Ten Magnesium-Health-Benefits to Prevent Chronic Disease

One of the major magnesium-health-benefits is that it improves the metabolic efficiency of cells in our bodies. All human tissue contains magnesium. About Sixty-percent of the body’s magnesium is found in our bones, about thirty-nine percent is found in the cells and one percent is in the blood. 

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in our body and is needed for more than 325 enzymatic actions. Dr. Stephan Sinatra says that magnesium may be "a longevity” mineral because of its impact on cellular energy.

Like calcium, magnesium in the bones is used to maintain healthy levels of the mineral in the blood. When blood levels drop the body leaches magnesium out of the bones and tissues to release it to the blood. You can have normal blood levels of magnesium and still have a deficiency in the bones and cells. Magnesium blood tests don’t drop below normal until severe magnesium depletion occurs.

Magnesium is essential for life and optimal health. The following is a “scratch the surface” list of ten magnesium-health-benefits:

  1. One of the significant magnesium-health-benefits is its key role in energy metabolism in our cells including those in the heart muscle and all other organs in the body.
  2. Magnesium helps to lower blood pressure and assists in the prevention of high blood pressure by helping the lining of arteries stay smooth and elastic. Magnesium and vitamin D work to balance levels of potassium and sodium in the blood stream and may help manage salt sensitive hypertension. Studies show that increasing potassium and magnesium in the diet while lowering sodium can lower blood pressure.
  3. Magnesium helps to prevent strokes. Blocked blood vessels in the brain are associated with magnesium deficiency and low levels of cellular magnesium.
  4. Magnesium helps to prevent calcification of soft tissues including those in the heart and arteries. When magnesium levels are high calcification of soft tissues is low. Low magnesium levels can result in the accumulation of too much calcium in your system. Additionally, magnesium controls the flow of calcium into heart cells.
  5. Magnesium helps to prevent heart disease. Low magnesium levels have been linked to decreased HDL (good) cholesterol increasing the risk for heart disease.  Swedish researchers reported that persons with high magnesium in their water (hard water) had less risk for death from a heart attack and a lower risk of coronary artery lesions. There is ample evidence that “hard water” with high levels of minerals including magnesium may offer protection from cardiovascular disease. Magnesium has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of congestive heart failure and may prevent ventricular arrhythmias.
  6. Magnesium helps to maintain normal muscle and nerve function. It is essential for producing energy in muscles. Low magnesium can causes muscles to tighten and spasm leading to muscle pain. Magnesium relaxes muscles, helps sleep and relieves tension.
  7. Helping to prevent the development of type II diabetes is one of the major magnesium-health-benefits. More than 80% of type II diabetics have a magnesium deficiency. Supplementing with magnesium may help improve insulin and glucose levels.
  8. Magnesium may reduce risks of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency. A recent study by the Department of Medicine, Division of Epidemiology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, found that it is possible that magnesium intake alone or its interaction with vitamin D intake may contribute to vitamin D status.
  9. Magnesium has a role in preventing cancer. A number of studies have shown that a diet low in magnesium can increase the risk of various forms of cancer. Magnesium supports a healthy immune system and protects against free radical damage.
  10. Another of the significant magnesium-health-benefits is its role in building strong bones and prevention of osteoporosis. Low magnesium levels or an imbalance in the calcium/magnesium ratio can contribute to osteoporosis. Strong bones need magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D.

Some natural sources of magnesium include dark green vegetables, almonds, Brazil nuts, avocados, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, sunflower, seeds and dried prunes/apricots. Dietary sources of magnesium are readily available. The problem is that many of us avoid eating all the vegetables that our bodies need, drink softened water, take magnesium depleting medications or have eating and drinking habits that deplete magnesium.

While it is always best to get any nutrient from natural food sources, it is often necessary to take supplements because deficiencies are very common. The most inexpensive form of supplemental magnesium is magnesium oxide which is poorly absorbed. Dr. Blaylock prefers the magnesium citramate form. Refer to pages 252 and 253 in his book, “Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients.”

Like all supplements, magnesium should be taken only under the supervision of your physician. If you have diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease you should take magnesium under the supervision of your physician. Discontinue use if you experience abdominal pain or diarrhea. Nutritional supplements do not cure or prevent illness and disease.  They only give the body the extra nutrition it needs to take care of itself!  A healthy lifestyle starts with good nutrition.

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References and suggested reading: 

  • See retirement resources
  • Russell L. Blaylock, MD, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients., Kensington Publishing Corp, Heath Press, 2003. 
  • Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS. "Beating Cancer with Nutrition." Nutrition Times Press, 1994. 
  • Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., From Fatigued to Fantastic, Avery 
  • Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, The Sinatra Solution, Metabolic Cardiology, Chapter Seven, Basic Health Publications. 
  • Stephen T. Sinatra, MD et al., Heart sense for Women, Your plan for natural prevention and treatment, Penguin Putman Inc. 
  • Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH, What you must know about Women’s Health, Square One Publishers. 
  • William Sears, M.D., Prime Time Health, Little, Brown & Company. 
  • Richard L. Becker, D.O., Foundations for Healing, Brio Print

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