Magnesium – The Latest from Russia

By Dr. Chris Meletis N. D.

The international community has been aggressively pursuing the powerful effects of magnesium within the human body. We have known for many years now that magnesium plays a pivotal role in helping fuel the biochemical enzymes essential for the control of digestion, absorption, and the utilization of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Sufficient magnesium is required to fuel the over 300 magnesium-dependent enzymes. In fact, magnesium is involved in the most important of all enzyme reactions—the biochemical reaction at the very epicenter of energy creation—the activation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy storage molecule of the body.

When magnesium is absent from the body, there is no energy, no cellular function, and hence, no life. It comes as no surprise that the latest 2012 research from Russian gives us great hope that optimizing magnesium levels in the body is vitally important and necessary for optimum health and wellness.

As reported in one study, magnesium plays an intimate role in the support of brain health. Researchers found that magnesium increases the energy potential of cells, which is critical in the pathogenesis of stroke and in the survival and recovery of brain cells. In acute and chronic cerebral ischemia (lack of oxygenated blood flow), deficient Mg2+ is the basis of hypoxia (oxygen deprived) cells, which leads to their subsequent cellular death. When it comes to protecting brain cells, the medical research emphasizes the interaction between two minerals. Severe deficiency of selenium when there is an issue of life and death of the patient requires a massive correction of magnesium homeostasis. The Russian research team summarized their findings as such:

“It is an integral component of intensive care in neurology, cardiology, and obstetrics. However, in daily practice, a neurologist frequently has patients with chronic cerebrovascular disease, accompanied by magnesium deficiency. This necessitates the use of magnesium containing drugs with neuroprotective and neurotrophic properties in the treatment and prevention of cerebrovascular disease.” 1

Another Russian research team in 2012 pointed out that magnesium deficiency has resulted in alterations of cellular functions and biological activity of molecules. The review discusses a possible relationship between magnesium deficiency and development of oxidative stress, which means that without sufficient magnesium, free radical damage occurs. 2 When visiting with my patients, I refer to this as “cellular rust”. A decrease in magnesium concentration in tissues and blood is accompanied by the elevation of oxidative stress markers, including the oxidative modification of lipids, proteins, and DNA. The reduction in antioxidant defenses is synchronous with the elevation of oxidative stress markers. Inadequate magnesium levels in the body results in inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and cellular changes (mitochondrial dysfunction and excessive production of fatty acids), which are all from the effects of oxidative damage associated with magnesium deficiency.

Take Home:

Free radical damage accompanied by the stress of modern living requires a strong and well-planned nutritional defense. Our society is infatuated with the importance of calcium for bone health. However, what is forgotten is that magnesium is the mineral that is vitally important to balance calcium metabolism. The number one mineral I recommend to my patients is magnesium because of the myriad of health benefits it provides. Bottom line, a well-nourished body is an energized collection of trillions of cells that seek balance and wellness.



1 Magnesium in the treatment and prevention of cerebrovascular disease. Kardiologiia 2012;52(9):80-6.

2 Magnesium and the oxidative stress. Ross Fiziol Zh Im I M Sechenova. 2012 Jul;98(7):915-23.