Magnesium: The Spark of Life

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Magnesium, just like magnetite and manganese, owes its name to the greek word Magnesia, a place name derived from the tribal people known as Magnetes. Physicians and therapists have paid scant attention to this crucial element which is one of the most important minerals for all living organisms. Magnesium has a relaxing, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on our organism. It is critical for metabolic processes, cell growth and reproduction and is involved in hundreds of enzyme processes affecting every aspect of life. It is not only essential for maintaining good health, but also for detoxification and the treatment of numerous diseases.

Unfortunately, magnesium is one of the most depleted minerals in our soil. In fact, a U.S. Senate document from 1936 stated that fruits and vegetables being raised on millions of acres of land no longer contained enough of certain minerals, therefore starving the population of their nutritive effects no matter how much they ate. While some foods are enriched with calcium and vitamins, magnesium is usually ignored. Reseachers actually found that the recommended daily allowance for magnesium is inadequate to prevent magnesium deficiency. In addition, drugs such as painkillers, antibiotics, diuretics, anti-depressants and others further deplete magnesium and other vital nutrients in our bodies, worsening the symptoms for which they were prescribed in the first place. Stressful situations such as surgery, injuries, malnutrition, diseases and psychological stress also increase our daily requirements of this important mineral. This translates into a widespread magnesium deficiency problem among the population which then causes or contributes to numerous conditions including degenerative chronic diseases:

Anxiety and panic attacks. Magnesium helps keep adrenal stress hormones under control.
Asthma. Both histamine production and bronchial spasms increase with magnesium deficiency.
Blood clots. Magnesium plays an important role in preventing blood clots and keeping the blood thin without any side effects.
Bowel disease. Magnesium deficiency slows down the bowel, causing constipation, which could lead to colitis, toxicity and malabsorption of nutrients.
Cystitis. Bladder spasms are worsened by magnesium deficiency.
Depression. Serotonin, which elevates mood, is dependent on magnesium. A magnesium-deficient brain is also more susceptible to allergens, foreign substances that in rare instances can cause symptoms similar to mental illness.
Detoxification. Magnesium is crucial for the removal from the body of toxic substances and heavy metals such as aluminum and lead.
Diabetes. Magnesium enhances insulin secretion, facilitating sugar metabolism. Without magnesium, insulin is not able to transfer glucose into cells. Glucose and insulin build up in the blood, causing various types of tissue damage.
Fatigue. Magnesium-deficient patients commonly experience fatigue because dozens of enzyme systems are underfunctioning. An early symptom of magnesium deficiency is fatigue.
Heart disease. Magnesium deficiency is common in people with heart disease. Magnesium is administered in hospitals for acute myocardial infarction and cardiac arrhythmia. Like any other muscle, the heart requires magnesium. Magnesium is also used to treat angina, or chest pain.
Hypertension. With insufficient magnesium, blood vessels may go into spasm and cholesterol may rise, both of which lead to blood pressure problems.
Hypoglycemia. Magnesium keeps insulin under control; without magnesium, episodes of low blood sugar can result.
Insomnia. Sleep-regulating melatonin production is disturbed with insufficient magnesium.
Kidney disease. Magnesium deficiency contributes to atherosclerotic kidney failure. Magnesium deficiency creates abnormal lipid levels and worsening blood sugar control in kidney transplant patients.
Migraine. Serotonin balance is magnesium-dependent. Deficiency of serotonin can result in migraine headaches and depression.
Musculoskeletal conditions. Fibrositis, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, eye twitches, cramps and chronic neck and back pain may be caused by magnesium deficiency and can be relieved with magnesium supplements.
Nerve problems. Magnesium alleviates peripheral nerve disturbances throughout the body such as headaches, muscle contractions, gastrointestinal spasms and calf, foot, and toe cramps. It is also used in treating the central nervous system of vertigo and confusion.
Obstetrical and gynecological problems. Magnesium helps prevent premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea (cramping pain during menses). It is important in the treatment of infertility, and alleviates premature contractions, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia in pregnancy. Intravenous magnesium is given in obstetrical wards for pregnancy-induced hypertension and to lessen the risk of cerebral palsy and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Magnesium should be a required supplement for pregnant women.
Osteoporosis. Use of calcium with vitamin D to enhance calcium absorption, without a balancing amount of magnesium, causes further magnesium deficiency which triggers a cascade of events leading to bone loss.
Raynaud’s syndrome. Magnesium helps relax the spastic blood vessels that cause pain and numbness of the fingers.
Tooth decay. Magnesium deficiency causes an unhealthy balance of phosphorous and calcium in saliva, which damages teeth.
[Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. The Magnesium Miracle. New York: Ballantine Books, 2007]

Correcting magnesium deficiency provides relief in these and other conditions too numerous to list in this article.

