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List of Functions of Magnesium

author image Caroline Thompson
Caroline Thompson is a professional photojournalist who has been working for print and online publications since 1999. Her work has appeared in the "Sacramento Bee," "People Magazine," "Newsweek" and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University at Hayward and a personal trainer certification from the university's Health and Fitness Institute.
List of Functions of Magnesium
Different green vegetables, which is a good source of magnesium. Photo Credit: PaulGrecaud/iStock/Getty Images

More than 300 biochemical reactions in your body use magnesium. Half of the magnesium in your body is found in your bones, while the rest is in your organs and cells. Magnesium is a mineral found in green vegetables, some legumes, whole grains that are unrefined, and in nuts and seeds. Small amounts of magnesium can also be found in tap water, especially if you have “hard” water that naturally contains more minerals. Magnesium is responsible for a variety of body functions and is necessary for good health.

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Bone Health

An important function of magnesium is keeping your bones healthy. Magnesium deficiency changes how your body metabolizes calcium and the hormones that regulate calcium, notes the Office of Dietary Supplements, ODS. Taking magnesium might help improve your bone mineral density and might play a role in preventing osteoporosis.

Carbohydrate Metabolism

Magnesium might influence insulin response in your body and help control blood glucose levels through its role in carbohydrate metabolism. Increasing dietary magnesium might help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a study in the January 2004 issue of “Diabetes Care.” The 18-year study followed the dietary intake of magnesium in 85,060 women and 42,872 men who did not have a family history of diabetes. The study found that the higher the magnesium intake, the lower the risk for acquiring type 2 diabetes.

Blood Pressure Regulation

Dietary intakes of foods rich in magnesium help regulate your blood pressure. A review of research data published in the April 2008 issue of “Nutrition in Clinical Practice” found that dietary intake of magnesium might help improve serum lipid profiles and reduce blood pressure.

Muscle Contraction and Relaxation

A major function of magnesium is its role in muscle relaxation and contraction. Your body uses magnesium to regulate muscle and nerve control. If you do not get enough dietary magnesium, you could experience muscle weakness, continued muscle contraction or twitching and fatigue.

Energy Transport

Magnesium is responsible for the production and transport of energy by working as a co-factor with other enzymes to aid digestion and the absorption of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Magnesium also works with other enzymes in your body to synthesize protein. It helps your body create and transport energy by working with the enzyme adenosine triphosphate, ATP, which is the base energy storage molecule in your body.

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