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The Symptoms Complex and The Pharmacology Of Magnesium

The technical information in this web site is not intended to recommend treatment or make specific diagnosis based on such data. It is intended for professional informational purposes, from current medical literature, to assist practitioners in choosing appropriate protocols and modalities. Decisions on patient care should be based on all laboratory tests, health histories and clinical evaluations.

Please note that IntraCellular Diagnostics has no interests in the pharmaceutical industry fiduciary or otherwise . IntraCellular Diagnostics, Inc. is an Independent Clinical Laboratory.

The information below was chosen because it is educational and easy to read for both the professional and general public.

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The Symptoms Complex

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The complex symptomatology

Magnesium deficiencies may be observed in the most diverse forms, ranging from migraine attacks to the unpleasant plantar and toe cramps.

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Magnesium Supplementation under Medical Supervision

A distinction is made between two different forms of oral magnesium supplements:

prot12.jpg (73478 bytes)1. Substitution therapy (magnesium deficiency)


2. Utilization of the pharmacological  properties ( no magnesium deficiency)                                                              prot12b.jpg (38191 bytes)

A distinction is made between two different forms of oral magnesium intake. Firstly, replacement therapy, in order to compensate for deficiency. And, high dose magnesium administration, which takes advantage of the pharmacological effects of the mineral, independently of magnesium deficiency.


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The Pharmacology Of Magnesium

As a bivalent cation, magnesium tends to form chelates (from the Greek chele = crabs claws).

The most important intracellular binding partner is ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Via chelation, large number of ATP-dependent enzymes, i.e. which promote cellular metabolism, are activated.


The First Effect Of Magnesium

Its enzyme cofactor function

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The magnesium ATP complex

Owing to the magnesium ATP complex, magnesium acquires a decisive influence over metabolic reactions which use and supply energy. What is more, since the membrane-bound sodium-potassium pump is ATP-controlled, the electrolyte balance of all cells is dependent on magnesium.

There is nevertheless scarcely any outside influence on this intracellular effect, which is therefore not in the foreground of pharmacodynamic considerations.


The Second Effect Of Magnesium

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Neutralization of negative charges

 The extracellular effect of chelation is, however, interesting: the bivalent, positive magnesium neutralizes negative charges on the outer side of the cells, thereby increasing the potential difference between the inner and outer side of the cell membrane.

 note.gif (897 bytes) As a result, the excitation threshold (and therefore the resting potential) increases and the muscles are not so readily excitable.

  Pharmacological effects:

 note.gif (897 bytes) In the heart, magnesium reduces arrhythmias.

 note.gif (897 bytes) In skeletal muscle, cramps are less frequently triggered.

 note.gif (897 bytes) In the uterus, premature contractions can be suppressed.

The Third Effect Of Magnesium

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Calcium antagonism

The magnesium ion (Mg 2+ ) is larger, in its hydrated state, than the calcium ion (Ca2+ ) and is therefore capable of displacing the latter.

This calcium antagonism acts centrally on both muscle and nerve cells: the magnesium ion occupies the calcium binding sites on muscle cells, thereby displacing calcium into the calcium channel without undergoing the same migration itself.

Pharmacological effects:

 note.gif (897 bytes) The blood vessels dilate.

 note.gif (897 bytes) The oxygen balance of the cells is improved - on the one hand, via an increased supply and on the other hand via lower consumption.

The Fourth Effect Of Magnesium

Inhibition by Magnesium of the Release of Neurotransmitters

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Inhibition of calcium - induced neurotransmitter release

Magnesium inhibits calcium - induced neurotransmitter release at the nerve cell level, or to be more precise, at the level of the presynaptic membranes of the sympathetic nervous system.

Pharmacological effect:

 note.gif (897 bytes) The excitability of the nerve cells is diminished; among other things, adrenaline and noradrenaline release is reduced (important in heart disease and stress).

full spectrum mineral analysis

The Use Of Magnesium

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Indications for magnesium

The area of application for magnesium has always been  derived from its pharmacology, the muscle and muscle cell:

 note.gif (897 bytes) In cardiology, magnesium is administered in coronary heart disease and cardiac arrhythmias.

 note.gif (897 bytes) In gynecology, magnesium is employed orally, in order to cover the increased requirements during pregnancy and lactation and as therapy for dysmenorrhea (cramp-like lower abdominal pain) and premature contractions.

 note.gif (897 bytes) In eclampsia, (suddenly occurring life-threatening cramps during pregnancy, labour or child bed), parenteral administration is chosen.

 note.gif (897 bytes) Neuromuscular disturbances throughout the whole body are grouped together under the name "tetanic syndrome." This includes, in addition to muscle contractions and gastrointestinal spasms, calf, foot and toe cramps. These are symptoms with which the patient often visits the physician and for which a high-dose magnesium preparation provides the ideal remedy.

 note.gif (897 bytes) Migraine is also included in this area. In migraine, high - dose magnesium is employed as long - term prophylactic treatment: in a recent study, 600 mg of magnesium per day as magnesium citrate brought a significant reduction in the frequency of attacks (-41%) and the number of migraine days (-49%).

 note.gif (897 bytes) In digestive problems, a side - effect of magnesium becomes a "virtue": at high doses, magnesium has a laxative effect. Pregnant women in particular therefore value magnesium as a mild, pain - free laxative.


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