Standard serum (blood) tests are useless in screening for magnesium deficiency since less than 1% of our body’s total magnesium can be measured in our blood. Unfortunately, doctors rely upon this test even though magnesium must be measured at work inside the cells and tissues with very specific tests. For the average person, the easiest way to diagnose magnesium deficiency is simply by supplementing for at least a few months to see if symptoms are relieved.

Under ideal conditions we need approximately 300mg of magnesium to offset daily losses. If you are under mild to moderate stress – physical or psychological disease, physical injury, athletic exertion, or emotional stress – your requirements for magnesium increase. Foods rich in magnesium, with a relatively low sensitivity profile, include fermented legumes (i.e. beans) and organic green vegetables. Since an average good diet may supply around 250mg, from which only half is actually absorbed, researchers feel that most people would benefit from magnesium supplementation. Otherwise, body tissue must be broken down to supply this essential mineral.

To benefit from magnesium supplementation, take chelated magnesium (bound to organic amino acids) for maximum absorption: magnesium citrate, malate, orotate, taurate, or magnesium glycinate. Do not use magnesium oxide because it is basically a laxative. The recommended dose is 6-8mg/kg of body weight (3 to 4.5 mg/lb), although 200mg four times per day is a better dose. If this dose has a laxative effect, cut down by 200mg until this effect stops. Spread your magnesium doses throughout the day because there is only so much you can absorb at one time. As you remedy your deficiencies over time, you might need less supplementation – your stools will tell you.

Some forms of chelated magnesium are better than others for certain conditions. Magnesium taurate is best for heart conditions. Magnesium taurate, glycinate and orotate are best for those who tend to have loose stools since they have less laxative effects. Magnesium malate is the best form to treat the chronic fatigue, pain, and insomnia of fibromyalgia.

Magnesium can be taken with or without meals but it’s best to take it between meals as it requires stomach acid to be absorbed. Digestion after a full meal may make the stomach acid less readily available for mineral absorption. Magnesium is an alkaline mineral which may act as an antacid, neutralizing the stomach acid needed for digestion.

Magnesium chloride can be used to make magnesium oil which can be readily absorbed through the skin when sprayed or rubbed on the body. It increases magnesium bioavailability in the body and provides the ideal solution for those individuals who experience loose stools when they try to take enough oral magnesium to meet their needs. Some researchers have found that using magnesium oil at a concentration of 25% magnesium chloride restores a magnesium deficiency in a matter of weeks that would otherwise require months or a year to restore with oral supplementation. If you pump about 6 sprays of magnesium oil for each leg and arm, you are applying about 400mg of magnesium (a 25-35% magnesium chloride solution delivers between 13 and 18 mg per pump). Using a few sprays under your arms will also function as a highly effective deodorant. If any redness or stingy feelings result, use a more diluted magnesium oil.

Requirements for a very ill person are much higher than for a healthy person. In general, if you take a full body magnesium bath, two ounces of magnesium chloride could be used. Some people prefer a very concentrated magnesium chloride bath with as many as eight ounces of magnesium at a time. Foot baths use much less water, so two ounces will yield a very concentrated intake. Soak the body or just the feet in the warm solution for 20-30 minutes. It is best to do it daily during the first week, starting at lower concentrations and working towards higher levels. Then continue at 2-3 times a week for 6-8 weeks or longer.

Magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salts, is another excellent option even though it is rapidly excreted from the kidneys and more difficult to assimilate. The effects from Epsom salt baths do not last as long, so you will need more magnesium sulfate than magnesium chloride in a bath to get similar results.

For the average individual, high doses of magnesium have no side effects except loose stools. However magnesium therapy is contraindicated in individuals with kidney failure, myasthenia gravis, excessively and pathological slow heart rate, and mechanical bowel obstruction. In such cases, it should at the very least be given under the supervision of a health care provider.

People often find relief from their symptoms when they take magnesium, so they immediately tell friends and relatives. This word-of-mouth spread of information about this miraculous mineral is really making a difference in the epidemic of magnesium deficiency, and I hope that you will benefit as well.

Further reading:

Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. The Magnesium Miracle. New York: Ballantine Books, 2007

Mark Sircus, Ac., O.M.D. Transdermal Magnesium Therapy. Arizona: Phaelos Books, 2007.

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  1. katesisco  April 8, 2011

    I am self treating possibly for myesthenia gravis; I refused the steroids, the thyroid surgery, all these being suggested without any diagnosis. I am taking an amino complete with nano magnesium and natural c. I recently added a NAC to the daily. I note the magnesium in a daily multiple vit\min is magnesium oxide of which the body can absorb only 2%. I use a nano spray under the tongue which does not produce any negative effects. Indeed, I had been so constipated that the only other form of elimination was diarrhea. Taking one amino complete daily with the supps above produced a regular stool for the first time in years. This has been my routine for almost a year. And I have dental carries that produces a continuous infection. My request for dental care is met with Xray priors even tho I have only the front teeth and the infection is obvious.

