Water from one of the world’s most famous seas supplies absorbable magnesium.
by Lisa James
In addition to its balmy weather and picturesque scenery, the Mediterranean region is known around the world for a fresh-food way of eating and a relaxed, easygoing way of living that promotes greater well-being. The scientific research that supports this lifestyle’s advantages has convinced many Americans to adopt the Mediterranean diet as a path to better health, cardiovascular health in particular.
The fruits of the Mediterranean’s rich waters—which includes dozens of species of fish and shellfish—play a major role in the benefits associated with cuisines found in the area. And one of the reasons seafood is so good for you lies in the minerals it provides, such as magnesium.
Once thought of primarily as calcium’s tag-team partner, magnesium is now appreciated by researchers and healthcare practitioners alike for the vital roles it plays in maintaining health.
Many of the body’s most basic biochemical processes require magnesium. It is needed by mitochondria, the cellular power plants that supply energy, and helps cells create various proteins as well as DNA, the molecule that controls cell division. Magnesium helps transport other minerals such as calcium and potassium across cell membranes, making it crucial to maintaining a steady heartbeat as well as proper nerve and muscle function. Its partnership with calcium makes magnesium crucial for proper bone formation.
It’s no wonder that poor health and low levels of magnesium are linked. In one study a Polish research team wrote, “A variety of neuromuscular and psychiatric symptoms, including different types of depression, was observed in magnesium deficiency” (Pharmacological Reports 5-6/13).
Magnesium is especially critical for proper cardiovascular function. A review of 16 studies involving more than 300,000 people found an association between lower magnesium levels and higher cardiovascular risk, including risk of the ischemic heart disease that kills more Americans than anything else (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 7/13). Other studies have found links between magnesium and protection against stroke and metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions including hypertension and diabetes that are linked to heart problems.
All of this research explains why the European Food Safety Authority has approved 10 separate health claims for magnesium. These claims include support of normal muscle and nerve transmission function; reduction of fatigue and support of the metabolism that yields energy; normal protein synthesis, psychological function and cell division; and maintenance of electrolyte balance as well as normal bone and teeth.
Magnesium is abundant in seawater. In fact, it is one of the sea’s most common minerals after chloride and sodium, which make up salt itself.
Mediterranean seawater is now available as a purified extract called Simag. It provides different types of naturally occurring magnesium, making this mineral more readily absorbable by the body. What’s more, Simag marine magnesium contains other minerals and micronutrients that complement magnesium and enhance its effectiveness.
Not everyone can visit a Greek island or an Italian seaside villa. But the Mediterranean diet’s benefits—and those of marine magnesium taken from the sea’s water—are available to all.