium is as crucial for human survival as water and air. In a study, Dr. Shealy (2009) asked participants with low cellular magnesium to soak their feet for about 20 minutes in magnesium chloride solution. This resulted in an improvement in cellular magnesium levels. Magnesium is safe, cheap and easy to use.
MAGNESIUM IS CRUCIAL FOR BONES AND TEETH
An estimated 60 to 65 percent of magnesium is located in our teeth and bones with the remainder residing in other parts of the body, including muscles and body fluids. A research paper presented by Dr. Barnett, an outstanding bone surgeon, at the Annual Texas Medical Association Meeting in Dallas (May 6 1952) indicated that people in Deaf Smith County, Texas,had a lower incidence of tooth decay and faster healing of broken bones compared to Dallas County residents. It was noted that magnesium levels of Deaf Smith County residents were five times higher as compared with those of Dallas County residents. Dr. Barnett further observed that the diet of Deaf Smith County residents contained plenty of magnesium, vitamin C and protein. Magnesium deficiency also causes severe foot pain. The foot, consisting of 26 bones, 19 muscles and 107 ligaments, is an important part of the human body. As a matter of fact, a quarter of all human bones are in the feet. Magnesium can keep these bones strong and healthy. Studies show that magnesium is not only important in healthy and strong bone construction, but it also helps the nervous system and the heart rhythm to function smoothly (Dean, 2007)
An article on the importance of magnesium in our bones and tissues was published in August 1958 in The Announcer, a monthly publication of the College of Agriculture, University of Missouri. The article pointed out that magnesium was vital for the prevention of mineral deposits in soft tissues. Although the observations were made on animals, there were parallel implications for human health. The study revealed that animals maintained on a low magnesium diet grew slowly and showed deposits of calcium phosphate in various vital organs, including the kidney, muscles, liver, heart and stomach. The study further showed that an increase in calcium in the diet of pigs and rats resulted in an increased requirement of magnesium. Yet another important discovery from this study was that high phosphorus levels in the diet intensified the need for magnesium to an even greater extent than did high calcium levels. Even a mild deficiency of magnesium can cause increased sensitivity to noise, nervousness, irritability, mental depression, confusion, twitching, trembling, apprehension, and insomnia. Imagine being able to clear these symptoms without dangerous drugs! Magnesium is the premier medicine for depression, sleep disturbances, emotionally disturbed behavior, and neurological diseases because of its strong positive effect in calming and nourishing the nervous system.
MAGNESIUM AND ENERGY
This almost forgotten but extremely crucial mineral plays an important role in assisting the human body convert food into energy thus, helping the body to function properly (Raloff, 1997). Magnesium activates ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is a vital energy storage molecule in the body. In short, without magnesium there will be neither life nor movement. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean (2007), magnesium helps in the production and transportation of energy in our bodies. It also helps to transmit nerve signals and assists the muscles to relax. People with low levels of magnesium are quickly tired and need more oxygen and energy (Bliss, 2004). Magnesium is also needed in energy metabolism and helps in muscle contraction (Miller, 2005).
MAGNESIUM AND THE HEART
Research indicates that magnesium helps to regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Magnesium prevents and manages hypertension and cardiovascular disease (Rude, 1998; Vormann, 2003). According to these two studies, after magnesium was introduced to patients for about five weeks, symptoms of chest pain, anxiety, palpitation, low energy, faintness and breathing difficulties were considerably reduced. Another study showed that taking 625 milligrams of magnesium daily in the diet reduced hypertension in high blood pressure groups (Montoyama, 1989). A double-blind placebo-controlled study indicated that individuals taking 411 to 548 milligrams of magnesium in their daily diet improved their systolic and diastolic blood pressure significantly (Itoh, 1997). Leading researchers in magnesium reported that around 70 to 80 percent of participants in their research had borderline hypertension and depressed blood-ionized magnesium levels (Altura, 1995). In a similar research, it was found that about 60 percent of 141 participants with critical symptoms of Mitral Valve Prolapse had magnesium deficiency, compared with only 5 percent in the control group. http://www.magnesiumdirect.com/pubstudies.aspx , (Mitral Valve Prolapse is a disorder where the mitral valve of the heart fails to completely close off one of the chambers in the heart during contraction.)
