Magnesium: Properties and functions

Magnesium. Properties and functions

The problem of magnesium
Due to the increase of chemical fertilizers in harvesting and the substitution of traditional organic fertilizing methods, which give back to the land the magnesium (along with other minerals) extracted by harvesting, more and more plants are deficient of magnesium, and the organisms that live of them (man and numerous animals) therefore take in less magnesium in their diet. Due to this an authentic worldwide deficit of magnesium is taking place, as cultivators get modern.

At the same time, these advances in technology have allowed fulfilling demands in the market for non hygroscopic table salt (exempt of magnesium) and whiter bread (exempt of bran that contains wheat minerals).

Needs of magnesium

As a consequence of it all, each time the amount of magnesium in foods that make up our daily diet is less and hence increases the deficiency of magnesium in living beings. It has been found that human beings needs of magnesium fluctuate between 150 mg and 400 mg daily, which is the equivalent to some 2 g of chloride magnesium a day.

It's distribution in the organism
The importance of magnesium for the organism is evident if you take into account that the magnesium contained in the human being (some 25 g.) is distributed between the bones and the tissues: Approximately 70 % is found combined with calcium and phosphorus, forming the bone structure, while the remaining 30 % appears unevenly distributed between the soft tissues and the internal half. Larger concentrations of magnesium are found in the cartilages, muscles and red blood cells.

Magnesium properties

In addition to being a basic substance in all cells, magnesium is an indispensable mineral element for life, it can be verified by the fact that it excercises the following functions:

1)    It catalizes enzymes, hormones and vitamins necessary for life.

2)    It is a stimulant factor of biochemical synthesis of the organism.

3)    It regulates the acid (pH).

4)    Acts upon nerves, reining back the behavior of the system sympathetic, and it activates the enzymes.

5)    It intervenes in cell respiration and exerts an action of synergy with calcium on the neuromuscular equilibrium.

6)    In the form of phosphate and once associated with calcium, magnesium makes up part of the bones and teeth, where the bone-like matter, and cartilage principally build up the magnesium reserve of the organism.

The magnesium taken in by foods is absorbed by the intestine and similar to calcium, absorption is seen diminished by an excess of phosphates or of calcium in nutrition, and by a preponderantly alkaline regimen. Of the magnesium taken in, at least 50 % is expelled when evacuating, so that the quantity that is recommended to be taken as a supplement should be twice the amount of our daily needs. We have to take into account also that magnesium is contained in vegetables (which comes from chlorophyll), but loses a 30-80 % of it when boiling them for a long time.

In order to provide an increase in our cells potential, magnesium is always indispensable, but especially at the following times of life: Pregnancy and nursing, growth, school age, puberty and in old age.

Symptoms of lack of magnesium

Lack of magnesium produces typical symtoms such as: Nervous and muscular alterations, skin changes, stunted growth, hair falling out, diarrhea, renal damage, agingand finally cachexia, that leads step by step to Death. Lack of magnesium can be one of the causes of the following pathological manifestations:

1)    Asthenia, in all forms: Physical, intellectual, sexual.

2)    Nervous irritability, tachycardia.

3)    Gastric, intestinal or biliary hypertonia, with spasmodic colitis or chronic constipation.

4)    Various skin infections: Acne, eczemas, psoriasis, dermatitis, strong desires, vitiligos, warts and papillomas.

5)    Various diseases attributed to old age: Prostatic hypertrophy, impotence, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure and heart failure.

6)    Various nutrition diseases: Diabetes, obesity, malnutrition, hypervitaminosis D, drop and rheumatism.

7)    The appearance of cancer seems to be also directly related to magnesium deficiency, it has been proved that in regions where grounds and waters are rich in magnesium cancer is less common.

Due to this many people have the need to take magnesium. A way to do so is by means of taking one small spoonful of chloride of magnesium dissolved in a glass of water daily.

Main magnesium sources

All green vegetables: Soybean, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, dates, oat, corn, wholemeal bread, grapefruit, oranges, figs, whole-grain barley, foods made with yellow corn, bran, coconut, goats milk and raw egg yolk.