Magnesium – The Heart Mineral

What is Magnesium?

Macronutrient Component Often Called "The Heart Mineral"

“Magnesium helps regulate hundreds of body systems, including blood pressure, blood sugar, and muscle and nerve function. We need magnesium to help blood vessels relax, and for energy production, bone development, and transporting calcium and potassium.”


How Do We Get Magnesium and How Do We Lose It?

Magnesium is ingested through eating leafy green vegetables, peas, soy beans, wheat germ, whole grains, cornmeal and molasses, as well as animal proteins such as shrimp, clams, oysters, crab, liver, beef and pork. Though found in these foods, only 50% is typically absorbed while you digest these foods. Despite being present in these foods, having low levels of this mineral can be more common than you think. Magnesium can be lost through the use of some drugs/medicines; fasting, stress, disease, sweat, excess fibre consumption; alcohol, diuretics and vomiting. Drugs toxic to kidneys, gluten intolerance, inflammatory bowel diseases or short bowel syndrome, hormonal disorders, corticoid-steroids and heart drug ‘digitalis’ all can also create or put you at risk of deficiency. You can also be at risk of low magnesium during particular stages of life or due to relatively normal behaviours and situations. If you are on a low-calorie diet, doing regular & strenuous exercise, are pregnant, elderly or a diabetic, you’re more likely than the average person to be low on magnesium. Magnesium salt (such as ColoZone) can be used as a supplement to improve your magnesium levels if you have causes that may reduce your levels.
Suggested Optimal Daily Nutritional Allowances (SONA) is 300 mg/day but individual optimum levels can vary. It’s also good to get a 1:1 balance between calcium & magnesium.
Like all things in our body, we want to have a good balance to feel our best. In cases where we don’t have a balance of magnesium, you may experience one or more symptoms.
Muscle ache, tremor, spasm & cramp; low blood sugar, irritability, fatigue, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness
Growth impairment, cardiovascular disturbances, calcium deposits in kidneys, heart & joints; calcium deposition in soft tissues; loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, confusion, tremors, loss of coordination, cardiac arrhythmia
If you have normal, healthy kidney function, excess magnesium (defined as more than 3 grams of pure magnesium) isn’t toxic. It can cause diarrhoea but won’t be harmful. If you have kidney failure do not take magnesium except under doctors advice. High magnesium in those who have kidney failure can result in coma and/or heart failure.

The Science

Acts as a catalyst in hundreds of reactions, many in energy production facilities of cells (mitochondria) Required in all reactions that involve release or expenditure of energy; ATP production Required in almost all reactions involving carbohydrate, lipid, protein and nucleic acid metabolism Involved in reactions related to synthesis, degradation & stability of genetic material (DNA) Fulfils vital role in nerve transmission & muscle relaxation Important to maintain electrical stability of cells, membrane integrity, regulation of blood vessel tone; regulates calcium entrance into cells; regulates heartbeat Necessary to maintain acid-alkaline balance of body fluids Important role in bone physiology & tooth enamel formation Plays part as co-factor or catalyst in at least 300 enzyme reactions Necessary to transform essential fatty acids to prostaglandins Plays role in cold adaptation First studied in rats, a relationship between magnesium levels and neuro-muscular abnormalities was found.

Therapeutic Application

Protective against heart disease & helpful in treatment of high blood pressure, improves survival chances after heart attack; prevents ischemic heart disease
May be helpful in treating PMS, along with zinc, vitamins B-6, B-3 & C
Appears to help prevent oxalate kidney stones, with B-6; not effective with gall stones
Might have positive effect on depression, through its role in neurotransmitter synthesis
Effective in treatment of convulsions in pregnant women, premature labour & pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure, swelling {oedema} of tissues, protein in urine) & eclampsia (convulsions, coma)
Treats neuro-muscular & nervous disorders due to magnesium deficiency
Treats magnesium deficiency-induced respiratory muscle weakness
Can be used to induce diarrhoea (cure constipation)
Useful, with calcium in the treatment of cramps
Prevents arrhythmias
Replenishes loss of magnesium from diarrhoea, prolonged sweating, diuretic use & alcoholism
Part of program to alleviate cramps & cravings of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Synergists – vitamin B-6; calcium; phosphorus