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Magnesium is an important alkaline earth metal. It's essential for animal and plant nutrition and is found in a variety of foods we eat and many everyday products. Here are some interesting facts about magnesium:
- Magnesium is the metal ion found at the center of every chlorophyll molecule. It's an essential element for photosynthesis.
- Magnesium ions taste sour. A small amount of magnesium imparts a slightly tart flavor to mineral water.
- Adding water to a magnesium fire produces hydrogen gas, which can cause the fire to burn more fiercely.
- Magnesium is a silvery-white alkaline earth metal.
- Magnesium is named for the Greek city of Magnesia, a source of calcium oxide, which is called magnesia.
- Magnesium is the ninth-most abundant element in the universe.
- Magnesium forms in large stars as a result of the fusion of helium with neon. In supernovas, the element is built from the addition of three helium nuclei to one carbon.
- Magnesium is the 11th-most abundant element in the human body by mass. Magnesium ions are found in every cell in the body.
- Magnesium is necessary for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. The average person requires 250 to 350 mg of magnesium each day or about 100 grams of magnesium annually.
- About 60% of the magnesium in the human body is found in the skeleton, 39% in the muscle tissue, with 1% being extracellular.
- Low magnesium intake or absorption is associated with diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, sleep disturbances, and metabolic syndrome.
- Magnesium is the eighth-most abundant element in the Earth's crust.
- Magnesium was first recognized as an element in 1755 by Joseph Black, however, it wasn't isolated until 1808 by Sir Humphry Davy.
- The most common commercial use of magnesium metal is as an alloying agent with aluminum. The resulting alloy is lighter, stronger, and easier to work than pure aluminum.
- China is the leading producer of magnesium, responsible for about 80% of the world's supply.
- Magnesium may be prepared from the electrolysis of fused magnesium chloride, most commonly obtained from seawater.