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Biological Importance of Calcium and Magnesium
Calcium is one of the most important and abundant minerals in human body, which is associated with our healthy bones and teeth, helps muscle to contract, it also places an important role in blood clotting. Coming to calcium as a chemical element, its symbol is Ca, its atomic number is 20, calcium has an atomic mass of 40.078u. It belongs to Group 2 i.e., alkaline earth metals. It is a reactive metal, and it forms a dark oxide nitrate when exposed to air.
Biological Importance of Calcium
Let us see the biological importance of calcium in living organisms.
Cellular processes are regulated by Calcium, and it has important structural roles in living organisms.
Calcium is involved in many biochemical reactions which includes building of skeleton system, communication between cells and facilitating muscle action.
Calcium also regulates Skeletal muscle structure and function, polymerization of fibrin and the conduction of impulses in the nervous system.
Calcium is an important intracellular messenger in protozoa, plants, and animals.
Calcium transporting systems which are in the plasma membrane and in the organelles, regulate the ionic concentration of calcium in various compartments according to the different demands of the physiological cycle and these systems upregulate calcium entry by the action of several hormones and calcium binding proteins.
Calcium plays a major role in the regulation of clotting cascade that is, in the maintenance of hemostasis.
Calcium levels in blood plasma plays a very important role in the human body. The plasma calcium levels are shown in diagram 2.
Biological Importance of Calcium in Plant Kingdom
Calcium is used to form links between individual cells, these cells are required for maintaining the rigidity of whole plants. For example: Seaweeds.
Facts about Calcium
Calcium is an alkaline earth metal which is purified into soft silvery white alkaline earth metals. As these metals are reactive calcium appears to be white in dull white or grey in colour.
Calcium is the fifth abundant element in the Earth's crust. About three percent of calcium is found in ocean and soil.
Calcium is the abundant metal in the human body. If we isolate calcium from an adult body, we will have about 2 pounds of metal.
Calcium is a well-known element since the first century CE. Early Romans were known to make lime from calcium oxide.
Like Calcium, Magnesium is also a chemical element. It is represented by Mg and its atomic number is 12. It is a shiny gray solid. It shares many physical and chemical properties with five other alkaline earth metals. Its atomic mass is 24.305u and atomic number is 12.
Biological Importance of Magnesium
Magnesium regulates diverse biochemical reactions in the body which includes, proper functioning of nerves and muscles and regularization of blood pressure.
Magnesium is one of the most essential minerals in the biological system. It is present in each cell of all the living organisms.
The main source of energy in cells is ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This ATP can be biologically active only if it combines with the magnesium ion.
Magnesium also plays an important role in the synthesis of DNA and RNA by stabilizing all polyphosphate components in cells.
Magnesium is effectively used for bowel preparation for medical procedures and constipation.
Magnesium plays an important role in insulin sensitivity
Deficiency of magnesium causes health issues among humans which includes liver disorder, heart failure, vomiting etc
Magnesium helps the muscle cells to relax after contracting as it acts as a natural calcium blocker.
Biological Importance of Magnesium in Plant Kingdom
In plant kingdom Magnesium is necessary for the synthesis of chlorophyll and photosynthesis.
Magnesium helps in acceptance and transformation of phosphorous.
Magnesium also plays an important role in the transformation of sugar and starch in plants and also regulates the uptake of other nutrients.
Facts about Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential element for photosynthesis,
Magnesium is found at the center of every chlorophyll molecule.
If water is added to magnesium fire, the fire burns more fiercely as it produces hydrogen gas.
Magnesium is the ninth most abundant element in the universe.
Magnesium ions are found in every cell in the body.
In human body about 60% of the Magnesium is found in the skeleton, 39% is found in muscle tissue and 1% in extracellular.
China is the leading producer of Magnesium.
Bio Medical Applications of Magnesium
Magnesium controls inflammation
Increases osteoblast activity
Enhances chondrogenic differentiation and decreases Calcification.
Causes of Deficiency of Magnesium
Depleted food Source: Modern day farming and food processing techniques have significantly reduced magnesium levels
Certain Drugs: Caffeine, alcohol and even some antibiotics can deplete Magnesium levels
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Physically: Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle spasms, tightness, tremors, constipation, headaches, fatigue.
Psychologically: Sleep disturbance, Low mood, anxiety, irritability.
Q1. What is blood clotting?
Ans: Blood clotting id also known as coagulation. It is an important process that prevents excessive bleeding when we have an injury.
Q2. What is polymerization?
Ans: Polymerization is a process in which, smaller molecules are chemically combined to produce a very large chain like network molecule.
Q3. What is protein synthesis?
Ans: It is the process in which cells make proteins. It occurs in two stages: transcription and translation.
Q4. Does magnesium synthesize chlorophyll?
Ans: the powerhouse behind photosynthesis in plants is Magnesium. It helps the Chlorophyll to capture the sun energy needed for photosynthesis.
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