Health benefits of Magnesium

Poor dietary habits, pharmaceutical drug use, and nutrient-depleted growing soils are among the most common reasons why many people today are dangerously deficient in the mineral magnesium, a necessary nutrient for the proper function of virtually all systems of the body. The good news, though, is that incorporating more magnesium into your diet does not have to be an burdensome chore, and doing so could drastically improve your health in ways you never before imagined.

As it turns out, magnesium deficiency is linked to causing all sorts of chronic health problems that, if left unaddressed, will eventually lead to even more serious health problems down the road. This is why it is important to eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods and take high-quality magnesium supplements regularly for optimal health. Here are six ways that magnesium can improve your health:

Since magnesium is required by the body to properly digest foods, supplementing with it can help

1) alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort and disease

Magnesium acts as a coenzyme in the digestive tract, which means it helps break down food and assimilate nutrients into your body. Magnesium also aids in the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, as well as triggers the healthy production of bile in your liver.

The fourth most abundant mineral in the body, magnesium is utilized as part of more than 300 essential metabolic reactions, one of which involves

2) regulating healthy blood sugar levels

Magnesium deficiency is directly linked to causing insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to diabetes and other chronic health conditions.

Magnesium is also necessary for

3) maintaining a healthy heart

as the mineral aids in the proper transport of potassium, calcium, and other nutrient ions across cell membranes. According to a 2006 study published in the journal Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, these nutrients help promote healthy nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm.

The mainstream media is constantly talking about the importance of calcium for maintaining healthy bones, but a much more important mineral for

4) nurturing healthy bones

is magnesium. In fact, roughly half of your body's magnesium supply is stored in your bones, and magnesium also acts as a co-factor with both calcium and vitamin D to maintain and strengthen your bone structure.

Because of its strong elimination potential, magnesium is considered a

5) powerful detoxifier

as well, especially since your body's "master antioxidant," glutathione, requires magnesium in order to function properly. Heavy metals, environmental chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, and various other toxins are greatly inhibited from taking hold inside the body when magnesium is present.

Cancer rates have risen dramatically throughout the past century, and are expected to nearly double within the next few decades. But maintaining healthy magnesium levels in your body can

6) greatly decrease your risk of developing cancer
A study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that for every 100-milligram (mg) increase in magnesium intake, a person's risk of developing colorectal cancer drops by about 13 percent.

Some of the best food-based sources of natural magnesium include chlorophyll, seaweed, raw cacao, coriander leaf, dried pumpkin seeds, and almond butter. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (OSU) has provided a helpful writeup on its website that includes a list of foods with high levels of natural magnesium:

You can also supplement with a high-quality magnesium supplement such as Natural Vitality's "Calm" formula. Other types of magnesium include magnesium oxide, magnesium amino acid chelate, magnesium orotate, magnesium chloride, magnesium lactate, magnesium sulfate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium malate, and magnesium taurate, which you can learn more about here:

If you feel unwell or mentally and physically, you can not even imagine jumping for joy in the air, you may simply missing the magnesium

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Blood Mystery

60-year-old health mystery solved by UVM and French research team

In the early 1950’s, a 66-year-old woman, sick with colon cancer, received a blood transfusion. Then, unexpectedly, she suffered a severe rejection of the transfused blood. Reporting on her case, the French medical journal Revue D’Hématologie identified her as, simply, “Patient Vel.”

After a previous transfusion, it turns out, Mrs. Vel had developed a potent antibody against some unknown molecule found on the red blood cells of most people in the world—but not found on her own red blood cells.

But what was this molecule? Nobody could find it. A blood mystery began, and, from her case, a new blood type, “Vel-negative,” was described in 1952.

Soon it was discovered that Mrs. Vel was not alone. Though rare, it is estimated now that over 200,000 people in Europe and a similar number in North America are Vel-negative, about 1 in 2,500.

For these people, successive blood transfusions could easily turn to kidney failure and death. So, for sixty years, doctors and researchers have hunted—unsuccessfully—for the underlying cause of this blood type.

But now a team of scientists from the University of Vermont and France has found the missing molecule—a tiny protein called SMIM1—and the mystery is solved.

Reporting in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, UVM’s Bryan Ballif, Lionel Arnaud of the French National Institute of Blood Transfusion, and their colleagues explain how they uncovered the biochemical and genetic basis of Vel-negative blood.

“Our findings promise to provide immediate assistance to health-care professionals should they encounter this rare but vexing blood type,” says Ballif.

The pre-publication results were presented online, March 18, 2013, and the finalized report will be published, as an open-access article, in the next edition of the journal.

   Rare Blood Types

Rare Blood types are just like all other Blood types, and may not cause you any problem at all..... unless you need a transfusion! At that moment you will begin to find out the full meaning of the words 'rare Blood.' It is seldom that the Blood type is rare; it is the antigens in the Blood that more often make the Blood rare. This is also the time that you may really regret not having your Blood tested and knowing that information, which should be with you at all times.

