Proper levels of calcium and magnesium help your body function properly. The recommended dietary allowance set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for calcium is 1,000 milligrams for adults aged 19 to 51 and 400 milligrams of magnesium for adults aged 19 to 30, per day. Foods rich in calcium include low-fat yogurt, part-skim mozzarella and calcium-fortified orange juice. Foods rich in magnesium include almonds, soybeans and frozen spinach.
Calcium and magnesium work together at precise ratios to keep your heart functioning properly. Without the appropriate levels of calcium and magnesium in your body, you can suffer from an irregular heartbeat or heart failure. People with heart conditions should consult a doctor before taking calcium and magnesium supplements.
The ratio of your dietary intake of calcium to magnesium may affect your risk of developing colorectal cancer, according to a large clinical trial from researchers at Vanderbilt University and reported in a 2008 "American Association of Cancer Research" publication. The results of the study show calcium reduces the risk of developing colorectal cancer in the presence of magnesium by 32 percent in participants with a blood level ratio of calcium to magnesium below the median value of all participants.
A study from St. Mary’s Duluth Clinic in Minnesota confirmed that calcium in the presence of magnesium reduces neurotoxicity from the chemotherapy drug oxaliplatin in patients with colorectal cancer. Neurological sensitivity manifests as pain and tingling in the hands, fingers, feet and toes. Patients received calcium and magnesium intravenously before and during treatment. The results, presented at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, showed that the calcium and magnesium injections significantly decreased the incidences and severity of neurotoxic symptoms.
You have hypocalcemia when you do not have enough calcium in your blood for your body to function properly. Symptoms of hypocalcemia include muscle cramps, convulsions and extreme cases can be fatal. A severe magnesium deficiency can result in hypocalcemia. Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include changes in personality, seizures and numbness. Patients with long-term low blood levels of calcium and potassium may also have a magnesium deficiency.
The ratio of calcium to magnesium in drinking water can reduce myocardial infarction in women, according to a study from Göteborg University in Sweden and published in the January 1999 issue of the journal “Epidemiology.” The researchers analyzed the calcium and magnesium content of the drinking water in 16 municipalities in Sweden. Women who drank water with high levels of both calcium and magnesium had a lower risk of myocardial infarction than other women.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Magnesium; June 2009
- PHYSorg.com: Calcium May Only Protect Against Colorectal Cancer In Presence Of Magnesium; November 2008
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Calcium
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Magnesium
- Epidemiology: Magnesium and Calcium in Drinking Water and Death from Acute Myocardial Infarction in Women; E. Rubenowitz, et al.; January 1999
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
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