Magnesium has been called the “The Forgotten Mineral” and the “5-Cent Miracle Tablet” by medical researchers. Numerous researchers have reported that the provision of this mineral in the population at large would greatly diminish the incidence of kidney stones (1 in 11 Americans), calcified mitral heart valve (1 in 12 Americans), premenstrual tension, constipation, miscarriages, stillbirths, strokes, diabetes, thyroid failure, asthma, chronic eyelid twitch (blepharospasm), brittle bones, chronic migraines, muscle spasms and anxiety reactions.
Unfortunately, there’s far more to the story, while magnesium is a macromineral which plays an indispensable role in a wide variety of metabolic functions in the human body. In fact, it is difficult to find a metabolic process which does not require magnesium. Of the approx. 25 grams of Mg found in the human body, ~60-65% is located in bone, ~27% is intramuscular, and ~7% is found in other cell types and bodily fluids.
It’s well known that when we get too low on oxygen, water or food, the consequences are serious. Yet, we often don`t realize the consequences of magnesium deficiency. The improper use of magnesium among health professionals and the population in general, is deeply responsible for many of the failures encountered daily in treating chronic health conditions nationwide. In addition to the ones listed above are:
High Blood Pressure
and the list goes on…. It is reported that 90-95% of us are deficient in magnesium, including many of those who already supplement it. Why? Due to the misleading information presented in common magnesium texts. As a result, magnesium remains largely misunderstood, largely misused and the problem goes on undetected.
One of the main reasons for the incomplete understanding of the role of magnesium in the overall health and function of magnesium is the frequently overlooked fact that magnesium alone does not operate in a vacuum. In other words, magnesium alone is incapable of restoring the integrity of a compromised biological environment and must be evaluated in contrast to the other essential nutrients and functions that activate and enhance the full potential of this critical nutrient.
Aside from the obvious role of magnesium in the overall biological environment, the question arises – does it matter if we are a little bit deficient? Well, magnesium plays an important role in biochemical reactions all over your body. It is involved in a lot of cell transport activities, in addition to helping cells make energy aerobically or anaerobically.
In fact, over 300 known & distinct different essential enzymatic reactions in the body require Mg. Energy production, including fat and carbohydrate metabolism as well ATP production are Mg dependent. RNA and DNA synthesis also require the presence of Mg. Structurally, Mg is crucial, as it is part of the bone’s crystal lattice. It is also found in concentration on the cortical surface of bones where it is believed to be stored until it is needed during times of deficiency.
As a constituent in cell membranes, Mg also plays a pivotal role in ion transport, regulating calcium and potassium across the cellular membrane, thus preventing the over excitation of nerves and thereby promoting the relaxation of muscle.
The cardiovascular system, nervous system, muscles, kidneys, liver, brain, hormone secreting glands, and gastrointestinal tract all rely on Mg for their metabolic function. Due to this pervasiveness, deficiency symptoms can widely vary. Some of the most common presentations associated with Mg deficiency include: hypomagnesemia, hypocalcemia, hypoglycemia, elevated serum fats and increased blood sugar.
Your bones are a major reservoir for magnesium, and magnesium is the counter-ion for calcium and potassium in muscle cells, including the heart. If your magnesium is too low, you can experience muscle cramps, arrythmias, and even sudden death . Ion regulation is everything with respect to how muscles contract and nerves send signals. In the brain, potassium and sodium balance each other. In the heart and other muscles, magnesium pulls some of the load.
Magnesium seems to act on many levels in the hormonal axis and regulation of the stress response. Magnesium can suppress the ability of the hippocampus to stimulate the ultimate release of stress hormone, it can reduce the release of ACTH (the hormone that tells your adrenal glands to get in gear and pump out that cortisol and adrenaline), and it can reduce the responsiveness of the adrenal glands to ACTH. In addition, magnesium can act at the blood brain barrier to prevent the entrance of stress hormones into the brain.
