Magnesium isn’t the most popular mineral, but it’s of utmost importance for the human body. According to experts at the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements magnesium:
– Takes part in more than 300 biochemical reactions
– Regulates cellular energy production
– Builds bone, DNA and RNA material
– Supports nerve function, protein synthesis, and blood sugar
What is magnesium?
Carl Sagan said that magnesium is the nitrogen in your DNA, the calcium in your teeth, the iron in your blood and the carbon in your apple pies. Human beings are made of the inner matter of collapsing stars, adding that we’re made of stars.
Magnesium (Mg) is a chemical element from the alkaline earth metal group. It has a shiny-grey coloration similar to its chemical kin: barium (Ba), beryllium (Be), calcium (Ca), radium (Ra), and strontium (Sr).
Experts believe that magnesium existed long before the formation of Earth which makes it primordial element. This mineral comprises the ninth-highest environmental concentration in the universe. It’s produced by the accumulation of three helium nuclei to a carbon base, usually from the erosion of old stars. It’s abundant in Earth’s crust and seas.
When it comes to the human body, Mg is the eleventh most abundant mineral. It’s one of the most important minerals in terms of regulating body functions. It takes part in the function of every cell in the body.
Interesting magnesium facts
– British scientist Joseph Black discovered magnesium in 1755
– It’s used in aeronautical, automotive, electronics, and energy production
– Sir Humphry Davy chemically separated magnesium through a process known as chemical isolation in 1808
– It’s named after the city of Magnesia, Greece, and is chemically related to magnetite and manganese
– It’s used as structural metal, and in aluminum alloys, die-casting, titanium production, and sulfur purification
Magnesium in the human body
Magnesium is highly interactive with phosphate ions. It’s a central component of the DNA and RNA in every living organism. About 300 enzymes in human body need magnesium ions. It’s an important element in the synthesis of ATP, DNA, and RNA enzymes.
Scientists are looking for new ways to use this mineral in service of human health. It’s used in a surgical implant that degrades in the human body. This mineral has found great application in medicine and healthcare since its isolation.
1. Cell communication
Magnesium is important in the structure and function of cells. Cells are designed to communicate with other cells in order to maintain health. Magnesium acts like a building block of the cell-signaling molecule, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). This molecule is present in the neurological, immunologic and metabolic system.
A recent study found that magnesium ions have an important role in chromosomes. Calcium ions have the same role. Magnesium ions affect chromosome condensation, also known as “folding and coiling.” The DNA material is brought together by proteins at the centromere.
3. Sunshine vitamin
Magnesium is of utmost importance for the activation and function of vitamin D. It assists in the activation of the sunshine vitamin, which helps calcium and phosphate to affect the growth and maintenance of bones. The lack of vitamin D and magnesium causes multiple disorders, including cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and skeletal deformities.
Magnesium is a vasodilator that relaxes smooth muscles, improving blood flow to the brain and other parts of the body. Magnesium has an important role in the regulation of cortisol and the brain receptors responsible for cognition, learning and memory. Magnesium l-threonate is a form of magnesium that improves brain plasticity and cognitive abilities.
5. Labor cycles
Contractions in the uterine cause cervical changes, leading to premature labor. Intravenous administration of magnesium sulfate is a common therapy for premature labor. Doctors can’t tell much about the way this works, but magnesium sulfate inhibits contractions.
6. Muscle relaxant
Magnesium is the strongest natural muscle relaxant ever known to science. Dr. Mark Hyman remembers all the time he used magnesium. It was used in emergency rooms as a critical medication. Magnesium was given to those dealing with life-threatening arrhythmia. Milk of magnesium or a green bottle of liquid magnesium citrate was given to constipated patients and those scheduled for surgeries. Pregnant women received high doses of intravenous magnesium for their high blood pressure or seizures.
7. Sleep/Wake cycle
Magnesium affects the sleep-wake-regulating hormone melatonin. Dietary magnesium supplementation increases sleep time and sleep efficiency, and decreases sleep latency and serum cortisol concentration.
About 50% of all Americans lack magnesium as reported by the American Osteopathic Association.
Here’s what the National Health and Medical Research Council suggest:
19-30 years: 400 mg/day
31-50: 420 mg
51+: 420 mg
19-30 years: 310 mg/day
31-50: 320 mg
51+: 320 mg
14-18 years: 400 mg/day
19-30 years: 350 mg
31-50 years: 360 mg
14-18 years: 360 mg/day
19-30: 310 mg
31-50: 320 mg
Top 10 foods rich in magnesium
1. Cashews, 1 ounce: 82 mg (20% RDI)
2. Dark chocolate, 1 ounce: 64 mg (16% RDI)
3. Avocados, 1 medium: 58 mg (15% RDI)
4. Black beans, 1 cup, cooked: 120 mg (30% RDI)
5. Tofu, 3.5 ounces/100 grams: 53 mg (13% RDI)
6. Pumpkin seeds, 1 ounce/28 grams: 150 mg (37% RDI)
7. Dry buckwheat, 1 ounce/28 grams: 65 mg (16% RDI)
8. Salmon, ½ fillet/178 grams: 53 mg (13% RDI)
9. Banana, 1 large: 37 mg (9% RDI)
10. Cooked spinach, 1 cup: 157 mg (39% RDI)