Magnesium is a required ingredient of the energy-production process that occurs inside the tiny structures within cells.
The molecule ATP, or adenosine tri-phosphate, is the fundamental unit of energy used in human cells. Many of the functions carried out by cells require ATP to provide the energy for the action. These include:
- Muscle fiber contraction
- Protein synthesis
- Cell reproduction
Transport of substances across the cell barrier
ATP can be thought of as fuel for the cell’s activities, much in the same way that gasoline fuels a car.
Mitochondria inside the cell function as the cell’s power plants and constantly produce ATP by converting simple units of glucose, fatty acids, or amino acids. Without the presence of sufficient magnesium, the nutrients we take in could not be metabolized into usable units of energy.
In addition, the form in which ATP exists and is utilized is typically MgATP, (magnesium complexed with ATP). These MgATP units must be present to sustain movement, to perform cell maintenance, and to maintain a healthy balance of minerals inside and outside of the cells.
The interdependence of ATP and magnesium can have far-reaching effects on nerve transmission, calcification of tissues and blood vessels, and muscle excitation, underlining the importance of maintaining adequate magnesium levels.