  2. mhikl  January 22, 2014

    Magnesium is very dear to my heart.

    I knew my mum was at death’s door when she called me one morning in 1972. I quickly went over to her apartment and finding her unconscious, phoned for the ambulance. She was diagnosed with a potassium deficiency and over the year re-entered hospital two or three more times for the same reason when I finally stumbled upon the answer from one of the numerous health books I had been purchasing from a second hand stores. (The doctors told her to eat bananas and potatoes for potassium. Shouldn’t the doctors have recognised a serious problem when this advice was followed yet the problem continued. One definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over expecting different results.)

    I learned that there were not two but four (recently I read about the fifth electrolyte, phosphorous) which include sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Magnesium the small paragraph said, is the great regulator of all electrolytes.

    I immediately got my mum the strongest magnesium tablets I could find. She used these tablets until her death twenty years later. (Her younger sister died in the same state of stress ten years earlier.) Mum was under observation in an apartment in the same hospital from twenty years ago being assessed for independent living. She was not, however, allowed to administer her own prescriptions nor take her vitamins or minerals. (Independent living assessment?) She entered hospital on a Thursday and Sunday morning, Mother’s Day, she went into distress and could not be revived.

    I know that I also need extra magnesium. When my hands are shaky or I get a sense of “shorting out” or disconnection along my inner arms, I know my magnesium is low. I test this by writing a few lines to check my handwriting. Then I take the magnesium with some warm water or coffee. After about fifteen minutes I try the handwriting again and always, it is much neater and more fluid and I feel more connected.

    Now I make a magnesium drink out of a combination of Milk of Magnesia (90ml) and a two litre bottle of carbonated water, both chilled. The mixture is then shaken for a minute and returned to the refrigerator. An hour or so later it has become clear and is shaken again. This time the bottle collapses and it becomes an ionised magnesium concoction to mix with water. About sixty ml is added to a litre of water and sipped throughout my day. The original mix lasts almost a month.

    I have a theory on magnesium storage. Vitamin C, I have read, is stored in the intestinal walls. Once you reach saturation, the rest is expelled as diarrhoea. I find that I cannot take near the Vitamin C when I am also taking my magnesium water. I wonder if excess magnesium is not also stored in the intestines and when vitamin C is present, less of either can be stored.

    It was the experience with my mum that set me upon the study of natural health starting with Adele Davis, though I had been interested in nature and natural medicine since a small boy helping a very old lady pick camomile flower buds for her husband’s tea.

    Last point. Walter Last is a retired German-Australian naturopath. His articles are very good. He also talks about the need for Boron which can still be purchased in Canada and the US as Borax. It is banned in the Europe and Australia. Used for its ionising action in the laundry, many people think it is a detergent but it is not. It is a mineral similar in appearance, taste and feel to calcium and important for strong bones and teeth. Soil depletion is a problem so foods are deficient in boron today. I and my dog use borax regularly. A dry finger dipped in the powder daily is more than enough to fill that reservoir. My wife and other relatives are wary of the mineral and most of my strange understanding in natural health.

    I would appreciate any corrections to my understanding on magnesium and boron. Your good work and the time to detail which you share are truly commendable, Dr Segura.

    Namaste and care,

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  January 22, 2014

      Thank you for sharing! I cannot comment on boron as I have never researched in-depth. But as to magnesium, yeah, it is the essential relaxing mineral. The same concept of vitamin C saturation in your intestines applies to magnesium. That is how you know you exceeded your absorption capacities… when it has a laxative effect. Magnesium malate is preferred by a lot of people, as it is mostly absorbed.

      Take good care and I wish you the best in your health journey!

  3. Hubert  April 20, 2014

    Thanks for the great article, I had been using magnesium chloride flakes for almost a month now to restore my depleted condition. It had been great improvement, most symptoms like tingling all over my body had disappear, I just able to start walk around without any tingling around my body, heart puplpitation are more stable now, I expect more improvment on coming weeks. I’m still waiting to see the specialist, as my family doctor said I have stress that lead to the fatigue and heart puplpitation but it’s the naturalpathy doctor told me to take magnesium for my heart beat issue, and from that I realize I actually have magnesium depleted in my body.

    The only thing I want to ask you is, is it normal that everytime I do the bath or foot bath, my blood pressure (systolic one) will drop. My typical number is around 110-117, once I do the magnesium, it will drop to the range 97-108. If I cut down the dose(at current stage), there will be time that my heart will start palpitation. For the last two day, I had try those ionic magnesium, I had taken 800mg the first day and 600mg yesterday, today I did not take it because my blood pressure(systolic) had been staying at 98-108. So I use the magnesium chloride flake and oral supplment for now , as I found the ionic one goes into my body too much too fast.

