The Magnesium Miracle (Second Edition) by Carolyn Dean Md Nd
It was this award and all the mail I receive about arrhythmias being reversed with magnesium that convinced me to write a book called Atrial Fibrillation: Remineralize Your Heart.
announce that I have developed a highly absorbed, non-laxative magnesium product called ReMag. Therapeutic levels of magnesium can be achieved with ReMag without the negative impact of diarrhea.
I have found that kidney patients, even those on dialysis, can safely take a picometer, stabilized ionic form of magnesium (ReMag) for their debilitating leg cramps and heart palpitations.
10 Magnesium Facts, which will be discussed in more detail throughout the book. 1. Magnesium is necessary for the proper functioning of 700–800 enzyme systems in the body—that’s why it can be implicated in scores of symptoms and dozens of health conditions. I mention some of these enzyme systems in Chapter 2 in “Magnesium’s Many Roles.”
2. Most people (70–80 percent) are magnesium deficient, so this book is for you.
3. Calcium depletes magnesium in the body, and many people get too much calcium, either as supplements, in fortified foods, or in dairy products. I cover this in “The Dance of Calcium and Magnesium” in Chapter 1.
4. Magnesium is very deficient in the soil and in the food supply, so it must be supplemented. This information is detailed in Chapter
5. Therapeutic doses of magnesium are impossible to obtain in those who suffer the laxative effect before their symptoms can be relieved. Fortunately, people can get relief from ReMag, a non-laxative form of magnesium that can be taken in therapeutic dosages. See Chapter 18 for more details.
6. Mitochondrial dysfunction is no longer a mystery. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy molecules are made in the mitochondria via the Krebs cycle. Six of the eight steps in that cycle depend on magnesium. See Chapter 16 for more information.
To help you identify your magnesium needs, I’ve created the list “100 Factors Related to Magnesium Deficiency” in Chapter 1.
8. The definitive test that would tell you your magnesium levels, the ionized magnesium blood test, is not available to the public. A helpful but less accurate test, magnesium RBC, must be used in conjunction with your clinical symptoms. The serum magnesium test is highly inaccurate, yet it is still the standard test used in hospitals, clinics, and most clinical trials—however, it doesn’t even appear on an electrolyte panel. See Chapter 16 for more on magnesium testing.
9. Magnesium deficiency is a major factor in chronic disease—diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and heartburn. The drugs used to treat all these conditions deplete magnesium, often making symptoms worse. I list many of these unsafe drugs in Chapter 2.
10. Telomeres, which are components of chromosomes, hold the key to aging, as does magnesium, which prevents telomeres from deteriorating. I cover the latest research in Chapter 15.
Proof of this can be found more than seventy years ago, in the following statement on soil mineral depletion, which was read into the record of the 74th Congress, 2nd session (Senate document no. 264), 1936:
There is general agreement that magnesium is indispensable for health, disease prevention, and all life processes, but it has been ignored because there is no profit to be made in selling a common nutrient that cannot be patented.
An analysis of seven major clinical studies shows that intravenous magnesium reduced the risk of death by 55 percent after acute heart attack. These results were published in the prestigious British Medical Journal and the widely read journal Drugs.3
Dr. Alexander Mauskop, working with the Alturas, has proven the connection between migraines and magnesium many times over and puts magnesium treatment into practice at the New York Headache Center.7, 8, 9 Dr.
There are only four contraindications to magnesium therapy: kidney failure, myasthenia gravis, excessively slow heart rate, and bowel obstruction.
The results were shocking: “We found an amazing increased 1-year mortality rate in patients who live in a desalinated water area compared to normal water, which was also reflected in their serum magnesium levels.”
The result is that our Prime Minister Mr. Netanyahu decided to add magnesium to the desalinated water!”
The investigators stated that three biologic mechanisms could potentially explain how magnesium helps treat hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. • First, magnesium deficiency causes a dysregulation of the sodium-magnesium exchange, resulting in higher intracellular sodium and thus higher blood pressure. • Second, a relatively low magnesium level creates an intracellular imbalance between calcium and magnesium, which results in increased spasms in the smooth muscle of arteries and therefore increased blood pressure. • Third, magnesium deficiency causes insulin resistance, which in turn causes hyperinsulinemia, resulting in hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.
So that you can stay current long past the publication date of this book, go to the website of the nonprofit Nutritional Magnesium Association (NMA), http://www.nutritionalmagnesium.org
It’s called ReMag, a picometer, stabilized ionic magnesium. My second choice is magnesium citrate powder, specifically Natural Calm. I’ll describe them both, along with Epsom salts baths, in more detail in Chapter 18
I recommend the magnesium RBC blood test. You may repeat it every three to six months, aiming for the optimum value of 6.0–6.5 mg/dL.
may take a year or more to build up your magnesium stores in your muscles and bones.
Let me list the reasons why taking magnesium may create a reaction in your body that you may misinterpret as a side effect.
1. You’re not taking enough. When you feel worse with magnesium, I believe that the hundreds of enzyme systems that require magnesium are being activated—essentially, woken up from a low level of function—and your body simply needs more as they are revving up.
2. You think you are taking enough but you are burning off magnesium at a rapid rate. This increased rate of usage can be due to higher stress levels, surges of adrenaline (panic attacks), surgery, medications, yeast overgrowth, or premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
3. You’re taking too much too soon. This usually happens if you have fatigue and weakness from chronic magnesium deficiency.
4. Magnesium is causing a detox reaction. You are toxic for one or more of the following reasons: a bad diet, prescription medications, heavy metals, stress chemicals, yeast overgrowth, or environmental chemicals.
5. You have low blood pressure from long-standing magnesium deficiency and adrenal fatigue. You may have heard that magnesium can lower blood pressure, so you worry because your blood pressure is already low.
6. You’re on heart medications. As your health improves because of magnesium supplementation, your meds are becoming toxic. That’s because you may not require them anymore, not because magnesium is bad for you! For example, magnesium helps lower blood pressure.
You’ve started taking iodine or thyroid medication. High dose iodine or thyroid meds can increase your thyroid hormones causing mild hyperthyroidism, which can speed up your metabolism and rev you up. If you have a history of heart palpitations, they may increase with this rise in metabolism. There are two keys to recognizing increased thyroid function: your pulse rate is elevated, and the magnesium you normally use to control your heart palpitations is no longer working. Magnesium can independently improve thyroid function and may mean you need to lower your thyroid medication.
8. You’re taking too much vitamin D. You’ve been feeling great on your magnesium, and then you begin taking high-dose vitamin D and find yourself experiencing magnesium deficiency symptoms again. Magnesium is required to transform vitamin D from its storage form into its active form and for many other aspects of vitamin D metabolism. That means if you take the extremely high doses of vitamin D that allopathic doctors are now recommending, you can plummet into magnesium deficiency and not know why. For this reason I don’t recommend more than 1,000–2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. And never take vitamin D without magnesium.
You are taking too much calcium and it’s pushing out magnesium. Read
10. You’re taking fairly high doses of magnesium and not taking trace minerals or drinking enough water. Trace minerals help your body hold water in the cells. Without minerals your cells can become dehydrated and your tissues can retain fluid—which can show up as, for example, ankle edema.
11. You’re not taking enough B vitamins. Vitamin B6 and B2 are important vitamins that assist magnesium absorption into cells.
12. You are mercury toxic. In Chapter 13, I state, “Mercury drastically increases the excretion of magnesium and calcium from the kidneys, which may be the cause of the kidney damage seen in mercury poisoning.” Removing mercury from the body is important but not the focus of this book; however, taking sufficient amounts of magnesium can help detoxify this dangerous heavy metal.
13. You’re taking a drug that contains fluoride. Read the section “Fluoride Binds Magnesium” in Chapter 1 to understand why you may be susceptible to magnesium deficiency caused by medically prescribed drugs, fluoride treatments from your dentist, fluoride toothpaste,
14. You have yeast overgrowth. Your magnesium deficiency symptoms may have been so severe that you didn’t realize you have yeast overgrowth.
Prolonged psychological stress raises adrenaline, the stress hormone, which depletes magnesium.
Magnesium is necessary in hundreds of enzymes in the body but is almost totally lost during the processing of packaged and fast foods.
Causes of Magnesium Deficiency 1. Athletic performance causes sweat loss of magnesium. 2. Alcohol causes magnesium depletion due to its diuretic effect. 3. Antacids counteract stomach acid, decreasing magnesium absorption. 4. Acid rain is high in nitric acid, which draws calcium and magnesium out of the soil to try and neutralize the acidity and consequently depletes the soil of these minerals. 5. Caffeine causes magnesium depletion with its diuretic effect. It also stimulates the adrenal glands, causing adrenaline surges and magnesium loss. 6. Most drugs cause magnesium depletion; this is especially true of drugs containing fluorine atoms. 7. Fertilizers do not replace necessary minerals but are high in phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. Excess potassium and phosphorus are preferentially absorbed into plants, inhibiting magnesium absorption. 8. Fluoride and fluorine in water, from dental procedures, in toothpaste, and in drugs bind magnesium, making it unavailable to the body. Magnesium fluoride (MgF2), called sellaite, is an insoluble compound and replaces magnesium in bone and cartilage with a brittle, unstable crystalline substance. 9. Food processing and cooking decrease magnesium levels. 10. Herbicides such as Roundup bind with magnesium, making it unavailable for plants to utilize for decades. 11. Pesticides kill worms and bacteria and thus their function of processing the soil and breaking down minerals is lost, which means fewer minerals are absorbed by plants. 12. Intestinal disease, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut, gluten and casein sensitivities, funguses, and parasites, interferes with magnesium absorption. 13. Junk foods, especially sugar products, drain magnesium. The liver needs twenty-eight atoms of magnesium to process one molecule of glucose. Fructose requires fifty-six atoms of magnesium. 14. Meat from animals eating magnesium-depleted food is low in magnesium. 15. Oxalic acid (found in rhubarb, spinach, and chard) and phytic acid (found in cereal grains and soy) block absorption of magnesium. 16. Low potassium levels can increase urinary magnesium loss. 17. High-protein diets can decrease magnesium absorption and require more magnesium for digestion and assimilation. 18. Refining grains, especially rice and wheat, reduces magnesium. 19. Sauna therapy for weight loss, to detox, or just to stay healthy can cause enough mineral loss through sweating to create magnesium deficiency symptoms. 20. Soil on farmland is woefully depleted of magnesium. 21. Soil erosion makes it easier for heavy rain or irrigation to wash away soil, leading to a loss of minerals, including magnesium. 22. Stress or trauma of any type—physical, mental, emotional, environmental—can cause magnesium deficiency. 23. Stomach acid deficiency due to stress results in decreased absorption of magnesium. 24. Tannins in tea bind and remove minerals, including magnesium. 25. Trans fatty acids and mineral deficiency alter cell wall integrity,…
1. Acid reflux. Spasm of the lower esophageal sphincter at the juncture of the stomach can leave the sphincter open, causing acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or heartburn. Magnesium relieves esophageal spasms.
2. Adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue follows after a time of chronic stress, anxiety, and panic attacks, and it seems to be occurring in epidemic proportions in recent years. Adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol (elevated in chronic stress) deplete magnesium. Stress causes excess elimination of magnesium through the urine, further compounding magnesium deficiency.
3. Alzheimer’s disease. Magnesium blocks the neuroinflammation caused by the inappropriate deposition of calcium and other heavy metals in brain cells. Magnesium is at work even before the inflammation appears, guarding cell ion channels and not allowing heavy metals to enter. Picometer, stabilized ionic magnesium (ReMag) easily enters cells and can help eliminate heavy metals and solubilize calcium.
4. Angina. The pain of angina is caused by severe spasms in heart muscles, which are caused by magnesium deficiency. The heart ventricles have the highest levels of magnesium in the whole body; this is why magnesium…
5. Anxiety and panic attacks. When the adrenals are no longer protected by sufficient magnesium, the fight-or-flight hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline become more easily triggered. When they surge erratically, they cause rapid pulse, high blood pressure, and heart palpitations. The more magnesium-deficient you are, the more exaggerated is the adrenaline response. Magnesium calms the nervous…
6. Arthritis. Magnesium can help dissolve calcium that builds up in joint spaces. It also can treat the pain and inflammation of arthritis as a…
7. Asthma. Histamine production and bronchial spasms (in the smooth muscles of the bronchial tract) both increase as a…
8. Atherosclerosis with calcium deposits. Magnesium is necessary to help dissolve calcium and keep it soluble in the bloodstream. Magnesium, along with vitamin K2, helps…
9. Blood clots. Magnesium does not act like a blood-thinning drug. Instead, it prevents the calcium buildup that triggers clots. Magnesium naturally…
10. Bowel disease. Magnesium deficiency slows down bowel peristalsis, causing constipation, which can lead to toxicity as well as symptoms of colitis, microscopic…
11. Brain dysfunction. You can obtain a free copy of the 355-page book Magnesium in the Central Nervous System (2011) online and read an extensive overview of the beneficial effects of magnesium on the brain…
12. Bruxism (teeth grinding). Up to 80 percent of cases of bruxism occur during sleep, and your dentist may be the first to notice that your teeth are being gradually worn down. Bruxism is related to clenching of the jaw muscles during the day and is usually associated with stress…
13. Cholesterol elevation. When I was in medical school in the mid-1970s, normal cholesterol levels were considered to be around 245 mg/dL. In the first edition of The Magnesium Miracle I reported allopathic…
14. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). I write about CFS in Chapter 12. It is remarkable how magnesium, especially ReMag, can help people increase their energy and get back on track. We still don’t know what causes CFS, but in my discussion about the interaction between calcium and magnesium, I consider whether calcium excess and magnesium deficiency could be the underlying cause of mitochondrial dysfunction that many natural medicine practitioners say can trigger chronic fatigue syndrome and other chronic diseases.
