Magnesium (red cell)
Is it for you?
Magnesium is an important mineral needed for proper muscle, nerve, and enzyme function. It also helps the body make and use energy and is needed to move other electrolytes (potassium and sodium) into and out of cells. Most of the magnesium in the body is found in the bones and inside the cells. Only a tiny amount of magnesium is normally present in the blood, most of which is contained in the red cells.
Magnesium is found in fibre-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, avocados, bananas, wholemeal bread and brown rice as well as in fish and meat. Excess magnesium exposure can cause breathing problems, skin and eye irritation, flu-like symptoms and an upset stomach. Low magnesium can cause muscle aches and pains, fatigue, osteoporosis, an irregular heart beat and high blood pressure. Low magnesium is associated with heart disease, artherosclerosis, stroke and diabetes.
The body regulates serum magnesium by pulling magnesium from the red cells when levels are low. This means that serum magnesium can show normal levels even when magnesium in red cells is depleted. This means that the magnesium red cell test can be a more sensitive measure of magnesium status.
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