Magnesium is a critical element because hundreds of enzymatic reactions in the body depend on it. Muscles need magnesium for the process of contraction and relaxation. The heart needs this element to have a steady beat. The immune system needs it to eliminate inflammation. The blood vessels need magnesium so they can adequately expand and contract, thus controlling blood pressure.
Magnesium is just as important as zinc and chromium for proper blood sugar regulation. It makes insulin work better in the body. New research reports state that even the process of energy production (getting energy from fats and carbohydrates) and the synthesis of proteins are dependent on magnesium.
The RBC magnesium test is very similar to the serum test, but it measures the amount of magnesium in red blood cells rather than the magnesium in the blood serum. The RBC test is viewed as more accurate than the serum test because when you are deficient in magnesium, your body takes it from cells instead, therefore, making it highly detectable through an RBC. The RBC may indicate that these red blood cells are missing a healthy level of magnesium, meaning you may have a magnesium deficiency.
Dietary sources of magnesium include dark green leafy vegetables, lentils, beans, grains (unprocessed), and nuts.
Normal Ranges for Magnesium in mg/dL:
Am J Clin Nutr. 1987;45:1305-12.
Clinica Chimica Acta. 2000;294:1-26.
Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in many biochemical reactions including your heartbeat, nerve and muscle function, bone development, energy production, glucose and blood pressure regulation and protein synthesis.
Low RBC (=red blood cell) magnesium shows a deficiency of magnesium.
This is related to various signs and symptoms that may include the following:
- Muscle cramps/spasms/tremors
- Fatigue / Nausea
- Decreased reflexes
- Inexplicably low calcium levels / Problems absorbing calcium
- Loss of appetite
- High blood pressure
- Heart damage or arrythmias
- Kidney damage or disease
- Migraine headaches
- Neuromuscular disorders
- Irritability and agitation
Those who have kidney disease, GI disease, or have been diagnosed with chronic alcoholism are more likely to have low magnesium levels.
Major dietary magnesium sources include:
- Leafy green vegetables like spinach
- Pumpkin seeds
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
High levels of hemoglobin are associated with increased blood thickness. This can slow down the blood flow and oxygen transport and in some cases form blood clots which increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Some specific causes of high magnesium might include:
- Taking calcium supplements without magnesium
- Use of too many antacids.
- Use of too many laxatives
- Muscle tone decreases
- Depression of the central nervous system
- Heart attack
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