MAGNESIUM AND STROKE
Stroke occurs when the blood flow into the brain is blocked. The blockage is caused either by blood clot or a burst blood vessel. A stroke can cause death, paralysis, loss of memory or speech retardation. Magnesium helps blood flow in the body. Thus a diet high in magnesium may prevent the risk of a stroke. Studies conducted in three hospitals in New York showed that about 98 stroke patients showed signs of significant magnesium-ion deficiency. The stroke patients also showed high calcium to magnesium ratio, indicating an increased vascular tone and cerebral vessel spasm (Yang, 1998). A study conducted in Taiwan showed that a high level of magnesium in Taiwanese drinking water was correlated with a lower incidence of stroke (He, 2006).
MAGNESIUM AND THE MUSCULAR SYSTEM
Our muscles need magnesium to function smoothly. “Magnesium deficiency certainly qualifies as a principal cause of disease. No matter what we do with our hearts, postures, or medical treatments, there is simply nothing we can do to adequately enhance our state of health when magnesium supplies are less than adequate in our bodies” says Mark Sircus (2007). Magnesium deficiency can cause many problems such as back pain, neck pain and joint pain. In a study,participants who used magnesium reduced their chronic lower back pain by 49% (Lukaczer, 2008). There is a link between magnesium deficiency and chronic joint pain since magnesium deficiency causes muscle tension and spasm (Freeman, 1999).
MAGNESIUM AND DENTAL HEALTH
Study by Rodale & Taub, (1971) tested the content of magnesium and calcium in extracted teeth of seven subjects who received magnesium compounds. The results indicated that participants who took magnesium experienced fewer cavities compared with those who did not. The study further concluded that calcium by itself did not prevent caries and that it required stabilization by magnesium. In cases of magnesium deficiency, calcium tended to aggravate the situation. A study published in the Journal of the Southern California Dental Association in December 1963 reported that refined food in the diet of rats increased the incidence of caries. In this study, the researchers compared the effect of refined white flour and whole wheat flour on the rats.
Whole wheat flour contained 113mg of magnesium while white flour contained only 25mg. of magnesium (per meal). When the researchers substituted the wheat flour with white flour, thereby depriving the rats of a large magnesium source, the rats suffered more caries. A similar study was conducted on humans on April 29, 1961 (Rodale, 1961), and published in Nature (London). In this research 200 participants ranging from five to 56 years of age, who were given alkaline phosphate for three years, had a reduction in the number of surface cavities. Upon further investigation, it was found that it was magnesium in the phosphate compound – and not phosphate itself – that hardened the surface of the teeth and reduced the cavities.
MAGNESIUM AND ELECTROLYTE
Magnesium is crucial for the maintenance of the electrical balance in the body. It also helps to regulate metabolism in the cells. Too much calcium without an adequate amount of magnesium irritates the nerve cells in the brain and results in repeated electrical impulses being sent. This creates energy loss and death of the cells. According to Mark Sircus (2007), magnesium is the most important mineral for cellular function. It also maintains and balances the electrical signals in the body.
MAGNESIUM AND DIABETES
Research has shown that magnesium regulates sugar levels in the blood, preventing it from rising uncontrollably. In investigations on three groups i.e. 85,000 women in Harvard’s Nurses Health, 43,000 men in its Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and 40,000 women in the Iowa Women’s Health Study, sufficient intake (300-400 mg per day, according to body weight) of magnesium in the food was found to decrease the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes. In these studies, participants with lower magnesium intake showed signs of diabetes because a considerable amount of magnesium was lost in the urine (Altura, 1997).
