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Magnesium Health Benefits: Magnesium is important to the proper functioning of the body

Magnesium Health Benefits: Magnesium is important to the proper functioning of the body

Magnesium is important to the proper functioning of the body


Everything you need to know about the absorption of magnesium and its overall contribution to the human health


About 99% of the total magnesium in the body is stored in bones, muscles, and soft tissues. While 50-60% of the stored magnesium is found in the hydroxyapatite surface substitutes, a calcium phosphate metal, which is a constituent of the bone and a basic component of the tooth enamel. Most of the remaining stored magnesium is contained in skeletal muscles and soft tissues.

Bone content in magnesium decreases with age, while the magnesium stored in this way cannot be fully bioavailable when magnesium deficiency occurs in the body. Nevertheless, the bones can give a large interchangeable reservoir in order to neutralize an acute change in serum magnesium concentration.

In total, one-third of the magnesium skeleton is interchangeable and serves as a reservoir to maintain normal levels of extracellular magnesium. Extracellularly stored magnesium amounts to about 1% of the total magnesium found primarily in serum and red blood cells.

Magnesium is a co-agent in over 300 enzymatic reactions.

It has the property of stabilizing significant enzymes, including those required for ATP production reactions.

ATP is universally required for:

  •  Using glucose,
  •  the synthesis of fat, proteins, nucleic acids, and coenzymes,
  •  muscle contraction,
  •  the transport of methyl groups and many other processes,

Therefore, the problems associated with magnesium deficiency affect all these functions. Thus, it is necessary to know that ATP metabolism, muscle contraction and relaxation, normal neurological function, and release of neurotransmitters are all dependent on magnesium.


It is also important to note that magnesium contributes:

  •   in the regulation of vascular tone and heart rate,
  •   platelet-activated thrombosis
  •   in the formation of bones.

  ⇒ In muscle contraction, for example, magnesium stimulates calcium to re-induce calcium-activated ATPase from the sarcoplasmic network.

  ⇒ Magnesium further regulates insulin signal transduction and cell proliferation and is important for cell adhesion and transmembrane transport, including the transport of potassium and calcium ions.

  ⇒It also supports the nucleic acid configuration and is essential for the structural function of proteins and mitochondria.

Magnesium and Diabetes

It has long been suggested that magnesium may have a role in insulin secretion because of the change in insulin secretion and susceptibility seen in magnesium-deficient people. Epidemiological studies have shown a high prevalence of hypomagnesemia and lower intracellular magnesium concentrations in diabetics.

Several benefits of magnesium supplementation have been obtained in the metabolic profile of diabetics, according to what has been observed in clinical trials.

Even calcium and magnesium compete for the same plasma protein binding sites. It has also been shown that magnesium competes with the calcium-dependent release of acetylcholine in the final kinetic plaque of muscle fibers.

Thus, magnesium can be considered a natural "calcium antagonist". While calcium is a powerful "trigger of death", magnesium is not. Magnesium inhibits cell death caused by calcium. It is anti-apoptotic in the transfer of mitochondrial permeability and competes with apoptosis triggered by calcium overload.


Magnesium homeostasis is supported by the intestine, bones, and kidneys.

Magnesium, just like calcium, is mainly absorbed in the intestine and stored in the bones, while excess magnesium is excreted by the kidneys and faeces. Magnesium is mainly absorbed in the small intestine, although some of it can be recruited through the colon.

Of the total dietary intake of magnesium consumed, only about 24-76% is absorbed by the intestine and the rest is excreted with the stools.

It is noteworthy that intestinal absorption is not directly proportional to magnesium intake. Absorption mainly depends on the amount of magnesium in the body. The lower the amount of magnesium in the body, the more this element is absorbed in the intestine, so the relative magnesium absorption is high when the availability in the body is low and vice versa. When the intestinal concentration of magnesium is low, it is active for cell transport, mainly in the small intestine.

The kidneys are vital for magnesium's homeostasis since its serum concentration is mainly controlled by its excretion into the urine.

Magnesium excretion follows a circadian rhythm, maximum excretion occurs at night. Under normal conditions, approximately 2400 mg of magnesium present in the plasma is filtered by the glomeruli. The filtered load will immediately be absorbed in 95% and only 3-5% will be excreted in the urine (i.e. about 100 mg).

It is noteworthy that the transfer of magnesium differs from that of most other ions since the main site of reabsorption is not the proximal tubule but the thick anionic strand of the Henle loop. There, 60-70% of magnesium is absorbed and another small percentage (~ 10%) is absorbed into the distal tubes.

The kidneys, however, may reduce or increase magnesium excretion and reabsorption within a sufficiently wide range: renal excretion of the filtered load may vary from 0.5 to 70%. On the one hand, the kidneys can maintain magnesium during its shortage by reducing its excretion. On the other hand, magnesium can also be rapidly eliminated in cases of excessive intake.

While resorption is mainly dependent on plasma magnesium levels, hormones play only a minor role (e.g., parathyroid hormone, anti-diuretic hormone, glucagon, calcitonin), with estrogen being the exception to this rule.

The mechanism by which red cells retain their shape has been the subject of numerous studies. One of the critical factors for maintaining their shape is the level of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) of red cell levels. The interaction of calcium, magnesium and ATP with structural membrane proteins exerts a key role in controlling the shape of red blood cells. Finally, magnesium can enhance oxygen binding to heme proteins.



Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

Patients with hypomagnesemia suffer from a wide range of symptoms, such as muscle cramps, cardiac arrhythmias or epilepsy. Other research has shown that magnesium deficiency produces neuropathologies.

Magnesium ions regulate the flow of calcium ions into neuronal calcium channels, helping to regulate the production of nitric oxide in the nervous system.

In magnesium deficiency, neuronal requirements for magnesium may not be met, causing neuronal damage that could also manifest as depression. Researchers believe that supplemental magnesium delivery is effective in treating major depression resulting from the lack of serum magnesium. Such neuronal magnesium ion deficiencies can be caused by stress hormones, over-accumulation of calcium as well as dietary magnesium deficiencies.

Magnesium has been found to be effective in treating depression in general use. Thus, it can be effective in treating related and accompanying mental illnesses such as traumatic brain injury, headache, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, postpartum depression, alcohol and tobacco abuse, and calcium hypersensitivity.

Magnesium deficiency is the biggest cause of depression and related mental health problems.


Magnesium is regulated in the brain by the activity of the NMDA receptor. Therefore, decreased serum magnesium levels cause hypersensitivity to neurons and are associated with epilepsy, migraine, depression, and traumatic brain trauma. In the heart, the effect of any magnesium disorder may be the presence of arrhythmias. In the muscles, low plasma magnesium levels lead to muscle spasms and cramps.

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