Magnesium and neoplasia: from carcinogenesis to tumor growth and progression or treatment.

Istituto di Patologia generale, e Centro di Ricerche Oncologiche Giovanni XXIII, Facoltà di Medicina, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo F. Vito, 100168 Rome, Italy.
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics (Impact Factor: 3.37). 03/2007; 458(1):24-32. DOI: 10.1016/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Magnesium is involved in a wide range of biochemical reactions that are crucial to cell proliferation, differentiation, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. Changes in magnesium availability have been shown to influence biological responses of immuno-inflammatory cells. Equally plausible seems to be an involvement of magnesium in the multistep and interconnected processes that lead to tumor formation and development; however, the "how" and "when" of such an involvement remain to be defined. Here, we reviewed in vitro and in vivo data that indicated a role for magnesium in many biological and clinical aspects of cancer (from neoplastic transformation to tumor growth and progression or pharmacologic treatment). In adopting this approach we went through a full circle from molecular aspects to observational or epidemiological studies that could reconcile in a unifying picture the otherwise fragmentary or puzzling data currently available on the role of magnesium in cancer.

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    ABSTRACT: Magnesium is an essential biological cation, participating in whole spectrum of biological functions. It is an irreplaceable factor for more than 300 enzymatic reactions, including those that use ATP as chemical energy source. Only about 1% of whole body magnesium is present in plasma. Normal plasma concentrations are in a range: 0.75-1.00 mmol/L. Concentrations lower or higher than in this interval are called hypomagnesemia and hypermagnesemia, respectively. Those are life treathening conditions. Hypomagnesemia requires quick i.v. supplementation with magnesium cation. In addition to hypoamgnesemia, we are nowadays aware of a common “invisible” deficit of magnesium in tissues. This is a result of changing nutrition habits causing an insufficient recommended daily uptake (>300mg daily). Large clinical studies have shown that magnesium status is negatively correlated with incidence and severity of diabetes type 2, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and some arrhythmias. Therefore, food supplementation with magnesium is one of positive therapeutic or prevention options. Future larger clinical studies are expected to provide information on usefulness of supplementation in some other common diseases and syndromes (e.g. migraine, fibromyalgia, coronary artery disease, chronic fatigue syndrome).
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