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Best supplements: Magnesium best daily pill for all round health, says research

Dr Zoe reveals which supplements to take

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Supplements come in all varying degrees of abilities with some proving to be far superior to others. For those looking for an all-encompassing daily pill to help with a number of health conditions, experts and research-backed studies hint at one in particular.

Magnesium is not the most crucial mineral or vitamin the body uses, but it is one of the most diverse and multifunctional.

The mineral plays a role in up to 300 enzyme reactions in the body including regulating blood pressure and supporting the immune system.

Research now suggests that the presence of magnesium and addition of a supplement could reduce a person’s risk of heart disease, cancer and boost overall health.

READ MORE: Statins: Three supplements known to heighten the risk of potentially deadly side effects

Magnesium deficiency is associated with a variety of diseases, such as infections and cancer.

Previous studies have shown that cancerous growths spread faster in the bodies of mice when the animals received a low-magnesium diet – and that their defence against flu viruses was also impaired.

The level of magnesium in the blood is an important factor in the immune system’s ability to tackle pathogens and cancer cells, says a new study.

Writing in the journal Cell, researchers from the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel have reported that T cells need a sufficient quantity of magnesium in order to operate efficiently.

Researchers led by Professor Christoph Hess, from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel and the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge, have discovered that T cells can eliminate abnormal or infected cells efficiently only in a magnesium-rich environment.

Specifically, magnesium is important for the function of a T cell surface protein called LFA-1.

LFA-1 acts as a docking site, which plays a key role in the activation of T cells.

“However, in the inactive state this docking site is in a bent conformation and thus cannot efficiently bind to infected or abnormal cells,” Christoph Hess explained.

He added: “This is where magnesium comes into play. If magnesium is present in sufficient quantities in the vicinity of the T cells, it binds to LFA-1 and ensures that it remains in an extended – and therefore active – position.”

Whether a regular intake of magnesium impacts the risk for developing cancer is a question that cannot be answered based on the existing data, added Doctor Jonas Lötscher, lead author of the study.

“As a next step, we’re planning prospective studies to test the clinical effect of magnesium as a catalyst for the immune system.”

A 2018 study conducted by the Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute found that a magnesium deficiency could increase a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular related conditions.

The authors wrote: “Magnesium plays an important role in cardiovascular health.

“It is instrumental for the proper maintenance of cellular membrane potential functioning of the mitochondria and plays a key role in the body’s antioxidative pathways.”

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