Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body.  It is responsible for proper enzyme activity, transmission of muscle and nerve impulses, and aids in maintaining a proper pH balance.   It helps metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy.   Magnesium helps synthesize the genetic material in cells, and helps to remove toxic substances, such as aluminum and ammonia from the body.  Adequate amounts of magnesium are needed to insure proper heart function.  A deficiency of magnesium may increase heart disease by decreasing free radical damage.  Calcium and magnesium help regulate the heart rate.  Magnesium relaxes smooth muscle, including the heart, and calcium constricts or activates smooth muscle.  Magnesium plays a significant role in regulating the neurotransmitters.  A deficiency in magnesium can cause depression, muscle cramps, high blood pressure, heart disease and arrhythmia, constipation, insomnia, loss of hair, confusion, personality disorders, swollen gums, and loss of appetite. 

Side Notes:  Magnesium is a natural sedative and can be used to treat muscle spasm, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and constipation.  It also helps with intermittent claudicating, a condition caused by a restriction of blood flow to the legs (I recommend Bilberry and 600 mg. of magnesium).  Magnesium is also effective in relieving some of the symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).  Women who suffer from PMS are usually deficient in magnesium (as is 80 percent of the general population).  New studies are validating what many nutrition-oriented physicians have known for years; a magnesium deficiency can trigger migraine headaches.  Magnesium helps relax constricted bronchial tubes associated with asthma.  In fact, a combination of Vitamin B-6 and magnesium, along with avoidance of wheat and dairy products has cured many of my young asthmatic patients.  High intake of calcium may reduce magnesium absorption.  Simple sugars deplete the body of magnesium!  So does stress, and magnesium is a potent anti-depressant!  Toxicity:  Symptoms of magnesium toxicity include nausea, lethargy and difficulty in breathing.  Magnesium supplemented above 600 mg. can cause loose stools and diarrhea, but this is quickly remedied by decreasing the dosage.

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