15. Cystitis. Magnesium deficiency causes bladder spasms, which can cause urinary frequency often misinterpreted as a bladder infection. Magnesium deficiency can also allow calcium to build up in the lining of the bladder and urethra, causing irritation that mimics cystitis. We’ve had reports from elderly women who have thrown away their adult diapers because, apparently, ReMag dissolves bladder tissue calcification and eliminates incontinence.
16. Depression. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that elevates mood, depends on magnesium for its production and function, whether it’s made in the brain or in the intestines. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, utilizes magnesium in several steps in its biochemical pathway. A magnesium-deficient brain is also more susceptible to…
17. Detoxification. Magnesium is crucial for the removal of toxic substances and heavy metals such as mercury, aluminum, and lead from the cells. Magnesium is a cofactor in both the production of glutathione and the…
18. Diabetes. Magnesium is necessary to make and secrete insulin, facilitates carbohydrate metabolism, and allows insulin to transfer glucose into cells. Otherwise, glucose and insulin build up in the blood, causing various types of tissue damage. Tyrosine kinase, an enzyme that allows glucose entry into the cell (along with insulin), is magnesium dependent. Seven of the ten enzymes needed to metabolize glucose in the process called…
19. Fatigue. Magnesium-deficient patients commonly experience fatigue because hundreds of enzyme systems are underfunctioning. The most…
20. Headaches. Muscle tension and spasms in neck and head muscles can be alleviated with magnesium therapy. Magnesium can be…
21. Heart disease. The heart, specifically the left ventricle, has the highest amount of magnesium in the whole body. Magnesium deficiency is common in people with heart…
22. Hypertension. With insufficient magnesium and too much calcium, the smooth muscles lining blood vessels can go into spasm and cause high blood pressure. If cholesterol is elevated, which can also be due to magnesium deficiency, cholesterol can bind with calcium, causing…
23. Hypoglycemia. Magnesium regulates the production of insulin so that inappropriately large amounts aren’t released, which would cause the blood sugar to drop suddenly…
24. Indigestion. The gastric proton pump that acidifies the contents of the stomach for proper digestion…
25. Inflammation. Most drug companies are now embracing inflammation and not cholesterol as the cause of heart disease. They don’t know what causes inflammation, but that doesn’t stop them from producing drugs to suppress it. Drug companies don’t acknowledge that calcium is extremely proinflammatory and magnesium is very anti-inflammatory. The entire inflammatory cascade (which involves substance P, interleukins, tumor necrosis factor, chemokines, and cytokines) escalates when…
26. Insomnia. Magnesium relieves the muscle tension that can prevent restful sleep. Also, sleep-regulating melatonin pathway production is…
27. Irritable bowel syndrome. In my book IBS for Dummies, I describe the importance of magnesium in the…
28. Kidney disease. Magnesium deficiency contributes to atherosclerotic kidney failure because calcium builds up in the renal (kidney) arteries. Magnesium deficiency leads to abnormal lipid levels and worsening blood sugar control in kidney transplant patients. It’s important for kidney patients to receive picometer, stabilized ionic magnesium (ReMag) that is absorbed directly into cells…
29. Kidney stones. See Chapter 11 for evidence of magnesium’s ability to prevent and treat kidney stones, especially when…
30. Migraine. Deficiency of serotonin can result in migraine headaches and depression. Serotonin depends on magnesium for proper balance. Also, tiny blood clots can block capillaries in the brain, leading to migraines. Magnesium prevents calcium from causing inappropriate blood clotting. It is…
31. Musculoskeletal conditions. Insufficient magnesium and the relative excess of calcium will cause sustained muscle contraction in any muscle group in the body. The following musculoskeletal conditions are amenable to magnesium therapy: a. Muscle cramps b. Fibrositis c. Fibromyalgia d. GI spasms (chronic pain from undiagnosed spasms can lead to inappropriate exploratory surgery) e.…
32. Nerve problems: neuralgia, neuritis, neuropathy. Insufficient magnesium and the relative excess of calcium will cause sustained nerve excitation in any nerve cells in the body. Magnesium alleviates the following nerve disturbances that can occur: a. Burning pain b. Muscle weakness c. Numbness d. Paralysis e. Pins-and-needles sensations f.…
33. Obstetrical and gynecological problems. Magnesium helps prevent or treat the following: a. Premenstrual syndrome b. Dysmenorrhea (cramping pain during menses) c. Female infertility (by relieving fallopian tube spasm) d. Premature contractions (which can be triggered by magnesium-deficiency muscle spasms) e. Preeclampsia and eclampsia in pregnancy (fluid retention, high blood pressure, and seizures) f. Cerebral palsy g. Sudden infant…
34. Osteoporosis. Low magnesium in the presence of elevated calcium, with or without vitamin D, triggers a cascade…
35. Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine deficiency results in Parkinson’s disease, and magnesium is a required cofactor in the production of dopamine. Magnesium blocks the…
36. Raynaud’s syndrome. Magnesium helps relax the spastic blood vessels that cause pain and numbness of the fingers. 37. Sports injuries. Pain, inflammation, muscle spasm, muscle tension, and scarring can all be treated with magnesium. 38. Sports recovery. Magnesium reduces lactic acid buildup and replaces loss of magnesium in sweat, which otherwise can result in postexercise pain. 39. Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ). This hinge joint connects the jawbone to the cheekbone. The joint can become irritated and inflamed due to arthritis, excessive gum chewing, injury to the…
40. Tongue biting. In a magnesium-deficient person, the muscles of the tongue and the muscles lining the inside of the mouth can go into spasm while the person is eating, causing the teeth to suddenly and inadvertently clamp down on the tongue or the lining of the inside of the mouth. 41. Tooth decay. Magnesium deficiency…
Periods went from dark to bright red, and from severe clots to minimal. Magnesium works in several ways to lessen the intensity of menstrual flow. It facilitates the oxygenation of the blood and detoxifies it, changing a dark toxic flow to a bright red one. It also thins the blood naturally, breaking up clots.
Able to exercise intensively for the first time in years. Prior
8. Able to keep going past 6:30 p.m. Without enough magnesium, the energy the body gets from ATP is diminished and people have no staying power.
Magnesium Robbers • Birth control pills • Bronchodilators, such as theophylline (for asthma) • Cocaine • Corticosteroids (for asthma) • Digitalis (for some heart conditions) • Diuretics (for high blood pressure) • Fluoride-based drugs (see below) • Insulin • Nicotine • Proton pump inhibitors (for acid reflux) • Statins (for cholesterol) • Tetracycline and certain other antibiotics
HEARTBURN DRUGS INHIBIT MAGNESIUM Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have a long history of causing magnesium deficiency, which can lead to heart disease. From the literature, it appears that the same may be said for statin drugs, painkillers, and asthma medications.
The investigators concluded that patients receiving PPIs should be followed closely for magnesium deficiency, especially if they experience acute cardiovascular events, because this may contribute to worsening arrhythmias and further complications.
DIURETICS DEPLETE MAGNESIUM A paper written more than thirty years ago shows that the medical community has long known that common diuretics eliminate magnesium from the body as well as potassium, leaving a person susceptible to arrhythmias.20 However, it is only potassium depletion that is acknowledged, and patients on diuretics are routinely told to drink their orange juice.
FLUORIDE BINDS MAGNESIUM The element fluorine is number 9 on the periodic table. Fluoride is the negative ion of fluorine. When fluorine combines with another element, a fluoride compound is created. When the fluoride compounds in fluoridated water, dental products, and drugs release toxic fluorine ions, the tissue and cell damage begins. Besides directly damaging cells and tissues, fluorine ions bind with magnesium, making magnesium unavailable to the body. In a population that is already 80 percent magnesium deficient, this is a medical emergency.
I mentioned above, fluorine ions seek out magnesium and bind with it, making magnesium unavailable to the body and unable to do its work. The magnesium fluoride compound produced is called sellaite (MgF2). It is almost insoluble and ends up taking the place of magnesium in hard tissues such as bone and cartilage, but its brittleness makes the bone susceptible to fracture. The magnesium-fluorine bond is so tight that magnesium is irrevocably lost to the body, interfering with its hundreds of biochemical interactions and decreasing enzymatic action.22 Remember, magnesium is responsible for the optimal functioning of as many as 800 enzyme systems in the body. Any or all of them could be impaired.
There is no listing for anti-arrhythmia drugs. Yet my least favorite anti-arrhythmia drug is flecainide, with six fluorine atoms. How ironic—a drug that is supposed to suppress arrhythmia may actually be destroying your magnesium, which can only make your arrhythmia worse. The side effects of flecainide read like
Dr. Blaylock said that what’s more important than the percentage is the fact that most of the commonly used drugs harbor this toxin. These include Prozac, Paxil, Cipro, Diflucan, Celebrex, Prevacid, Propulsid, Lipitor, Advair, and steroids. Every day you take one of these drugs you are robbing your body of magnesium, and the true cause of magnesium deficiency symptoms such as anxiety and depression goes unrecognized. Not only are you lacking magnesium because it’s not in your food, but any magnesium in your body is destroyed by fluorine in your drugs. How crazy is that—taking a drug for a problem that is made worse by taking that drug!
FLUOROQUINOLONES ROB MAGNESIUM Fluoroquinolones, including the widely used antibiotic Cipro (ciprofloxicin), can cause disabling tendon rupture, which the FDA warned about in 2008.
Updated Dec 11, 2018:
According to drug interaction research, magnesium inhibits the absorption of the following drugs: tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, vancomycin, isoniazid, chlorpromazine, trimethoprim, nitrofurantoin, and sodium fluoride. The mechanism of interaction with ciprofloxacin has been identified as competition for magnesium receptor sites. The solution is to take these medications two to three hours before or after magnesium supplements.
Fluorine is the most electronegative element in the periodic table and it can substitute for hydrogen in drugs, making the compound stronger, more stable, more acidic, and more fat-loving.
On the website of the Fluoride Toxicity Research Collaborative, you can click on fourteen common classes of drugs that contain fluorine to see the lists of specific drugs.
I think it’s obvious that the brittleness that MgF2 imparts to cartilage may be one of the reasons Cipro can cause tendon rupture after an escalation of side effects that begin with muscle pain, sore joints, and muscle spasm.
HIGH-DOSE VITAMIN D DEPLETES MAGNESIUM Vitamin D is the newest sexy supplement, but it’s being prescribed in druglike doses. What you are not being told is that vitamin D requires magnesium in order to transform it into its active form.
The important lesson is to make sure you are taking enough magnesium before supplementing with vitamin D. You can do that by following your magnesium RBC levels and targeting an optimal level of 6.0–6.5 mg/dL. See Chapter 16 for more on magnesium testing.
“Our preliminary findings indicate it is possible that magnesium intake alone or its interaction with vitamin D intake may contribute to vitamin D status.”
Let me repeat—magnesium is required for many steps along the pathway of vitamin D metabolism, including transformation of vitamin D from its storage form (which is also the supplement form) to its active form. That means if you take extremely high doses of vitamin D, you can plummet into magnesium deficiency and not know what’s happening.
To make matters worse, calcium is a mineral that vitamin D grabs from the diet and holds on to for dear life. When you start taking high doses of vitamin D, you can accumulate so much calcium that it overrides your magnesium and forces it out of your body. In short, too much vitamin D can overutilize magnesium, block magnesium, purge magnesium, build up calcium (causing calcification), and propel people into serious magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium expert Andrea Rosanoff, Ph.D., is one of the very few people who understand this dynamic between vitamin D, magnesium, and calcium. She makes this the topic of her 2016 paper called “Essential Nutrient Interactions: Does Low or Suboptimal Magnesium Status Interact with Vitamin D and/or Calcium Status?”26
For the proper functioning of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium, I recommend vitamin K2. Dr. Weston Price, the inspiration for the Weston A. Price Foundation, discovered the X factor, which turned out to be vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 helps guide calcium into the bones, where it is needed, instead of leaving it circulating to calcify blood vessels and other soft tissues.
my practice, I recommend Blue Ice Royal (fermented cod liver oil plus butter oil) from Green Pasture as the perfect combination of all three fat-soluble vitamins.
Magnesium, at a concentration 10,000 times greater than that of calcium inside the cells, allows only a certain amount of calcium to enter to create the necessary electrical transmission or muscle firing, and then immediately helps to eject the calcium once the work is done. Why? If calcium accumulates in the cell, it causes hyperexcitability and eventually calcification that disrupts cell function. Too much calcium entering cells can cause symptoms of heart disease (such as angina, high blood pressure, and arrhythmia), asthma, or headaches. But if there is enough magnesium, it acts as the body’s natural calcium channel blocker.4, 5,
About 60–65 percent of all our magnesium is housed in our bones and teeth. The remaining 35–40 percent is found in the rest of the body, including muscle and tissue cells and body fluids.
Magnesium mostly works inside our tissue cells; one major function is to bond with adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as Mg2+-ATP to produce energy packets for our body’s vital force.
Understand that both basic building blocks of life, RNA and DNA, are dependent on ATP and magnesium to maintain stable genes.7 Magnesium is required as a cofactor for production of DNA polymerase.8 The DNA polymerases are enzymes that create DNA molecules by assembling nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA.
Magnesium and calcium antagonize each other in absorption, reabsorption, cell cycle regulation, inflammation, and many other physiologic activities.9
Open a capsule of calcium powder and see how much dissolves in 1 ounce of water; a goodly amount settles in the bottom of the glass. Then open a capsule of magnesium powder and slowly stir it into the calcium water. When you introduce the magnesium, the remaining calcium dissolves; it becomes more water-soluble. The same thing happens in your bloodstream, heart, brain, kidneys, and all the other tissues in your body—except your bones. If you don’t have enough magnesium to help keep calcium dissolved, you can develop muscle spasms, fibromyalgia, calcified arteries, dental cavities, and calcium deposits (including breast tissue calcifications).
If there is too much calcium in the kidneys and lining the renal (kidney) arteries, and not enough magnesium to dissolve it, you can get kidney stones.
Calcium excess stimulating the cells in the muscular layer of the temporal arteries (located over the temples) can cause migraine headaches.
