Magnesium and stress

Numerous scientific studies have repeatedly demonstrated that the fundamental change which takes place in our cells as a response to stress consists of a lowering of the Mg:Ca ratio, due to a sudden influx of calcium into the cells.

It has also been shown that responses to stress tail off when magnesium levels recover their usual pre-eminence within our cells, the Mg:Ca balance returns to normal, and the excess calcium subsides. When we are in a normal state of health, our stress response triggers as and when required and abates when the state or emergency that brought it about is no longer present. In stress-free conditions during normal health, the Mg:Ca ratio in the body’s cells is high.

If these conditions cannot be achieved, because of magnesium deficiency or an excess of calcium in the body, it may not be possible to sustain this ratio or return it to its normal value (i.e. that applicable in stress-free situations). In such cases, the response to stress can be triggered even without a proportionate stimulus. Moreover, given that a low Mg:Ca ratio can increase the release of adrenaline and the responses of the body cells to it, a magnesium deficiency can prevent responses to stress from switching off correctly.

To make matters worse, when the magnesium level in the body is extremely low, the magnesium deficiency itself becomes a stimulus which causes stress. The alarm thus caused further intensifies the response to the stress, yet without the magnesium level being adequate to fight it, resulting in a low magnesium/ high stress crisis.

In the modern world we are all living in a state of chronic stress. This environmental fact of life increases our daily requirement for magnesium for maintaining a healthy response to stress, to keep us calm when the need arises. So it can be seen how important it is in dealing with a stressful lifestyle aggravated by a diet which is low in magnesium and high in calcium. Supplementing the diet with magnesium to help maintain or restore a healthy Mg:Ca balance is of major importance for our health.

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