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Discover the essential nutrient that will work wonders foryour health!







Alleviate muscle pain insomnia and a host of other conditions ,

,

Activate vital enzymes to increase your body's energy

Help to prevent serious illnesses such as depression and heart disease

V

More praise for The Miracle of Magnesium “Every doctor and patient should read

book on

many

this

comprehensive

magnesium. ... I loved this book. Clearly written and packed with information, it offers a compendium on natural medicine and is an invaluable resource for both practitioner and public alike. It is the most comprehensive and well-referenced guide to the myriad benefits of magnesium published to date.” Dr. Carolyn DeMarco Author of Take Charge of Your Body: Women's Health Advisor the

roles of



“Throughout this volume and with utmost clarity, Carolyn Dean presents invaluable recommendations based on the latest magnesium research. Virtually every American can benefit.” Paul Pitchford Author of Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition



“Physicians and therapists have paid scant attention to

very important element, which is also involved in maintaining our good health. The massive evidence is

this

book on magnesium. I am pleased have been taking magnesium for so many years.” Abram Hoffer, M.D. Author of Putting It All Together:

here in this important to



The

New

Orthomolecular Nutrition Please turn the page for

more

reviews.

.

.

.

“Excellent research together with valuable inspiration to empower the doctor within

each of us.”

—Joshua Rosenthal

Director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Author of The Energy Balance Diet “An

enlightening and practical book. Dr.

Dean

supplies

powerful information for people while trumpeting a reminder to doctors about this essential and often overlooked mineral elixir. The Miracle of Magnesium should be required reading for living a rich, healthy life.” Eugene Charles, D.C., DIBAK



Author of Physician Heal Thy Patient and Becoming Healthy Wealthy and Wise ,

“I

have been in complementary medicine for thirty years

was to know about magnesium until I [read] the latest book by Dr. Carolyn Dean. This book is the most comprehensive review on the subject I have ever read. As one can expect from a physician with such vast and diversified knowledge, The Miracle of Magnesium contains information on allied fields of medicine that makes this book an incredible resource for doctors and patients alike. The Miracle of Magnesium is a book that is going to be of great service to humanity since, as the author points out, there is so much information on magnesium that has failed to be and

I

believed



I

knew

all

there

included in the medical curriculum.”

—Serafina Corsello, M.D.

Wellness Medical Center for Integrative Medicine Author of Ageless Healing

The Miracle of

Magnesium

CAROLYN DEAN,

M.D., N.D.

BALLANTINE BOOKS NEW YORK

\

A

Ballantine

Book

Published by The Ballantine Publishing Group

© 2003 by Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. Foreword copyright © 2003 by Dr. Bella Altura and Dr. Burton Altura Copyright

All rights reserved under International and

Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by The Ballantine Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. Ballantine and colophon are registered trademarks

of

Random House,

Inc.

www.ballantinebooks.com Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Dean, Carolyn.

The miracle of magnesium

/

Carolyn Dean.



1st ed.

cm.

p.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 1

.

Magnesium

0-343-44588-0

deficiency diseases.

2.

Magnesium

—Health

Title.

I.

RC627.M3 D43 2003 6 16.3 '96

—dc21

2002028159

Book

design by Holly Johnson

Cover design by Mike Stromberg Manufactured

in the

United States of America

First Edition:

13579

January 2003 10

8642

aspects.

To

the Miracle

Women in my life.

My mum, Rena, my three sisters: Chris (who labored with

me on

the

first drafts

Anne, and Evelyn. And

Thank you

of “the

my agent, all.

wee maggie”), Beth.

Digitized by the Internet Archive in

2016

https://archive.org/details/miracleofmagnesiOOdean

Contents

Foreword

ix

introduction

1

PART ONE: THE HISTORY OF MAGNESIUM 1

2

The Case

for

Magnesium: The Personal History

of an Element

13

Magnesium: The Missing Mineral

30

PART TWO: MAGNESIUM-DEFICIENT CONDITIONS Magnesium

3

Anxiety, Pain, and

4

Migraines, Strokes,

5

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart,

Head

for Athletes

Injury,

and Brain Surgery

45 63

Angina, Arrhythmia, Arteriosclerosis, and

Heart Attack 6

Syndrome X, Diabetes, and Sugar Imbalance

81

110

Contents

7

PMS, Dysmenorrhea,

Infertility,

Polycystic

Ovarian Syndrome, Preeclampsia, and Cerebral

8

Palsy

122

Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones

139

PART THREE: THE RESEARCH CONTINUES 9

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

10

Environmental

11

Health and Longevity

Illness

and Asthma

155 171

190

PART FOUR: TESTING AND SUPPLEMENTS 12

Magnesium Requirements,

13

Supplementation and Homeopathics

Testing, and Sources

207 224

Appendix: Magnesium Content of Selected Foods

235

Resources

238

References

242

Index

271

viii

Foreword

“Clearly there

is

more

to

life

than magnesium”

is

one of the

.remarks from Dr. Dean’s remarkable, almost encyclopedic,

but very readable book. Her book

is

long overdue, for

gives the lay reader a chance to discover for

the

many

reasons

needs for

why

this

this has

it

him- or herself

mineral in a healthy

diet,

and the

not been emphasized in the everyday

literature.

The requirements

much

for

magnesium

neglected topic and this

in

our diet

book by Dr. Dean

is

indeed a

brings the

message home by her carefully written repetitive emphasis

on the

subject.

That does not mean that there are not many

other nutrients necessary in our daily food intake, as stated above, but the point she so clearly makes in general has not

is

that the public

been notified to look for the proper

Foreword

amount of this mineral sons magnesium

is

in the daily diet

needed

in

and of the many rea-

our bodies.

After a cursory overview of the material, the

book

should be read as one would read an encyclopedia, that pick out the parts one

is

go back and try to read gist

of

how

particularly interested in, and then

it all.

This

or she has been informed, be

“An ounce so

it is

way

the reader will get the

important magnesium really

zines, or the rest of the

a

it

is

and

how

little

he

from newspapers, maga-

news media. As the old adage worth

says,

in gold,”

and

balanced nutrition, which includes this

all-

of prevention

with

is

is

its

weight

important mineral in adequate amounts. (As to the other interesting parts of the book, our qualifications only allow us to

comment on

the material per-

taining to the scientific basis for the need of magnesium.)

Dr. Bella T. Altura

Research Professor of

Physiology and Pharmacology

SUNY Downstate Medical Brooklyn, New York Dr. Burton

Center

M. Altura

Professor of Physiology,

Pharmacology, and Medicine

SUNY Downstate Medical Brooklyn,

New York

Center

Introduction

From

2nd

the 74th Congress,

session, Senate

Document

no. 264:

Do you know from

that

most of us today

are suffering

certain dangerous diet deficiencies

not be remedied until depleted

soils

which can-

from which our

food comes are brought into proper mineral balance? The alarming fact bles

and grains)

acres of land that

now

is

that foods (fruits, vegeta-

being raised on millions of

no longer contain enough of

tain minerals are starving us

of

them we

enormously

eat.

in value,

eating as food. rectly

The

Our

truth

cer-

—no matter how much is

that our foods vary

and some of them aren’t worth

physical well-being

dependent upon the minerals

1

we

is

more

di-

take into our

Introduction

systems than upon calories or vitamins or upon the precise proportions of starch, protein or carbohydrates

we consume. Laboratory

fruits,

the vegetables, the grains, the eggs, and even

tests

prove that the

the milk and the meats of today are not

were

few generations ago.

a

enough

fruits

his

eat

stomach

he requires for perfect health,

salts

because his stomach

isn’t big

enough

to hold them!

are turning into a nation of big stomachs.

Do you know when mony

today can

and vegetables to supply

with the mineral

And we

No man

what they

those words were spoken in

before the Senate? Nineteen thirty-six!

lands are even

more

testi-

Today farm-

mineral-deficient and fertilizers

don’t fully replace those minerals.

Magnesium

is

still

one of the

most depleted minerals, yet one of the most important.

We

imagine that medicine has advanced to the stage of miracle cures, yet

it’s

nutrients that

not technology that we’re lacking but basic

power our bodies and

give us our health.

Quick-fix medical solutions from doctors are

all

around

us via television, the Internet, radio, and infomercials. In a

world of rapid change, our bodies are going through peaks and crashes every day.

We rely on

double cappuccinos

in the

morning, a Power Bar for lunch, and an acupuncture

treat-

ment

after

work

before

Harnessed to our

cell

we

go to the

gym

for our energy hits.

phone, laptop, Palm

Pilot,

and pager,

we’re exhausting our natural physical stores of energy, strain-

2

Introduction

ing our bodies’ capacity to function and heal. Although can’t

change our

environment,

digital

we

can learn

how

we to

preserve and rebuild our energy levels naturally.

Magnesium

more than 325 enzymes

regulates

in the

body, the most important of which produce, transport, store,

and

utilize energy.

lated

Many aspects

by magnesium, such

growth, and

as

cell

metabolism are regu-

DNA and RNA synthesis, cell

reproduction.

cell

of

Magnesium

also orchestrates

the electric current that sparks through the miles of nerves in

our body. Magnesium has numerous physiological

among which

roles,

are control of nerve action, the activity of

the heart, neuromuscular transmission, muscular contraction,

vascular tone, blood pressure, and peripheral blood flow.

Magnesium modulates and calcium from the

controls the entry and release of

which determines muscular

cell,

Without magnesium, muscle and nerve functions promised and energy

diminished.

is

We

activity.

are

com-

are operating with

the

power turned

ety,

heart attacks, arrhythmia, and even seizures and convul-

sions can result.

ral

to be an essential mineral.

life. 2

Yet

more ways it is

in the

in

Each year

United

States,

is

indis-

from the natu-

a gradual decline of dietary

from

a high of 500

the turn of the century to barely 175-225

3

since then,

which magnesium

continually being lost

food supply. There has been

magnesium

soft bones, anxi-

seventy-five years ago, scientists declared

research has revealed

pensable to

Muscular weakness,

1

More than magnesium

off.

mg/day

mg/day at

today. 3

The

Introduction

Academy

National

of Sciences has determined that most

Americans are magnesium-deficient, with men obtaining about 80 percent of the recommended daily allowance

(RDA) and women

averaging only 70 percent. 4

Too few

medical researchers and doctors are sounding the alarm, so

important that you inform yourself and protect your

it is

health. 5



6’ 7

THE CLINICAL IMPACT OF MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY Magnesium was

first

discovered in huge deposits near a

Greek

city called Magnesia.

day

as

Epsom

and

still is

salts,

Magnesium

was used

to this day.

A

sulfate,

known

to-

in ancient times as a laxative,

1697 medical paper recommended

magnesium, with some exaggerated unscientific enthusiasm, for conditions as varied as skin ulcers, depression, vertigo, heartburn,

worms, kidney

Although we no longer cally

stones, jaundice,

and gout.

treat all of these conditions specifi-

with magnesium, current research does support

for a long

of ailments that

list

you

will read

about

its

in

use

The

Miracle of Magnesium.

The amount of research on staggering.

medical

To bring you

facts,

Eve

entific studies,

ment

that

sifted

the

the topic of

magnesium

is

most current research and

through thousands of pages of

sci-

each of which begins with the acknowledg-

magnesium

is

of therapeutic value in treating a

myriad of symptoms.

4

Introduction /

1.

Anxiety and panic attacks. Magnesium normally helps keep adrenal stress

2.

hormones under

control.

Asthma. Both histamine production and bronchial spasms increase with magnesium deficiency.

3.

Blood

clots.

Magnesium

has an important role to

play in preventing blood clots and keeping the blood thin 4.

—much

Bowel

like aspirin

disease.

but without the side

Magnesium

deficiency slows

the bowel, causing constipation,

down

which could

and malabsorption of nutrients

to toxicity

effects.

lead

as well as

colitis. 5.

Bladder spasms are worsened by magne-

Cystitis.

sium deficiency. 6.

Depression.

Serotonin,

which

dependent on magnesium. brain

is

more

also

A

mood,

elevates

is

magnesium-deficient

susceptible to allergens, foreign

substances that in rare instances can cause symp-

toms 7.

similar to mental illness.

Magnesium

Detoxification.

crucial for the re-

is

moval of toxic substances and heavy metals such

aluminum and 8.

from the body.

Magnesium enhances

Diabetes. facilitating

sugar

sium, insulin cells.

lead

is

as

metabolism.

insulin secretion,

Without

magne-

not able to transfer glucose into

Glucose and insulin build up

in the blood,

causing various types of tissue damage. 9.

Fatigue.

Magnesium-deficient

experience

fatigue

because

5

patients

dozens

commonly of

enzyme

Introduction

systems are underfunctioning. of 10.

magnesium deficiency

Heart

disease.

early

symptom

fatigue.

is

Magnesium

An

deficiency

is

common

people with heart disease. Magnesium

is

in

adminis-

tered in hospitals for acute myocardial infarction

and cardiac arrhythmia. Like any other muscle, the

Magnesium

heart requires magnesium.

is

also used

to treat angina, or chest pain. 11.

Hypertension. With insufficient magnesium, blood vessels

may go

into

spasm and cholesterol may

rise,

both of which lead to blood pressure problems. 12.

Hypoglycemia. Magnesium keeps insulin under control;

can 13.

without magnesium, episodes of low blood sugar result.

Insomnia. Sleep-regulating melatonin production

is

disturbed without sufficient magnesium. 14.

Kidney

disease.

Magnesium

deficiency contributes

to atherosclerotic kidney failure.

Magnesium

defi-

ciency creates abnormal lipid levels and worsening

blood sugar control 15.

in

kidney transplant patients.

Migraine. Serotonin balance

is

magnesium-dependent.

Deficiency of serotonin can result in migraine headaches and depression. 16.

Musculoskeletal conditions. gia,

Fibrositis,

fibromyal-

muscle spasms, eye twitches, cramps, and

chronic neck and back pain

may

be caused by mag-

nesium deficiency and can be relieved with magnesium supplements.

6

Introduction

17.

Nerve problems. Magnesium

alleviates peripheral

nerve disturbances throughout the body, such as migraines,

and

muscle contractions, gastrointestinal spasms,

calf, foot,

and toe cramps.

treating the central nervous

It is

also used in

symptoms

for vertigo

and confusion. 18.

Obstetrical

and

gynecological problems.

Magne-

sium helps prevent premenstrual syndrome and

dysmenorrhea is

(cramping

pain

important in the treatment of

viates

during infertility,

menses),

and

alle-

premature contractions, preeclampsia, 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). Magne-

sium should be

a required

supplement for pregnant

women. 19.

Osteoporosis.

Use

of calcium with vitamin

enhance calcium absorption without

a

D

to

balancing

amount of magnesium causes further magnesium deficiency,

which

triggers a cascade of events lead-

ing to bone loss. 20.

Raynaud's syndrome. Magnesium helps relax the spastic

blood vessels that cause pain and numbness of

the fingers. 21.

Tooth decay. Magnesium deficiency causes an unhealthy balance of phosphorus and calcium in saliva,

which damages

teeth.

7

Introduction

Drugs such tisone,

many

and cor-

as painkillers, diuretics, antibiotics,

of which are inappropriately used for the afore-

mentioned conditions, further deplete magnesium and other minerals, allowing trol.

symptoms

to get completely out of con-

Surgery, malnutrition, third-degree burns, serious in-

juries,

pancreatic inflammation, liver disease, malabsorption

disorders, diabetes,

hormonal imbalance, and cancer

are

all

seriously stressful medical conditions requiring increased

amounts of magnesium.

MY HISTORY WITH MAGNESIUM In

my second year of medical school,

obstetrics

ward when

a

was observing

I

young woman

in the

in the last stage of la-

bor developed rapidly elevating blood pressure and began convulsing. This was a true medical emergency. Already skeptical

drugs, I

about the antihypertensive and anticonvulsant

which had so many

side effects

and variable

wondered what could possibly work

dangerous for the baby. But

clearly, this

thing both powerful and effective.

would not be

that

woman needed some-

The attending physician

called out for an

ampule of magnesium

ately injected

into her IV. Within minutes the

it

results,

sulfate

and immedi-

woman’s

convulsing had ceased and her blood pressure was returning to normal.

I

was amazed, and IVe never forgotten

miracle of magnesium, which also reinforced

my

that

belief that

there are safe, effective alternatives to prescription drugs for

pain and chronic disease. In addition to

8

my

medical school

Introduction

training,

voraciously read

I

alternative medicine.

could find on nutrition and

all I

even studied acupuncture. Immedi-

I

ately after medical school

I

embarked upon

my naturopathic and ten years

training. In thirteen years of treating patients, as a researcher, writer,

found myself acting

and consultant,

I

have frequently

an educator, passing on the knowl-

as

edge of simple, safe treatments and supplements that really

work, including magnesium. But

my

keen interest

as professional.

magnesium

in

had taken

I

is

personal as well

calcium/magnesium supple-

a

many years, knowing the importance

ment

for

own

health.

however,

I

When

at night,

nation to 500

mg

mg

of

my

daily heart palpitations, calf

and neck and shoulder muscle ten-

magnesium

sion were related to

dosage from 200

my

started doing research for this book,

I

realized that

muscle cramps

of each to

a

day

in a

deficiency. Increasing

my

calcium/magnesium combi-

magnesium oxide twice

a

day stopped

the palpitations and the cramps and eased the muscle ten-

sion considerably.

Magnesium maceutical It is a

not some wonder drug touted by a phar-

company

in

an aggressive marketing campaign.

simple element, a mineral

easily obtained.

the

is

The more

more convinced

I

am

opportunity by not making

hope

that

by writing

I

vital to life

and health, and

have learned about magnesium,

that doctors are missing a it

huge

one of their “drugs of choice.”

this story of

you keep yourself healthy and

magnesium,

at the

I

will help

same time provide an

important resource that you can share with your doctor.

9

I

/

PART ONE The History of Magnesium

CHAPTER The Case

for

1

Magnesium:

The Personal History of an Element

Mary joked

though she was constantly being

that she felt as

run over by a slow-moving bus. Cramping in her tled her

awake

at night,

had heart palpitations had high blood sugar insulin, but

legs star-

making her an insomniac, and she

daily.

Her doctor

also

found

that she

—not bad enough to need injections of

he prescribed

pills to try to

stimulate

more

sulin production. Finally, frightening panic attacks

out of nowhere and afraid to

To cium sleep.

made

this vibrant,

at night, first,

having read that the calcium

bed, her calf muscles

would

where she would

lie

it

Mary began

was good

seemed to

or two, the pains got worse.

floor,

came

woman

go outside.

try to relieve her leg cramps,

At

fun-loving

in-

If

she

seize

for cramps and

help, but after a

yawned and

week

stretched in

up and catapult her

frantically

13

taking cal-

to the

massaging her muscles

The Miracle of Magnesium

to try to release the spasm. All the next day, she

about with

a

very tender, bruised feeling in her

would limp

calf.

Although Mary’s heart palpitations had improved some-

what

after she’d given

up her three cups of coffee

a day, they

too resumed after a few weeks. Every time the palpitations

made her

occurred, which was several times a day, they

cough

slightly

and catch her breath. She found

even though her doctor said her

ing,

disease

were

fine

it

frighten-

stress tests for heart

and she didn’t need further testing with an

angiogram.

Both Mary’s parents had had adult-onset

Mary knew

that she should

watch her

diet,

diabetes,

and

but she was

overweight and craved sugary and high-carbohydrate foods that

were hard to

resist.

of everything else,

came

to

my

office.

When

the panic attacks hit

Mary knew

she had to seek help, and

She was only

to be feeling so bad,

on top

fifty-three, far

too young

and was worried about her future

health.

Sam was only At

first,

he thought they were indigestion, but sometimes

would occur

the pains

cerned, he

blocked

forty-nine and experiencing chest pains.

went

in the

middle of the night. Con-

to a cardiologist,

arteries,

who found two

slightly

not serious enough for bypass surgery.

Sam’s cholesterol was somewhat elevated, as was his blood pressure,

and the

which he attributed fact that

past six months,

to his high-stress occupation

he had not exercised regularly for the

when he was

14

sidelined with back pain.

The Case for Magnesium

The

cardiologist observed that his arterial blockage

would

almost inevitably worsen over time and eventually necessi-

The doctor

tate surgery.

cholesterol, told

him not

nitroglycerine to take

him medication

offered

Sam

tions.

and gave him

to eat butter or eggs,

whenever he had the

symptoms got worse, he would

pain. If the

prescribe other medica-

couldn’t imagine having to wait to get worse be-

knew

fore doing something about his chest pain; he

must be something more he could do

came

to

At

me

thirty-five,

also

to avoid surgery

and

Jan had actually begun to look forward

how bad

menopause. That’s

symptoms were. As soon she was hit

there

for advice.

to going through '%

for his high

as

PMS

her

those horrible feelings

lifted,

by the sledgehammer of menstrual cramps. She

had migraines, which for years had come before her pe-

riod but

now were

occurring once or twice a week. She was

so miserable that she

was considering

a

complete hysterec-

tomy, with removal of her hormone-producing ovaries, but

wondered whether the migraines, ing

all

were happen-

month, were not actually hormonal.

Different as their suffer

since they

symptoms

from magnesium

deficiency.

seem equally susceptible

may become

culating red blood less

to

pound cells,

magnesium

Mary, Sam, and Jan

While

magnesium

deficient faster than

fluctuations because

perhaps

are,

for

women

and

deficiency,

men due

to

all

men

women

hormonal

pound, they have fewer

cir-

which carry magnesium, and so available.

15

There are

a

few other

The Miracle of Magnesium

gender differences. Because of magnesium’s effect on hor-

monal regulation and

when

pregnancy,

cies in

vice versa,

women

can have deficien-

breast-feeding, with premenstrual

syndrome (PMS), and with dysmenorrhea Osteoporosis, which affects more

dence of

a deficiency of

overactive thyroid,

made

ATP

than men,

evi-

is

both calcium and magnesium.

which

An

more women than men,

afflicts

which uses up magnesium-

increases the metabolic rate,

requiring

women

(painful periods).

(adenosine triphosphate

in each cell in the body).

—the energy packets

Without magnesium,

ATP

would not be produced. Let’s follow

came

their

Mary, Sam, and Jan and see

magnesium

When Mary detail,

me,

I

charted her health history in

according to procedures

commonly used by

pathic doctors, and found several

much

needed I

it

symptoms

a

of

naturo-

magnesium

had been made even worse by too

magnesium supplemen-

calcium, however, so simple

tation wouldn’t be

they over-

deficiencies.

visited

deficiency. In her case

how

enough

for Mary.

Her

diet

and

lifestyle

complete overhaul.

gave

needed to

Mary

start eating,

and seeds such that she’d

a list of

as

magnesium-rich foods that she

which included

nuts, beans, greens,

sunflower and pumpkin.

been avoiding almost

all

at the

gas,

and greens

supermarket. She had

never even thought about eating seeds.

16

realized

of these foods: She

thought nuts were fattening, beans gave her never seemed fresh enough

Mary

The Case for Magnesium

After a

week

of enthusiastically eating a lot

magnesium-rich foods, Mary

felt

somewhat

better.

more

To make

sure she could get fresh organic greens regularly, she tracked

down

a local

community-supported agriculture (CSA) pro-

gram and bought

a share in a

neighboring organic farm.

Mary

how

and cook beans to prevent

also learned

them from causing in

gas,

to soak

and began eating nuts and seeds rich

magnesium and healthy

oils,

pecans, sunflower seeds, and

After her second taking

a day,

we added

months

to eliminate

that not

all

her

I

seeds.

recommended

mg

Her

every two days to

cautioned her that

it

could take

magnesium deficiency symptoms and

symptoms would

necessarily respond.

two months, however, Mary was singing nesium.

that she begin

Starting with a dosage of

another 200

build slowly to 600 mg.

almonds, walnuts,

as

pumpkin

magnesium supplements.

mg

200

visit I

such

Her palpitations and panic

the praises of

attacks

cravings for sweets were fewer, she

Within

mag-

had disappeared.

was

able to control

her blood sugar with diet alone, and tests for blood sugar

were normal. Her

leg

cramps were gone, and with them her

insomnia. At three months

magnesium so

that she

we added

calcium along with

would not develop an imbalance of

the two. Mary’s internist

was quite surprised

at

her im-

proved health and told her to keep up the good work with her diet and supplements.

Sam had an start

inquiring mind, and

reading about heart disease.

17

I

He

encouraged him to

found that up to

The Miracle of Magnesium

30 percent of angina (chest pain) patients do not have badly

blocked

arteries

balance that

may

but

be suffering from an

electrical

driven by mineral deficiency, most

is

monly magnesium.

1

An

im-

com-

astonishing 40 to 60 percent of

sudden deaths from heart attack may occur

in the

complete

absence of any prior artery blockage, clot formation or heart

rhythm abnormalities, most (magnesium

arteries

from spasms

a natural antispasmodic). 2



3 ’4 5 ’

in the

More-

found that magnesium deficiency has been linked

over, he

to

is

likely

sudden cardiac death. Sam didn’t want to wait around

for that to

happen to him; he was determined

what was causing

his

problem and

treat the cause.

he read, the more intrigued he became.

magnesium deficiency

back pain, that

especially

When

also associated

is

to find out

The more

he read that

with muscle pain,

really got his attention, since

had begun having back pain four or

five

he

months before he

began to develop chest pain. 6

With back to ever, a

a

packet of information on magnesium,

Before the doctor saw him, how-

his cardiologist.

nurse took Sam’s blood pressure;

elevated, even

though

Sam went

at

home

it

it

was unusually

was usually only

points above normal. (Doctor-induced hypertension

monly reported by the

The

patients.)

room and immediately began

sure medication.

is

a

com-

cardiologist swept into

talking about blood pres-

Sam countered with magnesium. The

diologist visibly cooled

and

said that

effects,

18

car-

magnesium was used

to control hypertension that occurred in pregnant

because there were no side

few

women

but that there were

The Case for Magnesium

plenty of effective drugs for everyone

he would rather not have side effects gathered up his

file

When Sam

else.

said

either, the cardiologist

and told him to come back when he was

ready to take medications for his heart disease.

When Sam came back to see me, he was still pretty upset by

this

encounter; he didn’t like the specialist refusing to

discuss a possible ture.

ment

Sam and for

him

magnesium deficiency

as part of the pic-

agreed that magnesium seemed the best treat-

I

to initiate at this time since he

was not

willing

by

eating

to take medications.

Sam began adding magnesium magnesium-rich foods. After but he

still

to his diet

week he

a

felt

much

calmer,

had chest and back pain. So he added magnesium

and calcium supplements, and

about three months he

in

felt

almost normal.

Among

the studies

Sam

read was one that looked at the

correspondence between type

A

personalities

and magne-

sium deficiency. From the description, Sam realized he was a

type A, an aggressive guy

who

lived

on

adrenaline, time

pressure, and stress. This type of behavior drains the

of

magnesium and can

body

lead to disorders such as heart disease,

muscle spasms, hypersensitivity, and

irritability. 7

Prolonged

psychological stress raises adrenaline, the stress hormone,

which depletes magnesium. 8 Both Sam’s back and chest pain

would ways he

hit

when he was under

to control his stress and

knew he

couldn’t avoid

Sam added an

extra 200

mg

stress.

So Sam worked on

added more magnesium when

it.

of

19

On

days

when

magnesium

he exercised,

to his diet, since

The Miracle of Magnesium

sweat loss during heavy exercise (cycling and jogging) and

working

won’t replace the

magnesium. Just drinking water

in the heat deplete

many

lowered

all

the minerals lost.

factors that affected his

his cholesterol

chance of

a heart attack

and

By paying mind-body

stress levels

attention to health,

Sam

and reduced

his

and of needing surgery to unblock

his arteries.

Jan heard that yoga might help her riods,

and she

really

needed

The teacher

a vegetarian.

the detox class

One

doesn’t

empty once

into the

body from more

if

the colon. is

PMS

The longer

During cooking

the

bowel

reabsorbed back debris

sits in

the

and endometriosis, which causes

classes,

by some natural-health ex-

body but

toxicity

9

.

Jan faced the fact that she was a

junk food addict. Magnesium in the

If

reabsorbed, making stools solid and

worsen with constipation and

enzymes

things Jan learned in

she had one a week.

painful periods, are considered perts to

up everything” and

a day, toxins can be

fluid

to pass.

difficult

first

when

to join

was the importance of having regular bowel

movements. Jan was lucky

colon, the

of the

took

also ran regular

which Jan decided

classes,

she realized she didn’t have to “give

become

and painful pe-

to learn to relax, so she

classes at a local health club.

detox and cooking

PMS

is

is

necessary in hundreds of

almost totally lost during the

processing of packaged and fast foods.

The older women

in

her class were suffering from a variety of problems that in-

cluded cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

20

Is that

how

The Case for Magnesium

she

would end up

care of her health

in ten or

twenty years

if

now? Learning how many

she lacked in her diet

Her new

made her marvel

she didn’t take basic nutrients

that she wasn’t even

more

ill.

seeds,

which cleared up her constipation and almost

nated her

me on

PMS

diet included greens, beans, nuts,

and painful periods.

When

the advice of her yoga teacher,

the right track.

I

recommended

it

was

min; with

all

elimi-

she came to see

was on

clear she

that she begin taking a

nesium supplement along with calcium and her lifestyle changes, she

and

mag-

a multiple vita-

felt like a

MAGNESIUM, THE SPARK OF

new

person.

LIFE

In a poetic reference to magnesium’s crucial role in evolu-

Aikawa

tion, Dr. Jerry

magnesium to

man and

of the University of Colorado calls

the ur-mineral, the living

all

organisms

.

most important mineral

10 It is

critical to the

meta-

bolic processes of lowly one-celled living organisms and is

the second

Magnesium with

all

most abundant element

existed at the beginning of

inside life

human

cells.

and was involved

aspects of cell production and growth.

When plants

evolved to use the sun as their energy source, magnesium

played in

a pivotal role in the

development of chlorophyll. So

both plants and animals, magnesium became an

essential

enzyme processes

affecting

mineral involved in hundreds of

every aspect of

life.

Presently, seventeen minerals are considered essential

21

The Miracle of Magnesium

for

human

will be

study

life,

and

it is

more minerals

quite possible that

found to be indispensable

as

we

take

more time

mineral connection. Ninety-nine percent of the

life’s

body’s mineral content

made up

is

of seven macrominerals:

sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, chlorine,

and magnesium. The other minerals.

As with most

naturally with sulfur to

minerals, the element

magnesium

make Epsom

salts

joins

It

(magnesium

sul-

with carbon to make magnesium carbonate, and with

calcium to

make dolomite. Magnesium

partnership with is

sulfur,

percent comprises ten trace

1

occurs in nature combined with other elements.

fate),

to

silica in talc

acid,

nesium compounds are antacids used to first

chemistry.

in it

and some mag-

treat heartburn.

encounter with magnesium was in high school

Each student was given

and told to

found

and asbestos. Like calcium,

an alkaline mineral, which neutralizes

My

also

is

light

one end

a thin strip of

carefully.

had learned that magnesium

is

magnesium

The previous week we

the eighth

most abundant

ele-

ment, constituting approximately 2 percent of the earth’s crust

and 1.14 percent of seawater. By comparison, calcium

makes up

3 percent of the earth’s crust but only 0.05 percent

of seawater. There are 4-6 tsp (20-28 g or 2 oz) of

sium

in the body,

comprising about 0.05 percent of the

body’s weight. This information in no the

dynamic

up

like

magne-

effect of lighting the

way prepared

magnesium

us for

strip. It flared

an electric sparkler and disappeared in a

flash.

This

effervescent property serves as an important reminder of

22

The Case

magnesium’s

Magnesium

for

versatility as the spark of

constantly ignit-

life,

ing metabolic reactions throughout the body.

THE BODY The impulses from

for any and

movement

body

arise

These microcurrents of

elec-

all

electrical transmission.

tricity that pass

ELECTRIC

IS

along the nerves were

in the

measured

first

in

1966. Scientists soon discovered that the conductor for

was calcium and

these bodily electrical currents

sium was necessary to maintain the proper

More

in the blood. 11

enters the cells

that

magne-

level of

calcium

recent research indicates that calcium

by way of calcium channels

that are jeal-

ously guarded by magnesium. Magnesium allows a certain

amount

of calcium to enter a cell to create the necessary

and then immediately helps to

electrical transmission,

Why?

the calcium once the

work

mulates in the

causes toxicity and disrupts

tion.

cell, it

Too much calcium

is

done.

If

eject

calcium accu-

entering cells can cause

cell

func-

symptoms

of heart disease (such as angina, high blood pressure, and ar-

rhythmia), asthma, or headaches.

cium channel blocker. 12



teeth.

of

all

our magnesium

fluids.

and brain

so

is

housed

muscle and tissue

The highest concentrations

cells,

nature’s cal-

The remaining 35-40 percent

in the rest of the body, including

body

is

13 ’ 14

About 60-65 percent our bones and

Magnesium

it is

no wonder

23

that the

is

in

found

cells

and

are in the heart

major symptoms

The Miracle of Magnesium

of

magnesium deficiency

two organs

are also the activity

measured by

that have considerable electrical

EKG

(electrocardiogram) and

Our blood

(electroencephalogram).

and brain. These

affect the heart

contains only

1

EEG

percent

of the body’s total magnesium.

Magnesium mostly works ducing

ATP

energy packets for our body’s

triggering production of

revving up messenger

DNA,

production of

building blocks of

magnesium

inside our tissue cells, pro-

all

RNA.

It is

our genetic code. Both of the basic

life,

RNA

and

DNA,

are

dependent on its sta-

DNA and the structure of chromosomes,

on

magnesium

an essential cofactor in almost

tems involved in the processing of

DNA.

without sufficient magnesium,

comes

by

also a requirement for the

to maintain stable genes. 15 In addition to

is

and

the body’s protein structures

bilizing effect

that

vital force

all

enzyme

sys-

Research shows

DNA

synthesis be-

sluggish.

WHAT DOES MAGNESIUM DO? Magnesium’s hundreds of be divided into

1.

activities in the

human body

can

five essential categories: 16

Magnesium

is

a cofactor assisting

enzymes

in cata-

lyzing most chemical reactions in the body, including

temperature regulation. 2.

Magnesium produces and

3.

Magnesium

is

transports energy.

necessary for the synthesis of protein.

24

The Case for Magnesium

4.

Magnesium

5.

Magnesium

1.

helps to transmit nerve signals, helps to relax muscles.

COFACTOR Enzymes 2.

IN

CHEMICAL REACTIONS

are protein molecules that stimulate every chemi-

cal reaction in the

body. Magnesium

is

make

required to

hundreds of these enzymes work.

PRODUCING AND TRANSPORTING ENERGY Magnesium and

the

B-complex vitamins

are excellent

ples of energy nutrients, because they activate

exam-

enzymes

that

control digestion, absorption, and the utilization of pro-

and carbohydrates. Because magnesium

teins, fats,

is

in-

volved with hundreds of enzymatic reactions throughout the body, deficiency can affect every aspect of

life

and cause

3.

symptoms. Of the 325 magnesium-dependent

a score of

enzymes, the most important enzyme reaction involves the creation of energy

by

activating adenosine triphosphate

(ATP), the fundamental energy storage molecule of the body.

ATP may

be what the Chinese refer to

Magnesium energy.

is

required for the

body

Without magnesium there

ment, no

life. It is

is

to

as qi

or

life

force.

produce and store

no energy, no move-

that simple.

SYNTHESIZING PROTEIN Magnesium

is

used in synergy with dozens of other

vita-

mins and minerals to create structural components of the body. Under the direction of magnesium, enzymes and

25

The Miracle of Magnesium

nutrients

modify the building blocks from food to

the body.

Without magnesium, there

is

RNA

no body.

DNA,

which contain the genetic blueprints

tion of

all

create

and

for the forma-

the protein molecules in the body, are also depen-

dent on magnesium.

4.

TRANSMITTING NERVE SIGNALS

Magnesium permits calcium electrical

brain.

to enter a nerve cell to allow

transmission along the nerves to and from the

Even our thoughts,

via brain neurons, are

dependent

on magnesium.

RELAXING MUSCLES

5.

Calcium causes contraction

magnesium causes cium and

in skeletal

relaxation.

insufficient

When

muscle

there

is

too

fibers,

and

much

cal-

magnesium, you can get sustained

muscle contraction: twitches, spasms, and even convulsions.

Smooth muscles cient

directed

magnesium can

by too much calcium and

insuffi-

tighten the bronchial tract, causing

asthma; cause cramping in the uterus and painful periods;

and cause spasms

in

blood

vessels, resulting in hypertension.

THE DANCE OF CALCIUM AND MAGNESIUM Calcium and magnesium share equal importance bodies.

