Magnesium deficiency is commonplace today due to a lack of nutrients in our over-farmed soil and therefore the food itself.
Magnesium is essential for the functioning of hundreds of different enzymes in the body, particularly those that produce, transport, store and utilize energy.
Magnesium is essential for:
- Protein synthesis (the creation of new proteins by cells).
- Sparking of the electrical signals that must travel throughout the miles of nerves in our bodies (including our brain, heart and other organs).
- Normal blood pressure, vascular tone, transmission of nerve cell signals and blood flow.
- Functioning of all nerves and muscles.
- The release and binding of adequate amounts of serotonin (essential for relaxation, sleep and concentration) in the brain.
- Controlling the entry of calcium into each and every cell.
In short, living with suboptimal levels of magnesium is like trying to operate a machine with the power turned off.
The impact of magnesium deficiency:
- Anxiety and panic attacks: Magnesium helps keep stress hormones under control.
- Asthma: Magnesium helps relax the muscles of the bronchioles in the lungs.
- Constipation: Magnesium helps keep bowels regular by maintaining normal bowel muscle function.
- Diabetes: Magnesium helps insulin transport glucose into the cell. Without this glucose builds up in tissue, causing glycaemic stress and damage.
- Heart Disease: Magnesium deficiency is common in those with heart disease. It's an effective treatment for heart attacks and cardiac arrythmias.
- Hypertension: Without adequate magnesium, blood vessels constrict and blood pressure increases.
- Insomnia: Magnesium helps regulate melatonin, a hormone essential for normal sleep and wakefulness cycles.
- Nerve problems: magnesium helps eliminate peripheral nerve disturbances that can lead to migraines, leg and foot cramps, gastrointestinal cramps and so on.
- Osteoporosis: Without magnesium, calcium may actually contribute to osteoporosis.
Source: Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, by Dr Christiane Northrup.