Aug 7, 2012 by APRIL McCARTHY
Magnesium Reduces Your Risk of Cancer
Increased intakes of magnesium in the diet may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, says a new meta-analysis from Imperial College London and Wageningen University.
Every organ in the body -- especially the heart, muscles, and kidneys -- needs the mineral magnesium. Magnesium reduces blood pressure naturally, curbs diabetes, lower the risk of heart disease, and is essential for the functioning of more than 300 different enzymes in the body, particularly those that produce, transport, store, and utilize energy.
A notable study of more than 4,600 Americans, begun in 1985, found the risk of developing metabolic syndrome over the next 15 years was 31 percent lower for those with the highest intake of magnesium.
Supplements of magnesium may also improve sensitivity to insulin and help reduce the risk of diabetes. Daily supplements of the mineral for six months improved two out of three measures of insulin sensitivity, compared with placebo. Low magnesium status may actually exacerbate the symptoms of type 2 diabetes by further influencing insulin status
For every 100 milligram increase in intake of the mineral, the risk of colorectal cancer decreased by 12%, according to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
However, the results were limited to overweight people, said the researchers, and may be related to effects of magnesium on insulin resistance and responses, which are thought to play a role in the development of tumors.
"The postulated role of magnesium in the causation of type-2 diabetes and increased risk of colorectal cancer seen in type 2 diabetes patients lend additional support for this mechanism."
Dietary sources of magnesium include green, leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains and nuts, and milk. Earlier dietary surveys show that a large portion of adults does not meet the RDA for magnesium (320 mg per day for women and 420 mg per day for men).
Recently, scientists from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden reported that, data pooled from seven prospective studies revealed that, for every 100 mg per day increase in magnesium intake, the risk of stroke was reduced by about 9% (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
Magnesium is able to:
.Dilate blood vessels
.Prevent spasm in the heart muscle and blood vessel walls
.Counteract the action of calcium, which increases spasm
.Help dissolve blood clots
.Dramatically lessen the site of injury and prevent arrhythmia
.Act as an antioxidant against the free radicals forming at the site of injury
Foods that are high in magnesium include kelp powder, raw almonds, whole grain cereals (especially buckwheat), broccoli, sesame seeds, blackstrap molasses and green peas. However, we need to have these foods on a regular, daily basis in order to obtain the recommended daily dose of 400 - 500mg from dietary sources, which is not always possible or convenient. In addition, if we exercise and sweat, we need extra magnesium (as well as other minerals) as we lose substantial amounts of minerals during sweating - particularly calcium and magnesium.
One of the best ways to prevent magnesium deficiency is to take Colloidal Minerals - because the body absorbs 98% of these plant-derived minerals, as opposed to metallic minerals sources that come from ancient sea beds, ground up rock and soil and are only 8% absorbed by the body. Colloidal Minerals from plant sources are non-toxic and negatively charged; therefore, they are water soluble and easily dissolved without becoming involved in the digestive process. The natural negative electrical charge (which is a true hallmark of plant derived minerals) has significant benefits.
The researchers analyzed data from a case-control study on benign colorectal tumors (adenomas) involving 768 cases and 709 control subjects. They also performed a meta-analysis of three colorectal adenoma studies and six colorectal cancer studies.
Results from the case-control study indicated that, for every 100 mg increase in magnesium intake, the risk of adenoma decreased by 19%, but only for overweight people over the age of 55.
In the meta-analysis, every 100 mg increase was associated with a 13% decrease in the risk of adenoma, and a 12% decrease in the risk colorectal cancer.
Commenting on their findings, the researcher cautioned that there is only a small number of studies on the topic of magnesium and colorectal cancer, but the meta-analysis and case-control data indicated that the "consumption of magnesium-rich foods may be a new avenue to explore further in the search for cancer-prevention strategies".
A magnesium mineral deficiency may cause the following symptoms:
* Nervous anxiety
* High blood pressure
* Muscle weakness, cramps and spasms (this one is a definite sign of magnesium deficiency, possibly even calcium)
* Premenstrual Syndrome
* Hearth rhythm irregularities/ angina
* Cravings for chocolate and caffeine (which also causes the body to lose more magnesium)
* Back pain
* Headaches, cluster headaches, migraines
* Stiff and aching muscles
* Bones and joints that need continued chiropractic treatment
* Kidney stones
* Attention deficit disorder [ADD]
* Adrenal exhaustion/chronic fatigue syndrome
* Exhaustion from exercise
How to Take It:
It is a good idea to take a B vitamin complex, or a multivitamin containing B vitamins while taking magnesium because the level of vitamin B6 in the body determines how much magnesium will be absorbed into the cells.
Dosages below are based on the dietary reference intakes (DRIs) issued from the Food and Nutrition Board of the United States Government's Office of Dietary Supplements, part of the National Institutes of Health.
Do not give magnesium supplements to a child without a doctor' s supervision.
- Children 1 - 3 years of age: 40 - 80 mg daily
- Children 4 - 8 years of age: 130 mg daily
- Children 9 - 13 years of age: 240 mg daily
- Males 14 - 18 years of age: 410 mg daily
- Females 14 - 18 years of age: 360 mg daily
- Pregnant females 14 - 18 years of age: 400 mg daily
- Breastfeeding females 14 - 18 years of age: 360 mg daily
- Males 19 - 30 years of age: 400 mg daily
- Females 19 - 30 years of age: 310 mg daily
- Males 31 years of age and over: 420 mg daily
- Females 31 years of age and over: 320 mg daily
- Pregnant females 19 - 30 years of age: 350 mg daily
- Pregnant females 31 and over: 360 mg daily
- Breastfeeding females 19 - 30 years of age: 310 mg daily
- Breastfeeding females 31 years of age and over: 320 mg daily
April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.