Newtons law

says that for every action there

equal and opposite reaction, and calcium and

dance within

this law.

in

Neither can act without

26

our is

an

magnesium

eliciting a re-

The Case for Magnesium

from the

action

At the biochemical

other.

and calcium are known to

act antagonistically

Many enzymes whose

other.

a sufficient

amount

rimentally affected calcium.

Growth

of

magnesium

will be det-

and intermediary

metabolism are also absolutely dependent on the

which can be compromised

of magnesium, is

if

availability

excess calcium

present. 17

To understand how you can imbalance in your kitchen. 1

depend on

increases in levels of cellular

cell division,

cells,

towards each

activities critically

of intracellular

by small

magnesium

level,

Crush

own

create a

calcium/magnesium

body, try this experiment in your

a calcium pill

oz of water. Then crush

a

and see

magnesium

When you

into the calcium water.

how much pill

The same

heart, brain, kidneys,

and slowly

stir it

introduce the magne-

sium, the remaining calcium dissolves; water-soluble.

dissolves in

becomes more

it

thing happens in your bloodstream,

and

all

the tissues in your body. If

you

don’t have enough magnesium to help keep calcium dissolved,

you may end up with calcium-excess muscle spasms,

fibromyalgia, hardening of the arteries, and even dental cavities.

there

is

Another scenario plays out too

magnesium

much

in

the kidneys. If

calcium in the kidneys and not enough

to dissolve

it,

you can

get kidney stones.

All muscles, including the heart and blood vessels, contain

more magnesium than

cient,

calcium.

If

magnesium

calcium floods the smooth muscle

vessels vessels

cells

is

defi-

of the blood

and causes spasms leading to constricted blood and therefore higher blood pressure,

27

arterial

spasm,

The Miracle of Magnesium

angina, and heart attack. 18

sium

A

proper balance of magne-

symptoms.

in relation to calcium can prevent these

Calcium

excess, stimulating the cells in the

muscular layer of

the temporal arteries over the temples, can cause migraine

headaches. Excess calcium can constrict the smooth muscle

surrounding the small airways of the lung, causing stricted breathing

and asthma.

without the protective

effect of

Finally, too

much

magnesium, can

calcium,

irritate deli-

cate nerve cells of the brain. Cells that are irritated

cium

fire

electrical

re-

by

cal-

impulses repeatedly, depleting their

energy stores and causing

cell

death.

THE CALCIUM DISTRACTION The irony of

the calcium-magnesium story

magnesium calcium

will

is

that without

not work properly. Both our cur-

rent diet and tendency to oversupplement with calcium,

however, make getting enough magnesium almost impossible.

Research shows that the ratio of calcium to magnesium

in the paleolithic or

caveman

evolved with our bodies

—was

— the ancient

1:1,

ratio in present-day diets. 19

15:1

times there in

diet

compared with

had

a 5:1 to

With an average of ten

more calcium than magnesium is

diet that

in

our current

diet,

no doubt about widespread magnesium deficiency

modern

times.

The emphasis on calcium supplementation has

diverted

our attention from any other mineral, even though

all

minerals are crucial to the proper functioning of the body.

28

The Case for Magnesium

In our society

we

important,” “the

teamwork

tend to look for “the best,” “the most

star,”

and forget that

takes a team and

to get anything accomplished, including

processes. Calcium, because eral in the

it

it is

the

most abundant min-

body, therefore became “the

research has accumulated

four decades,

it

body

star.”

Even though

on magnesium over the past

has never been adequately publicized and

discussed.

29

V.

CHAPTER

2

Magnesium: The Missing Mineral

A

1988 U.S. government study concluded that the standard

American

diet failed to provide the daily

magnesium.

That was

1

decade and

a

requirement of

a half ago,

can be sure that most people get even

junk food makes up 27 percent of our

and you

less today,

when

Mildred

Seelig,

diet.

M.D., and many other magnesium experts have also come to the inescapable conclusion that the typical diet,

which

is

rich in

phosphates, protein, ally increases the

National

fat,

fiber,

sugar, salt, synthetic vitamin

D,

and supplemented calcium, actu-

need for dietary magnesium. In 1997, the

Academy

of Sciences found that most Americans

are magnesium-deficient.

of the

American

When men

minimum requirement

merable body functions and

of

magnesium

women

30

obtain only 80 percent

at

to run innu-

70 percent get even

Magnesium: The Missing Mineral

less

of

what they absolutely need, then our bodies

are just

not able to function properly 2 .

Let’s

look

at

some

of the reasons

you may be lacking

in

magnesium.

PROCESSED FOOD LACKS MAGNESIUM During the refining and processing of food,

significant

The process

of extract-

amounts of magnesium can be ing oils

from magnesium-rich nuts and seeds

this essential mineral.

lost

lost.

Nearly

all

the

magnesium

during the milling process to make

flour.

strips

away

in grains

is

Chemicals

that are used in the preparation of frozen vegetables to pre-

serve their rich green color result in a lowered

content. Finally, in the kitchen,

magnesium

when

magnesium

vegetables are boiled,

leaches out into the water.

PERCENTAGE OF MAGNESIUM LOST DURING FOOD PROCESSING Refining of flour from

80 percent

wheat

Polishing of rice

83 percent

Production of starch from corn

97 percent

Extraction of white sugar from

31

molasses

99 percent

The Miracle of Magnesium

What can we do best to

buy organic foods,

but

for only a

still

eat as

magnesium sources?

many raw

It is

vegetables as

and when you do cook vegetables, quickly steam

possible,

them

to defend our

crisp.

few minutes

You can

until they are slightly

cooked

also save the nutrient-filled water to

use as soup stock.

STOMACH ACID IS ESSENTIAL FOR MAGNESIUM ABSORPTION stomach digestion and

Inefficient

lead to deficiencies of

magnesium.

intestinal absorption can

When you

rious physical or even emotional stress,

are

under

se-

your body might

not produce sufficient stomach acid, which

is

required for

digestion and for chemically changing minerals into an ab-

sorbable form.

The

elderly as well as people with arthritis,

asthma, depression, diabetes, gallbladder disease, osteoporosis,

or

gum

disease are often deficient in hydrochloric acid

All these conditions are also associated with

3 .

magnesium

deficiency.

On

the other hand, America’s

counter drug type

is

antacids.

number one

over-the-

Heartburn and indigestion,

the result of bad eating habits, plague the nation. But the

“cure” in this case

is

no

better than the disease.

The

roiling

and burning in the gut from sugary junk food and greasy fast

food

stomach

is

being inappropriately blamed on too

acid. In

tion in the

many

cases,

stomach and

a

heartburn

is

much

due to fermenta-

backflow of pancreatic enzymes

32

Magnesium: The Missing Mineral

from the small acids, antacids

intestine. 4

make

it

By

impossible for us to absorb minerals

or digest our food properly. further depleted

we

if

neutralizing normal stomach

Our magnesium

can be even

use calcium carbonate antacids be-

cause the calcium they contain causes

more magnesium

to

be excreted.

ABSORPTION OF DIETARY MAGNESIUM HINDERED Magnesium

is

ultimately absorbed into the bloodstream from

the small intestine. In general, an average of only 50 percent

of ingested

magnesium

the stool or urine.

is

absorbed; the rest

is

eliminated in

A number of conditions influence the de-

gree of absorption:



Whether the

• Availability

intestines are healthy or diseased

of the protein transport molecule for

magnesium •

Availability of parathyroid



The

rate of

hormone

water absorption, because magnesium

is

soluble in water •

The amounts

of calcium, phosphorus, potassium,

sodium, and lactose (milk sugar) in the body,

which •

inhibit

all

of

magnesium absorption

Supplemental iron, which can impede magnesium absorption and vice versa take

them

(if

you

several hours apart)

33

take both,

you should

The Miracle of Magnesium

MAGNESIUM BLOCKED BY CERTAIN FOODS A

may be high or low in magnesium, but you should know that certain foods contain magnesium antago-

food

also

such

nists,

as oxalic acid,

which

is

found

in spinach

and

chard, or phytic acid, found in the hulls and bran of seeds

and

grains. Oxalic acid

and phytic acid can form insoluble

compounds with magnesium, causing

to be eliminated

it

rather than absorbed. Saturated fats (from meat and cheese)

can bind with mineral compounds in food, making insolu-

end up forming plaque

ble

clumps of

ies

and blood vessels (atherosclerosis) and can eventually

raise

fat that

your blood pressure and lead

magnesium supplements with

in

your

arter-

to heart disease. Taking

a fatty

meal

is

a waste.

Mag-

nesium supplements are best taken on an empty stomach. There

is

much

evidence that a high-protein diet only

makes magnesium deficiency worse, and ing such a regimen,

you should

if

you

take at least 300

are follow-

mg

of sup-

plemental magnesium. 5

Soybeans, too, are high in phytic acid, which intercepts minerals from

all

foods and blocks their uptake and absorp-

tion in the intestinal tract. People

legumes

as their

deficiencies.

who depend on grains and

main source of protein often have mineral

Soy has one of the highest phytate

legume and, unlike others,

its

phytic acid

is

levels of

not destroyed

with extended cooking time. Only fermentation in the

any

(as is

done

production of miso and tempeh) will reduce the

phytic acid levels of soy.

34

Magnesium: The Missing Mineral

who

Vegetarians,

and

dairy, risk

substitute unfermented tofu for meat

having severe mineral deficiencies. Moreover,

the menopausal population

may

be overusing soy (for

its

natural phytoestrogenic effects) and developing similar mineral deficiencies.

As

a

cheap alternative to meat, soy

(as

soy

protein isolate and textured vegetable protein) has exploded

on the school lunch scene and

much soy really

Too

in the fast-food industry.

can cause mineral deficiencies in children,

who

need their minerals to build strong bones and teeth

the structure for adult health.

A JUNK-FOOD DIET IS NOT A MAGNESIUM DIET Even

in a healthy diet

addition of 150

mg

with proper protein intake, the

magnesium

of elemental

a

day can make

dramatic changes in health. 6 (See Chapter 13 for a

full dis-

cussion of magnesium supplementations.)

diet

leave

you magnesium-deficient,

undermine your

We

a

poor

If a

good

can

diet can seriously

health.

live in strange times,

when people

avidly watch

gourmet-cooking shows while devouring junk food. Junk food provides 27 percent of most peoples daily astounding 90 percent of our food dollar processed foods. People

such

who

as hospitals, colleges,

people

is

an

spent on

eat primarily in institutions,

or hotels, tend to consume only

cooked and processed foods and deficient, as are

calories;

who

are likely to be

magnesium-

drink only soft water because

35

The Miracle of Magnesium

water-softening agents eliminate magnesium

water

magnesium, and

deficient in

is

7

Fluoridated

.

water pulls

distilled

minerals out of the tissues and flushes them out of the

who

body. People

drink soda and soft drinks

may

also be

magnesium-deficient because sugar uses up magnesium

Carbonated

and processed

beverages

.

8’9

(luncheon

foods

meats and hot dogs) contain phosphates, which bind with

magnesium is

to

make

insoluble

magnesium phosphate, which

not absorbed by the body. People

who consume more

than three alcoholic drinks a day can also be deficient because alcohol blocks absorption and enhances excretion of

magnesium

10 .

Coffee also acts

as a diuretic,

magnesium out of the body. Dieting cially

by using

and

very unhealthy.

is

diuretics,

which hastens

to lose weight, espe-

can drain the body of magnesium

MAGNESIUM-DEFICIENT SOIL RESULTS IN DEFICIENCY Even

if

you

come up sium.

whole

try to eat

magnesium-rich foods, you can

short because the soil

Magnesium

is

found

grains, but this

is

magne-

itself is deficient in

in vegetables, nuts, seeds,

true only under optimal

still

and

growing

conditions. Plants

grown on depleted

soil

on factory farms

contain very

magnesium because

it is

not routinely in-

cluded in

little

fertilizer. If

there

is

no magnesium

in the soil,

plants will have none; they cannot manufacture

thin

air.

So don’t believe

it

when someone

36

it

says that

out of

you can

Magnesium: The Missing Mineral

get

all

your nutrients

true only

if

you

farmers use a

full

good, balanced

spectrum of nutrients

To

the organic

if

in their fertilizer, in-

enough magnesium

get

you probably need

That may be

diet.

food and only

eat organic

cluding magnesium. today,

in a

in

your

diet

to take supplements.

DRUGS CAUSE MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY Ironically, Seelig,

one of the foremost magnesium experts, Mildred

M.D., began her research career over forty years ago

working for drug companies. that

many

It

was there she

noticed

of the side effects of drugs were actually magne-

sium deficiency symptoms. cause increased for example,

demand

by

It

seemed

to her that

tralize the acid

which then

creating acidity in the body,

and minimize

to deplete

its

cells to try to

the

body

neu-

Other drugs

toxic effects.

magnesium from

many drugs

magnesium

for and utilization of

draws on available magnesium from the

seemed

first

or,

conversely,

manifest their positive effects because they increase the level of

magnesium

in the

body

11 .

The following drugs can

create

magnesium

deficiencies



Common diuretics



Birth control



Insulin



Digitalis, prescribed for



Tetracycline and certain other antibiotics



Cortisone

pills

some

37

heart conditions

12 :

The Miracle of Magnesium

DRUG INTERACTIONS WITH MAGNESIUM Other drugs

magnesium

interact with

For example, magnesium

is

a

in specific

muscle relaxant, so

it

ways. 13

enhances

the actions of prescription muscle relaxants such as tubo-

curarine (used in surgery), barbiturates, hypnotics, and narcotics.

These medications may be decreased under

doctor’s supervision

if

you

are

anesthesiologist before surgery

if

on magnesium.

you

are taking

Tell

a

your

magnesium

supplements.

Magnesium cial

during

protects the kidneys, so

with

treatment

(which result

in

it

may

aminoglycoside

be benefiantibiotics

magnesium wasting) and immunosuppres-

sant drugs such as cyclosporin and cisplatin. Discuss this

with your doctor. Diuretics and cardiac drugs waste magnesium. Additional

magnesium intake

tration of diuretics

is

recommended during adminis-

and cardiac glycosides. Check with your

doctor.

Magnesium

inhibits the absorption of iron, tetracyclines,

ciprofloxacin, vancomycin, isoniazid, chlorpromazine,

methoprim, nitrofurantoin, and sodium these medications

two

to three hours before or after

nesium supplements. (Sodium fluoride osteoporosis

fluoride.

is

8.)

38

Take

mag-

prescribed for

—although taking magnesium may be

choice; see Chapter

tri-

a wiser

Magnesium: The Missing Mineral /

WHY HAVEN’T WE HEARD ABOUT MAGNESIUM? The

vast majority of us

were not exposed to nutritional

education in school. But what about doctors? As you suspect, doctors generally

may

do not learn about nutrition or

nutrient supplementation in medical school because they are studying disease, not wellness.

doctor,

you may think you

When you visit

are going there to

health or prevent illness, but doctors have

about

cate their patients

how

a

medical

improve your

little

time to edu-

to keep themselves well.

And

patients often will not change their lifestyle unless their

doctor

tells

them

to, believing that if

portant, the doctor

would have

told

vitamins were so im-

them

to take supple-

ments. (Of course, some patients don’t change the live

even

when

weight and eat

their doctor does

tell

first

second two years

for those diseases.

is

a

We

Have you heard

much

I

I

learned

all

about

studied drug treatments

spent no time on nutrient deficienthe expression

hammer, everything begins

very

to lose

HAMMER

IS A

two years of medical school

diseases; the

cies.

them they have

they

right.)

WHEN ALL YOU HAVE In the

way

“When

all

you have

to look like a nail”?

That

is

the case with doctors and drug treatments. But

even worse, with thousands of drugs in the pharmaceutical

39

The Miracle of Magnesium

compendium, on the

it is

quite impossible for doctors to keep

latest drugs,

and impossible to prevent

serious drug interactions. is

said to be scientific,

drug

And

most

up

side effects or

although allopathic medicine

patients are

on more than one

and there are no studies proving the safety of

at a time,

drug combinations.

According to magnesium expert Mildred

Seelig,

M.D.,

while a tremendous amount of magnesium research has been

done

in India, Britain, France,

and other European countries,

doctors in the United States use the excuse that not enough

them

to feel informed

calls this

the “not-invented-

research has been done here for

enough

to prescribe

it.

Dr. Seelig

here syndrome.” Pioneers such as Drs. Bella and Burton Altura,

however, continue to do original magnesium research

in this country.

Every year for the past forty years they have

produced on average

on magnesium and

a

dozen peer-reviewed journal

ionic

magnesium

convinces even die-hard skeptics to

become informed

— of the

testing.

articles

Their research

—when they take the time

clear

need for magnesium sup-

plementation and the absolute requirement for accurate testing.

DRUG COMPANIES FUND DRUG RESEARCH NOT MINERAL RESEARCH Medical science studies one symptom

and generally

tries to find

at a time, in isolation,

one cause for that symptom and

40

Magnesium: The Missing Mineral

one drug that it

treats

The

it.

makes

search for a drug that will eventually pay for the costly

studies necessary to bring

magnesium and is

bias of medical research

all life

Everyone agrees

to market.

that

indispensable for health, disease prevention,

is

processes, but

no money

it

in selling a

it

has been ignored because there

common

Magnesium can-

nutrient.

not be patented, so pharmaceutical companies do not engage in magnesium research. There

is

no advertising budget

magnesium, compared to the hundreds of millions of

for

on advertising prescription drugs;

dollars spent

nutrients

do

not get media attention. To make matters worse, over the past

two decades

from the pharmaceutical drug research

14

Scientific

.

industry,

which primarily funds

medicine ignores nutrient investi-

gation in favor of drugs. Older research health providers. Doctors

may have

magnesium offered some promise haven’t read any

come

the bulk of university funding has

new

also ignored

by

heard years ago that

in heart disease, but

studies, so they

ment must have not panned

is

assume that the

they

treat-

out.

Doctors seem to be waiting for

a large clinical trial, for

example, following twenty thousand people taking magne-

sium for been

life. It

would have been

initiated thirty years ago.

one now, but

And do we No. Do we

I

don’t

nice I

if

such a study had

would suggest

know who would pay

starting

for such a

trial.

have the luxury of waiting for those results? presently

know enough about magnesium

recommend widespread supplementation?

41

Yes.

to

The Miracle of Magnesium

An

major

analysis of seven

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

Drugs

.

As

15 ’ 16

I’ve noted, Drs. Bella

been researching magnesium and

and Burton Altura have

its clinical

application for

over forty years. 17 The ionized magnesium electrode, pro-

duced by Nova Biomedical (Waltham,

MA)

urging and tested

New York has given

University of

at State

at the Alturas’

doctors a reliable magnesium test and taken the guesswork

out of diagnosing magnesium deficiency. 18 Dr. Alexander

Mauskaup, working with the Alturas, has proven the connection between migraines and magnesium

many

over and puts magnesium treatment into practice

New

York Headache Center. 19 20 21 Dr. Mildred ’



times at the

Seelig has

contributed comprehensive reviews of magnesium at

New

York Medical College, the American College of Nutrition, and more recently sity of

at the

Department of Nutrition, Univer-

North Carolina. 22 23 Dr. Jean Durlach, president of ’

the International Society for the

on Magnesium (SDRM), editor search , and professor at

in chief of

Magnesium Re-

Vincent de Paul Hospital in

done extensive reviews of ongoing magnesium

Paris, has

research. 24

St.

Development of Research



25

Magnesium

longer need to

sit

on the

researchers

agree

sidelines or reserve

the benefits of magnesium;

we need

know, now.

42

to

that

we no

judgment on

implement what we

PART TWO Magnesium-Deficient Conditions

CHAPTER Anxiety, Pain,

3

and Magnesium

for Athletes

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM, ANXIETY, AND DEPRESSION 1.

Magnesium

deficiency can produce

symptoms

of anxi-

ety or depression, including 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

by Prozac, depends on

magnesium

is

boosted

for its production

and function. 3.

Magnesium supports our adrenal overworked by stress.

45

glands, which are

The Miracle of Magnesium

Each year millions of people

are introduced to the

merry-

go-round of psychiatric drugs and psychological counseling for

symptoms

that

may

in fact be rooted in

magnesium

ciency. Additional millions try unsuccessfully to their

problems by turning to alcohol,

cope with

street drugs,

addictive behavior to suppress their pain.

We

defi-

and other

are a nation

suffering a 32 percent incidence of anxiety, depression,

and drug problems. Social epidemiologist Myrna Weiss-

man

at

Columbia University reports

that

more and more

Americans are becoming depressed, getting depressed

younger

age,

at a

and experiencing more severe and frequent pe-

riods of depression.

Each generation born

in the twentieth

century has suffered more depression than the previous one, and since

has

World War

more than doubled.

1



2

A recent study in the Archives of

General Psychiatry showed

women from

the overall rate of depression

II

a

doubling of depression in

1970 to 1992, with the use of psychiatric drugs

skyrocketing as a

result.

Children are not immune: Ameri-

can schoolchildren today are taking four times psychiatric medications as in

all

as

many

of the rest of the world

combined. 3 People do not get 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. cal

However, we can develop

symptoms because

thing our bodies

do

a

myriad of psychologi-

of a deficiency of magnesium, somerequire.

Does

it

make any

sense to

merely switch our addictions from sugar, alcohol, drugs, and

46

Anxiety, Pain,

and Magnesium

cigarettes to prescription medication

for Athletes

without looking

possible underlying metabolic causes? Psychiatrists

often rely

on prescription drugs

at the

all

too

for suffering patients and

have no insight into the metabolic functions of the mind and

body and what happens when

nutrients are deficient. Anxi-

ety and depression are often nutrient deficiency diseases and

chemical

sensitivities,

not drug deficiency diseases.

Darcy had driven across for years, so

a

mile-long bridge every day

why one morning

though she would die ing and her heart

if

did she suddenly feel as

she didn’t pull over? She was sweat-

was pounding; she

felt

sick to her

stomach

and couldn’t get her breath. What was happening to her? Fortunately, she had her cell Sara,

who

phone and

called her best friend,

helped her calm herself and breathe her

way

across the bridge safely. Later, while talking with Sara to try to

on

make

sense of the episode,

a liquid protein diet for a

that

it

Darcy

said she

had been

few weeks. Sara pointed out

could have thrown something out of balance, and she

reminded Darcy that she had warned her of the dangers of this

type of

diet.

The two women reviewed Darcy had been taking that she

list

of supplements that

as part of the

program and found

the

had neglected to take the magnesium that had been

suggested. Sara grabbed a natural health encyclopedia and, sure enough,

magnesium deficiency was

listed as

one of the

possible causes of panic attacks. If

Sara had read further, she

would have found

body demands more magnesium when on

47

that the

a liquid protein

The Miracle of Magnesium

and that the dangers of such

diet

mented

for decades

4 .

a diet

have been docu-

By eating only protein, which

magnesium, Darcy had

set herself

up for

has

little

a terrifying attack.

Fortunately, she discovered this before pursuing a prescription for a tranquilizer to deal with the frightening

toms of panic

symp-

attack.

Lack of magnesium may not have been the only cause of Darcy’s panic attack.

Her

have led to hypoglycemia. low, the

body

reacts

with

high-protein diet could easily

When

blood sugar (glucose)

is

a surge of adrenaline to bring

glucose levels back to normal, in order to keep this essential nutrient fueling the brain. Adrenaline acts to speed the heart

and retrieve glucose from

Sometimes people

liver storage.

perceive a normal adrenaline rush as a panic attack. Interestingly enough,

magnesium

is

also

required for blood

sugar control.

Women tend to pay attention to their feelings symptoms such

pret

as panic attacks as signs of

imbalance, for which they seek support. get,

however,

is

and

inter-

emotional

The support they

often in the form of a prescription for an

antianxiety drug instead of sound advice to eat a better diet, exercise,

and take the right balance of supplements.

Magnesium

deficiency can be an underlying cause of

anxiety and depression, as determined in several clinical trials

5 .

Symptoms

anxious sion,

behavior,

of chronic

magnesium deficiency include

hyperemotionality,

poor memory, confusion,

48

apathy,

apprehen-

anger, nervousness, muscle

Anxiety, Pain,

and Magnesium

for Athletes

weakness, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, light-headedness, dizziness, nervous

fits,

the feeling of a

lump

in the throat,

im-

paired breathing, muscle cramps (including leg cramps), a tingling or pricking or creeping feeling pulse, chest pain, palpitations,

on the

skin, rapid

and abnormal heart rhythm

6 7 .



ANXIETY Stress

so prevalent in our daily

is

desensitized to

which

is

to slow

ated

when

such

as

is

it

life

and the message

down. Anxiety

is

it

that is

we

have become

trying to give us,

a chemical reaction cre-

the adrenal glands respond to a stressful event,

low blood

very useful

if

by

releasing adrenaline. Adrenaline

you’re trying to escape from a dangerous

situation, because

the heart starts

sugar,

it

gives

pumping

you

that fight-or-flight response:

faster; digestion

slows down; en-

ergy stores are released from the liver and made available to the heart, lungs, and muscles; and the muscles of the arms

and

legs are activated. All of these responses require

sium. So each time

magnesium

we

experience any kind of stress, our

stores are tapped to create energy. This

sium depletion

magne-

itself stresses

the body,

panic attacks, which equals yet

more

which can stress.

magne-

result in

Not only do

our overworked adrenals cause magnesium depletion, but even more adrenaline

sium

levels are

ritable,

low

is

released under stress

when magne-

in the body, leaving people feeling ir-

nervous, edgy, or even ready to explode.

49

It’s

the

The Miracle of Magnesium

proverbial catch-22. 8

To put an end

to anxiety,

magnesium

needs to be replaced.

During

stress reactions,

late the release

calcium

of adrenaline.

A

is

also required to stimu-

calcium excess, however,

magnesium

causes a flood of adrenaline. Sufficient buffer excess calcium and keep

within normal

it

Magnesium

iting the stress response.

is

will

levels, lim-

important because

it

naturally diminishes the excitability of the nervous system

and lowers the

level of

calcium around nerve

function of magnesium

is

and other stress-induced

illness. 9

cells.

This

also significant in heart disease ’

10

CHRONIC STRESS According to Hans for his

work on

pleted

when

Canadian doctor famous

Selye, the

stress in the 1960s,

the

body

flight reaction to

a

shifts

from

magnesium

is

also de-

a short-term fight-or-

chronic stress reaction. The adrenal

glands produce cortisol, a type of cortisone, and another stress

hormone, norepinephrine,

also causes

magnesium

Chronic

stress

threatened, or als,

that acts like adrenaline

and

depletion.

can come from feeling insecure and

from exposure

to toxic chemicals,

heavy met-

or even loud noise, which assaults the nervous system

and overworks the immune system. For example, constant loud noise in an industrial

work

cant increase of total serum

magnesium

50

setting

induced

(as

a signifi-

magnesium was

Anxiety, Pain,

released

from

tissues)

and Magnesium

and significantly increased urinary

magnesium

excretion of magnesium, indicating a

which

for Athletes

deficiency,

lasted for forty-eight hours after exposure. 11

MAGNESIUM-DEFICIENT KIDS adults

who

can

magnesium-deficient

diets.

Our

It’s

ble

not just

when

anxious

because

of

children are also suscepti-

foods are magnesium-deficient

favorite

their

get

hot dogs, pizza, and soda. The stress in their

lives

—from

peer pressure, academic and athletic performance pressures,

worries about

body image,

the changes

and hormonal

fluctuations of puberty, exposure to negative events and

violence through the media

underdiagnosed when

it



also contributes. Children are

comes

to

magnesium

deficiency,

but can have magnesium deficiencies for the same reasons

as

adults. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

(ADHD),

and childhood depression

are associ-

juvenile delinquency,

ated with

magnesium

tions can be caused

deficiency,

by

it.

12

and some say these condi-

Instead of reaching for Ritalin or

Prozac for kids, consider whether they’re getting enough

magnesium

first.

Leo Galland, author of Superimmunity for Kids

Dr.

speculates that hyperactive children need extra

due to

ple,

magnesium

their constantly high adrenaline levels. Dr.

recommends 240

mg

6

mg

for a

,

Galland

per pound of weight per day (for exam-

40-pound

child).

51

Because magnesium

is

The Miracle of Magnesium

hard to find in a form suitable for young children, he suggests

1

tbsp of

magnesium

citrate a

day or IV2

tsp of milk

much

of magnesia a day. These are both laxatives in

larger

doses, but in such small doses they supply the necessary

nesium without

mag-

a laxative effect. 13

SEROTONIN, MAGNESIUM, AND DEPRESSION You may be

familiar with serotonin, the body’s natural

“feel-good” brain chemical.

Magnesium

serotonin story because

a necessary contributor for re-

lease

it is

is

and the uptake of serotonin by brain

amounts of magnesium, nature makes

important in the

cells.

With proper

sufficient serotonin

and you experience emotional balance. But when pletes

magnesium,

a vicious cycle spins

depression can occur. to release

stress de-

out of control, and

The body needs magnesium

order

in

and bind adequate amounts of serotonin

in the

brain.

The pharmaceutical industry has focused for the treatment of depression

on

research

its

selective serotonin reup-

take inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac to capitalize

on

tonin’s chemical effects instead of giving serotonin really needs

—magnesium. SSRIs create

levels of serotonin in the

theoretically causes

mood

what

its

breakdown

lingers longer in the brain

elevation. This

posed to happen, but everyone has

52

it

artificially elevated

body by preventing

and elimination; serotonin

sero-

is

what

is

and sup-

a different reaction to the

Anxiety, Pain,

and Magnesium

for Athletes

manipulation of their brain chemicals. For some people, prolonged, rising levels of serotonin can liberate them from a

long depression. For others, the drug can lead to anxiety

and

irritability.

moods

tened

Another group of people tend

in

to have flat-

which they can neither weep nor laugh,

keeping them from the extremes of depression or mania but relegating

them

to a one-dimensional

life.

This was Maggie’s situation. She was on Prozac and desperately trying to

come

off

it

because she was unable to

cry or experience real emotions. Maggie was

down

to one-

quarter of a tablet but was afraid to stop in case her depression

came back. She

also

had high blood pressure, high

cholesterol, periodic muscle cramps,

and constipation.

I

asked her to have her magnesium tested, and her cardiologist said

it

was normal; he

said she didn’t

need magnesium

but should continue to take her five prescription medications to control her

symptoms. She

thought her muscle cramps were leg.

We

called

me when

major blood

a

her G.P.

clot in the

didn’t have time to ship a blood sample to the lab

that performs ionized

her to take 300

Doppler scan

mg

of

magnesium

testing, so

magnesium twice

a

to rule out blood clots.

I

encouraged

day and go for

a

Fortunately, the

scan was negative, so Maggie was able to avoid several

more medications

to treat

blood

clots,

was already working

to

two weeks Maggie was

also off the

relieve

again.

53

and the magnesium

her symptoms. Within

Prozac and able to cry

The Miracle of Magnesium

TREATMENT FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION DIET Avoid food additives,

artificial

Eat a whole-foods diet

sweeteners, sugar, and wheat.

— organic,

if

possible

—and avoid

processed and junk food.

SUPPLEMENTS

mg twice

Magnesium: 300 Calcium:

800-1,000 mg

B complex: 5-50

mg

a day

daily

per day (derived

whole or

in

in

part

from natural sources such as brewer's yeast, wheat

germ, or

liver)

5-hydroxytryptamine:

50-100 mg

meals, three times a day

an

half

(this is

an amino acid that

crosses the blood-brain barrier and verted into serotonin;

it

hour before

is

naturally con-

has the same action as Prozac

but no side effects) St.

John’s wort:

300 mg

of standardized

extract three

times a day

SLEEP AIDS Melatonin:

2-3 mg one hour before bedtime

5-hydroxytryptamine:

50-200 mg, one

half

hour before

bedtime, on an empty stomach

Hops, valerian, and skullcap herbal combinations: one or

two 500

mg

capsules before bedtime

54

and Magnesium

Anxiety, Pain,

for Athletes

STRESS RELEASE Exercise

is

excellent for both anxiety and depression

(try

yoga, walking, biking, Pilates, swimming), as are meditation, long baths, journal writing,

dom

Techniques

(EFT,

and Emotional Free-

information available at

www.

emofree.com).

Because depression can be so debilitating, even threatening,

I

understand

measures to combat

ways work. The

why

doctors feel

it

life-

requires strong

but these strong measures don’t

it,

alternative that

the nutrient connection.

many

Magnesium

al-

doctors are missing

deficiency

is

is

a potential

cause for every type of depression. All treatment protocols

should begin with adequate doses of

this valuable

mineral

14 .

RAYNAUD’S SYNDROME Sally

had

terrible leg

cramps. During the night, her legs

jumpy and twitchy and kept her awake. muscle cramps

in her calf

If

she did

would wake her

diagnosed her

as

asleep,

up. In addition

her fingers began turning white, blue, and red. ternist

fall

felt

A young in-

having Raynaud’s syndrome, a

cir-

culatory condition caused by the spasm of tiny arteries, especially in the hands

and

Raynaud’s syndrome

feet.

may

occur suddenly or

55

as a result

The Miracle of Magnesium

of other chronic illnesses such as connective tissue disease,

trauma, or pulmonary hypertension, in which cases called

Raynaud’s phenomenon. Raynaud’s syndrome

mostly

in

young women and Cold

extremities.

is

tack. Besides the

pain, especially

may

can also play

stress

who

have

to hours.

bringing on an

a role in

at-

noted color changes there can be agonizing

when

the fingers are rewarming.

this

condition just put up with

drug treatment for

it

Symptoms

common. Many peo-

consult their doctors for a diagnosis, there tive

seen

damage of the

from minutes

last

of tingling, numbness, and burning are ple

is

often the only stimulus that initiates the

blood vessel spasms, which

Emotional

rarely leads to

is

it

it.

Even

no

is

if

they

safe, effec-

(sometimes calcium channel block-

ers are used).

the

Fortunately, Sally’s internist

knew

most

both muscle cramps and

effective treatment for

Raynaud’s because

and minimizes 300

and

He

put her on magnesium,

a daily multiple

a day.

took three months for the Raynaud’s to respond, but

Sally couldn’t believe

how good

she

The muscle cramps improved within that she cally

vitamin and mineral;

two months he added calcium, 500 mg twice

It

is

improves circulation, stops spasms,

stress reactions.

mg twice a day,

after

it

magnesium

that

had thought were

a

felt in

week, and symptoms

just part of getting old dramati-

improved. Her energy increased

sleep better.

the meantime.

was

able to

more

regular,

as she

Her bowel movements were

also

and she was much calmer than she had been

in a long time.

Nutritional recommendations for Raynaud’s include

56

Anxiety, Pain,

and Magnesium

for Athletes

liver-cleansing foods such as beets, dandelion greens, bur-

dock

and lemons, and foods rich

root,

in

magnesium,

in-

cluding nuts, seeds, green vegetables, and whole grains. Foods to avoid or reduce to lessen the

syndrome include meat, fried,

symptoms

of Raynaud’s

alcohol, spices, and fatty, rich,

or salty foods.

TREATMENT FOR RAYNAUD’S Magnesium: 300 Calcium:

500 mg

mg

twice per day

twice per day

Vitamin E as mixed tocopherols:

Evening primrose Vitamin B 3

:

oil:

100 mg

800

III

6 capsules per day three times a day (this vitamin some-

times causes the body to flush, as

it

increases circu-

lation to the extremities)

Quercetin

(a bioflavonoid):

500 mg

per day

MAGNESIUM AND MUSCLE

PAIN

A patient came for a consultation and wanted a total body X ray because she was having such severe episodes of pain her whole

body would go

must have

cancer.

I

into

spasm

—that she thought she

asked her to try taking 300

mg

of

mag-

Within three days she no longer

nesium three times

a day.

had the spasms, and

after three

57

weeks she was

free of pain.

The Miracle of Magnesium

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

MAGNESIUM AND MUSCLE PAIN 1.

Magnesium helps muscles

2.

Magnesium eliminates spasms.

3.

Magnesium

relax.

relaxes blood vessels

in

the fingers to treat

Raynaud’s syndrome.

Although

shown

this patient did

not have cancer, research has

that even the pain of cancer can respond to

magne-

sium. Cancer sometimes metastasizes into nerve bundles lo-

may

cated in the neck or lower back and

even the strongest analgesics such special receptor site called

creating this type of nerve pain;

morphine. There

as

NMDA

that

is

analgesic effects

is

a

responsible for

magnesium blocks

ceptor. In cases of severe pain, intravenous

shown very powerful

not respond to

this re-

magnesium has

15 .

MAGNESIUM AND EXERCISE Cells use energy packets called phate),

Some

which

of the

are

first

ATP

(adenosine triphos-

formed under the influence of magnesium. studies

showing the relationship between

magnesium and physical performance were done on animals and found that decreased exercise capacity can be an early sign of

magnesium

deficiency.