    In the meantime, while I will monitor the amount to use and what ways I can raise my blood pressure a bit higher while taking the magnesium?


    • Hubert  April 20, 2014

      Also, forgot to ask, in my case should I take calcium with the magnesium ?, for the last month when I start the bath, I did not take any calcium because I was so low in magnesium
      That I can not even walk far at home before my body will have crazy tingling, muscle shaking., but now my condition is improved enough that I can walk around no problem, basic everyday routine at home can do without problem now. So I just wonder if I should also start taking calcium with my magnesium ? What other supplment I should take along to help my magnesium absorbsion?

      Sorry for using the reply post on this as I am not sure how to edit my original post.

      Thx again

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  April 21, 2014

        Hi Hubert,

        Thank you for sharing your testimonial with magnesium. That is great! For blood pressure, one thing to look at is “adrenal fatigue”:

        Don’t ever deprive yourself of salt. Choose natural forms like sea salt and others from organic shops. Take all the salt you crave. Some people with very low pressure who are on a low carb diet take one quarter up to half a teaspoon of salt in water other than what they use in foods. What you could do is taking some bone broth regularly as it is packed with minerals and in a balanced way. It is very nutritious. Some info and recipes here:

        Hope it helps!

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  April 21, 2014

        The bone broth should take care of the calcium. Generally speaking, we don’t need calcium as we do magnesium. See how it goes with a nutrient rich bone broth.


    • Hubert  April 21, 2014

      Hi Gabriela, thank you so much on the advices, I will look into those.
      Regarding raising the blood pressure with the salt intake, can I just put in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon into my cooking for now? Or just mix in the water and drink it for now, while I check on the bone broth.

      And for Adrenal fatigue, I had only had lower blood pressure while I’m on magnesium, in my case I can have the possibility having this health issue. I just want to double check?
      Thank you for the information support. I’m reading those right now.


      • Gabriela Segura, MD  April 21, 2014

        Yeah, you don’t necessarily have adrenal fatigue. Although using more salt and monitoring your blood pressure might be useful. If you are not dizzy nor have other symptoms, you can just drink the broth from time to time, that will help you to balance your minerals. You can also use the salt in your cooking or drink it when you have very low blood pressure. All the best!

  4. Hubert  April 23, 2014

    Hi, if I suspect mild overdose of magnesium because of those ionic magnesium, I found my blood pressure is drop about 104/70, upper 4 or lower 4, this is the 3rd day, it didn’t go back up much, as I feel not as easy to detect my heart beat, I don’t have dizzy or other problem, except when sleep, it harder to sleep as my heart rate can go up and I wake up.

    Can I drink lots of fluid try to flush it out?, I haven’t really try that yet, I had stop taking more magnesium for now. What other things I can eat to flush out those and bring up the blood pressure?


  5. Hubert  April 23, 2014

    Also, from Sunday to yesterday(Tuesday )I had diarrhea, once per day, today I didn’t have it yet, I do have solid bowel today. Also lots of gas out. I suspect it’s overdose of ionic magnesium. I started last Friday on 800mg and 600mg on Saturday, but I feel my chest is a bit more relax than usual, I couldn’t detect my heart beat as easily,it had happen before when I use the magnesium flakes for bath soak, but blood pressure will back to normal the next day but this time this the 4th day, it didn’t get any worse. And day time routine doesn’t effect me. so I had stopped on Saturday afternoon up to now(Wednesday).

    Just provide you this extra info.


    • Gabriela Segura, MD  April 24, 2014

      Congratulations Hubert for getting a hold of your palpitations. Diarrhea is an indication that you had excess magnesium. What I would do is get a “milder” form of magnesium: magnesium taurate or magnesium glycinate and take those instead according to label instructions or instructions in this article. I think that is a more “progressive” way to do it. Best!

      • Hubert  May 14, 2014

        Hello Dr. Gabriela:, it’s Hubert , it had been close to 2 months now when I start the magnesium chloride bath. So far my heart palpitation is gone, symptoms like tingling on my body, muscle shaking had been greatly improve, as long as I had enough dosage(at current stage of recovering) and not doing too much physical work, I won’t feel tingling or muscle shaking or jumping in different random area.

        My question is usually how long it take to recover ( in general) to the point that I can feel just like a normal person that can start doing more active life style?
        Because right now I found that minor tingling and muscle jump, spasm can happen when the magnesium start to wear out, so I need to take magnesium again. Right now, I’m good condition for general walking around , doing light duty work at home but not yet able to start running or heavy exercise yet, as I can start feeling tingling, muscle spasm, fatigue on muscle after I try to push my body abit on heavier exercise.