Research shows that the ratio of calcium to magnesium in the Paleolithic or caveman diet—the ancient diet consumed by our earliest ancestors as the human body evolved to its current form—was 1:1, compared with a ratio of anywhere between 5:1 and 15:1 in present-day diets.
Three hormones—parathyroid hormone, calcitonin, and vitamin D—are involved with the level and location of calcium in the body. Furthermore, all three of these hormones depend on magnesium for their activation and regulation.
He said that in order to protect the fluid inside the cell from becoming saturated with calcium, there is a magnesium-dependent mechanism that shunts calcium into the mitochondria. However, this is a short-term solution that can backfire because if too much calcium is taken up for too long, the excess calcium in the mitochondria inhibits ATP synthesis. Mitochondrial calcification without the intervention of sufficient magnesium eventually results in cell death. Could calcium excess and magnesium deficiency be the underlying cause of mitochondrial dysfunction that many natural medicine practitioners say can trigger chronic fatigue syndrome and other chronic diseases?
Another of these chronic diseases is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A 2015 study reported on the association of calcium supplement intake with AMD.22
It’s possible that patients with AMD are developing soft tissue calcification in the macula of their eyes. If that’s the case, AMD patients should increase their intake of magnesium and focus on getting their daily 600 mg of calcium from dietary sources, or from ReCalcia, and not from poorly absorbed calcium supplements. Actually, that’s the same advice I have for most people suffering magnesium-deficiency symptoms.
CALCIUM PRECIPITATION Let me summarize the extent of the problems that result when calcium precipitates in the soft tissues of the body. • In the large intestine, calcium interferes with peristalsis (the waves of muscle contractions that push food through the bowels) by causing magnesium deficiency and also because it is physically “binding,” which results in constipation.
• When calcium settles out in the kidneys and combines with phosphorous or oxalic acid, kidney stones form. • Calcium can deposit in the lining of the bladder and prevent it from fully relaxing, and therefore from filling completely with urine. This leads to urinary frequency and infections, especially in older people. • Calcium can precipitate out of the blood and deposit in the lining of arteries, causing hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis); the new term for this is vascular calcification. Vascular calcification in the coronary arteries can lead to heart attack; in the carotid arteries, it can lead to stroke; and in the renal arteries, it can lead to kidney failure. • Calcium can even deposit in the brain. Many researchers are investigating it as a possible cause of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. • Calcium can deposit in the smooth muscle lining the bronchial tubes and cause symptoms of asthma. • Calcium precipitation in the cell membranes can impair their permeability. This makes it increasingly more difficult for glucose (a very large molecule) to pass through the cell membrane to be converted into ATP in the cells’ mitochondria. High glucose levels created by excess calcium may be misdiagnosed as diabetes. • According to Dr. Guy Abraham, in order to protect the cell, in acute situations, from taking on too much calcium, resulting in excessive cell spasms (either muscle or nerve), a magnesium-dependent mechanism shunts calcium into the mitochondria. Chronic uptake of calcium in the mitochondria will inhibit ATP synthesis and eventually result in cell death.
The VA probably performed the serum magnesium test, however. Getting a high level on that test is a good thing. The magnesium in serum has to be in a very tight range to keep the heart beating properly. If the serum magnesium level goes down, the body immediately responds by pulling magnesium out of storage in the bones or muscles and putting it into the blood. If the serum magnesium test is in the low normal range, it actually indicates a serious magnesium deficiency.
My resource for information on hyperparathyroidism is the Norman Parathyroid Center and its extensive website Parathyroid.com
There is certainly a general deficiency of magnesium and an elevation of calcium in the population, which must have something to do with stimulating the parathyroids.
Hyperparathyroidism and magnesium deficiency are related because if your parathyroid hormone is elevated, then your calcium is elevated, which pushes down your magnesium—ergo, magnesium deficiency symptoms on top of hyperparathyroid symptoms.
The following list identifies the important role that magnesium may play in the creation of hyperparathyroidism. • Adequate levels of magnesium are essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium, so in the face of magnesium deficiency, calcium absorption may also be low and trigger PTH production. • Magnesium stimulates the body’s production of calcitonin, a hormone that helps to preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues and sends it back into the bones, preventing some forms of arthritis and kidney stones. But in magnesium deficiency, this action is curtailed. • Magnesium has a complex relationship with PTH. It suppresses PTH when it is elevated, preventing it from breaking down bone, but it is also necessary for PTH production. • Magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form so that it can help calcium absorption.
You can ask for a parathyroid MRI or the more definitive sestamibi scan. Sestamibi is a small protein labeled with technetium 99.
CALCIUM AND INFLAMMATION Calcium overload is one of the main causes of body-wide inflammation. Inflammation is an important topic in the earlier edition of The Magnesium Miracle because magnesium is one of the most important anti-inflammatory nutrients. But I didn’t emphasize enough that calcium is the major cause of inflammation and that you can neutralize calcium with magnesium, dramatically reducing your levels of inflammation.
Even worse, anti-inflammatory steroids and many nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often fluoride compounds, which means they bind up magnesium.
Fourteen Functions of Magnesium 1. Energy. Magnesium’s most important function is the creation of energy in the trillions of cells making up our body. Magnesium is a cofactor in the production of ATP via ATP synthase. ATP is manufactured in the mitochondria, and it must be bound to a magnesium ion (Mg2+-ATP) in order to be biologically active. There are 1,000–2,000 mitochondria in each human cell, and ATP is made in each one through a series of eight steps called the Krebs cycle. What’s remarkable about magnesium is that it is indispensable in six of those eight steps.27, 28
2. Membrane stabilizer. Magnesium is an important membrane-stabilizing agent. Stabilization decreases excitation of nerves and excessive contraction of muscle cell membranes.
3. Protein production. Magnesium is required for the structural integrity of numerous body proteins. To date, 3,751 magnesium receptor sites have been found on human proteins.
4. RNA and DNA. Magnesium is required for the structural integrity of nucleic acids. Consequently, magnesium is a requirement for RNA and DNA production.
5. GTPase. Magnesium is a cofactor for the enzyme guanosine triphosphatase. GTPase has many functions: (a) signal transduction, or “switching” on specific receptor proteins located on cell membranes and transmitting that signal to trigger taste, smell, and perception of light; (b) protein biosynthesis; (c) control and differentiation of cell division; (d) translocation of proteins through cell membranes; and (e) transport of vesicles within the cell and assembly of vesicle coats.
6. Phospholipase C. Magnesium is a cofactor for phospholipase C, which is a class of enzymes that split phospholipids at the phosphate group, creating signal transduction pathways. The most important one allows calcium to enter cells.
7. Adenylate cyclase. Magnesium is a cofactor for the enzyme adenylate cyclase. This enzyme converts ATP to cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and pyrophosphate. cAMP is used for intracellular signal transduction of the effects of hormones such as glucagon and adrenaline into cells because the hormones can’t pass through cell membranes. It is involved in the activation of protein kinases and regulates the effects of adrenaline and glucagon. It also binds to and regulates the function of ion channels or gateways into the cell.
8. Guanylate cyclase. Magnesium is a cofactor for the enzyme guanylate cyclase. This enzyme synthesizes cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) from guanosine triphosphate (GTP), keeping cGMP-gated ion channels open, which allows calcium to enter the cell. Cyclic GMP is an important second messenger that transmits the message across cell membranes from peptide hormones and nitric oxide, and it can also function in hormone signaling. It can trigger changes requiring protein synthesis. In smooth muscle, cGMP is the signal for relaxation, which can regulate vascular and airway tone, insulin secretion, and peristalsis.
9. Up to 800 enzyme processes. Magnesium is a required cofactor for the activity of hundreds of enzyme processes.
10. Regulates ion channels. Magnesium is a direct regulator of ion channels, most notably via the other key electrolytes potassium, calcium, and sodium. Magnesium is intimately involved in potassium transport.31 Magnesium and potassium depletion cause similar damaging effects on the heart. Furthermore, it is impossible to overcome potassium deficiency without replacing magnesium. That’s why hospitals seem to have such a difficult time finding the right electrolyte balance of sodium, potassium, calcium, and chloride, because they ignore magnesium and do not routinely measure it in their electrolyte panels, and when they do test for it, they use the inadequate serum magnesium test.
11. Intracellular signaling. Magnesium is an important intracellular signaling molecule itself. I’ve mentioned signaling several times; the role of cell signaling cannot be underestimated. Without intercellular communication the cells of the body would not be able to function at all.
12. Oxidative phosphorylation. Magnesium is a modulator of oxidative phosphorylation, during which electrons are transferred from electron donors to electron acceptors such as oxygen in redox reactions, using magnesium as a cofactor. These redox reactions, called electron transport chains, form a series of protein complexes within the cell’s mitochondria that release energy as ATP.
13. Nerve conduction. Magnesium is intimately involved in efficient nerve conduction. Above, you have read about the detrimental effects of excess calcium. Although calcium is vital for proper nervous system function, too much calcium is dangerous. Excess calcium is proinflammatory and can excite nerves to the point of cell death.
14. Muscle function. Magnesium is intimately involved in efficient muscle function. The mechanisms are varied and include oxygen uptake, electrolyte balance, and energy production. Magnesium makes muscles work properly, allowing calcium to cause muscle contraction and then pushing calcium out of the muscle cells to allow the relaxation phase. In the same way that nerve cells can be “excited to death,” muscle cells stimulated by too much calcium can go into uncontrollable spasm, resulting in tissue damage such as occurs in a heart attack.
MAGNESIUM-DEFICIENT SOIL The mineral depletion of our farmland, described in the 1936 Senate document quoted in the introduction to this book, is probably the most important reason most Americans are magnesium deficient. Unfortunately, the issue of depleted soils has not been addressed in America.
DEAD SOIL The present state of our soil is not just deficient, it’s dead! Kirkpatrick Sale talks about the war waged on the land and all its inhabitants by farmers lured into believing that killing weeds and pests was far superior to living in harmony with nature.
Without living worms, which break up the earth, leave their own form of compost behind, and chop up minerals into the proper size particle to be absorbed by plants, the soil becomes hard and less porous, so rainfall simply washes away more topsoil. Without nitrogen-fixing rhizobacteria in the soil, which make it possible for plants to absorb certain nutrients, those plants are weaker and less nutritious.
Grass tetany is a metabolic disease of cattle and goats caused by a deficiency of magnesium in the soil. When animals eat magnesium-deficient grass they develop irritability, staggering, tremors, and spasms. Most dramatically, the animals fall down in convulsions when they hear sudden loud noises or if they are frightened or excited. Voisin reported in the 1930s that magnesium deficiency was the cause of grass tetany, since low levels of magnesium were found in suffering animals and the condition was miraculously reversed by injections of magnesium.
High-potassium potash has been the fertilizer of choice since the 1930s. It’s cheap, is easily obtained, is readily absorbed by plants, and makes plants look green and healthy. Potassium is so easily absorbed that plants favor its uptake above magnesium and calcium, which are relatively harder to absorb.
PROCESSED FOOD LACKS MAGNESIUM During the refining and processing of food, significant amounts of magnesium can be lost. The process of extracting oils from magnesium-rich nuts and seeds strips away this essential mineral. Nearly all the magnesium in grains is lost during the milling process when the bran and germ are removed from whole grain to make white flour.
note is the fact that less calcium than magnesium is lost due to food processing and cooking, another reason the average diet is higher in calcium than magnesium.
When protein breaks down, it produces homocysteine. On a high-protein diet you will produce lots of homocysteine. Homocysteine oxidizes cholesterol, and oxidized cholesterol is the kind that damages blood vessels. The major enzymes involved in breaking down and getting rid of homocysteine are magnesium dependent. Thus more oxidized cholesterol is created from homocysteine that builds up when there is a lack of magnesium.
twenty-eight atoms of magnesium are required to process one molecule of glucose.45 If you are trying to break down a molecule of fructose, you need fifty-six atoms of magnesium. That’s an extremely unbalanced and unsustainable equation that drains magnesium.
Dr. Robert Lustig, who explains the dangers of fructose sugars and how much worse they are than sucrose (table sugar).46 Magnesium is the central mineral in “plant blood,” or chlorophyll, much as iron is the central mineral in hemoglobin. You would think a diet high in green vegetables would have you covered. Not so. I have consulted with people who are drinking more than 40 ounces of organic green juice a day, yet they are still magnesium deficient, with symptoms such as heart palpitations and leg cramps, which were relieved when they took ReMag. Let me repeat this fact: if the food you are eating is not grown on soil replenished with minerals, the food will automatically be mineral deficient—even if it is organic.
MAGNESIUM AND YEAST OVERGROWTH SYNDROME The consequence of too much sugar in the diet—either table sugar or fruit sugar—is yeast overgrowth. It is not widely known that yeast (Candida albicans) in the human body produces 178 different chemical by-products in its normal life cycle.
I’ll give you an example of how a yeast toxin drains magnesium. Acetaldehyde is one of the powerful toxic by-products of yeast, and the enzyme that breaks it down (acetaldehyde dehydrogenase) depends on magnesium for its function. When excess acetaldehyde overworks the dehydrogenase enzyme, using up stored magnesium, the enzyme can no longer metabolize acetaldehyde. A buildup of this chemical can cause many problems. Free acetaldehyde is toxic to the brain, liver, and kidneys and can cause depletion of B vitamins. It can also block hormone receptors for the thyroid, adrenals, and pituitary.
When you are under serious physical or emotional stress, your body might not produce sufficient stomach acid, which is required for digestion and for chemically changing minerals into an absorbable form. Minerals are usually bound to another substance to make a mineral complex; for example, magnesium bound to citric acid creates magnesium citrate, and bound to the amino acid taurine it becomes magnesium taurate. When a magnesium complex hits the stomach, it needs an acidic environment to help break the two substances apart, leaving magnesium in the ionic form and ready for action in the body. However, magnesium ions are very unstable and bind with another compound immediately.
