Magnesium and Its Effect on Your Health
What is Magnesium and what does it have to do with my health? You will be surprised at the answer.
Of all the elements of the periodic table it would appear that Magnesium is consistently the most talked about, the most appreciated, but at the same time it is the most overlooked. The result is that today more than two thirds of the population are only just consuming a third of their dietary Magnesium requirements.
The essential role that Magnesium plays in the wellbeing of man has been known for over 50 years, but it has been the last few decades that have shed greater light on the critical role that Magnesium plays in the biological processes that regulate every beat of our heart and even influence our every thought.
Magnesium is a cofactor in hundreds of different enzymatic reactions that regulate many diverse biochemical processes within the human body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation (12)(13). Magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis. It is essential in the structural development of bones and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione. Magnesium also plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm (13).
What is my recommended daily magnesium requirements? Are your intake levels adequate? We have the solution...
The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) is 400mg for adult men and 310mg for women with slight variances made for different age groups. The RDA was first developed in 1940 as a minimum requirement in order to avoid many chronic diseases. Although the RDA has been revisited and revised a number of times, more recent studies have shown that the RDA may in fact be too low for individuals who are suffering from a number of now common disorders.
The common assertion that Magnesium deficiency is rare in America and the rest of the developed world is in direct conflict with the finding that the vast majority of Americans do not consume adequate dietary magnesium. Analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005 - 2006 found that the majority of Americans do not consume adequate dietary Magnesium (15).
The most common and readily used method for determining Magnesium status is carried out by testing serum Magnesium levels. Unfortunately this method of testing will not give an accurate status as there is little correlation between serum levels and total body Magnesium levels. The reason for this is regardless of magnesium levels in specific tissues such as muscles and bones, serum levels are tightly controlled by the body, most likely due to the many critical functions that Magnesium plays in the human body.
What studies have been made regarding Magnesium and the human diet? The results are alarming.
A 2002 three-stage study carried out by the ARS Grand forks Human Nutrition Research Center produced some interesting results. 10 postmenopausal women were placed on a controlled diet. During the first stage the volunteers were given a diet adequate in magnesium for 35 days. During stage two of the trials they were given a diet containing less than half their Dietary Magnesium requirements for 93 days. And during the third and final stage of the study the same volunteers were put on a diet containing adequate Magnesium for 49 days. At the end of each phase of the study the participants were subjected to a number of different tests including exercise, physiological, and biological tests. The study concluded that during the low-magnesium-status stage of the study that the participants used more oxygen and experienced an increased heart rate during physical activity. This means that during the low Magnesium stage of the study the participants required more energy and oxygen to carry out physical tasks.
Another study at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center found an association between typical low Magnesium diets and irregular heartbeats. In this study 22 postmenopausal women aged 47 - 78 years participated. The study was carried out over two stages, each lasting 81 days. At each stage participants were randomly given a controlled conventional diet that contained 130mg Magnesium per day, or a diet that exceeded the 320mg RDA. Participants were not informed whether they were on the lower or higher Magnesium diets.
At the conclusion of each phase of the study blood and urine tests were taken. In addition Electrocardiograms were taken at the end of each phase to measure the participants heart rhythms.
Unsurprisingly the participants on 130mg of Magnesium per day showed depletion in their serum, red blood cells, and urine. They also showed increases in heartbeat to abnormal areas of the heart, which indicates increased myocardial irritability.
The conclusion of the study indicated that 130mg of Magnesium is obviously inadequate and that people who live in soft water areas, people on diuretics, or people who are predisposed to Magnesium loss for any number of reasons may benefit from Magnesium supplementation.
This finding ties in with studies that have found that where people living in "hard" water areas especially where the water contains more Magnesium were found to have a lower risk of developing heart disease.
- Calcium and magnesium in drinking water and risk of death from prostate cancer. Yang CY, Chiu HF, Tsai SS, Cheng MF, Lin MC, Sung FC. School of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical University
- Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F.
- Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraines. Mauskop A, Altura BM. NY Headache Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.
- Rude RK. Magnesium. In: Coates PM, Betz JM, Blackman MR, Cragg GM, Levine M, Moss J, White JD, eds. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Informa Healthcare; 2010:527-37
- Cardiovascular Health: Hard Data for Hard Water Environ Health Perspect. 2008 March; 116(3): A114.
- Comparison of the Mineral Content of Tap Water and Bottled Waters Arik Azoulay, MSc, BComm, Philippe Garzon, BSc, and Mark J Eisenberg, MD, MPH
- Drinking water hardness and chronic degenerative diseases. II. Cardiovascular diseases. Cattedra di Igiene, Università degli Studi di Brescia. Monarca S, Zerbini I, Simonati C, Gelatti U.
- 8. Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Larsson SC, Wolk A. Division of Nutritional Epidemiology, National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
- The role of magnesium in type 2 diabetes: a brief based-clinical review. Biomedical Research Unit, Mexican Social Security Institute, Predio Canoas 100, Col. Los Angeles, 34067 Durango, Dgo Mexico. Rodríguez-Morán M, Simental Mendía LE, Zambrano Galván G, Guerrero-Romero F.
- Magnesium in disease prevention and overall health. Volpe SL Department of Nutrition Sciences, Center for Integrated Nutrition & Performance College of Nursing and Health Professions Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
- Fine KD, Santa Ana CA, Porter JL, Fordtran JS. Intestinal absorption of magnesium from food and supplements. J Clin Invest 1991;88:396-402.
- Institute of Medicine (IOM). Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride . Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997.
- Rude RK. Magnesium. In: Coates PM, Betz JM, Blackman MR, Cragg GM, Levine M, Moss J, White JD, eds. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Informa Healthcare; 2010:527-37.
- Rude RK. Magnesium. In: Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, Tucker KL, Ziegler TR, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 11th ed. Baltimore, Mass: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012:159-75.
- Moshfegh A, Goldman J, Ahuja J, Rhodes D, LaComb R. 2009. What We Eat in America, NHANES 2005-2006: Usual Nutrient Intakes from Food and Water Compared to 1997 Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
These Statements have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure disease.
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