Originally published on DrSircus.com, January 12, 2015; Used with permission.
Magnesium is important for doctors to be familiar with for reasons almost too numerous to mention in anything short of a book. Magnesium is almost as basic as air and water for healthy living. For those who are ill and magnesium deficient taking magnesium is almost like taking a breath, when one is out of air.
The body responds quickly when you treat magnesium deficiencies with magnesium supplementation. When one combines transdermal magnesium therapy with magnesium bicarbonate water one can expect dramatic results as one would expect in an emergency room or intensive care unit when taking these medicines intravenously. My book on Transdermal Magnesium Therapy is available both as an eBook or in hard copy.
When you run a car with little oil adding a can or two of oil to the engine makes all the difference. That is why magnesium chloride and sodium bicarbonate are used so commonly. If you get enough of these substances into the body quickly enough you can save a life in a heartbeat or reduce pain and suffering from disease in a matter of days or weeks. Though I recommend and surround these medicinals in a full protocol, they are spearhead medicines that have no substitute or replacement.
Oncologists should know that magnesium supplementation and high volume hydration reduce the renal toxicity caused by cisplatin-based chemotherapy. One would think that doctors would be interested in reducing toxicity when giving chemotherapy. Sodium bicarbonate is already used, quietly, and without it, no doubt, the side effects from standard chemotherapy would be even more horrible. In addition, dietary intakes of antioxidants and magnesium are associated with lower risks of hearing loss1 which is often an effect of chemotherapy. “Hearing loss has become one of modern cancer therapy’s most prevalent side effects. In fact, hearing loss is among the most underreported, yet potentially devastating, side effects endured by many chemotherapy patients. Often, these patients don’t realize that their hearing has been compromised until it is too late to receive treatment,” states Abraham Jacobs M.D. who is trying to find resolution to this problem.
Magnesium can also help to prevent hearing loss in the general public.2
Magnesium (Mg(2+)) deficiency is common in metabolic disorders such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance, which leads to cardiac problems and eventually cancer because these disorders are also associated with a high incidence of cancer.
Mg (2+) is the regulator par excellence of metabolism, largely through its role as a cofactor for all phosphoryl transfers in the cell. Free Mg(2+) is the primary regulator of glycolysis and the Krebs cycle so along with oxygen and carbon dioxide, it is absolutely necessary. Meaning everyone benefits greatly when the foundation of medical treatment is centered on magnesium and bicarbonate, which is also a key player in mitochondria output.
High magnesium intake has been associated with reduced aggressive behavior in WA adolescents, highlighting the importance of a magnesium-rich diet in emotional and behavioral health. A low intake of magnesium-rich foods, such as leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains, has been linked to attention problems and aggression in teenagers.
The results revealed a significant inverse association between magnesium and externalizing behaviors in the adolescents: eating more magnesium reduced the incidence of attention problems and aggression. Dr Black says previous research suggests magnesium supplements may be beneficial in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with magnesium acting as a potent antagonist (blocker) of a receptor complex involved in aggression, agitation and irritability.
A Tufts study led by Adela Hruby3, found that healthy people with the highest magnesium intake were 37% less likely to develop high blood sugar or excess circulating insulin, common precursors to diabetes. Among people who already had those conditions, those who consumed the most magnesium were 32% less likely to develop diabetes than those consuming the least.
Do surgeons care that magnesium deficiency is overlooked as a source of problems in surgery? Do surgeons care that recommending patients start with magnesium a few weeks before their surgery, and continue supplementation during and afterwards after and – magic – fewer patients die and suffer complications and more rapid and safe recovery is achieved.
When magnesium was used intraoperatively, many researchers reported that it reduced the requirement for anesthetics and/or muscle relaxants. In terms of postoperative analgesia, intraoperative magnesium during surgery can reduce opioid consumption in the first 24 hours postoperatively, and to a lesser extent, pain scores.4
Magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system and is considered the "anti-stress" mineral and a natural tranquilizer. In the elderly, magnesium supplements were found to improve sleep by decreasing the release of cortisol, a known cause of sleep disruption. Stress depletes magnesium and magnesium relieves stress. When your magnesium levels are low, your nervous system gets out of balance, and you feel on edge, naturally resulting in tightening muscles. When we are under stress our need for magnesium skyrockets.
Significant blood pressure reduction is dependent on higher doses: Researchers concluded that while not all the studies found significant blood pressure reduction, the studies combined showed magnesium reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. What's more, people in these studies got the best results when they veered towards higher magnesium doses.