By neutralizing normal stomach acids, antacids make it impossible for us to digest our food or absorb minerals properly. Our magnesium can be even further depleted if we use calcium carbonate antacids because the calcium they contain causes more magnesium to be lost.
It’s also important to understand the grave effects low stomach acid and low magnesium have on calcium absorption. I’ve already talked about calcium’s inability to dissolve in water, making it entirely dependent on stomach acid to put it into solution. However, when calcium leaves the stomach’s highly acidic environment it enters the alkaline environment of the small intestine and precipitates out of solution unless sufficient magnesium is present. Without magnesium to keep it in solution, calcium quickly deposits in soft tissues throughout the body.
excessive alkalinity in the stomach first reduces stomach acidity and then causes a rebound reaction, with the production of more gastric acid to maintain the proper acidic stomach pH. This increased stomach acid production requires more magnesium, which it pulls away from other functions.
Instead of becoming obsessive about pH testing and trying to manipulate your diet and supplements in a constant teeter-totter to achieve a certain pH, I tell people to eat lots of vegetables and make sure they are taking enough magnesium, which stockpiles our alkaline reserves and also helps maintain gastric acid. Magnesium acts as a buffer so the body can maintain an alkaline pH while performing metabolic chores that constantly shift the blood pH by small increments. When you are magnesium deficient, your body has a more difficult time achieving this goal.
Blocks to Magnesium Absorption • Intestinal condition (diseased intestines absorb less) • Availability of the protein transport molecule for magnesium • Availability of parathyroid hormone • Poor hydration • The rate of water absorption, because magnesium is soluble in water • The amounts of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and lactose (milk sugar) in the body, all of which can inhibit magnesium absorption • Supplemental iron, which can impede magnesium oxide absorption and vice versa (if you take both, you should take them several hours apart)50
high-protein diet makes magnesium deficiency worse, and if you are following such a regimen, you should take at least 300 mg of supplemental magnesium for that reason alone.
tannin in tea, which binds and removes a portion of all minerals, including magnesium, from the body. If you suspect you are magnesium deficient, it’s best to avoid both black and green tea, especially if they are strongly bitter. Less bitter teas do not contain such high amounts of tannins and may be less of a problem.
Oxalic acid, which is found in spinach and chard (among other foods), can form insoluble compounds (called oxalates) with magnesium and other minerals, causing these minerals to be eliminated rather than absorbed. Cooking vegetables removes most of the oxalic acid, so it’s best to steam your spinach, chard, and other high-oxalic-acid vegetables instead of eating or juicing them raw.
Magnesium oxalate is much more soluble than calcium oxalate; you never find magnesium oxalate kidney stones. Calcium oxalate is responsible for 80 percent of human kidney stones and will form as crystals when calcium levels in the blood are higher than magnesium levels. Kidney stones, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic vulvar pain (vulvodynia) can all be aggravated by oxalic acid. Instead of just avoiding oxalates, which is often an impossible task, I make sure people are saturated with magnesium.
Phytic acid, found in the hulls of seeds and the bran of grains, can form insoluble compounds called phytates with magnesium and other minerals, helping them to be eliminated rather than absorbed. In the process, those minerals are lost.
Grains and seeds should be soaked for eight to twelve hours to remove the phytic acid, but few people make this effort. You can, however, purchase sprouted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. A diet high in grains and non-sprouted seeds, while providing many valuable nutrients, is another reason to take magnesium supplements to replace the portion lost to phytic acid.
Soybeans, too, are full of phytic acid; they have one of the highest levels of any legume. Unlike other foods, soy’s phytic acid is not destroyed with extended cooking time. Only fermentation (as is done in the production of miso and tempeh) will reduce soy’s phytic acid levels.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM, ANXIETY, AND DEPRESSION 1. Magnesium supports our adrenal glands, which are overworked by stress, leading to combined magnesium deficiency symptoms and adrenal exhaustion symptoms of anxiety, depression, muscle weakness, fatigue, eye twitches, insomnia, anorexia, apathy, apprehension, poor memory, confusion, anger, nervousness, and rapid pulse. 2. Serotonin, the “feel-good” brain chemical that is artificially boosted by Prozac, depends on magnesium for its production and function. 3. Magnesium deficiency has been strongly linked to sleep disorders, which can either cause or increase anxiety.
ADRENALINE WASTES MAGNESIUM Adrenaline is like an unstable accelerant that gets you all revved up with no place to go! It’s not just a theory that stress causes magnesium deficiency and a lack of magnesium magnifies stress.
Adrenaline acts to speed the heart and retrieve glucose from liver storage. Sometimes people perceive a normal adrenaline rush as a panic attack. Interestingly enough, magnesium is also a requirement for proper blood sugar control.
Anxiety is a chemical reaction created when the adrenal glands respond to a stressful event by releasing adrenaline. Adrenaline is very useful if you’re trying to escape from a dangerous situation, because it stimulates the fight-or-flight response: your heart starts pumping faster; digestion slows down; energy stores are released from your liver and made available to the heart, lungs, and muscles; and the muscles of your arms and legs are activated. All of these responses require magnesium. So each time you experience any kind of stress, your magnesium stores are tapped to minimize stress reactions and to keep the body’s thousands of enzyme processes active. This magnesium depletion itself stresses the body, which can result in panic attacks, causing even more stress.
During stress reactions, calcium is also required to stimulate the release of adrenaline, but calcium excess can cause a flood of adrenaline. However, having sufficient magnesium will buffer excess calcium and keep it within normal levels, limiting the stress response.
Magnesium regulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, as shown in an animal study where magnesium restriction in mice enhanced anxiety-related behavior.11
You can read more about this topic in my free ebook Mineral Deficient Anxiety, which you can access at http://bit.ly/mg-miracle-gift.
People do not develop anxiety, panic attacks, or depression because they have a deficiency of Valium or Prozac. Our bodies do not require these substances for essential metabolic processes.
Magnesium relaxes tight, twitchy muscles so you can reach a deeper level of sleep.
• GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system, and so activation of GABA(A) receptors favors sleep.19 Magnesium binds to GABA gates and increases their effects.20 • As mentioned above, one sleep study reported on magnesium-deficiency-induced, anxiety-like behavior in mice, which were then treated with sleep meds.21 • Research on magnesium and sleep shows that oral magnesium reverses age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes.22 • Magnesium supplementation improves magnesium deficiency symptoms and inflammatory stress in older adults (over age fifty-one) with poor sleep.23 • Magnesium reduces heart rate response to sympathetic nervous stimulation, to exercise, and to sleep problems.24 • Two studies showed that chronic sleep deprivation reduces intracellular magnesium, increases heart rate, and raises plasma catecholamines.25, 26 • A study found that dietary magnesium deficiency decreases plasma melatonin in rats.
Magnesium is such a safe nutrient, with few to no side effects, that it should be the first step in the management of
SUPPLEMENTS FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION • ReMag: With picometer, stabilized ionic magnesium you can reach therapeutic amounts without laxative effects. Start with ¼ tsp (75 mg) and work up to 2–3 tsp (600–900 mg) per day. Add ReMag to a liter of water and sip all day to achieve full absorption. • ReMyte: Picometer twelve-mineral solution. Take ½ tsp three times a day, or add 1½ tsp to a liter of water with ReMag and sip throughout the day. • ReCalcia: Picometer, stabilized ionic calcium, boron, vanadium. Take 1–2 tsp per day (1 tsp provides 300 mg calcium) if you don’t obtain enough calcium from your diet. It can be taken with ReMag and ReMyte. • ReAline: B vitamin complex plus amino acids. Take 1 capsule twice per day. Contains food-based B1 and four methylated B vitamins (B2, B6, B12, and folate), plus L-methionine (precursor to glutathione) and L-taurine (which supports the heart and weight loss). • Tryptophan: Take one or two 500 mg capsules at bedtime on an empty stomach. This amino acid is converted to serotonin. It acts like Prozac but has no side effects. • St. John’s wort: Taking 300 mg standardized extract three times a day is beneficial in mild to moderate depression. • EMPowerplus Advanced: This high-potency vitamin, mineral, and amino acid formulation from http://www.TrueHope.com treats depression and bipolar disease, as proven in twenty-seven scientific clinical trials. (See Resources.)
Exposure to loud music can increase urinary excretion of magnesium, which lasts for days after exposure. If magnesium is not replaced through an excellent diet and supplements, magnesium deficiency symptoms may begin to appear.
MAGNESIUM-DEFICIENT KIDS It’s not just adults who can get anxious because of a magnesium-deficient lifestyle. Our children are also susceptible when their favorite foods are magnesium-deficient hot dogs, pizza, and soda. The stress in their lives—from peer pressure, bullying, academic and athletic performance pressures, worries about body image, the changes and hormonal fluctuations of puberty, and exposure to negative events and violence through the media—all contribute to magnesium deficiency. As noted above, even burning off steam by playing in a band can be a risk factor.
Dr. Leo Galland, author of Superimmunity for Kids, speculates that hyperactive children need extra magnesium due to their constantly high adrenaline levels. Dr. Galland recommends 6 mg per pound of weight per day (for example, 240 mg per day for a 40-lb child). I agree with this recommendation because it is more than twice the 6 mg/kg RDA of magnesium.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND MIGRAINES 1. Magnesium prevents platelet aggregation and the thickened blood and tiny clots that can cause blood vessel spasms and the pain of a migraine. 2. Magnesium relaxes the head and neck muscle tension that makes migraines worse. 3. Magnesium and vitamins B2, B6, and folate are important nutrients that treat and prevent migraine headaches.
ASPARTAME AND MSG: EXCITOTOXINS Aspartame is an excitotoxin, one of a group of substances, usually acidic amino acids, that in high amounts react with specialized receptors in the brain, causing destruction of certain types of neurons.
The brain becomes extremely vulnerable to excitotoxins during episodes of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.
Magnesium is responsible for balancing blood sugar. With sufficient magnesium and balanced mealtimes, you can protect yourself from headaches, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mood disorders, and even premenstrual tension, all of which are associated with hypoglycemia.
The following biochemical events involving low magnesium have been identified in migraine sufferers and may set the stage for a migraine attack.3 • In women who have not yet reached menopause, estrogen rises before the period, causing a shift of blood magnesium into bone and muscle. As a result, magnesium levels in the brain are lowered. • When magnesium is low, it is unable to do its job to counteract the clotting action of calcium on the blood. Tiny blood clots are said to clog up brain blood vessels, leading to migraines. Several other substances that help create blood clots are increased when magnesium is too low. • Similarly, magnesium inhibits excess platelet aggregation, preventing the formation of tiny clots that can block blood vessels and cause pain. • Low brain magnesium promotes neurotransmitter hyperactivity and nerve excitation that can lead to headaches. • Several conditions that trigger migraines are also associated with magnesium deficiency, including pregnancy, alcohol intake, diuretic drugs, stress, and menstruation. • Magnesium relaxes blood vessels and allows them to dilate, reducing the spasms and constrictions that can cause migraines. • Magnesium regulates the action of brain neurotransmitters and inflammatory substances, which may play a role in migraines when unbalanced. • Magnesium relaxes muscles and prevents the buildup of lactic acid, which, along with muscle tension, can worsen head pain.
Because of an excellent safety profile and low cost, they recommend oral magnesium supplementation for migraine sufferers at a level of 6 mg/kg/day.9 In my clinical experience, migraine sufferers usually require double that amount. For a 150-pound patient, 6 mg/kg is only 400 mg.
CLUSTER HEADACHES Patients with cluster headaches, a very severe form of recurrent headache, have also been reported to have low magnesium ion levels. Some people suffer up to twenty bouts of head pain daily in a siege that can last for months.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR MIGRAINE • ReMag: With picometer, stabilized ionic magnesium you can reach therapeutic amounts without laxative effects. Start with ¼ tsp (75 mg) and work up to 2–3 tsp (600–900 mg) per day. Add ReMag to a liter of water and sip all day to achieve full absorption. • ReCalcia: Picometer, stabilized ionic calcium, boron, vanadium. Take 1–2 tsp per day (1 tsp provides 300 mg calcium) if you don’t obtain enough calcium from your diet. It can be taken with ReMag and ReMyte. • ReAline: B vitamin complex plus amino acids. Take 1 capsule twice per day. Contains food-based B1 and four methylated B vitamins (B2, B6, methylfolate, and B12, which help lower homocysteine levels in migraine sufferers), plus L-methionine (precursor to glutathione) and L-taurine (which supports the heart and weight loss). • Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium): 100 mg per day. ADDITIONAL THERAPIES FOR MIGRAINE • Anti-stress therapies: Breathing exercises, meditation, prayer, singing, and yoga. • Regular exercise: Walking, swimming, T-Tapp, Egoscue Method.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND MUSCLE PAIN 1. Magnesium helps muscles and nerves relax. 2. Magnesium eliminates spasms. 3. Magnesium relaxes the smooth muscles in blood vessels in the fingers to treat Raynaud’s syndrome; relaxes artery walls, which lowers blood pressure; and relaxes fallopian tubes, which enhances fertility.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND EXERCISE 1. Magnesium is lost during exercise through increased metabolism and sweat. 2. Lactic acid, which causes postexercise pain, is decreased by magnesium. 3. Magnesium deficiency may cause sudden cardiac death in healthy athletes.
When the animals were given magnesium dissolved in water, their endurance was restored. Most human studies also confirm that both brief and extended exercise deplete magnesium.
A study in the journal Magnesium Research notes that magnesium works so well for the athlete because it directly affects muscle function, which includes oxygen uptake, energy production, and electrolyte balance.25 One
“Magnesium supplementation or increased dietary intake of magnesium will have beneficial effects on exercise performance in magnesium-deficient individuals.”
Dr. Seelig, an internationally recognized magnesium expert, recommends that athletes in training obtain at least 6–10 mg/kg/day (or 2.7–4.5 mg/lb/day) of magnesium to help replace the losses from exertion, sweating, and stress. For a 220-pound man that would be 600–1,000 mg per day. For a 150-pound woman that would be 400–680 mg per day. In my clinical experience, athletes and people with magnesium deficiency conditions may require 10–15 mg/kg per day. These doses can be cut by 150 mg for people who exercise moderately (one to two hours a day).
