Biological Importance of Magnesium and Calcium


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Biological Importance or Significance of Magnesium

  • Magnesium is essential for the activity of the various enzymes such as enzymes of glycolysis.

  • It is the central atom present in chlorophyll (plant pigment necessary for photosynthesis).

  • It is a cofactor for the breakdown of the fats and glucose.

  • It is essential for the synthesis of the energy currency of the cell, that is, ATP.

  • Responsible for the stability and synthesis of DNA.

  • Maintains the electrolyte balance in the body.

  • Magnesium deficiency is associated with sleep disorder.

  • Deficiency also leads to abnormal heart rhythms.

Uses of Magnesium

Magnesium alloys such as duralumin and magnalium are used in making flares, fuse for thermite.

Magnesium rich food

Fig. 1. Magnesium rich food                                                Image Source

  • In manufacturing of engine parts and wheels.

  • Preparation of malleable cast iron.

  • Used to remove Sulphur during production of iron and steel.

  • As a reducing agent to separate uranium from the mixture of other elements.

  • It is also needed for blood glucose control.

 Symptoms of deficiencies of magnesium

Fig. 2. Symptoms of deficiencies of magnesium

Biological Importance of Calcium

  • Important component of cell wall. It is present in the middle lamellae in the form of calcium pectate.
  • Calcium rich foodMaintains the anionic balance in the plant vacuole.

  • Used to stabilize the permeability of cell membranes.

  • Important for structure and function of proteins.

  • Essential component during blood clotting.

  • It also brings about muscle contraction.

  • Calcium acts as secondary messenger during cell signaling.

  • Helps in proper heart and nerve functions.

  • Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth.

Imbalance between magnesium and calcium
Calcium- Magnesium Balance

The calcium and magnesium are so important that they are known as Twin Minerals. The ideal ratio of calcium and magnesium is 1:1. Both have opposite effects. For Example, if calcium contracts muscle, magnesium relaxes muscle. Low magnesium intake will increase more storage of calcium in the body. 

Imbalance in magnesium allows too much calcium to be stored in the body.

Role of Magnesium in Calcium Absorption

Magnesium is essential for calcium absorption. Without magnesium, calcium may get deposited in soft tissues and can cause arthritis. Without magnesium, calcium cannot be reabsorbed.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q1. Is magnesium water soluble in the body?

Sol. Yes, magnesium is water soluble in the body.

Q2. What is meant by Mg and Mg2+?

Sol. Mg represents the symbol for magnesium or magnesium atom and Mg2+ represents magnesium ions formed after losing two valence electrons.

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Biological Importance of Magnesium and Calcium


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