When

58

the animals

were given

Anxiety, Pain,

and Magnesium

for Athletes

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND EXERCISE 1.

Magnesium reduces

acid,

lactic

which causes post-

exercise pain. 2.

Magnesium

is

3.

Magnesium

deficiency

in

lost during exercise.

may cause sudden

cardiac death

healthy athletes.

magnesium dissolved

Most human

in water, their

endurance was restored.

studies also confirm that both brief and ex-

tended exercise deplete magnesium.

One

of the

most amazing

neuromuscular system

is

that

effects of it

though the mineral generally stimulant. level will

If

you

magnesium on

the

provides more energy, even

acts as a relaxant

are magnesium-deficient,

and not

a

your energy

be low because you aren’t producing the necessary

energy to run your body.

When you

start taking

magne-

sium, your energy level goes up. Magnesium’s interactions

with calcium help keep calcium from causing excessive muscle contraction.

in

all

ing

Excess calcium causes tension and tightness

the muscles of the body, but

amount

when you

take a balanc-

of magnesium, this tension releases within hours,

days, or weeks, depending

nesium deficiency Exercise

is

in

on the underlying

level of

mag-

your body.

often prescribed therapeutically for anxiety

59

The Miracle of Magnesium

and depression

—to burn

off steam (so to speak), to increase

the circulation, and to get adrenaline pumping.

allows the

body

burn

to

fuel

Magnesium

and create energy

in

an

effi-

cient cycle during exercise that does not lead to lactic acid

who

production and buildup. For some individuals excessively or suffer

from chronic

amounts of lactic acid build up

fatigue

syndrome, painful

making

in their muscles

an unpleasant experience. Exercise

cise

exercise

itself

exer-

places stress

on

your body, to which your adrenal glands respond by pump-

which

ing out adrenaline,

and binds to

interacts

cell

mem-

branes in the presence of adequate magnesium.

Heavy build

up

exercisers, especially long-distance runners, can

and suffer shin

lactic acid

splints

but they keep on running because they

cles,



in their

just can’t

be ad-

they reach “the

feels like

something you

break through, but you keep on pushing, and sud-

denly you get the

workout. The wall

may

when

dicted to the adrenaline rush they get

wall

and painful mus-

power

mum. Yet when you

a burst of adrenaline

of your adrenal glands

and you’re

flying. That’s

when pushed

that stress-induced high

is

to the maxi-

followed by a crash,

don’t repair the damage to your adrenal glands

with good nutrition and restore the magnesium that was lost

during exercise.

Many

studies

have shown that magnesium supple-

mentation enhances the performance and endurance of long-distance runners, cross-country skiers, cyclists, and

swimmers. cise

It

aiso reduces lactic acid buildup

cramps and pain. Since

athletes

60

and postexer-

undergo severe physical

and Magnesium

Anxiety, Pain,

for Athletes

stress as well as the psychological drive to

gest suboptimal

to

win, and most in-

amounts of magnesium, they

are vulnerable

magnesium deficiency 16 .

Years ago the coach of a Florida high school football

team was concerned about

his players’ frequent

them

of leg cramps, so he gave

a

complaints

calcium supplement on a

very hot day before a rigorous game. Early in the second half,

eleven players became disoriented and had difficulty

walking. Their speech was slurred, they complained of muscle

spasms, and they were breathing very deeply. Within an

hour, eight of the boys collapsed into full-blown seizures;

two had repeated

seizures.

Those having the worst symp-

toms had been playing the hardest. Thirteen more players reported headaches, blurred vision, muscle twitching, nausea,

and weakness

what happened

17 .

Eventually

all

the boys recovered, but

to create such a frightening scene in this

group of healthy young men? Consider the that

were affected had

deficient fast-food

and

fats,

creased

all

eaten a pre-game magnesium-

meal consisting mainly of carbohydrates

and sodas containing phosphoric

magnesium

loss

acid.

With the

driven dangerously low

in-

from excessive sweating plus the

calcium supplement, their magnesium stores

Magnesium

Those

facts.

had been

18 .

deficiency

cardiac death syndrome,

may

also play a role in

which can

affect athletes

sudden 19 .

In a

study of young, healthy, well-conditioned men, strenuous effort

was reported

to give rise to persistent

magnesium

deficiency and a related long-term increase in cholesterol,

61

The Miracle of Magnesium

triglycerides,

and blood

sugar. This study postulates that

the sudden death of athletes and other intensely training individuals during extreme exertion

is

triggered

by the

detri-

mental effects of persistent magnesium deficiency on the cardiovascular system

20 21 ’

.

MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTS FOR EXERCISERS AND ATHLETES Dr. Seelig, cialist,

least

an internationally recognized magnesium spe-

recommends

that athletes

6-10 mg/kg/day

(or 2.

in

training obtain

at

7-4.5 mg/lb/day) of magne-

sium to help replace the losses from exertion, sweating,

and

stress.

For a

220-pound man:

600-1,000 mg

For a

150-pound woman:

400-680 mg

These doses can be cut by 150

mg

for

62

per day

people

cise moderately (one to two hours a day).

per day

who

exer-

CHAPTER Migraines, Strokes,

4

Head

Injury,

and Brain Surgery

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 and

is

a blood thinner, keeping thickened blood

tiny clots

from causing blood vessel spasms and

pain. 3.

Magnesium

relaxes

head and neck muscle tension that

makes migraines worse.

Martha knew and wavy

that a migraine

lines

was looming when the sparks

appeared before her eyes. Working became

63

The Miracle of Magnesium

impossible, and she

knew

would be looking

she

at the loss

of at least one day to a severe migraine attack. Medications

such

as

codeine and ergotamine had not helped her over the

years, instead

headache

making her

finally passed.

feel

And

drugged and

tired after the

new

drugs Imitrex,

the fancy

Depakote, and Midrin did nothing for her head pain but did give her chest pain and

make her more

Martha could do was

All

lie

in a

sick to her stomach.

darkened room with

a cool

cloth over her eyes, too nauseous to eat. This time, however,

instead of trying to keep hydrated with lots of diet soda, as

she usually did, she was going to drink mineral water with

lemon and natural

fruit juice.

Marthas daughter Mary,

a nurse,

had told her that

aspartame, the sweetener in diet soda, causes headaches. Even

though Martha loved her

on

average, she

knew

diet pop, drinking

two

she had to try to stop these headaches,

both the daily ones and the one or two migraines

Over

the next

day

liters a

a

week.

few days, Marthas skin itched and she was

nauseous, dizzy, and depressed. She thought she was having a

hangover reaction to the medication she had taken for her migraine, but

Mary

was going through aspartame

told her she

withdrawal. She was also having strong cravings for her diet soda, but

search

Mary

insisted that she stay off

on aspartame and how

it.

Mary

did

some

re-

and

to cope with withdrawal

brought her mother a bottle of magnesium oxide supplements.

The 500 mg twice

a

day seemed to help

the next week, Martha’s head

and

less achy.

felt clearer;

right away.

she was

more

By

alert

She hadn’t even realized that her joints and

64

Migraines, Strokes, Head Injury, and Brain Surgery

muscles had been tight and sore until she no longer had the

symptoms. To her partame from her

great relief, diet,

two weeks

after eliminating as-

she realized that she hadn’t had one of

those headaches that she used to get daily. After of strictly avoiding aspartame, she

still

two months

had no more headaches

or migraines, except once after she had eaten something she

had not

known

contained

artificial

sweetener. That con-

vinced her even more that, for her, aspartame was poison.

ASPARTAME AND MSG: EXCITOTOXINS Aspartame

is,

in fact, an excitotoxin,

substances, usually acidic

amino

one of

a

acids, that in high

group of

amounts

react with specialized receptors in the brain, causing de-

struction of certain types of neurons.

A growing number of neurosurgeons and neurologists are convinced that excitotoxins play a

ment of

critical role in

the develop-

several neurological disorders, including migraines,

seizures, learning disorders in children,

and neurodegen-

erative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, rosis

Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic

(ALS).

amino

1

Glutamate and aspartate are two important

acids that act as neurotransmitters in the brain in

very small concentrations, but they are also able in food additives.

and

in

lateral scle-

Glutamate

is

in

commonly avail-

MSG, a flavor enhancer,

hydrolyzed vegetable protein, found in hundreds of

processed foods. Aspartate

is

one of three components of

aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), a sugar substitute. In higher

65

The Miracle of Magnesium

concentrations as food additives, these chemicals constantly stimulate brain cells and can cause

process of

cell

known

death

them

undergo

to

a

as excitotoxicity; the cells are

excited to death.

HYPOGLYCEMIA The

brain becomes extremely vulnerable to excitotoxins

during episodes of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.

Pound

for

pound, the brain uses more blood sugar than any

other part of the body.

nourished people and curs in individuals can't

mount

sugar

when

Low

blood sugar occurs

when people

skip meals.

whose adrenal glands

It

in mal-

also oc-

are depleted

and

the necessary adrenaline response to raise blood it

Magnesium

gets too low.

is

responsible for

balancing blood sugar. With sufficient magnesium and bal-

anced meals to prevent low blood sugar, you can protect yourself against headaches, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,

mood

disorders, and even premenstrual tension.

Supporting the brain

and

a safe

as

much

as possible

environment, you

may

with safe nutrients

never need the brain-

altering medications that are prescribed for these disorders.

Medically,

hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar

(glucose) drops to a

80-110 mg/dl).

If

you

white sugar and white

low of 50 mg/dl (normal eat a highly refined diet flour,

is

about

with

lots of

foods whose carbohydrates are

rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, your blood sugar will

quickly become elevated;

when

66

it

reaches a certain

maximum,

Migraines, Strokes, Head Injury, and Brain Surgery

insulin enters the bloodstream

away

glucose

sugar to drop. insulin

and quickly ushers the excess

into the cells of the body, causing

The more sugar you

released and the quicker

is

eat

your blood

and absorb, the more

your blood sugar can

fall.

This abrupt drop causes adrenaline to be released from the adrenal glands to fall

make

you

so low that

sure that the blood sugar does not

faint.

When

that adrenaline mobilizes

the sugar stores in the liver to elevate your blood sugar,

however,

it

also

may

give

even

feel like a

you

produces a fight-or-flight reaction, which

a sense of anxiety or

impending doom.

It

may

panic attack because you don’t equate your

symptoms with low blood

sugar.

At

this point,

if

you

something to pick you up or comfort you, such

as a

bar or an aspartame-containing diet drink, or

if

eat

candy

you

are

exposed to other environmental toxins, your glucosedeprived, magnesium-deficient brain will be ble to the effects of the excitotoxins.

more vulnera-

Many

diseases of

the nervous system are being associated with excitotoxin

buildup in the brain, including migraines, seizures, strokes,

and brain If

injury.

you have magnesium

aspartame, the toxicity aches and migraines.

is

deficiency and regularly use

magnified and can result in head-

You can

easily identify

whether your

headaches are caused by aspartame: Give yourself sixty days

without any aspartame and judge for yourself.

want

to

minimize the withdrawal

effects, take

And 150

if

you

mg

of

elemental magnesium three to four times a day (see page 71 for

more on

dosages).

67

The Miracle of Magnesium

Magnesium

helps prevent the chain of events that causes

death due to low blood sugar and exposure to other tox-

cell

ins besides excitotoxins.

protectants

One

of the most important neuro-

known, magnesium helps defend our

cells against

potential neurotoxins in our environment, such as pesticides, herbicides, food additives, solvents,

and cleaning products. 2

Drs. Michael and

Mary Dan

Power

they had only one supplement to give

,

state that

if

their patients, they ers. 3

would choose magnesium above

In Chapter 10

ins to

which we

avoid them, and

Fades, authors of Protein

we

will talk

more about

on

are subjected

how magnesium

oth-

all

the myriad tox-

a daily basis,

how we

can

can protect us from harm.

MIGRAINE MECHANISMS Twenty-five million Americans suffer from migraines. Statistically,

women

have more migraines than men, especially

The following biochemical

in the twenty-to-fifty age group.

events involving

low magnesium have been

graine sufferers and



may

set the stage for migraines. 4

In nonmenopausal

women,

estrogen rises before the

period, causing a shift of blood

and muscles. As

identified in mi-

a result,

magnesium

magnesium

into

bone

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 tiny brain

68

Migraines, Strokes,

blood

Head

Injury,

and Brain Surgery

vessels, leading to migraines. Several other sub-

stances that help create blood clots are increased

when magnesium •

Low

is

too low.

magnesium promotes neurotransmitter

brain

hyperactivity and nerve excitation that can lead to

headaches.

Several conditions that trigger migraines are also associated

with magnesium deficiency, including pregnancy, alcohol take, usage of

Magnesium



some

diuretic drugs, stress,

deficiency

Magnesium dilate,

is

and menstruation.

many ways.

related to migraines in so

relaxes

in-

blood vessels and allows them to

reducing the spasms and constrictions that can

cause migraines. •

Magnesium mitters

regulates the action of brain neurotrans-

and inflammatory substances, which

play a role in migraines •

Magnesium

when

thins the blood,

may

unbalanced.

somewhat

like aspirin,

preventing the formation of tiny clots that can block

blood vessels and cause pain. •

Magnesium

relaxes muscles

and prevents the buildup

of lactic acid, which, along with muscle tension, can

worsen head

pain.

A group of three thousand patients given 200 mg of magnesium daily had an 80 percent reduction

symptoms. 5 This study did not have

69

in their migraine

a control group, so the

The Miracle of Magnesium

results

could be questioned, but

and triggered

it

aroused a lot of excitement

a flurry of research

on magnesium and mi-

A great deal of that research was done by Dr. Alexander Mauskop, director of the New York Headache Center, graines.

working with Drs. Bella and Burton Altura, who have been studying migraines and migraine treatments for about ten years. Their research is

team consistently found that magnesium

deficient in people with migraine

and many other types of

headache; treating the deficiency alleviates the headache. Dr.

Mauskop with

studies using sensitive

one of the

the Drs. Altura undertook

magnesium ion

electrodes. 6

many

During

they found a deficiency in magnesium ions

first

but not total serum magnesium in migraine patients. 7 Migraine sufferers with

given intravenous viation of their

low magnesium ion

magnesium experienced

symptoms, including

levels

a

who were

complete

alle-

sensitivity to light

and

sound. 8 Subsequent studies of migraine patients confirmed a

common

pattern and support a role for

ciency in the development of headaches. 9

magnesium

The

found that infusion of magnesium resulted

defi-

researchers

in a rapid

and

sustained relief of acute migraine. Because of an excellent safety profile

and low

cost,

they

recommend

sium supplementation for migraine 6

oral

magne-

sufferers at a level of

mg/kg/ day. 10 Patients with cluster headaches, a very severe

form of

recurrent headache, have also been reported to have low

magnesium ion

levels.

Some people

suffer

bouts of pain daily in a siege that can

70

up

last

to

twenty

for months.

Migraines, Strokes, Head Injury, and Brain Surgery

Another study from Altura, Altura, and Mauskop examined the possibility that patients with cluster headaches and

low magnesium ion infusion of

levels

magnesium

may respond

sulfate.

Within

to an intravenous fifteen

minutes of

an intravenous dose of magnesium, nine patients with cluster

had

headaches

Blood ionized magnesium

testing thus proves to be useful

in elucidating the pathogenesis of cluster

who may

identifying patients

magnesium, much

as

it

benefit

headaches and in

from treatment with

does for migraines. 12

Another research team

treated eighty-one patients with

ongoing migraine headaches with 300

The frequency

twice a day.

aborted. 11

headache

acute

their

mg

of migraines

of

magnesium

was reduced by

MIGRAINE TREATMENT may

Identify food allergies that

Magnesium: 300 Calcium:

500 mg

mg one

to

trigger migraines

two times per day

twice per day

Vitamin B 2 (riboflavin): Vitamin B complex:

400 mg

50 mg

per day

per day

(it is

the complex to prevent imbalances large

amounts

of

necessary to take if

you are taking

one B vitamin)

Feverfew Tanacetum parthenium): (

Stress therapies

Regular exercise

71

100 mg

per day

The Miracle of Magnesium

v

has been used to treat headaches

Aspirin

Magnesium-buffered

for

aspirin, however, is preferred by

some

Could magnesium be responsible for

users.

beneficial effects?

used

aspirin

in

decades.

heavy of

its

The same question applies to buffered

heart disease.

41.6 percent in the

magnesium group but by only

cent in a control group that received placebos.

15.8 per-

The number

of migraine days and drug consumption for pain also de-

creased significantly in the

magnesium appears

oral

magnesium group. High-dose

to be effective in migraine treat-

ment and prevention. 13 In Dr. Mauskop’s

What Your Doctor May Not

You About Migraines he outlines migraines.

and

a

It

his “triple

includes magnesium, vitamin

B2

Tell

therapy” for (riboflavin),

well-known migraine herb, feverfew.

HEAD INJURY, BRAIN SURGERY, AND STROKE Magnesium does much more than any drug

to protect the

blood circulation and the brain:



It’s



It

a vasodilator,

opening up blood

vessels.

protects the endothelium, or inner layer of blood

vessels.

72

Migraines, Strokes,



It

Head

Injury,

and Brain Surgery

closes the calcium channel to excessive calcium

influx.

MAGNESIUM-DEFICIENT BRAINS With most of the U.S. population

many Americans

deficient in

magnesium

14 ,

are at greater risk for a host of serious

problems, including stroke with severe poststroke complications,

depending on the degree of magnesium deficiency;

poor recovery from head injury with escalating neurological

damage; neurotoxin damage from vast numbers of

chemicals in our

food, and water: seizure disorders;

air,

Alzheimer’s disease; and Parkinson’s disease

15 .

These con-

ditions are the neurological equivalent of heart disease.

After

all,

both heart and brain are excitable

give off electrical energy,

The complexity

and both must have magnesium.

of the mechanisms of central nervous sys-

tem hyperexcitability due

now

tissues that

being appreciated

magnesium deficiency

to

is

only

16 .

HEAD INJURY AND MAGNESIUM Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

is

a

major public health prob-

lem throughout the world. There are more than four hundred thousand patients with TBI in the United States alone.

From fall

animal studies,

we know

dramatically at the

site

that brain

magnesium

of injury as this mineral

pleted in a cascade of events

17 .

In sixty-six

human

levels is

subjects

with acute blunt head trauma, the greater the degree of jury, the greater the

calcium-ion-to-magnesium-ion

73

de-

in-

ratio.

The Miracle of Magnesium

Such findings provide evidence of magnesium ion changes in

blood

which could be of

after traumatic brain injury,

both diagnostic and prognostic value. 18 Studies of both animals and brain trauma victims suggest that higher magne-

sium

levels are associated

sufficient

magnesium

Magnesium

will create a better healing

TBI without adverse your doctor

family

member

Ionic

if

is

is

used to

effects. 20

your child

fol-

crucial information to

is

suffers a

head injury or any

involved in a motor vehicle accident.

magnesium

makes

testing

posttraumatic headaches

much

easier.

magnesium ion concentration and magnesium-ion

outcome.

with severe

treat patients

This

Giving

edema

sulfate significantly reduces brain

lowing brain injury and

give

a better recovery. 19

with

ratio

were found

the

diagnosis

of

Abnormalities in

the

calcium-ion-to-

with post-

in children

traumatic headaches, but total serum magnesium levels

were normal. 21 Obviously, studies using only the

serum magnesium

test

would miss

the diagnosis and

to properly treat these patients. (See

discussion of

A verse.

magnesium

magnesium

deficit

from head injury

fluid, three

under the

hours to reach the deep brain Seals

skull,

is

slow to

re-

hours to reach the

and

tissues.

a full four to six

Experiments with

and marathon runners show that

of intensive training, they experience if

a full

According to Dr. Blaylock magnesium takes thirty

cortical area directly

and,

Chapter 12 for

fail

testing.)

minutes to get into the spinal

Navy

total

no supplements

after a

magnesium deficiency

are taken, the deficiency

74

month

is still

pre-

Migraines, Strokes, Head Injury, and Brain Surgery

sent three to six

your

diet

emotional,

is

months

only makes sense that

and you’re under

deficient

you need

later. It

to replace

if

stress,

physical or

your magnesium

stores daily.

BRAIN INJURY, ALCOHOL, AND MAGNESIUM Drs. Bella and Burton Altura discuss the direct cause-and-

between alcohol-induced headache and

effect relationship

and stroke. 22 They note that binge

risk of brain injury

drinking of alcohol

is

associated with an ever-growing

num-

ber of strokes and cases of sudden death, with alcohol causing vasospasm and rupture of the cerebral arteries. 23 In

animal studies, high doses of alcohol caused a rapid

magnesium ions

in levels of

of calcium, followed

in the brain

by cerebral



ple with mild head injury have been deficits in

magnesium

injury, the greater

sium

ions,

and an elevation

spasm and rupture

vessel

of cerebral blood vessels (stroke). 24 25 In

human

studies,

peo-

found to exhibit early

ions; the greater the degree of

and more profound the

and the greater the

fall

level of

deficit in

head

magne-

calcium ions com-

pared to magnesium ions. Patients with histories of alcohol abuse or ingestion of alcohol prior to head injury exhibited greater deficits in

magnesium ions (and higher calcium-

ion-to-magnesium-ion

ratios) and, unlike the subjects

out alcohol, remained in the hospital longer.

Data on 105 men and

stroke indicate that,

nesium ions

is

on

at least several

with-

days

women with different types

average, a 20 percent deficit in

seen, while total

normal. 26

75

serum magnesium

is

of

mag-

usually

The Miracle of Magnesium

The Alturas it

has been

also report that in other

shown

human

studies,

that migraines, headache, dizziness,

and

hangover, which accompany ethanol ingestion, are associated with rapid deficits in total

only

sium

magnesium ion

level

but not in

serum magnesium, which obscures the diagnosis total

serum magnesium

is

measured.

necessary to regulate calcium,

is

its

And

since

if

magne-

deficiency creates

calcium-induced vascular spasms and pathology. 27 Migraines

and alcohol-associated headaches can be treated with venous administration of magnesium tension headache and is

also

its

accompanied by

sulfate. 28

Premenstrual

exacerbation by alcohol in

deficits in

magnesium

intra-

women

ions and ele-

vation in the calcium-ion-to-magnesium-ion ratio. Intra-

venous magnesium

both the premenstrual

sulfate corrects

tension headache and the serum deficit in

Animal experiments show

that

magnesium

intravenous

ions.

magne-

sium can prevent alcohol-induced hemorrhagic stroke and the subsequent

fall

in brain

magnesium ion

level as well as

other metabolic factors. 29 Recent data indicate that alcohol-

induced cellular cellular

loss of

magnesium

ions

is

associated with

calcium overload and generation of free radicals;

however, pretreatment with vitamin

E

can also prevent

alcohol-induced vascular injury and pathology in the brain. 30

(Learn more about free radicals on page 193.)

BRAIN SURGERY AND MAGNESIUM During and utes

come

after brain surgery,

into play

magnesiums many

by preventing

76

attrib-

stroke, keeping calcium

Migraines, Strokes, Head Injury, and Brain Surgery

from entering damaged

cells,

and decreasing the incidence

of seizure and spasm. These favorable effects have

proven unequivocally

in

animal studies, but

ence in the neurosurgical operating efficacy as lives are being saved.

room

Many

been

all

clinical experi-

also proves

its

surgeons make

it

standard procedure to administer intravenous magnesium to

all

their surgical patients before

Horn,

a general

magnesium

an operation. Dr. Bernard

surgeon in California, has given intravenous

sulfate to

more than

over a fifteen-year period. Dr.

blood pressures

as

high

as

eight thousand patients

Horn

reports that patients’

200 over 150 would normalize

before surgery. 31

Intravenous magnesium sulfate also acts as a general anesthetic so that during surgery the dose of other chemical anesthetics can be safely reduced.

nesium

also results in

Using intravenous mag-

lower postoperative pain scores,

less

pain medication needed in the twenty-four hours after surgery, and less postoperative nausea and vomiting.

nesium

sulfate

is

Mag-

therefore a safe and cost-effective addition

to such general anesthetics as propofol, remifentanil,

and

mivacurium. 32

STROKE All deaths due to stroke cases)

among Taiwan

residents (17,133

from 1989 through 1993 were compared with deaths

from other causes (17,133 the higher the

magnesium

controls). It

was determined

levels in water, the

dence of stroke. 33

77

lower the

that inci-

The Miracle of Magnesium

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND BRAIN SURGERY 1.

Good neurosurgeons

give

magnesium

to

all

their surgi-

cal patients.

2.

Magnesium helps the

3.

Magnesium can prevent strokes

brain recover from

head

injury.

make them

or

less

damaging.

Decades of research show that withdrawal of magnesium from cerebral elevated ies

arteries causes

magnesium produces

show

that

when

in the brain, the

there

is

them

relaxation

to spasm, whereas 34 35 36

.

is



Animal stud-

normal or elevated magnesium

damage caused by stroke

neurological deficit



lessened. This

blocks calcium from flooding the

is

cells

is

reduced and the

because magnesium

and causing

injury.

Further research indicates that the area of the brain dam-

aged by stroke contains injured neurons that remain hyperactive for several hours after the stroke has occurred

These

cells are frantically

37 .

struggling to survive and need

even more oxygen, glucose, and magnesium than normal. In addition,

when

these vital nutrients are deficient, those neu-

rons become especially vulnerable to the damaging effects of excitotoxins that rush in to

fill

nutrients. Hospitalized patients

78

the void

left

by escaping

commonly have low mag-

Migraines, Strokes, Head Injury, and Brain Surgery

nesium

levels,

to survive.

which means

that neurons are even less likely

According to one researcher,

magnesium deficiency alone

is

enough

a state of severe

for rats to develop

widespread injury to their brains. 38

A

study of stroke patients in

New

York

highlights the

magnesium intervention

absolute requirement for

in the

ER.

Ninety-eight patients admitted to the emergency rooms of three hospitals with a diagnosis of stroke exhibited early

and significant

deficits in

magnesium ions

a sensitive ion-selective electrode.

demonstrated

a

The

as

measured with

stroke patients also

high calcium-ion-to-magnesium-ion

signs of increased vascular tone

ratio,

and cerebral vessel spasm. 39

DIURETICS DRY OUT THE BRAIN

An

elderly

woman’s

total

serum magnesium

level

became

depleted due to a diuretic she was taking for hypertension. 40

She was admitted to the hospital with severe weakness and developed an overt psychosis with paranoid delusions. Fortunately, her deficiency

was

identified,

intravenous doses of magnesium, her

and following large

symptoms disappeared

within twenty-four hours. She was unable to discontinue

magnesium therapy without as

long

ties

as she

was taking the

a recurrence of her diuretic.

No

symptoms

other abnormali-

were found to explain her condition. People

who

are

prescribed diuretics should check with their doctor about taking at least 600

mg

a

day of supplemental magnesium

divided doses.

79

in

The Miracle of Magnesium

MAGNESIUM AND SEIZURES The brain

is

in a state of constant electrical activity. Brain

cells are either

stimulating or suppressing activity in a deli-

These

cate push-and-pull balance.

some switches

are turned

cells are like switches:

on and some

are turned off

by

neurotransmitter chemicals. The action of these neurotransmitters could not take place without calcium, magnesium,

and

zinc,

which play various

roles in switching

on and

off

the nerve cells to electrical stimulation.

Brain

cells altered

by trauma, chemicals, or severe

can be permanently switched on and peated firing in

Magnesium

many

nerve

fire excessively.

may

shown

that

at all.

likely to

low magnesium

occur 41 .

80

reducing the

Conversely, experimental in the

cantly lowers the threshold for seizures, that

more

Re-

result in seizures.

raises the threshold for seizures,

chance of them developing studies have

cells

stress

body

is,

signifi-

makes them

CHAPTER

5

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina, Arrhythmia, Arteriosclerosis,

and Heart Attack

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND HEART DISEASE 1.

Magnesium prevents muscle spasms

of

the

heart

blood vessels, 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 plaque

in arteries,

in

which leads to clogged

cholesterol arteries.

Annette was tired of peoples shocked reaction when they learned that she was recovering from a heart attack. She

knew

that the

common

image of heart disease was that

81

it

The Miracle of Magnesium

targeted aggressive, overweight

men who smoked and

ate

too much. Annette, on the other hand, was slim, reserved,

and

who

a vegetarian

friends tried to

ate a low-fat diet.

her about the Dr.

tell

She chuckled

when

Dean Ornish

vege-

tarian diet for reversing heart disease, because she’d lived

according to that

diet.

She was only

nonsmoker, with exemplary

fifty-six, a

blood pres-

cholesterol, but she did have slightly elevated sure, her tack.

only risk

Now

factor.

Yet she had had a mild heart

at-

she suffered from daily palpitations and was on

several medications that

seemed to drain her energy more

with every passing day. She was also simply too afraid to exert herself for fear of

bringing on another heart attack.

Annette was becoming an

invalid,

and

pointment her cardiologist was shocked appearance.

urged by

sium

test.

He

The

her worn-out

at

decided to run some blood

a student

doctor to order the

results of that test

new

her next ap-

at

tests

and was

ionized magne-

were so low that the

lab

rushed the results to him the next morning. His nurse

immediately called Annette to come

in,

saying the doctor

had found something that would help her Annette was prescribed

a

feel

better.

magnesium preparation

she mixed with water (Slow-Mag) that began to

that

work

within twenty-four hours. She was amazed that her muscle aches, insomnia, palpitations,

peared. She tions.

was even

and fatigue

able to cut back

Her doctor vowed

to test

all

all

on her other medica-

his patients’

ion levels from then on, and wondered aloud

82

but disap-

magnesium

if it

had been

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

AN IMPORTANT REMINDER ABOUT TAKING

MAGNESIUM WITH PRESCRIPTION DRUGS You

may

experience a decreased need for your drugs as

magnesium

deficiency

is

corrected or as

magnesium

your symptoms or reverses your condition. the

symptoms

clear up

due

for

to the

In

treats

other words,

which the drug was prescribed may

magnesium, making the drug unnec-

essary or toxic and causing

new symptoms.

doctors should be on the alert for a shift

in

Patients and

symptoms. Be

sure to work with your doctor to lower your medication

doses

safely.

low magnesium

in the first place that

had led to Annettes

heart attack.

As we

will learn in

Chapter

familiar with the use of

women

about to

deliver.

7,

obstetricians are quite

magnesium

for hypertension in

Unfortunately, they aren’t talking

to cardiologists or even to family doctors about the impor-

tance of the

magnesium

main

one of

risk factors for heart disease.

Heart disease

women

in treating general hypertension,

is

the

number one

killer of

and men, accounting for half of

both American all

(52.3 percent of the total deaths occurring in

U.S. deaths

women com-

pared to 47.7 percent in men). According to the American

Heart Association, every thirty-three seconds someone

83

in

The Miracle of Magnesium

the United States dies of cardiovascular disease; that’s ap-

proaching one million deaths annually. Hypertension occurs in fifty million

Americans and accounts for an estimated

29.3 million office visits a year to allopathic doctors (M.D.’s)

Antihypertensive drug prescriptions are given these appointments, even though

at

most of

magnesium has been used by medical doctors,

successfully for over half a century

osteopaths, and naturopathic doctors. 2



3

THE SLIPPERY ROAD TO HEART ATTACK STEP ONE: LOSS OF ARTERIAL ELASTICITY The coronary

from

arteries bringing oxygen-filled blood

in-

side the heart through the aorta to the heart muscle are very, very small, only thick).

about 3

doesn't take

It

much

blood clot or to imagine

across

to plug

them

Magnesium prevents blood These coronary

mm

(a nickel is

them up

collapsing

clot formation

arteries get

mm

with a tiny

when

and

2

spasm.

in

artery

even smaller as they

spasm.

split into

two, then four, then eight and so on as they descend toward

the bottom of the heart. Each of these splits furcation. According to cardiologists, sclerotic

plaques

initially

is

called a bi-

about 85 percent of

form near bifurcations.

It

believed that the development of these plaques

sponse to

injury.

This

means

is is

widely a re-

that something, such as an

84

1

in-

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

may be damaging

fection,

and calcium building up

the arteries, rather than just fat a

like silt in

river.

Endothelial cells are a single layer of specialized cells

membrane

that form the inside

thelial layer (the next layer in) is a very thin

sue that contains

As

elastin.

its

the layer responsible for providing in

your arteries.

quires

It

magnesium

is

flow

in

sponse

much

of the elasticity

and control the

flex

is

re-

Smooth muscle

dilation of the arterial in

the

and magnesium causes

is nitric

final

oxide, which

messenger is

of the earliest signs of in

for the dilation re-

dependent on magnesium.

magnesium

deficiency

is

the subendothelium. Animals

on low-magnesium diets lose the

ity

this

which together control the blood pressure and

degeneration of elastin

terial

layer.

by the calcium/magnesium ratio

the artery. A

One

implies,

the next

body. Calcium causes contraction relaxation,

tis-

name

important to note that your body

cells are

cells provide integrity

triggered

connective

to maintain healthy elastin.

Smooth muscle

cavity,

The subendo-

of an artery.

elasticity

of their ar-

system. Coronary arteries require even more elastic-

than other arteries because they must stretch and as the heart expands and contracts. Loss of

results in inflammation of the endothelial thelial

layers

at

points

that

are

most

elasticity

and subendomechanically

challenged by stretching the bifurcations. Imagine a small

85

The Miracle of Magnesium

rubber-band-like tube shaped

grasp the two legs of the Y

hand, grip the single

leg.

like

in

a

In

Y.

your mind’s eye-

one hand. With your other

Begin pulling them apart just as

though they were stretching on the surface of the heart. Stretch If

we

it

left

as far as you can. Where the rubber tube out

what would happen

if

two

it

the shape weakest?

the sun for a

you slowly stretched

might you expect the time

in

is

first

it

week

or so,

again? Where

crack to appear? Most of the

would happen at or near where one tube becomes

—at

the bifurcation.

makes sense

If

your artery loses

that the problem might

show up

elasticity,

it

at or near the

bifurcation.

STEP TWO: THE INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE Inflammation begins with to white blood cells to heal the is

too

injury of

the artery wall, leading

and cholesterol hovering around

damage. At

this stage in the process,

much calcium and

not enough

magnesium

if

trying

there in

the

bloodstream, excess calcium precipitates around the area of inflammation

and

in

the artery wall. The area

becomes

rigid

interferes with blood flow.

STEP THREE: HEART ATTACK Over time, the above steps weaken and plug the coronary arteries

The

and slowly

final result is

kill

small areas of the heart muscle.

severe chest pain,

portion of heart muscle,

damage

and heart attack

86

4 .

to a larger

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

Some

of the

evidence for the use of magnesium

first

came from epidemiological

against heart disease

studies in

Wales, Taiwan, Sweden, Finland, and Japan showing that

death rates from coronary heart disease are higher in communities with magnesium-deficient water and magnesium-

where calcium

deficient diets. 5 Areas

in the

water

much

is

higher than magnesium or where dietary intake of calcium is

higher than magnesium

disease.

A

showed even more coronary

U.S. study done over a seven-year period fol-

lowed fourteen thousand men and that

heart

low magnesium

in the diet

may

women

and concluded

contribute to the origin

of coronary atherosclerosis and acute heart attack. 6

The Centers

for Disease Control and Prevention in At-

lanta followed twelve

the end of disease.

thousand people for nineteen years,

which 4,282 people had

died, 1,005

at

from heart

Risk of dying from heart disease was highest in

those with magnesium deficiency. Researchers servative estimate that

1

1

made

a

con-

percent of the half a million peo-

ple dying of heart disease in 1993 could have been directly related to

magnesium

deficiency. 7 If

more

accurate measure-

ments for magnesium deficiency were used, such

magnesium

testing,

we would

find the

numbers

as ionic

to be even

higher and the need for magnesium even greater.

The evidence has been mounting nesium plays sclerosis

and

a crucial role in the

arteriosclerosis. 8



9

for decades that

mag-

prevention of both athero-

It

maintains the elasticity of

the artery wall, dilates blood vessels, prevents calcium deposits,

and

is

necessary for the maintenance of healthy mus-

87

The Miracle of Magnesium

cles,

including the heart muscle

magnesium

One

is

critical to

itself.

For

these reasons,

all

the maintenance of a healthy heart. 10

of the pivotal metabolic chemicals in the

oxide (NO).

gen and oxygen, but

it

is

compound made from

very simple

It is a

body

nitric

nitro-

packs a powerful punch. Nitric oxide

controls vasodilation, but this activity

under the direction

is

of magnesium. 11

HIGH CHOLESTEROL The upper

limit of

normal cholesterol

is

200 mg/dl, but

it

appears that over time, with the average cholesterol in the general population

medicine accepts

becoming more

as

normal have

elevated, the values that risen.

