MAGNESIUM: The Miracle Helper
Compiled by Walter Sorochan

  May 02, 2010 [ Work in progress ]  Disclaimer  The information presented here is for informative and educational purposes only and is not intended as curative or prescriptive advice.

 Why Magnesium? 
Because as a nutritional co-factor, magnesium helps regulate many body processes. Deficiency causes many disorders and diseases!  It is essential for good health! 

Magnesium has been overshadowed by inept attempts to use calcium by itself to prevent/heal osteoporosis.   Healers prescribed calcium while ignoring essential co-factors in the total healing process.  New research focuses on magnesium working synergistically with calcium, vitamin D and other co-factors to prevent osteoporosis, other diseases and disorders. 

A deficiency has been linked to conditions such as irregular heart beat, asthma, emphysema, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, mitral valve prolapse, stroke and heart attack, diabetes, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, migraine, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and probably many more. Magnesium is particularly important when it comes to ensuring the health of the heart and bones. Larsen Mag report 2009

 Are Americans Deficient in Magnesium?  

The National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and other researchers, after great deliberation, research, and literature review, estimate 50% to 85% of the population of the United States is deficient in magnesium intake. Mg and diabetes 2002  Mg incidence 2007  |  cofactor in bone strength | Mg Miracle and use in CVD

The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) is 420 mg/day for men and 320 mg/day for women. Unfortunately, recent surveys have shown that many Americans have a dietary intake of 200 mg/day or less. Larsen Mag report 2009

There is controversy about the number of persons that may be deficient in magnesium; largely because of the technology used to test for magnesium. Larsen Mag report 2009   Symptoms low Mg

The following conditions increase the risk of magnesium deficiency: Mg Linus Pauling Institute

  • Gastrointestinal disorders: Prolonged diarrhea, Crohn's disease, malabsorption syndromes, celiac disease, surgical removal of a portion of the intestine, and intestinal inflammation due to radiation may all lead to magnesium depletion. 
  • Renal disorders (magnesium wasting): Diabetes mellitus and long-term use of certain diuretics (see Drug interactions) may result in increased urinary loss of magnesium. Multiple other medications can also result in renal magnesium wasting.
  • Chronic alcoholism: Poor dietary intake, gastrointestinal problems, and increased urinary loss of magnesium may all contribute to magnesium depletion, which is frequently encountered in alcoholics.
  • Age: Several studies have found that elderly people have relatively low dietary intakes of magnesium. Intestinal magnesium absorption tends to decrease with age and urinary magnesium excretion tends to increase with age; thus, suboptimal dietary magnesium intake may increase the risk of magnesium depletion in the elderly.

 What doctors are saying about magnesium:   [ Mitlyansky ]

189   “Without enough magnesium cells simply do not work.”- Dr. Lawrence Resnick, MD, Cornell University
189   “Most modern heart disease is caused by magnesium deficiency. A vast and convincing body of research, largely ignored, has convinced us and many colleagues of this fact.” - Dr. Mildred S. Seelig, MD, MPH, author of “ The Magnesium Factor”
189   “Research has over whelming demonstrated the critical relationship between low levels of magnesium and cardiovascular disease. So many hypertensive patients could benefit from increased intake of magnesium.” Dr. Julian Whitaker, MD, one of America’s best known doctors of integrative medicine.
189   “Magnesium has solved more ‘incurable’ and mysterious symptoms than any other mineral I have observed in 31 years.”- Dr. Sherry Rogers, MD, author of “ Depression Cured at Last”
189   “A link between magnesium, diabetes and hypertension seems established beyond a reasonable doubt.”- Dr. Lawrence Resnick, MD, Cornell University. 

 Why Dont We Hear More About Magnesium? 

