Some studies suggest that magnesium is one of the most important minerals needed by your body. In order to function correctly and efficiently, your body needs many nutrients. However, if it is deficient in magnesium, there are over 350 biochemical reactions that either will not occur at all or will occur very inefficiently. Magnesium is necessary for the correct assimilation of potassium and the correct and efficient functioning of enzymes, the most important of which transport, store and utilize energy. Many aspects of cell metabolism are regulated by magnesium such as DNA and RNA synthesis, cell growth and cell reproduction. Magnesium also orchestrates the electric current that sparks through the miles of nerves in our body.
What depletes magnesium?
Aluminum in food and drink containers, baking powder and anti-perspirants blocks many normal magnesium functions. Unfortunately, a staple of our society’s diet is white flour and 85% of its magnesium has been removed. A high consumption of fats and proteins inhibits magnesium absorption. Environmental pollutants in air, soil and water, emotional stresses and many prescription drugs all aggravate magnesium depletion.
80% or more of the Unites States population is deficient in magnesium.
Excess Calcium Can Cause Magnesium Deficiency
America has the highest rate of milk consumption. America has the highest consumption rate of calcium supplements, yet America has the highest occurrence of osteoporosis in the Western world. Taking more calcium will not fix a calcium deficiency which is quite evident from statistics. Yet more magnesium will handle the calcium deficiency as well as the magnesium deficiency.
A magnesium deficiency can result in symptoms of internal stress, even when the person takes supplements, if they take more calcium than magnesium. Extra magnesium can often mean the difference between a stressed body and a completely relaxed one.
Many debilitating and life threatening diseases are associated with magnesium deficiencies such as heart problems, strokes, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, asthma, premenstrual syndrome, attention deficit disorder, anorexia and bulimia, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, hypoglycemia and kidney disease.
Magnesium is widely distributed in plant and animal foods and in beverages. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, are good sources. In general, foods containing dietary fiber provide magnesium. Magnesium is also added to some breakfast cereals and other fortified foods. Some types of food processing, such as refining grains in ways that remove the nutrient-rich germ and bran, lower magnesium content substantially.
Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur Severe magnesium deficiency can result in hypocalcemia or hypokalemia (low serum calcium or potassium levels, respectively) because mineral homeostasis is disrupted.
As an answer to this, a 'Sublingual epithelial cell' magnesium test was developed and has been shown to be a valuable tool in the hunt for meaningful magnesium measurements. One study that compared the intracellular levels of magnesium from the scrapings of cells directly from the heart wall and from cells under the tongue showed that the two matched up well; more importantly, low magnesium levels from the sublingual epithelial cell scrapings were able to correctly predict the patients that would have abnormal changes in their heart rhythm after major heart surgery, even while the serum levels were within normal range.
This sublingual epithelial cell test is not some test in the experimental stages that we can only someday hope to be able to use in a clinical setting after years of studies and FDA approval. This innovative test that measures clinically relevant intracellular magnesium levels painlessly and accurately with only a scrape of a tongue depressor under the tongue is available to health care providers right now.