Magnesium: because it is essential for the immune system and essential in the fight against cancer

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Elia Tabuenca García
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New research has highlighted how magnesium affects the function of the immune system and in the fight against cancer

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New research has highlighted how magnesium affects the function of the immune system and in the fight against cancer





Il level of magnesium in the blood it is an important factor for the well-being of the immune system, which in this way manages to fight pathogens and cancer cells. Researchers from the University of Basel and the University Hospital of Basel reported that i T lymphocytes need a sufficient amount of magnesium to function efficiently. Their findings may also have important implications for cancer patients.

La magnesium deficiency it is associated with a variety of diseases, such as infections and cancer. Previous studies have shown that cancerous growths spread more quickly in the body, especially in the case of low magnesium diet. However, there has so far been little research on how exactly this mineral affects the immune system.

A systematic review

According to the new studyT lymphocytes can effectively eliminate abnormal or infected cells only in case of high levels of magnesium. In particular, this mineral is important for the function of a T cell surface protein called LFA-1.

LFA-1 acts as a docking site, which plays a key role in the activation of T lymphocytes. However, in the inactive state this "docking site" cannot bind efficiently to infected cells. This is where magnesium comes into play, which when present in sufficient quantity in proximity to the T lymphocytes, binds to LFA-1 and ensures that it remains in an active position.

Magnesium and cancer

The fact that magnesium is essential for the functioning of T lymphocytes may be a highly significant discovery for modern women cancer immunotherapies. These therapies aim to mobilize the immune system, particularly cytotoxic T cells, to fight cancer cells. In experimental models, the researchers were able to show that the T cell immune response against cancer cells was enhanced by an increase in local magnesium concentration.



To clinically verify this observation, researchers are looking for ways to increase the magnesium concentration in tumors in a targeted way. The promising nature of these strategies is demonstrated by further analyzes of cancer patients, which have shown that the immunotherapies were less effective in patients with insufficient blood magnesium levels.

Whether regular magnesium intake affects the risk of developing cancer is a question that cannot be answered based on existing data; therefore as a next step, science wants to plan prospective studies to test the clinical effect of magnesium as a catalyst for the immune system.

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Photos: Cell.com


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