"Medicine has turned its back on magnesium because most of the funding for medical research now comes from drug companies. Magnesium is not a patented drug and therefore will not be studied by drug companies, except to try to disprove its action." [ Dean ]

"Science and medicine have both turned their backs on magnesium. Science opts out because the scientific methodology is defined by being able to test one thing at a time ending up with one result. And this is difficult, because magnesium is responsible for a huge number of things at the same time."[ Dean ] [ Magnesium is a co-factor in many body processes ] 
"For example, magnesium is responsible for the correct metabolic function of over 350 enzymes in the body. The creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) the energy molecules of the body, the action of the heart muscle, the proper formation of bones and teeth, relaxation of blood vessels, and the promotion of proper bowel function are all under the guidance of magnesium." [ Dean ]


Magnesium is needed for more than 350 biochemical reactions in the body. Coates Mag info  Below are just a few examples:

061 Magnesium is required for a number of steps during nucleic acid (DNA and RNA). Linus Pauling Institute
061  may prevent cancer Magnesium-­Cures-­Cancer  |  Magnesium and cancer research
061  Mg may alleviate autism Magnesium Deficiency and autism UK
061  helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function [ Dominguez in Larsen Mag report 2009 ]
061  may boost brain power  Mg boosts brain power
061  keeps heart rhythm steady  Larsen Mag report 2009
061  supports a healthy immune system Coates Mag info  
061  keeps bones strong   Larsen Mag report 2009
061  counteracts and regulates the influence of calcium  Larsen Mag report 2009
061  helps regulate blood sugar [ glucose ] levels Larsen Mag report 2009
061  promotes normal blood pressure   Mg and blood pressure
061  involved in energy metabolism Larsen Mag report 2009
061  protects cells from aluminum, mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium and nickel Coates Mag info
061  involved in protein synthesis Coates Mag info
061  prevents and manages hypertension Coates Mag info
061 prevents and manages cardiovascular disease Larsen Mag report 2009  | [ Ford, Larsen ] Mg Miracle and use in CVD
061  prevents and manages diabetes.   magnesium and diabetes care  |  Mg and diabetes 2002   |  Larsen Mag report 2009

 Surgery:  "Everyone scheduled for surgery needs to increase their stores of magnesium. In the pre and postoperative phases magnesium can help alleviate pain, decrease blood pressure, alleviate certain heart arrhythmias; it works to prevent blood clotting, relieves depression so common after bypass surgery, and improves energy and cognitive abilities." On average, heart attack patients immediately given magnesium intravenously have a 50% greater survival rate. magnesium for life Mg Miracle and use in CVD

If you’re ever rushed to the hospital with a heart attack, intravenous magnesium could save your life. In a 1995 study, researchers found that the in-hospital death rate of those receiving IV magnesium was one-fourth that of those who received standard treatment alone. In 2003, a follow-up study of these same patients revealed an enduring effect of magnesium treatment. Nearly twice as many patients in the standard treatment group had died compared to those who received magnesium, and there were considerably more cases of heart failure and impaired heart function in the placebo group. In addition to increasing survival after heart attack, IV magnesium smoothes out arrhythmias and improves outcomes in patients undergoing angioplasty with stent placement. Magnesium is absolutely essential for the proper functioning of the heart. Mg the health medicine

More than 300,000 sudden-death heart attacks are reported annually in the US (more than 80 per day) which are believed to be related to excessive calcium and a shortage of magnesium. Modern medicine`s answer to the problem is to prescribe billions of dollars of calcium-blocker drugs. Magnesium is a natural calcium blocker, but this goes unrecognized by most physicians.   Mg as calcium blocker

For more information about:   Magnesium and its uses in surgery  |  Larsen Mag report 2009

The underlying mechanisms for the inflammatory response in magnesium deficiency are not very well understood.   Mg and inflammation


Magnesium is available in foods and nutritional supplements. Eating foods rich in magnesium is mother nature's best way of getting magnesium.  In general, to get as much magnesium as possible in the diet, eat plenty of organic leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds every day.

