Taking one substance will not make you well either nutrient or pharmaceutical. Having a complete balanced nutritional diet will go a long way to protect you against the many intrusions to health. Environmental factors that we deal with whether man made or natural occurrences can create serious disease issues regardless of how healthy you are and how well you maintain nutrition. In general if you consume a diet that is an abundance of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and enough protein and fats (please note grains in moderation) you will be among the healthiest. Not having enough of the nutrients that our bodies require will lead to disease states whether there are environmental factors or not.
In my many years of researching the essential nutrients, I have found that the balance of the nutrients is the necessity for health. These items work together in ways that are so complex that we most likely will never be able to completely define all the interactions. However, there are some essentials that we do not get with our present diets in the US. These are vitamin C, vitamin D, iodine, and magnesium. You can add potassium to this list if you do not eat enough leafy green vegetables.
Magnesium is extremely important in our biological reactions. There are more than 350 biological reactions that magnesium has been identified with. I believe that two of the most important are the control of cellular membrane potential and magnesium as the molecule of choice for our energy storage – ADP to ATP.
About twenty five percent of the energy that is used for our bodies is the balance of calcium and magnesium and another twenty five percent is for potassium and sodium balance. This leads directly to how important the minerals are for maintaining a healthy weight. These important ions maintain the body electrochemical functions. If we are deficient in any of these then the ‘body electric’ starts to short circuit. I know an unusual term to describe what is going on with biological health but yet very accurate.
The balance of these minerals is extremely important for the electrical function of the heart. The heart is made up of over sixty percent neural cells just like what is found in the brain. These cells function through a cascade of reversing potentials by a balance inside and outside various membranes of potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium. Magnesium deficiency is one of the leading causes of sudden heart failure in young healthy adults.
Magnesium can be used up at a significant rate when you become vitamin D replete. It is extremely important to be sure to get enough magnesium when increasing your vitamin D levels.
How much magnesium is ill defined but falls in a range of 2.5 to 4.5 mg per pound of body weight per day. The good thing about supplementing with magnesium is that you reach bowel tolerance before you reach a level that is too much for the body. Magnesium is an excellent laxative. Nuts and beans appear to be the richest in magnesium of anything that we consume. A quarter cup of almonds contains 99 mg of magnesium and 257 mg of potassium.
For more information on magnesium check this nutritionist website: http://www.krispin.com/magnes.html
For the science this excellent website shows the diseases and gives you an opportunity to review the many papers on magnesium: www.mgwater.com