Finally, magnesium is sequestered and wasted via the urine in times of stress along with a host of other minerals, inappropriately excreted through the kidney into the urine. However, it may not be overall magnesium deficiency causing depression and exaggerated stress response – it may just be all that chronic stress, and magnesium deficiency being a biomarker for chronic stress, thus making the results of a Matrix Assessment Profile an even more specific and valuable tool for assessing the mineral status of every system with the biological environment.
The overall levels of magnesium in the body are hard to measure. Most of our body’s magnesium is stored in the bones, the rest in the cells, and a very small amount is roaming free in the blood. One would speculate that various mechanisms would allow us to recover some needed magnesium from the intracellular space or the bones if we had plenty on hand, which most of us probably don’t.
Magnesium is an old home remedy for all that ails you, including “anxiety, apathy, depression, headaches, insecurity, irritability, restlessness, talkativeness, and sulkiness.”but that doesn’t mean that magnesium is unimportant in the brain since it is also widely known and accepted that magnesium deficiency could cause depression, behavioral disturbances, headaches, muscle cramps, seizures, ataxia, psychosis, and irritability and numerous other common disorders – all reversible with magnesium repletion but not with just magnesium alone.
And then there is the stress model of magnesium depletion which is the generally accepted theory that chronic stress leads to excess cortisol, which eventually damages the hippocampus of the brain, leading to impaired negative feedback and thus ongoing stress and depression and neurotoxicity.
So, as an added and well-established adjunct to mere magnesium deficiency, stress is the bad guy here, in addition to our woeful magnesium deficient diets. As is the case with other minerals such as zinc, stress causes us to waste our magnesium like crazy.
Yet, until recently, there has been a woeful lack of a well-designed and constructed evaluation process for identifying a a cause for the compromise in available magnesium while simultaneously incorporating an exploration for the deficiency in the numerous other minerals critical to the effective utilization of magnesium. That is, until the recent arrival of an evaluation process called the M.A.P. ( Matrix Assessment Profile).
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT
The biological environment provides an objective biochemical baseline for identifying the strengths, weaknesses, and imbalances in the fluids comprising the internal environment of your body that reflect the integrity of lymph, urine, and saliva formation, all directly linked to the availability of magnesium and successful utilization of magnesium in the human biological matrix.
Therefore, the chemical state of the Biological Matrix will be reflected in the results of the M.A.P. and provide a means of identifying the degree to which an overall mineral deficiency is present, including, but not limited to magnesium alone, thus providing the foundation for constructing and monitoring your response to specific therapeutic intervention.
If the above links aren’t enough to pique your interest, depression is associated with systemic inflammation and a cell-mediated immune response. Turns out, so is magnesium deficiency. In addition, animal models show that sufficient magnesium seems to protect the brain from depression and anxiety after traumatic brain injury and that the antidepressants desipramine and St. John’s Wort (hypericum perforatum) seem to protect the mice from the toxic effects of magnesium deficiency and its relationship to anxious and depressed behaviors.
Serum levels may be nearly useless in telling us about our full-body magnesium availability, and studies of levels and depression, schizophrenia, PMS, and anxiety have been all over the place. There is some observational evidence that the Mg to Ca ratio may be a better clue, thus making the M.A.P. one of the best, if not the best for determining an overall mineral deficiency.
But, that being said, it doesn’t hurt to replete one’s magnesium to face the modern world, particularly in light of the role it plays considering the known relationship of symptom related mineral deficiences, including that of magnesium.
If we could alleviate some of that burden with enough mineral water… we should know whether that is a reasonable proposition. Whew. Well, just a few more things to keep in mind before you jump in. Quite simply, not unlike any of the other miracle cures on the market, magnesium is neither a single pill for problem solution, nor a cure-all for what ails you.
So everyone get out there and take some magnesium already, but by all means, seriously consider including the untold benefits of the results obtained by having a Matrix Assessment Profile performed in the privacy of your own home as a far more comprehensive analysis of your magnesium and mineral status.