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Magnesium: For Good Health, We Cannot Do Without This Mineral


Vapor-deposited magnesium crystals from the Pidgeon process


Magnesium is a mineral that is important for normal bone structure in the body. People get magnesium from their diet, but sometimes magnesium supplements are needed if magnesium levels are too low. Dietary intake of magnesium can be particularly low among women. Magnesium deficiency is also not uncommon among African Americans and the elderly. Low magnesium levels in the body have been linked to diseases such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, hereditary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.


An easy way to remember foods that are good magnesium sources is to think fiber. Foods that are high in 1) ___ are generally high in magnesium. Dietary sources of magnesium include legumes, whole grains, vegetables (especially broccoli, squash, and green leafy vegetables, Brussels sprouts), asparagus, seeds, and nuts (especially almonds). Other sources include dairy products, meats, chocolate, and coffee. Water with a high mineral content, or “hard“ water, is also a source of magnesium.


People take magnesium by mouth to prevent magnesium deficiency. It is also used as a laxative for constipation and for preparation of the bowel for surgical or diagnostic procedures. It is also used as an antacid for acid indigestion. Some people use magnesium for diseases of the heart and blood vessels including chest pain, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, high levels of “bad“ cholesterol called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, low levels of “good“ cholesterol called high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, heart valve disease (mitral valve 2) ___), metabolic syndrome, clogged arteries (coronary artery disease), stroke, and heart attack. For decades, statisticians have demonstrated that the majority of Americans do not get the government’s minimum daily requirement for magnesium. The latest government study shows a staggering 68% of Americans do not consume the recommended daily intake of 3) ___. Data from this study show that 19% of Americans do not consume even half of the government’s recommended daily intake of magnesium.


The National Institutes of Health published the following on its website:


“Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.“


A recent study showed that adults who consume less than the recommended amount of magnesium are 1.48 to 1.75 times more likely to have elevated C-reactive 4) ___. The reasons for such widespread magnesium deficiencies include increased consumption of processed foods, water purification that removes natural minerals, and mineral-depleted soil. Universal drinking water and beverages containing moderate to high levels of magnesium (10-100 ppm) could potentially prevent 4.5 million heart disease and stroke deaths per year, worldwide. This potential is calculated with 2010 global mortality figures combined with a recent quantification of water-magnesium’s inverse association with heart disease and stroke mortality. Today’s processed food diet, low in magnesium and spreading globally, makes this well-researched potential of drinking-5) ___ magnesium worth serious consideration, especially in areas where insufficient dietary intake of magnesium is prevalent. Recent studies confirm the strong, essential role magnesium plays in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Adequate magnesium is vital in preventing atherogenesis and inappropriate clotting, in maintaining vascular tone, electrolyte balance and a host of other cellular, biochemical and physiological processes crucial to cardiovascular function and health. People living in areas with low-magnesium water have high rates of heart attack and stroke death, higher than people living in areas of high-magnesium water who seem to be protected. In fact, data tells us that consumption of drinking water even moderately high in magnesium (at least 10 ppm and up to 40 ppm and higher) can be expected to reduce cardiovascular 6) ___ by 30-35%.


Magnesium in the USA food supply dropped substantially between 1900 and 2010 mostly due to food processing advances, including farming techniques. Significant decreases in magnesium concentration in vegetables and high-yield grains, have been documented. Additionally, water-softening technology has become almost universal in USA homes during the past half century, removing much of the magnesium and calcium from household water supplies used for cooking and drinking. Experimental animals, made magnesium deficient with low magnesium food, show subcellular markers linked to heart 7) ___. Giving drinking-water with added magnesium to these animals lessened these markers even at magnesium levels as low as 15 ppm. Water magnesium levels of 100 ppm appears to reverse some of these markers. Similar to these animal study experiments, human population studies show that populations with less than 3-6 ppm magnesium drinking water have higher rates of mortality from heart disease, and that rate goes down as the magnesium concentration of their water goes up, the higher the better.


Experts in this field tell us that total magnesium intake must be at least 450-500 mg per day, and drinking water should contain a minimum of 25-50 ppm magnesium. Two liters of 25-50 ppm magnesium water would provide 15-25% of adult RDAs. To ascertain a minimum level of effective water-magnesium we can draw from studies by Rubenowitz that found only daily water-magnesium intakes above 13.8 mg to be protective. Most bottled waters contain little, if any, magnesium. At this time in the USA, very few high magnesium mineral waters are available. One, Adobe Springs water, in California, appears to be an exception as it is both high in magnesium (96-110 ppm) as well as low in both calcium and sodium, aspects that can be important to health. Calcium intakes from food have risen substantially in the USA over the past 30 years, just as recommendations for calcium supplementation to prevent osteoporosis became widespread. Both of these high calcium trends have occurred in the face of 8) ___ magnesium intakes, and there is rising evidence that this trend poses dangers to heart health.


Calderon and Hunter state, in the 2009 World Health Organization report, Calcium and Magnesium in Drinking Water, Public Health Significance (74, Page 141):


Epidemiological evidence supports the link between magnesium and cardiovascular mortality. Such an association is consistent with evidence of the cardiovascular effects of magnesium deprivation and of inadequate magnesium in the diets of people from developing countries.


Magnesium is also used for treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, cystic fibrosis, alcoholism, mania, recovery after surgery, leg cramps at night and during pregnancy, diabetes, kidney stones, migraine headaches, a long-term pain condition called complex regional pain syndrome, weak bones (osteoporosis), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), altitude sickness, urinary incontinence, a condition that causes burning pain and redness called erythromelalgia, restless leg syndrome, asthma, hayfever, multiple sclerosis, and for preventing hearing loss and cancer.


Athletes sometimes use magnesium to increase energy and endurance. Some people apply magnesium on their skin to treat infected skin ulcers, boils, and carbuncles; and to speed up wound 9) ___. Magnesium is also used as a cold compress in the treatment of a severe skin infection caused by strep bacteria (erysipelas) and as a hot compress for deep-seated skin infections. Magnesium is injected into the body for nutritional purposes and to treat magnesium deficiency that occurs in people with pancreas infections, magnesium absorption disorders, and cirrhosis. It is also injected to treat high blood pressure during pregnancy and other pregnancy complications. Magnesium is also used as an injection to control seizures, to treat irregular heartbeat, to control irregular heartbeat after a heart attack, and for cardiac arrest. Magnesium is also injected into the body to treat asthma and other lung disease complications, for migraines and cluster headaches, jellyfish stings, poisonings, pain, swelling in the brain, chemotherapy side effects, head trauma and bleeding, sickle cell disease, to prevent cerebral palsy, and for tetanus. Magnesium is required for the proper growth and maintenance of bones. Magnesium is also required for the proper function of nerves, muscles, and many other parts of the body. In the stomach, magnesium helps neutralize stomach 10) ___.


Editor’s note: You can be sure, that upon reading about bottled water with high content magnesium, from Adobe Springs, CA, we ordered a case of their bottled water (brand Noah).


Editor’s note: we used a magnesium spray for an allergic response that caused extremely itchy skin. It worked almost immediately and when used each day, the itchiness gradually disappeared. However, we would not presume to advise any reader about a medical condition, except to say, ask your doctor before using anything.


ANSWERS: 1) fiber; 2) prolapse; 3) magnesium; 4) protein; 5) water; 6) mortality; 7) disease; 8) low; 9) healing; 10) acid



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