The Importance of Magnesium
Hardly anyone nowadays gets enough magnesium in their diet. In a recent study analyzing the diet of 564 adult Americans, both male and female, the average intake of magnesium was less than 66% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for men and less than 50% of the RDA for women.
But what exactly does magnesium do and why is it important? Magnesium is a critical element in 325+ biochemical reactions in the human body.
Recent research highlights the role magnesium plays in the transmission of hormones (such as insulin, thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, etc.), neurotransmitters (such as dopamine, catecholamines, serotonin, GABA, etc.), and minerals and mineral electrolytes.
This research concludes that magnesium controls cell membrane potential and through this controls the uptake and release of many hormones, nutrients and neurotransmitters. Magnesium controls the fate of potassium and calcium in the body.
If magnesium intake is insufficient, potassium and calcium get excreted in the urine and calcium will also be deposited in the soft tissues (kidneys, arteries, joints, brain, etc.).
Magnesium protects the cells from aluminum, mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium and nickel. There is evidence that low levels of magnesium contribute to heavy metal deposition in the brain, which precedes Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.
It is also very likely that low total body magnesium contributes to heavy metal toxicity in children and is a contributing factor of learning disorders.
One of the most important jobs magnesium has, however, is that it is essential to hyaluronic acid (HA) synthesis in our bodies. Hyaluronic acid has been called the Molecule of Youth, and clinical studies are backing up that claim.
To help explain the importance of HA, let’s talk about Yuzurihara, a Japanese village—a place that came to be known as “The Village of Long Life.”
Yuzurihara, which sits less about two hours north of Tokyo, was one of 990 villages and towns surveyed by the World Health Organization, which found that there were 10 times more people living beyond the age of 85 in Yuzurihara than in North America.
Part of the reason for the longevity—along with the inhabitants’ smooth, wrinkle-free skin and dark, full heads of hair—is the population’s steady diet of soy plants and various potatoes and root vegetables.
Dr. Toyosuki Kimori, a native of the village and the author behind a handful of books on HA, says that he believes the high amounts of magnesium in this diet help stimulate the body’s synthesis of HA.
This is difficult to follow, even for the Japanese. There is very little rice, as the mountainous Yuzurihara area will not grow it.
The diet consists mainly of starchy tubers—satsumaimo, a type of sweet potato; taro, a sticky white root; konnyaku, a gelatinous root vegetable; and tamaji, a small sweet potato. The diet also includes barley, vegetables, bean paste, ﬁsh and fermented soy.
This diet is also very high in ﬁber and low in iron, and yet there doesn’t seem to be one outstanding source of HA.
Since the root vegetables are full of magnesium needed for the synthesis of HA, Dr. Kimori speculated that the tubers play a major role in health and longevity.
According to a review on HA by the International Journal of Research in Chemistry and Environment, magnesium is essential for hyaluronic acid synthesis and a lack of magnesium in the diet may be part of the cause of low hyaluronic acid levels.
Foods that are rich in magnesium include soy, spinach, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, potatoes, green lettuce and carrots. That being said, hardly anyone gets enough magnesium in their diet.
It’s also important to note that the maximum intake of magnesium from supplements such as pills or powders should be 350 mg per day. The rest should come from food,
Research has found that it’s not possible get too much magnesium from food. It’s only possible get too much magnesium from supplementation, that’s why it’s important to limit magnesium from supplements to 350 mg per day.
Because most people are magnesium deficient, based on research, it follows that most people also have lower than optimal levels of HA in their bodies.
HA is a natural moisturizer, providing elasticity and flexibility, while helping your body retain collagen. It is mainly found in the skin, the connective tissue, the joints, and in the eyes.
HA’s moisturizing properties come from its hydrophilic—or water-loving—nature, which enables it to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, an important factor in tissue hydration. Roughly half of the hyaluronic acid in your body is present in your skin, where it binds to water to help retain moisture.
Hyaluronic acid is found in high quantities in synovial tissue, where it helps to lubricate and cushion your joints, allowing bones to glide against one another without growing brittle and causing discomfort.
Basically, reduced hyaluronic acid means less lubrication in your joints and loss of skin elasticity. This results in damage to cartilage and loose, wrinkled skin.
Usually, once HA levels are diminished in the body, you cannot raise them through supplements or nutrition or even exercise. You basically have to work to keep what you have left.
We are all born with the highest HA levels we will ever have at birth. From that point on, people eating standard Western diets usually begin to lose HA at a rate of around 10-15% every 10 years.
The reason why the people of Yuzurihara were able to hold on to their HA levels throughout their lives is that their diets, which were rich in magnesium, supported HA synthesis in their bodies basically from the moment they were born.
The good news is that there is one company who discovered a way of raising HA levels in the body. They’ve developed a patented, liquid nutraceutical with 37 clinical trials proving that with daily use, HA levels can be raised 6000% in 28 days.
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