February 19, 2018
Why You Need Magnesium
Metabolism of calcium, potassium, zinc, phosphorous, iron, sodium, hydrochloric acid, acetylcholine and nitric oxide, as well as 300 enzymes and the activation of thiamine.3
Mitochondrial function and health. Magnesium is required both for increasing the number of mitochondria in your cells and for increasing mitochondrial efficiency
Relaxation of blood vessels and normalizing blood pressure
Detoxification, including the synthesis of glutathione, considered by many to be your body's most powerful antioxidant
Muscle and nerve function, including the action of your heart muscle
Antioxidant defense via a number of different mechanisms, including anti-inflammatory activity and support of endothelial and mitochondrial function11
Maintenance of ionic gradients — keeping intracellular sodium and calcium low and potassium high — and maintaining cellular and tissue integrity12
Lowering the damage from electromagnetic fields (EMF) by blocking voltage gated calcium channels
Supporting healthy brain function. Magnesium acts as a buffer between neuron synapses, particularly those involved with cognitive functions (learning and memory).
Magnesium "sits" on the receptor without activating it, protecting the receptor from overactivation by other neurochemicals, especially glutamate, an excitotoxin that can harm your brain if it accumulates.
Even Subclinical Magnesium Deficiency Can Wreak Havoc on Your Heart Health
"These numerous studies have found low magnesium to be associated with all known cardiovascular risk factors, such as cholesterol and high blood pressure, arterial plaque buildup (atherogenesis), hardening of the arteries and the calcification of soft tissues. This means we have been chasing our tails all of these years going after cholesterol and the high saturated-fat diet, when the true culprit was and still is low magnesium."
"… 'Various studies have shown that at least 300 mg of magnesium must be supplemented to establish a significantly increased serum magnesium concentrations …' In other words, most people need an additional 300 mg of magnesium per day in order to lower their risk of developing numerous chronic diseases.
So while the recommended … recommended dietary allowance [RDA] for magnesium (between 300 and 420 mg /day for most people) may prevent frank magnesium deficiency, it is unlikely to provide optimal health and longevity, which should be the ultimate goal."
Higher Magnesium Level = Lower Disease and Mortality Risk
- A 10 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease
- 12 percent lower risk of stroke
- 26 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Heart failure by 22 percent
- Stroke by 7 percent
- Diabetes by 19 percent
- All-cause mortality by 10 percent
Magnesium Is Necessary for Mitochondrial Health
- Increasing the total number of mitochondria in your cells by engaging in exercise. However, in order for new mitochondria to be created, you must have sufficient amounts of magnesium.
- Increasing the efficiency of your mitochondria to repair damage and produce ATP. This process also requires magnesium as a co-factor.
Magnesium Is Also Essential for Cell Division
- Chromosomes, which have a negative charge, are neutralized by free magnesium, which is what allows the chromosomes to condense during cell division.
- Free magnesium ions dramatically increase during cell division, peaking "during the transition from metaphase to anaphase, which marks the period in cell division that the cell membrane begins showing signs of breaking into two cells."
- There's a "clear relationship" between the ATP level in the cell and the number of free magnesium ions. The less ATP present, the greater the free magnesium level and the more chromosome condensation occurs, allowing for more efficient cell division. The authors' hypothesis is that "ATP-bound magnesium is released by the hydrolysis of ATP." (Hydrolysis refers to the chemical reaction during which energy stored in ATP is released).
Most People Are Magnesium Deficient
Experience symptoms of insufficiency or deficiency24
Engage in strenuous exercise on a regular basis. Research shows just six to 12 weeks of strenuous physical activity can result in magnesium deficiency,25likely due to increased magnesium demand in your skeletal muscle
Are taking diuretics or medication for hypertension, especially thiazides, which have been shown to induce undetectable magnesium deficiency26 (while patients may have normal or even high serum magnesium, their bodies are actually depleted of magnesium)
Have had or are planning heart transplant or open heart surgery
Are at risk for or have had a heart attack, or if you experience ventricular arrhythmia
Are insulin resistant or diabetic (as this increases magnesium depletion)
Have congestive heart failure
How to Boost Your Magnesium Level
Signs and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Seizures; muscle spasms, especially "charley horses" or spasms in your calf muscle that happen when you stretch your leg and/or eye twitches
The Trousseau sign.34 To check for this sign, a blood pressure cuff is inflated around your arm. The pressure should be greater than your systolic blood pressure and maintained for three minutes.
By occluding the brachial artery in your arm, spasms in your hand and forearm muscles are induced.
If you are magnesium deficient, the lack of blood flow will cause your wrist and metacarpophalangeal joint to flex and your fingers to adduct. For a picture of this hand/wrist position, see Wikipedia35
Numbness or tingling in your extremities
Low potassium and calcium levels
Increased number of headaches and/or migraines
High blood pressure, heart arrhythmias and/or coronary spasms
Low energy, fatigue and/or loss of appetite
Protect Your Health by Optimizing Your Magnesium Intake
Raw cacao nibs and/or unsweetened cocoa powder
One ounce (28.35 grams) or raw cacao nibs contain about 65 mg of magnesium.
One cup of avocado on average (values differ depending on whether they come from California or Florida) contains about 44 mg of magnesium. Avocados are also a good source of potassium, which helps offset the hypertensive effects of sodium.
Seeds and nuts
Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds score among the highest, with one-quarter cup providing an estimated 191 mg, 129 mg and 41 mg of magnesium respectively. Cashews, almonds and Brazil nuts are also good sources; one-fourth cup of cashews contains 89 mg of magnesium.
Herbs and spices
Herbs and spices pack lots of nutrients in small packages and this includes magnesium. Some of the most magnesium-rich varieties are coriander, chives, cumin seed, parsley, mustard seeds, fennel, basil and cloves.
Organic, raw grass fed yogurt and natto
Yogurt made from raw organic grass fed milk with no added sugars; 1 cup of natto yields 201 mg of magnesium.