        So am I on a right track? Does it usually takes few months to restore the magnesium ? Or there’s other problem that draining my magnesium away. I just need to guidance to walk along my recovering process. What u know is if I stuff enough magnesium per day, symptoms does able to disappear. The only thing is those symptoms still come back once my dosages wear out.

        Thank you

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  May 14, 2014

        Hello Hubert, glad you are making progress. Unfortunately, magnesium is one of those minerals that is always good to replace, particularly if you have a “normal” diet. That is, magnesium deficiency is very frequent. I would read more about it in order to understand why it is so important and how our modern lifestyle is basically not conducive towards wellness. See for instance ‘Primal Body, Primal Mind’ by Gedgaudas and “The Magnesium Miracle” by Carolyn Dean. Take care!

  6. Sandy  December 15, 2014

    Hi Was wondering if someone ot yourself knows about any side affects or interaction with Magnesium Chloride oil and cipralex, and Clonazepam??

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  December 15, 2014

      If you have normal kidney function, magnesium is safe. Even when there is kidney failure, magnesium oil will help.

  7. Lenny Blue  February 2, 2015

    I’m sold on the benefits of Magnesium. I recently went cold turkey from my BP medicine, Lisinopril after ten years of use and developing terrible symptoms that I related to it.
    My BP is perfect without it after using for three weeks.

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 2, 2015

      Great news! Thank you for sharing.

      • Lenny "Blue"  February 10, 2015

        Dr Segura.
        I first want to say you are a wonderful person sharing this wealth of knowledge with us. You must be a kind good hearted person and I appreciate you. I’ve finished reading Dr Carolyn Deans book ” The Magnesium Miracle”. I want to share with you and your readers my experience thus far.
        Ionic Magnesium liquid form worked better for me than taking Magnesium Oxide supplement pills. I developed a bad rash on my back from that so stopped using it.
        I take Ionic Magnesium twice a day. Once in the morning and then after dinner. I’ve never experienced diarrhea. My heart palpations from my Mitral Prolapse Valve have stopped.
        My pressure is under control without harsh meds.
        I take warm-hot baths ( 30-60 mins ) if BP gets elevated and it seems to bring it down to normal numbers.
        Most Doctors don’t know or understand about Magnesium deficiency or use. My current Primary doctor said most people are not deficient.
        I had RBC magnesium blood test and my numbers were 5.3 . It’s recommended to be 6.0-8.0 I think.
        I will continue to take Magnesium because it is safe ( for me ) and has very little side effects. I also spray. Magnesium oil on my feet at night for better absorption . My friends , family continue to laugh and doubt me but time will tell if this is my ” fountain of youth”.
        Lenny “Blue “

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 11, 2015

        Oh Lenny “Blue”, that is great to hear! I’m very happy for you. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Kelly  February 3, 2015

    Hello Gabriella

    Do you know if it is possible for magnesium to accumulate in the system when using ace inhibitors such as fosinopril? I know I have read some information stating that they retain magnesium as well as potassium. I started using transdermal magnesium just before christmas and have been getting heart palps, slightly increased pulse ever since. I’ve been off mg for a few weeks and still have these symptoms (nothing has changed other than starting the mg).

    I am going to ask my doctor about changing my medication to something that doesn’t impact electrolytes such as a beta blocker.

    If I do have excess magnesium in my cells (blood levels have been tested and OK), will it detox on it’s own over time wihtout the complications of these BP medications? Any tips to speed this up?

    Many thanks


    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 4, 2015

      I don’t think the magnesium is the culprit here. ACE inhibitors retain potassium mainly through their interference on aldosterone metabolism. Typically sodium, chloride, potassium are involved. In general, any potassium retained doesn’t lead to palpitations. Any changes in magnesium should be secondary and for practical purposes, negligible in terms of clinical manifestations such as palpitations. But to make sure, you can ask for a blood test to check out potassium and magnesium levels.

      For palpitations the following research protocol is most useful:

      An anti-inflammatory and stabilizing diet. See “Wheat Belly” by cardiologist William Davies for more info. Avoid GMOs, coffee and excitotoxins like the plague: MSG and aspartame. Bone broth and supplementation with potassium and magnesium if there is no kidney failure. If you are using fosinopril, supplementing with potassium is a bad idea. Supplementing with Omega 3s, CoQ10, L carnitine. Make sure there is no iron overload (TIBC, iron, transferrin >35%, ferritin >100-200 is suggestive of iron overload). Breathing exercises, i.e.


    • Daniel Rogers  March 13, 2016

      Hello I thought i would just ask some questions like, “If people have such bad digestive issues, shouldn’t they be getting magnesium through the skin as it is the easiest and most efficient, without side effects?” As far as I know the skin is the largest organ in the body with the highest surface area and therefore can take in a lot more than the gut.
      Wouldn’t taking magnesium chloride through the skin be better in higher concentrations like in a spray rather than diluting in such a large volume like a bath and wasting whatever you dont use?

