Magnesium is enormously powerful at cooling the “fire” of inflammation. Yet it is the commonest mineral deficiency in our diets. The majority of people are not coming anywhere near the RDA minimum of 350 mg.

Researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina measured blood inflammation levels–using the C-reactive protein (CRP) test–in 3,800 men and women. The shocking finding was that many people were getting less than the RDA: 50% less! These individuals were almost three times as likely to have dangerously high CRP levels as those who consumed enough. Being over age 40 and overweight and consuming less than 50% of the RDA more than doubled the risk of blood vessel-damaging inflammation.

The fact is magnesium is crucial to the inflammatory process. Increases in extracellular magnesium concentration cause a decrease in the inflammatory response and vice versa: reduction in the extracellular magnesium results in more inflammation. It’s proven. So if you want to live longer and avoid the inflammatory diseases of aging, including deadly heart attacks (coronary occlusion events), make sure you take adequate magnesium daily. [Magnesium and inflammation: lessons from animal models] Clin Calcium. 2005 Feb;15(2):245-8. Review. Japanese. PMID: 15692164 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

According to Dr. Sophie Begona, magnesium-deficient rats develop a generalized inflammation. [Assessment of the relationship between hyperalgesia and peripheral inflammation in magnesium-deficient rats. Sophie Begona, Abdelkrim Allouia, Alain Eschaliera, André Mazurb, Yves Rayssiguierb and Claude Dubray, Pharmacologie Fondamentale et Clinique de la Douleur, Laboratoire de Pharmacologie Médicale, Faculté de Médecine, France]

Dr. Andrzej Mazura and team at Milan University confirmed that  magnesium modulates cellular events involved in inflammation. Experimental magnesium deficiency in the rat induces, after only a few days, a clinical inflammatory syndrome characterized by leukocyte and macrophage activation, release of inflammatory cytokines and acute phase proteins; and excessive production of free radicals. Increase in extracellular magnesium concentration, decreases inflammatory response while reduction in the extracellular magnesium results in cell activation. [Magnesium and the inflammatory response: Potential physiopathological implications. Andrzej Mazura, Jeanette A.M. Maierb, Edmond Rocka, Elyett Gueuxa, Wojciech Nowackic and Yves Rayssiguiera. University of Milan, Department of Preclinical Sciences, Milan, Italy]

In other words you cannot afford to be deficient in magnesium; it kick starts the whole inflammatory process, with all the attendant dangers I have been writing about.

To protect yourself, take a minimum of 350 mg daily. Double that is better and will overcome any disposition towards malabsorption.