Implications of low magnesium

Implications of low magnesium

We’ve all seen the posts about how important magnesium is, it needs no introduction. A mineral essential to combat stress. We know that it’s involved in hundreds of enzymes but what really are the implications of long term low magnesium intake? How does it manifest in the body? In this post, we will explore how it impacts key systems.

Cardiovascular system

The heart needs a constant source of energy to keep its electrical activity going and that means magnesium. Magnesium is intimately related to calcium, the latter allowing contraction and magnesium allowing relaxation. When there’s low magnesium, calcium can become deregulated which increases chance of deposits in the arteries.

As calcium levels rise, arterial vasospasms and constriction increase which raises blood pressure. Deficiency of magnesium can significantly reduce the membrane potential polarisation through sodium and calcium accumulation. This means low magnesium is linked to things like arrhythmias.

Inflammation & immune response

Low magnesium means glutathione (a major antioxidant) production becomes impaired which in turn promotes calcium accumulation. Furthermore, inflammatory cytokines (proteins involved in immune response) and interleukins become raised whic promote an inflammatory response and damage to the endothelial wall. Immune cells will not be able to function optimally without adequate magnesium, for example against viruses and subsequently this increases activation of Epstein Barr (EBV).

Conversion pathways

Low magnesium means key conversions in the body become impaired. One of these includes vitamin or hormone D. Vitamin D will not be able to cycle between its binding sites from inactive to active without sufficient magnesium. As vitamin D is an acute phase reaction in its storage form, that means the body will not be able to switch on its conversion during high stress situations such as during infection.

Liver detoxification

The liver consumes an incredible amount of energy (ATP). Low magnesium reduces the liver's ability to conjugate toxins and excrete them through ATP synthase impairment. Low magnesium is almost always found in non-alcohol liver disease. Magnesium protects against bile duct ligation-induced liver injury.


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