Magnesium and cancer risk
(Chris Woollams; CANCERactive) Magnesium is the second most abundant element in the human body. It is vital to over 350 enzymatic reactions, brain and liver health, muscle and nerve activity, electrical impulse, cellular alkalinity and energy levels.
But. Several research studies from the US have shown that 40 to 79 per cent of Americans are deficient in magnesium, depending upon which one you read. The American College of Nutrition believe just over two thirds of adults do not even consume the Recommended Daily Allowance. Blood plasma studies in the UK show similar shortages.
Deficiency is linked to heart disease, strokes, osteoporosis, fatigue and lethargy, digestive problems and arthritis. And increased CANCER RISK.
In 2012, a research study from Imperial College London reported that increasing magnesium intake by 100 milligrams reduced risk of colorectal cancer by 12 per cent, while another (in the European EPIC study) reported that increasing magnesium intake could reduce pancreatic cancer risk by 21 per cent.
Soil deficiency - and poor diets
Firstly, a report in February 2004 by David Thomas, a mineralogist and fellow of the Geological Society, using the Government´s own data, showed that between 1940 and 1990, vegetables had lost over half their content of calcium and magnesium, while mineral levels in fruits fared little better. Findings were supported in the British Food Journal by Anne-Marie Mayer, a nutrition researcher at Cornell University. She examined 20 fruits and 20 vegetables and found significant reductions in levels of calcium, magnesium, copper and sodium in vegetables and in magnesium, iron, copper and potassium in fruits.
Both researchers link the decline to intensive farming. They suggest that agricultural chemicals and a lack of crop rotation may be depriving plants of minerals.
Secondly, we are consuming too much dairy, and dairy consumption can depress magnesium levels in the body. Cows´ dairy works against magnesium in two ways. It actually reduces magnesium absorption. Add flooding the blood with calcium can also reduce blood magnesium levels. We also consume alcohol which reduces magnesium levels in the body; and our intestinal ´beneficial bacteria´ are under constant threat from drugs, antibiotics, chlorine in water, alcohol, salt and so on and this impairs magnesium release, especially as we age.
Agricultural chemicals and a lack of crop rotation may be depriving plants of minerals
Finally, we eat less of the foods that have historically given us our magnesium. Foods like fresh nuts (for example, almonds), pulses (for example, lentils, broad beans, peas), green leaf vegetables, jacket potatoes (including the skins - don´t microwave!) and the whole grains like millet, oats, buckwheat, wheat germ and complete brown rice. Refined grains lose 80-90 per cent of their magnesium content in the refining process. Fruits with good levels of magnesium are bananas, mangoes, apricots and melons.
The central atom in chlorophyll is magnesium, rather as the central atom in haemoglobin is iron. And people just do not eat the levels of ´greens´ they ate historically.
Magnesium is essential to life.
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What Does Magnesium Do?
1) A medium build healthy body should contain about 25 gms of magnesium - it is everywhere. About 60 per cent is in the bones and teeth. The body needs magnesium for bone growth and bone health and to prevent tooth decay. Magnesium is needed for vitamin D synthesis and low vitamin D levels mean low calcium absorption. Worse, Vitamin D as we repeatedly tell you is increasingly reported in research to be crucially important in the fight against cancer
So we have a vicious circle; too much calcium depresses magnesium and vitamin D and means it is less likely to be taken up by the bones.
2) Magnesium is also crucial to a healthy liver, your organ of detoxification. It also activates over 300 enzymes throughout the body including some in the energy generation process in the power stations of all cells in the body.
Magnesium is also crucial to a healthy liver
3) As nutritionists the world over have shown, any inefficiency in the cellular power stations can poison the cell, making it more acidic, less capable of using oxygen and generally producing less energy from the raw materials.
Magnesium doesn´t just work in some of the energy reactions, it activates a pump in cell membranes pushing sodium out of the cell and potassium into the cell. Too much sodium or too little potassium inside the cell and its power stations, will ´poison´ the cell with the power stations becoming less efficient and more acidic. Oxygen levels will decline too.This sets up conditions of toxicity and the threat of cancer.
4) Magnesium also works in muscles to help them relax (calcium helps them contract) and studies have shown that a higher magnesium intake may reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. A 1992 study at the Royal Leicester Infirmary showed a 24 per cent higher survival rate in a group of heart attack victims who were given magnesium by injection.
5) Finally, magnesium is important in DNA replication and repair, cellular proliferation and in reducing inflammation. All of these factors are linked to cancer.
Depletion: Diabetes, parathyroid problems, diuretics, alcohol and cows´ dairy consumption, certain drugs, acidic digestion, and diarrhoea/sickness will all deplete your magnesium levels.
Change your diet: and think about supplementation.