Mainstream Medicine focuses primarily on prescription drugs and calcium to treat osteoporosis and osteopenia. Unfortunately, doctors often ignore other crucial minerals.
So it’s not surprising that a magnesium deficiency is very common, especially since it’s quite challenging to get sufficient amounts of this nutrient from foods.
The Importance of Magnesium
All of the Foundation Supplements, which include minerals and vitamins, are crucial for healthy, strong bones, but magnesium deserves special mention because it works in synergy with calcium. Here’s how it works.
Cells in the thyroid produce calcitonin, while the parathyroid produces PTH (parathyroid hormone). Calcitonin stimulates the absorption of calcium into the bones, while PTH removes calcium from bone and deposits it in other tissues. These two hormones need to remain in balance so that calcium absorption is optimal. Magnesium’s role is vital in this hormonal balancing act – it stimulates calcitonin production and suppresses the secretion of PTH.
As you can imagine, a magnesium deficiency throws a wrench in this process, setting the stage for bone loss and the accumulation of calcium in soft tissues.
Magnesium is Necessary for the Correct Functioning of Many Important Processes
Enzymatic Activity – Magnesium is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions that are driven by enzymes. It regulates enzyme levels and enables them to function – a crucial role, because enzymes operate at the fundamental level of the body’s most basic functions (such as digestion).
DNA and RNA – creation of these building blocks depends on magnesium.
Antioxidant production requires magnesium.
Muscle relaxation simply cannot happen without magnesium, because this mineral acts directly on muscle cell membranes by binding to calcium receptor sites. Calcium causes muscles to contract, so “plugging” magnesium into the calcium receptors keeps the calcium from “telling” the muscle to contract, thereby promoting muscle relaxation.
Proper nerve function depends on magnesium as well. The magnesium ion has a positive charge, while the fatty acids that make up the sheath around the nerve fibers are negatively charged. Positive plus negative equals an electrical charge, which is what your nerves need to function.
Magnesium also lowers blood pressure, as shown in a 2009 South Korean study.1 Interestingly, at the end of the 12-week study, the 155 participants’ blood pressure did not appear to have been affected by oral magnesium supplementation. When the researchers took a closer look, however, they found that magnesium did not lower blood pressure only in those individuals who already had low blood pressure. But participants whose blood pressure (BP) was high actually experienced reduced BP after supplementing with magnesium.
Blood Pressure and Your Bones
Just as the importance of magnesium gets overlooked, so does the role of blood pressure in bone health. You see, proper blood pressure is essential to the regulation and removal of toxins in your body. If your blood pressure remains high, the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys can become damaged, and the kidneys (along with the liver) are your body’s primary toxin removers.
“Savers” already know why acidifying toxins wreak havoc on bones, but it bears repeating. One of the kidneys’ primary functions is to keep the body’s pH in balance. The kidneys play an additional role in bone health by producing hormones that stimulate bone marrow and maintain calcium levels.
Managing High Blood Pressure Naturally
The good news is that there are drug-free ways to manage high blood pressure. Here are a few of them to consider:
- Supplement with magnesium (chelated for maximum absorption); the RDA is 320mg daily for women and 400mg for men. That should be your minimum, and remember that the ideal ratio of calcium to magnesium is 2:1.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a bone-healthy, alkalizing diet such as the 80/20 diet outlined in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
- Avoid sugar
Till next time,
1 Lee, S., et al. “Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on insulin sensitivity and blood pressure in normo-magnesemic nondiabetic overweight Korean adults.” Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases. 2009 Dec; 19(11):781-8. doi: 10.1016. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19359148
Comments on this article are closed.
I have always suffered from low blood pressure, & I am feeling like I have it again (feeling like I am swaying). Could it be from the magnesium?
Thanks I learned about Magnesium.
what is chelated? I have not seen it in the stores. The magnesium that I take is ‘magnesium citrate’ is that OK?
Why can’t I read the replies to the questions at the end of this article on magnesium?
Vivian, I’ve been using a spray on Magnesium. It doesn’t give me the diarrhea that the tablets sometimes give me. Does the spray work as well as the tablets?
How Many Milligrams And/or IUs Of Magnesium And Vitamin D3 Should I Be Taking Per Day?
Thank You For All You Do. Take Care, And Stay Well.
