We are all told when we are growing up that calcium builds strong bones, and it certainly does. This being said, it’s a little known fact that calcium actually requires magnesium in order to be effective, and to regulate how much calcium that our bodies can handle.
How It Works
There is an abundant supply of calcium in a person’s daily life. Milk and other dairy products are the most popular in the United States, and are consumed on many occasions throughout the day.
Additional foods such as cheese, yogurt, bok choy, broccoli, bone-in fish, and many other foods also contain the calcium required to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
While a healthy supply of calcium is good and can’t be avoided, what actually makes the difference is magnesium. Magnesium is like the bouncer at the door to a nightclub. It regulates how much, when, and where the body needs all of the calcium being consumed.
What Happens With Too Much Calcium
As with most minerals going into the body, too much is not a good thing. Ingesting too much calcium is called “hypercalcemia.”
Without the balancing effects of magnesium, there are several adverse health risks that can develop from having too much calcium in the body.
Here are some of the symptoms that can present themselves:
- Excessive thirst and therefore excessive urination
- Back Pain
- Nausea, Vomiting, Constipation, Abdominal pain
- Muscle Weakness and Twitching
- Bone Pain and other skeletal weaknesses and deformations
- Arthritis, Osteoporosis, and Menstrual Cramps
Ways to Consume Magnesium
Magnesium absorbs and evenly distributes calcium that enters the body, and can also counteract the aforementioned effects of hypercalcemia.
There are many ways of balancing the magnesium to calcium ratio that the body requires. The most common way is to take an oral supplement, most often in pill format, everyday to make sure that the body has the minimum daily intake required. Other methods include topical skin creams, oils, and gels.
Taking an oral supplement, however, has its drawbacks. The main fault with this method is that taking magnesium pills in the doses described on the pill bottle can cause a bowel flush – diarrhea, in other words. This will have the effect of not allowing the body to absorb the magnesium properly, therefore rendering it altogether ineffective.
Topical skin creams, gels, and oils are the best way to regulate the amount of magnesium the body needs. Being able to apply magnesium to an aching part of the body will provide fast relief.
There are other methods of giving the body a regular supply of magnesium. These can be as simple as a foot bath, applying cream regularly, or more a more substantial method such as a full body bath with magnesium oils.
Other Magnesium Health Benefits
Along with being a facilitator for calcium, magnesium also has many other health benefits. Magnesium is a natural element and as such is found in many of the items that people regularly consume on an everyday basis.
Magnesium is needed by the body in order to be healthy. It regulates blood sugar levels, maintains normal muscle function, and supports the immune system. Magnesium also allows the nervous system to relax which lowers blood pressure among many other health benefits.
Some of these additional health benefits include:
- Anti-aging – Magnesium can combat wrinkles, arthritis, osteoporosis, and more
- Heart, Kidney, and Brain improvement
- Improved Bone Health
- Stress Relief
- Muscle and Joint Pain Relief
- Improved Sleep
- Body Essentials – The body needs essential minerals like magnesium for aid in digestion, metabolism, protein synthesis, and amino acid production
Incorrect Ratios and Their Consequences
The human body needs a correct calcium to magnesium ratio. Most people need a 1 to 1 ratio for maximum health benefits. Some people need to adjust the ratio to include more magnesium if they are low. Studies show that only 25% of American’s are getting their recommended daily intake of magnesium.
Here are some possible health problems stemming from a lack of magnesium:
- Blood Clots
- Kidney Disease
- Heart Disease and Stroke
- Tooth Decay
- Muscle Aches
- Sleep Disorders
All of theses problems can be exacerbated by having an incorrect calcium to magnesium ratio in the body, but can easily be rectified with additional magnesium.
Magnesium Efficiency in the Body
As previously discussed in this article, there are many ways that the body can get the magnesium it needs. Magnesium is needed to counterbalance the calcium that is constantly being taken in. If there is not enough magnesium present there will be build ups of calcium on bones and other vital organs.
While magnesium’s most important function is to regulate calcium, the body also needs magnesium for a variety of other health reasons. Since the body still needs a minimum level of magnesium, regardless of calcium intake, health issues may arise if magnesium levels drop too low or if not being used efficiently.
Factors that can reduce magnesium efficiency include:
- Alcohol, Coffee, and Soda Drinks
- Painkillers and Other Drugs
- A High Calcium, High Carbohydrate, or High Sodium Diet
- Mental and Physical Stress
Keeping the body balanced with the appropriate ratio of magnesium to calcium is important to avoid future health issues.
The benefits of calcium are well known. Stronger bones, healthier teeth, and better overall health. This elemental nutrient is essential for bone and tooth strength, but the lesser known element of magnesium is equally, if not more, important.
The proper amount of magnesium (relative to the amount of calcium ingested) should be taken to counteract the problems caused by too much calcium, otherwise known as hypercalcemia.
Excess calcium can cause a plethora of health problems, including bone spurs, joint stiffness, kidney stones, and many other issues. Magnesium absorbs and distributes the calcium to where the body needs it.
On top of the numerous health benefits of regulating the amount of calcium in the body, appropriate magnesium intake also has many other health benefits.
As with any vitamin, mineral, or other health product there has to be a balance in the amount ingested. Whether in pill form, oil, or cream, magnesium is important to the body. Combining magnesium with proper levels of calcium, the body should be running at peak efficiency.
Having the right ratio of calcium and magnesium is a great way to maintaining a healthy lifestyle!