Magnesium is essential for the body to be able to use calcium and vitamin C.
It helps convert blood sugar into usable energy. Since magnesium neutralizes stomach acids, it should not be taken directly after a meal. 

Symptoms of Deficiency or Need:
California Governor Pete Wilson on 3/23/94 ordered Dr. Larry Barrett, the head of the Ca. Dept. of Health, to investigate the possible deaths of 25,000 Californians per year related to magnesium deficiency, which causes heart attacks. Dr. Barrett conferred with Dr. Raymond Neutra of the same department, and they brought in Dr. Arthur Marx from Switzerland. Dr. Marx conferred with the CDC in Atlanta, and has convened a panel in Dec. '94 to figure out what to do about the magnesium problem. The panelists include the above doctors and also Dr. Carl Keen from U. C. Davis, and some others. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, (retired), writes, "A good case can be made for the correlation of cardiovascular death with magnesium deficient water." United States Senator Barbara Boxer (Ca.) writes that she favors more information about the problem be given to Americans. Senator Feinstein has not yet responded to the information sent her. - Paul Mason Researcher 

Magnesium is generally lost through processing, and most foods today are processed, as a walk through any food store will attest. Americans get 300 mg/day, and the RDA is 350 and the RDI is 400. And Magnesium is LOST by athletic stress, type A stress, emotional stress, and alcohol intake. And if Magnesium is consumed with fat, it forms Magnesium soaps in the stomach and passes through unused, even if you have intracellular deficiency; under those conditions, as little as 1% of the Magnesium is retained despite the deficiency. You are unlikely to be as healthy as you think. "Perfectly healthy" athletes are known to drop dead from arrythmias caused by Magnesium deficiency. 

Women who take birth control pills and anyone who drinks alcohol should increase their magnesium.
Deficiencies can cause dizziness, depression, muscle weakness and twitching, hyper-tension, cardiac arrhythmia, chronic fatigue. Magnesium deficiency is common in diabetics.

Some of the problems that Magnesium supplementation may help are: aging, aggressive behaviour, alcoholism, amytrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's Disease, Arrhythmia, Asthma, Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism, Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Cerebrovascular, Chemical Sensitivity, Chronic Fatigue, Cluster Headaches, Cocaine-related Stroke, Constipation, Cramps, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Fluoride Toxicity, Head Injuries, Central Nervous System Injureis, Heart-Related Conditions,  HIV, Aids, Hypertension, Kidney Stones, Magnesium Deficiency, Menopause, Migraine, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Multiple Sclerosis, Nystagmus, Osteoporosis, Peripheral vascular disease, Pregnancy-relate proglems, Eclampsi, Premenstrual Syndrome, Psychiatric Disorders, Repetitive Strain Injury, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sickle Cell Disease, SIDS, Sports-related problems, Stress, Stuttering, Tetanus, Tinnitis, Sound Sensitivity, TMJ, Toxic Shock, Violence.

Supplemental value:
Recent research shows that magnesium can prevent heart disease and fatal heart attacks --- perhaps as many as 200,000 deaths per annum in the U. S. 

Alzheimer's Disease is, in many ways, accelerated aging of specific parts of the brain. "Oxidative stress and neurodegenerative processes are accompanied by a pronounced magnesium dificiency. This is also true for diseases associated with premature aging such as Down syndrome". "Magnesium deficiency affects calcium transport and iron sequestration, impairs mitochondrial function, and induces radical generation by redox recycling. In contrast, magnesium administration improves energy and glucose utilization, stablizes enzymes and membranes, and protests biomolecules against oxidative damage by reactive radicals. It has been demonstrated that magnesium exhibits potent chemo- and cardio-protective actions. Newly developed magnesium salts, with greatly enhanced oral bioavailability and exhibiting extremely low toxicity, have been used sucessfully to counteract stress and age-related excitotoxicity in experiments in animals and humans. The administration of magnesium salts with high bioavailability prolongs life span and reverses age-related morphological, biochemical, electrophysiological, and behavioral impairments". "The three major molecular mechanisms that have been identified as being involved in the irreversible process of specific neuronal death during aging are glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity, intra-neuronal calcium overload, and hydroxyl radical-induced peroxidation and oxidative damage to biomolecules". Magnesium affect all of these mechanisms favorably. Magnesium reverses the age-dependent decline in melatonin production. I therefore suggest daily consumption of a highly bioavailable magnesium salt ( ex.-calcium-magnesium). 

Suggested Dosage:
Since magnesium (Mg), an essential nutrient, is abundant in the environment and food supply, it is generally assumed that Mg deficiency is not a problem. However, the literature indicates that deficiencies may exist in both thirdworld and industrialized nations and may influence cardiac and vascular diseases, diabetes, bone deterioration, renal failure, hypothyroidism, and stress. Because Mg in certain forms is not easily absorbed and no classical symptoms exist, the problem of Mg deficiency is readily masked, especially in high risk groups such as diabetics, alcoholics, those taking hypertension medication, and some athletes. The current Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the US is 6 mg/Kg/day, which translates to 420 mg for a 70 Kg man. The estimated intake in the US is 300 mg/day. Studies show that as much as 3 times this amount may be needed by the general population and especially by those predisposed to cardiac disease states. Recommened: 500- 1,000 mg/day.
Notes: Since magnesium neutralizes stomach acids, it should not be taken directly after a meal. 

Where can you get it?
Your local pharmacy

Natural Sources?
Found in most foods, especially dairy, meat, fish, seafood, brewer's yeast, whole grains, yellow corn, dark green vegetables, lemons, grapefruit, figs, nuts, seeds, apples. 

Reference: Melatonin, hydroxyl radical-mediated oxidative damage, and aging: A hypothesis (1993) J. Pineal Res 14:151-168. Paul Mason

Related Sites
The Magnesium Website

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