Magnesium: an “essential” mineral


By Lise Guénette, ND.A.
Member of l’Association des naturopathes agréés du Québec

Essential, because it is involved in over 300 metabolic reactions in the body.

Essential, because it allows the conversion of food into energy and helps to regulate blood sugar intake by improving insulin sensitivity.

Essential, because it helps with cardiac rhythm and helps regulate blood pressure.

NEED TO RELAX? Magnesium: an “essential” mineral

Essential, because it permits the transmissions of electric impulses through nerves and muscles. Magnesium contributes to muscular relaxation. In the absence of magnesium, the muscles are subject to cramps and spasms.

Essential, because it works in synergy with calcium. Everywhere in the human body, calcium favors muscular contraction while magnesium is mandatory for its relaxation.

Many researches have noted that the North American diet does not provide enough magnesium. Food products that are rich in magnesium include nuts, whole grains and dark green leafy vegetables.

Normally, it is stocked in our muscles and bones and it plays a key role in opening access to our muscular cells, permitting potassium and calcium to enter and leave freely in function of the body’s needs, while the muscle completes its task.

Magnesium is an essential mineral in the cases of:

  • High blood pressurecardiac arrhythmia: Studies have shown that magnesium protects people who are at risk of cardiac diseases, hypertension, and suffer from cerebrovascular disease or atherosclerosis and those who take diuretics.
  • Repetitive stress, because it models a reactive behavior to stress and neuron excitement
  • Osteoporosis because magnesium is mandatory for bone metabolism and maintaining a good bone density, while still reducing risks of accumulating calcium deposits.
  • Migraines: A regular intake of magnesium with bromelain can considerably help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines.
  • Muscular cramps and restless leg and fibromyalgia: Associated to malic acid, magnesium can help relieve pains from fibromyalgia
  • Menstrual cramps, menstrual symptoms: Magnesium helps stop PMS , including irritability and mood changes. Results are even better if you add vitamin B6 with magnesium. Please note that taking birth control pills can cause a lack of magnesium.
  • Attention deficient disorder (ADD) in children: The majority of children suffer from ADD, demonstrating symptoms of lack in magnesium. Taking a magnesium supplement with vitamin B6 has given positive results amongst many of them.
  • Kidney stones: Magnesium increases calcium solubility, which has a preventive effect on the forming of kidney stones
  • Type 2 Diabetes: A magnesium supplement contributes to increasing sensitivity to insulin and reduce risks of suffering from complications linked to diabetes, such as neuropathy.
  • Insomnia: Magnesium gives a relaxing effect which favors soothing effects and can improve sleeping problems.

Magnesium presents itself in different forms: chloride, citrate, carbonate, lactate, aspartate, sulfate, hydroxide, oxide, bisglycinate, malate, fumarate, etc.  They do not all have the same bioavailability. The less magnesium is assimilated, the more there will have a laxative effect. For example, salt magnesium are less bioavailable and the more laxative ones are sulfate and lactate. The inorganic ones, such as chloride and oxide are moderately and susceptible to provoking diarrhea. Citrate, malate, fumarate and magnesium-gluconate salts are very digestible and affect very little or not all sensitive intestines. While the bisglycinate, which bonds magnesium to an  amino acid, offers great bioavailability and does not affect fragile intestines.

NEED TO RELAX? Make magnesium your daily ally!

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