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. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19359148