Magnesium deficiency is all too common. It likely also affects you, because it's estimated that 68 to 80 percent of Americans are magnesium deficient. This should not be surprising because magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body; however, it is not sufficient in the food supply, and it is also wasted by your body during times of stress. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of magnesium is 400-420mg for men and 310-320mg for women; these values are not getting met through the average (or even stellar) diet. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, ND, MD, "Magnesium is farmed out of the soil much more than calcium… A hundred years ago, we would get maybe 500 milligrams of magnesium in an ordinary diet. Now we're lucky to get 200 milligrams.”
If you're not getting enough, it's time to pay attention. Almost everyone could use magnesium therapy to support their body against both deficiency and disease. In her book, The Magnesium Miracle, Dr. Dean explains 22 conditions that can be triggered by magnesium deficiency that have been scientifically proven and recorded. They include:
- Blood clots
- Bowel diseases
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Liver Disease
- Muscle and nerve problems
- Tooth decay
- Raynaud's Syndrome
- Anxiety and panic attacks
That's a pretty daunting list of conditions linked to magnesium deficiency, which is why you should not ignore this deficiency. It's not going to get better if you don't put in the effort. While magnesium supplements are increasingly popular to counteract deficiency, certain forms of magnesium are poorly absorbed. Magnesium citrate and oxide have lower absorption rates, but they are often popular for their laxative-like effects by offering relief to constipation, but not to magnesium deficiency. Better forms are that of glycinate, orotate, and malate from a reputable source. It is, however, an uphill battle using oral supplements alone. For those with compromised absorption such as low stomach acid and/or leaky gut, magnesium supplements are poorly absorbed through the gut, making replenishing magnesium levels difficult orally. To make matters worse, magnesium deficiency also has a direct correlation with the epidemic of gut problems, creating a vicious cycle.
Although it's best to get this important mineral from foods including dark chocolate, whole grains, and leafy greens, a combination of methods provides a more aggressive approach. Transdermal sources that allow you to absorb magnesium through your skin, such as that of magnesium oil, magnesium spray, and epsom salt baths can be a very effective way to reverse deficiency. According to a 2010 study, transdermal magnesium is highly effective at increasing magnesium levels in the body:
After 12 weeks’ treatment 89% of subjects raised their cellular magnesium levels with an average increase of 59.7% recorded. Equivalent results using oral supplementation have been reported over 9-24 months. Furthermore all patients showed an improvement in the calcium/magnesium balance ratio where the mean improvement seen over the trial period was 25.2%."
The application methods in this particular study had the participants applying 20 sprays to their body using a solution of 31% magnesium chloride, as well as a two 20 minute magnesium foot soaks per day for 12 weeks.
If you're still ignoring your magnesium deficiency, perhaps it's time you got serious about reversing it by using transdermal methods to accompany your intake of magnesium-rich foods and some supplements if needed. The best way to be sure is to test your magnesium levels by doing a hair tissue mineral analysis to ensure your magnesium and other minerals are sufficient.
Subscribe below to learn how to make the best kinds of transdermal magnesium sprays at home, as well as what kind to buy (if you're NOT a do-it-yourselfer).
Do you suspect a magnesium deficiency? How are you combating it?
Dean, Carolyn, ND, MD. Magnesium Miracle. Retrieved on December 17, 2013 from http://drcarolyndean.com/magnesium_miracle/
Magnesium and calcium as regulators of intestinal permeability.
Thank you, Catherine, for this fine article. I'll be looking into the alternative methods you present for taking magnesium, as I've been unable to take it orally. My husband, on the other hand, finds taking a magnesium citrate pill once a week essential to heart health, since he has a leaky prolapse valve. But he can only take it once a week, so perhaps a spray or oil will be more helpful.
I bought the cheap powdered mag oxide, but that is too easily overtaken for effect of loose. So I'm careful with the amount. Having been taking that form as a supplement for over a year I am getting all the benefits from it. I especially like the calmitive effect. My indigestion and acid stomach has gone away. My chronic muscle skeletal pain has reduced. My high blood pressure has relieved and my heart rate is lowered. The affect on my health is markedly different. So I have tried other changes in diet with supplementation. Using herbs like frankincense and turmeric with curcumin has given increase to these desired effects!
