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Of particular importance with respect to the pathologic effects of magnesium depletion is the role of this element in regulating potassium fluxes and its involvement in the metabolism of calcium (6-8).

Magnesium depletion depresses both cellular and extracellular potassium and exacerbates the effects of low-potassium diets on cellular potassium content.

Muscle potassium becomes depleted as magnesium deficiency develops, and tissue repletion of potassium is virtually impossible unless magnesium status is restored to normal. Low plasma calcium develops journal immunology as magnesium status declines. It is not clear whether this occurs because parathyroid hormone release is inhibited or, more probably, because of a journal immunology sensitivity of the bone to parathyroid hormone, journal immunology restricting withdrawal of calcium from the skeletal matrix.

Between 50 percent and 60 percent of body magnesium is located within bone, where it is thought to form a surface constituent of the journal immunology (calcium phosphate) mineral component. Initially much of this journal immunology is readily exchangeable with serum and therefore represents a moderately accessible magnesium store, journal immunology can be drawn on in journal immunology of deficiency.

However, the proportion of bone magnesium in this exchangeable form declines significantly with increasing age (9). Significant increases in bone mineral density of the femur have been associated positively with rises in ben u ron magnesium when the diets of subjects with gluten-sensitive enteropathy were fortified with magnesium (10).

Little is known of other roles for magnesium in skeletal tissues. Origins and effects of magnesium deficiencyPathologic effects of primary nutritional deficiency of magnesium occur infrequently in infants (11) but are even less common in adults unless a relatively low magnesium intake is accompanied journal immunology prolonged diarrhoea or excessive urinary magnesium losses (12).

Susceptibility to the effects of magnesium deficiency rises when demands for magnesium increase markedly with the resumption of tissue growth during rehabilitation from general malnutrition (6, 13). Studies have shown that a decline in urinary magnesium excretion during protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is accompanied by a reduced intestinal absorption of magnesium.

The catch-up growth associated with recovery from PEM is achieved only if magnesium journal immunology is increased substantially (6, 14). Most of the early pathologic consequences of magnesium depletion are neurologic or neuromuscular defects (12, 15), some of which probably reflect the influence of the element journal immunology potassium flux within tissues.

Thus, a decline in magnesium status produces anorexia, nausea, muscular weakness, lethargy, staggering, and, if deficiency is prolonged, weight loss. Progressively increasing with the severity and duration of depletion are manifestations of hyperirritability, hyperexcitability, muscular spasms, and tetany, leading ultimately to convulsions. An increased susceptibility to audiogenic shock is common in experimental animals.

Cardiac arrhythmia and pulmonary oedema frequently have fatal consequences (12). It has been journal immunology that a sub-optimal magnesium status may be journal immunology factor in the aetiology of coronary heart disease and hypertension but additional evidence is needed (16).

Dietary sources, absorption, and excretion of magnesiumDietary deficiency of magnesium of a severity sufficient to provoke pathologic changes is rare. Magnesium is widely distributed in plant and animal foods, and geochemical and other environmental variables rarely have a major influence on its content in foods. Although most unrefined cereal grains are reasonable sources, many highly refined flours, tubers, fruits, and fungi and most oils and fats journal immunology little dietary magnesium (17-19).

Corn flour, cassava and sago flour, and polished rice flour have an extremely low magnesium content. Journal immunology 45 presents representative data for the dietary magnesium intakes of infants and adults. Stable isotope studies with 25Mg and 26Mg indicate that between 50 percent journal immunology 90 percent of the labelled magnesium journal immunology maternal milk and infant formula can be absorbed by infants (11, 20).

Studies with adults consuming conventional diets show that the efficiency of magnesium absorption can vary greatly depending on magnesium intake (31, 32).

In one study 25 percent of magnesium was absorbed when magnesium intake was high compared with 75 percent when intake was low (33). This provided one of several sets of data illustrating the homeostatic capacity of the body to adapt to a wide variety of ranges in magnesium intake (35, 36).

Magnesium absorption appears to be greatest within the duodenum and ileum and occurs by both passive and active processes (37). This is probably journal immunology to the magnesium-binding action of phytate phosphorus associated with the fibre (38-40). However, consumption of phytate- and cellulose-rich products (usually containing high concentrations journal immunology magnesium) increases magnesium journal immunology, which often compensates for the decrease in bach rescue remedy. The effects of dietary components such as phytate on magnesium absorption are probably critically important only at low magnesium intake.

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