Some

doctors are

taking a stand and revising the upper limit of normal to 180 mg/dl.

most

As with hypertension,

cases of high cholesterol

is

down

the actual cause of

said to be

unknown. High

cholesterol tends to run in families and occurs in association

with low thyroid hormone production or hypothyroidism, liver disease,

and pregnancy.

There are several types of cholesterol with different functions,

some of which we

label

good and some bad. Cho-

with high-density lipoprotein,

lesterol associated

generally considered to be beneficial to the body. ently functions to posits it

from blood

remove other cholesterol or

vessel walls

and the blood

itself,

HDL, It

is

appar-

fatty de-

bringing

to the liver for processing and excretion. Low-density

lipoprotein,

LDL,

is

commonly thought

88

to be harmful to

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

the

body because

it

carries cholesterol into the bloodstream,

promoting the buildup of cholesterol plaque on the walls.

into

Very-low-density lipoproteins,

LDLs

But

all

in the liver

made

of these cholesterols are normally found in the the high

is

cholesterol (cholesterol abnormally

we

are

and are also thought to be harmful.

body. What’s not normal

that

VLDLs,

arterial

amounts of oxidized

bound with oxygen)

eat in processed foods, fast foods,

and

fried foods.

In addition, chlorine, fluoride in water, pesticides, and other

environmental pollutants can also oxidize cholesterol in the body.

It is this

cerned about

oxidized cholesterol that researchers are con-

when

it

comes

to heart disease

12 .

Regular use

of antioxidants such as magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin A,

vitamin C, and green tea can lower oxidized cholesterol levels.

There

is

compelling evidence that magnesium therapy

reduces cholesterol levels

13 14 ’ 15 ’

,

even

when

there

risk factor present for hypercholesterolemia

There are no

yond

visible

symptoms

a genetic

16 .

of high cholesterol be-

the associated signs of a bad diet, sedentary lifestyle,

smoking, alcohol intake, and

stress.

A poor diet with a high

intake of saturated and polyunsaturated oils, fried

fats,

hydrogenated

foods, meat, sugar, coffee, and alcohol will elevate

cholesterol levels, especially

when

whole grains and vegetables. Add cholesterol increases.

The very

cholesterol also causes

magnesium

many

is

a

person lacks fiber from

a sedentary lifestyle,

diet that

and

promotes elevated

deficiency. Unfortunately,

doctors do not have the time or inclination to educate

patients about correct eating habits that could reduce their

89

The Miracle of Magnesium

cholesterol, instead using medication to treat the problem.

To be

fair,

ply even

weight

many

if

loss.

patients don’t have the inclination to

their doctor

recommends

ment, making compliance

Many

to lifestyle

more dramatic improve-

easier.

of us have been conditioned to believe that ele-

vated cholesterol

why

and

a diet, exercise,

Adding magnesium supplementation

changes, however, gives patients

com-

is

the only cause of heart disease; that

is

marketers have been so successful in getting us to re-

place the saturated fat of butter with hydrogenated vegeta-

and dental anthropologists

ble oils. Yet epidemiologists

proved long ago that various world cultures that

ate high-

cholesterol diets for thousands of years (including meat, lard,

cream, butter, and eggs) suffered very

heart disease

17 .

Almost

all

little,

the long-lived, healthy

if

any,

com-

munities where degenerative disease and heart disease were

unknown

included significant amounts of natural, unpro-

cessed meat or dairy in their diets.

once a country

is

worse list

is

it is

also clear that

exposed to refined and processed food, or

A major disadvantage tain extra

And

sugar

in

of low-fat products

is

that they con-

order to capture the taste buds. Even

aspartame, a synthetic sweetener with a daunting

of ninety-two side effects to

health, avoid both.

90

its

name. To maintain your

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

“altered” meat and “altered” dairy, health declines in a

number oils

of ways. 18



19 20

Hydrogenated



oils are

unsaturated

and for that reason were thought to be healthier than

saturated fats such as butter. But the processing of liquid

vegetable

oil

by

heat, pressure,

and chemicals to change

it

into a solid fat creates an unhealthy synthetic product called a trans fatty acid (as

Only

opposed to the natural

in the late 1990s did

we

find out that these highly re-

fined hydrogenated oils themselves

plaque

much more

than butter. In

promote fact,

that the rise of myocardial infarctions,

general, can be traced

genated

oils

were

first

atherosclerotic

some

scientists say

and heart disease

in

back to the 1930s, when hydro-

introduced.

fatty acids cause arterial

cis fatty acid).

We now know that

damage and

cancer.

Be sure

trans

to read

labels to avoid this substance.

HOMOCYSTEINURIA Dr. Kilmer

McCully was

the

first

researcher,

back

in 1969,

to identify a condition of increased levels of an

amino

acid,

homocysteine, in the urine of patients with heart dis-

ease,

which could be reversed with

Homocysteine which

in

is

a

elevated

certain nutrients. 21

amounts causes oxidized vessels. (See

page 89 for

cholesterol, a definition

of oxidized cholesterol.) For certain individuals

enzymes

become

a real

22

normal by-product of protein digestion,

which damages blood

specific



who

lack

for protein digestion, homocysteine can

problem.

91

The Miracle of Magnesium

NORMAL 180 mg/dl

Cholesterol:

HDL

cholesterol: greater than

LDL

cholesterol: less than

VLDL

Total-cholesterol-to-HDL less than

A

45 mg/d

130 mg/d

cholesterol: less than

mal

VALUES

LIPID

35 mg/d

I

I

men

ratio: in

3.43 (average = 4.97);

ratio is less

liter

the optimal ratio

women

in

than 3.27 (average

healthy level of homocysteine

moles per

I

=

the opti-

4.44)

below

is

is

12 micro-

of blood (12 fxmol/L). Homocysteine levels

greater than 12 pimol/L are considered high.

Twenty

to 40

percent of the general population have elevated levels of ho-

mocysteine. Individuals with high levels have almost four times the risk of suffering a heart attack compared to people

with normal list

levels. 23

Elevated homocysteine

is

high on the

of risk factors for heart disease and serves as an even

stronger marker than high cholesterol for heart disease and

blood clotting disorders. 24 25 ’

The more

relevant marker, in

my

opinion,

is

low mag-

nesium, since the major enzymes involved in homocysteine

metabolism are magnesium-dependent. 26 McCully blames too

much

protein in the diet for elevated homocysteine.

However, when magnesium, vitamin B 6 vitamin B 12 and ,

folic acid are deficient, the

body

92

is

,

not able to properly di-

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

gest protein.

The B vitamins were

typical diet a

hundred years ago;

from the

diet,

readily available in the

now

that they’re absent

homocysteine becomes elevated and heart

disease results.

When

duced through

diet or supplements, the high

levels are reversed

minish.

Ongoing

these metabolic nutrients are reintro-

and the symptoms of heart disease

research confirms that

magnesium

acid together with

cysteine in the blood

27 .

vitamins and magnesium

teine

also a

marker for

Bj 2

levels

on dietary changes

,

and

folic

of

homo-

that include

28 29 30 .





must be remembered, however, is

,

In short, the successful treatment

of homocysteinemia relies

It

B6

di-

are necessary to prevent

blood vessel damage induced by high

B

homocysteine

all

that high

homocys-

causes of mortality and signifies

that a deficiency in essential nutrients has a far-reaching effect

on the body beyond heart

disease

31 .

ATHEROSCLEROSIS It is

easy to confuse the terms arteriosclerosis and atheroscle-

rosis ; in fact,

many

people use them interchangeably. Arte-

riosclerosis is the overall

term for

sclerosis or scarring of the

arteries. Atherosclerosis is scarring

due to

fatty plaques.

rowed by be the

When

fat deposits, a

final

or thickening specifically

the diameter of an artery

blood

clot or an arterial

is

nar-

spasm can

straw that results in angina, heart attack, or

stroke. Complications of this preventable condition cause

over a third of

all

deaths in the United States.

93

The Miracle of Magnesium

SUPPLEMENT AND DRUG INTERACTIONS IN 1.

HEART DISEASE

Calcium interacts with verapamil (Calan,

Isoptin, Vere-

a calcium channel blocker, and calcium

lan). This is

interferes with the hypotensive effect of this drug. Avoid

calcium 2. Vitamin

Lasix

until

your doctor weans you off this drug.

Bi (thiamine) interacts with furosemide

(Lasix).

causes increased urinary excretion of Bi so sup-

plements of 3. Vitamin

sazide,

B6

this vitamin

may be

necessary.

interacts with hydralazine (Alazine, Apre-

Apresoline,

Unipres).

Hydralazine

causes

increased excretion of vitamin B 6 supplements of the ;

nutrient

may be

necessary.

magnesium, and potassium

4. Calcium,

interact with

furosemide, which causes urinary excretion of these minerals. Monitor levels of these nutrients and re-

place as necessary. 5.

Grapefruit (Adalat,

juice

makes

Procardia)

felodipine

more powerful;

and it

nifepidine

increases the

action of these drugs by temporarily blocking the en-

zyme

that clears

them from the

to avoid grapefruit juice while 6.

body. You

may have

on these medications.

Magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium

interact

with thiazide diuretics such as chlorthiazide (Diuril, Aldoril, Diachlor)

and hydrochlorthiazide

94

(Hydrodiuril).

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

Thiazides

work by increasing urinary excretion of

sodium, which presumably lowers blood pressure. However, significant

amounts

magnesium are

also excreted.

per day

may have

Magnesium

be increased to

to

on thiazide diuretics or

and

of calcium, potassium,

digitalis

at

900 mg

600 mg

if

you are

because both drugs

cause excretion of magnesium. Your doctor should do an ionized magnesium test to determine your needs. 7.

Potassium and magnesium deficiencies lead to rhythmias

in

ar-

patients on digoxin (Lanoxin).

plasma calcium increase digoxin

8. Small increases in

(Lanoxin) toxicity.

Some

specialists advise avoiding

high-calcium foods for two hours before and after taking this drug. 9.

Calcium should be supplemented due to decreased absorption of vitamin

D

with patients using cholesterol-

lowering drugs colestipol or cholestyramine.

10. Colestipol (Colestid) interferes with absorption of folate,

and vitamins

A, D, E,

and

iron,

K.

11. Cholestyramine (Quesyran, Cholybar) interferes with absorption of

and vitamins

iron, folate,

A, D, E,

and

K.

12. Heparin interferes with renal hydroxylation of vita-

min D. This could lead to osteopenia; your doctor may

need to check 1,25 (0H)2 D3 cholecalciferol

levels.

13. Vitamin K inactivates coumadin (Warfarin); coumadin interferes with vitamin

K

synthesis. 32

95

The Miracle of Magnesium

Researchers have identified various causes of damage to the inner wall of arteries, including homocysteine, an

amino

acid discussed

earlier;

called chlamydia; distorted

of

fat;

by an organism

infection

blood flow around the

mound

blood sugar; high blood pressure;

free radicals; high

and lack of oxygen. As described previously, the damaged tissue of the artery wall initiates

The inflammation then calcium, which build

attracts

up

bad cholesterol (LDL) and

into a solid scar.

homocysteine

role to play in reducing free

an inflammatory process.

Magnesium levels,

has

a

preventing

balancing blood sugar, and reducing high

radicals,

blood pressure.

HYPERTENSION Hypertension

more than is

fifty

an elevation of blood pressure suffered by million Americans.

Normal blood

120-140 over 80-90. Systolic pressure

and

relates to the

creates to is

is

number and

when

the heart

to keep the arteries open.

the

first

number

pressure that the heart muscle

push blood into the

the second

maintain

pump

is

pressure

is

is

arteries. Diastolic

pressure

the pressure that the arteries

relaxed, or

Hypertension

between heartbeats, is

either

primary or

secondary. Primary hypertension has no single cause and

occurs in 90 percent of

hypertension

is

all

hypertensive patients. Secondary

secondary to another disease. Causes of pri-

mary hypertension include high

96

cholesterol, family history,

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

smoking,

obesity, diet,

often, hypertension

exam. less

It

is

stress,

and excessive

salt intake.

diagnosed during a routine physical

presents no distinguishing signs or

the condition

dizziness,

Most

symptoms un-

very advanced, in which case headache,

is

and blurred vision can occur.

In Western medicine, the

hypertension

first line

of drug treatment for

typically the use of diuretics, or water

is

pills.

When patients are prescribed diuretics, they are warned that the most common side effect is a deficiency of potassium, which

out in the urine. To prevent

spills

to eat bananas

magnesium

is

they are advised

and oranges. What they are not told

is

that

drained out along with potassium. Recall that

magnesium deficiency relaxed and

it,

more

leads to blood vessels that are less

susceptible to

spasm and tension,

a precur-

sor to hypertension; thus the very treatment for hypertension

worsens the problem

body

is

(Ironically,

who

doesn’t help patients

cause the

33 .

replacing potassium

are also magnesium-deficient, be-

unable to deliver potassium to the

cells

without sufficient magnesium. Also, the so-called potassiumsparing diuretics

still

commonly

deplete other minerals, in-

cluding magnesium .) 34 If

blood pressure

choice

may

be

is

ACE

not controlled with diuretics, the next

inhibitors, calcium channel blockers,

antiadrenergic drugs, or vasodilators. fided to after

me

that

if

a patient’s

One

cardiologist con-

blood pressure

is

still

using five different antihypertensive drugs

time, he then

knows

the

problem

97

is

magnesium

at

high

one

deficiency.

The Miracle of Magnesium

know

Fortunately, other cardiologists

that

magnesium

is

a

physiological necessity and a pharmacological treasure to use

before pharmacological intervention. the ideal drug:

It is safe,

wide therapeutic range,

a short half-life,

diet

for hypertension. Research

magnesium

little

or no ten-

35

the

is

and

.

shows

tween the amount of magnesium 36

first

treatment of choice

a direct relationship be-

and the

in the diet

The Alturas

to avoid high blood pressure

.

strated that diets deficient in

magnesium

pertension in experimental animals

blood pressure successfully due to loss

call

cheap, and simple to use, with a

dency toward drug interactions

Even before drugs,

They

37

will

Diet

.

first

ability

demon-

produce hy-

may lower

the

combination of weight

a

and increased intake of the vitamin and mineral cofac-

tors necessary in

blood pressure control. For example,

creased levels of minerals such as potassium and in the diet

have

a suppressive effect

ions and total

magnesium

on calcium-regulating

hormones, which influence blood pressure blood pressure appears to go up

in-

38 .

as the levels of

serum magnesium go down

The

arterial

magnesium

39 .

Note Some forms of severe high blood pressure :

are

hereditary or due to kidney disease and do require medication. Also,

if

the arteries in the

body

are

damaged from long-

term atherosclerotic injury and scarring, unfortunately they

may no

longer respond to magnesium and

you may

require

medications to keep your blood pressure under control.

98

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

(

ANGINA Angina describes an episodic pain and/or

down

muscle and lites.

a

the

left

in the region of the chest

arm, due to lack of oxygen to the heart

buildup of carbon dioxide and other metabo-

Usually the pain, which can be a mild ache, pressure,

or fullness, or a crushing blow, comes on with exercise (especially in the cold), emotional stress, a

dream, and

a vivid

is

heavy meal, or even

relieved (within five minutes)

by

rest

and nitroglycerine.

The

lack of sufficient blood flow carrying life-giving

oxygen and nutrients can be due ies

to blocked coronary arter-

or spasms in these tiny vessels. Angina

ble”

when symptoms become more

rest,

is

called Prinzmetal’s,

rather than following

James B.

some

is

Another type of

angina that occurs

at

sort of physical stress.

Pierce, Ph.D., believes he has identified the cause

of Prinzmetal’s, cific

which

labeled “unsta-

severe; unstable angina

implies a greater risk for heart attack.

angina

is

which occurs most commonly

at

two spe-

times in the day, early morning and late afternoon,

when magnesium

levels are at their lowest. 40 Dr. Pierce esti-

mates that up to 50 percent of sudden heart attacks

due to magnesium deficiency.

worked

better

fact,

be

found that magnesium

than nitroglycerine for his

induced chest pains. In

would

He

may

own

stress-

Dr. Pierce could predict that he

get chest pain after a stressful day, a long drive, or an

emotional upset and would increase his intake of magne-

sium to

forestall

symptoms.

99

The Miracle of Magnesium

Risk factors for angina include magnesium deficiency,

smoking, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, type ality,

sedentary

lifestyle,

poor

diet,

A

person-

and family history of

coronary artery disease. Diagnosis of angina, to differentiate

it

from myocardial infarction and unstable angina,

EKG

cludes an

in-

(electrocardiogram) taken during an angina

attack; an exercise tolerance test,

which

is

an

EKG

taken

while on a treadmill; and a coronary angiogram (an X-ray

view of dye coronary

in the

coronary

arteries are

Once angina versal: stop

is

arteries) to assess

whether the

open or blocked.

diagnosed, the recommendations are uni-

smoking, lose weight, get blood pressure under

control (with or without drugs), and in extreme cases of arterial

blockages, undergo bypass surgery to remove blocked

arteries.

The

tion.

By

your

diet

best treatment for angina, however,

is

preven-

eliminating sugar, alcohol, and junk foods from

you help prevent

heart disease, because these

foods have no magnesium and serve only to create magne-

sium deficiency. processed-food

When you

diet,

your magnesium

you have

intake.

eat

a

more balanced, non-

a better

chance of increasing

With magnesium and other

heart-

healthy supplements, a healthy diet and exercise regimen,

you have

a fighting

page 108 for

chance of avoiding

a list of

this

supplements to cover

heart disease.

100

epidemic. See all

aspects of

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

HEART ATTACKS Myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack, causes permanent damage to the heart muscle and requires immediate hospitalization.

MI

is

the result of coronary artery disease

due to atherosclerosis or due to spasms caused by magne-

sium deficiency. The artery may be damaged gradually by plaque, suddenly go into spasm, clot,

become blocked by

a

blood

or a combination of the above, often accelerated by ex-

cessive emotion. terial

The

calcified atherosclerotic plaque, the ar-

spasm, and even the blood clot are

worsened by magnesium

all

caused or

deficiency.

Laboratory findings distinguish

a heart attack

from an

episode of angina on the basis of heart muscle damage and certain heart

Lours days.

enzyme

levels that

become

elevated several

and remain elevated for several

after a heart attack

The immediate treatment

for an acute heart attack

usually includes anticoagulant drugs in an intravenous drip.

Intravenous magnesium given as soon as possible after heart attack, however,

may

a

provide the best protection for

the heart. Oral

magnesium treatment

clots in patients

with coronary artery disease whether the

patient

is

on

aspirin therapy or not

the considerable research rating

magnesium

41 .

also inhibits

blood

As more doctors read

on magnesium they

are incorpo-

into their intravenous and oral protocols

for heart patients.

Magnesium

has been studied for

101

its

effects

on the heart

The Miracle of Magnesium

since the 1930s

and used by injection for the treatment of

conditions

heart

1940s. 42

the

since



43

Magnesiums

life-

saving effects have been confirmed and reconfirmed in

many

clinics

and laboratories. For example,

in

an analysis of

seven major clinical studies, researchers concluded that

magnesium

(in

doses of 5-10 g by intravenous injection) re-

duced the odds of death by an astounding 55 percent acute MI. 44 45 ’

trials

If

Over

the past decade, several large clinical

using magnesium have

intravenous magnesium

drugs and

(2)

immediately

shown

its

beneficial effects:

given (1) before any other

is

after onset of a heart attack,

the incidence of high blood pressure, congestive heart

arrhythmia, or a subsequent heart attack

ure,

reduced. ful

One

in

is

fail-

vastly

such study, called LIMIT-2, provided power-

evidence that early magnesium administration pro-

tects the heart muscle, prevents

arrhythmia, and improves

long-term survival. 46 47 48 Magnesium might improve the ’



af-

termath of acute heart attack by preventing rhythm problems; improving blood flow to the heart vessels; protecting the

damaged

by

dilating

blood

heart muscle against cal-

cium overload; improving heart muscle function; breaking

down any blood

clots blocking the arteries;

and reduc-

ing free-radical damage.

Magnesium may

drug digoxin to be more

effective in the treatment of cardiac

also help the heart

arrhythmia; 49 without enough magnesium, digoxin can be-

come

toxic. 50

The suggested

criteria for

magnesium intervention were

102

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

not followed in a very large

come

did not

show

the

same

trial,

the onset of

symptoms and were

trials

LIMIT trial. 51 many hours after

results as the

blood clotting had begun.

after

LIMIT and

and oranges,

as dissimilar as apples

yet the debate over magnesium’s efficacy the

and the out-

ISIS-4,

magnesium was given

In the ISIS

The two

trial called

ISIS studies, several smaller

still

rages. Since

trials

have shown

even greater recovery from heart attacks using intravenous

magnesium, including 74 percent lower death

sium

who want

to

promote

magne-

work; supporters of magnesium

cite the

trial as

influenced

proof that

by the ISIS

it

trial

important option in your

does.

Your doctor may even be

and think magnesium care.

help

and

you

who

is

not an

who are many side

But cardiologists

looking for alternatives to drug therapy and to effects,

their

therapies, cite the ISIS trial as proof that

sulfate doesn’t

LIMIT

a

rate. 52

Pharmaceutical companies,

own drug

two hundred people with

a trial of

its

read studies thoroughly, are using

find these doctors, there

is

a

of complementary medicine associations

list

in the

it.

To

Appendix

whose doctors study

alternatives to the drug-based medicine they learned in

medical school. Because one of the major side effects of heart medications, especially diuretics, ciency,

it is

magnesium

vital that test

magnesium be

and supplemented

mg

magnesium

defi-

tested with an ionized

in heart patients

on medication. The dosage ranges from (300-1,000

is

6 to 10

who

are

mg/kg/da

per day), but this should be taken only

103

The Miracle of Magnesium

under

a

doctors supervision

if

you

on any other heart

are

magnesium dosage.

medications. See page 108 for

SPASTIC HEART Between 40 and 60 percent of people who heart attacks

may

actually have

Two

history of irregular heartbeats. 53

spasms

in the

vere heart

coronary

arteries

no

arterial

perirritable, leading to the

blockage or

and the occurrence of

a se-

as atrial fibrillation.

Both of these conditions can be caused by

Low magnesium

sudden

suspected causes are

rhythm disturbance, such

magnesium.

suffer

a deficiency of

makes the heart muscle hy-

development of

a

rhythm

distur-

bance that can’t be stopped without emergency medical intervention.

of

An

astute physician recognizes the possibility

magnesium deficiency and immediately

intravenously, as in the

LIMIT trial. Rapid

magnesium

gives

heartbeat or

atrial

tachycardia, premature beats, and atrial fibrillation have

all

responded to treatment with IV magnesium. 54 55 56 ’

The most common time around 9 a.m. on Mondays other long workweek. 57

for the onset of heart attacks

as

As mentioned

from spasm-induced angina

rience

them

same time each

ing and late afternoon, lowest.

The morning

is

people gird themselves for an-

suffer

at the



earlier,

attacks

is

morn-

levels are at their

likely the result of over-

night fasting and the loss of

magnesium through

Deficiency in the afternoon

may

104

who

most often expe-

day, usually in the

when magnesium

deficiency

people

the urine.

be caused by depletion of

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

magnesium induced by the

stress of the

day and not yet

replenished by the evening meal. In view of

this,

seems

it

reasonable that people with angina, heart spasms, hypertension, or heart disease

should consult with their doctors, take

an ionized magnesium take at least 200

mg

of

and,

test,

magnesium

if it

shows

a deficiency,

three times each day; be-

fore breakfast, at 2 p.m., and before going to bed.

ARRHYTHMIA Magnesiums

ability to neutralize the

heart-damaging

effects

of catecholamines (the products of stress-induced adrena-

many

of the

side effects of acute heart attack such as arrhythmia. 58

Mag-

line

and

cortisol)

is

the miracle that can prevent

nesium deficiency contributes possibly because

magnesium

is

to

abnormal heart rhythms,

responsible for maintaining

normal potassium and sodium concentrations inside heart muscle

cells.

A

balance of potassium, sodium, calcium, and

magnesium allows

for

normal heart muscle contraction and

maintains normal heartbeat.

A central pacemaker within the

heart muscle creates a normal

pumping

action that travels

across the heart; cardiac arrhythmia occurs suitable areas of the heart are forced to

the central pacemaker

by

lack of

when

assume the

when it becomes damaged

oxygen due to blocked blood

other, less

vessels,

role of

or irritated

caused by

drugs (including coffee), hormonal imbalance, or deficiency of magnesium. These tive to

new pacemakers

magnesium deficiency and

105

are even

more

are responsive to

sensi-

magne-

The Miracle of Magnesium

sium therapy that has been successfully used for over sixty years

Magnesium

59 .

also an accepted treatment for ven-

is

60 61

congestive heart failure where the

tricular

arrhythmias

heart

weak and unable

is

and before and bypass grafting



,

after

64 65 66 .





to

empty

after

each heartbeat

62 63 ’

,

heart surgery, including coronary

All these studies indicate that the fre-

quency of ventricular arrhythmias tration of intravenous

is

reduced by adminis-

magnesium and support an

early

high-dose administration of intravenous magnesium in the

wake

of myocardial infarction.

MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE Magnesium

deficiency has been implicated in mitral valve

prolapse (MVP), a disorder in which the mitral valve

fails

to

completely close off one of the heart chambers during heart contraction.

It is

also called floppy valve

syndrome. Blood

rushing through the open valve can be heard as a heart mur-

mur with

a stethoscope.

more commonplace, cially in

When

cardiac ultrasound

the diagnosis of

young women. There

is

no

MVP

became

escalated, espe-

allopathic treatment

for the condition, and in mild and even moderate cases

it

doesn’t cause any symptoms. However, patients are usually

warned tal

that they should take antibiotics

work done

when having den-

to prevent the possibility of bacteria

gums being picked up

in the

from the

bloodstream and lodging on

the prolapsed valve, causing infection. This

106

is

a

very rare

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

occurrence and some doctors disapprove of antibiotics, but

who

tists

Dr.

it

remains a potential

warn

don’t

overuse of

this

liability threat to

their patients.

Melvyn Werbach, author of Nutritional

on Disease, believes that maintains that well treated

it is

a

den-

MVP

Influences

overdiagnosed and also

is

magnesium deficiency

by magnesium. The

disease that

is

valves of the heart are

pulled tight by muscles, which, like any other muscle in the

body, depend on magnesium for proper functioning. The mitral valve prolapses because Seelig reports that as

many

as 85

low magnesium

percent of

MVP

141 individuals with strongly

magnesium trol

group.

it is

levels,

compared

not held

levels

have been found in

symptomatic

MVP

had low

to only 5 percent of the con-

Magnesium supplementation given

low energy,

Mildred

patients. 67 Sixty percent of

weeks reduced the symptoms of chest anxiety,

tight.

faintness,

and

for

five

pain, palpitation,

difficulty breathing

by

about 50 percent. 68

CHELATION THERAPY Even

alternative medicine can

sium. Chelation therapy

chemical called iron

EDTA

from the body

ease. It

is

make more use

magne-

an intravenous treatment with a

that pulls out excess calcium

and

and heart

dis-

to treat atherosclerosis

would be much more convenient

as part of

of

to use

magnesium

an oral chelation protocol preventively, to keep

107

The Miracle of Magnesium

calcium from building up in the

venous

EDTA is used,

nesium are given

first place.

When

intra-

however, generous amounts of mag-

as well.

SUPPLEMENTS FOR HEART DISEASE Magnesium: 300

mg twice

per day

Coenzyme Qk> 30 mg three times

500 mg

Bromelain:

a day

three times a day between meals

Vitamin E as mixed tocopherols:

400

IU twice a

day

Crategus tincture: 20 drops two to three times a day Bioflavonoids rutin or quercetin: Biotin:

5

mg

500 mg

daily

daily.

FOR ATHEROSCLEROSIS ADD: 100 mg

Niacin (vitamin B 3 ): to

6 g

daily.

three times a day, working up

Do not use time-release

has been associated with

liver

niacin,

which

damage. Niacinamide

(which does not cause flushing)

is

not effective for

lowering cholesterol. Folic acid:

800 meg

Vitamin Be:

50 mg

daily

Vitamin B complex: Vitamin C: 1,000

Calcium: 1,000

daily

50 mg

mg three

mg

per day

times a day

daily (especially aids hypertension)

108

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Spastic Heart, Angina

i

DIET FOR HEART DISEASE

A good diet fruit,

is

based on chicken,

whole

grains, legumes,

and vegetables. Therapeutic foods high

should be included:

and sprouts. Don’t above

fish,

all else.

disease.

garlic, fall

magnesium

onions, nuts, seeds, wheat germ,

into the trap of blaming cholesterol

Using margarine

The proper

in

is

dietary fats for

butter, olive oil, flaxseed oil,

not the answer to heart

human consumption

and coconut

oil.

The

diet for

are all

forms of heart disease should exclude alcohol, coffee, white sugar, white flour, fried foods, in margarine, baked, fried,

and trans

fatty acids (found

and processed foods).

109

CHAPTER Syndrome

6

X, Diabetes,

and Sugar Imbalance

SYNDROME The term “syndrome X”

many

believe

is

describes a set of conditions that

another fancy

just

X

name

for the conse-

quences of long-standing nutritional deficiency, especially

magnesium

deficiency.

The long

list

includes hypertension,

obesity, high cholesterol, elevated triglycerides,

uric acid. This

complex

and elevated

collectively appears to be caused

by

disturbed insulin metabolism (initiated by magnesium deficiency), called insulin resistance, diabetes, angina,

and heart

to Dr. Gerald Reaven, sible for a large

who

attack.

major factor

Syndrome X, according

coined the term,

may

be respon-

percentage of the heart and artery disease

that occurs today. Unquestionably, a

and eventually leads to

magnesium deficiency

in the origins of each of

110

its

signs

is

and symp-

Syndrome

Diabetes, and Sugar Imbalance

X,

toms, from elevated triglycerides and obesity to disturbed insulin

metabolism

1 .



2

INSULIN RESISTANCE Insulins job

is

open up

to

sites

on

cell

membranes

to allow

no

the influx of glucose, a cells source of fuel. Cells that

longer respond to the advances of insulin and refuse the entry of glucose are called insulin-resistant.

glucose levels rise and the

no

sulin, to

As

body produces more and more

damage

to insulin

is

in-

magnesium

that results in

deficiency, an increased risk of heart disease,

One

blood

Glucose and insulin rampage throughout

avail.

the body, causing tissue

diabetes.

a result,

and adult-onset

of the major reasons the cells don’t respond

lack of

magnesium

3 .

Some

studies

show

that

chronic insulin resistance in patients with adult-onset diabetes

sium

is is

associated with a reduction of magnesium;

necessary to allow glucose to enter

studies confirm that creas,

magnesium

when

insulin

in the cell

is

cells

released

4 .

magne-

Additional

from the pan-

normally responds and opens

the cell to allow entry of glucose, but in the case of

magne-

sium deficiency combined with insulin resistance the normal

mechanisms els

of

just don’t

magnesium

cells to insulin

work 5 .

Fortunately, the higher the lev-

in the body, the greater the sensitivity of the

and the possibility of reversing the problem

6 .

CARDIOVASCULAR METABOLIC SYNDROME (CVMS) Dr. Larry Resnick of Cornell University, involved in heart

and magnesium research for over twenty years, has another

111

The Miracle of Magnesium

V

name

syndrome X, cardiovascular metabolic syndrome

for

(CVMS), and he acterized

too

ber,

by

magnesium ies.

Americans

in general

ratio in their diet

ratio.

(Remem-

bod-

in their

men

in the world, also has a high calcium-

The U.S.

ratio in the diet.

a

study

ratio in this

(With our dietary emphasis

high calcium intake without sufficient magnesium, ac-

cording to magnesium expert Dr. Mildred Seelig,

soon have

a 6:1 ratio.)

ratio of calcium to

deficiency that it

char-

it is

have a high calcium-to-

and consequently

said to be 3.5:1, Finland’s 4:1. 8

on

says

Finland, which has the highest incidence of heart attack

to-magnesium is

when he

calcium automatically creates a magnesium

middle-aged

in

closer to the truth

high calcium-to-magnesium

a

much

deficiency). 7

is

may

we

will

Although the recommended dietary

magnesium

is

2:1, in

order to offset the

many people with syndrome

X already have,

be necessary to ingest one part calcium to one part

magnesium

in

supplement form.

MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY AND SYNDROME According to Dr. Resnick, syndrome chronically elevated insulin levels but

nesium ions

— because

insufficient

of insulin resistance in the

opens the

cells to

X

by

if

a

caused not by

low

level of

magnesium

first place. 9

glucose only

is

As

is

of dietary

magnesium develop

human population

the cause

the cells have sufficient

show

insulin re-

that animals deprived

insulin resistance,

has the same risk. 10

112

mag-

stated, insulin

amounts of magnesium, and without magnesium, sistance occurs. Studies clearly

X

Some

and the

researchers

Syndrome

X,

Diabetes, and Sugar Imbalance

conclude that hypertension and insulin resistance

may

just

be different expressions of deficient levels of cellular magnesium. 11 The various conditions that

CVMS all have similar magnesium-deficient origins. The magnesium deficiency in syndrome X comes from

or

a

X

make up syndrome

combination of our magnesium-deficient

well-documented elevated insulin. losses, causing

loss of

magnesium

A vicious

diets

in the urine caused

cycle creates further

more syndrome

X

and the

by

magnesium

symptoms. The corner-

stone of both prevention and treatment of syndrome X,

along with

diet, is to restore

magnesium

to

normal

levels.

Unfortunately, for many, the ravages of diabetes, hypertension,

and high cholesterol have taken

then,

magnesium taken along with medications can play

beneficial role in controlling

even

their toll, but

and reducing symptoms. 12



a

13

DIABETES Diabetes try.

the seventh-leading cause of death in this coun-

is

There are sixteen million diabetics

in the

with the numbers increasing dramatically gets older

sugar

and

as

may

States,

population to a high-

There are two main types of diabetes. About

diet.

Type

insulin.

they

as the

more younger people succumb

10 percent of diabetics are labeled type

on

United

I

I

and are dependent

diabetes usually develops in children;

have suffered

a viral infection of the pancreas,

resulting in impaired or absent insulin production,

require insulin injections to replace their loss.

113

Type

and II

or

The Miracle of Magnesium

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND DIABETES Magnesium

1.

deficiency

may be an independent

predic-

tor of diabetes.

Diabetics both need

2.

more magnesium and

lose

more

than most people.

Magnesium

3.

is

necessary for the production, function,

and transport of

insulin.

adult-onset diabetics tend to be non-insulin-dependent,

overweight, and between In type

set.

cells

able to

do

and seventy years old

II diabetes, insulin is

body appear

of the

fifty

its

at

on-

readily available but the

to be resistant to

job of opening up the

cell

it.

Insulin

membrane

is

un-

to allow

the passage of glucose into the cell to feed the furnace.

A

third type of diabetes, gestational diabetes,

short-lived. This glucose intolerance

may

is

usually

have been present

but undetected before pregnancy but usually develops due to the stresses of pregnancy. Ionic strates the itself

testing

demon-

presence of magnesium depletion in pregnancy

and to

a greater extent in gestational diabetes.

sium depletion, or

women

magnesium

relative calcium excess,

to vascular complications of

to be addressed

14 .

The

ionic

may

Magne-

predispose

pregnancy and needs

magnesium

test is vitally

im-

portant in diagnosing magnesium deficiency in gestational

114

Syndrome

Diabetes, and Sugar Imbalance

Intervention with

diabetes.

greatly

X,

magnesium supplements can

improve the outcome for both mother and baby.

The

signs

and symptoms of diabetes

are polydipsia (ex-

and polypha-

cessive thirst), polyuria (excessive urination), gia (excessive eating). In type

I,

weight loss

sign,

but type

mon

side effect of excessive sugar,

may

be the

diabetics are usually overweight.

II

through the urine and sweat,

is

A

first

com-

which can be excreted

an overgrowth of the yeast

organism Candida albicans resulting in rashes on the skin, ,

especially in

under the breasts and

women, and

Common age,

yeast discharge in men.

complications of diabetes include nerve dam-

which mostly

affects the feet,

damage

with symptoms of numb-

and pain; atherosclerosis and heart

ness, tingling, burning, attacks;

in the groin, yeast vaginitis

to small blood vessels in the eyes

neys, causing vision loss (diabetes

is

and kid-

the leading cause of

blindness in the United States) and kidney disease; and diabetic foot ulcers,

with increased susceptibility to infection,

gangrene, and amputation. All these complications relate to

magnesium deficiency and demonstrate tive

magnesium

testing

the need for sensi-

and magnesium supplementation for

diabetes. 15

Low magnesium, widely recognized as a betes, occurs in

up

to 40 percent of diabetic patients. 16

Lack of magnesium increases the disease,

marker for

dia’

17 18 ’

risk of cardiovascular

eye symptoms, and nerve damage in diabetics,

whereas supplementation can prevent them. 19 20 21 Most im’

portantly for diabetics,

magnesium

115

is



a necessary cofactor

The Miracle of Magnesium

production of energy from sugar stores in the muscles

in the

and

liver.