LOVE, LESLIE (MS. L. CARMEL
I have been lifting weights and taking vitamins for over 30 years. I am now 64 years old. When I was 49 a dr. recommended I take a bone density test. I was put on Fosomax immediately. I took the drug for over 5 years and then had another bone density test. My internist told me the results were so bad that I could break something at any moment, she was about to give me Forteo, when she suddenly realized that I had had breast cancer, and it was not recommended for cancer survivors. My husband took me to a bone density specialist who had written books and appeared on tv. He performed every test, short of a bone marrow, and could find nothing wrong with me. He said to stop taking Fosomax (that studies were being made that it actually destroyed the bones) and keep up weight lifting and a healthy diet. He also recommended a whole body vibrator. that was approximately 10 yrs ago. I have purchased the Saveourbones program and changing some of my habits. I have switched to a natural based calcium tablet, still lift weights 3 times a week; vibrate daily on my whole body vibrator by Soloflex. I refuse to take any more drugs. Interesting note: I have been dancing on 3 inch heels for 35 years.
Thanks for the info about magnesium. I agree with you. I have been taking magnesium long before I found out I should be taking Calcum supplements. When my Doctor advised me to take Calcium supplements, I said Dr. M., Calcium and Magnesium are synergystic. Fortunately my bood pressure is at an optimal level. I read about magnesium, saw and liked the benefits of taking magnesium. I also learned when to take magnesium, not after meals. I hope it is helping me, I am thinking it is helping me. I like magnesium.
Hi Vivian, I want to tell you the Actonel I started 8 months ago..I am off it. I think I am looking for new endocrinologist too. I started to develop
rib pains, shortness of breath, dizziness so I called the pharmacist and
she asked me how much calcium I was taking. The doctor had told me to get my calcium from food. Does not work that way and more people get kidney
damage from it. This Actonel goes after the calcium in your system. I wrote the doctor a letter and heard from her assistant but I am done.
Now I have to see how my kidneys are working. The pharmacist told me
they get quite a few calls a month about the drug and it is not positive.
Irene, I am glad you discovered the dangers of Actonel after only 8 months! You are not alone – if you search this site for “Actonel,” you will see many posts I’ve written about this drug.
I use the magnesium oil that you spray on. It can be purchased on the amazon site. It is called Swanson Ultra. Perhaps that will work for those of you that can’t handle the pill form.You can also read the reviews on the amazon site pertaining to this oil.
Thanks for the tip, i will check it out.:)
I have found I can’t take magnesium suppliments, just a part of a tablet leaves me feeling unable to move, my limbs are heavy & I feel in a brain fog & lethargic.
Similar problem with B comlex, they just put me to sleep all day & night.
Chia seed & Qunioa are high in magnesium, plus chia is a good souurce of calcium.
I have to make do with my diet, thankfully I don’t have a blood pressure problem.
I love Mag because it’s so soothing. Puts me right to sleep. One Dr. researched it and found people can put their depression drugs in the trash. It’s calming, and mood lifting. All this from just one daily dose.
oops that should be ” complex “
I’ve lately come to realize the importance of magnesium. I am 61 and have been diagnosed with osteopenia as well as with moderately high blood pressure. I take diuretic medication for my BP and refuse to take medication for osteopenia although my doctor keeps trying to make me do so. I now realize that the diuretics actually deplete my body of magnesium, so now I have all the more reason to take that supplement! My doctor has never mentioned a thing about magnesium … which baffles me since he is prescribing medication that depletes it from my body, while at the same time he should know how much my bones are in need of it!! In any case, I am hoping to be able to go off my BP medication in due time as I keep taking my magnesium supplements, and continue my healthy diet which includes a lot of kale and other vegetables.
That’s a very interesting insight about prescription drugs, Joyce! Kudos to you for making your own health decisions.
While I appreciate the article, I think I’ll stick to your cleanse. Personally, I really don’t want one more pill to take but it might work for some. He does agree with the types of food that you’re program encourages so that’s good to hear! Your program suggests two cleanses a year, would more be harmful or just unnecessary! Thank you again, Vivian, for bringing more information to the table!!
About Mg, little known is the research suggesting better absorption of Mg is to take it before we take calcium. Taking the two together overpowers the Mg. I wait an hour or less to eat calcium rich foods after I take Mg. Just to be sure I’m giving a good foundation for calcium to get absorbed properly.
I was reading some research on kale. It has more absorbable calcium in it then a glass of milk! I wonder if there are other wonder veggies out there with such high absorbable calcium in them? I thought spinach was good, but they say no because of the oxilates in spinach.
Rosemary, it’s true that oxalates have been shown to interfere with calcium absorption in lab tests, but the reduction is relatively small and should not prevent you from eating spinach, which contains many valuable nutrients. 🙂 In fact, you might like to read a post I wrote about spinach recently:
Broccoli, mustard greens, and collard greens are other examples of high-calcium veggies. 🙂
I had to cut back on spinach because I did have a bout of kidney stones and was pleasantly surprised to find out about kale being a better substitute for it. I went out to buy some kale today for my green smoothie. Very tasty.
Is there any alternative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.