In chiropractic school we learned the importance of the mineral magnesium, and that it is required for literally hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. If you forgot or didn't realize how critical adequate amounts of magnesium are, take a look at the following list of conditions where magnesium deficiency may exacerbate and/or contribute to the problem (this is not to say abnormal magnesium is the only cause or only cure for these disorders):
In the December 1996 issue of the American Journal of Natural Medicine, Dr. Michael T. Murray did an extensive review of the literature on magnesium supplementation.2 In addition to Dr. Werbach's findings above, Dr. Murray also documented that magnesium may help in the following:
Acute Myocardial Infarction
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Congestive Heart Failure
Eosinophilia Myalgia Syndrome
Low HDL Cholesterol
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Although the vast majority of magnesium problems are due to insufficiency, too much magnesium can cause, contribute, or exacerbate the following: diarrhea, hypotension, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, cognitive impairment, depression, fatigue, flushing, respiratory insufficiency, and polydypsia.
Next month in part II, we will look at dietary sources and supplemental types of magnesium, along with a review of laboratory tests used to measure magnesium.
- Werbach M. Foundations of Nutritional Medicine. Third Line Press, Tarzana, California, 1997.
- Murray MT. American Journal of Natural Medicine December 1996, 3(10):8-19.
G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN, DACBN
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