Studies

show

moderate improvement of blood

that even

sugar control in patients with type

duce the

loss of

terol (the

good

magnesium, increases serum kind),

and decreases serum

These reductions in magnesium erides

diabetes seems to re-

I

loss

HDL

triglycerides.

and serum

and the elevation of good cholesterol

choles-

may

triglyc-

reduce the

risk of developing cardiovascular disease in patients

type

I

with

diabetes. 22

HOW

DID

WE BECOME

In non- Western cultures,

A NATION OF DIABETICS?

it

takes only one generation of

people eating a diet high in refined sugar and flour to develop diabetes. This

from

is

true of people around the world,

The immediate advice

Inuit to secluded African tribes.

given to a newly diagnosed diabetic

and other refined carbohydrates. that avoiding these unhealthy

is

to stop eating sugar

only

It is

nonfoods

common

sense

in the first place

could greatly reduce the incidence of diabetes, yet the medical

community

has been slow to promote this idea.

Partly as a result, both obesity and adult-onset diabetes are

on the

rise in children. In the last

decade, soft drink con-

sumption has almost doubled among

kids,

adding an aver-

age of 15 to 20 extra teaspoons of sugar a day just from soda

and other sugared drinks. These all-too-popular beverages account for more than a quarter of

116

all

drinks

consumed

in

Syndrome

Diabetes, and Sugar Imbalance

X,

LABORATORY FINDINGS •

DIABETES 200 mg/dl

Blood glucose greater than or equal to

(11.1

|jimol/dl)

two hours after an

glucose dissolved •

IN

blood

Incidental

High cholesterol



Low magnesium

the United States.

A

greater

|mmol/di) in

than

someone

equal

or

to

with signs and

of diabetes



2000. 23

dose of 75 g of

water

glucose

200 mg/dl (11.1 symptoms

in

oral

ions

More than

15 billion gallons

were sold

in

2001 report in the prestigious medical journal

The Lancet revealed

that each additional soft drink a

gives a child a 60 percent greater chance of

day

becoming obese. 24

Dr. France Bellisle, of Frances Institute of Health and

Medical Research, said the study provided convincing new evidence about the relationship between sugar and weight gain in children.

It is

for the first study

unfortunate that

it

has taken so long

on sugar and weight gain

—so many children and adults

and published

dicted to sugar, and there

is

to be

are already ad-

no turning back. Not

betes strikes does any medical

funded

until dia-

body recommend

cutting

back on sugar intake.

We know

from other important research

117

that obese

The Miracle of Magnesium

children develop insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes,

more frequently than normal

fifty-three times

number

of obese children in the United States doubled be-

tween 1980 and 1994; today 24 percent of kids Recently there has been a 70 percent thirty-year-olds, and the trend

As

The

kids.

a nation,

person, so

it is

we

rise in diabetes in

shows no sign of

abating.

pounds of sugar per year per

eat 140

no wonder

are obese.

more and more people

that

are

developing symptoms of diabetes and insulin resistance and suffering

from magnesium

are studies

depressed

immune

is

adults that

demon-

response to infection that

over five hours after the ingestion of 20 tsp of sugar. 25 26 27 ’

Part of the danger with sugar ize

Even more shocking

on both animals and healthy

strate a greatly lasts

deficiency.

how much you

listed

is

that

are ingesting.

you may not even



real-

On ingredient labels, sugar

under carbohydrates and

is

often not distinguished

from complex carbohydrates. Furthermore, the measurements are given in teaspoons.

in grams,

even though most Americans think

People are stunned

8 to 10 tsp of sugar in

equivalent to 4.2

when

I tell

an ordinary soda

(1

them

there are

tsp of sugar

is

g).

Sugar overload can cause magnesium deficiency in several als,

ways. Processed sugar leaving

empty

is

devoid of vitamins and miner-

calories that provide

no valuable

Nutritional research reported by Dr. originator,

shows

nutrients.

Abram Hoffer

(the

with Linus Pauling, of orthomolecular medicine)

that the refining process of sugar

118

removes 93 percent

Syndrome

X,

Diabetes, and Sugar Imbalance

of chromium, 89 percent of manganese, 98 percent of cobalt,

83 percent of copper, 98 percent of zinc, and 98 percent of

magnesium



to tap into

its

essential to

all

own

In addition, the

life.

body has

reserves of minerals and vitamins to en-

sure sugar’s digestion. Inability to utilize sugar results in the formation of

and other abnormal

toxic products such as pyruvic acid

sugars that accumulate in the brain, nervous system, and red

blood

where they

cells,

with

interfere

cell

respiration and

hasten degenerative disease. Adding sugar to the diet pro-

duces an excessively acid condition in the body; to neutralize

it

body has

the

to

draw upon

its

stores of the alkaline

minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

condition

is

severe, calcium

and magnesium

If

the acidic

will

even be

taken from the bones and teeth, which leads to decay, softening, and ultimately osteoporosis.

In summary,

magnesium plays

a pivotal role in the

secretion and function of insulin; without evitable.

it,

Measurable magnesium deficiency

diabetes and in disease, eye

many

of

its

diabetes is

is

common

in-

in

complications, including heart

damage, high blood pressure, and obesity.

When

the treatment of diabetes includes magnesium, these prob-

lems are prevented or minimized. 28

magnesium-rich water

in certain

And we do know

communities confers

tective effect against the disease. 29



30

that

a pro-

Magnesium supplemen-

tation improves insulin response, improves glucose tolerance,

and reduces the stickiness of red blood

119

cell

membranes.

The Miracle of Magnesium

Magnesium seems

to be essential in the treatment of periph31

With long-

many symptoms may be

irreversible,

with diabetes

eral vascular disease associated

term damage, however,

.

even with adequate magnesium and associated nutrients.

DIET FOR DIABETES

The proper

diet

the

for

prevention and treatment of

diabetes includes frequent small meals of protein (fish,

chicken,

and meat) and complex carbohydrates (whole

grains, legumes,

and vegetables) and the avoidance of simple

sugars and white flour. Stevia, from the leaves of a plant that

grows

You can

South America,

in

find

it

in health

is

food

the best sweetener to use.

stores.

Don’t use the sugar

substitute aspartame, which, in certain individuals, has been

shown

to

worsen blood sugar control and cause weight

headaches, nerve damage, and eye damage, because

made

partly

from wood

formaldehyde

32 .

alcohol,

gain, it

which breaks down

is

to

Fiber from oat bran, flaxseed, and apples

has a positive effect

on keeping blood sugar balanced.

Alternative medicine practitioners also suggest identifying any existing food allergies (dairy,

by eliminating

likely suspects

wheat, corn) from the diet for several days and then

eating several meals of one of the suspected foods in one

day and doing

a

blood sugar

elevated after eating a particular food,

is

blood

test

or finger stick for glucose.

If

it

the

may

be wise to avoid that food and find replacements that do not elevate the

blood sugar.

120

Syndrome

Diabetes, and Sugar Imbalance

X,

SUPPLEMENTS FOR DIABETES mg twice

Magnesium: 300

per day

Vitamin E as mixed tocopherols:

400

Bioflavonoids rutin or quercetin:

500 mg

Folic acid:

800 meg

Vitamin Bq:

50 mg

daily

daily

50 mg per day

mg

mg

Calcium: 1,000

twice a day

daily

Vitamin B complex: Vitamin C: 1,000

III

three times a day

daily

Chromium: chromium

picolinate,

200-400 meg

daily, al-

ternating with Brewer’s yeast: 1 tbsp three times a

day (contains glucose tolerance factor [GTF], which balances blood sugar) or specialized chromium (GTF):

200 meg

per day

Zinc picolinate:

Copper:

15 mg

2-4 mg

Selenium:

daily

daily

200 meg

daily

Manganese: 5

mg

daily

Vanadium: 15

mg

daily

Omega-3 Garlic:

fatty acids:

5 g

daily

one or two cloves

daily

121

CHAPTER

7

PMS, Dysmenorrhea,

Infertility,

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome,

Preeclampsia, and Cerebral Palsy

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND PMS 1.

Chocolate, which

some women have

a craving for

they’re premenstrual, contains lots of

the added sugar and fat

make

it

when

magnesium, but

far less desirable

as

a food. 2.

The patent

for Prozac

has run out, so

it

has been

patented under a new name, Sarafem, for PMS. is

not a Sarafem deficiency, but

magnesium

PMS

deficiency

can cause some forms of PMS. 3.

Magnesium

is

a safe treatment for

headaches.

122

PMS

and

PMS

PMS, Dysmenorrhea,

Maureen she

didn’t

would

know what came and

get anxious

binge. She tried to keep

women

at

Polycystic Ovarian

Infertility,

it

work had begun

and tease her about her

Syndrome

over her every month, but

irritable

and go on

a chocolate

to herself, but lately the other

to

make

not-so-subtle

“evil twin.”

Then Anna

comments

sat

with her

over lunch one day and told her about a support group she

was leading for

women

of their self-help methods was to keep a journal of

toms and

to keep a

One

with premenstrual syndrome.

food diary to see

symp-

eating certain foods

if

coincided with having those symptoms.

Maureen’s journal for the next couple of months clearly

showed

that her

symptoms

and chocolate cravings,

of anxiety, fluid retention, sugar

mood

swings,

irritability, bloating,

edema, headache, and sore breasts escalated before her period and lifted the minute her period began.

Taking magnesium supplements advises

of 192

may

Melvyn Werbach, M.D. Recent

women

taking 400

95 percent experienced

mg

of

cent had fewer headaches. (Dr.

pain and had

Werbach and

women

levels

of

Red blood

magnesium

serum magnesium severe

levels,

magnesium

the premenstrual

in

less

PMS,

weight

cell

assist in

magnesium

women which

are

several other

should take 50

tamin B 6 daily with the magnesium to 1

daily for

that

nervous tension, and 43 per-

gain, 89 percent suffered less

absorption.)

showed

studies

magnesium

less breast

researchers also advise that

be the solution,

tests

mg

of vi-

magnesium

show low

with PMS. 2 Even

total

low only when there

is

a

deficiency, diminished significantly in

week

in a

group of forty women. 3 In

123

a

The Miracle of Magnesium

small

of thirty-two

trial

women,

oral

magnesium was found

to be an effective treatment of premenstrual lated to

mood

symptoms

magnesium

changes. 4 Treatment with

re-

eases

headaches, sugar cravings, low blood sugar, and dizziness related to

PMS. 5 6 ’

In another innovative research study, levels

were taken

at several

times during normal menstrual

magnesium and calcium

cycles to determine

was

tion to menstrual phases. 7 There

magnesium ion

level in the first

week

a

around the time of ovulation, and total

levels in rela-

comparatively high

after the onset of the

period, a statistically significant decrease in

sium ions and

magnesium ion

magnesium

a large decrease in

ions

magne-

serum magnesium when the serum pro-

gesterone concentration peaked in the third week. There

was

also a significant increase in the serum-calcium-to-

magnesium fourth

both the time of ovulation and the

ratio at

week

after the onset of the period.

That calcium-to-

magnesium imbalance can cause premenstrual symptoms during the is

that

week

last

of the menstrual cycle.

you can take

care of

it

easily

The good news

by taking the

amounts of calcium and magnesium. For most translates into equal

600-1,000

An

mg

right

women

this

amounts of calcium and magnesium,

of each a day in divided doses.

elegant

new study demonstrates

that estrogen and

progesterone, the female sex hormones, influence magne-

sium ion

levels in the

magnesium

relieves

body, which

symptoms

bloating, and edema. 8

of

may

PMS,

help explain

why

including migraine,

Exposure of cultured smooth muscle

124

PMS, Dysmenorrhea,

cells

Infertility,

from brain blood

Polycystic Ovarian

vessels to a

Syndrome

low concentration of

estrogen did not interfere with the level of magnesium ions.

However, exposure

to increased concentrations of es-

trogen induced significant loss of magnesium ions; at the highest concentration, the level of

magnesium

ions decreased

approximately 30 percent in comparison with controls.

Exposure of the cultured

cells to a

low concentration of

progesterone resulted in an increased level of magnesium ions.

However, when these

cells

were exposed to higher

concentrations of progesterone, cellular levels of magne-

sium ions decreased

significantly.

The higher

the estrogen

or progesterone concentration, the lower the levels of mag-

nesium

ions.

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

which els

normal concentrations of magnesium

sustain

are beneficial to vascular function,

ions,

whereas high

lev-

of estrogen and progesterone significantly deplete mag-

nesium

ions, possibly resulting in cerebral vessel

reduced cerebral blood flows strual

—and thus leading to premen-

syndrome and migraine and possible stroke

These findings help to explain suffer migraines, in the

spasms and

and

why

why more women

migraines occur

second half of the menstrual cycle,

than

risk.

men

more frequently

when

estrogen and

progesterone are both elevated.

Guy Abraham, cologist,

is

a

M.D.,

a retired obstetrician

widely published author

125

who

and gyne-

has pursued

The Miracle of Magnesium

major research on premenstrual syndrome. Dr. Abraham

PMS, each

identifies four types of

hormonal

characteristics related to

1.

PMS- A

(anxiety),

nervous tension, estrogen, 2.

PMS-C petite,

which has

of

distinct

fluctuations.

with symptoms of

irritability, anxiety.

mood

swings,

Related to high

low progesterone.

(craving),

with symptoms of increased ap-

headache, fatigue, dizziness, fainting, pal-

pitations. Related to increased carbohydrate intake

and decreased prostaglandin El-type foods (from fish, nuts, seeds). 3.

PMS-D

(depression), with

symptoms

of depression,

crying, forgetfulness, confusion, insomnia. Related to

low estrogen, high progesterone, elevated male

hormone with 4.

PMS-H

excess hair growth.

(hyperhydration), with

symptoms

of fluid

retention, weight gain, swollen extremities, breast

tenderness, abdominal bloating. Related to excess

aldosterone

(a

kidney hormone that causes

fluid

retention).

Maureen had symptoms from

Her

three of the four groups.

successful treatment involved balancing

hormones and

replacing deficient nutrients. She began to take a daily table-

spoon of acids,

flax oil,

which contains omega-3

essential fatty

along with magnesium, vitamin B 6 and calcium. Es,

sential fatty acids are necessary building blocks for

126

hormone

PMS, Dysmenorrhea,

production

as

long

as

Polycystic Ovarian

Infertility,

Syndrome

they have magnesium and

B

vitamins

as cofactors.

PMS AND YOUR A fascinating diet review shows PMS followed diets

that

that

DIET

women

suffering

from

were

275 percent higher in refined sugar 79 percent higher in dairy products 78 percent higher in sodium

77 percent lower in magnesium 63 percent higher in refined carbohydrates 53 percent lower in iron

52 percent lower in zinc 9

Ounce

for ounce, chocolate has

any other food, and the late is a

sure sign of

chocolate craving

is

irresistible

magnesium

more magnesium than

urge to consume chocodeficiency. Premenstrual

widespread because magnesium

lowest around that time of a woman’s menses. is

is

at its

The answer

not to eat more chocolate, however, but to increase mag-

nesium intake by eating more nuts, whole

grains, seafood,

and green vegetables, and by taking magnesium supplements. The chocolate cravings will vanish

enough magnesium Other foods chicken,

which

to

when

there

is

in the diet.

consume

are

in

frequently

127

moderation are beef and treated

with

synthetic

The Miracle of Magnesium

PMS AND DEPRESSION Women

can get depressed before

not just depression. Yet

PMS

is

their period, but

PMS

is

often considered by medical

doctors and pharmaceutical companies to be a psychiatric condition suitable for treatment with selective serotonin

reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem).

But remember that a lack of fluoxetine does not cause

PMS

symptoms; a lack of magnesium does. The replacement of

magnesium effects.

in

the body

fact,

In

it

will

treat

PMS

has also been found that magnesium

relieves the depression of premenstrual tively influencing

and cause no side

syndrome by

posi-

serotonin activity naturally. Sarafem has

no such claim.

hormones. Remember that one type of there

is

much

too

woman’s body. stimulation

by

estrogen and too possible to end

It is

little

PMS

when

progesterone in a

up with too much estrogen

eating, drinking, or breathing

cides, or other

occurs

hormones,

pesti-

chemical residues that mimic estrogen. The

saturated fat and arachidonic acid in meat also suppress pro-

gesterone production and cause that

worsen

fatty acids

much a

PMS

from

and can lead to painful periods. Essential

fish, nuts,

healthier fats

magnesium

symptoms of inflammation

and

seeds, including flaxseed, are

and help prevent PMS, unless you have

deficiency.

Without magnesium,

128

essential fatty

PMS, Dysmenorrhea,

Polycystic Ovarian

Infertility,

Syndrome

TREATMENT FOR PMS DIET Increase complex carbohydrates and

Reduce saturated

fiber.

fats, particularly red

meat and

dairy.

Eliminate caffeine and alcohol.

Reduce

salt intake.

Eliminate sugar.

SUPPLEMENTS Magnesium: 300-600 Vitamin B 6

:

100 mg

mg

daily

three times a day for ten days before

the period starts

Vitamin B complex:

50 mg

daily

Vitamin E as mixed tocopherols: Essential fatty acids: flaxseed

evening primrose Calcium: 1,000

mg

oil,

400

oil,

500 mg

IU daily

1 tbsp twice per day, or three times per day

daily

Progesterone: Va tsp twice a day rubbed into the skin tate inner thighs, stomach, inner arms).

progesterone cream derived from wild

excess estrogen.

450-500 mg/oz

It

should contain

Use natural

yam

to balance

USP progesterone

(have a naturopathic doctor evaluate

your hormones by testing levels Milk thistle:

(ro-

250 mg

in

your

saliva).

three times a day, to detox the

liver

129

The Miracle of Magnesium

and are not able to calm

acids are not processed properly

the irritability and inflammation of

Magnesium

ods.

common circle

is

to

deficiency

is

PMS

created

and painful peri-

by

which

stress,

is

PMS sufferers. The only solution to this vicious

to eat a healthy diet

— organic,

if

— and take

possible

nutrient supplements that include magnesium.

DYSMENORRHEA (PAINFUL PERIODS) Calcium can

act like a painkiller

create these effects

by driving magnesium out of where

into the bloodstream,

ailing tissues to treat pain.

menstrual cramps in

your period may

and relaxant, but

this

it is

So taking calcium can

showed

sium supplement (500



toward

alleviate

way, but taking magnesium before

studies with small groups of

doses of magnesium. 10

may

the cells and

able to be directed

forestall the pain.

periods consistently

it

11 ’ 12

mg

A

A

series of

women who relief

of

European

suffered painful

symptoms with high

balanced calcium and magne-

calcium and 300

mg

magnesium,

twice per day) helps to ensure adequate levels of both minerals and should be taken preventively. Extra magne-

sium can

also be taken

when

the pain

is

at its

worst (300

mg

once or twice a day).

Some women

find that decreasing their intake of

before their period helps prevent cramps.

obvious ter

is

that

when you

cut back

meat

What may not be

on meat you have

a bet-

chance of eating more magnesium-rich foods that will

ease

symptoms

of painful periods.

130

PMS, Dysmenorrhea,

Infertility,

Polycystic Ovarian

Syndrome

/

INFERTILITY Dr. Sherry Rogers, a diplomate in family practice, allergy-

asthma-immunology, and environmental medicine and

a

fellow of the American College of Nutrition, says that just

migraines are cerebral spasms, spasms in the fallopian

as

tubes cause tile

diet

may pregnant when

infertility.

women

get

This

explain

why

so

many

they go on a whole-foods

and take supplements including magnesium

sium

is

infer-

13 .

Magne-

required in higher amounts during pregnancy

So taking

14

.

to enhance conception also creates a healthier

it

pregnancy.

POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME Polycystic ovarian

syndrome (PCOS)

patients have a high

incidence of insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. In a recent consultation, a

young woman

told

me

she had been

advised to go on diabetic drugs, not because she has diabetes but because she has

PCOS

posed to lower her insulin tend to be

at risk for

ease. Since a

magnesium

and the drugs were sup-

resistance.

PCOS

patients also

hypertension, diabetes, and heart dis-

low magnesium ion

ratio are associated

level

and

a high calcium/

with insulin resistance, car-

diovascular problems, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension, a

study was done on a group of

mine the lower

effects of

levels of

magnesium

magnesium

PCOS

intervention. Significantly

ions and total

131

patients to deter-

serum magnesium

The Miracle of Magnesium

and

a significantly higher

were found

ratio

controls, a

in the

calcium-ion-to-magnesium-ion

PCOS

compared with the

patients

which gave me enough evidence

to

recommend

magnesium supplement of 300 mg twice per day

my

insulin resistance

patient’s

to treat

PCOS

and possibly her

as well. 15

SEIZURES

IN

Marie was not having

much

a

THE DELIVERY SUITE good pregnancy. She had gained too

weight, she had headaches, and her ankles and hands

were swollen with edema. She

also felt a tightness in her

head and shortness of breath. At her eight-month

visit to

the doctor, her blood pressure was elevated, she had hyperactive reflexes,

symptoms

and her urine showed protein and

sugar, the

of preeclampsia (also called pregnancy-induced

hypertension or toxemia). Preeclampsia occurs in 7 percent of

all

pregnancies and, according to the Preeclampsia Foun-

dation,

is

responsible for at least seventy-six thousand

worldwide each

ternal deaths

year.

A

ma-

rapidly progressive

condition characterized by high blood pressure, hyperactive reflexes,

edema, headaches, changes

tein in the urine,

point

it is

it

in vision,

can escalate and cause seizures,

and proat

which

called eclampsia.

Eclampsia

is

a serious condition that can cause

prema-

ture labor, premature birth, and cerebral palsy in the

new-

born. Marie’s doctor said that bed rest was the only solution to lower her blood pressure but that

132

if

she continued to

PMS, Dysmenorrhea,

Infertility,

Polycystic Ovarian

Syndrome

have high blood pressure around the time of delivery, he

would

her intravenous magnesium. Unfortunately,

give

Many researchers and clinicians recommend that pregnant women have an ionized magnesium test and take 300-600 mg of he did not have her current magnesium levels tested.

supplemental magnesium. 16



17 18 ’

(Always check with your

obstetrician or health care provider before adding

plement, but for both

know

magnesium has proven

that

mother and

to be safe

child.)

Although magnesium

is

the treatment of choice for

pregnancy-induced hypertension,

Magnesium

any sup-

sulfate

it

could be used more

intravenously

given

eclampsia

for

has been used successfully for more than seventy-five years. 19

the 1960s, the advent of

In

new

diuretics

anticonvulsant drugs threatened to displace

magnesium

sulfate.

Drug companies continue to run expensive

trials to

compare

their

and

clinical

newest antihypertensives and

anti-

convulsants to magnesium sulfate. Most studies show that

magnesium cations,

and

is

is,

in fact,

more

effective than synthetic medi-

decreases both infant and maternal

mortality,

extremely safe. As one researcher remarked, “The

significant

improvement

in fetal

outcome

with dietary

mag-

nesium supports the concept of magnesium supplementation during pregnancy.” 20

133

The Miracle of Magnesium

widely.

Many

researchers suggest that pregnant mothers

magnesium

routinely take

to prevent complications during

delivery and postpartum, and to help prevent premature births. 21

Clinical trials

have demonstrated that mothers

supplementing with magnesium oxide have

larger, healthier

babies and lower rates of preeclampsia, premature labor,

sudden infant death, and birth

defects, including cerebral

palsy. 22

Fortunately, Marie consulted a midwife specializing in

who was

preeclampsia, in pregnancy.

familiar with the use of

They checked

magnesium

the label of Marie’s prenatal

supplement and found that

it

nesium; she really needed

at least

contained only 150

360

mg

mg of mag-

just to

meet the

RDA (recommended daily allowance) for pregnant women. The midwife recommended supplement to give her

Marie take

that

a total of

400

mg

a

magnesium

of elemental

mag-

nesium per day and to increase her intake of magnesiumrich foods.

On

this

new

regimen, Marie noticed

many

positive

changes. She had less back and neck tension, was no longer

constipated

more

(a

common

side

effect

energy, and lost a lot of her

nally, the tightness in

sure began to go

of pregnancy), had

edema and

puffiness. Fi-

her head lessened and her blood pres-

down.

When

she told

all

this

obstetrician, he actually apologized for not being

aware of her magnesium status and said

minder for him to be more

diligent

natal supplements.

134

about

it

was

a

to her

more

good

re-

his patients’ pre-

PMS, Dysmenorrhea,

Infertility,

Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian

/

SIDS Magnesium

deficiency has been implicated in sudden infant

common and may be

death syndrome (SIDS), which has features in

with sudden cardiac death (SCD) of adults 23

prevented by giving adequate magnesium to the mother and

An

child. 24

episode of muscular weakness induced by mag-

nesium deficiency could prevent turning

its

a distressed infant

from

head when lying facedown and thus result

in

suffocation. 25

The

triple-risk

model

for

SIDS

describes the intersec-

tion of three potential risks: (1) a vulnerable is

magnesium-deficient,

opment period

in a

(2) a critical

newborn who

adjustment and devel-

newborn displaying

hyperirritability

and unsettled cardiovascular and respiratory control, and (3)

an outside stressor such

motion or handling, these three risks

as

high-pitched noise, excessive

chill, fever,

may

trigger a shocklike episode of apnea,

unconsciousness, and slow heart it is

likely that a high

or vaccination. Together,

rate.

Researchers

feel that

proportion of SIDS deaths could be

prevented by simple oral magnesium supplementation to infants during the first critical

weeks and months of

Dr. Jean Durlach, a professor at

St.

life. 26

Vincent de Paul

Hospital in Paris and president of the International Society for the

Development of Research on Magnesium (SDRM),

states,

“This simple and cheap supplementation with doses

of 300 milligrams per day to the mother fiable.

Furthermore the beneficial

135

is

effects

ethically justi-

of

magnesium

The Miracle of Magnesium

supplementation are well established for the mother, for tal

development, and for the baby

large clinical trial of

at birth.”

He

calls for a

magnesium supplementation

nant and breast-feeding

fe-

in preg-

women. 27

CEREBRAL PALSY Cerebral palsy (CP) can occur

hemorrhage during the

when

last stages

birth weight

It

from

a fetal brain

a lack of

oxygen

can also be caused by low

and prematurity. In cerebral

damaged and

is

of pregnancy, either from

the mother’s high blood pressure or to the developing baby’s brain.

there

palsy, the brain

is

unable to properly direct muscle function.

is

The brain

gives the muscles contradictory signals,

result, the

muscles lock and become spastic or go limp, cre-

ating a disabling infants

born with

CP

also have mental handicaps. g,

of average birth weight (3,000-3,500

CP

Very low

or 3.3 lbs) are a hun-

dred times more likely to have disabling

all

g);

CP

than infants

more than 25

than half a million Americans suffer from CP, with

mated medical costs of $5

palsy

is

esti-

billion a year.

no treatment

would be “very

per-

More

occurs in very low birth weight babies.

Since there

as a

and incurable condition. Close to half the

birth weight babies (less than 1,500

cent of

and

for CP, preventing cerebral

desirable indeed,” asserts neurologist

Karin B. Nelson of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Nelson and her colleagues con-

cluded a groundbreaking study in 1995 showing that very

136

PMS, Dysmenorrhea,

low

Infertility,

Polycystic Ovarian

Syndrome

birth weight babies in four centers in California had a

lower incidence of cerebral palsy when their mothers were treated with

magnesium

intriguing finding

sulfate shortly before birth. 28 “This

means

that use of a simple medication

could significantly decrease the incidence of cerebral palsy

and prevent lifelong

and suffering for thousands

disability

of Americans,” said Zach

W.

Hall, Ph.D., director of the

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The

researchers calculated that

the prevalence of cerebral palsy

magnesium

sulfate

reduced

by about 90 percent and

re-

duced the prevalence of mental retardation by about 70 percent.

They

speculate that

magnesium may play

a role in

brain development and possibly prevent cerebral hemor-

rhage in preterm infants. Dr. Diane Schendel found very similar results the fol-

lowing year while studying

a

population in Atlanta. 29 Those

mothers receiving magnesium a

sulfate delivered infants

with

90 percent lower prevalence of cerebral palsy and a 70 per-

cent lower prevalence of mental retardation.

reported that at one year of age, only

whose mothers bral palsy.

received

Only two

magnesium

sulfate

researchers

out of 113 babies

sulfate

developed cere-

of the babies had mental handicaps. In

contrast, 30 of the 405 children

magnesium

1

The

whose mothers did not

receive

had cerebral palsy and 22 had handicaps.

magnesium may prevent

The

investigators speculated that

fetal

brain hemorrhage or block the harmful effects of a di-

minished oxygen supply to the brain.

exposed to too

much oxygen

137

And

for those babies

in an attempt to

overcome

N

The Miracle of Magnesium

intrauterine deficits,

magnesium

new

cent literature review and

protects the lungs

30 .

A

re-

research suggest that magne-

sium chloride might be even more protective for the developing brain than magnesium sulfate

.

31 ’ 32

Beyond magnesium supplementation given

to expectant

mothers and to newborns, there are certain interventions that can prevent

low

some of

the subsequent brain

One

birth weight infants.

is

damage

to

specialized cranial massage

provided within hours or days of birth by licensed practi-

Naturopaths can help identify food or airborne

tioners.

lergies that

can worsen symptoms, and can

wholesome

diet

recommend

the shelf contain aspartame, a potent

You should

never expose your child to this

chemical.

SUPPLEMENTS FOR CHILDREN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY Magnesium: 10 mg/kg/day Zinc:

5

mg

per day

Vitamin B complex: Vitamin C:

200 mg

Bioflavonoids:

a

and supplement program. Be warned that

many supplements on neurotoxin.

al-

10 mg per day per day

100 mg

Essential fatty acids:

per day

DHA, 1 tsp per day; cod

1 tsp per day; flaxseed

oil,

138

1 tsp per day

liver oil,

CHAPTER

8

Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones

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 will

dissolved

in

the blood so

it

not form kidney stones.

3. Taking calcium

without

magnesium

for osteoporosis

can promote kidney stones.

Muriel wondered

kidney stones

how

all at

the

she

managed

to have soft bones

and

same time. Her recent bone density

139

The Miracle of Magnesium

test

showed obvious osteoporosis, yet she was now

hospital with her third kidney stone attack.

in the

A young intern

explained that she was losing calcium from her bones, which

was being deposited

kidneys and flushed out

in her

as hard,

The

jagged crystals that were excruciatingly painful to pass.

high doses of calcium that she was taking for her osteoporosis

were only making matters worse. Muriel’s urologist did an analysis

and told her to stop eating

all

on her kidney stones

dairy products and to avoid

calcium supplements, but Muriel was very concerned that

would worsen.

her osteoporosis

When

she came to see me,

I

was

able to explain that

there are approximately eighteen nutrients essential for

healthy bones, including magnesium, the most important

mineral after calcium. Susan Brown, Ph.D., director of the

Osteoporosis Education Project in Syracuse,

New

warns that “the use of calcium supplementation of

magnesium deficiency can

in the soft tissue

such

as the joints,

promoting 1

a daily

in the face

lead to a deposition of calcium arthritis,

the kidney, contributing to kidney stones.” Dr.

ommends

York,

dose of 450

mg

of

Brown

magnesium

or in rec-

for the

prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

els

Women with

osteoporosis have lower-than-average lev-

magnesium

in their diets, according to survey reports.

of

Magnesium

deficiency can

compromise calcium metabolism

and also hinder the body’s production of vitamin D, further

weakening bones.

140

Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones

Magnesium’s role



Adequate

in

bone health

is

magnesium

levels of

multifaceted.

are essential for the

absorption and metabolism of calcium. •

Magnesium

stimulates a particular

tonin, that helps to preserve

hormone,

calci-

bone structure and draws

calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones, preventing

some forms of

arthritis

and kidney

stones. •

Magnesium suppresses another bone hormone parathyroid, preventing





it

is

all

is

also required to activate an

new

necessary to form

Magnesium

With

D into its active form so

can help calcium absorption.

Magnesium that



from breaking down bone.

it

Magnesium converts vitamin that

called

enzyme

bone.

regulates active calcium transport.

these roles for

magnesium

to play,

it is

no won-

der that even a mild deficiency can be a risk factor for osteoporosis. Further, especially

if

there

is

too

much

calcium in the body,

from calcium supplementation,

magnesium absorption can be

as in Muriel’s case,

greatly impaired, resulting in

worsening osteoporosis and the likelihood of kidney stones, arthritis,

and heart

Other

disease.

factors that are important in the

development

of osteoporosis include diet, drugs, endocrine imbalance, allergies,

vitamin

D

deficiency,

141

and lack of

exercise.

A

The Miracle of Magnesium

detailed review of the osteoporosis literature

that

low intake of magnesium, vitamin D, boron,

chronically

and vitamins K, B 12 B 6 and ,

,

folic acid lead to osteoporosis.

Similarly, chronically high intake of protein, ride, alcohol,

The

shows

typical

and caffeine adversely Western

affect

bone health

diet (high in protein,

fined, processed foods)

sodium chlo-

salt

and

.

2’3

re-

combined with an increasing seden-

tary lifestyle contributes to the increasing incidence of

osteoporosis.

Looking

at

her

contributed to her

lifestyle,

own

Muriel saw

how much

she had

condition. She averaged five cups of

coffee, three glasses of wine,

and twenty

cigarettes a day.

This was causing calcium and magnesium, and the other nutrients that have to deal with toxins, to be

flushed out of her body. deficient fast

She drank

Her

diet

overworked or

was mostly nutrient-

food because she was constantly on the run.

a lot of soda,

causes calcium and

which

magnesium

is

high in phosphorus and

to be eliminated. She also

avoided the sun and therefore got

little

vitamin D.

Instead of becoming discouraged, Muriel was able to

look on the bright habits she

side.

At

least

now she knew what lifestyle

had to change and what supplements to

kidney stones soon became

Her

a thing of the past, her overall

health dramatically improved, and after actually an increase in her

take.

bone

142

density.

two years

there

was

Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones

/

OSTEOPOROSIS MISUNDERSTOOD AND MISTREATED Osteoporosis

neither

is

quence of aging:

Our bones were

Popular wisdom, however, is

due to

is

designed to

to treat osteoporosis.

(NIH) Osteoporosis

women

with age. Doctors

on estrogen, calcium, and drugs

bone formation

last a lifetime.

that osteoporosis in

a decrease in estrogen levels

therefore rely

of Health

normal nor inevitable conse-

a

that stimulate

The National

Institutes

Prevention, Diagnosis, and

Therapy Consensus Statement of 2000 was developed from

a

conference including eighty experts, but no mention of mag-

nesium deficiency

made

as a causative factor in osteoporosis

in the final report. 4

was

With drug companies funding most

of the osteoporosis research, there are very few large clinical trials

investigating the

duction. Although nal articles

I

magnesium connection

in

bone pro-

found over twenty- two thousand jour-

on osteoporosis,

there

were only ten

in the past

decade that studied the magnesium connection in humans.

As long

as

people are given

false

hope

that there

is

some

magic bullet in the pharmaceutical pipeline that will “cure” osteoporosis, or any other chronic disease, they will ignore the underlying reasons for their health problems.

Nonetheless,

when you

read the literature, there

is

ample evidence that many nutrients, especially magnesium, play a large role in bone development. search, for example, proves that

animal re-

magnesium depletion

bone and mineral metabolism, which

143

Much

results in

alters

bone

loss

The Miracle of Magnesium

and osteoporosis. 5 6 Magnesium deficiency

is



in

women with

osteoporosis compared to controls. 7

In one study, postmenopausal sis

common

very

women

with osteoporo-

were able to stop the progression of the disease with

mg

250-750

of

magnesium

any other added measures,

daily for 8

two

women

ment

for

crease in

ing

given a

A

magnesium

density. 9

fractures

women

group of

and significant

Another study showed

lactate (1,500-3,000

65 percent of the

ex-

magnesium hydroxide supple-

two years had fewer bone

women

percent of these

perienced a net increase in bone density. 8

menopausal

Without

years.

mg

daily for

were completely

by

that

two

in-

tak-

years),

free of pain

and

had no further degeneration of spinal vertebrae. 10 Magne-

sium

in conjunction

bone density trols. 11



12

your

in several

In fact,

magnesium

with hormonal replacement improved

if

you

groups of

women compared

are taking estrogen

and have

intake, calcium supplementation

risk of

to con-

may

a

low

increase

thrombosis (blood clotting that can lead to

a

heart attack). 13 It is

unfortunate that the treatment for osteoporosis has

been simplified into the single battle cry “Take calcium.”