Food Sources of Magnesium [ incomplete list ]
Food amount Mg mgs approx
Almond 1 almond 268mg
Sunflower seeds 1 oz 129mg
Tofu, firm 1/2 cup 118mg
Chili with beans 1 cup 115mg
Wheat germ toasted 1/4 cup 90mg
Halibut baked 3 ounces 78mg
Swiss Chard, cooked 1 cup 75mg
Peanut, roasted 1/4 cup 67mg
Baked potato with skin 1 medium 55mg
Spinach, fresh 1 cup 44mg
Broccoli flower clusters raw 1 cup 25mg
Lettuce romaine 1 cup 14mg
carrot cooked slices 1/2 cup 10mg
Source: USDA: Composition of Foods. USDA Handbook No. 8 Series. Washington, D.C., ARS, USDA, 1976-1986; and USDA National Nutrient Database online.

Next Best way to take magnesium:  Rubbing magnesium oil on the skin [ transdermal application ] is a good way to get magnesium into the body because you then bypass having to absorb it from the small intestine. 

 Transdermal application of magnesium:   is claimed to be far superior to oral supplements and is in reality the only practical way magnesium can be used as a medicine besides by direct injection. Though nothing can substitute for magnesium absorbed through foods high in magnesium, medically speaking, it is superior to supplementing.

“Using Magnesium Oil is the quickest and most convenient way to transmit magnesium chloride into the cells and tissues through the skin. 2-3 sprays under each armpit function as a highly effective deodorant, while at the same time transporting magnesium swiftly through the thin skin into the glands, lymph channels, and bloodstream, for distribution throughout the body. Spray it onto the back of the hand or the top of the feet any time of day or night for continuous magnesium absorption."   [ Sircus ]

Problem with transdermal application:  Rubbing Mg oil on the skin takes about 45 to 60 minutes for the oil and Mg to be absorbed into the skin. Initially, it is somewhat messy and oily.  But perhaps the bigger problem may be not knowing the exact amount of magnesium that will be absorbed into the body.  Assumingly, the absorption is supposedly high, but this depends on the individual biochemistry and the actual amount of magnesium in the oil on the skin.  Thus, the transdermal absorption amount is guesswork.

Here is an example of an approximate calculation:  

Transdermal Mg oil spray on skin absorption:

Assumption:  1 tspn Mg oil = 0.167 oz = 4.754 gms = 4754 mgs

.25 tspn  =  1877 mgs

Actual amount absorbed is unknown!

[ Recommended Dietary Allowance is 420 mg/day for men and 320 mg/day for women. ]

Supplementing with magnesium must also take into account the balance between calcium and magnesium. Finland, which, from 1973 to 1999 had the highest recorded incidence of heart attack in middle-aged men in the world, also has a high calcium-to-magnesium ratio in the diet at 4 parts calcium to 1 part magnesium.  Americans in general have a high calcium-to-magnesium ratio in their diet and consequently in their bodies; the U.S. ratio is 3.5-to-1. Our dietary emphasis is on a high calcium intake without sufficient magnesium; and because of the excessive emphasis on women taking high doses of calcium for osteoporosis, we are creating more imbalance between the two minerals.

Some researchers predict that the American ratio of calcium to magnesium is actually approaching 6-to-1, yet, the recommended dietary ratio of calcium to magnesium in the United States is 2-to-1. Current research on the paleolithic or caveman diet shows that the ratio of calcium to magnesium in the diet that our bodies evolved to eat is 1-to-1.  We need more research on this Ca:Mg ratio. 

 RDA:   The recommended amount below is inaccurate and will be revised in the summer of 2010. The tabular recommendations below are unreliable because of the blood test technology used to gather data that, in turn, was used as a basis for determining RDA recommendations.  Test was based on the one percent of magnesium in serum blood; hence the test is questionable and test data may be flawed.  

