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March 20, 2023

Magnesium and Vitamin B1 - Team Players Needed for Brain, Muscles, Metabolism, and More

Magnesium and Vitamin B1 - Team Players Needed for Brain, Muscles, Metabolism, and More

Thiamin, vitamin B1, is important for healthy body function. It is now understood that magnesium is needed for thiamin to work in the nervous system and make ATP/energy from carbohydrates. Magnesium and vitamin B1 are team players and both must be present for the Kreb’s/citric acid cycle to move forward to make energy, burn food for fuel, and hundreds of essential life functions.

Magnesium 
is a mineral and electrolyte. It is critical to the function of over 400 mechanisms in the body. It is vital for acid/alkaline balance in the body, mitochondria function and ATP production, cell replication, cell membranes and permeability, and protein synthesis. The effect of magnesium is enormous and throughout the entire body.

Magnesium is fundamentally involved with the metabolism of many other nutritional team players required for life and cellular function. Magnesium status influences calcium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, iron, sodium, lead, cadmium, HCl/stomach acid, acetylcholine (the memory neurotransmitter), nitric oxide, many different enzymes, cellular homeostasis, and the activation of thiamin. Simultaneously, magnesium absorption depends on selenium, vitamins B6 and vitamin D, and the parathyroid hormones.

Magnesium and Vitamin B1 are Team Players

Magnesium is required for thiamin to work in the nervous system and make ATP/energy from carbohydrates. Magnesium and vitamin B1 are team players and both must be present for the Kreb’s/citric acid cycle to move forward to make energy, burning food for fuel, and hundreds of essential life functions. Magnesium is a mineral and electrolyte. It is critical to the function of over 400 mechanisms in the body. It is vital for acid/alkaline balance in the body, mitochondria function and ATP production, cell replication, cell membranes and permeability, and protein synthesis. The effect of magnesium is enormous and throughout the entire body.

Magnesium is fundamentally involved with the metabolism of many other nutritional team players required for life and cellular function. Magnesium status influences calcium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, iron, sodium, lead, cadmium, HCl/stomach acid, acetylcholine (the memory neurotransmitter), nitric oxide, many different enzymes, cellular homeostasis, and the activation of thiamin. This means that every nutrient influenced by magnesium will also be functionally compromised. Simultaneously, magnesium absorption depends on selenium, vitamins B6 and vitamin D, and the parathyroid hormones.

Vitamin B1 Essential Information


A modern diet filled with high carbohydrate intake, especially simple sugars, depletes the critical, often forgotten about B vitamin, thiamin. Depletion of thiamin can cause muscle soreness from lactic acid accumulation, muscle weakness and loss of muscle, trouble focusing eyes, swelling in the legs, loss of balance, and frequently bumping into things. Thiamin plays a fundamental role in heart function, rhythm and cardiac energy production. Fatigue, memory and and focus problems, problems with appetite, and increased pain sensitivity may occur due to insufficient intake of thiamin.

In addition, there may be concerns with anemia, PMS, bone loss, blood sugar issues, anorexia, constipation, digestive problems, and sound/noise sensitivity. Thiamin deficiency is more prevalent now than the previous several decades because of dietary habits with the sheer amount of carbohydrates and nutrient poor foods consumed today. Alcohol intake depletes thiamin along with several other B vitamins.

Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

Symptoms of inadequate magnesium include low calcium or low potassium levels or electrolyte imbalances. Inadequate levels especially affect your brain, muscles and nervous system with muscle cramps, soreness, twitches, exercise and stress tolerance, mood, cognitive function, and mitochondria, your cell energizers. Your heart and its own nervous system also use magnesium and thiamin together for heart activity and rhythm and cholesterol management. Low magnesium affects calcium management that may show up with dental health, hearing, fertility, bones, and affects vitamin K usage.

Magnesium is vital for axons or nerves to hold a stable electrical charge without becoming over-stimulated. Some of the earliest symptoms of magnesium deficiency are related with how muscles and nerves work together and brain-mood-behavior concerns. A clinical pearl for those who are sensitive to calcium, have odd reactions to stimulation or don’t do well with the excitatory neurotransmitters serotonin and acetylcholine may be due to significant magnesium deficits. Lack of magnesium contributes to “wind-up” or a build-up of excitatory chemicals including NMDA and Substance P.

Bones, Muscles, and Magnesium

The tissues that contain the greatest amount of magnesium are the bones at about 53 percent of total stores. Muscle tissue and soft tissue contains 27% and about 19% respectively. Red blood cells contain 0.5 % and serum contains 0.3%. Research shows that most adults consume slightly more than half the basic RDA. Basic RDA levels for men are 420 mg/day, women 320 mg/day, with pregnancy demands higher, and children from 120 mg to 420 mg/day.

Magnesium Robbers

Just like with thiamin, there are several things that compete against magnesium. Some of the main players are high fat diets, high sugar diets, alcohol consumption, high salt intake, phosphoric acid (soda pop), coffee intake, sweating, high stress/high cortisol, heavy menstrual bleeding, and some GI problems and malabsorption problems. Consuming GMO foods is another factor that may lead to less magnesium in the diet and absorption although there continue to be heated debates on this subject.

Magnesium naturally occurs as part of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants. Thus green leafy vegetables contain higher amounts of magnesium. The plant fiber can somewhat compete though with the magnesium absorption, limiting the full potential intake. Unprocessed cereal grains like oat bran, brown rice, some seeds and nuts have magnesium. Meat and dairy products are smaller amounts. Chocolate also has magnesium, but when loaded with sugar defeats the purpose.

High quality magnesium supplements such coral magnesium, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium malate are easily absorbable, non-irritating forms of magnesium. In order to support the body with healthy utilization and balance of thiamin and magnesium and their team players, consider using a multiple vitamin formula with a multiple mineral formula.

Adding extra broad-spectrum antioxidants and vitamin D helps replenish the team players associated with vitamin B1 and magnesium. How about you? How is your nutritional team doing?