Respiratory System

Respiration is fundamental to all life on earth and the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, in addition to several other gases, is absolutely critical to human life in particular. The system by which effective transfer of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other gases to and from the bloodstream is referred to as the Respiratory System and constitutes the lungs and primary airways from the mouth and nostrils.

The functional Respiratory System utilizes an intricate play of muscle and bone tissue for respiration in general. The diaphragm, in addition to several other thoracic muscle groups, constricts and relaxes and is stimulated by the sympathetic nervous system via the release and re-uptake of neurotransmitters required to produce steady rhythmic breathing essential to life. As the diaphragm contracts, it expands the thoracic cavities, drawing air into the lungs (inhalation), soon followed by the natural elastic recoil of the muscle tissue that forces air out of the lungs (exhalation).

With such a dynamic array of neuromuscular activity associated with the simple act of breathing, it is easy to observe how sufficient intracellular magnesium levels are critical to proper respiratory function. Without adequate magnesium concentrations (modulating the release of acetylcholine) in the muscle and nerve tissues responsible for diaphragmatic contraction and relaxation, sufficient relaxation may not fully occur, which may lead to abnormal shortness of breath and other complaints associate with respiratory muscle tension.

In addition to aiding in overall respiratory muscle and thoracic bone health and maintenance, the “full belly breath”, Yoga breathing, and other deep-breathing exercises, are intended to expel deeply seated carbon dioxide gas from the lungs and expand the upper lobes of the lungs. Adequate intracellular magnesium, required by every muscle in the human body for relaxation, is crucial when full exhalation is needed. Shortness of breath and restricted breathing is prevalent in today’s modern environment and especially in sedentary lifestyles deplete in regular physical exercise and exertion requiring deep breathing. In addition to the numerous benefits of a healthy lifestyle that includes regular (daily) physical exercise and a diet naturally rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals, intracellular magnesium is essential for adequate neuromuscular modulation of respiratory gases and gaseous transfer.

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