Zinc is an anabolic mineral required for the production of growth hormone and testosterone, which promote healing, muscle and tissue growth. In addition, zinc helps reduce fatigue by minimizing the build-up of lactic acid in muscle tissue. Zinc is also necessary for the maintenance of a healthy and effective immune system.
Magnesium aids in the transport of oxygen to muscle tissue, which promotes strength, endurance and relaxation. Magnesium also activates enzymes necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids, thereby promoting increased energy. Paul Cheney, M.D., a leading CFS physician, recommends magnesium to his patients for energy, restorative sleep, and muscular comfort.
Together, zinc and magnesium work to maintain healthy muscles, promote relaxation and restorative sleep, increase energy, and support a strong immune system. Unfortunately, zinc and magnesium deficiencies are common – especially in CFS and FM patients, and physical activity can increase the need for these important minerals.
Numerous clinical studies show that exercise and stress result in significant losses of zinc and magnesium. According to USDA researchers, when exercise-enhanced mineral losses are coupled with inadequate dietary intakes, athletes are at special risk for mineral deficiencies. For those struggling with low energy and fatigue, supplementation of zinc and magnesium may be especially beneficial.
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Of further benefit, researchers recently revealed how magnesium works to help regulate blood pressure. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University reported in the August 22, 2002 issue of Nature* how magnesium activates microscopic ion channels in the membrane of a cell. These particular ion channels are important in controlling blood pressure.
Scientists, the researchers say, can use this new finding in the quest to understand how magnesium helps to decrease blood pressure and also treat heart failure and stroke. Calcium activated potassium channels are important microscopic pathways in the cell membrane that relax the smooth muscle in a blood vessel, according to the researchers. They also modify electrical impulses, which travel in nerve cells throughout the brain.
“Research of this kind may help to understand why some therapies such as magnesium supplements are important in the prevention and management of hypertension or heart failure,” said Jianmin Cui, the lead researcher and assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering at CWRU. “Along with some other groups, we have discovered that when magnesium is applied to calcium-activated potassium channels, these channels will open. We know from literature that the opening of these channels can reduce blood pressure.” This new research is another compelling discovery about the many health benefits of magnesium.
For those seeking to promote restorative sleep, improved energy, and healthy muscles, combined zinc and magnesium products such as ZMA are a natural choice for any complete nutritional support program.
*Source: Jingyi Shi, Gayathri Krishnamoorthy, Yanwu Yang, Lei Hu, Neha Chaturvedi, Dina Harilal, Jun Qin, Jianmin Cui. Mechanism of magnesium activation of calcium-activated potassium channels. Nature 418, 876 – 880; 22 Aug 2002.