Calcium dominates every discussion about osteoporosis,

is

used to fortify dozens of foods (including orange juice

and

cereal),

and

is

a top-selling

stand alone. In Chapter

1,

we

supplement, but

it

cannot

talked about the dance of

calcium and magnesium. These minerals

work

so closely to-

gether that the lack of one immediately diminishes the effectiveness of the other.

Even though the use of calcium

144

Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones

supplementation for the management of osteoporosis has increased significantly in the last decade, scientific studies

do not support such

menopause. Soft

large doses after

tissue

calcification could be a serious side effect of taking too

much

calcium. 14

Osteoporosis say

it is

is

incurable, but

if

you avoid

good range of bone-building can halt the condition even

vention

is

some

generally a progressive disease, and

if

the risk factors, take a

nutrients,

you have

and

the

exercise,

you

symptoms. Pre-

the best defense, the key elements of

which

are:



Eat a balanced, nutrient-rich diet



Take supplements of calcium, magnesium, and the various bone support factors



Practice a vigorous exercise

DIET FOR

program throughout

life

OSTEOPOROSIS

A high-protein diet, excess sugar, alcohol, and coffee all rob the

body

fruit

of essential minerals. Prevention in the

form of

and vegetables containing large amounts of calcium,

magnesium, and potassium contributes to maintenance of

bone mineral

density. 15

Add more

legumes, nuts, and seeds to your

some of

vegetables,

diet,

on pages 218-219.

that are high in calcium are usually

magnesium

as well, including nuts

choy (Chinese cabbage), and

abundant

in

and seeds, sardines, bok

broccoli.

145

grains,

and be sure to include

the magnesium-rich foods listed

The foods

whole

The Miracle of Magnesium

SUPPLEMENTS FOR OSTEOPOROSIS Calcium:

800 mg

per day (organic veal bone

is

the best

source, followed by calcium lactate, calcium citrate, or calcium malate)

mg twice

Magnesium: 300 Boron: 2

mg

Copper: 1-3

a day

daily (involved in vitamin

mg

D conversion)

daily (for collagen cross-linking)

mg

Manganese: 5-10

per day (stimulates the production

of mucopolysaccharides, the organic matrix of bone) Zinc:

10 mg

daily (important for

Vitamin A: 20,000 Vitamin B 6 Folic acid:

50 mg per day

:

5

mg

daily

Vitamin C: 1,000

400

III

50 mg

mg

per day

per day

daily (for

calcium absorption)

Progesterone for postmenopausal vice of your doctor to

matrix)

(forms bone matrix)

IU daily

Vitamin B complex:

Vitamin D:

bone

and

after

women under hormonal

the ad-

saliva testing

determine deficiency of progesterone: days 1-25,

use Va tsp of progesterone cream, rubbed into the skin, twice a day; take a

sure the product contains

146

break days

USP

25-31 (make

progesterone)

Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones

You can

obtain about half your mineral needs from

good organic foods. The supplement doses on the previous page assume that you are already getting minerals in your diet. If

you do not

eat a

good

diet,

your mineral supplement

amounts should be increased by 50 percent.

KIDNEY STONES Kidney stones occur when the microscopic debris excreted in the urine

becomes too concentrated

to pass freely out

of the kidneys into the bladder. Kidney stones are quite

common

in the general population.

Risk factors for kidney

stones include a history of hypertension and a intake of magnesium. 16

One

stones in the urinary tract, but

unnoticed. of

all

Up

women

percent of autopsies reveal

most

are small

to 15 percent of white will develop

low dietary

enough

men and

6 percent

one stone, with recurrence

Most kidney stones are made up of calcium phosphate, cium oxalate, or in

uric acid.

men, often with a family

Calcium stones are seen history.

of

all

whom

all

stones. Uric acid stones

cal-

chiefly

Calcium phosphate and

calcium oxalate alone are responsible for almost cent of

to pass

85

per-

make up 5-10 percent

stones. They are also seen mostly

in

men,

half of

have gout. The remaining 5 percent are rare stones

that can be formed during kidney infections.

147

in

The Miracle of Magnesium

about half of these people. Approximately one in people in the United States

is

a

thousand

hospitalized annually with ex-

cruciatingly painful stones trapped in their urinary passages.

The pain begins

abdomen

may

lower back and can radiate across the

or into the genitals or the inside of the thigh.

Diagnosis

cium

in the

is

made by

urinalysis

crystals or small stones often

and

X

ray.

A

few

cal-

need no treatment but

be relieved with painkillers and muscle relaxants. Larger

stones are treated with surgery or with lithotripsy (the

breakdown of

the stones into

little

pieces using special

ultrasound machines). 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,

acidic foods pull calcium it

and meat. These

from the bone and excrete

through the kidneys. Calcium supplementation

also causes elevated calcium in the urine. 2.

Higher-than-normal urine

may

levels of oxalate

relate to a

found

in the

high dietary intake of oxalic-

acid-containing foods: rhubarb, spinach, raw parsley, chocolate, tea, and coffee.

The

oxalic acid in

promotes stone formation by binding

them

to calcium,

creating insoluble calcium oxalate. 3.

Dehydration concentrates calcium and other minerals in

the urine. Six to eight glasses of water a day

are an essential requirement for flushing the kidneys

148

Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones

properly. Increased sweating and not

enough water

intake create concentrated urine. 4.

Soft drinks containing phosphoric acid encourage

kidney stones

in

some people by

of the bones and depositing

it

pulling calcium out

in the kidneys.

Kidney stones and magnesium deficiency share the same

list

oxalates,

of causes, including a diet high in sugar, alcohol,

and

coffee.

An

important animal study shows that

(from high-fructose corn

a high dietary intake of fructose

syrup, used as a sweetener) significantly increases kidney calcification, especially

when

dietary

magnesium

U.S. Department of Agriculture warns that especially, derive

too

many

is

low. 17

The

young people,

of their daily calories from the

high-fructose corn syrup in sodas and eat few greens, which are rich in

magnesium. The phosphoric acid

also punishing to the

magnesium

One

of

magnesium

stores while wearing

in the

it

from

times of dehydration,

if

body and

away bone. 18

magnesiums many jobs

lution to prevent

is



is

depletes

19

to keep calcium in so-

solidifying into crystals; even at

there

is

sufficient

calcium will stay in solution. Magnesium treatment for kidney stones.

magnesium

in soft drinks

If

is

magnesium, the pivotal

you don’t have enough

to help dissolve calcium,

you

will

end up with

various forms of calcification. This translates into stones,

muscle spasms,

fibrositis,

fibromyalgia, and atherosclerosis

(calcification of the arteries).

149

The Miracle of Magnesium

Dr. George Bunce has clinically proven the relationship between kidney stones and

Bunce reported the

early as 1964, a

420

mg

magnesium

deficiency. 20

As

benefits of administering

dose of magnesium oxide per day to patients with

histories of frequent stone formation.

When

there

is

more calcium than magnesium, kidney

stones can form. Let’s look at that simple experiment from

Chapter

again to prove the point.

1

tablet in

ounce of water; note

1

how much is Then add a

still

magnesium

tablet,

If

calcium

won’t form

it

Several older studies

is

stir a

calcium

dissolves and

bottom of the

glass.

or the contents from

capsule, to the water and see

calcium dissolves. blood, then

how much

swirling around in the

crushed magnesium

a

Crush and

how much more

dissolved properly in the

crystals in the kidney.

show

the benefits of

magnesium

hydroxide in preventing stone formation. Fifty-five patients with a combined 480 stones in the previous ten years were placed on 200

mg

of

magnesium hydroxide

were followed for two to four developed

new

stone patients

developed even

who

149 patients,

group of forty-three kidney

stones over a four-year period. 21

showed

a decrease in stone

who went from

0.1 stones. Patients

a half

a

study using magnesium oxide and vitamin

natural diuretic)

and

Of

and only eight patients

did not receive magnesium, 59 percent

new kidney

earlier

year to

stones.

years,

daily. Patients

and

an average of

An

B6

(a

formation for 1.3 stones

per

were followed for between four

six years. 22 In

another study, fifty-six patients

150

PART THREE The Research Continues

While research identifying magnesium deficiency

as

a

causative factor in heart disease, migraines, and eclampsia is

clear-cut,

many

investigators

believe that

magnesium syndrome,

also plays an important role in chronic fatigue

fibromyalgia, environmental illness, and aging. vestigation needs to be that

done on these conditions

magnesium deficiency

is

a

already

know about

connection.

in-

to prove

contributing factor and that

magnesium replacement should be protocol. Let’s review

More

what many

part of the treatment

clinicians

and researchers

these conditions and the

magnesium

V

CHAPTER

9

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

and Fibromyalgia

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM, CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME, AND FIBROMYALGIA 1.

Magnesium fatigue

2.

deficiency

is

common

syndrome and fibromyalgia

Magnesium forms an important

in

most chronic

sufferers.

part of treatment for

chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. 3.

Magnesium ameliorates the and chemical

fatigue,

sensitivity of chronic fatigue

fibromyalgia.

155

muscle

pain,

syndrome and

The Miracle of Magnesium

X

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME Over

the past one hundred years,

dous love

we

have had

with chemicals and electronics and

affair

marriage with scientific methodology.

tremen-

a

a strange

to say that

It is safe

important advances in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and ence in general came out of the World space research.

The unseen

II effort

potential risks to the public

presumably outweighed by the

However, our sedentary thetic foods,

War

sci-

and

were

of the time.

crisis

lifestyle,

consumption of syn-

environmental chemicals, and polluted atmo-

sphere have coincided with a greater frequency of chronic

On

syndrome and fibromyalgia.

fatigue

magnesium and other pleted and, as

become woefully de-

nutrients have

we saw

in

Chapter

a parallel track,

4,

leave us unable to

protect our bodies and brains from chemicals.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was formally recognized and defined as an

Control

many

(CDC)

by the Centers

illness

in 1988. Before that time,

for Disease

and even

since,

doctors considered the condition psychological.

goes by various names: Epstein-Barr, yuppie Britain,

and, in

myalgic encephalomyelitis (which identifies the

muscles and brain

as sites of

chronic fatigue syndrome

United

flu,

CFS

States,

is

which makes

inflammation). Unfortunately, the it

name

seem

that has stuck in the

related to the general-

ized fatigue that anyone can suffer at one time or another.

The name minimizes disease can have

on

a

the global impact that this devastating

persons

life.

156

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

The symptoms of CFS

are chronic headaches, swollen

glands, periodic fevers and chills, muscle and joint aches and pains, muscle weakness, sore throat,

gling of the extremities.

The

general feeling

credible fatigue and inability to

any

is

one of

tin-

in-

do even the simplest of

becoming exhausted,

tasks without

and numbness and

inability to

cope with

and insomnia.

stress,

There are many theories about the cause of CFS, but

one triggering factor could be

a reactivation of an already

present mononucleosis-like virus called Epstein-Barr virus.

Upward

of 90 percent of the population already has anti-

bodies to Epstein-Barr virus, meaning the virus infected

them

some point

came and went

tion

the

at

first

in their lives. In like a

most people the

normal cold or

flu.

infec-

But for some,

infection or the reactivation of the virus can be

quite severe and leave

them

feeling fatigued,

run-down, and

never truly healthy again. If

CFS

some type

is

new way, then

the people

more run-down and this infection is

of infection presenting it

affects

most severely seem

stressed than average.

It

to be

appears that

becomes chronic because the immune system

not strong enough to fight

it

off or because sufferers

come

with a chemical or pollutant that undermines

in contact

their resistance

One

itself in a

of the

and allows them to succumb to the

ways

the

immune system

is

stressed

is

generalized depletion of minerals and vitamins that

illness.

by the it

needs

to function properly.

Sheila

fit

the profile of chronic fatigue syndrome. After

157

The Miracle of Magnesium

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA MAJOR CRITERIA •

New

onset of fatigue, causing a

activity for at least six •

50 percent

reduction

in

months

Exclusion of other illnesses that can cause fatigue

MINOR CRITERIA •

Presence of eight of eleven symptoms, or

symptoms and two

six of

eleven

of the three signs

Symptoms •

Mild fever



Recurrent sore throat



Painful



Muscle weakness



Muscle pain



Prolonged fatigue after exercise



Recurrent headache



Migratory joint pain



Neurological or psychological complaints: sensitivity to

lymph nodes

bright light, forgetfulness, confusion, inability to con-

centrate, excessive •

Sleep disturbance



Sudden onset

of

irritability,

depression

symptom complex

158

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Signs •

Low-grade fever



Sore throat without signs of pus



Palpable or tender lymph nodes

having had mononucleosis during college, she had never quite the same.

The mono seemed

weaken her immune

to

system and her adrenal glands. She worked

was constantly exposed

to germs,

felt

as a teacher

and

coming down with every

cold and flu that passed through the school. Because she traveled a lot, she received

further

weakened

ture refinishing,

her. In

and

paint. It

produces phorbol

as a causative

inoculations,

which

her spare time she enjoyed furni-

which exposed her

nishes, paint strippers, a plant that

numerous

to tung

found

in var-

made from euphorbia,

is

esters,

oil,

and has been proposed

agent for chronic fatigue syndrome

1 .

After a trip to the Far East, Sheila became more and more fatigued and a horribly

on one

came down with

a terrible

achy head, muscles, and

joints.

antibiotic after another, even

terial infection.

Her cough and

monthlong

flu

with

Her doctor put

her

though she had no bac-

chest pain finally cleared up,

but she continued to have periodic fevers, a sore throat, and sore muscles. She couldn’t exercise at

end up

in

all

bed for days, and no matter

because she would

how

she couldn’t sleep. Sheila was depressed sickness.

Sometimes she

felt as if

159

by

tired she was, this

constant

she were losing her mind:

The Miracle of Magnesium

She couldn’t concentrate, remember, or perform simple metic. She couldn’t teach and

do only the bare minimum

was so exhausted

for

that she could

to take care of herself.

Fortunately, Sheila’s doctor at a local

arith-

was involved with

a

study

university looking into possible drug treatments

CFS. She entered the blind study and did not know

which treatment she was tions

receiving.

The

medica-

three

were an anti-inflammatory drug (ibuprofen), an

anti-

depressant (amitriptyline), and magnesium glycinate. She had

weekly

visits

with

nurse to assess her symptoms, twenty-

a

four-hour urine collections, blood

tests,

and questionnaires.

After two weeks her fatigue improved, as did her muscle

weakness, twitching, poor concentration, and

At

the end of the study, Sheila

had been 300

mg

of elemental

was

if

and that she could

she wished. Sheila

told that her treatment

magnesium twice

her magnesium had been very low study,

at the

safely continue

now had

irritability.

beginning of the

with the treatment

the energy to

to take care of herself: exercise,

a day, that

do more things

shop for the right foods,

and prepare more meals from fresh foods. She knew she

was on the road

to recovery, thanks to

magnesium. Several

other studies confirm the efficacy of using magnesium for the

treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms. 2 3 4 5 ’





FIBROMYALGIA It

wasn’t until 1990 that the American College of

Rheuma-

tology established diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, there-

160

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

FIBROMYALGIA DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA MAJOR CRITERIA •

Generalized aches or stiffness of at least three anatomat least three

ical sites for •

Six or

more

typical, reproducible

trigger points, in the •

Exclusion

months tender points, called

muscles

of other disorders that

can cause similar

symptoms

MINOR CRITERIA •

Generalized fatigue



Chronic headaches



Sleep disturbances



Neurological and psychological complaints



Joint swelling



Numbness



Irritable



Variation of

or tingling sensation

bowel syndrome

symptoms

in relation

to activity, stress,

and

weather changes.

by giving

it

official status as

an

illness.

Fibro- means “con-

nective tissue” and refers to the thin tissue that wraps around

muscles, and myalgia means “muscle pain.” Also called brositis,

many

of

fibromyalgia its

is

a close cousin of

symptoms: incapacitating

CFS and

fatigue,

fi-

shares

muscle and

joint pain, neuralgia, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression,

161

The Miracle of Magnesium

cognitive confusion, and digestive problems.

have mild

in addition,

throat, tients.)

(CFS

sufferers,

swollen glands, and a sore

fever,

which distinguishes them from fibromyalgia pa-

Having

a

name, however, does not define the causes

of the illness, and the American College of

Rheumatology

does not offer a curative treatment. I

believe fibromyalgia

is

the latest label for an accumula-

tion of toxins and infections lifestyle.

Twenty-six doctors

book on chronic

Our

from both environment and

who

present their cases in a

and fibromyalgia agree

fatigue

6 .

exposure to toxins, chemicals, and prescription

drugs begins

at birth.

Substances

we

think are safe can

down our immune systems and deplete our nutrient reserves. I and many other doctors believe they lead to break

CFS, fibromyalgia, and environmental list

of sufferers

7 .

illness in a

growing

Here’s a chronology of ailments and the

kinds of treatments any one of us

may

receive over the

course of a lifetime. Each treatment can trigger the next event and further drug intervention.



Diaper

rash, caused

by Candida

treated with cortisone creams,

ther •

growth of the

which encourage

Most

is

fur-

yeast.

Childhood ear infections can begin infections picked



albicans (yeast),

at birth as yeast

up from the mother during

delivery.

ear infections are treated with antibiotics.

Infections

may become

chronic and require multiple

162

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

courses of antibiotics, leading to diarrhea and intestinal yeast infections •

and

bowel.

irritable

Anesthetics used in surgery to place tubes in the ears

add another toxin. •

Colic can develop due to antibiotics.



Inability to digest milk

due to an

to frequent changes of formula •

Gas and bloating can

result

bowel leads

irritated

and further

irritation.

from hard-to-digest soy

formula. •

Eczema, aggravated by food

sensitivity,

is

suppressed

with cortisone creams. •

Allergies to foods, especially yeast, wheat, and dairy,

can arise from poor digestion. •

Asthma, which may be environmental,

is

treated with

medications including cortisone inhalers. •

Multiple colds and flus are treated with

many

courses

of antibiotics and annual flu vaccines. •

Cravings for sweets can be caused by yeast over-

growth and may cause or aggravate hyperactive behavior in children. •

Dental cavities lead to multiple mercury amalgam ings.

Toxic mercury vapor

may

be inhaled, absorbed,

or disrupt enzymes in the brain, kidneys, and •

fill-

liver.

Allergic reactions are treated with allergy shots, anti-

histamines, and cortisone sprays. •

Many

adolescents

take

for acne.

163

long-term oral antibiotics

The Miracle of Magnesium



Many

young

teens and

adults develop mononucleosis,

and up to 20 percent never •

feel quite as

healthy again.

Bladder infections are treated with antibiotics, which cause yeast infections.



Birth control tions,

which

pills

cause chronic vaginal yeast infec-

are treated with antibiotic creams.



Pregnancy hormones encourage vaginal yeast



Chronic sleep deprivation small children and

is

a

is

common

major

stress

in

all

infections.

parents of

on the immune

system. •

Irritable

bowel can develop

after a

bout of diarrhea

(attributed to traveler’s diarrhea or food poisoning)

and •

is

usually treated with antibiotics.

Hypothyroidism with body temperature below 98.2 degrees

F often occurs but remains undiagnosed and

untreated. •

Hospitalization for infections or surgery usually warrants intravenous antibiotics



Major colds and

flus

and

a host of other drugs.

can lead to bronchitis and pneu-

monia, which are treated with strong antibiotics. •

Chronic fatigue syndrome and

fibromyalgia

treated with anti-inflammatories, sleeping

pills,

are

and

antidepressants. •

Environmental

allergies

with extreme

sensitivities

to inhalants, especially perfumes, colognes, house-

hold products, pesticides, and molds, are treated with cortisone. •

Dysmenorrhea,

irregular periods, infertility,

164

and wors-

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

ening premenstrual symptoms occur due to a buildup of toxins and lack of nutrients. •

Infertility

treated with an array of synthetic hor-

is

monal drugs. •

Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and palpitations are treated with antidepressants



Menopause

Magnesium and

is

and psychotherapy.

medicated with synthetic hormones.

is

depleted with every step of this scenario

body burden

results in a total

of drugs, toxins, and vari-

ous stressors. The end result looks very fatigue

look

at the

to understand

and

like

chronic

syndrome.

Let’s

up

much

how this Plants

journey through

life

why we have become so

affects the

grown on

immune

from the ground nutrient-deficient

system.

devitalized,

overworked

been poisoned by acid rain are poor

soil that

has

in nutrients, including

magnesium. Synthetic foods created by modern processing and refining are devoid of natural vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

They

are “fortified” with useless synthetic vitamins

often no minerals except calcium or iron. nutrient hardest hit

The body

is

the

not able to process junk food, with

way as

it

its

dozens

does organic food.

these chemical additives like foreign invaders and has

to detoxify are

is

by food processing.

of chemical additives, in the same It treats

Magnesium

and

them

in the liver.

The intermediary metabolites

sometimes more toxic than the

original, leaving the

hypersensitive and hyperimmune, sometimes turning

165

body

on the

The Miracle of Magnesium

body and

Magnesium

arthritis).

the

autoimmune

creating

body of these

disease (MS, rheumatoid

depleted in the attempt to detoxify

is

foreign chemicals.

There are thousands of medicinal drugs currently

Magnesium fects of

expert Mildred Seelig

many

ficiency because

body

is

may

drugs

tells

in use.

us that the side ef-

be associated with magnesium de-

magnesium becomes depleted while

the

trying to detoxify these drugs.

With the advent of could cure

all

our infectious diseases, there

these powerful drugs.

When

cannot discriminate; they

The good

and the hope that they

antibiotics

kill

is

an overuse of

antibiotics kill bacteria, they

both good and bad

bacteria.

bacteria killed in the gastrointestinal tract are then

replaced with yeast ( Candida albicans).

The

birth control

yeast in the gut, as

pill,

with

its

daily

hormone

do sugar products. Yeast overgrowth

results in episodes of alternating diarrhea

Magnesium constant

is

lost

demand

acidity of soda

due to diarrhea and

to balance the

pH

and constipation. is

of the

drained by the

body due

to the

pop and junk food.

The symptoms from are

surge, feeds

yeast and

its

breakdown products

bodywide. Often these symptoms lead one to think that

there are infections in the sinuses, throat, bladder or vagina.

A

doctor will consequently prescribe more antibiotics for

these

symptoms, which perpetuates the problem

in a vi-

cious cycle.

Acidity in the intestines from overgrowth of yeast can irritate the intestines to the

point of causing micropunctures

166

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

in their lining, thus allowing the

absorption of incompletely

digested food into the bloodstream. This food eign body, and the

immune system

reacts

is

now

a for-

by forming

Food

bodies to try to get rid of these foreign substances. allergies

and

sensitivities result.

body

minerals in the

that

is

Magnesium

is

anti-

one of the

responsible for neutralizing ex-

cess acidity.

Allergies are created irritate

when

inhaled chemicals and toxins

mucous membranes

the

of the nasal passages.

can trigger symptoms of asthma, which

magnesium

When

made worse by

is

deficiency.

Depression can be cals in the

They

body from

the brain

is

a direct result of

accumulating chemi-

drugs, synthetic food, and infections.

deficient in

magnesium

it

is

no longer

protected from the onslaught of chemicals such as aspar-

tame and

MSG.

Because there are no medical

tests

to confirm that

chemicals, drugs, and synthetic food are causing our

toms, people

who

normal.” This

is

feel sick are

frustrating

sufferers feel even ill

patients

thirty doctors in

often told that “everything

to

my office had

one year for

of chronically

seen between six and

their complaints. Patients

with fatigue or depression had usually been referred to psychiatrist.

Some

patients

is

and depressing, which makes

more unwell. The majority

who came

symp-

a

had been prescribed thousands

of dollars’ worth of drugs annually to treat their multiple

complaints, which usually did no good and merely added to their toxic load.

167

The Miracle of Magnesium

The complex nature of CFS and fibromyalgia

is

formida-

Even though more doctors understand and accept the

ble.

CFS, the focus of CFS research seems

existence of

on finding one

cause.

And

the treatment

Rheumatologists and psychiatrists sleeping

pills;

is

to be

symptomatic: with

treat sleeplessness

pain with anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers,

and muscle relaxants; and anxiety and depression with anxiety drugs and antidepressants.

or nutrient deficiencies.

anti-

No attention is paid to diet

They ignore

the possibility that there

could be a nutrient imbalance, such as a magnesium deficiency, or coexisting conditions, such as a yeast infection,

thyroid, or allergies, that cause a also tend to

complex of symptoms. They

overlook possible toxicides, which allow com-

mon infections

to appear

more virulent

weakened

host. Yet

magnesium deficiency

of a

exacerbate it

the

all

symptoms

of

as

they take advantage

CFS and

is

the

Magnesium

is

also

tigue,

is

suf-

often suggested for people suffering from fa-

but rigorous aerobic exercise

who

is

exhausting to people

CFS

their

magnesium-driven energy system

or fibromyalgia,

cise also causes lactic acid buildup, it is

many

resistance against germs.

with

when

to

one of the best ways to strengthen

immune system and boost Exercise

known

fibromyalgia, and

has been effective in helping to restore health to

ferers.

low

have no energy because is

which

bankrupt. Exer-

leads to

more pain

not cleared by a particular enzyme that requires

magnesium. Even the work of metabolizing pain medications depletes

tigue patients

magnesium. This explains

why

chronic

do not do well on most medications.

168

fa-

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

A

buildup of

lactic acid in the

can be treated with 300

mg

muscles causes pain and

of elemental

magnesium twice

day. If the joints accumulate toxicity, arthritis can occur;

by neurotoxins, they begin

the nerves are irritated their

myelin sheath, and

disease

may

MS can

end stage of

also be the

In

result.

a

fact,

a if

to lose

autoimmune

buildup of toxicity

along with a deficiency of nutrients, such as magnesium, that are designed to clear toxins

some

from the body. According to

doctors, the definition of

ease against self”

is

autoimmune

disease as “dis-

not accurate; the disease process

by toxins and nutrient

fact, against a self altered

which greatly exaggerates

mentioned previously, magnesium

is

in

deficiencies.

Patients with fibromyalgia also have chronically levels of serotonin,

is,

low

their pain.

As

a necessary building

block for both the production and uptake of serotonin by brain

cells.

STRESS Acute episodes of

CFS and

fibromyalgia are often brought

on by exposure

to stress,

The consequent

increase in adrenaline and stress chemicals

hastens

magnesium

conditions.

loss

Low levels

of

whether emotional or physical.

and can be

magnesium

a factor in

both these

intensify the secretion

of the stress chemicals, thus increasing the risk of adverse effects of stress

and creating another vicious

169

cycle. 8

The Miracle of Magnesium

FATIGUE The overproduction to

of

adrenaline

due to

magnesium deficiency and therefore puts

leads

stress

a strain

on the

magnesium-dependent energy system of the body, causing energy depletion that leads to fatigue. Fatigue

duced with magnesium supplementation. In breakthrough occurred

sium

levels

in

CFS

were discovered

enzyme systems

in

that require

research

most

fact, a

major

when low magne-

sufferers.

Of

the

many

magnesium, the most impor-

tant ones are responsible for energy production

Magnesium and malic

often re-

is

acid,

and storage.

an acid found in apples, are

both crucial to the body’s energy production and useful the treatment of

fibromyalgia,

CFS and

fibromyalgia. In the case of

low magnesium keeps muscles

in a state of

spasm, so supplementation can aid in relieving

symptom.

A

study by

in

Guy

this painful

D. Abraham, M.D., showed

positive results in the reversal of fibromyalgia with

magne-

sium and malic acid supplementation. Fifteen patients with fibromyalgia

who took magnesium

acid (1,200-2,400

symptoms within week period

(300-600 mg) and malic

mg) experienced improvement the

first

forty-eight hours.

in their

Over an

eight-

of supplementation their degree of muscle ten-

derness and pain dropped from 19.6 points to 6.5 points,

according to standardized medical scores. 9

170

CHAPTER

10

Environmental Illness and Asthma

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND ENVIRONMENTAL ILLNESS 1.

Symptoms partially

of chemical sensitivity can be completely or

produced by magnesium deficiency.

2.

Magnesium helps

3.

Magnesium helps eliminate heavy metals from the

Dr. Sherry Rogers

is

a

detoxify toxic chemicals.

body.

diplomate in family practice, allergy-

asthma-immunology, and environmental medicine and

a

fellow of the American College of Nutrition. In private practice for

from

all

more than

thirty years, she treats very

over the world

who

ill

have environmental

171

people

toxicity.

The Miracle of Magnesium

One

of her basic

sensitivity can be

maxims

wholly or

deficiency.” She has tested to

know

this to

is

that

in part

“symptoms

produced by magnesium

enough people over the decades

be a fact and part of her success derives

from implementing magnesium therapy on

CFS and mental

all

her patients.

fibromyalgia are actually aspects of environ-

illness.

In Chapter 9

we saw how

develop over time in a toxic environment. a closer

of chemical

look

at

some environmentally

these conditions

Now we will take

sensitive people

and

the chemicals they encountered.

more often

Natalie, sometimes in jest but

would tack.”

call It

what she experienced

in anger,

a “chemical warfare at-

happened when she stepped out onto her driveway

and was enveloped by

a cloud of chemical spray

from

lawn care truck treating her neighbor’s yard. She could ther breathe nor speak. felt as

though

it

Her

lungs were

were exploding. She

on

felt

fire,

a

nei-

and her head

dizzy and shaky.

She managed to stagger into the house, where she collapsed

on the

floor.

Her husband found her

a

few minutes

took her to the hospital, where they could do very cept give her oxygen and

tell

her to

later

and

little

ex-

rest.

Natalie had been the picture of health, athletic, active,

and happy.

Now

she was chronically fatigued. She became

hypersensitive to every chemical she

came

in contact with.

She couldn’t even read; magazines and newspapers reeked of ink. Perfume samples that

came

in

magazines were a

nightmare. She had to find natural substitutes for cleaning

products and cosmetics. Plants with moldy-smelling

172

dirt

Environmental Illness and Asthma

had to go. She became

do

all

from

allergic to

was

the cooking because she their stove.

Her

many

she reacted to

diet

foods.

wool. Her husband had to sensitive to the gas

became increasingly

When

fumes

limited, as

she couldn’t even use the

telephone because holding the plastic receiver gave her hives, she tact

became

a prisoner in her

own home

with no con-

with the outside world. Elizabeth, Ted, and their children developed an array of

symptoms their

home

after

in a

As soon

renovation.

The contractor

ticed an odor.

gone

they used urea formaldehyde insulation in as

it

was

said not to worry,

few days. The only thing

that

they no-

installed, it

would be

was gone

in a

few

days was the contractor. They phoned and phoned, but he never returned their

calls.

By

the end of the

week

the

whole

family had what appeared to be a bad cold, their eyes and

noses streaming.

they

all

skin rashes, and

When the “cold” away in ten days they went to the doctor, who saw

were

didn’t go

The children developed headachy, and

irritable,

their red, irritated skin

tired.

and mucous membranes but no signs

The doctor

of infection, except for swollen neck glands.

suggested they might be allergic to something. That clinched it;

they

knew

it

was the

they could do about if

would

the chemical

the next

month

the

it.

insulation.

They

They

tried

dissipate,

but

didn’t

toughing

when

it

know what out to see

the heat

came on

problem actually got worse. They were

beginning to be allergic to more and more things, and none of

them

felt

well at

the insulation,

all.

Finally, they decided to rip out

no matter what

it

173

cost.

all

The Miracle of Magnesium

Natalie, Elizabeth, Ted, and the children eventually got better.

With much

time, effort, and

money and

the help

of sympathetic and knowledgeable health practitioners

understand the

effects of the

who

environment and the need to

detoxify and nourish the body, they regained their health.

The

modalities they used were pure water, fresh

air,

organic

foods, rotation diets, sauna therapy, vitamin and mineral sup-

plements (especially 300 day),

mg

homeopathy, acupuncture, and

Some people with

magnesium twice

of elemental

a

a positive attitude.

the above conditions are not as fortu-

nate as Natalie, Elizabeth, and Ted,

who

at least

was harming them almost from the

start.

Those who gradu-

ally build

up

ins never

know

allergies

and

sensitivities to

environmental tox-

they’re getting sick until they’ve developed

What follows

asthma, eczema, or even cancer.

of our chemical environment and health can be lessened

how

FDA

at a level

(POPs) such

which have been banned

cades but are

minuscule

still

produced

levels of

all

POPs

in the

impact on our

magnesium.

foods tested by

They included as

DDT

Exposure to

times in fetal and infant

development can disrupt or damage human hormone, productive, neurological, and

and

United States for de-

in other countries.

at crucial

an overview

is

like

causing a health concern.

persistent organic pollutants

dioxin,

its

by neuroprotectants

Toxic chemicals were found in nearly the

knew what

immune

systems.

re-

1

In 2000 the Centers for Disease Control released the

very ins

first

large-scale national survey of environmental tox-

from human samples, and the

174

results are startling.

Blood

Environmental Illness and Asthma

and urine

levels of

twenty-seven chemicals tested in

thousand Americans

CDC

mostly rely on

far

exceeded safe

Even

then, only a

few dozen of the

more than one hundred thousand chemicals are

monitored for

The EPA and

water, and soil samples to test for

air,

toxic levels of chemicals.

levels.

five

safety. 2

Perhaps

this

in

everyday use

human study will

inforce a cutback in chemical pesticide use as pledged

U.S. Department of Agriculture

(USDA) and

re-

by the

the U.S. En-

vironmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1993. Chemical pesticide use,

pounds

however, has increased from 900 million

in 1992 to

940 million pounds in 2000, while

And

cropland has decreased. cides,

such

as

total

the riskiest chemical pesti-

organophosphates, carbamates, probable or

possible carcinogens,

still

account for over 40 percent of the

pesticides used in U.S. agriculture. 3

The average American household

generates

pounds of household hazardous waste each

year, according

to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation

“Our homes

fifteen

Commission.

contain an average of three to eight gallons of

hazardous materials in kitchens, bathrooms, garages and basements,” the government agency reports.

consequence of

all

these chemicals in our

In a California study the to

one or more

number

common

And what is

the

home environment?

of people with sensitivities

chemicals

is

“surprisingly large,”

according to researchers. Just over 6 percent of the subjects reported having a diagnosis of multiple chemical sensitivity or

environmental allergic

illness,

and nearly 16 percent reported being

or unusually sensitive to everyday chemicals. 4

175

The Miracle of Magnesium

In 1989, the

World Health Organization took

stand regarding the origins of cancer

when

it

a strong

stated that

up

to 80 percent of cancers are environmentally influenced. In

1985, the U.S. Environmental Protection a

survey of

human

fat

composition.

Agency published

found that more than

It

99 percent of the population had measurable levels of the nine chemicals they tested

including

for,

PCBs and DDT.

In

2000, 100 percent of fat samples tested were positive for chemicals. Dr. Samuel Epstein, professor of occupational

and environmental medicine Medical Center, Chicago,

at the

University of Illinois

an internationally recognized

is

authority on the toxic and carcinogenic effects of environ-

mental pollutants in

air,

water, and the workplace. His re-

DDT

search was key to banning

ingredients and contaminants in

and other problematic

consumer products

— food,

cosmetics, and household products. In his keynote address to a Health

ported that ent

Canada-sponsored cancer conference, he

we

all

compounds

now

carry

our

cells,

in

1920, and that “there

is

no

this information, activists

more than

still

hundred

none of which

safe

differ-

existed before

dose for any of them.” 5 With

have been demanding more use of

safe alternatives to chemicals.

are

five

re-

But government and industry

not listening.

Chemicals can destroy or paralyze different enzymes that protect us

from external

chemicals prevents the

body from

very chemicals. Magnesium

enzyme systems

in the

toxins. Thus, being

is

body, and

176

exposed to

protecting us from those

active in

when

its

more than 325

enzymes

are para-

Environmental Illness and Asthma

lyzed,

it is

unable to do

tion, detoxification,

its

essential

work

of energy produc-

and brain and nerve protection.

