Maintains the heart muscle & blood vessels
Magnesium deficiency is associated with
an increased incidence of atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart
attacks, & strokes. Research shows magnesium shortages lower good
HDL cholesterol and accelerates hardening of the arteries. The higher
the magnesium inside your cells, the more apt you are to have lower blood
pressure, more elastic blood vessels and a less enlarged heart. Magnesium
helps normalize blood pressure.
Interestingly, magnesium mimics many of the activities associated with
a variety of cardiovascular medications. It thins blood. It blocks calcium
uptake. It acts as a potent vasodilator by relaxing blood vessels. It
inhibits platelet aggregation. Magnesium maintains the balance of the
clotting mechanisms. It also increases the oxygen in the heart by improving
heart muscle contractility. Fifteen percent of the population has what
is called mitral valve prolapse (a floppy heart valve).
This is associated with an increased tendency
to anxiety, an irregular or fast heart rate, palpitations, and in general
a hyper-irritable heart muscle. Studies have shown 62% of these people
are magnesium deficient and symptoms can be prevented by magnesium administration.
Unfortunately, some widely used cardiac medications such as digitalis
and the diuretics increase urinary excretion of magnesium and contribute
to the deficiency states. Thus magnesium is an important anti - arrhythmic
agent in treating digitalis toxicity. It also helps in treating atrial
tachycardia and ventricular tachycardia when used intravenously in these
Magnesium and osteoporosis
A common mistake is the recommendation by many doctors and the belief
by many people that one need only supplement calcium to prevent or to
treat osteoporosis. Not only is magnesium essential for bone formation,
but calcium supplementation without magnesium will contribute to metabolic
imbalances and bone loss. The bones contain 60% of the body's magnesium.
With osteoporosis, there is significant skeletal magnesium depletion.
Magnesium assists in the metabolism and uptake of calcium. Magnesium depletion
promotes abnormal crystallization of calcium in soft tissues, such as
kidney stones, gall stones, atherosclerosis, micro-calcifications in the
breast and other soft tissue. Magnesium can help dissolve calcium phosphate
kidney stones, and may prevent the formation of calcium oxalate kidney
stones. Natural estrogen helps move magnesium into the bones, while certain
synthetic estrogens deplete bodily magnesium.
Magnesium and the parathyroid gland
The parathyroid gland is adjacent to the thyroid and has a major function
of regulating calcium metabolism. Magnesium synergizes the secretion of
Also a magnesium deficiency decreases
the ability of the body to respond to parathyroid hormone. Magnesium deficiency
associated with low blood calcium levels may create symptoms of parathyroid
hormone deficiency. This low calcium level will not respond to parathyroid
hormone, to Vitamin D, or to calcium supplementation, but is only corrected
with magnesium therapy.
Magnesium and Fibromyalgil
Fibromyalgia is a stiffness and pain syndrome involving
muscles, connective tissues (tendons, ligaments), bursae, and joints.
It is also characterized by severe fatigue that is unrelieved by sleep
because often Fibromyalgia patients do not get much, if any, stage 4 (or
Delta) sleep~the "healing" phase of sleep where repair of bodily
tissues takes place.
With Fibromyalgia, two particular minerals are vitally
important. They are: calcium and magnesium. Calcium helps reduce lactic
acid and the damage or pain it causes to deep muscle tissues. Magnesium
helps to help insure adequate sleep and increase pain thresholds by preventing
nerves from firing too quickly-or being too "hot" (low pain
Magnesium maintains normal nerve, brain, and muscle function.
While 60% of the magnesium is in the bones, the rest is primarily in the
cells where it functions to regulate the transmission of impulses between
brain cells, and from nerves to muscles and organs. It also maintains
normal muscle function and contractility. Since magnesium regulates the
irritability or sensitivity of the nerves and muscles, a deficiency leads
to neuromuscular hyperexcitability which can be associated with muscle
cramps, twitches, and tremors, tension, tightness, or soreness.
It is also associated with various spasms, such as the bronchospasm of
asthma, esophageal spasm (a lump in the throat with difficulty swallowing),
the vascular spasm of migraines; some forms of hypertension, chest pain
and other chronic pain syndromes.
Other forms such as urinary problems and bedwetting, the
spasms of premature labor and menstrual cramps, shaky leg syndrome and
of course the spasms of seizures. The excitability can also be associated
with an easy startle response, noise and light sensitivity, numbness and
tingling and strange body sensations. Some of the most dramatic effects
of magnesium deficiency may occur in the central nervous system such as
with the DT's (delirium tremers) of alcoholism, general anxiety and irritability,
nervousness, confusion, tantrums, insomnia and depression. The symptoms
can even progress to the point of psychotic proportions.
