Magnesium, a Crucial Mineral

Magnesium is the second most abundant intracellular cation in the body (after potassium) and the fourth most abundant extracellular cation. Magnesium is a crucial cofactor for many physiologic processes. It is nature’s calcium channel blocker, has antiarrhythmic, antithrombogenic and vasodilating effects. Magnesium also works as a smooth muscle relaxant. Without this crucial mineral many people fall victim to the untoward side effects of a low intracellular magnesium level and most physicians fail to recognize these symptoms. Research has shown that magnesium deficiency alone or with dietary imbalances, or magnesium wasting drugs can lead to a whole host of symptoms and complications. Research has also shown that patients who suffer with hypertension, asthma, coronary artery disease, leg cramps, migraines, diabetes, cardiac arrhythmias, depression, and multiple sclerosis have low intracellular magnesium levels and symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Some of this is due to the disease itself and some of it do to the medications that the person has to take to control the actual disease. Physicians know the balance of calcium, potassium and sodium to name a few. Yet they know limited information about the signs, symptoms and treatment of suboptimal intracellular magnesium. Everything in the body is in a state of balance. On this page we will help you understand how to maintain a positive magnesium balance and why it is so important to your health.

Urinary Magnesium Wasting

One of the most frequent questions that we get asked is how much magnesium should I take and what kind? We have supplied this information on the supplement and product page. On this page we discuss what can cause you to lose the Mg that you are taking. It is just as important to realize when something you have or something you are taking is causing an excessive amount of magnesium to be excreted by the kidneys. Knowing this will help you when you try and calculate out how much magnesium you need each day. Read the Magnesium Wasting page and see if any of your conditions, lifestyle behaviors, or medications is on our list.

Abstracts and Journal Articles

Magnesium has been discovered to be helpful in many different diseases. With current research they have found that many patients with certain diseases have low magnesium levels. Treating these low levels helps to alleviate many of the symptoms that they are having. Many diseases have the same symptoms. Like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. This is probably because they are having symptoms of a low magnesium level. Researchers have been learning more and more in recent years about magnesium and how helpful it can be in certain disease states. The more they learn the more you will hear about it. I firmly believe that everyone should be on a magnesium supplement with the exception of people with Renal Failure. I have an extensive list of journal abstracts and articles. I have moved them to their own page there were so many. Hope you find them helpful.

Pathophysiology of Magnesium Imbalances

Magnesium Imbalance Explanation


Neuromuscular Magnesium (Mg) deficit increases neuromuscular excitability. Mg deficit increases the release of acetylcholine from the presynaptic membrane of nerve fibers.
Cardiac Can cause tachycardia, hypertension, cardiac dysrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation.
Gastrointestinal GI dysfunction can inhibit Mg absorption from the small intestine.
Hormonal Magnesium inhibits the release of parathyroid hormone (PTH) which can cause a calcium deficit because of the decreased PTH.
Neuromuscular A serum Mg excess has a sedative effect on the neuromuscular system, resulting in a loss of deep tendon reflexes.
Cardiac Hypermagnesemia can cause hypotension and heart block
Respiratory Can inhibit intercostal muscle action, thus decreasing respirations, which could result in respiratory paralysis.
Renal Renal insufficiency can increase the magnesium level since 40% of magnesium is excreted by the kidneys.

Basic Information Related to Magnesium Balance

Categories Magnesium Data
Distribution 50% of Mg is in bones; 49% of Mg is in intracellular fluid
Functions Influences neuromuscular activity, aids other electrolytes with cardiac contractions, activates many enzymes, and influences the utilization of K, Ca and protein.
Normal Serum Values 1.5-2.5 mEq/L

1.8-3.0 mg/dL

0.65-1.1 mmol/L

Normal Excretion Values 120-140mg/day
Dietary Daily Requirement For Adults: 300-350mg or 6mg/kg
Food Sources Green Vegetables, Whole Grains, fish and seafood, nuts.
Excretion 60% is excreted in feces and 40% via kidneys

Magnesium and its functions

Body Involvement Functions
Neuromuscular Transmits neuromuscular activity. Important mediator of neural transmission in the CNS.
Cardiac Contracts the heart muscle (myocardium)
Cellular Activates many enzymes for proper carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Responsible for the transportation of sodium and potassium acrss cell membranes. Influences utilization of potassium, calcium, and protein. Magnesium deficits are frequently accompanied by a potassium or calcium deficit.
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