Why is MAGNESIUM So Important for the HUMAN BODY?
It’s a bit hard to believe a metal likemagnesium could be just as vital to the humanbody as fats, sugars, and proteins, but thismacronutrient is so important there are around24 grams–around a handful–of this metalwithin the average human body, most of itstored within bone. A mineral macronutrient required in high abundance,magnesium is the eighth most-abundant elementwithin the crust of the Earth and is presentin even higher quantity in rivers and oceans. It’s therefore no surprise the human body,along with many other life-forms, evolvedwith utilizing this common metal for manyapplications. One such role of magnesium is its importantfunction as an electrolyte, where it floatsaround fluids in the body in a similar waysodium chloride–table salt–does. (Click here to see why dissolved salts andmetals conduct electricity so well. )This quality makes magnesium essential forwhat enters and leaves cells, charge balance,and electrical signaling done along the nervoussystem, including thought, touch, and musclemovement. The human body even uses magnesium for structuralsupport in cells, bones, and molecules andas an enzyme co-factor for over 300 differentenzymes, where magnesium is needed to activatethese enzymes. Enzymes have a vital role in the body, performingspecific functions and speeding up reactions. In the case of magnesium-cofactor-dependentenzymes, the activated enzymes are involvedin many pathways, such as in insulin functioning,carbohydrate metabolism, nerve signaling,and protein synthesis. An important enzyme activated with a magnesiumco-factor is DNA Polymerase, which makes copiesof DNA and is necessary for repair, growth,and the formation of sperm and egg cells. In fact, the importance of magnesium is soprofound in the human body, countless problemsmay surface without the daily-recommended420 mg of magnesium for men and 320 mg forwomen, including heart problems, neurologicalproblems, lung issues, bone and ligament problems,digestive problems and diabetes. It is even very difficult to have too muchmagnesium, and rare cases where this has anegative effect on health is when issues areinvolved with kidneys, through which magnesiumand many other substances are filtered andregulated. Other than the kidneys, though, which filterout excess magnesium through urine, smallamounts of magnesium are excreted along withsweat. Because of its tremendously useful properties,magnesium is essential for plants as well,where it is a part of chlorophyll, the moleculewhich gives plants green color and is involvedin photosynthesis. Rich sources of magnesium are therefore greenvegetables, along with nuts, seeds, and unprocessedcereals, but water, fruits, meats, and dairyproducts also contain some of this metal. This being said, the drastically-increasedproduction of food has caused deficienciesin crop magnesium levels, and this, in combinationwith the increased consumption of processedfood and demineralized water has necessitatedsupplementation of this essential nutrientin order to maintain the recommended dailyintake.