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Magnesium (Mg), Intracellular

Intracellular magnesium measurement estimates the actual levels of the metal within the cells (intracellular). It is performed by measuring the concentration of magnesium within the red blood cells (RBC).

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Measurement of magnesium (Mg) levels is used as an indicator of the body's metabolic activity (such as carbohydrate metabolism, protein synthesis, nucleic acid synthesis, and muscle tissue contraction) and renal function because 95% of magnesium is filtered through the glomerulus is reabsorbed into the renal tubules. Most of the body's magnesium, an electrolyte, is concentrated in the bones, cartilage, and cells. In addition, magnesium is essential for the blood's coagulation mechanism. Magnesium regulates neuromuscular irritability, acts as a cofactor that modifies many enzymes' activity, and significantly affects calcium metabolism. Magnesium, together with potassium, are the most critical intracellular cations.

Symptoms of hypermagnesaemia include lethargy, drowsiness, flushing, nausea, vomiting, speech disturbances, hypotension, weakness or absence of tendon reflexes, changes in the electrocardiogram (such as PR and QT prolongation, QRS enlargement, bradycardia), and respiratory depression.

Seafood, meat, green vegetables, whole grains, and nuts are foods rich in magnesium. Excessive phosphate intake prevents the absorption of both magnesium and calcium.

Serum magnesium concentration provides only an approximate estimate of magnesium adequacy or deficiency. Hypomagnesaemia reliably indicates magnesium deficiency, but the absence of hypomagnesemia cannot rule out significant magnesium deficiency. Serum magnesium concentration is not associated with any magnesium ion reservoir other than the interstitial fluid.

Intracellular magnesium measurement can detect cell deficiency earlier and more accurately than standard serum magnesium testing. It is particularly enlightening in patients who show symptoms of magnesium deficiency but have normal serum magnesium levels. Intracellular magnesium measurement can also be used for a more complete analysis of magnesium levels in the body, especially in patients receiving magnesium-containing supplements.

Measurement of Intracellular Trace Elements

Measuring intracellular metals and trace elements by measuring them within red blood cells (RBCs) is an excellent method for assessing the deficiency or excess of elements with important functions within cells or cell membranes. It is also used to assess the state of key elements with important intracellular functions, such as potassium, magnesium, copper, selenium, and zinc.

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