Magnesium is one of the very important minerals required in nutrition.
It is a positively charged cation and useful in the transmission of nerve impulses.
Along with calcium, magnesium is involved in the contraction and relaxation of muscles and capillary blood vessels.
In the metabolism, magnesium helps in the release of energy stored in ATP.
In more than 200 enzymes, magnesium is a co factor.
Parathyroid hormone which regulates calcium balance is dependent on magnesium for its secretion.
In the normal balanced food the requirements of magnesium are met.
Renal diseases, alcoholism and the use of diuretics can cause the depletion of the mineral through urine.
In its deficiency the nervous system is affected with symptoms like irritability, pains, restlessness, confusion, hallucinations, numbness and many other sensations.
In the cardiovascular system, symptoms like high blood pressure, chest tightness, palpitations and chest pain may be encountered.
Muscle soreness, cramps, twitches, backaches may also occur as symptoms of deficiency.
This can be treated with oral and injectable supplements.
Magnesium is available in milk, milk products, beans, nuts and green vegetables.
Through food, toxic levels of the mineral are not reached, as excess of it is excreted in urine.
However in persons with impaired kidney function, toxic levels are reached with initial symptoms of nausea, diarrhea and low blood pressure and in advanced stages symptoms of muscular and nervous irregularities may occur.