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND THE BRAIN 1. Magnesium protects the brain from the toxic effects of chemicals such as food additives. 2. Magnesium keeps excess calcium out of cells. When magnesium is low, calcium rushes in, causing cell death. 3. When blood sugar and magnesium are both low, excitotoxins such as glutamate (in MSG) and aspartic acid (in aspartame) can more easily enter brain cells, causing cell death.
Magnesium does much more than any drug to protect the blood circulation and the brain: • It’s a vasodilator, opening up blood vessels. • It protects the endothelium, or innermost layer of blood vessel walls. • It closes the calcium channel to excessive calcium influx.
Introduction, I mentioned a free online book from the University of Adelaide called Magnesium in the Central Nervous System (2011).
They note that binge alcohol drinking is associated with an ever-growing number of strokes and cases of sudden death, with alcohol causing spasm and rupture of magnesium-deficient cerebral arteries.
serum magnesium is a highly inaccurate measurement of the body’s magnesium because only 1 percent of the magnesium in the body resides in the blood.
treated with intravenous magnesium sulfate.17 Premenstrual tension headache and its exacerbation by alcohol in women is also accompanied by deficits in magnesium ions and elevation in the calcium-ion-to-magnesium-ion ratio, and can also be corrected by intravenous magnesium sulfate.
Also, in a study of 4,443 men and women ages forty to seventy-five, lower dietary magnesium intake was associated with higher blood pressure and stroke risk. The investigators said such results “may have implications for primary prevention.”20
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND BRAIN SURGERY 1. Good neurosurgeons give IV magnesium to all their surgical patients. 2. Magnesium helps the brain recover from brain surgery. 3. Magnesium can prevent postsurgical strokes or make them less damaging.
Intravenous magnesium sulfate enhances the effects of general anesthetic, so during surgery the dose of chemical anesthetics can be safely reduced.
Barnett found that as his patients’ blood magnesium reached normal levels, their seizure activity diminished.
EMF side effects has to do with voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs).35 The wide range of actions caused by EMFs are thought to be due to two different pathways for VGCCs. Scientists don’t know the cause of EHS, but when I see that voltage-gated calcium channels are possibly involved, I nominate magnesium deficiency as a probable cause.
Magnesium is nature’s calcium channel blocker.
What is not normal is the high amounts of oxidized cholesterol (cholesterol abnormally bound with oxygen) that we eat in processed foods, fast foods, and fried foods. In addition, chlorine, fluoride in water, pesticides, and other environmental pollutants can oxidize cholesterol in the body.
What is most interesting about oxidized cholesterol is that it means cholesterol is an antioxidant. Cholesterol is sweeping up toxins in the body and trying to eliminate them and in the process becomes oxidized. So cholesterol is not the problem; toxicity from chlorine, fluoride, pesticides, and other environmental pollutants is the real problem.
Magnesium is likely the most powerful antioxidant in the body, and there is compelling evidence that magnesium therapy reduces cholesterol levels,2, 3, 4 even when there is a genetic risk factor present for hypercholesterolemia.5 Another important mineral in the cholesterol story is copper. Copper deficiency contributes to elevated cholesterol and a well-absorbed copper supplement, such as found in ReMyte, can help lower cholesterol, among many other positive things.
Our body thinks cholesterol is so important that the liver makes about 1,000 mg of cholesterol a day; if we try to lower our cholesterol too much with drugs, the liver merely gears up production.
Interestingly, about 40 percent of the magnesium in the body is found in muscles. So when muscle is destroyed, magnesium is lost from this storage site, increasing muscle pain and spasm. Magnesium is also an indispensable mineral activator of many types of myosin (a large protein that forms muscle), including the myosin in skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, and cardiac muscle.13 The myosin paper helps explain how magnesium deficiency can greatly disturb
Unfortunately, several statins are potentially toxic fluoride compounds that may release fluorine ions that can irreversibly bind to magnesium, contributing to muscle pain.
Lowered levels of coenzyme Q10 along with magnesium deficiency contribute to myopathy and also produce neuropathy (nerve damage); memory decline, including global amnesia; and cardiomyopathy (destruction of heart muscle).
MAGNESIUM IS A NATURAL STATIN A well-known magnesium expert, Mildred Seelig, M.D., just before she died in 2004, wrote a fascinating paper with Andrea Rosanoff, Ph.D., showing that magnesium acts by the same mechanisms as statin drugs to lower cholesterol.14
HMG-CoA reductase. As it turns out, magnesium slows down this enzymatic reaction when cholesterol is present in sufficient quantities and speeds it up when we need more.
If sufficient magnesium is present in the body, cholesterol will be limited to its necessary functions—the production of hormones and the maintenance of membranes—and will not be produced in excess.
The magnesium/cholesterol story gets even better. Magnesium is responsible for several other lipid-altering functions that are not even shared by statin drugs. Magnesium is necessary for the activity of an enzyme that lowers LDL, the “bad” cholesterol; it also lowers triglycerides and raises the “good” cholesterol, HDL. Another magnesium-dependent enzyme converts omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids into prostaglandins, which are necessary for heart and overall health. Seelig and Rosanoff conclude their paper by saying that it is well accepted that magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker, and now we know it also acts like a natural statin.
In their book The Magnesium Factor,15 Seelig and Rosanoff reported that eighteen human studies verified that magnesium supplements can have an extremely beneficial effect on lipids.
Homocysteine is a normal by-product of protein digestion. If you don’t have the specific nutrient cofactors (magnesium and B vitamins) to digest protein optimally, homocysteine can build up. Elevated amounts of homocysteine can cause the oxidization of cholesterol—and it is oxidized cholesterol that damages blood vessels. An optimal level of homocysteine is between 10 and 12 µmol/L. When homocysteine is elevated in the cells, it depletes cellular magnesium because magnesium is needed to break it down. That’s why a high-protein diet requires more magnesium in order to metabolize the extra homocysteine that is produced.
Recall that magnesium deficiency leads to blood vessels that are less relaxed and more susceptible to spasm and tension, a precursor to hypertension; thus the very treatment for hypertension worsens the problem.28 Ironically, replacing potassium doesn’t help patients who are also magnesium deficient, because the body is unable to deliver potassium to the cells without sufficient magnesium. Even the so-called potassium-sparing diuretics still commonly deplete other minerals, including magnesium.
Doctors will limit water, prescribe diuretics, and withhold salt—all of which can prevent recovery and even create more edema. In general, to treat edema, you need to drink more than 4 cups of water a day and you need to spike the water with sea salt, magnesium (ReMag), and a multimineral supplement (ReMyte). I recommend drinking half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water. If you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water a day. In each quart of water (32 oz) put ¼ tsp of unrefined sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, or Celtic sea salt. If that seems too strong at first, simply begin with a pinch of salt in a glass of water and work up. (Note: If sea salt seems to be causing fluid retention—a rare occurrence—then stop it and have your sodium levels checked.)
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND HEART DISEASE 1. Magnesium prevents muscle spasms of the blood vessels in the heart, which can lead to heart attack. 2. Magnesium prevents muscle spasms of the peripheral blood vessels, which can lead to high blood pressure. 3. Magnesium prevents calcium buildup in cholesterol plaque in arteries, which leads to clogged arteries, atherosclerosis, and stroke.
I see the endothelium affected by lack of nitric oxide due to magnesium deficiency, mitochondrial dysfunction due to magnesium deficiency, and calcium-triggered endothelium dysfunction due to magnesium deficiency.
THE SLIPPERY ROAD TO HEART ATTACK STEP ONE: LOSS OF ARTERIAL ELASTICITY The coronary arteries bringing oxygen-filled blood from inside the heart through the aorta to the heart muscle are very, very small, only about 3 mm across (a nickel is 2 mm thick). It doesn’t take much to plug them up with a tiny blood clot or to cause them to collapse when in spasm. Magnesium prevents blood clot formation and artery spasm. These blood vessels get even smaller as they split into two, then four, then eight, and so on as they descend toward the bottom of the heart; some of the tiniest capillaries are only the width of a red blood cell. Each of these splits is called a bifurcation. According to cardiologists, about 85 percent of sclerotic plaques initially form near bifurcations. It is widely believed that the development of these plaques is a response to injury. This means that something, such as an infection, may be damaging the arteries, initiating the buildup of fat and calcium around the inflammation. Endothelial cells are a single layer of specialized cells that form the inside membrane of an artery. The subendothelial layer (the next layer in) is a very thin connective tissue that contains elastin. As its name implies, this is the layer responsible for providing much of the elasticity in your arteries. It is important to note that your body requires magnesium to maintain healthy elastin. One of the earliest signs of magnesium deficiency is degeneration of elastin in the subendothelium. Seelig and Rosanoff discuss the deposition of calcium in elastin and replacement with fibrous tissue in animals suffering from magnesium deficiency.8 Smooth muscle cells are the next layer. Smooth muscle cells provide integrity and control the dilation of the arterial cavity, which is triggered by the calcium/magnesium ratio in the body. Calcium causes contraction and magnesium causes relaxation, which together control the blood pressure and flow in the artery. A final messenger for the dilation response is nitric oxide, which is dependent on magnesium. Animals on low-magnesium diets lose the elasticity of their arterial system. Coronary arteries require even more elasticity than other arteries because they must stretch and flex as the heart expands and contracts. Loss of elasticity results in inflammation of the endothelial and subendothelial layers at the points that are most mechanically challenged by stretching: the bifurcations. Imagine a small rubber-band-like tube shaped like a Y. In your mind’s eye grasp the two legs of the Y in one hand. With your other hand, grip the single leg. Begin pulling them apart just as though they were stretching on the surface of the heart. Stretch it as far as you can. Where is the shape weakest? If we left the rubber tube out in the sun for a week or so, what would happen if you slowly stretched it again? Where might you expect the first crack to appear? Most of the time it would happen at or near where one tube becomes two—at the…
STEP TWO: THE INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE Inflammation begins with injury of the artery wall, leading to white blood cells and cholesterol hovering around trying to heal the damage. At this stage in the process, if there is too much calcium and not enough magnesium in the bloodstream, excess calcium precipitates around the area of inflammation in the artery wall. The area becomes rigid and interferes with blood flow. This calcification is now being measured by coronary artery scans.
STEP THREE: HEART ATTACK Over time, the above steps weaken and plug the coronary arteries and slowly destroy small areas of the heart muscle. The final result is severe chest pain, damage to a…
Magnesium maintains the elasticity of the artery wall, dilates blood vessels, prevents calcium deposits, and is necessary for the maintenance of healthy muscles, including the heart muscle itself. For all these reasons, magnesium is critical to the maintenance of a healthy heart.14 One of the pivotal metabolic chemicals in the body is nitric oxide. It is a very simple compound made from nitrogen and oxygen, but it packs a powerful punch. Nitric oxide controls vasodilation, but this activity is under the direction of magnesium.15
High uric acid is associated with inflammation, hypertension, heart disease, and damaged blood vessel walls. Uric acid is broken down by nitric oxide, thus depleting this anti-inflammatory substance, which increases inflammation in the body and elevates CRP. Although the researchers say nothing about magnesium, it is important in the treatment of elevated CRP because it is such a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Sufficient magnesium can calm inflammation at every stage, whereas the only other option, anti-inflammatory prescription drugs, are ineffective and can cause dangerous side effects.
U.S. study, reported in the July 2006 issue of the journal Nutrition Research, found that a daily magnesium supplement could reduce the levels of inflammation, as measured by C-reactive protein.20 This is very encouraging news.
For example, in an analysis of seven major clinical studies, researchers concluded that magnesium (in doses of 5–10 g by IV injection) reduced the odds of death by an astounding 55 percent in acute MI.25, 26 Over the past decade, several large clinical trials using magnesium have shown its beneficial effects. If intravenous magnesium is given (1) before any other drugs and (2) immediately after onset of a heart attack, the incidence of high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, or a subsequent heart attack is vastly reduced.
Magnesium may also help the heart drug digoxin to be more effective in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia;30 without enough magnesium, digoxin can become toxic.31
If your levels are below 6.0 mg/dL, be sure to take 6 to 10 mg/kg/day of magnesium. At 1,000 mg of elemental magnesium per day, most magnesium products will have a laxative effect, but not ReMag.
An important study found that low serum magnesium is one of the strongest predictors of increased left ventricular mass over a five-year period.41
I talk about magnesium deficiency in the elderly, in whom deficiency causes “autonomic nervous system disturbances that involve both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, causing hypotension on rising quickly or borderline hypertension. In elderly patients, excessive emotionality, tremor, weakness, sleep disorders, amnesia and cognitive disturbances are particularly important aspects of magnesium deficiency.”
The authors further note that under stressful conditions, high concentrations of catecholamines become oxidized and generate free radicals. These oxidation products and high intracellular calcium levels produce coronary spasm, arrhythmias, and cardiac dysfunction as well as defects in energy production by cellular mitochondria and myocardial cell damage. To my way of thinking, cellular overload of calcium is best treated with magnesium. Magnesium deficiency contributes to abnormal heart rhythms because magnesium is responsible for maintaining normal concentrations of electrolytes inside heart muscle cells. A balance of potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium allows for normal heart muscle contraction and maintains normal heartbeat.
The investigators concluded that intravenous magnesium is an effective and safe strategy for the acute management of rapid AFib. Also, it has no side effects compared to drug management. And doctors should also consider that magnesium may “cure” the condition in individuals whose AFib is caused by magnesium deficiency.
3,530 participants, they found that those with the lowest levels of serum magnesium were approximately 50 percent more likely to develop AFib.
