This is the third and final blog outlining the amazing functions of magnesium taken from my book, Magnesium Miracle (2017). You can click to “The Fabulous Functions of Magnesium” and “More Magnesium Functions” to get the whole picture. You can always turn to these blogs if anyone ever suggests that magnesium is only a laxative!
9. 700-800 Enzyme Processes: Magnesium is a required cofactor for the activity of hundreds enzymes processes. I quoted the standard number of 325 enzymes when I wrote the first edition of The Magnesium Miracle. However, the number 325 is far too low. Dr. Rosanoff says, “While it was estimated in 1968 that magnesium was a required cofactor for over 300 enzyme processes, that number is now more reliably estimated at 700 to 800”[i] The authors of “Magnesium in Man: Implications for Health and Disease” assure us that the number of magnesium enzymatic reactions is 600.[ii]
10. Regulates Ion Channels: Magnesium is a direct regulator of ion channels, most notably via the other key electrolytes potassium, calcium and sodium. Magnesium is intimately involved in potassium transport.[iii] Magnesium and potassium depletion cause similar damaging effects on the heart. Furthermore, it is impossible to overcome potassium deficiency without replacing magnesium. That’s why hospitals seem to have such a difficult time finding the right electrolyte balance of sodium, potassium, calcium, and chloride, because they ignore magnesium and do not routinely measure it in their electrolyte panels and when they do test for it, they use the inadequate Serum Magnesium test.
Magnesium is intimately involved in calcium channels. I write about magnesium guarding the ion channels that allow calcium to enter and leave the cell, orchestrating the exact amount of calcium that’s required to cause a muscle or nerve cell to contract and then flushing that extra calcium out to prevent excessive contraction. Thus, magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker. But instead of using magnesium to modify the effect of calcium on body physiology, allopathic medicine insists on using calcium-channel-blocking drugs that have many side effects, including magnesium deficiency.
11. Intracellular Signaling: Magnesium is an important intracellular signaling molecule itself. I’ve mentioned signaling several times; the role of cell signaling cannot be underestimated. Without intercellular communication the cells of the body would not be able to function at all.
12. Oxidative Phosphorylation: Magnesium is a modulator of oxidative phosphorylation during which electrons are transferred from electron donors to electron acceptors such as oxygen in redox reactions, using magnesium as a cofactor. These redox reactions, called electron transport chains, form a series of protein complexes within the cell’s mitochondria that release energy or ATP.
13. Nerve Conduction: Magnesium is intimately involved in efficient nerve conduction. Although calcium is vital for proper nervous system function, too much calcium is dangerous. Excess calcium is proinflammatory and can excite nerves to the point of cell death.
14. Muscle Function: Magnesium is intimately involved in efficient muscle function. The mechanisms are varied and include oxygen uptake, electrolyte balance, and energy production. Magnesium makes muscles work properly, allowing calcium to cause muscle contraction and then pushing calcium out of the muscle cells to allow the relaxation phase. In the same way that nerve cells can be “excited to death,” muscle cells stimulated by too much calcium can go into uncontrollable spasm, resulting in tissue damage such as occurs in a heart attack.[i] Andrea Rosenoff, www.prohealth.com/library/ print.cfm?libid=14606. [ii] de Baaij, JHF. et. al. “Magnesium in Man: Implications for Health and Disease” Physiological Reviews. Jan 1, 2015 Vol. 95 no. 1, 1-46. [iii] Shi J, et al. Mechanism of magnesium activation of calcium-activated potassium channels. Nature 2002;418(6900):876-80.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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