"The clinical significance in the reductions found from this meta-analysis may be important in helping to prevent hypertension and associated risks around cardiovascular disease," said Lindsy Kass, Senior Lecturer and registered nutritionist at the University of Hertfordshire.5
Only half of Americans get the recommended daily amount of magnesium in their diet, which is 400 to 420 milligrams for adult men and 310 to 320 milligrams for adult women. You can find it in whole grains, vegetables, fish, nuts and seeds and dark chocolate but when one already has a medical condition, it is impossible to ingest enough food to receive what would be considered a therapeutic dose. There is no established way of fortifying foods with magnesium without adversely affecting texture or flavor. Magnesium in water is 30% more bio-available than Mg in food. The food supply has been steadily becoming magnesium-poor since 1909.6
How is it that doctors , as well as the CDC do not get the magnesium story? Don’t they care that it can save a person’s life in a heartbeat if they are experiencing cardiac arrest? Alternatively, that a stroke patient, if given magnesium rapidly, will experience reduced cerebral damage. It helps with pain and flu symptoms and its lack is a main cause of diabetes. Do you hear the medical press screaming about that, a subject that is important for hundreds of millions around the globe who are suffering from either diabetes or its precursor, metabolic syndrome? No , what we hear about is Ebola.
Magnesium deficiency in children is characterized by excessive fidgeting, anxious restlessness, psychomotor instability and learning difficulties in the presence of normal IQ.
~ Dr. Mildred Seelig
The US National Academy of Science's Food & Nutrition Board has established that the average American 14 or older is magnesium-deficient. The typical American diet does NOT provide the RDA of Mg for age 14 or older.7
Assessing magnesium status is difficult for regular doctors because they use blood tests when most magnesium is inside cells or in bone. Serum levels have little correlation with total body magnesium levels or concentrations in specific tissues. Other methods for assessing magnesium status include measuring magnesium concentrations in erythrocytes, saliva, and urine; measuring ionized magnesium concentrations in blood, plasma, or serum; and conducting a magnesium-loading (or “tolerance”) test. No single method is considered satisfactory. It is much easier to just assume that everyone is magnesium deficient, and even though perhaps 10% are not we can assume 100% of men, woman and children would benefit from magnesium supplementation.
Reducing the Rate of Aging
Magnesium deficiency causes all kinds of havoc with our cell physiology and worsens as we age; appropriate magnesium supplementation will help ensure you do not age so fast. When magnesium is deficient, things begin to die, but when our body’s magnesium levels are high; our body physiology tends to hum along like a racecar yielding higher performance along many physiological parameters. Most doctors do not want to acknowledge that magnesium deficiency can lead directly to cancer, thus to a great shortening of life. Same goes for diabetes and heart disease - magnesium deficiency brings on these diseases.
Research shows us now that drinking high concentrations of magnesium in drinking water may protect against hip fractures.8 In 2010, there were 258,000 hospital admissions for hip fractures among people aged 65 and older. By 2030, the number of hip fractures is projected to reach 289,000, an increase of 12%. One out of five hip fracture patients dies within a year of their injury. People 85 and older are 10 to 15 times more likely to sustain hip fractures than are those aged 60 to 65. Osteoporosis, a disease that makes bones porous, increases a person’s risk of sustaining a hip fracture and The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that more than 10 million people over age 50 in the U.S. have osteoporosis and another 34 million are at risk for the disease.9
Magnesium (Mg) is involved in energy production and plays a role in exercise performance. Glucose levels are significantly enhanced in magnesium sufficient people. Lactate levels in the muscle, blood, and brain rapidly and significantly increased in all during exercise, but brain lactate levels in the Mg group further elevated than those in the control group during exercise. Magnesium enhances glucose availability in the peripheral and central systems, and increased lactate clearance in the muscle during exercise.
- Antioxidant vitamins and magnesium and the risk of hearing loss in the US general population; Choi YH1, Miller JM, Tucker KL, Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jan;99(1):148-55. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.068437. Epub 2013 Nov 6.; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24196403
- Hruby A, Meigs JB, O'Donnell CJ, Jacques PF, McKeown NM. Higher magnesium intake reduces risk of impaired glucose and insulin metabolism, and progression from prediabetes to diabetes in middle-aged Americans. Diabetes Care. 2013 Oct 2.
- Magnesium: a versatile drug for anesthesiologists. Do SH; Korean J Anesthesiol. 2013 July; 65(1): 4-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3726845/
- v L Kass, J Weekes, L Carpenter. Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012; DOI:10.1038/ejcn.2012.4; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313230354.htm
- Magnesium Online Library; http://www.mgwater.com/prevent.shtml
- Prepublication copy, 1997, of the Dietary Reference Intakes for Magnesium, from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science. Pages 6-5, 6-21, 6-22, 6-26.exhibitk.shtml Note: The final report on Dietary Reference Intakes (hardcover book) was released Sept. 1999, with identical numbers and only slight refinements of text.