A rare Blood type is any Blood type that is difficult to find in the population where you may need that "rare" type of Blood. One way of defining a Blood type as rare is when more than 200 donors must be screened to find one compatible donor with Blood of that desired type. This Blood screening process is important to avoid Blood transfusion reaction. All Blood belongs to a major group: A, B, AB, or O. However, there are more than two hundred minor Blood groups that can complicate Blood transfusions. About one person in 1,000 inherits a rare Blood type. Normally expressed in a letter or two, with maybe a plus or a minus, these few persons read their Blood type in an extensive series of letters in addition to their 'ABO' type.

The previous approach of antibodies in the blood was relatively easy, with 600 new blood antibodies situation is further complicated

To further define and clarify rare Blood, there are more than 600 known antigens besides A and B that identify the proteins found on a person's red Blood cells. A combination of some of these less familiar but commonly occurring antigens are absent from the Blood of an very small percentage of the population. There are also a few antigens that almost all people have on their red Blood cells, but that some others lack. No matter which case, whether an individual's Blood has uncommon antigens or lacks common antigens, the person should be tested and categorized as having a rare Blood type. To be more precise, an individual's Blood type is most often considered to be rare if only one other person in 1,000 lacks the same antigens or shares the same uncommon antigens. A person's Blood type is considered as very rare if only one person in 10,000 has or lacks similar Blood antigens. Again, where in the world you find yourself needing to match a particular type of Blood makes all the life or death difference.

Rare blood types can cause Blood supply problems for unprepared Blood banks and hospitals. For example, the rare Blood type, Duffy-negative Blood, occurs much more frequently in people of African ancestry. The relatively rarity of this rare Blood type in the rest of the North-American population can result in a shortage of that rare Blood type for patients of African ethnicity, in need of a Blood transfusion. Keep in mind, if you have a rare Blood type, there may be some risk in traveling to parts of the world where your rare Blood type may be in short supply.

As a side note for these relatively few people having rare Blood, there exists several great tools, the American Rare Donor Program (ARDP), among others. The American Red Cross, in collaboration with the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), maintains this rare donor database as part of the ARDP program. This organization identifies donors who have rare Blood and these rare Blood types and ask them to enlist in a registry. When a need for their special Blood type arises, they can call upon another donor, also on the list, to give. The Red Cross freezes these rare units of red cells to assure their availability as needed.

           The frequency of blood groups by specific ethnic groups

   New DNA tests

Before this new research, the only way to determine if someone was Vel-negative or positive was with tests using antibodies made by the few people previously identified as Vel-negative following their rejection of transfused blood. Not surprisingly, these antibodies are vanishingly rare and, therefore, many hospitals and blood banks don’t have the capacity to test for this blood type.

“Vel– blood is one of the most difficult blood types to supply in many countries,” the scientists write, "This is partly due to the rarity of the Vel− blood type, but also to the lack of systematic screening for the Vel−type in blood donors.”

In response, the UVM and Paris researchers developed two fast DNA-based tests for identifying Vel-negative blood and people. These tests can be easily integrated into existing blood testing procedures—and can be completed in a few hours or less.

“It’s usually a crisis when you need a transfusion” says Ballif. “For those rare Vel-negative individuals in need of a blood transfusion, this is a potentially life-saving time frame.”

   Protein hunters

To make their discovery, Arnaud and coworkers in Paris used some of the rare Vel-negative antibody to biochemically purify the mystery protein from the surface of human red blood cells. Then they shipped them to Ballif in Vermont.

The little protein didn’t reveal its identity easily. “I had to fish through thousands of proteins,” Ballif says. And several experiments failed to find the culprit because of its unusual biochemistry—and pipsqueak size. But he eventually nabbed it using a high-resolution mass spectrometer funded by the Vermont Genetics Network.

And what he found was new to science. “It was only a predicted protein based on the human genome,” says Ballif, but hadn’t yet been observed. It has since been named: Small Integral Membrane Protein 1, or SMIM1.

Next, Arnaud’s team in France tested seventy people known to be Vel-negative. In every case, they found a deletion—a tiny missing chunk of DNA—in the gene that instructs cells on how to manufacture SMIM1. This was the final proof the scientists needed to show that the Vel-negative blood type is caused by a lack of the SMIM1 protein on a patient’s red blood cells.

   Your blood

Today, personalized medicine— where doctors treat us based on our unique biological makeup—is a hot trend. “The science of blood transfusion has been attempting personalized medicine since its inception,” Ballif notes, “given that its goal is to personalize a transfusion by making the best match possible between donor and recipient.”

"Identifying and making available rare blood types such as Vel-negative blood brings us closer to a goal of personalized medicine," he says. “Even if you are that rare one person out of 2,500 that is Vel-negative, we now know how to rapidly type your blood and find blood for you—should you need a transfusion.”

View a typical  Master Chart of rare Blood types.

View the World Distribution of ABO Blood Types Chart, and a  companion chart outlining   Racial and/or Ethnic Analysis of People Groups.

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