Magnesium

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General Description:

  • Mg is a component of every body cell
  • the body contains 20-30 g. of magnesium (60% in the skeleton and 40% in the soft tissues)

Actions:

  • allows for smooth functioning of the nervous system, helping in the task of transmitting nerve impulses
  • more than 300 enzyme systems depend on magnesium
  • half of the body’s Mg is stored in the bones
  • the kidneys monitor the amount of Mg in the blood
  • required for synthesis & output of adrenal hormones required to regulate the stress response

Deficiency:

  • drugs that cause the body to excrete more Mg or lose it from the blood include some antibiotics, anticonvulsants, diuretics, the antigout drug probenecid and the heart drug digitalis
  • alcohol can also interfere with Mg nutrition
  • 80% of the Mg in a whole grain is lost with removal of the germ
  • Mg is one of the 8 nutrients required for the proper metabolism of carbohydrates
  • RDA for men is 350 mg. and for women it is 280 mg.
  • Mg is lost in sweat
  • hemolysis, destruction of RBCs, falsely increases serum levels of Mg
  • symptoms of deficiency: cramps, muscle ticks and tremors, and muscle weakness
  • magnesium oxide, a common source of Mg in multi vitamin/mineral supplements, is only 1/10 as bioavailable as magnesium aspartate

Interactions and Toxicity:

  • with sound kidneys there is no evidence of toxicity up to 6000 mg.
  • healthy kidneys will go to great lengths to keep too much Mg from accumulating in the body, specifically in the blood
  • Mg overload is called hypermagnesmia and generally refers to a blood Mg level greater than 2.5 milliequivalents/millileter
  • may get too much Mg from Mg-rich antacids, laxatives, or supplements
  • dolomite is a source of Mg but a poor one because it almost always contains high levels of toxic metals, such as lead
  • infants, children, pregnant women, mothers-to-be, nursing mothers and the elderly (as well as the rest of the health conscious population) should therefore avoid dolomite
  • milk and other dairy products are usually also a source of these toxic substances and should thus be avoided
  • high doses of Mg and impaired kidneys do not go well together
  • Mg decreases body’s ability to absorb tetracycline
  • lithium can increase blood Mg level
  • an intake of 1000 mg. (diet and supplement combined) has a high degree of safety in the absence of kidney impairment

Sources:

  • legumes, green vegetables, and whole grains

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