Your body only contains 4-5 teaspoons of magnesium, but it is extremely vital to every cell and your body as a whole. Magnesium works to support your bones, helps in the production of cholesterol, helps to activate many vitamins, aids in relaxing muscles, and is an essential factor in protein synthesis.
About 60-65% of the magnesium in your body in contained in the bones. Your bones hold on to magnesium pretty tightly. Even when the rest of your body has a deficiency, your bones will keep most of their magnesium. Only in situations of extreme deficiency will your bones give up their magnesium. Without magnesium, your bones would becomes spongy and could not support the weight of your body.
Cholesterol cannot be synthesized without magnesium. Bile, which helps your body digest fats, cannot be produced without cholesterol. Cholesterol is also a vital component of many hormones. Aldosterone is one such hormone, and helps to control the balance of minerals, one of them being magnesium.
Aldosterone needs magnesium to be produced and it also regulates magnesium’s balance. Cholesterol is also needed in the production of sex hormones, to keep your reproductive system working correctly. The stress coping hormones produced by your adrenal glands also require cholesterol for their synthesis. Cholesterol, along with lecithin and fatty acids (both require magnesium for their formation), are the main components of the myelin lining on the nerves.
Myelin protects the nerves from “cross wiring”, and helps the nerve impulses to travel faster. Without adequate magnesium to produce these three lipids, your nerves can become ragged and worn out before their time. Magnesium has a calming effect on your nervous system. In fact, when taken in large enough doses, magnesium can have an anesthetizing effect.
Magnesium also has a calming effect on your muscles. Calcium stimulates the muscles to flex, and magnesium relaxes them. Without this relaxing effect, your muscles would cramp up. You may also experience muscle spasms and even convulsions, if you don’t get enough magnesium. Remember that your heart is a muscle, and the last thing you want is for it to spasm. Magnesium can prevent painful contractions at the end of pregnancy. It also helps to avoid eclampsia, which is convulsions and coma experienced by the mother after some deliveries.
Magnesium activates vitamins C and E. Therefore, if you don’t get enough magnesium, the vitamin C and E that you eat cannot be used, and your body would suffer symptoms of deficiency for those vitamins as well. Magnesium is vital to the production of parathormone, which regulates vitamin D synthesis from cholesterol compounds in your skin. The B complex also requires magnesium for their proper functioning.
Amino acids are the smallest component of protein. Magnesium is needed to properly produce and combine amino acids to make the specific proteins your body needs. Many of the body’s hormones, enzymes, and tissues are made of protein. Your body has to produce a lot of each to keep your body running smoothly. The constant repair of your body requires massive amounts of protein to be produced.
Without magnesium, your body could not heal itself on the outside or inside. Thousands and thousands of cells in your skin die every day. Much protein is needed to keep it looking firm and beautiful. Your blood is dependent on magnesium to supply it with new proteins, some of which help to kill infectious bacteria and viruses.
DNA is also protein. Without DNA, life would be impossible; it is the instruction book of your cells. We are constantly reproducing DNA in the replication of cells. If we could not produce DNA, we would die in a few days, if not a matter of hours. The replication of DNA allows us to have offspring. Without magnesium, we could not reproduce. Magnesium helps to digest the DNA from the cells in plant or meat foods that we eat.