In 2015 I wrote a book called Atrial Fibrillation: Remineralize Your Heart. The book arose from my experience with recommending magnesium for arrhythmia,
EPIDEMIC OF ATRIAL FIBRILLATION Why are so many hearts suddenly beating erratically and mystifying doctors? 1. Because 80 percent of the population is magnesium-deficient. 2. Because doctors don’t even measure magnesium when they investigate atrial fibrillation. 3. Because doctors don’t ask their patients if they are drinking enough water. 4. Because doctors don’t make sure their patients are taking enough magnesium and other minerals, including sea salt in their water.
Adrenal Stimulation Certain activities can stress the adrenal glands, causing them to pump out excess adrenaline: stress, exercise, exertion, and stimulants (coffee, alcohol, tobacco). Over time this type of reaction can cause an increase in blood pressure (by constricting blood vessels) and lead to structural damage to the heart, which may involve the pacemaker areas and thus interfere with the heart rate and rhythm. Vagus Nerve Relaxation This type of AFib occurs at night, after a meal, or when resting after exercising, or is associated with digestive problems. The vagus nerve controls peristalsis and stomach secretions and is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, which tends to slow the heart and dilate blood vessels.
ATRIAL FIBRILLATION TRIGGERS 1. Air pollution. Data mining from patients with implanted defibrillators shows that during times of air pollution there are more episodes of fibrillation. It’s the very fine particles of pollution from cars and power plants that travel deep into the lungs and trigger bronchial irritation, coughing, and atrial fibrillation. You can stay indoors during times of high air pollution. However, magnesium can help prevent bronchial spasm and help clear pollution from the lungs. The ingredients in ReAline can help the liver detoxify pollutants, even heavy metals.
2. Alcohol. Drinking alcohol releases catecholamines from the adrenal glands—especially noradrenaline. Additionally, alcohol causes the release of adrenaline stored in the heart. Plasma acetaldehyde, the main metabolite of ethanol, raises catecholamine concentrations systemically and in the heart muscle. Withdrawal of alcohol also results in increased release of catecholamines. Alcohol directly, and the above metabolites, stress the heart, with prolonged PR, QRS, and QT times, facilitating atrial arrhythmias. Alcohol excess is associated with hypertension. The residues of sulfites, pesticides, and fungicides can be found in some wines and trigger reactions in susceptible people. Alcohol depletes magnesium, and the breakdown products of alcohol, such as acetaldehyde (a heart stimulant), require magnesium in order to break them down and eliminate them from the body. Alcohol also feeds intestinal yeast, resulting in yeast overgrowth and production of 178 yeast toxins, including acetaldehyde.
3. Calcium. Taking calcium supplements or eating a diet high in dairy products can overwhelm your magnesium stores and lead to a relative magnesium deficiency state. When you reduce your calcium intake you may find that your AFib attacks diminish.
4. Coronary artery disease. CAD affects more than 15 million Americans, making it the most common form of heart disease causing arrhythmia, angina, and heart attack. CAD is mostly attributed to atherosclerosis, which happens when a waxy plaque made of cholesterol, fatty compounds, calcium, and a blood-clotting material called fibrin forms inside the arteries.
5. Dehydration. Adequate hydration with pure water is essential for proper blood circulation and heart function. However, when we purify water these days, we eliminate most of the good minerals along with the bad chemicals. So water and remineralization go together. I recommend drinking half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water and adding salt (unrefined sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, or Celtic sea salt—¼ teaspoon per quart), as well as ReMag and ReMyte for the best effect.
6. Dental infections, fillings, crowns, and cavitations. Biological dentists agree with Chinese medicine that each tooth corresponds to an acupuncture meridian. They will check to see if there is a problem with the teeth that are on the same meridian that flows through the heart. The testing instrument they use is called EAV. But you will have to do your research to find a reliable holistic physician or dentist who can do EAV.
7. Diabetes. This disease increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Blood sugar levels also influence heart rates.
8. Electrolyte imbalance. An imbalance of minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium can alter the way the heart conducts electricity. Magnesium, at a concentration 10,000 times greater than that of calcium inside the cells, allows only a certain amount of calcium to enter to create the necessary electrical transmission, and then immediately helps to eject the calcium once the job is done. If magnesium is deficient, calcium accumulates in the cell, causing hyperexcitability, calcification and cell death. Because doctors don’t regularly test for magnesium with an accurate blood test, they miss the importance of magnesium and focus on potassium and sodium instead.
9. Gas, bloating, and hiatal hernia. Mechanical pressure from the stomach and intestines pushing up on the diaphragm, which is directly below the heart, can trigger an AFib attack. The pressure can come from a hiatal hernia or gas pressing on the heart and great vessels or irritating the vagus nerve. Avoiding sugar, alcohol, and gluten and
10. Gluten and glutamate sensitivity. This trigger for AFib may surprise you, but it’s important to include it since more people seem to be reacting to this group of natural chemicals.
11. Heart attack. The heart is one big muscle. The highest amount of magnesium in the whole body is found in the heart.
12. Abnormal heart valves. One type of heart valve abnormality, mitral valve prolapse, is associated with magnesium deficiency. Without magnesium, the valve, which consists of two flaps coming together, becomes rigid and can’t close properly, allowing leakage of blood through the partially open valve.
13. High blood pressure. When the smooth muscles lining the blood vessels go into spasm from having too much calcium inside the cells and not enough magnesium, the diameter of the blood vessels decreases and the blood pressure increases.
14. Heart structural changes. Changes in the heart’s normal size or structure may affect its electrical system. Examples of such changes include an enlarged heart due to high blood pressure or advanced heart disease.
15. The holidays. You arrive at your destination tired and jet-lagged (travel is its own trigger, listed below), and if it’s a gathering like Thanksgiving, you have all the stressors of family interaction, overeating, too much alcohol, and not enough sleep.
16. Hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar can cause an attack of atrial fibrillation. When blood sugar drops below a certain level, mechanisms come into play that trigger the adrenal glands to release adrenaline in order to activate and release glycogen (sugar stores) in the liver. That same adrenaline surge can elevate the heart rate and trigger an AFib attack.
17. Infections. Viral infections cause fever, increase metabolism, and raise the heart rate. Infection with the bacterium H. pylori, which causes stomach ulcers, can contribute to AFib. Investigate mastic gum as a stomach ulcer treatment; it is highly effective and avoids the side effects of antibiotics. If you have stomach symptoms,
18. Inflammation. High levels of CRP are a strong indicator of inflammation. CRP is twice as high in people with AFib compared to people without that condition. Magnesium is the body’s most important anti-inflammatory nutrient.
19. Lung disease. People with asthma have a higher rate of AFib than those without. Asthma is a magnesium deficiency condition because the smooth muscles lining the bronchial tract go into spasm, cutting off the airways. A recent client told me her pulmonologist states that cough definitely can cause the arrhythmia but her cardiologist says a cough absolutely cannot cause arrhythmia.
20. Medications. The list of medications that can cause AFib is very long, so I’m not going to include it here. You must look up the side effects of the medications you are on and see if atrial fibrillation is listed.
21. Intense physical activity. Doctors say that intense physical activity causes the release of adrenaline, which triggers AFib.
22. Obesity. Studies show that obesity can result in enlargement and stretching of the atria, which can trigger atrial fibrillation. There are reports that people who simply lose weight become free of their atrial fibrillation.
23. Potassium deficiency. Unlike magnesium deficiency, a deficiency in potassium may be found on a blood test. If you have low magnesium and low potassium, your potassium level won’t improve when you take potassium supplements unless you also take magnesium.
24. Exposure to stimulants. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda), and acesulfame potassium (Sunett) are stimulants, as are caffeine, cola, and tobacco. They can speed up your heart rate, and if you are also magnesium deficient, the two factors together can cause AFib.
25. Sick sinus syndrome. This condition is defined as improper functioning of the heart’s natural pacemaker. This is another syndrome that is poorly understood. It is said to occur due to scarring, degeneration, or damage to the heart from aging, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and high blood pressure.
26. Sleep apnea. In my article “An Epidemic of Sleep Apnea,” I associate the rise in sleep apnea with the increasing epidemic of magnesium deficiency and weight gain. Treating both can reduce the incidence of sleep apnea and that of AFib as well.66
27. Stress that leads to anxiety and panic attacks. Stress burns magnesium, which depletes the adrenal glands and leads to erratic firing of adrenaline, triggering bouts of tachycardia and AFib. Stress in the form of a very active or scary dream can set off AFib.
28. Surgical procedures. Heart surgery is a major trigger for atrial fibrillation. I think it’s because the heart loses magnesium under that type of stress, and since IV magnesium is not a standard treatment during heart surgery, atrial fibrillation can be a direct result.
29. High-sugar diet. Sugar depletes magnesium, so high sugar intake will ultimately cause magnesium deficiency. Such a diet can cause episodes of low blood sugar. It can also contribute to obesity.
30. An overactive thyroid gland. Thyroid hormone regulates metabolism. If your thyroid gland produces too much hormone, or you are taking too much thyroid medication, your metabolism speeds up—and that includes heart rate. If you are also magnesium deficient, the two factors together can cause AFib.
31. Travel. The TSA, jet lag, dehydration, poor eating habits, problems sleeping, more alcohol than usual, late-night meals, and forgetting to take your magnesium can all combine to become one big trigger for AFib. Do your best to plan your trip to avoid stressors, and take more magnesium to counteract all the above.
32. Vitamin D. We’ve barely gotten the word out that calcium supplements carry a higher risk of heart disease and now doctors are pushing vitamin D as the next supplement fad.
33. Yeast overgrowth. This condition is the culmination of a high-sugar diet, too many antibiotics and steroid medications, and layers of stress that affect so many.
In fact, another paper in the same journal found that patients with coronary artery disease who take statins experience an increase in coronary calcification, an effect that is independent of plaque progression or regression.71
The downside of chelation therapy is that other minerals besides calcium will be removed and have to be replaced with IV minerals. My concern is that not all the minerals taken out are properly replaced, thus leading to long-term mineral deficiencies. With the availability of ReMag, which is even more effective than IV magnesium, and ReMyte, a completely absorbed multiple-mineral supplement, we have an alternative to chelation, and a safer addition to chelation therapy when that is needed.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR HEART DISEASE • ReMag: With picometer, stabilized ionic magnesium you can reach therapeutic amounts without laxative effects. Start with ¼ tsp (75 mg) and work up to 2–3 tsp (600–900 mg) per day. Add ReMag to a liter of water and sip all day to achieve full absorption. • ReMyte: Picometer twelve-mineral solution. Take ½ tsp three times a day, or add 1½ tsp to a liter of water with ReMag and sip throughout the day. • Vitamin E, as mixed tocopherols: 400 IU twice a day, preferably Grown by Nature brand. • Crategus tincture: 20 drops two or three times a day. For high cholesterol and atherosclerosis add: • Niacin (vitamin B3): Begin with a dose of 250 mg a day and work up to a maximum of 4 grams daily under doctor’s supervision. Do not use time-release niacin, which has been associated with liver damage. • ReAline: B vitamin complex plus amino acids. Take 1 capsule twice per day. Contains food-based B1 and four methylated B vitamins (B2, B6, methylfolate, and B12), plus L-methionine (precursor to glutathione) and L-taurine (which supports the heart and weight loss). • Vitamin C complex: 200 mg twice a day, from a food-based source, or make your own liposomal vitamin C (see Appendix D for a liposomal vitamin C recipe), and ascorbic acid, 1,000 mg twice a day. • Vitamin D3: 1,000 IU or 20 minutes in the sun daily or Blue Ice Royal (from fermented cod liver oil and butter oil) for vitamins A, D, and K2, 1 capsule twice per day. • ReCalcia: Picometer, stabilized ionic calcium, boron, vanadium. Take 1–2 tsp per day (1 tsp provides 300 mg calcium) if you don’t obtain enough calcium from your diet. It can be taken with ReMag and ReMyte.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND OBESITY 1. Magnesium helps the body digest, absorb, and utilize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. 2. Magnesium is necessary for insulin to open cell membranes for glucose entry. 3. Magnesium helps prevent obesity genes from expressing themselves.
Magnesium and the B-complex vitamins are energy nutrients: they activate enzymes that control digestion, absorption, and the utilization of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Lack of these necessary energy nutrients causes improper utilization of food, leading to such far-ranging symptoms as hypoglycemia, anxiety, and obesity.
Magnesium is also necessary in the chemical reactions that allow insulin to usher glucose into cells, where it is shunted into pathways that make energy for the body. If there is not enough magnesium to do this job, both insulin and glucose become elevated in the bloodstream outside the cells. That excess glucose gets stored as fat and contributes to obesity. Having excess insulin puts you on the road toward diabetes and tissue damage.
The article “Recent Advances in the Relationship Between Obesity, Inflammation, and Insulin Resistance” provides an excellent overview.1 I’ll summarize the paper, which you can also read online. The authors say that current research shows that obesity is associated with chronic activation of the immune system, leading to low-grade inflammation of white adipose tissue, consequent insulin resistance, and impaired glucose tolerance, which can proceed to diabetes. Lab testing shows increased production of many different types of inflammatory molecules, which produce local and systemic effects throughout the body.
Numerous studies show that magnesium, with its antioxidant activity, lowers levels of the inflammatory markers CRP, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and IL-6.2 It also supports adiponectin, a hormone made in fat cells that helps regulate inflammation within these cells and thus helps prevent weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. As your weight increases, adiponectin levels go down; by contrast, weight loss helps boost adiponectin. A Journal of Nutrition study shows that magnesium is vital in maintaining adiponectin levels,3 which is another reason magnesium is important for maintaining normal weight.
Gaining weight around the middle, aka belly fat, is related to magnesium deficiency and an inability to properly utilize insulin.
In The Magnesium Factor, authors Seelig and Rosanoff present research showing that over half the insulin in the bloodstream is directed at abdominal tissue.6 They theorize that as more and more insulin is produced to deal with a high-sugar diet, abdominal girth increases to process the extra insulin.
