Our bodies run on a 24-hour clock called a
circadian rhythm that controls when we feel sleepy and when we feel
awake. Now scientists have discovered that the mineral magnesium plays a
key role in helping this rhythm keep a steady beat.
A British study team found that magnesium
levels increased and decreased with the daily day/night cycle in not
only human cells but algae and fungi as well. This cycle affected the
cells’ ability to create energy; energy production rose when magnesium
rose and fell when it fell.
These results were published in the journal Nature.
While noting that most research has focused on the role magnesium plays in various tissues, lead study author John O’Neill, PhD said that how magnesium “regulates our body’s internal clock and metabolism has simply not been considered before….The new discovery could lead to a whole range of benefits spanning human health to agricultural productivity.”