Studies have shown lower magnesium in the blood of those with active schizophrenia
than in those in remission.
Magnesium is a co-factor to activate and regulate over 350 enzyme systems
in the body relating to life supporting biochemical reactions.
It is integrally involved in the production of energy in the cells via
a biochemical reaction and participates in the formation of the energy
reserve of the muscles. Therefore a deficiency can be associated with
fatigue and weakness. Through its' co-factor functions, magnesium participates
in the synthesis of protein, and genetic material such as DNA. It is a
binding agent for the genetic material called messenger RNA. Thus a deficiency
can lead to poor growth or genetic defects. Magnesium works with vitamin
C to build collagen. It assists with temperature regulation. Magnesium
also supports the function of the pancreas.
Magnesium – critical in glucose metabolism, along with
It plays a role in the breakdown and digestion of sugars and fatty acids.
It helps to maintain normal levels of blood fats. Magnesium deficiency
is especially associated with increased triglycerides and the insulin
resistance known as Syndrome X. Insulin resistance can be reduced by taking
Magnesium acts as a buffering agent to regulate the acid/alkaline state
of the body. It regulates intracellular fluid and supports the cell membrane,
including permeability. Magnesium is a chelating & detoxifying agent.
It works to maintain proper liver function.
Magnesium and Migraines
Magnesium prevents platelet clustering thus helping to avoid the thickening
of blood and tiny clots that can cause blood vessel spasms and the pain
of a migraine. It also relaxes the head and neck muscle tension that makes
Half of migraine sufferers have low magnesium and upping magnesium has
reduced the duration, intensity and frequency of migraines.
Magnesium and Sleep
Sleep in magnesium deficiency is restless, agitated and disturbed by frequent
nighttime awakenings. However, all forms of magnesium are not equally
effective. In a study of more than 200 patients, Dr. W. Davis used magnesium
chloride as a possible means of combating insomnia. The researcher reported
that sleep was induced rapidly, was uninterrupted, and that waking tiredness
disappeared in ninety-nine percent of the patients. In addition, anxiety
and tension diminished during the day. (W. Davis and F. Ziady, "The
Role of Magnesium in Sleep," Montreal Symposium).
Magnesium and Pregnancy
Extensive research shows that magnesium lessens pre-eclampsia, in which
blood pressure soars in late pregnancy, upping the risk of spontaneous
abortions and premature, low-birth weight babies. A large British study
of 10,000 women in 33 countries confirms that taking magnesium reduced
the hazard by 50%. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association
reported a 70% lower incidence of mental retardation, and a 90% lower
incidence of cerebral palsy in children of mothers using magnesium during
Using magnesium could counteract the heart attack and stroke hazards of
hormone replacement therapy. Research shows magnesium counters estrogen's
clot-producing abilities. Magnesium also helps treat premature ejaculation
and relieve certain symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The creation of
ATP (adenosine triphospate) the energy molecules of the body, the action
of the heart muscle, the proper formation of bones and teeth, relaxation
of blood vessels, and the promotion of proper bowel function are all under
the guidance of magnesium.
What depletes or interferes with
High stress contributes to magnesium deficiency which exacerbates anxiety,
fear, weakness and physical complaints, leading to more stress and a vicious
cycle. The decreased oxygen in the tissues related to stress, tissue injury,
and an acid condition cause magnesium to move out of the cells into the
blood plasma leading to intracellular deficiency.
Excess sugar, caffeine, carbohydrates, low dietary protein, prolonged
fasting, general malnutrition, chronic, diarrhea, vomiting, excess zinc,
vitamin D and calcium contribute to magnesium deficiency.
Aluminum, fluoride, and phosphate interfere
Excess alcohol is a common cause of low
magnesium. Multiple mechanisms are at play. Often those who drink excessively
eat less than optimal diets. Then the alcohol causes increased urinary
loss of magnesium and increased gastrointestinal losses of magnesium.
The acidotic and alkalotic shifting states which accompany high alcohol
intake further deplete the magnesium stores. Many of the physical and
mental symptoms of alcoholism are related to depleted magnesium.
Those with diabetes, chronic gastrointestinal
disorders, an overactive thyroid or parathyroid gland or in the last six
months of pregnancy are particularly prone to low magnesium.
Radiation causes large losses of magnesium
and magnesium has a radiation protective action. Diuretics are a major
villain in magnesium and potassium depletion, causing loss of both in
the urine. Potassium is the most abundant intracellular mineral with magnesium
ranking second. Magnesium assists in the cellular uptake of potassium
so a magnesium deficiency can lead to decreased potassium in the cells.
Forty two percent of those with low potassium also have low magnesium
and will not respond to the administration of potassium until magnesium
"Transdermal Magnesium Therapy"
by Mark Sircus, O.M.D.