If magnesium is deficient, the doorway into the cells does not open to glucose, resulting in the following events: 1. Glucose levels become elevated. 2. Glucose is stored as fat and leads to obesity. 3. Elevated glucose leads to diabetes. 4. Obesity puts a strain on the heart. 5. Excess glucose becomes attached to certain proteins (the proteins become glycated), leading to kidney damage, neuropathy, blindness, and other diabetic complications. 6. Insulin-resistant cells don’t allow magnesium into the cells. 7. Further magnesium deficiency leads to hypertension. 8. Magnesium deficiency leads to cholesterol buildup, and both these conditions are implicated in heart disease.
One of the major reasons the cells don’t respond to insulin is lack of magnesium.
Dr. Resnick is closer to the truth about this condition when he says it is characterized by a high calcium-to-magnesium ratio.14 Remember, too much calcium automatically creates a magnesium deficiency. Americans in general have a high calcium-to-magnesium ratio in their diet and consequently in their bodies.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND DIABETES 1. Magnesium deficiency is an independent predictor of diabetes. 2. Diabetics both need more magnesium and lose more than most people. 3. Magnesium is necessary for the production, function, and transport of insulin.
In the kidneys, insulin activates the renal magnesium channels that determine how much urinary magnesium is excreted. As a result, patients with type 2 diabetes and hypomagnesemia enter a vicious circle in which low magnesium causes insulin resistance and insulin resistance reduces serum magnesium.
The most important points regarding diabetes and magnesium are: • Magnesium levels are low in diabetics. • Diabetics are predisposed to heart disease, hypertension, obesity, insulin resistance, and high cholesterol. • Magnesium prevents and treats heart disease, hypertension, obesity, insulin resistance, and high cholesterol.
Results showed that magnesium supplementation reduced plasma glucose levels and improved the glycemic status of adults with prediabetes
Dr. Abram Hoffer (the originator, with Linus Pauling, of orthomolecular medicine) shows that the refining of sugar removes 93 percent of chromium, 89 percent of manganese, 98 percent of cobalt, 83 percent of copper, 98 percent of zinc, and 98 percent of magnesium.
According to Natasha Campbell-McBride in her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome, twenty-eight atoms of magnesium are required to process one molecule of glucose.54 If you are trying to break down a molecule of fructose, you need fifty-six atoms of magnesium.
Adding sugar to the diet also produces an excessively acid condition in the body. To neutralize acidity, the body has to draw upon its stores of the alkaline minerals magnesium, calcium, and potassium. If the acidic condition is severe, magnesium and calcium may even be taken from the bones and teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and softening, and ultimately osteoporosis.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND PMS 1. Chocolate, which some women crave premenstrually, is high in magnesium, but the added sugar and fat in commercial products make it far less desirable as a regular part of your diet. Use raw cacao in your recipes instead. 2. Prozac has been patented under a new name, Sarafem, for PMS. PMS is caused by magnesium deficiency, not a deficiency of Sarafem. 3. Magnesium is a safe treatment for PMS and PMS headaches.
Magnesium RBC tests show low levels of magnesium in women with PMS.
The good news is that you can take care of PMS easily with the right amounts of calcium and magnesium. For most women this translates into 500–700 mg calcium (from dietary sources) and 600–900 mg of magnesium a day in divided doses.
The data in this experiment indicate that the normally low concentrations of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone help cerebral vascular smooth muscle cells sustain normal concentrations of magnesium ions, which are beneficial to vascular function, whereas high levels of estrogen and progesterone significantly deplete magnesium ions, possibly resulting in cerebral vessel spasms and reduced cerebral blood flow—thus leading to premenstrual syndrome, migraine, and possible risk of stroke. These findings help to explain why more women than men suffer migraines and why migraines occur more frequently in the second half of the menstrual cycle, when estrogen and progesterone are both elevated. It stands to reason that elevated levels of progesterone and estrogen in the birth control pill can cause magnesium depletion and a similar list of symptoms.
There is more to the Sarafem story, however. It is a fluoride drug with three fluorine ions in every molecule of Sarafem. When Sarafem breaks down in the body, it can release fluorine ions that can bind with magnesium and make the symptoms of PMS worse. What some people say about the effects of these drugs is that they don’t take away your symptoms; they just make you not care about them anymore!
Since a low magnesium ion level and a high calcium-to-magnesium ratio are associated with insulin resistance, cardiovascular problems, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension, a study was done with a group of PCOS patients to determine the effects of magnesium intervention. Significantly lower levels of ionized magnesium and serum magnesium and a significantly higher calcium-ion-to-magnesium-ion ratio were found in the PCOS patients compared with the controls, which gave me enough evidence to recommend she speak to her doctor about taking a magnesium supplement of at least 300 mg twice per day to treat her insulin resistance and possibly her PCOS as well.13
Advice passed down through generations of midwives includes giving Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) throughout pregnancy.
Magnesium is required in higher amounts during pregnancy.
It also appears that male infertility is associated with magnesium deficiency. Both magnesium and zinc are found in very significant amounts in seminal fluid.
Almost as an afterthought, the foundation mentions a 2002 study by the Magpie Trial Collaborative Group. In this study, investigators found that “magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) can ease the symptoms of preeclampsia and has reduced seizures stemming from eclampsia by 56 percent when given intravenously in a controlled environment by trained staff.”
SIDS Magnesium deficiency has been implicated in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which has features in common with the sudden cardiac death of adults13 and may be prevented by giving adequate magnesium to the mother and child.14 An episode of muscular tension, spasm, or weakness induced by magnesium deficiency could physically prevent a distressed infant from turning its head when lying facedown and thus result in suffocation.15
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM, OSTEOPOROSIS, AND KIDNEY STONES 1. Magnesium is just as important as calcium to prevent and treat osteoporosis. 2. Magnesium keeps calcium dissolved in the blood so it will not form kidney stones or precipitate in soft tissues of the body. 3. Taking calcium for osteoporosis (without magnesium) can promote kidney stones.
Women with osteoporosis have lower-than-average levels of magnesium in their diets, according to survey reports. Magnesium deficiency can compromise calcium metabolism and also hinder the body’s production of vitamin D, further weakening bones.
Instead of cozying up to Fosamax, doctors should read a 2013 study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showing that magnesium has a direct influence on increasing the formation of osteoclasts.7 In the previous edition of The Magnesium Miracle, I reported that animal research proves that magnesium depletion alters bone and mineral metabolism, which results in bone loss and osteoporosis.8, 9 In this 2013 study, investigators acknowledged that magnesium deficiency occurs frequently and leads to loss of bone mass, abnormal bone growth, and skeletal weakness.
Magnesium deficiency is very common in women with osteoporosis compared to controls.10 But what happens when women take enough magnesium? • In one study, postmenopausal women with osteoporosis were able to stop the progression of the disease with 250–750 mg of magnesium daily for two years. Without any other added measures, 8 percent of these women experienced a net increase in bone density.11 • A group of menopausal women given a magnesium hydroxide supplement for two years had fewer fractures and a significant increase in bone density.12 • Another study showed that by taking magnesium lactate to provide 180–300 mg of elemental magnesium daily for two years, 65 percent of the women were completely free of pain and had no further degeneration of spinal vertebrae.13 • Magnesium in conjunction with hormonal replacement improved bone density in several groups of women compared to controls.14, 15 • Another study showed that if you take estrogen and have a low magnesium intake, calcium supplementation may increase your risk of thrombosis (blood clotting that can lead to a heart attack).16
The group that took magnesium and practiced tae kwon do had the greatest increase in free and total testosterone. The sedentary group who took supplements also saw significant increases in testosterone.
Higher concentration of magnesium was associated with higher total testosterone, lower LDL, and lower total cholesterol. The investigators concluded that “lower serum magnesium levels may be conducive to the development of total testosterone deficiency, arterial hypertension, diabetes, and therefore metabolic syndrome.”
Finally, a 2013 study shows that the amount of magnesium consumed and absorbed is the key predictor of a child’s bone health.23 The researchers found that intake of dietary calcium was not significantly associated with total bone mineral content or density.
They found that magnesium deficiency is “active in several pathways that have been implicated in OA, including increased inflammatory mediators, cartilage damage, defective chondrocyte biosynthesis, aberrant calcification and a weakened effect of analgesics.”
Several factors can be involved in stone formation: 1. Elevated calcium in the urine is caused by a diet high in sugar, fructose, alcohol, coffee, and meat. These acidic foods presumably pull calcium from the bone, to neutralize acidity, and excrete it through the kidneys. Calcium supplementation without magnesium also causes elevated calcium in the urine.
2. Higher-than-normal levels of oxalate found in the urine may relate to a high dietary intake of oxalic-acid-containing foods: rhubarb, spinach, chard, raw parsley, chocolate, tea, and coffee, among others. The oxalic acid in them promotes stone formation by binding to calcium, creating insoluble calcium oxalate. But don’t forsake all greens and lose out on their beneficial nutrients. There are plenty of low-oxalate greens to make up for the ones you have to avoid.30 However, when you are saturated with enough magnesium, it can bind with oxalate in a much more soluble magnesium oxalate and be excreted without incident.
Dehydration concentrates calcium and other minerals in the urine. Drinking half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water each day (to which you add ¼ tsp of sea salt per quart) is essential to flush the kidneys properly. Increased sweating and not drinking enough water create concentrated urine.
4. Soft drinks containing phosphoric acid encourage kidney stones in some people by pulling calcium out of the bones and depositing it in the kidneys.
5. A diet high in purines (substances found in alcohol, meat, and fish) can cause uric acid kidney stones.
One of magnesium’s many jobs is to keep calcium in solution to prevent it from solidifying into crystals. Even in times of dehydration, if there is sufficient magnesium, calcium will stay in solution. Magnesium is the pivotal treatment for kidney stones.
Top Ten Drug Families That Cause Kidney Damage 1. Antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin, methicillin, vancomycin, and sulfonamides. 2. Analgesics, including acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and others available only by prescription. 3. COX-2 inhibitors, including celecoxib (Celebrex). Two drugs in this class have been withdrawn from the market because of cardiovascular toxicity: rofecoxib (Vioxx) and valdecoxib (Bextra). COX-2 inhibitors were developed to be safer for the stomach, but have the same risk as other NSAIDs for kidney damage. 4. Heartburn drugs of the proton pump inhibitor class, including omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazol (Rabecid, Aciphex), and esomeprazole (Nexium, Esotrex). 5. Antiviral drugs, including acyclovir (Zovirax), used to treat herpes infection, and indinavir and tenofovir, both used to treat HIV. 6. High blood pressure drugs, including captopril (Capoten). 7. Rheumatoid arthritis drugs, including infliximab (Remicade), chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine (the latter two are used to treat malaria and systemic lupus erythematosus, as well as rheumatoid arthritis). 8. Lithium, used to treat bipolar disorder. 9. Anticonvulsants, including phenytoin (brand name Dilantin) and trimethadione (brand name Tridione), used to treat seizures and other conditions. 10. Chemotherapy drugs (including interferons, pamidronate, cisplatin, carboplatin, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, quinine, mitomycin C, bevacizumab) and antithyroid drugs (including propylthiouracil, used to treat overactive thyroid).
The paper, called “Magnesium in Oncogenesis and in Anti-Cancer Treatment,” is available online.1 Back then Seelig noted a relationship between magnesium deficiency and cancer, which should have alerted the cancer establishment to do further research.
A 2015 study in the British Journal of Cancer called “Magnesium Intake and Incidence of Pancreatic Cancer: The Vitamins and Lifestyle Study” found that magnesium intake may be beneficial in preventing pancreatic cancer.3 The study analyzed data on more than 66,000 men and women between the ages of fifty and seventy-six, looking at the direct association between magnesium and pancreatic cancer. Every 100 mg-per-day decrease in magnesium intake was associated with a 24 percent increase in the occurrence of pancreatic cancer. The researchers commented in a Science Daily article: “For those at a higher risk of pancreatic cancer, adding a magnesium supplement to their diet may prove beneficial in preventing this disease.”
For men, a magnesium dietary intake of at least 327 mg per day was associated with a 52 percent lower risk of colon cancer, compared with men taking lower amounts.4
The study authors recommend that clinical trials be funded to give magnesium to people with colon inflammation, who are at risk for colorectal cancer, with the expectation that it will show that magnesium prevents cancer from forming.
The investigators concluded that “magnesium intake alone may improve overall survival following breast cancer, and the association may be stronger among those with high Ca:Mg intake ratio.” That means the more calcium compared to magnesium, the worse your chance of survival.
PROSTATE There appears to be no medical cure for enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH), which leads to frequent nighttime urination. However, in 1930 Dr. Delbet and another doctor made two separate presentations to the Medical Academy of France showing that magnesium chloride could adequately treat this condition.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM, CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME, AND FIBROMYALGIA 1. Magnesium deficiency is common in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia sufferers. 2. Magnesium forms an important part of treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. 3. Magnesium ameliorates the fatigue, muscle pain, and chemical sensitivity of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND ENVIRONMENTAL ILLNESS 1. Symptoms of chemical sensitivity can be completely or partially produced by magnesium deficiency. 2. Magnesium helps detoxify toxic chemicals. 3. Magnesium binds with and helps eliminate heavy metals from the body.
Mercury drastically increases the excretion of magnesium and calcium from the kidneys, which may be the cause of the kidney damage seen in mercury poisoning.13 Such mineral losses impair cell production, the storage and utilization of energy, and cellular repair and replication. Sufficient magnesium supplementation can undo some of this damage and can also prevent certain types of heavy metal toxicity.14, 15
Lead and cadmium have a cumulative toxic effect on the kidneys and heart in particular. Magnesium appears to be a competitive inhibitor of these two polluting metals at different sites, particularly during combined intoxication.18
A Yugoslavian research team found that increased intake of magnesium eliminates lead via the urine and may do the same with certain other heavy metals.
