Magnesium: The Mineral Panacea
Why is there so much emphasis on magnesium? Elementary, my dear Watson! This is because it contributes to most of the physiological processes of the body, and without this essential nutriment, our body cannot maintain its balance and stability.
There are hundreds of biochemical processes in which magnesium is involved. Magnesium is essential within cell-membrane ion-transport channels to guarantee a good electrolyte balance, with calcium for muscle contraction, or with potassium and sodium for nervous system sensitivity. Magnesium allows the activation of B vitamins and potentiates the bioavailability of vitamins D, E, and C; as well as that of potassium, calcium, and silica. It regulates blood pressure, prevents atheroma plaques and calcium lithiasis, stimulates immunity, regulates heart rate, is involved in bone architecture, etc.
In the brain, magnesium is an antagonist of stimulating molecules such as glutamate as well as an agonist of GABA, a relaxing molecule of the nervous system. Without magnesium, most of our enzymes would be unable to properly work or would not be activated. By the way, without enzymes, our body cannot function properly, because these proteins catalyze (in other words accelerate and optimize) the body’s metabolic reactions. Without enzymes, everything happens in slow motion… or not at all! Enzymes are not only digestive; they also condition, for example, hormone synthesis, nerve conduction, detoxification, and cellular energy production. However, most of these enzymatic reactions depend on magnesium, right up to the heart of our cells, where the Mg2+ ion is also an enzymatic cofactor for most genetic processes in the formation, defense, and maintenance of genetic material. This is just a hint of the importance of magnesium for our general health.
Unfortunately, magnesium is high on the list of minerals that our population is sorely lacking. Nearly one in three Canadians are not getting the 300 mg recommended daily intake for an adult. Sings of deficiency are numerous: muscular troubles, depression and anxiety, osteoporosis, premenstrual syndrome, insulin resistance, etc. Asymptomatic subdeficiencies, because the body constantly seeks balance and distributes its reserves between organs, may contribute to cancer and degenerative diseases., , , , , , 
Refinements in food production and land depletion are major causes of magnesium deficiency. Between 1940 and 1991, the loss of magnesium was on average 16% to 24% for fruits and vegetables, respectively, and as high as 70% in carrots! But that is not all: Age and chronic inflammatory intestinal diseases limit intestinal absorption; stress and its hormone, cortisol, need magnesium for their regulation; pregnancy; pollutants; multiple drugs (antacids, antibiotics, diuretics, corticosteroids, contraceptives, etc.); phosphorus-rich foods (industrial drinks); excess tea and coffee; oxalic acid from spinach or phytic acid from cereals; calcium and iron supplements (magnesium antagonists)—all these factors prevent or hinder the action of magnesium.
Conversely, excess magnesium, hypermagnesemia, is a very rare disorder. Generally, the main symptom suggestive of excess magnesium is looser stools. Not everyone has the same reaction to magnesium, so it is customary to start with a low dose and increase as needed., ,  Start low, go slow.
However, your favourite market’s magnesium aisle may offer so much choice as to make you dizzy. Here are a few of the most common magnesium forms on the market, with their main use.
The form getting most of the attention is magnesium bisglycinate. Strongly chelated to two molecules of glycine, a soothing amino acid which optimizes absorption, it is clearly the most bioavailable of all forms of magnesium. It is the best choice if you want a supplement for preventing or treating magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium orotate is best for virtually any and all heart problems. Chelated to orotic acid, it improves blood-vessel elasticity, lowers cholesterol levels, and strengthens the heart muscle’s energy state, thereby preventing hypertension, ischemic damage, arrhythmia, or atherosclerosis.
A chelate of magnesium and malic acid, magnesium malate relieves very sore muscles, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue pain through its relaxing action on smooth muscles, its dilating properties at the vascular level, and its ability to normalize nerve conduction.
Magnesium ʟ-threonate is most relevant for cognitive function support, mental health, and anything generally brain-related, as it more easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Magnesium ʟ-threonate potentiates receptors involved in memory and learning processes, and it regulates inflammatory reactions. In addition, ʟ-threonate improves mitochondrial function, synaptic density, and neuroplasticity., 
Magnesium citrate, with its slight laxative effect, is useful to alleviate constipation. Its osmotic effect attracts water into the intestine, hence requiring greater hydration to prevent dehydration., 
Finally, the addition of the amino acid ʟ-taurine to certain magnesium formulas is due to its “magnesium-fixing” power, which allows a better cellular use of magnesium., 
In short, if there was another item to add to the kitchen counter, alongside the salt and pepper shakers, it would be one containing magnesium!
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