Magnesium might even resolve the problems of obesity and diabetes by helping to increase glucose metabolism in the body. In fact, magnesium is an anti-diabetic and anti-obesity mineral, says Yun, et al. (2009).
MAGNESIUM AND EMOTION
Mark Sircus in his book Transdermal Therapy says that, “Magnesium is essential in regulating the central nervous system excitability thus magnesium deficiency may cause aggressive behavior, depression or suicide. Magnesium calms the brain and people do not need to become severely deficient in magnesium for the brain to become hyperactive.” Sircus (2007) continues to stress that “Magnesium is the second most abundant intracellular and the fourth most abundant cation (positively charged ion) in the body. It is an essential trans membrane and intracellular modulator of cellular electrical activity. As such, its deficiency in the body is nothing short of disastrous for cell life.
Yet, this fact is not widely known.” Studies also postulate that magnesium can reduce depression, irritability, anxiety and tension (Community Pharmacy, 2003). In a study of 500 depressed participants, Dr. R.H. Cox and Dr. Shealy found that most of the participants were magnesium deficient. The study concluded that clinics should use magnesium as a therapy for those who were suffering from chronic depression (Cox, 1996). It can be concluded with confidence that magnesium is not short of a miracle in its cure for a variety of diseases.
MAGNESIUM AND CALCIFICATION
Magnesium is crucial for regulating the amount of calcium in the blood and in the cells of the body. Magnesium controls how much calcium should be available in the cells for the necessary electrical transmissions. Once calcium does its job, magnesium immediately intervenes and stops excess calcium from causing damage to the cells by way of calcification and hyper-excitability. Calcification in the cells causes many diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma and headache. In this regard, magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker. We cannot ignore the importance of calcium and magnesium in our bodies because these two minerals always induce a reaction from each other. The growth of human cells, cell division and intermediary metabolism need magnesium. These processes can be compromised if there are excessive amounts of calcium in the body.
Magnesium disposes of the excessive amounts of calcium in the blood stream, heart and in the brain. A magnesium deficient body finally ends up with excess calcium deposits, muscle pain, spasm, fibromyalgia and hardening of the artery walls.
A magnesium and calcium balance is vital for the kidneys too. If there is too much calcium and too little magnesium in the kidneys, the calcium will form kidney stones. An imbalance of magnesium and calcium in the body can result in constricted blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure and possibly to heart attack (Jody, 2008).
Magnesium deficiency is one of the major factors in many severe illnesses such as heart attack, heart disease, asthma, anxiety, depression, fatigue, diabetes, migraine and panic attack. Magnesium deficiency is a serious condition which affects various organs in the body. People with magnesium deficiency are always tired, irritable, nervous, have stiff muscles and difficulty in concentrating. In this splendid and courageous book (How Doctors Think), Dr. Jerome Groopman lifts the veil on possibly the most taboo topic in medicine: the pervasive nature of misdiagnosis. His engrossing narrative exposes all of the subtle mental traps—the snap judgments and stereotypical thinking, the premature conclusions and herd instinct—that dangerously narrow the vision of too many physicians.” Ron Chernow, author of Alexander Hamilton, Titan, and the House of Morgan:
“A cogent analysis of all the wrong ways his fellow practitioners are trained to approach the patients they treat.” ELLE Magazine: “When all you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail. That is very much the case with doctors and drug treatment.” Dr. Dean Carolyn: “I wish I had read this book when I was in medical school, and I’m glad I’ve read it now… I have never read elsewhere this kind of discussion of the ambiguities besetting the super specialized the doctors on whom the rest of us depend:
“Specialization in medicine confers a false sense of certainty.” “Every reflective doctor will learn from this book-and every prospective patient will find thoughtful advice for communicating successfully in the medical setting and getting better care… This passionate honesty gives the book immediacy and an eloquence that will resonate with anyone interested in medicine, science or the cruel beauties of those human endeavors which engage mortal stakes.” Publishers Weekly, 2010
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