Michelle Janbakhsh DDS
Every Cell in Our Body Needs Magnesium
In the human body, magnesium is the eleventh element by mass and about 60-65% of the magnesium is found in the skeleton and teeth.
The remaining magnesium can be found in muscle tissue and cells and only 1% is contained in our blood. The body has high needs for magnesium. Magnesium is required for metabolic functions involving creation of energy ATP and its transport creation of proteins, nucleic acid RNA and DNA in all known living organisms.
Why We Need Magnesium
- Every single cell in the human body demands enough magnesium to function.
- Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, and healthy nervous and cardiovascular system as well as functional detoxification pathways depend on cellular magnesium.
- Magnesium works in concert with calcium to regulate electrical impulses in the cell. Magnesium concentration inside a healthy cell is 10 times higher than calcium.
- Magnesium is responsible for relaxation and is crucial to the healthy functioning of our parasympathetic nervous system.
- Magnesium deficiency is involved in many diseases from ADD, Alzheimer's, autism, autoimmune disorders, dental decay, and depression to osteoporosis, stroke, obesity and the list keeps growing.
The Problem with Magnesium
Unfortunately it is difficult to reliably supply our bodies with sufficient magnesium even from a good balanced whole food diet. In modern agriculture the presence of widely used NPK fertilizer has an antagonist affect with magnesium in the soil. Magnesium and other nutrients are diminished or lost in produce after harvest, refrigeration, transport and storage, even if all steps were done properly. Food processing can cause excessive loss of magnesium in foods. Examples of such processing are milling the whole grains, roasting the nuts and seeds, and cooking the leafy greens. Fluoride in drinking water binds to the magnesium and creates an insoluble mineral compound that will be deposited in the bones.
A diet of processed foods, high sugar content, alcohol and soda drinks all waste magnesium since a lot of it is required for metabolism and detoxification of such foods. Many commonly prescribed pharmaceutical drugs can cause the body to lose magnesium as well.
It is important to know that calcium will not be properly absorbed or metabolized if adequate magnesium is unavailable, and will mostly end up dangerously deposited in soft tissues (heart and brain). Magnesium is also responsible for converting vitamin D to the active form that allows calcium to be absorbed, and also regulates calcium's transport to hard tissues where it belongs.
Magnesium Deficiency in Tooth Decay and Osteoporosis
For years it was believed that high intake of calcium and phosphorus can inhibit tooth decay by strengthening the enamel. Numerous studies, however, have established the fact that it is dietary magnesium, not calcium, (and certainly not fluoride) that creates hard enamel that resists decay, and strong resilient bones. So regardless of how much calcium you consume, if sufficient magnesium is not available, your teeth with not form hard enamel. Increase of calcium and phosphorous is useless, unless we increase our magnesium intake at the same time.
It has been observed that dental structures beneath the surface can dissolve when additional amounts of phosphorus and calcium diffuse through the enamel at different rates. Therefore, milk and/or a diet poor in magnesium and high in the other two elements may not only interfere with magnesium metabolism but also antagonizes the mineral responsible for tooth decay prevention.
Sources of Magnesium
Dietary sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables grown in well mineralized farm soils, seeds, tree nuts, kelp and most sea vegetables. Using unrefined sea salt as well as making bone broth on a regular basis are also good sources of magnesium and other minerals.
Soaking in an Epsom salt bath or using magnesium chloride flakes for a foot bath is also beneficial. It can also be applied as magnesium oil (which is a supersaturated concentration of magnesium, it is not an oil). Transdermal use of magnesium bypasses the laxative effect of using that orally.
Different types of magnesium supplements are available and some are more readily used by the body. As an example, you may need a quickly absorbed magnesium if you are taking it at night for relaxation and sleep. You should consult your health care professional to discuss your specific needs for magnesium and what kind of supplements or dietary changes you can make to get enough of this key miracle mineral, needed for a healthy mouth and overall better health.
1- Magnesium, the nutrient that could change your life by J.I. Rodale,
2- The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean, MD, ND.
Michelle Janbakhsh, DDS is a holistic biological dentist and an Invisalign Preferred Provider at National Integrative Health Associates, NIHA, serving the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia metro region. She treats adults and children for family and cosmetic dentistry using mercury free, biocompatible materials for healthy mouths and healthy bodies.