Table 2: Recommended Dietary Allowances for magnesium for children and adults [1999]
1-3 80 80 N/A N/A
4-8 130 130 N/A N/A
9-13 240 240 N/A N/A
14-18 410 360 400 360
19-30 400 310 350 310
31+ 420 320 360 320

 There is insufficient information on magnesium to establish a RDA for infants.
RDA based on data from the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.  Office of Dietary Supplements, NIH, 1999

 Toxicity:    There is controversy about the safe intake of magnesium.  For example:  The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine set the tolerable upper intake level (UL) for magnesium at 350 mg/day for adults. This UL represents the highest level of daily supplemental magnesium intake likely to pose no risk of diarrhea or gastrointestinal disturbance in almost all individuals. This upper intake level is lower than the one cited by the Office of Dietary Supplements by NIH in the above table. Excellent info about Mg Linus Pauling Institute

"Adverse effects from excess magnesium have been observed with intakes of various magnesium salts (i.e., supplemental magnesium). The initial symptom of excess magnesium supplementation is diarrhea—a well-known side effect of magnesium that is used therapeutically as a laxative [ e.g. milk of magnesium ]."  Excellent info about Mg Linus Pauling Institute


The problem of how much magnesium to take as a supplement is trying to balance the ratio of magnesium to the calcium present in the body and in calcium supplements. There is also a need to balance the intake of all co-factors involved in healing/preventing osteoporosis.   No one seems to have a good solution at this time.  Lack of a working ratio solution for all co-factors adds to the confusion of how to deal with osteoporosis. 

It is not easy to calculate the exact dosage. Absorption rates vary considerably from one person to another and from one form of use to another, even with magnesium chloride, which probably delivers more useable magnesium to the cells than any other form. It is wise, especially if one is seriously ill, to start out with low dosages and build slowly up to higher doses over a period of a week or two. Dosage Mg

"In general, to individualize the appropriate magnesium dosage for oral intake, the rule of thumb is approximately 6-8 mg/kg (3-4 mg per pound) of body weight per day. That translates into a total dietary magnesium intake of 600 to 900 mg per day for a 200-lb man. With children some researchers indicate that 10 mg/kg/day are appropriate because of their low body weight and increased requirements for growth. Athletes also need more depending on their stress and training levels and we can always adjust upwards when under great emotional stress or when seriously ill."   Dosage Mg

 Alert:   It is important to have the guidance of an astute medical professional when taking magnesium. It needs to be balanced with other co-factors.  

 Fight between Mg and Ca:  Magnesium is more important than calcium, potassium or sodium as it is required to regulate them. High intake of calcium interferes with magnesium absorption. In other words it makes an already existing deficiency worse. 

Magnesium and calcium can have the opposite affects on the body. For example, excess calcium can cause muscle cramps while magnesium relaxes muscles.   [ Bilbey in Larsen Mag report 2009 ]  

 Calcification and Magnesium 

If calcium is not taken with magnesium it will cause much more harm than good. Unabsorbed calcium can lodge anywhere in our body. For instances, if it lodges in your bones and joints, it mimics arthritis; if it lodges in your heart, it mimics arterial lesions. Calcification or calcium poisoning can manifest as heart disease, cancer, wrinkled skin, kidney stones, osteoporosis, dental problems, bone spurs, cataracts and many other health problems. Calcium deposits in the joints are called arthritis; in the blood vessels it is hardening of the arteries; in the heart it is heart disease, and in the brain it is senility. A healthy cell has high magnesium and low calcium levels.  Mg - Ca balance and Calcification in body IMVA

Contributing to the problem of calcification may be the medical approach of prescribing a single nutrient instead of the co-factorial approach.  Healers and individuals unwittingly may be inadvertently causing many health problems such as arthritis, oeteoarthritis, kidney stones, cataracts, cardiovascular diseases and so on. 