METALS AND MAGNESIUM Deborah Baker has researched

Dr.

mercury for over

a decade. 6

the health effects of

She acknowledges that mercury

pervades our environment through industrial exposure, but the major source of elemental

American population amalgams. 7 8 9 ’





is

mercury

North

mercury vapor released from dental

These amalgams

10

in the general

on

are,

average, 50 percent

mercury, and they off-gas or vaporize into your body’s

cells

every time you chew, brush your teeth, or eat anything hot or acidic. There the

number

content of

is

of amalgams in the

human

Mercury

a significant positive correlation

mouth and

the

between

mercury

tissues, including the brain. 11

magnesium

drastically increases the excretion of

and calcium from the kidneys, which

may

be caused by the

kidney damage seen in mercury poisoning. 12 Such mineral loss impairs cell production, the storage

ergy,

and

cellular repair

and

and

utilization of en-

supplementation can not only undo some of can prevent certain types of heavy metal

Long-term

fetal

magnesium

replication. Sufficient this

damage but

toxicity. 13



14

exposure during pregnancy to even low

concentrations of mercury can lead to irreversible develop-

mental disorders. 15 The concentration of magnesium in the placental and fetal tissues necessarily increases during preg-

nancy. 16 Unfortunately, the

demand

177

for

magnesium usually

The Miracle of Magnesium

exceeds

supply, and thus anything that further lowers

its

magnesium

levels,

such

as

mercury, puts the pregnancy and

child at risk.

Dr. Baker says that approximately 85 percent of her patients, as part of their

supplement with 300

mercury detoxification protocol,

mg to

500

mg daily of magnesium gly-

cinate, in divided doses. Patients frequently

their

comment

that

muscular pain improves while on magnesium.

Lead and cadmium have kidney and heart

a

in particular.

cumulative toxicity on the

Magnesium appears

competitive inhibitor of these two polluting metals ferent sites, particularly during

combined

to be a at dif-

intoxication. 17

A

Yugoslavian research team found that increased intake of

magnesium same with

eliminates lead via the urine and

certain other

cadmium

via the urine. 18

magnesium increased excretion Adequate magnesium

also help prevent the toxic effects of

clude

breakdown of sugar

duction of

the

heavy metals. Under experimental

conditions, they found that

of

may do

stores

levels

can

aluminum, which

in-

and disruption in the pro-

ATP energy. 19

TREATMENT The hallmark

of a mineral-deficient person

is

takes vitamins without minerals and feels

well for a while but then deteriorates. 20 eral deficiency, especially of

If

often one

worse or does

you have

magnesium, which

for energy production, certain areas of the

178

who

is

a

min-

necessary

body may be

Environmental Illness and Asthma

overstimulated by vitamin supplements, while other areas can’t respond. Therefore, illness,

it

if

you

suffer severe environmental

important to have a health care practitioner

is

monitor supplement intake and to begin with magnesium

one of your

first

supplements.

The treatment

for environmental illness

ized. Since allopathic

mental disease,

it

individual-

is

medicine does not recognize environ-

has not established treatment protocols.

According to environmental experts, magnesium

up the body’s energy and

to build

tion systems.

as

fully utilize

The source of environmental

must be eliminated or avoided; otherwise out a sinking ship by hand.

You

first

its

is

essential

detoxifica-

toxins, however, it is

like bailing

have to be aware of the

chemicals in your environment, avoid them like the plague,

and work diligently with the therapies that follow to clean out your body.

The lowly dry fillings,

up

in

cleaning chemicals, the mercury in dental

and the cleaning products under the sink

all

build

our bodies and cause chronic disease. Air purifying

machines, water

filters,

organic food, organic supplements,

and natural alternatives to chemicals provide the foundation of environmental health treatment.

DIET The key

in treating environmental illness

is

to eat organic,

free-range, unprocessed, unadulterated foods. cides

added to the

soil

The

pesti-

and the antibiotics used on poultry

179

The Miracle of Magnesium

who

and beef sicken the animals and the people

The rash

of diseases in cattle

is

eat them.

low

likely related to the

quality of their feed, the tons of drugs they are given to fat-

them up, and the

ten

gallons of chemicals sprayed

on them

to treat parasites. Unfortunately, even organic farms are

subjected to acid rain, contaminated groundwater, and polluted

air,

which means

role in detoxifying

Drink in

that

all

of us should take an active

our bodies of suspected chemicals.

six to eight glasses of

pure water

a day.

Chemicals

our environment that are water-soluble are eliminated

through the kidneys and colon, especially

enough pure water. Use

a filter that has a

if

you drink

pore size of

less

than 0.5 microns and guarantees the elimination of chemicals as well as parasites.

To

eliminate fat-soluble chemicals such as pesticides and

which can become even more

herbicides, are

broken down by the

clay wraps. Fasting

is

liver,

not recommended to eliminate toxins. cells,

which keeps

When you try to fast or diet, your down for energy, and out come the

broken

The headache, nausea,

tability are

sea

circulation.

fat stores are

chemicals.

when they

you need dry saunas and

Fat-soluble chemicals are stored in fat

them out of

toxic

light-headedness, and

irri-

not just from lack of food but from poisons

flooding your bloodstream. While fasting, Fve tasted and felt

the

numbing

before. If

you

effect of dental anesthetics

are already feeling

ill,

fasting

going to be very unpleasant experiences.

180

from decades

and dieting are

Environmental Illness and Asthma

DRY SAUNA Numerous

cultures use sweat lodges, steam baths, or saunas

for cleansing

and purification.

Many

health clubs and big

apartment buildings have saunas and steam baths, and more

and more people are building saunas

in their

own homes.

Low-to-moderate-temperature saunas are one of the most important ways to detoxify from pesticide exposure. Headto-toe perspiration through the skin, the largest organ of elimination, releases stored toxins and opens the pores. Fat that

is

down,

close to the skin releasing toxins

is

heated, mobilized, and broken

and breaking up

cellulite.

The heat

increases metabolism, burns off calories, and gives the heart

and circulation

workout. This

a

the energy to exercise. fever

is

the body’s

lating the

are

immune

employed

just that.

way

It is

is

well

a

boon

known

you don’t have

if

medicine that a

in

of burning off an infection and stimu-

system. Fever therapy and sauna therapy

at alternative

medicine healing centers to do

The controlled temperature

in a

sauna

is

excellent

for relaxing muscular aches and pains and relieving sinus

congestion. ternship

The only way

I

made

it

through

was by having regular saunas

my medical

in-

to reduce the daily

stress.

SEA CLAY WRAPS

A very

appealing method of detoxification

Contour Wrap. In Europe

it is

181

promoted

is

the Universal

as a healing

and

The Miracle of Magnesium

America

cleansing modality; however, in

only

as a

beauty treatment.

method of

tive

large tensor

A

licensed technician uses

bandages soaked in liquid clay to wrap your

sons, toxins,

to neck.

The process draws out

and edema. Measurements before and

show

the hourlong treatment

to eliminate cellulite.

is

much improved.

You can

It

The even

obtain a kit to do your

more

See the Resources section for

partial wraps.

poiafter

actual loss of inches.

health and appearance of the skin

own

can be marketed

an extremely safe and effec-

It is

detoxification.

whole body from toe

works

it

information.

SUPPLEMENTS If

you have environmental

you

illness,

are sensitive or allergic to everything.

ing supplements,

feel as

though you

When it comes

you may be unable

to tak-

to tolerate anything,

but you might be deficient in everything. This does not necessarily

mean

ment; rather, increasing

that

you

are allergic to a particular supple-

when you

take

some metabolic

body throwing

your body responds by

it,

processes,

which

off waste products that

seous or headachy. That

is

why

make you

an organic

clay wraps, and exercise should be

results in the feel

nau-

diet, saunas, sea

implemented before tak-

ing supplements.

The 100

mg

first

supplement to add

of elemental

is

magnesium.

magnesium once

182

a

Start

day and add

with

a sec-

Environmental Illness and Asthma

ond capsule fourth a

after a

week

week,

later, in

week, and

a third in the third

divided doses.

Cut back

a

you have

if

loose stools. “Green drinks” are the next food supplement to add.

They

are

sea vegetables are

made from

a variety of organic land

and flavored with

made with whey

protein

stevia.

Some “green

powder and make

cleansing drink or meal replacement for a modified

By now you should

be feeling

much

and

drinks” a

good

fast.

better and able to

add some more supplements to help boost your immune system and provide necessary building blocks for health.

Environmental

does not require high-dose sup-

illness

plementation like other diseases. In

fact, since

most mega-

vitamins and minerals are derived synthetically, better approach to use

it

is

a far

low-potency food-based supple-

ments from organic sources. Standard Process supplements, for example, meet these criteria and are available ral

health practitioners,

who

can

assist

you

in

from natu-

developing an

individualized program.

MAGNESIUM AND ASTHMA As

a child,

Gerry had eczema. Every possible skin cream

and lotion was

tried, to

no

avail,

years, the last patch disappeared

on

but its

almost immediately, however, by his

finally, after

own.

first

It

many

was followed

asthma

attack.

By

age thirty, he was suffering attacks of wheezing and coughing

when he

exercised and

when he was around

183

cats,

dogs,

The Miracle of Magnesium

v

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 loss of

in

the treatment of asthma cause a

magnesium, making symptoms only worse.

3. Patients treated with simple tion report

magnesium supplementa-

marked improvement

in

their

symptoms.

horses, dust, flowers, and chemical smells. Various medications helped initially, but after a year or

stop working.

He

two they would

wasn’t satisfied with them, anyway; one

gave him heart palpitations, and another contained cortisone,

which made him gain weight and

retain fluid.

vitamin newsletter came in the mail.

He

one day

a

threw

out, but a headline caught his attention:

it

Then

almost

“Magne-

sium Halts Asthma Spasms.”

Asthma the

is

characterized

mucous membranes

by bronchial spasm, swelling of

duction, and an inability to fully

Asthma

finds

twice as

common

3

its

empty

easiest victims in children

in

mucus pro-

of the lung, excessive

the lungs of

under ten and

boys and men, although

it

affects

percent of the general population. Tabulating

gers of an

asthma attack

is

a

air.

all

is

about

the trig-

daunting task; there seems to be

a variety of stimuli, including lung infection, exercise,

184

emo-

Environmental Illness and Asthma

tional upset,

food

sensitivities, inhalation of

cold

air

or

irri-

tating aromatic substances (smoke, gas fumes, paint fumes,

chemical fumes), and reactions to specific allergens, such as pollens.

Bronchial spasms occur in both extrinsic asthma (an

such

lergic reaction to external substances

animal

hair,

as

al-

mold, dust,

pollens and chemicals) and intrinsic asthma

(from exercise, infection, and emotional upset). The

allergic

triggers, called allergens, initiate the release of histamines in

your body, which try to eliminate the allergens by stimulating lots of

mucus

to

mop up

the allergens and push

out through sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes. the side effects of too

much

histamine

is

them

One

tightening of the

bronchial tubes, which go into spasm. Such spasms can tiate

of

ini-

episodic wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath,

which quickly lead anxiety,

to rapid breathing, difficulty exhaling,

and dehydration. The anxiety of an asthma attack

can create a gripping fear that tenses up the whole body and is

hard to shake

Gerry

off.

really identified

with what he read about asthma

and magnesium, and he realized that tense.

He

his

whole body was

decided to try some magnesium supplements un-

der his doctor’s supervision, and with them he was able to greatly decrease his medications.

Magnesium it is

is

an excellent treatment for asthma because

a natural antihistamine

and

a bronchodilator. It has a

calming effect on the muscles of the bronchial tubes and the

whole body. Certainly, drug therapy for asthma can often

185

The Miracle of Magnesium

be lifesaving; drugs, however, are not curative.

You have

mag-

eliminate the underlying cause of asthma and replace

nesium to

fully treat this condition.

Without magnesium,

asthma can become chronic, especially

if

the various trig-

gers are not eliminated; even the fear of an attack can

nify the emotional

to

mag-

component. Conventional allergy shots

have been used for decades to try to trick the body into accepting irritating allergens but often do not work, especially

when

the condition

is

According to Dr. consists of

Seelig, the

The

in loss of is

drug treatment of asthma

21 .

as beta blockers, corti-

side effects of these drugs include

magnesium deficiency

and sudden death

which

a nutrient deficiency.

magnesium-wasters such

sone, and ventolin. severe

due to

that can result in arrhythmia

Theophylline (Aminophylline) results

magnesium and suppression of vitamin B 6

activity,

necessary for magnesium function. Prednisone

wastes magnesium, causes sodium retention and fluid retention, suppresses

vitamin D, and causes increased urinary ex-

cretion of zinc, vitamin K, and vitamin

Childhood asthma can be

methods of pean study,

.

life-threatening;

but safe

treating this condition can be added. In a a

group of children

spite of conventional

sulfate

C 22

intravenously.

who had

Euro-

deteriorated in

drug therapy were given magnesium

Comparing

the

magnesium group

with the placebo group, the magnesium group had lower clinical

of

asthma scores and

improvement

riod.

a significantly greater percentage

in lung function over a ninety-minute pe-

No significant side effects were observed 23 .

186

Environmental Illness and Asthma

Dr.

Lydia Ciarallo in the Department of Pediatrics,

Brown

University School of Medicine, treated thirty-one

asthma patients ages ing

six to eighteen

who were

deteriorat-

on conventional treatments. One group was given magne-

sium

sulfate

and another group was given

intravenously.

At

fifty

both

minutes the magnesium group had a

improvement

significantly greater percentage of tion,

saline solution,

in lung func-

and more magnesium patients were discharged from the

emergency department than the placebo group

who went on

to hospitalization. 24

Another study showed lar

magnesium

levels

found that patients

between

a correlation

intracellu-

and airway spasm. The investigators

who

had low

cellular

magnesium

levels

had increased bronchial spasm. This finding confirmed not only that magnesium was useful in the treatment of asthma

by

dilating the bronchial tubes but that lack of

was probably

A as

magnesium

a cause of this condition. 25

team of researchers

surprisingly

common,

identified

finding

it

magnesium deficiency in

65 percent of an

intensive-care population of asthmatics and in

1

1

percent of

an outpatient asthma population. They supported the use of

magnesium

to help prevent

asthma

several antiasthmatic actions. laxes airways

As

a

attacks.

Magnesium

calcium antagonist,

and smooth muscles and

it

has re-

dilates the lungs. It

also reduces airway inflammation, inhibits chemicals that

cause spasm, and increases anti-inflammatory substances

such

as nitric oxide. 26

The same study established

that a

187

lower dietary magnesium

The Miracle of Magnesium

was

intake

with

associated

impaired

lung

function,

bronchial hyperreactivity, and an increased risk of wheez-

The study included 2,633 randomly

ing.

ages eighteen to seventy. Dietary calculated

by

a

selected adults

magnesium intake was

food frequency questionnaire, and lung

function and allergic tendency were evaluated.

The

investi-

low magnesium intake may be

gators concluded that

in-

volved in the development of both asthma and chronic obstructive airway disease.

DIET Avoid

sugar. Limit red

meat and

dairy,

which contain sub-

stances that increase inflammation in the body. Increase yel-

low vegetables and green

leafy vegetables,

which contain

substances that inhibit inflammation. Increase intake of fish oils,

seed and nut

salmon), flaxseed

oils,

oil,

cold-water fish (herring, sardines,

and walnuts to reduce inflammation.

Eat grapes; grape skins contain quercetin, which prevents histamine release and inhibits inflammatory products.

Try der, a

a liquid fast:

Use

a therapeutic

whey

protein

pow-

green drink, and/or fresh, organic juices plus fiber

for three days, followed

Get out of the

by

a vegetarian diet for

rut of eating the

and eliminate possible food

four days.

same foods every day

allergies.

Eggs, shellfish, and

peanuts usually cause immediate sensitivity reactions; milk, chocolate, wheat, citrus, and food colorings cause delayed

food reactions. Carefully check

188

labels in the grocery store

Environmental Illness and Asthma

and speak up

in restaurants to avoid

even small amounts of

potential allergic triggers.

Avoid (e.g.,

and

aspirin

nonsteroidal

ibuprofen), which can cause allergic reactions.

Clean out environmental cats

anti-inflammatories

allergies:

Find other homes for

and dogs. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting, wall hangings,

and feather pillows. Frequently replace or clean for heating and cooling systems.

sound cleaning products. Use allergies.

Research

a

air filters

Obtain environmentally

vacuum

cleaner specific for

HEPA air cleaners and ozone generators.

SUPPLEMENTS -

Magnesium: 300 Vitamin B 6

:

mg

50 mg

Pantothenic acid:

twice a day

twice a day

500 mg

daily

Vitamin C: 1-2 g daily

Vitamin E as mixed tocopherols: Quercetin:

500 mg

Selenium:

250 meg

Flaxseed

oil:

400

III

daily

three times a day a day

1-2 tbsp

daily

Hydrochloric acid: 5 grains, 1 tablet per day at the end of a meal, increasing to

one with each meal.

189

CHAPTER 11 Health and Longevity

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAGNESIUM AND AGING 1.

Magnesium

is

deficient

in

who have

Alzheimer’s

magnesium

deficiency;

people

disease or Parkinson’s disease. 2.

Aging as

we

itself is

a risk factor for

get older

we become more

sium and therefore require more

in

deficient in

our diet and

magnein

sup-

plement form. 3.

Magnesium binds and eliminates

toxic

chemicals and

metals to keep them from contributing to symptoms of aging.

190

Health and Longevity

Three hundred years ago, people didn’t

do today. They

live as

long as

we

lived in such unsanitary conditions that

simple scrapes and cuts became mortal wounds. Bathing

was looked upon with suspicion. Tuberculosis, fostered by sun exposure, lack of fresh

extremely close quarters,

little

vegetables, and dampness,

was highly contagious and struck

down many

made

ventilation if

in their prime.

Indoor

fires

without adequate

for chronic bronchitis and

the people even lived long

enough

emphysema,

to develop these

conditions.

When we

implemented universal

sanitation, the infec-

tious diseases

began to recede. The land was

plants soaked

up

vital nutrients.

humans absorbed them from duce. in a

The

Farm animals

eating fresh

factories belching

ate

and

them, and

meat and fresh pro-

industrial revolution, however,

new way, with

still fertile,

harmed our health

smoke and chemical

poisons. Industrial farming techniques began poisoning the soil

with pesticides, herbicides, and nitrogen

soil

became

are better off in this century with

drugs and medical technology, but

become

toxic

as

Popping antiaging

and undermine our health, especially

your

life.

An

ents, exercise,

pills

our

we’ve seen, these can

polluted environment where our basic nutrition

to

The

lifeless.

We may think we also

fertilizers.

is

in a

impaired.

and megavitamins do not add years

excellent diet that provides optimal nutri-

and an outgoing, optimistic attitude are the

true keys to longevity.

Aging

in industrialized societies

191

is

associated with an

The Miracle of Magnesium

increasing prevalence of hypertension, heart disease, re-

duced insulin general

is

sensitivity,

and adult-onset diabetes. Aging

associated with altered calcium and

in

magnesium

ion levels, indistinguishable from those observed in hypertension and diabetes. insulin resistance

and

sion, heart disease, states, as

well as

tion of

its

we

talked about

role in exacerbating hyperten-

and diabetes mellitus. Insulin-resistant

what

are characterized

In Chapters 5 and 6

1

is

often thought of as “normal” aging,

by the accumulation of calcium and deple-

magnesium

in the cells.

cal researchers suggest that

it is

With

all this

in

mind,

clini-

the disturbance of calcium

and magnesium ions that might be the missing link responsible for the frequent clinical coexistence of hypertension,

atherosclerosis,

As

and metabolic disorders

in aging. 2

evident from animal experiments and epidemiologi-

cal studies, tibility to

magnesium deficiency may

increase our suscep-

cardiovascular heart diseases as well as accelerate

“Smart drugs” such as piracetam, oxiracetam, pramiracetam, and aniracetam are thought to enhance learning, facilitate

the flow of information between the two hemi-

spheres of the brain, help the brain chemical

injuries,

Magnesium

much

and supposed to be free of side

fits all

less costly

resist physical

the

criteria for

and has no side

192

effects.

“smart drugs,” but effects.

and

it

is

Health and Longevity

3

In a study

aging

.

sium

levels

were

on nursing home

low magne-

residents,

significantly associated with

two conditions

cramps and diabetes mellitus

that plague the elderly, calf

4 .

Centenarians (individuals reaching a hundred years of age)

have higher

total

body magnesium and lower calcium

than the usual elderly person

levels

5 .

FREE RADICALS, ANTIOXIDANTS, AND AGING

A

free radical

is

an unstable molecule that

normal body metabolism. within our

own

body’s

It

is

cells react

is

the product of

formed when molecules with oxygen.

It

has an un-

paired electron that tries to steal a stabilizing electron from

another molecule and as a consequence can produce harmful effects. External sources of free radicals include cals (pesticides, industrial pollution,

chemi-

auto exhaust, cigarette

smoke), heavy metals (dental amalgam, lead, cadmium),

most infections

(viruses, bacteria, parasites),

and even excessive

hol, allergens, stress,

X

rays, alco-

exercise.

Antioxidants are vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin radicals.

The

greater the

is

free to

that turn off free

amount of other antioxidants

body, the more magnesium oxidant and

E

is

spared from acting as an anti-

perform

its

antioxidants protect the level of

many

other functions. So

magnesium

in the body,

which prevents elevation of calcium, which can cular muscle

spasm

6 .

If

in the

there are not

193

lead to vas-

enough antioxidants

The Miracle of Magnesium

available,

overabundant

free radicals begin to

destroy normal, healthy

damage and

Free radicals are necessary

cells.

and normal products of metabolism, but uncontrolled

free

production plays a major role in the development of

radical

degenerative disease, since free radicals can damage any

body

structure: proteins,

radicals are implicated in

enzymes,

fats,

more than

even

DNA.

sixty different health

autoimmune

conditions, including heart disease,

Free

disease,

and cancer.

According to current research, low magnesium

levels

not only magnify free-radical damage but can hasten the

production of free radicals skin cells found that of free radicals

8

cells

One

study utilizing cultures of

low magnesium doubled the

In addition, cells

.

sium were twice

were

7 .

grown

grown without magne-

as susceptible to free radical

in

damage

cells

low-magnesium

in

were deficient

from hamsters fed

magnesium and con-

sequently more susceptible to free-radical damage. pears that low the cell

It

ap-

magnesium damages

the vital fatty layer in

more

susceptible to destruc-

membrane, making

it

tion and allowing leakage through the

A

as

normal amounts of magnesium. An-

other study showed that red blood diets

levels

number

membrane.

of reports have identified pesticides as a

cause of Parkinson’s disease (which affects over one million

Americans), with in-home exposure to insecticides carrying the highest risk

oxidant

which

made

9 .

in

Glutathione

all

is

a naturally occurring anti-

the cells of the body, including neurons,

acts to detoxify the

body

194

of certain chemicals. Cells

Health and Longevity

grown

in

magnesium-deficient conditions, however, have

lower glutathione

magnesium

free radicals to a

much more

cells

fall

fall

susceptible to free

damage. Neurosurgeon Dr. Russel Blaylock

radical

low-

culture causes glutathione levels to

making the

rapidly,

that a

cell

Adding

levels.

tells

us

in cellular glutathione within part of the brain

called the substantia nigra appears to be

one of the

earliest

findings in Parkinson’s disease. 10

ALZHEIMER’S In

North America, approximately

lation over sixty-five, fer

from Alzheimer’s.

loss,

out

10 percent of the popu-

and 50 percent over eighty-five, It is

associated with severe

suf-

memory

impaired cognitive function, and inability to carry

activities of daily life.

nosed when ruled out ciency,

all

(e.g.,

Alzheimer’s disease

is

often diag-

the other identifiable brain conditions are brain tumor, alcoholism, vitamin

B !2

defi-

mercury amalgam poisoning, depression, hypothy-

roidism, Parkinson’s, stroke, excessive prescription drug use).

In truth,

it is

only

at

autopsy that a definitive diagnosis can

be made. The brain will show the identifying characteristics of Alzheimer’s: plaques and tangles in the nerve fibers, particularly in the cerebrocortex

Abram

and hippocampal

area. Dr.

Hoffer, the founder of orthomolecular medicine

along with Linus Pauling, cautions that almost half the di-

agnosed cases of Alzheimer’s

may

be such treatable condi-

tions as simple dehydration, prescription drug intoxication,

195

The Miracle of Magnesium

severe cerebral allergies to foods or chemicals, or chronic nutrient deficiencies.

Chemicals and toxic metals are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, especially

aluminum, which many Americans are ex-

posed to through aluminum pots, aluminum cans, aluminumcontaining antacids and antiperspirants, tap water that

may be high in aluminum

.

aluminum 11 ’ 12

and

foil,

Considerable re-

search has proven that brain neurons affected in Alzheimer’s disease have significantly higher levels of

normal neurons. Alzheimer’s patients

low magnesium

levels

aluminum than

also have consistently

within the hippocampus, the area of

the brain

most damaged by Alzheimer’s. Aluminum

to replace

magnesium

mimicking

its

also replace

in certain

function but causing harm.

magnesium

in the brain,

channels in the brain nerve

cium

enzyme systems

cells

which

is

able

in the body,

Aluminum

leaves calcium

wide open, allowing

to flood in, causing cell death

can

cal-

13 .

PARKINSON’S DISEASE Similarly,

with Parkinson’s disease aluminum can be a con-

tributing factor in central nervous system degeneration. In

one autopsy study, calcium and aluminum were elevated

in

compared

to

the brains of victims of Parkinson’s disease as

people with normal brains

Enzymes function cess to the

14 .

in the

body only when they have

ac-

proper cofactors, which are mostly vitamins and

minerals, especially magnesium, selenium, vitamin C, vita-

196

Health and Longevity

age, so at particular risk are elderly

an adequate diet and

who

people

citizens take

age six to eight medications regularly.)

which many

up symptoms caused by

not eat

use drugs that deplete the body’s

magnesium. (Studies show that senior

fects of antacids,

who do

a

bad

Add

on

aver-

to that the ef-

elderly people take to cover diet.

Antacids suppress nor-

mal stomach acid and can lead to incompletely digested food, which causes gas, bloating, and constipation. Another

hidden danger

is

the use of

aluminum

But aside from the direct toxic

may

mentia

also be caused

Several studies result

when

show

in

most

effect of

antacids.

aluminum, de-

by magnesium depletion

that severe neurological

alone. 17

syndromes can

conditions cause extremely low levels of brain

magnesium, such

as

with the chronic use of diuretics, which

millions of people take to control high blood pressure. These

neurological conditions can present as seizures, delirium,

coma, or psychosis, which are quickly reversed by administering large doses of intravenous magnesium. Excessive amounts

of aspartame and

may

people

direct effect,

MSG

also cause

which

is

(glutamate) in the diet of elderly

symptoms

of dementia due to their

also magnified in

Dr. Jean Durlach, a preeminent

magnesium

deficiency.

magnesium expert

France, sums up the current research

in

on magnesium and

aging. 18

1.

Chronic marginal magnesium deficiency reduces span in

2.

life

rats.

Magnesium

deficiency accelerates aging through

199

its

The Miracle of Magnesium

various effects

on the neuromuscular,

cardiovascular,

and endocrine apparatus; kidneys and bones; and im-

mune, 3.

antistress,

and antioxidant systems.

In developed countries, ginal age:

magnesium

intake

is

mar-

throughout the entire population regardless of

around 4 mg/kg/day instead of the 6 mg/kg/day

recommended

to maintain satisfactory balance.

ever, the elderly

population

How-

extremely heteroge-

is

neous: diseases, handicaps, and physical or psycho-

impairments

logical

expose

individuals

to

more

severe nutritional deficiencies. 4.

Around

the age of seventy,

becomes two-thirds of what 5.

magnesium absorption it is

at

age thirty.

Various mechanisms of deficiency include intestinal malabsorption; reduced bone uptake and mobilization (osteoporosis); increased urinary losses; chronic stress;

severe

insulin resistance leading to diabetes with

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

clude central nervous system

in the elderly in-

symptoms

that

seem

largely “neurotic”: anxiety, excessive emotionality, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, light-headedness, dizzi-

ness,

nervous

fits,

sensation of a

lump

in the throat,

and impaired breathing. Peripheral nervous system signs are

common:

pins and needles of the extremi-

Health and Longevity

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES FOR ALZHEIMER’S Avoid mercury

fillings

must be done by

or have them replaced. But the

a dentist

proper removal can result into the tissues. Clean out

who in all

work

specializes in this area; im-

more mercury being

released

the chemicals in your

home

and immediate environment. Eat organic food. Exercise and take regular saunas.

203

V

PART FOUR Testing and Supplements

CHAPTER

12

Magnesium Requirements,

Testing,

and Sources

MAGNESIUM REQUIREMENTS The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) at

the

the

minimum level to

stave off deficiency

for nutrients

is

set

symptoms, not

at

maximum that ensures good health. But even with the RDA

set so low,

most Americans

The following

table

are

still

deficient in

magnesium.

shows the Recommended Daily Al-

lowances (RDAs) for magnesium in children and adults. Children 1 to 3 years: Children

4

to

8

Children

9

to

13

years:

80 mg

130 mg

years:

240 mg

Men

Women

Pregnancy

Lactation

Age 14-18

410 mg

360 mg

400 mg

360 mg

Age 19-30

400 mg

310 mg

350 mg

310 mg

Age 31 +

420 mg

320 mg

360 mg

320 mg

Life

Stage

207

The Miracle of Magnesium

The and

is

RDA

for

roughly 6

magnesium

mg

mg/kg

also expressed in

is

per kg (2.2 lbs) of

body weight. This

standard helps to determine the magnesium requirements for

someone who

who

overweight, because a fifty-year-old

is

weighs 300 pounds needs more magnesium than

fifty-year-old

who

is

100 pounds.

Many magnesium increased.

RDA

experts feel that the

Twenty years of research shows

conditions approximately 300

merely to offset the daily

moderate

stress

mg

of

losses. If

that

you

are

ideal

required

is

under mild to

caused by a physical or psychological dis-

emotional up-

your requirements for magnesium

Mildred Seelig

should be

under

magnesium

ease, physical injury, athletic exertion, or

heaval,

a

feels

that adolescent

escalate.

boys and

1

girls



2

Dr.

who

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. 3 An average diet may supply about 120 mg are athletic

of

magnesium per

1,000 calories, for an estimated daily in-

take of about 250 mg. 4



5

Since at best the

absorbing only half of what

is

taken

in,

body

is

actually

researchers feel that

most people would benefit from magnesium supplementation.

Otherwise, body tissue must be broken

supply

vital areas

of the

body with

essential

down

to

magnesium. 6 7 ’

MAGNESIUM TESTING You’ve heard the saying “To

err

is

vine”? In the medical world, to err

208

human,

is

human,

to forgive to test

is

is

di-

divine.

Magnesium Requirements,

Laboratory

tests

Testing,

should be used to confirm what our senses

and intuition

tells us,

faith in tests.

Yet finding the definitive

which can clinch

Over

feel safe.

and Sources

but

too often doctors place

all

makes both doctor and patient

a diagnosis,

the years lab testing for minerals evolved

The

testing mineral ions,

present state of the

which

There are two

art,

however,

lies in

component of

level.

clinical tests that

tor’s office, the results

to isolating min-

are the active

minerals working at the tissue

deficiency and

their

test for a condition,

from measurements done on whole blood erals inside cells.

all

can be done in a doc-

of which can indicate both calcium

magnesium

deficiency: Chvostek’s sign (a

contraction of the facial muscles caused by tapping lightly

on the

facial

sign (a a

nerve located in front of the ear) and Trousseau’s

spasm of the hand muscles caused by applying

tourniquet or blood pressure cuff to the forearm below

the

elbow for three minutes). But

since neither test distin-

calcium deficiency from magnesium deficiency,

guishes

doctors use the test to diagnose and treat only calcium deficiency.

causing

As

a result,

magnesium

levels are driven

even lower,

more symptoms.

TOTAL SERUM (BLOOD) MAGNESIUM TEST In spite of, or perhaps because of, that rely

less

than

magnesium can be measured

1

the metabolic processes

percent of our body’s

our blood; the

rest

busily occupied in the cells and tissues. Therefore,

it is

total is

on magnesium,

all

virtually impossible to extrapolate

209

in

and make an accurate

The Miracle of Magnesium

assessment of the level of magnesium in various body tissue using a routine total serum magnesium

cells

sium

blood does not correlate with the amount of

in the

magnesium under the

Magne-

test.

in other parts of

your body. In

stress of various ailments,

magnesium out of

fact, if

you

are

your body pumps

the cells and into the blood, giving the

mistaken appearance of normality on testing in spite of

bodywide

most magnesium

depletion. Unfortunately,

eval-

uations done in hospitals and in laboratories use this anti-

quated

total

serum magnesium

test.

RED AND WHITE BLOOD CELL MAGNESIUM TESTS All

up

body

cells,

including red and white blood

to 40 percent of the body’s

red blood

cell

sure of total

sium

test.

magnesium

One

first

While

of

levels

affairs.

released

somewhat more

total

levels to total

white blood

serum magnesium became elevated on the attack, the total

white blood

As mentioned above, under cells,

magnesium

levels are

levels in cells,

not

cell

and

real state

total

is

white

measures of

as are ionized

will dicuss later.

210

mag-

floods into the

as accurate

magnesium

which we

it

cell

magnesium

stress

depleting them, as

the actual tissue levels of

sium

total

magnesium

cell

dropped dramatically, indicating the

from the

cell

serum magne-

the total

bloodstream. 8 However, total red blood

blood

accurate mea-

study in childhood asthmatics compared

day of an asthma

nesium

a

contain

magnesium. Studies show that

body magnesium than

serum magnesium levels.

is

cells,

magne-

Magnesium Requirements,

Testing,

and Sources

THE MAGNESIUM CHALLENGE TEST Time-consuming and cumbersome, the magnesium

two twenty-four-hour urine

lenge test requires

The

first

collection

is

done while the patient

chal-

collections.

taking his or

is

her normal supplements. Then, in the doctor’s office, a dose of 2

meq/kg of magnesium chloride or magnesium

sulfate

given intravenously, infused over a four-hour period.

ond urine

collection begins after the

twenty-four hours. Deficiency exhibits a need for

is

diagnosed

body

stores. 9

is

test

A sec-

continued for

when

magnesium by holding on

25 percent of the magnesium given.

nesium challenge

IV and

is

to

body

the

more than

A decade ago, the mag-

was the best method of determining

However, comparison

studies using

magne-

sium challenge and ionized magnesium indicate that ionized

magnesium easily

done

testing appears to be a better indicator

and more

(see next page). 10

THE BUCCAL SMEAR

One

innovative

buccal

cell

smear

membranes on

The

test, test.

which

is

not readily available,

A scraping is

the floor of the

is

the

taken from the mucous

mouth under

the tongue.

with

total mineral levels in the buccal cells correlate

the results

from white blood

Analysis

performed using scanning electron microscopy

is

cells

and red blood

(EXA). Once

(SEM) and elemental X-ray

analysis

when compared with

magnesium

ionized

smear comes up short because

211

this test

cells.

again,

testing, the buccal is

measuring

total

The Miracle of Magnesium

cellular

magnesium

white blood

nesium

contents, as are the red blood cell and

not measuring active, free mag-

cell tests. It is

ions.

BLOOD IONIZED MAGNESIUM TEST The blood ionized magnesium

test,

tensively at the State University of

pioneered and tested ex-

New

York

by magnesium researchers

Bella and

most accurate and

magnesium blood

reliable

The Alturas have researched

in

Brooklyn

Burton Altura,

is

test available.

the health effects of

magne-

sium since the 1960s and did the original research for the in 1987. 11

The



the

test

12 ’ 13 ’ 14 15 16

ionic

backed up by





magnesium results

test is a

very refined procedure,

on many thousands of

patients with

over twenty-two different disease states and published in

dozens of journals, including

five

papers in Science and pa-

pers in the prestigious Scandinavian Journal of Clinical

Laboratory Investigation and

Scientific

American. 17 To de-

termine the efficacy and efficiency of the

new

test,

research

included a comparison of magnesium levels found with the Alturas’ ionized

body

magnesium

test to levels

tissues using expensive

found

and sensitive

in various

digital

imaging

microscopy, atomic absorption spectroscopy, and the mag-

nesium fluorescent probe. The blood ionized magnesium test

came through

as a

relatively inexpensive

tus in healthy or

ill

highly sensitive, convenient, and

means of determining magnesium

subjects.

212

sta-

Magnesium Requirements,

Here’s

how

ther as active

it

works. Magnesium

magnesium

and Sources

Testing,

exists in the

ions or as inactive

makes

it

is

an atom that

is

A magne-

missing two electrons, which

search to attach to something that will replace

missing electrons.