For environmental illness, the first supplement to add is magnesium. • To make it a very safe and gradual process, you can take Epsom salts baths, or use transdermal ReMag (from a spray bottle). • Later, you can begin ¼ tsp (75 mg) of ReMag or 100 mg of elemental magnesium from magnesium citrate, increasing every three days. If magnesium citrate causes loose stools, just take the non-laxative ReMag. • “Green drinks” are the next food supplement to add. They are made from a variety of organic land and sea vegetables, and the better ones are flavored with stevia or nothing at all. Green drinks can be combined with whey, rice, or pea protein (or a combination of all three found in ReStructure) and make a good cleansing drink along with a meal replacement.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND ASTHMA 1. Research shows that many patients with asthma and other bronchial diseases have low magnesium. 2. Many drugs used in the treatment of asthma cause a loss of magnesium, only making symptoms worse. 3. Patients treated with simple magnesium supplementation report marked improvement in their symptoms.
There is much more to histamine than its action on bronchial tissue. It appears that mast cells (that produce histamine) increase in number, and histamine becomes elevated in the midst of magnesium deficiency. So the more magnesium-deficient you are, the more allergic reactions you may experience. Antihistamine enzymes in the body usually control the overproduction of histamine, however they require magnesium, copper, and vitamin B6 for them to work properly.
Further in the article he read that many asthma inhalers are fluoride compounds and the fluoride may bind with magnesium, making it unavailable to the body.
Magnesium is an excellent treatment for asthma because it is a bronchodilator and an antihistamine, naturally reducing histamine levels in the body. It has a calming and dilating effect on the muscles of the bronchial tubes that go into spasm during an asthma attack.
treatment of asthma consists of magnesium-wasters such as beta-blockers, corticosteroids, and Ventolin (albuterol). The side effects of these drugs include severe magnesium deficiency, which can result in arrhythmia and sudden death.1 Taking theophylline (aminophylline) can cause loss of magnesium and suppression of vitamin B6 activity, which assists magnesium function. Prednisone wastes magnesium, causes sodium retention and fluid retention, suppresses vitamin D, and promotes increased urinary excretion of zinc, vitamin K, and vitamin C.2 Advair, an asthma inhaler, is a fluoride drug with the potential to irreversibly bind magnesium.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND AGING 1. Aging itself is a risk factor for magnesium deficiency; as we get older we become more deficient in magnesium and therefore require more in our diet and in supplement form. 2. Magnesium is deficient in people who have Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. 3. Telomeres, the deciding factor in aging, are protected by magnesium.
As is evident from animal experiments and epidemiological studies, magnesium deficiency and calcium excess may increase our susceptibility to cardiovascular disease as well as accelerate aging.
“Smart drugs” such as piracetam, oxiracetam, pramiracetam, and aniracetam are thought to enhance learning, facilitate the flow of information between the two hemispheres of the brain, help the brain resist physical and chemical injuries, and be relatively free of side effects. Magnesium fits all the above criteria for “smart drugs,” but it is much less costly and has no side effects.
1. Chronic marginal magnesium deficiency reduces life span in rats. 2. Magnesium deficiency accelerates aging through its various effects on the neuromuscular, cardiovascular, and endocrine apparatus; kidneys and bones; and immune, antistress, and antioxidant systems. 3. In developed countries, magnesium intake is marginal throughout the entire population regardless of age: around 4 mg/kg/day instead of the minimum of 6 mg/kg/day recommended to maintain balance. However, diseases, handicaps, and physical or psychological impairments expose elderly individuals to more severe nutritional deficiencies and higher requirements. 4. Around the age of seventy, magnesium absorption is two-thirds of what it is at age thirty. 5. Various mechanisms of deficiency include intestinal malabsorption; reduced bone uptake and mobilization (osteoporosis); increased urinary losses; chronic stress; insulin resistance leading to diabetes with severe magnesium loss in the urine; lack of response to adrenal stimulation; loss caused by medication, especially diuretics; alcohol addiction; and cigarette smoking. 6. Magnesium deficiency symptoms in the elderly include central nervous system symptoms that seem largely “neurotic”: anxiety, excessive emotionality, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, light-headedness, dizziness, nervous fits, sensation of a lump in the throat, and impaired breathing. Peripheral nervous system signs are common: pins and needles of the extremities, cramps, muscle pains. Functional disorders include chest pain, shortness of breath, chest pressure, palpitations, extra systoles (occasional heart thumps from an isolated extra beat), abnormal heart rhythm, and Raynaud’s syndrome. Autonomic nervous system disturbances involve both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, causing hypotension on rising quickly or borderline hypertension. In elderly patients, excessive emotionality, tremor, weakness, sleep disorders, amnesia, and cognitive disturbances are particularly important aspects of magnesium deficiency. 7. A trial of oral magnesium supplementation is the best diagnostic tool for establishing the importance of magnesium.
In addition, cells grown without magnesium were twice as susceptible to free radical damage as were cells grown in normal amounts of magnesium. Another study showed that red blood cells from hamsters fed low-magnesium diets were deficient in magnesium and consequently more susceptible to free radical damage. One study found that low magnesium
It appears that low magnesium levels can compromise cell membrane integrity, damaging the vital fatty layer in the cell membrane, making it more susceptible to destruction, and allowing leakage through the membrane.15 This particular finding, which implicates magnesium deficiency as one of the causes of leaky cell membranes, or leaky gut, is extremely important because disruption of this type can be fatal to cells and cause widespread problems that ultimately manifest in dozens of symptoms and conditions, including aging.
Research at MIT, however, produced a study in 2004 that elevates magnesium to the position of memory enhancer.17
Magnesium is instrumental in opening brain receptors to important information while at the same time allowing them to ignore background noise.
eyes. Aging is documented in our DNA: year by year, greater numbers of redundant telomere segments at the end of our chromosomes are nibbled away, eventually leaving the chromosome exposed. Telomere segments keep genes stable but shorten over time as cell division becomes less efficient, especially if the enzyme telomerase reverse transcriptase is deficient or not working properly. You don’t have to guess at what mineral this enzyme depends upon—magnesium, of course.
Please Google the title “Short-Term Magnesium Deficiency Downregulates Telomerase, Upregulates Neutral Sphingomyelinase and Induces Oxidative DNA Damage in Cardiovascular Tissues: Relevance to Atherogenesis, Cardiovascular Diseases and Aging,”
In their conclusion, the Alturas say, “We believe in view of the current report, and other works recently published by our labs, prolonged magnesium deficiency should be categorized as another epigenetic mechanism.” By epigenetic mechanism, they mean that telomerase is being affected not by some factor inherent in our genes and chromosomes but rather by an outside “switch.” That outside switch is magnesium. Epigenetics is the study of cellular or genetic variations that result from external or environmental factors that switch genes on and off and affect how cells express genes.
Alturas’ study shows that magnesium deficiency shaves off the ends of telomeres, which can be equated with aging and cardiovascular changes including hypertension, decreased ejection fraction, and cardiac failure.
Magnesium Deficiency and Endothelial Damage Studies by the Alturas in the late 1980s demonstrated changes in the endothelial lining of blood vessels due to magnesium deficiency. The Alturas say that magnesium’s importance in controlling microcirculation and in lipid buildup in the arterial walls is still being overlooked by the next generation of researchers.
Magnesium, when it is available in the body, will help detoxify heavy metals, even ones as poisonous as mercury.
Considerable research has proven that brain neurons affected in Alzheimer’s disease have significantly higher levels of aluminum than normal neurons.
A typical Western diet—high in protein, fat, and sugar—is acid-forming and may be an additional factor in creating aluminum overload in Alzheimer’s.
As with Alzheimer’s, aluminum can be a contributing factor in Parkinson’s. In one autopsy study, calcium and aluminum were elevated in the brains of victims of Parkinson’s disease as
Cells grown in magnesium-deficient conditions, however, have lower glutathione levels. Adding free radicals to a low-magnesium cell culture causes the level of glutathione to fall rapidly as it is used up, making the cells much more susceptible to free radical damage.
Several steps on the pathway leading to production of dopamine require magnesium as a necessary cofactor.
40 Several studies show that severe neurological syndromes can result when conditions cause extremely low levels of brain magnesium.
MAGNESIUM RBC TESTING The magnesium RBC test is more accurate than the serum magnesium test, but it’s not as accurate as the ionized magnesium test, which is only available in research labs. Since it’s not highly accurate, please don’t just let the numbers be the gauge of how you are doing; you must also keep track of your magnesium deficiency symptoms and assess whether they are improving as you treat yourself with magnesium.
The current magnesium range for most labs is 4.2–6.8 mg/dL, but recently I’ve seen some labs go even lower, to 3.5–6.0 mg/dL, as the population gets more and more deficient! About 80 percent of the population is deficient in magnesium, so I tell people that for optimal health, we want to be at the high end of the range, at or above the 80th percentile, or about 6.0–6.5 mg/dL.
You want to be above the 80th percentile of the population, as 80 percent of people are deficient in magnesium.
CLINICAL MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY TESTS There are two clinical tests that can be done in a doctor’s office, the results of which can indicate both calcium deficiency and magnesium deficiency. 1. Chvostek’s sign (a contraction of the facial muscles caused by tapping lightly on the facial nerve located in front of the ear) 2. Trousseau’s sign (a spasm of the hand muscles caused by applying a tourniquet or blood pressure cuff to the forearm below the elbow for three
Less than 1 percent of our body’s total magnesium can be measured in blood serum; the rest is busily occupied in the cells and tissues or is holding our bones together. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to make an accurate assessment of the level of magnesium in various body tissue cells using a routine serum magnesium test. Magnesium in the blood does not correlate with the amount of magnesium in other parts of your body. The active magnesium in your cells is ionized magnesium.
White blood cells do have mitochondria and therefore will hold more magnesium than red blood cells.
SpectraCell Micronutrient Testing is overkill.22 The test is done using white blood cells from a blood sample. Considering that white blood cells do have mitochondria, where most of the magnesium in the cell is located, this is a more accurate test than magnesium RBC.
Twenty years of research shows that under ideal conditions approximately 300 mg of magnesium is required merely to offset daily losses. If you are under mild to moderate stress caused by a physical or psychological disease, physical injury, athletic exertion, intake of medications, exposure to fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, or emotional upheaval, your requirements for magnesium escalate.26, 27 Dr. Mildred Seelig wrote that active adolescent boys and girls may need 7–10 mg/kg/day and pregnancy requirements should be a minimum of 450 mg a day or up to 15 mg/kg/day.28 I agree with Dr. Seelig and think that both women and men of all ages would benefit from a higher daily intake of at least 7–10 mg/kg of magnesium. Every day I speak with people who require double and triple the RDA of magnesium. I personally required 20 mg/kg/day when I was first overcoming my magnesium-deficiency symptoms of heart palpitations and leg cramps and building up my magnesium stores. Now, depending on my workload, exercise, and stress levels, I only need 10 mg/kg/day.
Calcium is much higher in dairy compared to magnesium. So if you eat dairy you shift the balance of calcium and magnesium in favor of calcium. Another important aspect of dietary calcium and magnesium is the effect of processing and cooking on these minerals. More magnesium than calcium is lost in food processing and cooking, so once again, more calcium is found in the diet than magnesium. Calcium, thought to be so deficient in our population, is also fortified in many foods—even orange juice.
ORGANIC FOOD Many people would say that organic food should be higher in magnesium than the offerings from Big Agriculture, but that may not be the case. If your organic farmer does not remineralize the land with minerals in the form of rock dust, the plants will be as magnesium-deficient as plants from any other farmland. Seek out organic farmers who are educated about crop rotation, who test regularly for mineral deficiencies in the soil, and who use mineral-rich fertilizers. The smart way to be assured of quality organic food is to join a community-sponsored agriculture (CSA) cooperative and buy a share in a local organic farm every year, which means you may be able to have a say in what the farm produces and make recommendations. (See Resources for CSA information.)
Smart Salt is just that—a smart way to stock up on magnesium and cut back on sodium for those who must. Smart Salt is a product of the United States, produced by evaporation from Utah’s Great Salt Lake. It has the following levels of minerals in 3 tsp: 626 mg of magnesium, 865 mg of potassium, and only 1,596 mg of sodium. (A similar amount of table salt contains about 5,000 mg of sodium.)
WHAT MAGNESIUM SHOULD I TAKE? In my decades of experience with magnesium, I’ve found that the best forms to take are: 1. ReMag: picometer, stabilized ionic magnesium from magnesium chloride 2. Natural Calm: magnesium citrate powder 3. Epsom salts: magnesium sulfate for your bath
Most medical references say you should only take 200–250 mg of magnesium per day. That’s a far cry from the 600–1,200 mg of elemental magnesium that many people really need to treat their severe magnesium deficiency conditions.
Epsom salts. Most kids love their baths, and adding magnesium salts just makes sense. For kids and adults, 1–2 cups in a bath is sufficient. However, I’ve used up to 8 cups when I’ve had a severe muscle spasm or injury.
Someone with serious magnesium deficiency symptoms may require 15–20 mg/kg of elemental magnesium (I needed 20 mg/kg/day for two years to rid myself of heart palpitations and leg cramps). Since high levels of most magnesium products cause diarrhea, I recommend ReMag for people who need this much magnesium.
CONTRAINDICATIONS TO MAGNESIUM THERAPY 1. Kidney failure. With kidney failure there is an inability to clear magnesium from the kidneys. 2. Myasthenia gravis. Intravenous administration could accentuate muscle relaxation and collapse the respiratory muscles. 3. Excessively slow heart rate. Slow heart rates can be made even slower with magnesium, as magnesium relaxes the heart. Very slow heart rates often require an artificial pacemaker. 4. Bowel obstruction. The main route of elimination of oral magnesium is through the bowel.
ALL MAGNESIUMS CROSS THE BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER The January 28, 2010, issue of Neuron published a paper titled “Enhancement of Learning and Memory by Elevating Brain Magnesium.”
Based on this result, promoters of magnesium l-threonate products say that theirs is the only magnesium that significantly increases the levels of magnesium in the brain. I disagree with the above statement. Giving superpowers to these products obscures the reality that any magnesium could produce some or all of these same effects.
WHEN TO TAKE MAGNESIUM I used to recommend that magnesium supplements be taken two or three times a day to help reduce the laxative effect.