 Testing for Magnesium: 

There is controversy about testing procedures and the accuracy of current tests. Testing for the amount of magnesium in the body is difficult and inaccurate at this time.  Reason: "65% of the body’s magnesium stores are found in bone, another 34% is found in transcellular fluids, and the remaining 1% is found in extracellular fluids such as blood. It is thus clear that measuring magnesium in blood serum is not likely to be a very accurate measure of the body’s overall magnesium status."   Larsen Mag report 2009 | Mg miracle

Since only one percent of magnesium of the body is distributed in the blood,  a simple sample of magnesium in the blood is highly inaccurate. That's why most doctors who rely on blood tests for magnesium and not magnesium deficiency signs and symptoms and realization that up to 80 percent of the population is deficient, will miss an important diagnosis. Drs. Bella and Burton Alturas developed a test specifically for magnesium ions instead of blood serum. It came about in 1987 and is called the Blood Ionized Magnesium Test. Its accuracy has been confirmed countless times with sensitive digital imaging microscopy, atomic absorption spectroscopy and the magnesium fluorescent probe. With this test it is now possible to directly measure the levels of magnesium ions in whole blood, plasma and serum using ion-selective electrodes.  The Alturas have used the ionized magnesium test in hundreds of research trials on dozens of different conditions proving, for example, that the 22 conditions are related to magnesium deficiency. Mg miracle  Before consenting to a magnesium blood test, ask your doctor and lab to clarify the nature of the test. 

It should be obvious that testing for the amount of magnesium in the blood is not only inaccurate, but not practical for most persons.  There is another simpler, inexpensive  and accessible test that can be done.:  the salivary pH test as described in:   Salivary pH Testing for calcium sufficiency  

However, this test also muddies the picture of assessing values of magnesium, calcium and vitamin D in the body.   We need an immediate 'priority' call for more research on the technology of testing for magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and other co-factors. 

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Aleksandrowicz, J., Blicharski, J., Dzigowska, A., Lisiewicz, J. Leuko- and oncogenesis in the light of studies on metabolism of magnesium and its turnover in biocenosis. Acta Med. Pol. 1970; 11:289-302. (abstr: Blood 1971; 37:245)  Prevents cancer

Conclude that inadequacy of Mg and antioxidants are important risk factors in predisposing to leukemias. Other researchers found that 46% of the patients admitted to an ICU in a tertiary cancer center presented hypomagnesemia. They concluded that the incidence of hypomagnesemia in critically ill cancer patients is high.

Anastassopoulou J., T. Theophanides, "Magnesium–DNA interactions and the possible relation of magnesium to carcinogenesis. Irradiation and free radicals," Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology, Volume 42, Issue 1, Pages 79-91.   Mg deficiency causes chronic disorders

"Abstract:  Magnesium deficiency causes renal complications. The appearance of several diseases is related to its depletion in the human body. In radiotherapy, as well as in chemotherapy, especially in treatment of cancers with cis-platinum, hypomagnesaemia is observed. The site effects of chemotherapy that are due to hypomagnesaemia are decreased using Mg supplements. The role of magnesium in DNA stabilization is concentration dependent. At high concentrations there is an accumulation of Mg binding, which induces conformational changes leading to Z-DNA, while at low concentration there is deficiency and destabilization of DNA. The biological and clinical consequences of abnormal concentrations are DNA cleavage leading to diseases and cancer. Carcinogenesis and cell growth are also magnesium-ion concentration dependent. Several reports point out that the interaction of magnesium in the presence of other metal ions showed that there is synergism with Li and Mn, but there is magnesium antagonism in DNA binding with the essential metal ions in the order: Zn>Mg>Ca. In the case of toxic metals such as Cd, Ga and Ni there is also antagonism for DNA binding. It was found from radiolysis of deaerated aqueous solutions of the nucleoside 5′-guanosine monophosphate (5′-GMP) in the presence as well as in the absence of magnesium ions that, although the addition of hydroxyl radicals (√OH) has been increased by 2-fold, the opening of the imidazole ring of the guanine base was prevented. This effect was due to the binding of Mg2+ ions to N7 site of the molecule by stabilizing the five-member ring imitating cis-platinum. It was also observed using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and Fast Atom Bombardment mass spectrometry that √OH radicals subtract H atoms from the C1′, C4′ and C5′ sites of the nucleotide. Irradiation of 5′-GMP in the presence of oxygen (2.5×10−4 M) shows that magnesium is released from the complex." [ incomplete ]

