Magnesium and General Health

Science buffs will know that Magnesium and Calcium are in the same column in the Periodic Table. It is unsurprising then that these two essential minerals control nerve and muscle function. In muscles, Calcium dominates Magnesium when muscles contract. Magnesium should then dominate Calcium in the relaxation stage. If Magnesium is low, then Calcium dominates both stages.

What this really means is that inadequate Magnesium is a recipe for cramping, stiff, sore and tired muscles. A tell-tale sign of low Magnesium are muscle cramps, especially at night. We need to be aware that dehydration, low salt intake and some drugs, notably stains, can affect muscles. While muscle cramps are uncomfortable, it is the effects of low Magnesium on heart (cardiac) muscle that are frightening as it can affect electrical impulses and blood flow in the heart.

The best way to think about Magnesium it its effects on ‘tubes’ in the body, especially blood vessels. Our muscles contain tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to our muscles. With sufficient Magnesium our blood vessels should open (dilate) after contraction. Low Magnesium does the opposite whereby blood vessels narrow and can then spasm.

In our skeletal muscles this can bring muscle tightness and cramp. In smooth muscle that lines our blood vessels this can cause blood-flow restriction and can lead to hypertension. It is not just blood vessels that are affected; it is our heart muscle, eyes, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and in women, their reproductive tracts. This is why Magnesium is so helpful for PMS.

For people without symptoms, I recommend my multi-mineral/vitamin/antioxidant complex as it includes Magnesium. If you are symptomatic, I recommend adding my Triple formula Magnesium that combines Marine Magnesium, Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Glycinate.

John Arts (B.Soc.Sci, Dip Tch, Adv.Dip.Nut.Med.) is a nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health. If you have questions or need help you can contact John 0800 423559.  You can email John at

Please note that the health advice given through this column is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problem. © John Arts 2023

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