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Calcium and Magnesium

By Denise Elliot

Two vital macro-nutrients

The main function of calcium is obvious with 99% of it being in our skeleton, the other 1% is vital for blood clotting and transmission of signals to cells. Calcium is strongly regulated by the parathyroid glands (four little glands surrounding the thyroid in our neck) and by our phosphorus levels. Excess phosphorus, commonly from too much protein and/or soft drinks, will increase calcium loss in faeces and urine.

Magnesium is in itself a miracle mineral it plays a vital role in supporting the nervous system, helping insomnia and anxiety. It is also present at high levels in bones and is a major mineral for healthy heart function.

Most cardiac patients would be magnesium deficient – and sadly it may be given post-heart attack. If risk factors are present why not give it prior to a heart attack occurring. Please do discuss this with your health practitioner.

Insufficient magnesium directly and indirectly affects cardiac function through its relationship with potassium, sodium and calcium concentrations in cells and surrounding fluids.

Calcium and magnesium do work together – simply stated calcium tends to contract and magnesium tends to relax. Cramping is a sign of a possible magnesium deficiency. Prevalence of low magnesium is widespread throughout the world with a number of disease processes.

Raw unsalted nuts and seeds are high in magnesium. Both calcium and magnesium are present in dark green leafy vegetables and whole grains. High calcium intake from milk may reduce absorption of magnesium by combination of the calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus in milk.