I agree, Mag chloride (transdermal) is my fave way of getting my mag. If you haven't already, you should check out Morley Robbin"s fb group, Magnesium Advocacy. Super informative group with a lot of groundbreaking info 🙂 I think you would enjoy.
This is interesting. Around five years ago I was raced to hospital with atrial fibrillation. My heart rate had been around 180 for several hours. Nothing that the doctors did had any effect, although a nursing friend who was on duty that night prayed for me, and the problem was resolved. However when I returned home I decided to look into the effects of magnesium deficiency- and atrial fibrillation was one of them! II have always had a healthy diet, and had been taking a magnesium supplement, but on further investigation I discovered it was magnesium oxide - the very worst kind when it comes to absorption! (only around 2% is absorbed by the body). So I immediately changed to Bio Magnesium Forte, which is a combination of: magnesium amino acid chelate,, magnesium aspartate, magnesium citrate and magnesium orotate. This adds up to 160 mg or elemental magnesium. My heart has been 100% ever since - and this, I believe, is due to a combination of my friend's prayer ("God, give Ann a new heart!"} and taking the right magnesium supplement.
Thanks for this information! Were those foot soaks using Epsom salts? How much is needed?
Looks like they used magnesium chloride oil for the foot soaks. 1oz is a typical recommendation for a foot soak
Liquid Ionic Magnesium has been recommended to me as a superior product for absorption.. any comments on this? I am taking it now.. It is not the cheapest 🙂
What foods are good sources of Magnesium besides dark chocolate as chocolates can sometimes set off extreme migraines for me?
This was very helpful. I was rushed to the hospital recently because my magnesium was dangerously low. I have had my large bowel removed and have a stoma. The magnesium they have given me is magnesium glycerophosphate which gives me loose stools, which in turn flushes out all my electrolytes. I will be having an Epsom salts soak tonight and I will be reading Dr Dean's book! I am so happy to have found this article. Thank you!
Hi, what's the foot soak made up of?
My dillema with magnesium is that when I take it in supplemental form (or even cream form) it in the smallest amounts it causes lightheadeness and tingling in my feet. This is usually indicative of low blood pressure, and I do run low. But not terribly low, and magnesium supposedly does lower blood
Has this happened to anyone else? Any tips? Have really been wanting to get more magnesium going. Thanks.
Never happened to me. The problem with magnesium supplements is that they were very laxative. I changed to cocoa powder and it worked great. One or two spoons in a glass of coconut milk and then to blender, like a chocolate milkshake. My digestion is great without the uncomfortable 4-5 times a day visits to the toilet, I sleep very well and menstrual symptoms are much lighter than they used to be. Love magnesium
Hmm ok interesting. Will have try that.
Thanks for the tip!
Also just as an fyi - transdermal magnesium
was created so that you can't load up
mag without the lax effect. ; )
I have an interesting contribution about magnesium.
I have severe chronic insomnia (going on 4 years) and found that bone broth helped alleviate it somewhat about a year into it. But I was unable to make it regularly, so I began using powdered gelatin. Research glycine to learn about that.
After some experimentation I found that my sleep improved when I increased the dose. So for about a year I've been taking 1/4 c. gelatin each night. Yes, that's a lot! And it doesn't taste great but that's not a problem for me because I consider it rationally, that it's benefiting me.
However, I began experiencing nausea while taking it. In fact I vomited on a number of occasions. It was horrible. So when I began to feel nauseated, I would stop drinking it and save it for the next day.
THEN I restarted supplementing magnesium. I had taken magnesium citrate (Natural Calm) but didn't find it improved my sleep (in fact a couple times when I forgot to take it I slept better). But I returned to it. And the nausea completely disappeared! In fact it helped my appetite in general.
After finishing the citrate I bought magnesium glycinate tablets by KAL. It has the added benefit of more glycine!
I can now finish my gelatin easily each night, even licking the spoon. It is an incredible change. No more horrible vomiting!!! Ever!