One of the most essential electrolyte minerals is one that is increasingly deficient among people today. Magnesium deficiency is so common, one could write several volumes of books about it. Magnesium is essential for initiating more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body.
Magnesium deficiency has been cited in numerous diseases, as either being a causative factor, or as expediting various diseases processes. This article will identify 2 primary health conditions that are affected by magnesium deficiency: diabetes type 2 and osteoporosis.
Magnesium is found in every cell of the body. It is so vital to normal, biological function that ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the main source of energy in cells) must be bound to magnesium. Magnesium allows for the relaxation of muscles, including the most important muscle of the body: your heart. Magnesium is a powerful calcium channel blocker and unlike calcium channel blocking medications, is natural and non-toxic.
Long term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPI's) for conditions such as GERD and acid reflux have been shown to significantly reduce magnesium intake in the small intestines, and can result in severe hypomagnesaemia. Perhaps the mechanism with how magnesium deficiency exists with long term PPI use is the inhibition of HCL, the stomach acid which increases the absorption of nutrient minerals.
Magnesium deficiency is strongly linked to diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It is often that many type 2 diabetics are in an overactive sympathetic-dominant state. Excess sympathetic nervous system activity results in elevated glucose, elevated blood pressure and increased blood volume. Magnesium inhibits sympathetic nervous system output. Magnesium deficiency moves potassium out of cells. Bad news if you are a diabetic or a cardiovascular patient.
Magnesium moves potassium into cells. Cells need roughly 14 times the amount of potassium inside of cells than sodium. Researchers in North Carolina found that people who consumed the most magnesium from vitamin supplements and foods were half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who took in the least amount of magnesium.
Magnesium is required for three critical enzymatic reactions in glucose metabolism: pyruvate carboxylase, phosphoenol-pyruvate carboxykinase and fructose 1,6 biphosphatase. Additionally, magnesium plays key enzymatic roles in various hormones which have a regulatory effect upon gluconeogenesis, namely insulin, glucagon, adrenaline and cortisol. Magnesium deficiency can negatively affect the functionality and production of the hormones of the pancreas, namely insulin and glucagon.
Magnesium therapy results in osteoblastic activity (bone formation) in osteoporotic patients. As much as 50% of magnesium is found in the bones. The longterm use of proton pump inhibitors can flat out cause osteoporosis, and multiple studies indicate this.
Osteoporosis is not bone loss. Rather it is the catabolic disintegration of the collagen matrix that holds bone together. Tens of thousands of post menopausal women take calcium supplements to "prevent" or "reverse" the onset of osteoporosis. Yet osteoporosis has almost nothing to do with a calcium deficiency and most of this supplemental calcium ends up being flushed down the toilet! Ironically, studies have shown that osteoporotic patients taking calcium actually reduced bone osteoblasts (bone formation).
Osteomalacia is a condition in which there is a calcium deficiency yet no loss to bone integrity. In truth, osteoporosis is far more complex than a deficiency of any one mineral. The metabolic imbalance most associated with osteoporosis is catabolism, the simplex of patterns revealing cellular disintegration and breakdown.
Magnesium does indeed keep calcium ionized in solution, and increases the availability of vitamin D. Ionized calcium is "active" calcium. Sufficient magnesium intake is associated with increased calcium utilization and retention.
Hydrochlortic acid must separate magnesium from magnesium salt. Magnesium salts are: magnesium malate, sulfate, orotate, carbonate, citrate, glycintate, oxide. If a person has an inadequate amount of stomach acid, these mineral salts may be poorly utilized.
Hydrochloric acid is lacking in many people today. Some estimates suggest as much as half of the population is deficient in adequate HCL. Jonathon Wright, MD has noted after several decades of clinical practice that when hypochlorhydria is present, vitamin, mineral and amino acid deficiencies are very common.
"Although research in this area is entirely inadequate, it’s been my clinical observation that calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, manganese, vanadium, molybdenum, cobalt, and many other “micro-trace” elements are not nearly as well-absorbed in those with poor stomach acid as it is in those whose acid levels are normal."
Michael McEvoy has a private nutritional consulting practice. He works with clients nationally and internationally. Please contact him to learn more about his nutritional consulting services and programs.
McNEILL, HERBEIN AND RITCHEY, 2011: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6279807
Preventing & Reversing Osteoporosis, Gaby, MD
"The Digestive Theory of Aging", Jonathon Wright, MD: http://tahomaclinicblog.com/the-digestive-theory-of-aging/