CHEMICALLY, magnesium and calcium are related since both elements are members of Group II of the Periodic Table. Physiologically, however, in plants1 or in animals2 their actions are often antagonistic. It has been shown that magnesium-deficient rats absorb more calcium from the gastrointestinal tract than do control rats3 and the active transport of calcium ions across the intestinal wall of several species is depressed by magnesium ions4. These experiments indicate again a physiological antagonism between these ions and also suggest the possibility of a common absorptive pathway. However, the experimental conditions in the former study3 are abnormal since magnesium is an integral part of normal diets and magnesium deficiency may have caused changes in the intestinal mucosa which allowed more calcium to be absorbed. In vitro type experiments4 are, by their nature, unphysiological and extrapolations from such isolated systems to interpretations concerning overall calcium absorption in vivo may not be valid.
Loew, O., Landwertsah Vers. Sta., 40, 467 (1892).
Meltzer, S. J., and Auer, J., Amer. J. Phys., 21, 400 (1908).
Alcock, N., and MacIntyre, I., Clin. Sci., 22, 186 (1962).
Schachter, D., and Rosen, S. M., Amer. J. Phys., 196, 357 (1959).
Carswell, E., and Winter, J. E., J. Biol. Chem., 93, 411 (1931).
Huffman, C. F., Robinson, C. S., Winter, O. B., and Larson, R. E., J. Nutrition, 2, 471 (1930).
Heaton, F. W., and Parsons, F. M., Clin. Sci., 21, 273 (1961).
Malcolm, J., J. Physiol., 32, 183 (1905).
Hart, E. B., and Steenbock, H., J. Biol. Chem., 14, 75 (1913).
Bogert, L. J., and McKittrick, E. J., J. Biol. Chem., 54, 363 (1922).
Givens, M. H., J. Biol. Chem., 34, 119 (1918).
Underhill, F. P., Honey, J. A., and Bogert, L. J., J. Exp. Med., 23, 41 (1920).
Clark, I., and Rivera-Cordero, F., Fed. Proc., 23 (1964).
Clark, I., Rivera-Cordero, F., and Cohn, S., Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. and Med. 118, 879 (1965).
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
CLARK, I. Relation of Magnesium Ions to Calcium and Phosphate Absorption. Nature 207, 982 (1965). https://doi.org/10.1038/207982a0
This article is cited by
Deep-sea water supplementation and swimming exercise improves bone metabolism in growing rats fed a high-fat diet
Food Science and Biotechnology (2011)
Ergebnisse der Physiologie Biologischen Chemie und Experimentellen Pharmakologie (1967)
The effects of alterations in dietary magnesium on calcium, phosphate and skeletal metabolism
Calcified Tissue Research (1967)
By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.