Minerals make up 4 percent of the human body by weight. There are nine minerals that constitute 99 percent of the body’s mineral content: sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, sulfur, cobalt, and chlorine. The last 1 percent consist of ten trace minerals. Magnesium joins with sulfur to make magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts). It joins with carbon to form magnesium carbonate and with calcium to form dolomite. Magnesium is an alkaline mineral that neutralizes acid just like calcium does. An adult body contains about 25 grams of magnesium with 55 percent stored in the bones and the rest in soft tissues. I remember taking a thin strip of magnesium in a high school chemistry class and lighting one end. It flared up like a sparkler and disappeared almost immediately. It is for this reason, scientists sometimes refer to it as ‘the spark of life.’

Small currents of electricity flow within our bodies. The conductor for these electrical currents is calcium. Magnesium is necessary to maintain the proper level of calcium. Dr. Dean in her book, The Miracle of Magnesium states, “Magnesium at a concentration 10,000 times greater than calcium inside our cells will permit only a small amount of calcium to enter and create the necessary electrical transmission or muscle firing and then immediately helps eject the calcium once the work is done. If calcium accumulates in the cell, it causes hyperexcitability and eventually calcification that disrupts cell function. Too much calcium entering cells can cause symptoms of heart disease (such as angina, high blood pressure, and arrhythmia), asthma, or headaches. But if there is enough magnesium, it acts as the body’s natural calcium channel blocker.”

The highest concentration of magnesium is in our heart and brain cells. So, it isn’t a surprise that deficiencies of magnesium show up there. The brain and heart have considerable electrical activity measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG) and an electrocardiogram (EKG).

Another experiment from high school chemistry involved solubility (dissolving a solid into a solution of water). If you take a capsule of calcium powder and dissolve it into 1 oz of water, a lot of calcium will settle on the bottom of the glass. If you then mix in a capsule of magnesium and slowly stir, all of the remaining calcium will dissolve (disappear) into the water.  The same thing happens in our bloodstream, heart, brain, and kidneys (soft tissues). If you don’t have enough magnesium to help keep calcium dissolved, you can develop calcified arteries, breast tissue calcification, kidney stones, bladder stones, muscle spasms,  leg cramps, fibromyalgia, and other problems.

Did you notice kidney stones and heart disease? We talk about this in our Wellness Journey Class. So it isn’t just too much calcium causing the problem. It could be a lack of magnesium trying to keep up with the massive amounts of calcium being ingested. A 2015 study confirms that magnesium has a major role in dissolving calcium crystals in calcified arteries. Calcification of coronary arteries leads to heart attacks and death. Calcification of carrotid arteries leads to strokes. Calcification of renal arteries leads to kidney failure.

Dr. Dean states, “All muscle cells, including those of the heart and of the smooth muscles lining the blood vessels, contain more magnesium than calcium. If magnesium is deficient, calcium floods into the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels and causes spasms, leading to constricted blood vessels and therefore higher blood pressure, arterial spasms, angina, and heart attack. A proper balance of magnesium in relation to calcium can prevent these symptoms. Calcium excess stimulating the cells in the muscular layer of the temporal arteries (located over the temples) can cause migraine headaches. Excess calcium can constrict the smooth muscle surrounding the small airways of the lungs, causing restricted breathing and asthma.  Finally, too much calcium, without the protective effect of magnesium, can irritate delicate nerve cells of the brain. Cells that are irritated by calcium fire electrical impulses repeatedly, depleting their energy stores and causing cell death. The irony of the calcium-magnesium story is that without magnesium, calcium will not work properly in our cells, but it will inappropriately precipitate out into soft tissues…our high-calcium diet and tendency to take calcium supplements make getting enough magnesium almost impossible.”

For more information on the calcium lie, see my book.

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