Over 80% of the North American population is chronically deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body – deficiency in this mineral could lead to many problems & some may be classified as an illness that are simply a deficiency. Magnesium is responsible for activities like proper bowel function, heart muscle contraction, relaxation of blood vessels, regulation of blood sugar levels, proper bone and teeth formation, creation of ATP (energy molecules of the body), and reduces cancer risk.
BONES ..while calcium is important, it is a commonly held myth that calcium holds the key to strong, healthy bones. Overwhelming evidence is now suggesting that it is magnesium, not calcium, that provides strength and longevity to our skeletal structure. These new claims are made by the Paediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting. We should be focusing on magnesium levels just as much as calcium to build healthy, strong bones.
Dangers of Too Much Calcium
Several studies have linked elevated levels of calcium (particularly the use of calcium supplements) with a greater risk for heart attacks, especially in women. After 10 years of medical tests on more than 2,700 men and women, researchers at John Hopkin’s University concluded that taking calcium supplements may increase the risk of plaque buildup in coronary arteries and heart damage. They wrote that earlier studies had found that calcium from supplements doesn’t make it to the bones, and since it is harder to excrete via urine (particularly in older people), it accumulates elsewhere in the body (like our circulatory system). The researchers note that as we age, calcium-based plaque builds up in the arteries, which stalls blood flow, increasing the risk of a heart attack. Too much calcium from supplements is directly related to kidney stones and other health problems, too. The most common form of calcium found in supplements is calcium carbonate (also found in pasteurized milk and other calcium-fortified food products). Calcium carbonate is notoriously difficult for the body to absorb without a chelating agent like citric acid.
Is All Calcium Dangerous?
While it is advisable to steer clear of calcium in the form of calcium carbonate (aka. calcium supplements and fortified foods), that doesn’t mean that all forms of calcium are harmful. A 2007 study showed that calcium from dietary sources has a more favorable effect on bone health than calcium from supplements in postmenopausal women
Magnesium and Our Bones
Professor Steven Abrams and his colleagues at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston found that magnesium intake in children was significantly associated with total bone mineral content and bone density. Calcium intake and absorption was not significantly associated.
“Dietary magnesium intake may be an important, relatively unrecognized factor in bone mineral accretion in children,” the researchers said. “Calcium is important, but, except for those children and adolescents with very low intakes, may not be more important than magnesium.” Not only is magnesium important for growing children, but it is increasingly important for the elderly, too – those who are at increased risk for bone fractures and osteoporosis. Click here to read about an easy way to get best nutrients.
It is best to get your magnesium naturally & avoid being chronically deficient. Fresh produce has seen steady declines in magnesium from 25-80% since pre-1950. Compared to levels documented in 1950, soil magnesium declines are found as high as 40%. This essentially has created a situation where the foods we eat are almost completely devoid of magnesium.
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