Magnesium is an essential mineral. Of the approx. 26g found in the human body, nearly 70% is located in the bones together with calcium, phosphorus, and various other minerals. Meanwhile, 30% is found in the cellular fluids and some soft tissue.
Magnesium is involved in many essential metabolic processes, including the conversion of glucose into energy, protein synthesis and fat metabolism.
It is involved in the removal of excess ammonia, vascular tone, muscle impulse transmission and the electrical stability of the cells.
Magnesium is found in the cells and is required for proper functioning of the muscles, including the heart. Magnesium is known for its ‘muscle relaxing’ quality countering the stimulative effect of calcium.
Magnesium helps promote the absorption and metabolism of other minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. It helps utilise B-complex, vitamins and specifically vitamins C and E. It aids in bone growth and regulation of body temperature.
The modern diet is often lacking in magnesium. It is refined out of many foods during processing, and produce may be low in magnesium because commercial fertilisers often do not replace magnesium in soil.
Magnesium deficiency is thought to be closely related to coronary heart disease, including myocardial necrosis. Inadequate magnesium may result in the formation of clots in the heart and brain and may contribute to calcium deposits in the kidneys, blood vessels, and heart.
Magnesium is essential to glucose metabolism, and diabetes sufferers are commonly deficient in magnesium. Magnesium has also proven beneficial in the treatment of neuromuscular disorders, nervousness, depression, sensitivity to noise and night cramps.
Magnesium is essential for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, in combination with calcium and other minerals.
In supplementing magnesium, intake needs to be balanced with the other essential minerals – calcium, potassium and zinc. A typical therapeutic dose ranges between 400 and 1,000 milligrams in divided doses.
Foods rich in Magnesium include: seafood, almonds, cashews, whole grains, buckwheat, rye, dark leafy greens, blackstrap molasses, nuts and bonemeal.