Magnesium (Mg) is an essential element with both electrolyte and enzyme-activator functions. However, neither of these functions takes place in hair. Body excess of Magnesium is rare but may occur from excessive oral or parenteral supplementation or as a result of renal damage or insufficiency.
If one rules out external contamination of hair as a result of recent hair treatment, elevated hair Magnesium is more likely to indicate maldistribution of the element. Physiological Magnesium dysfunction may or may not be present. Maldistribution of Magnesium can occur as a result of chronic emotional or physical stress, toxic metal or chemical exposure, physiological imbalance of calcium and phosphorus, bone mineral depletion, and renal insufficiency with poor clearance of Magnesium (and other metabolites). Elevated hair Magnesium has been correlated with hypoglycemia and an inappropriately low ratio of dietary Ca : P.
Magnesium status can be difficult to assess; whole blood and packed blood red cell Magnesium levels are more indicative than serum/plasma levels.
Amino acid analysis can be helpful in showing rate-limited steps that are Magnesium-dependent (e.g. phosphorylations).
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