Magnesium is the eighth-most-abundant element in the Earth's crust by mass and tied in seventh place with iron in molarity. It is found in large deposits of magnesite, dolomite, and other minerals, and in mineral waters, where magnesium ion is soluble.
A mineral of Magnesium is needed in every cell in your body.
Magnesium has three stable isotopes: 24Mg, 25 Mg, and 26 Mg. All are present in significant amounts. About 79% of Mg is 24 Mg. The isotope 28 Mg is radioactive and in the 1950s to 1970s was produced by several nuclear power plants for use in scientific experiments. This isotope has a relatively short half-life (21 hours) and its use was limited by shipping times.
Low weight and good mechanical and electrical properties, magnesium is widely used for manufacturing of mobile phones, laptop and tablet computers, cameras, and other electronic components. The metal reacts with water to produce hydrogen gas. When it burns in air, magnesium produces a brilliant white light.
Magnesium compounds, primarily magnesium oxide (MgO), are used as a refractory material in furnace linings for producing iron, steel, nonferrous metals, glass, and cement.
Magnesium oxide and other magnesium compounds are also used in the agricultural, chemical, and construction industries.
Magnesium oxide made from calcination is used as an electrical insulator in fire-resistant cables. It has two useful attributes: high thermal conductivity and low electrical conductivity and also used as a protective coating in plasma displays.
Magnesium oxide is used extensively in the soil and groundwater remediation, wastewater treatment, drinking water treatment, air emissions treatment, and waste treatment industries for its acid buffering capacity and related effectiveness in stabilizing dissolved heavy metal species.
MgO is often blended into the metals-contaminated soil or waste material, which is also commonly of a low (acidic) pH, in order to drive the pH into the 8–10 range where most metals are at their lowest solubilities.
Metal-hydroxide complexes have a tendency to precipitate out of aqueous solution in the pH range of 8–10. MgO is widely regarded as the most effective metals stabilization compound when compared to Portland cement, lime, kiln dust products, power generation waste products, and various proprietary products due to MgO's superior buffering capacity, cost effectiveness, and ease/safety of handling. Most, if not all products that are marketed as metals stabilization technologies create very high pH conditions in aquifers whereas MgO creates an ideal aquifer condition with a pH of 8–10.
Additionally, magnesium, an essential element of most biological systems, is provided to soil and groundwater microbial populations during MgO-assisted metals remediation as an added benefit.
Role of Magnesium in human body
All living matter is made from 4 elements - carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen - CHON (Chon - abbreviation used to remember these elements at school) and are found in all living organisms.
The rest of the body’s contents is made up of minerals – macro minerals and trace minerals.
Calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium are macro-minerals. Magnesium is, unlike trace minerals, (zinc, iron, copper, molybdenum, selenium, iodine, cobalt, manganese) it is needed in the body in large amounts. The average human body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, one of the seven essential major minerals (calcium potassium, sulfur, sodium, phosphorus, chlorine, and magnesium) that must be supplied in the diet.
Most of the people benefit from Magnesium dosage from 400 - 1,000 mg a day.
Magnesium ions regulate over 300 biochemical reactions in the body through their role as enzyme co-factors.
They also play a vital role in the reactions that generate and use ATP, the fundamental unit of energy within the body’s cells.
Magnesium is considered as most powerful relaxation mineral available. It is an antidote to stress and can help improve your sleep.
Once magnesium enters the body through food, supplements, or topical applications, it is broken down and released to form independent magnesium “ions” with positive change.
Magnesium is the second most abundant element inside human cells and the fourth most abundant positively charged ion in the human body. Within the body’s cells, it serves literally hundreds of functions. This mineral is found in the bones and in the intracellular fluid, it acts as an enzyme cofactor in the chemical neurotransmission.
See how magnesium balances calcium inside the cells.
Magnesium homeostasis is largely controlled by the kidney, which typically excretes about 120 mg magnesium into the urine each day. Urinary excretion is reduced when magnesium status is low.
Magnesium in nature is found in seawater as magnesium chloride, also it is found as magnesium carbonate – insoluble is salt known with name magnesite or gym chalk.
The Mg2+ cation is the second-most-abundant cation in seawater (about ⅛ the mass of sodium ions in a given sample), which makes seawater and sea salt attractive commercial sources for Mg.
Magnesium forms a variety of compounds important to industry and biology, including magnesium carbonate, magnesium chloride, magnesium citrate, magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia), magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate, and magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (Epsom salts).
Magnesium sits in the middle of organic chlorophyll molecule in plants like an iron sits in the middle of hemoglobin molecule in the blood.
Magnesium is one of the most common co-factors in the body.
Its presence is crucial to:
- Break down glucose and fats
- Production of proteins, enzymes, and antioxidants such as glutathione
- Creation of DNA and RNA
- Regulation of cholesterol production
Without enzyme co-factors—including both hormones and vital minerals such as magnesium—reactions could easily spiral out of control. In fact, even slight imbalances can chronically impact the body’s level of performance and health.
- Magnesium functions as an enzyme cofactor can be seen as analogous to the important role that our body’s hormones play. The crucial difference, however, is that our body can manufacture most hormones itself using basic building blocks. Magnesium, on the other hand, cannot be manufactured by the body, it must be taken in.
- Magnesium deficiency is compared the same way as multiple bodily systems suffer in cases of thyroid malfunction or insulin resistance, magnesium deficiency has far-reaching implications for the body’s level of functioning.
Magnesium is a required ingredient of the energy-production process that occurs inside the tiny structures within cells.