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  March 14, 2016

        That is a valid concern. A lot of people use spray bottles. I would however recommend whatever is practical for you and that it is always of utmost importance to work on healing a leaky gut.

  9. G Clay  February 24, 2015

    I suffered from Magnesium deficiency over 40 years until about 4 years ago when I was researching why my myofacial trigger points kept recuring. It was a God send and cured many other problems as well. No wonder they call Magnesium “The Master Mineral”.

  10. Gloria  October 5, 2015

    Hi. I just started taking magnesium oil a few days ago. I only used about 6 sprays. I woke up nauseous, in severe pain, and Ive been sleeping on and off all day.

    Not sure if I should continue. My body reacts to almost anything. It is extremely sensitive. Any suggestions would be helpful. I have a rare pain condition associated with the sensitization of the central nervous system if that helps any.

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  October 7, 2015

      Maybe is a detox reaction. I highly suggest you read “Why Can’t I Get Better” by Richard Horowitz. Your reaction to magnesium might be a sign of an underlying problem.

  11. Darren  February 19, 2016

    Hi’ I wanted to know if magnesium raises ferittin levels?. My doctor told me that my levels were high (256). I also noticed that when I spray the oil on my legs and arms they feel very weak and shaky. Is this normal?

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 20, 2016

      Although it could be a detox reaction, keep in mind that magnesium will not raise ferritin levels. Ferritin is an inflammatory marker, it is also an iron overload marker. You have to check all the other markers for iron overload to make a differential diagnosis. Check this article:

      You can lower ferritin levels with iodine, see:

      • Darren  February 20, 2016

        Thank you Gabriela for responding so quickly. I hope you received the email that I sent to. I wanted to mention what I went through with my health over the last couple of months to perhaps give relief and knowledge to those that maybe going through the same thing.

        I am 49, I’m on no medications. As of two months ago I felt that my health was very good. I had been dealing with a left ear twitch. I was told that it was a magnesium deficiency. I purchased a bottle of Magnesium 500mg that also had a 1000mgs of calcium with it. I might add that it was Magnesium aspartame.

        Here is where my problems began. Within two weeks I became very very depressed with terrible and deep emotional thoughts. My groin area was inflamed, leaving me in a fetal position in most cases. I checked myself into the hospital. They couldn’t find anything and sent me home after a day.

        I made a trip to my natural path doctor. She explained the whole process about the dangers of combining Magnesium with Calcium. She also said that I was magnesium deficient. My marker was 45 from a scale of 42-68.

        Since then I have tried on and off different ways of trying to raise my levels. Orally or transdermal. I don’t know which is best or fastest and for how long.
        Since all of this I have not been feeling well. I mean it feels like I have a low voltage wire under my feet send current through. My stomach has a sensation inside that’s very annoying.

        Through this process I also found out that my ferritin level was high, 256. My natural path is great but not one with many words. I have read your comments on this blog and get more out of your breakdown of issues.

        All I want to know is which method have you found and heard to be the best for raising magnesium levels? Transdermal or orally?
        What should I feel or expect during this process? With ferritin levels being 256 I’ve been told to do a therapeutic phlebotomy of 1pint of blood every 2weeks.
        Is this the fastest way? Why not twice a week?
        I’m not seeking medical advice but rather knowledge on the subjects mentioned. Thanks

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 22, 2016

        Other than the calcium, you might be too sensitive to excitotoxins: aspartame and monosodium glutamate. I would eat an anti-inflammatory diet free of toxic additives. That sounds very general and the devil is on the details. To get a better idea of how you should take care of your diet, I would suggest Gedgauda’s book “Primal Body, Primal Mind”. She condenses quite a lot in one book. There are other great books and I’m also working one, but I think Gedgauda’s book will give you excellent resources and tools.

        I would do magnesium baths with epsom salts, adding quite a huge chunk of it on your bath, like at least one quart. If you could do that twice per week, that will go a long way towards correcting a deficiency. Magnesium glycinate and magnesium malate are two great favorites as far oral supplementation goes. I would also supplement potassium citrate and boron minerals. I would drink 1/4th of a teaspoon of unrefined salt in a cup of water one to three times per day. That will make wonders for your body. Listen to this show where I participate every week:–feb-19-2016–water-what-do-we-really-know

        That will give you more ideas.

        As for the phlebotomy, excellent idea. Most folk with high ferritin have a hard time finding a practitioner who would prescribe it. Ideally it could be once a week. But better something than nothing at all.

        Much healing your way!

        As for

  12. Darren  February 22, 2016

    Thanks for your input. I will purchase the Epsom salt. I noticed that flakes are available. Does it matter which one, flakes or Epsom salt? Also will I get the same results if I do a foot bath vs a bath? If I did either of these daily. Will that be to much?

