Magnesium Health Topic
Dietary Sources of Calcium:
Pumpkin seeds, spinach, swiss chard, sesame seeds, halibut, black beans, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds.
Learn More About Magnesium
Magnesium is involved in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions. Magnesium is required by the ATP-synthesizing protein in mitochondria. ATP, the molecule that provides energy for almost all metabolic processes, exists primarily as a complex with magnesium. Magnesium is required for the active transport of ions like potassium and calcium across cell membranes. Through its role in ion transport systems, magnesium affects the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm. Inadequate serum magnesium levels are known to result in low serum calcium levels, resistance to parathyroid hormone action, and resistance to some of the effects of vitamin D, all of which can lead to increased bone loss. Individuals who suffer from recurrent migraine headaches have lower intracellular magnesium levels. Magnesium depletion is also commonly associated with diabetes mellitus. High-dose intravenous magnesium sulfate has been the treatment of choice for preventing eclamptic seizures. Intravenous magnesium infusion is also an efficacious treatment for severe, acute asthma.
Magnesium is involved in the synthesis of protein, and it is an important co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body, many of which contribute to the production of energy, and with cardiovascular functions. While calcium affects muscle contractions, magnesium balances that effect and relaxes muscles. Magnesium is the central core of the chlorophyll molecule in plant tissue.
An electrolyte is an element whose atoms contain an electric charge that is either positive or negative. The magnesium cation with its positive charge is an active electrolyte that is constantly moving back and forth across cell membranes to maintain the proper balance. Mitochondria are considered the cells chief source of energy because they contain the enzymes that burn glucose to release energy. Magnesium, recognized to be an activator for many enzymes, plays an important role in this regard. Magnesium is specifically involved in regulating mitochondrial respiration, a process in which oxygen is taken in and carbon dioxide is given off.
When calcium is elevated in the blood it stimulates the secretion of a hormone called calcitonin and suppresses the secretion of parathyroid hormone. These hormones regulate the levels of calcium in our bones and soft tissues. Parathyroid hormone draws calcium out of the bones and deposits it in the soft tissues, while calcitonin increases calcium in our bones and keeps it from being absorbed in our soft tissues. Magnesium suppresses parathyroid hormone and stimulates calcitonin. Sugar and alcohol increase magnesium excretion through the urine.
In one study, intravenous magnesium reduced the risks of eclampsia among women with pre-eclampsia. Calcium and magnesium must be maintained in a proper ratio to maintain proper muscle tone and prevent convulsive muscle spasms. Furthermore, estrogen and progesterone levels, which increase as a pregnancy advances, elevate the body's demand for magnesium.
National Academy of Sciences recommendation that the addition of magnesium to bottled and municipal drinking water may prevent up to 150,000 deaths from heart attacks per year. Magnesium is a natural calcium-controller. Too much calcium in relation to magnesium may cause heart spasm, hypertension, kidney stones and other health problems.
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