Magnesium

logically active fraction of

ei-

magnesium

complexes bound to proteins or other substances.

sium ion

body

its

ions constitute the physio-

magnesium

in the

body; they are

not attached to other substances and are free to join in biochemical body processes. 18

Most

clinical laboratories assess

only total serum mag-

nesium, which includes both active and inactive types. With the blood ionized rectly

measure the

magnesium levels of

test

now

it is

magnesium

possible to di-

ions in

whole blood,

plasma, and serum using ion-selective electrodes. 19

For example, ionized magnesium

testing

on three thou-

sand migraine patients shows that 90 percent of those with

low magnesium ion

levels

In 85 to 90 percent of levels

match

all

improve with magnesium therapy.

patients tested,

tissue levels of free

low magnesium ion

magnesium and accurately

diagnose magnesium deficiency found in asthma, brain trauma, coronary artery disease, types gestational diabetes, eclampsia ease,

I

and

II

diabetes,

and preeclampsia, heart

dis-

homocysteinuria, hypertension, tension headaches,

posttraumatic

headaches,

transplant patients,

renal

ischemic

heart

transplant patients,

ovarian disease, stroke, and syndrome X. In conditions,

disease,

low magnesium ion

213

levels

polycystic

many

exist

liver

in

of these spite

of

The Miracle of Magnesium

normal

serum magnesium

total

magnesium diagnosis

more

test

making the ionized

levels,

magnesium deficiency

reliable for

20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 .



















The FDA-approved ionized magnesium

being

test is

ordered by more and more doctors as they become familiar

with the dozens of research papers confirming

The

testing continues to be

performed

its

efficacy.

in a handful of labs,

including the Alturas’ laboratory, with blood samples ing in

from

all

over the United States

some research

spate of testing in

trodes produced inferior results.

30 .

A

com-

few years back

a

labs using inferior elec-

The

will provide the test to doctors for a fee

Alturas, therefore,

and

at the

same time

help other clinical labs set up the right protocol and equip-

ment

to

do

their

own

ionized magnesium testing properly.

(See the Resources section for further information

ionized magnesium

on the

test.)

THE ORAL CLINICAL TRIAL For the average individual, the ionized

magnesium

sium deficiency three in

is

who

test,

one way to diagnose magne-

simply to try supplementing. For one to

months take magnesium while recording

your physical and mental

under

does not have easy access to

health. It

may

all

be best to do

a health professionals guidance, especially

on medications or have an

changes

if

this

you

existing medical condition.

are

The

alleviation of

symptoms

tutes the best

proof that you had a magnesium deficiency.

after thirty to ninety

214

days consti-

Magnesium Requirements,

See

Testing,

“Magnesium Supplements,” page

and Sources

228, for types of

mag-

nesium and dosage.

FALSE POSITIVE MAGNESIUM TESTS The

lack of adequate tools to measure

hospitals and clinics

not prescribe

worse than normal

it.

A

is

in

most

another reason medical doctors do

total

ineffective,

magnesium

serum magnesium

because a

test result that

limits lends a false sense of security

of the mineral in the body.

It

test is actually

within

is

about the status

also explains

why

doctors

don’t recognize magnesium deficiency; they assume total

serum magnesium

levels are

sium researchers mostly use cell

magnesium

tests to

an accurate measure. Magne-

total

serum and

total red

determine magnesium

blood

status.

they begin to use the more accurate ionized magnesium

As test,

however, the results will indicate even more widespread deficiency in the population.

DIET SOLUTIONS TO

MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY Good

nutrition creates a solid foundation of tissue and

bone. The basis of good nutrition minerals, trace minerals, vitamins, fatty acids. Clearly there

but

life

can’t exist

without

To enrich your

diet

more

is

is

the consumption of

amino to

acids,

life

and

essential

than magnesium,

it.

with magnesium, increase your

215

The Miracle of Magnesium

consumption of green vegetables,

nuts, seeds, legumes,

and

unprocessed grains. Removing the germ of cereals and the outer seed husks through processing eliminates most of the

magnesium present

in the

whole

grain. It

a

is

good

idea to supplement a diet of fruit and protein-rich foods

such

as fish, meat,

and milk by eating wheat germ, kelp,

brewer’s yeast, sunflower seeds, salt,

which

are

and sea

seeds,

extremely rich in magnesium. Since one of

you may be magnesium-deficient

the reasons

too

all

pumpkin

much cooked

food, try to eat

nately, nuts, seeds,

more raw

is

from eating

foods. Fortu-

and many vegetables can be eaten raw,

and raw wheat germ can be used on cereal and

in protein

drinks.

According to top French magnesium experts, highly and blood vessel-protective

fective heart-

saturated

fats,

fatty acids

diets that

increase monounsaturated fat and

(from

fish

and

flaxseed), limit the

ef-

reduce

omega-3

consumption

of alcohol, and increase the intake of cereals, fruits, vegetables, fish,

sium.

and low-fat dairy products that are rich

They

among

stress that

magnesium should be given

in

magne-

several protective nutrients,

particular consideration because

of the very frequent occurrence of chronic primary magne-

sium deficiency, which

acts as a cardiovascular risk factor. 31

ORGANIC FOOD Factory-farmed food organic food

is

a

is

deficient in

wiser choice.

magnesium; therefore,

As more people go

216

this route,

Magnesium Requirements,

Testing,

and Sources

whether to avoid herbicide and pesticide residues or to ensure nutrient-dense produce, the cost of organic food

dropping dramatically. However, organic food antee of higher

who

magnesium

The smart way

to join a tive

soil,

not

a

guar-

Seek out organic farmers

about crop rotation,

are educated

mineral deficiencies in the ers.

levels.

is

is

test regularly for

and use mineral-rich

fertiliz-

to be assured of quality organic food

is

community-sponsored agriculture (CSA) coopera-

and buy

farm every

a share in a local organic

year.

Every week for an average of twenty-four weeks you share the harvest,

which can include fresh vegetables,

and

fruit,

free-range eggs, chicken, and lamb. (See the Resources section for contact information

on CSAs.)

USDA FINDINGS The United

States

Department of Agriculture (USDA)

sur-

veys of women’s diet find that approximately 25 percent of

magnesium

their

you should

is

supplied by grain products. This means

try to include a variety of

avoid refined white bread and pasta.

whole grains and

(If

you crave sugar

and bread, you might be addicted to carbohydrates and should try to limit your intake to achieve weight loss and

blood sugar balance.) Another 25 percent of magnesium take

comes from

foods

fruits

and vegetables. The high-protein

—meat, poultry, and

cent of total

magnesium

in-

fish

— provide only about 18 per-

intake. Since protein diets are

becoming more popular, you must make sure

217

now

to increase

The Miracle of Magnesium

your intake of magnesium when on such

a diet. Fats, sweets,

and beverages supply 14 percent of the

magnesium

total

intake; however, these foods, especially refined fats

sweets, should be limited because they contain

calo-

from nuts and seeds

ries

devoid of nutrients. Natural

and

their butters are the richest sources of

fats

empty

and

magnesium, but

they are not even mentioned in most food surveys.

MAGNESIUM SOURCES In the their

Appendix you

magnesium

will find a

content. Flere

sources of magnesium. 32 these sources figures as a

The

were assayed

is

complete

list

of foods with

a short

list

of the richest

is

quality of the soil

from which

unknown. Therefore, use

these

rough guide to making magnesium-wise food

choices.

MAGNESIUM CONTENT OF SELECTED FOODS (mg per 3V2 oz [100 g/10

tbsp] serving)

Kelp

760

Wheat bran

490

Wheat germ

336

Almonds

270

Cashews

267

218

Magnesium Requirements,

Testing,

and Sources

Molasses

258

Yeast, brewer’s

231

Buckwheat

229

Brazil

225

nuts

Dulse

220

Filberts

184

Peanuts

175

Wheat

160

grain

Millet

162

Pecan

142

English walnuts

131

Rye

115

Tofu

111

HERB SOURCES OF MAGNESIUM Green

plants,

cilantro, are

other

including most herbs, like purslane and

loaded with magnesium

33 34 35 36 .



commonly used magnesium-rich

introduce into your

diet.





Here

are

some

herbs that you can

Herbs have the added advantage

of being mostly organic or picked wild, so they usually

don’t contain pesticides and herbicides.

BURDOCK ROOT (ARCTIUM LAPPA) 537 MG MAGNESIUM PER 100 G Master herbalist Matthew as a diuretic for

Wood describes burdock root

kidney gravel, an excellent blood cleanser,

219

The Miracle of Magnesium

can be grated into salads or cooked

and

a liver detoxifier. It

like

potato and eaten several times per week.

CHICKWEED (STELLARIA MEDIA) 529 MG MAGNESIUM PER 100 G Herbalist Susun

Weed

describes chickweed as a perfect

food with “optimum nutrition.” Chickweed encourages absorption of minerals and nutrients and high in magnesium. Used several times a

also naturally

is

week

in salads,

it

provides an excellent source of dietary magnesium.

DANDELION (TARAXACUM OFFICINALE) 157 MG

MAGNESIUM PER 100

G

This amazing herb has been

but

its

vilified as a

nuisance weed,

healing properties are legion. According to

Chevallier, an experienced medical herbalist, a diuretic to treat

it

is

Andrew used

as

high blood pressure, and as a detoxifier

removing waste products from the gallbladder and the kidneys, thereby ameliorating

many

conditions such as gall-

stones, constipation, acne, eczema, arthritis,

doubt

it

owes some of

its

and gout.

actions to the properties of

No

mag-

nesium. Dandelion leaves, used in salads, add a necessary bitter

property that stimulates the

cooked or grated raw into

salads.

220

bile.

The root can be

Magnesium Requirements,

Testing,

and Sources

DULSE (PALMARIA PALM ATA) 220 MG MAGNESIUM PER 100 G

There are many forms of dulse or seaweed, and

all

are

very nutritional. They are very high in digestible protein,

around 25 percent by weight. Iodine to support the thyroid gland

is

their

most notable

benefit.

They

are high in

most

minerals as well as vitamins. Dulse can be introduced several times a

week

tarian sushi rolls,

in

soups and stews, and don’t forget vege-

which

are

wrapped

in

seaweed.

NETTLES (URTICA DIOICA) 860 MG MAGNESIUM PER 100 G Nettles are used to soften gallstones or kidney stones in the body. Susun in her

Weed

has

some

excellent recipes for nettles

book Healing Wise When .

nettles are lightly

they lose their stinging properties and

make an

steamed excellent

vegetable addition to any meal.

MINERAL WATER AND MAGNESIUM

An

important source of magnesium, popular in Europe,

magnesium-rich mineral water.

We

have only

a

few

is

local

waters in the United States that have high magnesium levels that could help to reduce

magnesium

deficiency.

We

must

also be careful to consider the calcium content of bottled

water in relation to magnesium. tells

A

close reading of labels

us that calcium and sodium are usually

much

higher

than magnesium. Therefore, choose water with calcium no

more than twice

the level of magnesium. This will ensure

221

The Miracle of Magnesium

you

that

are getting

you know you have

enough of both minerals. a

magnesium

deficiency,

If,

however,

by symptoms

or by medical or naturopathic diagnosis, choose water with

high magnesium and low calcium content for replacement.

And

if

you

suffer

from heart

disease,

choose mineral water

with low sodium content. Be aware that even though says “mineral water,” the mineral contents cule and not

worth the

price

Name

Country

Adobe Springs

USA

Santa Ynez

USA

be minus-

you pay 37 .

MAGNESIUM Water

may

a label

IN

WATER 38

Magnesium

Calcium

Sodium

(mg/L)

(mg/L)

(mg/L)

96

3.3

5

87

19



57

203

46

159

/•

San

Pellegrino

ITALY

(

V

j

Penafiel

MEXICO

41

131

Vittel

FRANCE

38

181

\ Evianj

FRANCE

24

78

5

Naya

CANADA

22

38

6

Volvic

FRANCE

7

3.7

10

10.7 •

i

Saratoga

USA

7

64

Perrier

FRANCE

5

143

9 15.2 »

Alhambra

USA

5

Arrowhead

USA

5

Sparkletts

USA

5

4.6

Calistoga

USA

2

8

Cobb Mountain

USA

2

5.6

f

222

9.5

20

5.4

3 15.2

163 4.6

Magnesium Requirements,

Testing,

and Sources

/

Water

Name

Country

Magnesium

Calcium

Sodium

(mg/L)

(mg/L)

(mg/L)

8.9

Poland Spring

USA

2

13.2

Sante

USA

1

4.2

Black Mountain

USA

1

USA

1

Crystal

Geyser

223

25 1.5

160 8.3

30

CHAPTER

13

Supplementation and Homeopathics

When you take supplements it can be a real challenge to find out how much actual or elemental magnesium is available in each pill or capsule. in nature but

Magnesium does not

exist alone

comes combined with other substances. That

other substance, tagging along with magnesium, has a specific

weight. Presently,

I

take

two 500

mg

capsules of

nesium oxide, but each capsule does not contain 500 magnesium. Only 60 percent of is

a

absorbing only

mg is

half; half

two 500 mg capsules sium.)

My

above the

give

300 mg. of 300

me

RDA

for

Of that

mg

gives

300 mg,

me

300

is

I

may

be

150 mg. (So,

mg

of magne-

200 mg, putting

women, which

224

of

the attached oxide.

is

a total of

diet supplies another

mg

magnesium oxide capsule

magnesium; the other 40 percent

Sixty percent of 500

mag-

me

well

320 mg. Some days,

Supplementation and Homeopathics

when

my my

I

am under

significant stress,

mg magnesium

normal two 500

bowel movements

back to two per day.

I

get soft

I

take three instead of

and unformed,

also switch brands

of

magnesium every few months

so

I

When

oxide capsules.

to give

know

I

to go

and switch types

my body

a

change

don’t get used to any one type of magnesium, and to see

what works best There bels,

is

which

for me.

one more thing to be aware of on product

the specification of dosage. All too often peo-

is

ple will find that they have to take not

make up

tablets to

the dosage

small print, but read

it

on the

one but three or label. It

may

carefully to understand exactly

what

MAGNESIUM DOSAGE To individualize your

men

magnesium dosage, the

6-8 mg/kg

is

rule of

of

600

to

searchers

900 mg

of their low body weight

stress

and

magnesium

per day for a 200-lb man.

recommend 10 mg/kg/day

growth and

thumb

(3.0 to 4.5 mg/lb) of body weight

per day. That translates into a total dietary

Some

for children

6-10 mg/kg/day

training levels. 1

-

2 3 4 -

-

225

for athletes,

re-

because

and increased requirements

six

be in

each tablet contains.

for

la-

for

depending on

The Miracle of Magnesium

CONTRAINDICATIONS TO MAGNESIUM THERAPY 1.

2.

Kidney

failure. With kidney failure there

to clear

magnesium from the

is

an

inability

kidneys.

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

magnesium

slower, as

Slow heart rates often require an 4.

Bowel obstruction. The main oral

magnesium

is

relaxes the heart.

artificial

pacemaker.

route of elimination of

through the bowel.

THE SAFETY OF MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTS For the average person, dosages, has

mechanism

no

oral

side effects except loose stools,

to release excess

cut back. Excess

magnesium, even

magnesium and an

magnesium

is

also lost

in

which

high is

a

indication to

through the urine.

TYPES OF MAGNESIUM Bone meal

is

cent of the

magnesium

is

in the

a rich source of

bones and

90, along

magnesium. More than 60 per-

in the bodies of

humans and animals

teeth. Since 1945, radioactive

strontium

with lead and a variety of other toxic elements, be-

226

Supplementation and Homeopathics

gan to show up

our bones and in the bones of

in

which bone meal

is

produced.

find an organic source of

you wish

It is

other reason

makes good sense

this

An-

product.

to use only organic animal

mad cow

up

in

Chelated magnesium, bound to organic amino acids,

is

products this

to

assayed for

strictly

consume

if

it

important, therefore, to

bone meal,

contaminants,

from

cattle

is

the possibility of

disease turning

country in the future.

said to be better

absorbed but

is

more

expensive.

Comple-

mentary medicine practitioners rely on chelated magnesium, such

as

magnesium

glycinate, to treat serious cases of

mag-

nesium deficiency. Weight for weight and dollar for oxide

may

magnesium

dollar,

be the best buy for general use.

TYPES OF MAGNESIUM

Inorganic salts

Organic salt chelates

Magnesium oxide

Magnesium

Magnesium carbonate

Magnesium aspartate

Magnesium

chloride

Magnesium glutamate

Magnesium

sulfate

Magnesium adipate

glycinate

Magnesium phosphate

Magnesium

citrate

Magnesium bicarbonate

Magnesium

orotate

Magnesium taurate

Magnesium

227

lysinate

The Miracle of Magnesium

MAGNESIUM CONTENT OF VARIOUS SUPPLEMENTS Magnesium

Amount

Salt

of Elemental

Magnesium per 500 mg

Magnesium oxide

300 mg

Magnesium carbonate

150 mg

Magnesium

Salt

60 mg

chloride

75 mg

Dolomite

Magnesium

lactate

60 mg

Magnesium

glycinate

50 mg

Magnesium

sulfate

50 mg 25 mg

Magnesium gluconate

WHEN TO TAKE MAGNESIUM I

take

the

my

first

dose of magnesium

morning and the

last

dose

at

when

bedtime.

dose, that will be in the late afternoon. deficient in the early

people

feel that

morning and

magnesium

keeps them awake

at night.

is

night and find that

it

If I

Magnesium

late

Others,

helps

who

is

afternoon.

feel

most

Some

it

relax

it

helps their

muscle tension, take

them

in

take a third

sufficiently energizing that

leg cramps, fibromyalgia, or general at

wake up

I

and sleep

it

well.

There are so many ways that magnesium can" work on the

body

that

it is

important for you to decide what timing

best for you.

228

is

Supplementation and Homeopathics

CALCIUM AND MAGNESIUM INTERACTION Watch your calcium cium

A

that too

much

cal-

impede magnesium uptake and function. Push

will

aside the media-generated facts.

We know

intake.

hype on calcium and look

thousand years ago our

diet favored

at

the

magnesium

over calcium. Current research seems to indicate that three parts calcium to

magnesium

parts

is

probably most

with average optimal amounts of calcium

beneficial,

1,000

two

mg per day and magnesium

at

at

600 mg. 5

MAGNESIUM INTERACTION WITH OTHER NUTRIENTS Magnesium

is

extremely important for the metabolism of

calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, sodium, lead,

cadmium, hydrochloric

acid, acetylcholine,

and

nitric

oxide, as well as for the activation of vitamin B! and therefore for a very shift in

sium

crucial

body

functions. 6

A

any one of these nutrients has an impact on magne-

levels

body and late

wide spectrum of

and vice

all its

versa. It

components

one substance to

is

the interwoven nature of the

that

makes

scientifically

Magnesium cannot be taken out

it

so difficult to iso-

“prove” what

magnesium

intake

is

necessary to convert

D into one of the hormones that makes effi-

cient use of calcium in

creases the

you should

when you consume more phos-

phorus and vitamin D. Magnesium dietary vitamin

can do.

of context either in a re-

search setting or in your body. For example, increase

it

amount

of

bone formation. 7 8 Vitamin B 6 ’

magnesium

231

in-

that can enter cells; as a

The Miracle of Magnesium

result, these

two

nutrients are often taken together. In one

experiment, serum vitamin 9

sium supplementation

.

E

We

levels

also

improved

know

that

after

magne-

magnesium and

the essential fatty acids (EFAs, found in fish, nuts and seeds,

and flaxseed efficiently

oil) are

when

interdependent; each works

the other

is

present in sufficient amounts.

HOMEOPATHIC MAGNESIUM: ANOTHER FORM OF MAGNESIUM Developed by Samuel Hahneman in the early century,

homeopathy

is

a natural

amounts

toms similar

if

given in a toxic amount, can cause symp-

to those that the patient

two hundred years of

is

attribute

symptoms. After

use and observation, home-

now more successful than the tools we have measure how it works. Although skeptics

avail-

which

a pa-

its

success to the placebo effect, in

tient’s belief in

lions

clinical

experiencing, but

is

able to

wa-

Research has shown that

that the infinitesimal dose can cure those

opathy

in alcohol or

in order to stimulate the indi-

vidual’s natural healing response.

these medicines,

nineteenth

medical science that uses

mostly plants and mineral extracts diluted ter to infinitesimal

much more

who

often

an outcome produces that outcome, the mil-

have benefited from homeopathy include infants

and animals, two groups that are clearly not susceptible to the placebo effect.

Nonetheless, in America homeopathy continues to be marginalized in favor of other drugs, even in the face of

232

Supplementation and Homeopathics

such early evidence

as the influenza

which the homeopathic

epidemic of 1919, in

hospitals in

England showed

a

greater cure rate than conventional hospitals. In Europe,

both homeopathic medicine and herbal medicine enjoy

a re-

spected place in the health care system.

Homeopathic remedies 12 or 30

6,

ber,

the

X (10)

C

or

typically

(100) potency.

dilution and

greater the

come

in dosages of

The higher

the

the

num-

more potent

the

remedy. Usually, you take three pellets or four drops of

remedy

several times a day.

For

a

very acute, painful symp-

tom, a dose can be taken every fifteen minutes. However, after taking five or six doses of a

symptoms, the remedy

in

should seek a

is

new remedy. Be

wrong remedy

a half

a

remedy

there

is

if

no change

probably ineffective and you assured that treating with the

dozen times does not cause any nega-

tive side effects.

In homeopathy,

magnesium

is

used primarily for acute

muscle spasms or chronic complaints. 10 Please consult a

homeopath

for a

more

detailed evaluation of

your

case.

MAGNESIA PHOSPHORICA Magnesia phosphorica (magnesium phosphate, or mag phos) is

a great

antispasmodic remedy and the most

magnesium homeopathic remedy. all

It

commonly used

readily treats cramping of

muscles, including hiccups, leg cramps, writer’s cramp, ab-

dominal

colic, heart pain,

lung pain, menstrual pain accom-

panied by radiating pains, neuralgic pains, and

233

all

sorts of

The Miracle of Magnesium

and tremors including twitching of the

tics

especially well in debilitated subjects

and physically

who

eyelids. It

are

works

both mentally

tired.

Dr. Margery Mullins, an internist and acupuncturist, recently wrote to the use of

tell

me

about the success she has had with

magnesium phosphate (mag phos)

spasms. She said patients would get instant didn’t

seem to need the remedy

after their

relief

patients, a nine-year-old girl,

and then

magnesium

ciency was corrected with diet and supplements.

young

for muscle

One

defi-

of her

was having such severe

muscle spasms that she was referred to a pediatric neurologist.

In the interim, Dr. Mullins gave her Magnesia phos-

phorica 6X, and by the time of her appointment with the specialist the child

noted that the

no longer had the problem. Dr. Mullins

girl’s

mother had had toxemia (eclampsia)

during her pregnancy, requiring intravenous magnesium.

234

Appendix

MAGNESIUM CONTENT OF SELECTED FOODS (in

mg

per 3V2 oz [100

g] serving)

Kelp

760

Wheat bran

490

Wheat germ

336

Almonds

270

Cashews

267

Molasses

258

Yeast, brewer’s

231

Buckwheat

229

Brazil

225

nuts

Dulse

220

Filberts

184

235

Appendix

Peanuts

175

Millet

162

Wheat

160

grain

Pecan

142

English walnuts

131

Rye

115

Tofu

111

Coconut meat, dried

90

Brown

rice

88

Soybeans, cooked

88

Figs, dried

71

Apricots

62

Dates

58

Collard greens

57

Shrimp

51

Corn, sweet

48

Avocado

45

Cheddar cheese

45

Parsley

41

Prunes, dried

40

Sunflower seeds

38

Barley

37

Beans, cooked

37

Dandelion greens

36

Garlic

36

Raisins

35

Green peas, fresh

35

Potato with skin

34

236

Appendix

Crab

34

Banana

33

Sweet potato

31

Blackberry

30

Beets

25

Broccoli

24

Cauliflower

24

Carrot

23

Celery

22

Beef

21

Asparagus

20

Chicken

19

Green pepper

18

Winter squash

17

Cantaloupe

16

Eggplant

16

Tomato

14

Milk

13

237

Resources

IONIC

MAGNESIUM TESTING

Drs. Bella and Burton Altura State University of

New York

Health Science Center

at

Brooklyn

450 Clarkson Avenue

New York, NY

1

1203

(718) 270-2194 or (718) 270-2205

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241

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1927

Index

acne, 163

angina, 99-100, 101

acupuncture, 174

antacids, 32-33, 199, 201, 230

adrenaline, 19, 45, 49-50, 60, 66,

antibiotics, 8, 37, 38, 162, 163, 164,

67, 105, 169, 170

166, 179

aging, 190-203

antioxidants, 193-95

Alzheimer’s disease, 195-203

anxiety and panic attacks,

free radicals, antioxidants, and,

17,

45-55, 67, 165

magnesium and, 45-62

193-95

magnesium and, 190-203 alcohol, 36, 46, 69, 89, 100, 109, 128, 129, 142, 148, 149,

152,216

brain injury, and magnesium,

75-76

treatment for, 54-55 arrhythmia, 105-6 arteries, elasticity of,

84-86

arteriosclerosis, 87, 93 arthritis, 32, 141

allergies, 163, 167,

168

asthma and, 185-89 environmental, 173-74, 189

aluminum

5, 13,

toxicity,

196-203

aspartame, 64-66, 67, 90, 120, 138, 167, 199 aspirin, 72, 101, 189

asthma,

Alzheimer’s disease, 65, 73, 190,

5,

26, 28, 32, 163, 167, 171,

183-89,210,213 magnesium and, 183-89 treatment, 188-89 174,

195-203 treatment, 201-3

American Heart Association, 83 amino acids, 65, 91-93, 215

atherosclerosis, 87, 93-96, 98, 101,

anger, 48

ATP,

108, 149

271

16,

25,58

Index

magnesium,

attention deficit hyperactivity

disorder

(ADHD),

51, 66

9, 17, 19, 21, 28,

29, 112, 124, 130, 140-52, 231 8, 57, 58, 174 environmental toxins and, 174-76 magnesium and, 58 carbohydrates, 61, 66, 116, 118,

cancer,

back pain,

6, 18, 19,

134

birth control pills, 37, 164, 166

blood

clots, 5, 52,

68-69, 84, 92,

129,217

101, 102, 103 blood pressure, 3, 96

cardiac death syndrome, 61-62

high, see hypertension

blood sugar,

5, 13, 17, 48, 49, 96,

cardiovascular metabolic

bond

density,

(CVMS), 111-12, 113

100

low, 66-68

cells,

139-47

139-40 bone meal, 226-27 bowel disease, 5, 20 bowel obstruction, 226 bowel movements: loose, 225, 226, 229, 230 regular, 20

27 cerebral palsy, 7, 136-38 chelated magnesium, 227 chelation therapy, 107-8 chickweed, 220 metabolism,

3, 21,

children, 162, 163, 164, 207, 225, 234

asthma, 184, 186-87, 210 cerebral palsy, 136-38

brain, 23-24, 27, 52, 119

117-18 magnesium-deficient, 51-52 SIDS, 135-36

Alzheimer’s disease and, 195-203

damage, 136-38, 213 magnesium and, 63-80 surgery, and magnesium, 76-77,

diabetic,

chocolate, 127, 148 cholesterol, 20, 61, 81, 88-91, 92, 96, 109, 110, 113, 116, 117

78 root,

magnesium and, 88-91

219-20

LDL vs. HDL,

burns, third-degree, 8

cadmium, calcium,

21,27

death, 66

test,

burdock

syndrome

178, 197, 231

3, 13, 22, 23, 33, 50, 68,

76, 78, 80, 105, 119, 121, 126,

130, 147, 192,

193,209

deficiency, 16

and drug interactions

88-89

chronic fatigue syndrome, 60, 155-70, 172 magnesium and, 155-70 cilantro,

219

cluster headaches, 70-71 coffee, 36, 89, 105, 109, 129, 142,

148, 149

in heart

disease, 94, 95

excess, 13, 16, 23, 27, 28, 59, 86,

constipation,

134, 199

contraindications to

magnesium

therapy, 226

87, 107, 111, 140, 144, 231

kidney stones and, 147-52 magnesium and, 26-29, 112, 139-52, 221,231 in mineral water, 221-23 osteoporosis and, 139-47 supplementation with

5, 20,

cortisone, 37, 50, 162-64

cramps, leg, 9,

6,

9

13-14, 16, 49, 53,55-57,

233-34 15, 20, 26

61, 193,228,

menstrual, cystitis, 5

272

7,

Index

drugs, 37-38, 40, 46, 47, 97, 141, 166, 168, 191

dairy products, 34, 35, 90, 120, 127, 129, 140, 188, 202,216,

236, 237 dandelion, 220

depression,

antibiotics, 8, 37, 38, 162-64,

166, 179

5, 32,

antihypertensive, 97-98

45-62, 165, 167

asthma, 185-86 companies, 103 heart, 94-98, 103-4

magnesium and, 45-62

PMS

and, 128 treatment for, 54-55

interactions with

detoxification, 5, 20, 165, 166, 171,

174 treatments, 178-83 diabetes, 5,

8,

38,

prescription, taking

for,

120-21

psychiatric, 46, 52, 53, 165

magnesium and, 113-21 symptoms and complications,

smart, 192 see also specific drugs

115-16 I,

II,

by, 8, 37, 79

magnesium

with, 83

and supplements

Type Type

94-95

magnesium depleted

14, 32, 100, 113-21,

131, 192, 193,213 diet

magnesium,

dulse, 220,

221,235

dysmenorrhea,

113, 115, 116

7, 16,

20, 26, 130, 164

113-14, 115

diarrhea, 225, 226, 229, 230

ear infections, 162-63

diet, 141, 191

for anxiety, 54

132-34, 213 eczema, 174, 183 EKG, 99

for asthma, 188-89

electrical transmission,

for diabetes, 120

energy, 24, 59, 60, 116 production and transport, 25

eclampsia,

for Alzheimer’s disease, 202

'

for environmental illness, 179-80

for heart disease, 109 for kidney stones, 152

magnesium

in, 3-4, 16-17, 19, 207-8, 215-23, 235-37 21, 33, magnesium content of selected foods, 218-19, 235-37 for osteoporosis, 145-47 PMS and, 127-29

for Raynaud’s

syndrome, 56-57

RDA of magnesium in, 4, 30,

essential fatty acids, 126, 128-30,

digitalis,

188,215, 232

magnesium

deficiency,

215-23

estrogen, 68, 124, 125, 128

replacement, 144, 165 excitiotoxins, 65-68, 78

37

diuretics, 8, 36, 37, 38, 69, 79, 94,

exercise, 20, 55, 145, 168, 191, 203,

97, 103, 151, 199

magnesium and,

DNA,

3, 24, 26,

23-24

environmental illness, 171-89, 196 CFS and, 155-70 pesticides and, 174-76, 179-80 treatment, 178-83 enzymes, magnesium-dependent, 3,20,21,24, 25, 27, 176-77, 196-97 Epsom salts, 4, 22, 229 Epstein-Barr virus, 156, 157

207-8, 224 solutions to

7,

79,

225

94-95

lack of, 141, 142

magnesium and, 58-62

194

273

Index

fast

food, 14, 20, 32, 35-36, 51, 61, 89, 142

heart rate, slow, 226

herb sources of magnesium, 219-21

34,61, 109, 194,218 cholesterol and, 89-91

fat(s),

homeopathic magnesium, 174, 232-34

saturated, 34, 89, 90, 128, 129,

216

homocysteine, 91-93, 96 homocysteinuria, 91-93

fatigue, 5-6, 45, 49, 169, 170

hormonal imbalance,

chronic fatigue syndrome,

155-70

hydrogenated

6, 27, 149, 160-70,

172, 228

oils,

90-91

hyperactivity, 51

magnesium and,

155,

160-70

hypertension,

149

6, 7, 8, 18,

96-98,110,113, 119, 131, 147, 192,213 magnesium and, 96-98 pregnancy-induced, 132-34 hypoglycemia, 6, 48, 66-68 hypothyriodism, 88, 164

fruits, 109, 145, 152, 188, 216, 217,

236, 237

immune system, 50, CFS and, 155-70

gas and bloating, 230

gender, 15-16, 30-31, 68, 83, 207,

225

157, 162

infertility, 7, 131, 164, 1 1

26, 81,

82, 83, 86,

188,216,217, 232 food additives, 63-68 free radicals, 76, 96, 102, 193-95 fish, 128, 145,

glucose,

68,

105, 124-26, 141

fibromylagia,

fibrositis, 6,

8, 15,

1-21

165

6, 45, 49 insulin, 5, 17, 37, 66-67, 110, 112, 113-21

insomnia,

grains, 16, 17, 34, 36, 89, 109, 120,

127, 145, 152,216,217-19,

236

grapefruit juice, 94

resistance, 110-12, 118, 131,

greens, 16, 17,21, 145,216, 236

132, 192

Internet, 2

head injury, 73-76 alcohol, and magnesium, 75-76 magnesium and, 73-75 heart, 3, 6, 14, 23-24,27, 73 palpitations, 13, 14, 17, 49 heart attack, 81, 82, 84-86, 99, 101-4 magnesium and, 101-4 road to, 84-86 heart disease,

6,

14-15, 17-19, 23,

34,41-42, 50, 72,81-109, 110, 119, 141, 192,213,222 magnesium and, 81-109 supplement and drug interactions in, 94-95

intravenous magnesium, 101, 102, 133 ions,

magnesium,

74, 75, 76, 79,

82, 117, 124, 125, 131,212-14

iron, 33, 38, 95, 127, 201

bowel, 164 ISIS trial, 103

irritable

junk food,

14, 20, 32,

35-36, 51,

100, 116-17, 165, 166, 202

28,

see also specific types of heart disease

8, 76, 77,

kidney disease, 6, 27, 98 kidney failure, 226 kidney stones, 27, 139-42, 147-52 diet and supplements for, 152 magnesium and, 147-52

274

Index

/

lactic acid

buildup, 59, 60, 69,

lactose, 33 laxative,

magnesium

as,

229

201,226, 231 cramps, 9, 13-14, 16, 49, 53, 55-57,61, 193,228, 233-34 legumes, 16, 17, 21, 34, 120, 145, 216, 236 LIMIT trial, 102, 103, 104 lead, 178, 197,

leg

liver disease, 8

low

MS,

166, 169

MSG,

168-69

65-66, 167, 199 muscles, 3, 25, 27 cramps, 6, 9, 13-14, 16, 49, 53, 55-57,61, 193, 228, 233-34 magnesium and, 54-58 pain, 6, 18, 57-58, 155, 160-70 relaxing, 26 spasms, 6, 26, 27, 49, 55-58, 61,

149, 234 myasthenia gravis, 226

birth weight infants, 136-38 narcotics, 38, 46

magnesia phosphorica, 233-34 magnesium, 2-9 blocked by certain foods, 34-35 calcium and, 26-29, 112, 139-52, 221,231 chemistry of, 21-23 deficient-conditions, 4-8,

43-152 function of, 24-26 history of, 4, 13-29

malabsorption disorders,

8,

32-33

meat, 34, 35, 89, 90, 127-30, 148,

188,216,217, 237 antibiotics in, 179-80 memory loss, 48

menopause,

15, 35, 144,

145

menstruation, 68, 69, 122, 164 cramps, 7, 15, 20, 26 painful, see

dysmenorrhea

National Academy of Sciences, 4, 30 neck pain, 6 nerves, 3, 25 problems, 7 transmitting signals, 26 nervous system, 50, 65, 67, 1 19, 200-201 nettles, 221 neurotransmitters, 65, 69, 80 nitric oxide (NO), 88 nuts 16, 17,21,31,36, 109, 127, 128, 145,216,218-19, 232, 235, 236 obesity, 14, 97, 110, 116, 117, 119 olive oil, 109

organic foods, 16, 32, 36-37, 147, 165, 174, 179-80, 203,216-17,

PMS, 122-30

219

mercury, 177-78, 197, 203 metal toxicity, 177-78, 190, 193,

osteoporosis,

6, 7, 15, 28, 42, 63, 66,

67, 68-72, 76, 124, 125, 131

magnesium and, 63-64, 68-72 treatment, 71

119,

139-47 diet and supplements for, 145-47 magnesium and, 139-47 mistreated, 143-45

196-203 migraines,

7, 16, 32, 38,

oxalic acid, 34

mineral water and magnesium,

221-23 mitral valve prolapse

106-7

painkillers, 8

(MVP).

pancreas, 8

Parkinson’s disease, 190, 195-97

275

BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

3 9999 04656 508 9 s

Ca^lyn diS^tbr,

Dean, M.D., N.D.,

activist,

is

a medical doctor, naturopathic

environmentalist,

acupuncturist,

herbalist, clinical nutritionist, writer, researcher,

focus of her medical practice, from

its

homeopath,

and inventor. The

inception in 1979, was to

teach people about natural options and choices to achieve opti-

mum

Dean and her business partner, Delia Quigley, launched Halo Works organic herbal tinctures and began offering the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse Program in New York. Dr. Dean s Web site is www.carolyndean.com. health. In 2002, Dr.

“Magnesium

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Author of

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Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N.

T.

Lower Your Blood Pressure in Eight Weeks

More than seventy-five years ago, medical essential nutrient, indispensable to

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