Essential Mineral for Preventing Osteoporosis, High Blood Pressure, and Heart Disease

Magnesium is one of the most essential minerals and cofactors for enzymes in the body. It is involved in numerous physiologic pathways including protein synthesis, energy production, nucleic acid synthesis, ion transport, and cell signaling. Severe magnesium deficiency is referred to as hypomagnesaemia. This condition can impede calcium homeostasis and vitamin D. This deficiency has been associated with a high risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders like diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Some preliminary studies have revealed that magnesium intake improves insulin sensitivity in people at risk of diabetes.

Importance of Magnesium in Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis, Hypertension and Heart Disease

Magnesium and Prevention of Osteoporosis

The primary feature of osteoporosis is reduced bone mineral density (BMD). However, changes in the mineral fracture and collagenous matrix may also result in brittle bones that are susceptible to fracture. Magnesium makes up 1 percent of bone mineral. It influences bone mineral metabolism as well as bone matrix.

In addition, inadequate levels of serum magnesium results in low levels of serum calcium, as well as resistance to effects of calcitriol (vitamin D) and parathyroid hormone (PHT) action. These factors lead to an increase in bone loss. Magnesium intake has been positively associated with increased bone mass density (BMD) in both men and women. However, further research is necessary to show the exact effect of magnesium on bone density.

Magnesium and High Blood Pressure

Magnesium intake has been positively associated with having a therapeutic benefit in treating hypertension. Supplemental magnesium lowers blood pressure in hypertensive individuals. However, it does not reduce blood pressure in normotensive individuals. Oral magnesium intake is necessary for hypertensive individuals who have decreased levels of magnesium in their body due to inadequate dietary intake or chronic diuretic use.

However, other factors also play a significant role in the reduction of blood pressure. These include adherence to a DASH diet that is rich in low-fat dairy, vegetables and fruits while low in total and saturated fats. In addition, antihypertensive medication like diuretics are also needed.

Magnesium and Heart Disease

Common risk factors that are associated with cardiovascular disease such as hypertension, high LLD cholesterol, metabolic syndrome and low HDL cholesterol are also associated with low dietary intake of magnesium.

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