Ancient Minerals, "Symptoms of low magnesium."  Symptoms low Mg

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Abstract:   "Magnesium (Mg) is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and the most abundant intracellular divalent cation, with essential roles in many physiological functions. Consequently, the assessment of Mg status is important for the study of diseases associated with chronic deficiency. In spite of intense research activities there is still no simple, rapid, and accurate laboratory test to determine total body Mg status in humans. However, serum Mg < 0·75 mmol/l is a useful measurement for severe deficiency, and for values between 0·75 and 0·85 mmol/l a loading test can identify deficient subjects. The loading test seems to be the gold standard for Mg status, but is unsuitable in patients with disturbed kidney and intestinal functions when administered orally. There is also a need to reach a consensus on a standardized protocol in order to compare results obtained in different clinical units. Other cellular Mg measurements, such as total or ionized Mg, frequently disagree and more research and systematic evaluations are needed. Muscle Mg appears to be a good marker, but biopsies limit its usefulness, as is the case with bone Mg, the most important but heterogeneous Mg compartment. The development of new and non invasive techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) may provide valuable tools for routinely analysing ionized Mg in tissues. With the development of molecular genetics techniques, the recent discovery of Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin channels offers new possibilities for the sensitive and rapid evaluation of Mg status in humans."

Bhutto ltaf, Abdul Aziz Mastoi, Sikander A Memon,Qureshi G. Ali and Aftab A. Qureshi, "MAGNESIUM AND ITS ESSENTIAL ROLE IN HEALTH," Journal Liaquat University of Medicine and Health Sciences [ LUMHS ],  JANUARY – APRIL, 2005.  Mg role in health

Bilbey, Douglas L.J. and Prabhakaran, Victor M. Muscle cramps and magnesium deficiency: case reports. Canadian Family Physician, Vol. 42, July 1996, pp. 1348-51.  Larsen Mag report 2009  

Blood Ionized Magnesium Test - Drs. Bella and Burton Altura. State University of New York, Health Science Center at Brooklyn, New York, New York 11203, USA. (718) 270-2194 or (718) 270-2205.

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Dean Carolyn, M.D., N.D., " The Magnesium Miracle," Jigsaw Health,  02009.  Mg Miracle and use in CVD   Mg miracle
"Magnesium deficiency triggers or causes the following 22 conditions; the introduction of magnesium, either by a high-magnesium diet, with green drinks, or magnesium supplements, can help alleviate these conditions."   [ Dean ]

Dominguez, L. J. et al. Magnesium and muscle performance in older persons: the InCHIANTI study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 84, August 2006, pp. 419-26  Larsen Mag report 2009

Department of Family Medicine, Pomeranian Medical Academy, Poland: "The effects of magnesium physiological supplementation on hyperactivity in children with ADHD," Mag Res 1997; 10(2):149-56. The report from this institute states that dietetic factors can play a significant role in the origin of ADHD and that magnesium deficiency can result in disruptive behaviors.   Mg & autism

Ford, Earl S. Serum magnesium and ischaemic heart disease: findings from a national sample of US adults. International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 28, August 1999, pp. 645-51 Larsen Mag report 2009

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International Medical Veritas Association Magnesium deficiencies:   magnesium deficiency 

International Medical Veritas Association:  mgcl

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"Magnesium alterations are associated with various diseases. However, we do not know the precise mechanism for these relationships. Several gaps in our knowledge of magnesium metabolism still challenge various investigators. Major areas in question are the relationship between calcium and magnesium, especially the pure metabolic effects as opposed to the biophysical aspects as well as the molecular identification and characterization of systems involved in magnesium metabolism and transport."

Larsen Report 2009. Larsen Mag report 2009  

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Prominent among the conditions represented in Metabolic Syndrome X are hypertension, abnormal glucose metabolism (often culminating in diabetes), abnormal fat metabolism leading to high blood cholesterol and/or obesity (mostly upper body, also referred to as abdominal, visceral or central), and thrombus formation leading to heart attacks and strokes.

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