Magnesium’s Essential Role in the Body

Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and more than 600 enzymes, this is one of our most used nutrients on a daily basis. We don’t make magnesium, so we need to eat magnesium foods everyday to ensure we support these biochemical pathways. Magnesium helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps adjust blood glucose levels, and production of energy and protein. This list alone shows how varied and necessary magnesium is for our health. 

Let’s look a little closer at how magnesium helps us keep healthy bone mass. Here, magnesium contributes to increasing bone density and preventing osteoporosis. Magnesium and calcium work closely together. If you were to supplement for the purpose of bone health, it’s best to take a supplement with a 1:2 ratio of the two. Your bones are constantly being broken down and built all at once, so much so that every seven to ten years the entire skeleton of a person is rebuilt. 

Aside from this wild fact, magnesium and vitamin D are credited in stabilising functions when building new bone structures. Without this, the bone is weak and not dense. It draws calcium into the bone to build stronger bones, increasing mineral solubility to create more complex structures. This is a normal function of building bone, and also a convenient way to store more than half our magnesium and calcium. Eating a diet rich in magnesium and calcium, in addition to resistance exercise and sunshine, creates really healthy bones. You reach peak bone density/ mass around age 25, so what we do in our young life impacts bone health over our whole lifetime. Check out our post on vitamin D here.

What about magnesium in giving us energy? Magnesium actually acts as a cofactor, meaning it assists in all reactions involving energy (ATP). It is essential in breaking down carbohydrates for energy, hinting at its relationship with blood glucose levels. Low levels of magnesium have been correlated with Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance, due to an impaired insulin signal. This means more insulin is required to metabolise the same amount of glucose. Magnesium seems to also help glucose absorption through the gut, and suppresses its immediate storage through the liver. So it essentially makes our bodies more efficiently use carbohydrates for energy. Magnesium helps to initiate ATP synthesis and helps convert ADP back to ATP, recycling the energy compound. 

It also has an important role in ensuring the correct structure for DNA and RNA, both in the actual process of DNA replication, RNA transcription, but also in forming the proteins that form these gene chains and control cell proliferation. In summary, magnesium helps our bodies make energy, recycle used energy compounds, and make new cells and DNA. The image below helps demonstrate all the jobs magnesium has. 

So now, when you’re eating your magnesium foods (listed here) and using our bath salts, creams or sprays for your exercise recovery or stress relief; you can think about all the helpful things magnesium does for us, each and every day.


Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published