The molecule ATP, or adenosine tri-phosphate, is the fundamental unit of energy used in human cells. Many of the functions carried out by cells require ATP to provide the energy for the action. These include:
- Muscle fiber contraction
- Protein synthesis
- Cell reproduction
- Transport of substances across the cell barrier
ATP can be thought of as fuel for the cell’s activities; much in the same way that gasoline fuels a car. Form in which ATP exists and is utilized is typically MgATP, magnesium complexed with ATP. These MgATP units must be present to sustain the movement, to perform cell maintenance, and to maintain a healthy balance of minerals inside and outside of the cells.
Magnesium protects our DNA.
Studies have shown that DNA synthesis is slowed by insufficient magnesium. DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the body’s genetic code, used in the building of proteins and the reproduction of cells. The cells in our body are constantly being replaced by new cells. Different types of cells turnover at different rates, with the average age of a cell in the human body estimated at seven years.
DNA synthesis is slowed by insufficient magnesium.
Thus, it is especially important that our DNA remains stable, avoiding mutations that can negatively impact cellular function.
DNA stability is dependent in part on magnesium. Magnesium not only stabilizes DNA structures, it also functions as a cofactor in the repair of DNA damage by environmental mutagens. Combined with ATP, magnesium also assists in the healthy production of RNA, responsible for “reading” DNA and manufacturing the proteins used in our body.
Magnesium regulates our electrolyte balance
Within every cell in the body, a proper balance of mineral content must be maintained. Magnesium’s role in the healthy balance (“homeostasis”) of important minerals such as calcium, sodium, and potassium affects the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and heart rhythms.
The body allows mineral ions to flow into and out of the cell from the extra-cellular fluid, depending on concentrations inside or outside the cell. Minerals, in their ionic form, seek to equalize their concentrations by flowing through open membrane channels designed to allow movement of ions, water molecules, and small water-soluble compounds.
Inside the Cells
Outside the Cells
Because of the tendency of ions to equalize across membranes, like water flowing toward the sea, the cell must actively move ions into or out of the cell, expending energy to create a healthy balance using special “exchange pumps”.
These mineral exchange pumps perform one of the most vital functions of the cell membrane, regulating the electrical action potential inside and outside of the cell, and maintaining homeostasis of minerals in the body. Without constant efforts by exchange pumps, cells would be flooded with calcium and sodium moving in, and potassium and magnesium moving out as they strived to achieve equilibrium.
One such exchange pump, known as the “sodium-potassium” pump, pumps sodium out of the cell in exchange for potassium. Embedded in the cell membrane, the sodium-potassium pump is activated by magnesium inside the cell.
Magnesium deficiency impairs the sodium-potassium pump, allowing potassium to escape from the cell, to be lost in the urine, potentially leading to potassium deficiency (hypokalemia). Those with a known potassium deficiency, therefore, often do not respond to treatment until magnesium deficiency is also corrected.
Similarly, magnesium’s role in calcium regulation is pivotal to its role in maintaining heart health. Magnesium is a known modulator of calcium, competing with calcium for entrance into cells and keeping many cellular processes in balance.
- The effect of magnesium on blood vessels is one of dilation, whereas calcium promotes contraction.
- Magnesium is also thought to antagonize calcium promotion of blood clotting.
Most common signs of deficiency of Magnesium:
Nerves: behavioral disturbances, irritability and anxiety, lethargy, impaired memory and cognitive function, anorexia or loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting, seizures
Muscles: weakness, muscle spasms (tetany), tics, leg muscle cramps in night, hyperactive reflexes, impaired muscle coordination (ataxia), tremors, involuntary eye movements and vertigo, difficulty swallowing
Metabolism: Increased intracellular calcium, hyperglycemia, calcium deficiency, potassium deficiency
Heart: Irregular or rapid heartbeat, Coronary spasms
Children: Growth retardation or “failure to thrive”
How to use simple methods to increase your magnesium level in the body?
Numerous medical researchers recommending increases suggesting amounts as high as double the current recommendations.
Magnesium gluconate is used as the traditional supplement to treat low levels or to maintain adequate levels of this mineral in the body.
Before taking magnesium gluconate, widely used supplement, tell your doctor if you are allergic to anything, or if you have kidney disease or severe heart disease.
Most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, which is a supplement that can relax your bowels and provide a laxative effect. Other Krebs cycle chelates like malate, succinate, fumarate are also good.
More about Krebs circle learn here.
But an easier way to supply Mg in the body is topical applications as our skin is the largest organ and can absorb much more amount of magnesium than by ingestion.
There are two fast and easy solutions available for everyone at home:
- Epsom salt in a bath (MgSO4), taking a hot bath with Epsom salts is a good way to absorb and get much-needed magnesium. You can also use homemade bath balls as your bath supplement, just check out they contain Epsom salt.
Buy bath balls here
- magnesium oil on the skin as a spray (MgCl2) it also helps to deal with low stomach acid level.
Forms of magnesium that dissolves well in a liquid are more completely absorbed in the gut than less soluble forms. Magnesium in the aspartate, citrate, lactate, and chloride forms is absorbed more completely and is more bioavailable than magnesium oxide and magnesium sulfate. Very high doses of zinc from supplements (142 mg/day) can interfere with magnesium absorption and disrupt the magnesium balance in the body.
To extract the magnesium, sodium hydroxide (or caustic soda) is added to seawater to form white magnesium hydroxide precipitate also called Ormus, pH of Milk of Magnesium is quite high 10,7 and could not be used for more than 2 weeks, do not exceed 3 table spoons per day without checking with your doctor.
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