Did you know that magnesium is called the “Spark of Life” because it is essential to all cells in the body and over 700 enzymatic reactions? It is the ninth most abundant element in the universe and is the fourth most common element in the Earth after iron, oxygen and silicon. It is the eleventh most abundant element in our bodies.
Enzymes are protein molecules that stimulate every chemical reaction in our body and magnesium is required to make hundreds of these enzymes work and assist with thousands of others as a co-factor whose presence is essential for the activities in the cells. By activating enzymes, it helps in the process of digestion, absorption and the utilization of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
The most important enzymatic reaction involves the creation of energy by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fundamental energy molecule of the body. Therefore, magnesium is required for the body to produce and store energy. Without magnesium there is” no energy, no movement, no life!”
It is used in synergy with dozens of other minerals and vitamins to create the building blocks from foods to sustain our bodies. It is also critical in transmitting nerve signals by permitting small amounts of calcium to enter the nerve cells, just enough to allow electrical transmission along the nerves to and from brain, then forces it back out.
Where calcium causes contraction in the skeletal muscle fibers it is the magnesium that causes relaxation of the fibers. When there is too much calcium and insufficient magnesium inside a cell, we get sustained muscle contraction, twitches, spasms, and possible convulsions. The effect on smooth muscles can cause tightening of the bronchial tract causing asthma, cramping in the uterus and painful periods, to spams in the blood vessels resulting in hypertension and possible heart attack.
Unfortunately, most Americans are deficient in magnesium in their diets because our farm lands are now depleted in minerals due to the over use of chemical fertilizers, and a diet that is high in processed foods which causes further depletion.
The other causes of magnesium deficiency include:
- Fluoride Medications
- Proton pump inhibitors (i.e. Prilosec, Nexium)
- Oral contraceptives
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e. Ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen)
There are also other medical conditions that can contribute to a magnesium deficiency. Those include:
- Arrhythmia of the heart
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle Spasms and Muscle Cramps
- Mental Health and Sleep
- Autism and ADD
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Other Conditions
- Psoriasis, Acne and Eczema
- High Blood Pressure
To test for magnesium deficiency a serum magnesium level can be drawn to get an assessment of the magnesium plasma level. However, the body will pull magnesium out of the soft tissue and bones to keep the level higher. This does not accurately tell the true magnesium level on an inter-cellular level.
The best test is an Ionized Magnesium Test which is only used in research. Another good test is a Magnesium RBC which measures levels in red blood cell.
The replacement of magnesium is also very challenging because the body can only absorb so much magnesium orally before we get loose stools. It should be noted that we only get approximately 25% absorption from our GI tract.
The preferred replacement therapy is from trans dermal magnesium which is applied directly to the skin and yields up to 75% absorption.
May we all look further on the importance of magnesium for health and wellness and understand how this mineral is truly the “Spark of Life!” https://liveright.world/shop/magne-sport-roll-on-2/