magnesium

Functions
  • Activates many enzymes
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Protein synthesis
  • Energy production reactions
    • Plays role in enzyme ATPase which activates cellular energy metabolism, transport across membranes and vascular tone
    • Metabolism (saturation) and synthesis of fat acids
  • Helps control sodium potassium pump in cells, thus preventing high blood pressure
  • Cardio-protective – blocks entry of calcium into cells of heart muscle and blood vessels, thus promoting efficient heart function, reducing vascular resistance and lowering blood pressure
Source and function notes
  • Best sources whole grains, nuts and green vegetables: magnesium is an important component of chlorophyll
  • Kidney’s regulate magnesium level (renal disease/disorder thus causing imbalance)
Vegetable sources Sea Kelp and Dulse; Beet greens; spinach; Swiss chard; collard leaves; sweet corn; parsley; dandelion greens; garlic, Potato with skin, Sweet Potato
Fruit sources Dried figs, Dried apricots, Dates, Avocado, Dried prunes, Raisins, Banana, Blackberry
Nut and seed sources Almonds, Cashews, Brazil nut, Peanuts, Pecan, Walnut, Coconut meat, Sunflower seeds
Absorption factors
  • Lactose and carbohydrate may increase absorption
  • Excess alcohol and caffeine increase urinary excretion
  • Supplementation – small amounts throughout day is best for absorption
    • Citrate and Glycinate most absorbable forms
Spice and herb sources
Deficiency factors
  • Weakness; muscle cramps or twitches; heart disturbances
  • Irritability, stress and mental confusion
  • Deficiency often secondary to factors that that reduce absorption or increase secretion e.g. high calcium intake, alcohol consumption, surgery, diuretic use, liver or kidney disease, oral contraceptive
Toxicity and dangers Excess can result in diarrhea and lethargy

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.

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