Magnesium – What Is It & How It Benefits You
Magnesium is a mineral that is required for every biochemical process in the body including metabolism and the synthesis of both nucleic acids and protein. The body contains approximately 21 grams of magnesium, 70% of which is found in the bones.
Because magnesium is easily lost in cooking, food processing and agricultural practices, such as liming of soils, deficiencies are widespread.
For example, whole-wheat flour contains approximately 113mg of magnesium per 100 grams while white flour has only 25mg per 100gms. The magnesium salts in plants are so soluble that not only cooking but also, merely blanching will demineralise them.
For strong or unpleasant underarm or foot odours, magnesium is a great body deodoriser. However it is not instant, so it may take a little time for the odours to disappear.
Many bodily processes require magnesium, including energy production, hormonal activity and the balance and control of potassium, calcium and sodium in the electrolytes.
Muscles need magnesium to contract and relax, especially the heart, as it is magnesium that regulates the heartbeat. Low magnesium levels can contribute to heart failure.
Even a very slight magnesium deficiency can disrupt the heartbeat and a huge range of deficiency symptoms, such as migraines, fatigue, muscle cramps and impairment of the myelin sheath covering the nerves. Magnesium is a part of at least 300 enzymes.
Certainly, magnesium plays a role in hypertension (high blood pressure). Persons suffering from this complaint are invariably magnesium deficient.
Magnesium is often called the transport mineral, because, in the blood, it will form temporary electrostatic bonds with other minerals, particularly calcium, to facilitate their progress through the blood vessels.
When magnesium is absent, resorbed calcium, (from the bones), will sometimes bond with oxalic, malic and/or uric acid in the blood, to form oxalates, malleates or urates. These compounds are not soluble in water and thus become the stuff kidney stones are made of.
In conclusion, it appears that the role of magnesium in helping to maintain optimum health is probably underrated. Many nutritionists today regard magnesium as the principal macro mineral ahead of potassium, sodium and even calcium.
New Zealand is quite lacking of magnesium in the soil. Accordingly, it is no surprise that most of the population is deficient of this important mineral, in their daily diet.
Certainly, if you should suffer from any of the deficiency symptoms described here, you would be well advised to consider taking a magnesium supplement, either as Magnesium Citrate in capsule form or as a soluble powder. The latter is more economical and very bioavailable.