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 22, 2016

      The flakes should be magnesium chloride which will also work. I would get whatever is more readily available. A full bath at least twice per week would be great, and foot baths the rest of the days. It is very relaxing. If you have diarrhea, you’ll have to cut back on your amount of magnesium.

  13. Juanita  February 22, 2016

    Hello, I have a question about magnesium also. I will like to bring my levels up also. I currently drink a magnesium powder but don’t know if it truly builds levels or just make me feel good. I would love to do a bath or foot soak but don’t know which is more affective. I also don’t know if the flakes are stronger in dose verses the Epsom salt. I can purchase either one. Actually, I don’t even understand how a bath helps build or raise levels. Lol!

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 23, 2016

      The magnesium gets absorbed through the skin, so the baths are more effective than the foot soak. More skin gets exposed to magnesium during a bath. It is preferable to take any magnesium bound to aminos orally. Have a look to your magnesium powder, it should say what it is. Magnesium glycinate, magnesium malate and magnesium threonate are great favorite ones.

      As for the magnesium flakes vs epsom salts, whatever you can get a hold will do. Some people prefer the epsom salts, others the magnesium chloride (flakes). The magnesium chloride has added benefits: it stays in the body longer and the chloride component detoxifies toxic bromides from the body. There is more info here:

      • Mechaya  March 13, 2016

        Regarding boron, arthritis is caused by a deficiency of it. Dr Rex Newnham, 1963. I have been making a mix of magnesium chloride and borax. Borax is less toxic than table salt.

        Magnesium, boron and vitamin D, sunshine should strengthen bones. Osteoporosis and hip replacements should not exist. Calcium does not strengthen bones. Boron also gets fluoride out of the body and kills mycoplasmas.

        Why I get my health information from historic sources is that IQ’s have declined by 14 points over the last 100 years.

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  March 13, 2016

        Very good points. I still haven’t written about it, but I do highly regard boron. I take it every single day. It also suggests that there is a stealth infection behind arthritis, i.e. mycoplasmas.

  14. Mechaya  March 13, 2016

    Many people with rheumatoid arthritis have high mycoplasma counts. One gets mycoplasma pneumoniae.
    I think that most cases of arthritis are simply caused by a lack of boron, but magnesium can unlock the joints.

    Gulf War syndrome is thought to be caused by mycoplasmas. Standard medical tests do not detect them.
    Most mycoplasmas are harmless. Some researches also suspect sarin gas for Gulf War syndrome. Sarin contains sodium fluoride, plus 3 other ingredients. Apparently, you can buy sodium fluoride at Wal-Mart , Walgreens and other American retailers. Fluoride is a neurotoxin and can drop IQ’s by 7 points.
    Very sorry, Gabriela that I left your magnesium thread, but with natural health, many things are related.

    You should also take a look at organic silca. Dr Loic le Ribault, a geologist, was thrown into jail. Most of my medical heros had brushes with the law.

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  March 13, 2016

      I have researched this topic, in fact, I tried the protocol for Gulf War Syndrome. That is, Garth Nicolson’s research on mycoplasma fermetans and its treatment. It was a gruesome protocol, but for me it was worth it. I complemented it with the treatment for arthritis. Now, I’m trying iodine and never felt so great. It has been a long path, but a worthy one.

  15. Darren  March 13, 2016

    Greetings, here’s a question. Does high levels of ferritin with normal levels of iron mean you have hemochromatosis?
    Does high ferritin cause the body to ache or feel not well?
    When doing blood phlebotomy are you loosing minerals like potassium and if so what’s the best way to replenish these?

  16. Mechaya  March 14, 2016

    Gabriela, I am very familiar with iodine. Started with Lugol’s iodine solution. Now using povidone iodine. Have changed the delivery system and am curing colds and flu’s in minutes.

    To challenge you, 2 years ago, I reversed a 3 year old boy’s autism. His remedial teacher reported that his performance had increased by 1000%. His mother said he longer shouted when his computer time was up, or when he was driven to an unknown place. I just emailed his mother information about the supplement. He lives over 400km away.

    Unfortunately, he has to stay on the supplement. When his mother takes him off it, he regresses, but autism can not be cured, but maybe dementia could.

    I am not a doctor.

  17. Jessica  June 8, 2016

    Hi Gabriela, my symptoms include heart palpitations, excessive sweat , feeling warm and loss of urine especially during exercise / hot weather outside / and stressful / nervous situations.. I was told to take magnesium to help with my adrenaline .I’ve had these symptoms for about 7 years now.. And it’s gotten worse overtime .. Do you think magesium would help cure such a deficiency and balance my sympathetic nervous system? Will it take months for recovery since I’ve been depleted for so long? . Example occurred after physical trauma which impacted my nervous system and fight or flight abilities.

