Benefits of Magnesium

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 emergency conditions.

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 parathyroid hormone.

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 threshold).

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 vitamin B1.
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.

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 migraines worse.
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 pregnancy.


Magnesium~extra benefits

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 Magnesium?

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 with absorption.

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 is added.

"Transdermal Magnesium Therapy" by Mark Sircus, O.M.D.

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