Magnesium is essential to several hundred enzymatic reactions in our bodies. It assists in the production of energy, nerve transmission, protein synthesis, blood vessel dilation and muscle relaxation.
While calcium is needed to stimulate the contraction of myofibrils in muscles, magnesium stimulates their release and relaxation. It also relaxes smooth muscle located in the gastro-intestinal tract, lungs, heart and blood vessel walls.
Therefore, low magnesium leads to a state of neuromuscular tension, pain and high blood pressure, which in turn can cause varied symptoms of headache and migraine, bronchial spasm, menstrual and digestive cramping, skeletal muscle cramps (ever woken up in the night with excruciating leg cramps?), anxiety, insomnia and coronary artery spasm which untreated leads inevitably to heart attack. All of these conditions can be relieved by increasing magnesium in your diet.
How do you increase your intake of magnesium naturally? Magnesium is referred to as the “iron” of the plant world as it is the central component of chlorophyll, just as iron is the central component of haemoglobin. Therefore, dark green leafy vegetables are the no.1 source. Nuts, seeds, legumes (beans and peas including soy) and wholegrains also contain generous amounts. Consequently, a diet high in animal protein and refined carbohydrate (white flour) and low in fruits, vegetables, nuts and wholegrains is likely to be low in magnesium. Alcohol, caffeine, sugar and diuretic drugs all decrease magnesium absorption.
Another important point is that around 65% magnesium in our bodies is stored in our bones and teeth, ready to be released into the blood in times of need. Therefore, inadequate intake of magnesium contributes to bone loss. Anyone taking calcium for prevention of osteoporosis should be taking magnesium as well in the ideal ratio of 2:1, calcium:magnesium. TSB's Phytotherapy Nutri-Greens supplies magnesium, calcium and potassium which may buffer excess acidity in your system and help stop the depletion of these minerals from your bones.
If you have more severe symptoms of magnesium depletion, including hypertension, anxiety, fatigue, pain, and cramping, or are experiencing a period of prolonged stress, magnesium supplementation may be necessary. The simple tissue salt Magnesium phosphate 6X might help substantially, particularly for skeletal, digestive and menstrual cramps, but BEWARE: not all supplements are the same! Nutrient co-factors are an important consideration and your individual needs are best assessed by a qualified nutritionist. Otherwise, you may be wasting your money on over-the-counter supplements.