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  June 9, 2016

      Magnesium is always good to supplement, regardless of your issues. You can try magnesium glycinate and/or magnesium threonate. I would also suggest you do a diet which is friendly to your nervous system and brain, i.e. keto diet or paleo with moderate protein restriction and relatively low in carbs. Animal fat, coconut oil and other healthy fats are good for your brain. Avoid GMOS, trans fats and processed foods like the plague. Avoiding gluten is also important for mood health.

      I also suspect you might have a big issue with heavy metals. You can test for mercury and other heavy metals here:

      You really want to find out about it. No nervous situation really gets better until you tackle heavy metal toxicity.

      • Jessica  June 13, 2016

        Hi Gabriela, I got tested by a chiro / applied kinisieology Doctor and I don’t have traces of heavy metal at all. He did find my body not being able to break down adrenaline causing all of those symptoms. He put me on omega 3 and magnesium and wow! I am doing so much better !! No more heart palpitations and the other symptoms are minimizing as the days go by. Do you know how long it takes for magnesium to build up in our system? Thank you!!

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  June 13, 2016

        That is so great to hear! Thank you for sharing!

        It could take 3-6 months, maybe more depending on the deficiency. Magnesium is one of those supplements that are good for a long term basis. Best!

  18. Jessica  June 13, 2016

    You’re welcome ! I’m hoping this info would help others who aren’t getting any results with other treatments . After 7 years of searching I may have found my answer. Thank you for the information :)

  19. K  July 5, 2016

    I started to Take Magnesium Glycinate about a week ago. Mainly because i have Anxiety/Stress Issues and I was hoping it would help.. I have noticed that my moods have been better and I also take 500mg of Taurine with it in the morning ((along with 200mg of Glycinate)) I also take a Procbiotic and MegaFood Once a Day womens Multivitamin (( I Make sure that I dont take the mag at the same time as the other stuff)) I also take another 200mg of Glycinate at bedtime, However whenever I wake in the morning I usually have to go straight to the bathroom and have Loose stools (( not diarrhea)) and I will normally go 2-3 times in the morning, but every time I go it seems to get thinner and thinner (( like Ribbon thin))? I have read that Glycinate is supposed to be easy on the stomach so I dont understand. I have also Gone Gluten and Dairy Free. So im not sure If my body is just reacting to a whole new diet as well? The Thin stools have me concerned? Should I maybe switch to an Oil or combine the too? Someone told me to take Glycinate in the Morning with the Taurine and to take the Malate at night? I really want this to work for my issues and without the Glycinate I did suffer from Constipation issues… but my diet was also poor.. Im just confused..

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  July 6, 2016

      I think the last plan sounds good, malate at night and glycinate in the morning. Make sure the diarrhea is not due to the probiotic too. A little bit of dose adjusting and I think you’ll have regular stools. Congratulations on the effort of adjusting your lifestyle.

  20. Ann  September 10, 2018

    Hi Gabriela, I just read through your informative article, as I am looking for a protocol to help improve my 85-year-old father’s health. I believe he has heavy metal toxicity: many of his symptoms have intensified since he had a slough of dental work (including several root canals) done over the past few years. The most troubling symptoms are extreme restlessness, anxiety and depression. He also complains of unrelenting constipation. He sometimes gets confused and during the recent intense heat wave, had a few episodes where he did not recognize his own street and house. Visits to his doctor and hospital turn up nothing. I would like to implement a few simple strategies that might help his overall mental and physical health. I will begin with a few weeks of liver and kidney support, and then hope to move towards gentle detox. Can magnesium play a role? Not sure which forms to try, as he is dealing with the multiple (though surely connected) issues of anxiety, cognitive issues, fatigue and constipation. My challenge is that he is often reluctant to take anything, as “it doesn’t work anyways” (his words!) Your words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  September 10, 2018

      If he is cooperative, I would give him from 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in a bit of water, given half-way through his biggest meal during the day. Then I would see about activated charcoal in tablets, that will help to detox and restore kidney function.

  21. Polly  January 10, 2019

    I feel as if this article itself is a blessing. I can’t express how thankful I am up to have found your article and how incredibly insightful your blog post is about informing us of the many Morales of this beautiful mineral known as magnesium.

    The reason why I’m so moved by this post is because of how magnesium is able to treat diabetes, which is the most chronic condition that my mother suffers from. I don’t exaggerate when I say how informative and insightful your content really is.

  22. Daniel  February 7, 2019

    Hi Doctor, my ferritin is over 500, been high for years – can Iodine supplemetation help and how much should I take?

    And can I supplement with magnesium with ferritin levels this high?

    Thank you

    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 7, 2019

      I would check if you’re a carrier of the hemochromatosis gene with transferrin saturation levels and genes, you might be a good candidate for bloodletting.

      Magnesium is good, iodine can help but it is tricky to use.


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