What happens if too little or too much magnesium is consumed?
Magnesium absorption from the digestive tract is fair (25 to 50 percent) with several factors being able to influence this efficiency. For example, a low body magnesium status results in a higher percentage of absorption. On the other hand, a high magnesium diet or excessive dietary calcium, phosphate, or phytate can decrease the efficiency of magnesium absorption.
Subtle alterations in blood magnesium content can affect the release of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and its activity. Further, a magnesium deficiency can negatively influence the ability of the cell membranes to maintain optimal sodium and potassium concentration differences across membranes. This is largely because magnesium is needed to stabilize ATP, which is the power source for pumping these ions across cell membranes. Thus, the proper function of excitable and other cells is jeopardized during magnesium deficiency. On the other hand, toxicity induced by a high dietary intake of magnesium can be thwarted by appropriately functioning kidneys.
Sulfur is not really an essential nutrient but rather a vital component of essential nutrients. These nutrients include the amino acid methionine as well as biotin and thiamin. Therefore, the presence and actions of sulfur in the body is more of a reflection of what is going on with these substances rather than sulfur as an independent essential nutrient. Sulfur is also part of several food additives.