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Magnesium citrate

Magnesium is a vital element that is found in every body tissue and is necessary for the normal functioning of cells. Magnesium citrate, which is both well tolerated and absorbed by the human body, participates in most metabolic reactions and helps to promote the production and consumption of energy.

Deficiency of magnesium can lead to fatigue, inability to concentrate, irritability, bad moods, insomnia, back pain, skin and hair issues, cramps in the gastrocnemius (lower calf) muscle, arrhythmia and depression. Deficiency of magnesium also dramatically speeds up the development of atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes and kidney stones.

The human body needs on average about 300 mg of magnesium per day. The need for magnesium increases, however, with frequent use of laxatives or alcohol, and with high levels of mental and physical stress—all of which can lead to the development of magnesium deficiency in the body.

Magnesium is particularly necessary for bone health. About 60% of the magnesium stored in human body is contained in bones and teeth, and about one-third can be quickly mobilized when needed by the body. Twenty percent is stored in the muscle, 19% in other parts of the body (brain, heart, liver, kidneys, etc.), and 1% in the extracellular fluid.

Bones, teeth
60%
left
Magnesium
right
Muscles
20%
 
left bottom
  right bottom  
Brain, heart,
liver, kidneys, etc.
19%
 
Extracellular
fluid
1%

Magnesium is also involved in the removal of toxins in the liver and protection against the effects of radiation. Magnesium additionally protects against exposure to heavy metals in the body (e.g., lead), and removes them from metabolism.

As a nutrient, magnesium citrate has many advantages due relative to its biological properties. Principally, magnesium in its citrate form has high bioavailability. Citrates are among the best conductors to the cells. They reduce the release of calcium in urine, lead to better absorption of vitamin C and various minerals, and help to neutralize toxins and nitrates. Citrate is also an instrumental component in the energy cycle of cells (Krebs cycle), the fundamental mechanism whereby carbohydrates, fats and proteins are converted into carbon dioxide and water to generate usable energy.

Magnesium citrate is also sometimes used for emptying the lower digestive tract or treating bowel sluggishness. It works by attracting water through the tissues, drawing enough water into the intestine to naturally stimulate bowel motility, thereby inducing defecation.

While individuals can maintain optimal health without supplementing magnesium in the diet, much of the magnesium naturally present in foods is lost in processing. Magnesium, like other elements required by the human body, is not synthesized but delivered through dietary sources. It has been appropriately referred to as "the primary metal of life."

 

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Principal Author: M. Ofiyeva
Date of Initial Publication: 07/05/2007
Article Last Updated: 03/10/2011