COLLAGEN is the main component of connective tissue and the most abundant protein in mammals, making up from 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content.
It works as our body’s ‘scaffolding’. Depending upon the degree of mineralization, collagen tissues may be rigid (bone), compliant (tendon), or have a gradient from rigid to compliant (cartilage).
Magnesium is crucial in the mitochondrial production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), the electrical energy currency that supports enzyme activity. Magnesium is critical for cellular functions such as DNA transcription and protein synthesis. Thousands of enzyme processes depend on Mg-ATP, including detoxification and tissue-building enzymes that synthesize proteins such as collagen. The older we get the lower the magnesium and water within cells and the less stretchy and flexible the skin and muscles become – unless you can supplement with more nutrients.
Many people think that it’s just vitamin C that is important to build and maintain collagen structures, however magnesium has been shown to be equally as important in the building and maintaining of healthy collagen structures.
“It has been shown that ascorbic acid stimulates collagen synthesis in dermal fibroblasts by increasing the rate of collagen gene transcription, but unfortunately experiments involving the use of ascorbic acid require daily supplementation of this molecule  due to its instability. Geesin  and co-workers have reported that magnesium ascorbyl 2 phosphate was equivalent to ascorbic acid in stimulating collagen synthesis even after nine days of culture, owing to its great stability.” 
Elastin adds flexibility to tissue cells, helping skin to bounce back to normal structure, and blood vessels to stretch and flex as required. Magnesium is essential to produce elastin and plays a protective role in maintaining the extensibility of elastin.
“It has been shown that increased elastolytic activities are connected with the severity of atherosclerosis and that enzymatic hydrolysis of aortic elastin is significantly increased by cholesterol and by magnesium . So it appears that Mg 2+ is active in maintaining the structure and mechanical properties of elastic fibers and it is also actively involved in elastic fiber elastolysis.” 
CARTILAGE and LIGAMENTS:
Magnesium associated proteoglycans in cartilage prevent the swelling and degradation of this tissue. Magnesium regulates the functional activity of integrins.
From bone-building to skin, cartilage and tendons, magnesium is involved because it is absolutely essential in the synthesis of proteins. Magnesium brings in better hydration for cells and cell membranes to improve integrity, function and resilience. The lower the magnesium in tissue cells, the weaker the tissue. The lower the magnesium the more brittle, dried out and calcified the tissue gets. The lower the magnesium the more we lose the spring in our step and the older and harder and crunchier we get! Sounds a bit like osteoporosis doesn’t it?
Adding extra dietary natural magnesium, ie. magnesium chloride salt flakes (food grade) absorbed via gut or transdermally, can alleviate deficiency symptoms and significantly extend quality of life and wellness.
By Sandy Sanderson © 2018
- Senni, K., A. Foucault-Bertaud, and G. Godeau, Magnesium and connective tissue. Magnes Res, 2003. 16(1): p. 70-4.