Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Magnesium

Magnesium, the master mineral

Causes of magnesium deficiency

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency

Benefits / properties of magnesium

How to supplement magnesium

Magnesium oil - magnesium chloride

Epsom salts - magnesium sulphate

References

Magnesium, the master mineral

Magnesium is a master mineral, one of my youthing secrets. Getting sufficient magnesium is one of the keys for for health and longevity. (9, 14) Most people are severely deficient in magnesium, getting less than half of what their ancestors did only a century ago. In a Palaeolithic diet the calcium to magnesium ratio used to be about 1 to 1. On the Standard American Diet (SAD), it is more like 15 to 1, causing problems with excessive calcium.

Magnesium is essential for your energy, cell growth, nerves, muscles and heart and arterial systems. It helps you to relax both physically and mentally. Magnesium dissolves excess calcium in the body. It is antagonistic toward aluminium, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel, so is essential for good health especially if you live in a polluted environment.

Causes of magnesium deficiency

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency

The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are so numerous that I recommend getting sufficient magnesium before doing anything else for your health. Magnesium deficiency is involved in many degenerative diseases including:

Note: many of the above symptoms, particularly joint problems, bone and joint pain, osteoporosis, depression, nervous problems and neurological problems, are also a symptom of boron deficiency. I recommend supplementing with boron at the same time as supplementing with magnesium. (2)

Benefits / properties of magnesium

How to supplement magnesium

Applying magnesium oil to my leg - David Niven Miller

Magnesium sufficiency or deficiency is difficult to measure, especially if doing it yourself at home. Even blood and hair tests are inaccurate or misleading. After reading this Grow Youthful web page, you will have a number of indications as to whether you are deficient or not.

The RDA for magnesium is 320-400 mg per day for an adult. As usual, the RDA is the minimum required to avert severe deficiency diseases, but is not the level required for optimal health.

800 mg per day is required to remedy a chronic deficiency and to attain optimal levels of magnesium. Ideally this is obtained from your food, but it may also be acquired through the skin (dermal supplementation) or as an oral supplement. It can take a year or longer to correct a chronic deficiency, otherwise weeks or months if the deficiency is not a chronic long-established problem

The best food source of magnesium is leafy green vegetables. Try to eat a large bowl of salad or leafy greens every day, preferably grown organically.

Magnesium is a difficult mineral to supplement orally, especially as we need so much. If you take magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts) it will give you diarrhoea. Most other magnesium salts taken orally also have a laxative effect. Magnesium glycinate, magnesium lactate, magnesium gluconate, magnesium citrate and magnesium aspartate don't cause as much diarrhoea and loose stools as magnesium sulphate or chloride when taken orally. Throughout Grow Youthful I advise people not to take pills and supplements (I mean no pills for anything), because most of them are ineffective or worse.

So how do you get sufficient magnesium, when our soil, our food and our bodies are so deficient?

The answer is through your skin. If you live near clean ocean water, a daily swim helps provide a little magnesium and a wonderful range of other minerals through your skin. Your body does take up nutrients through your skin - contrary to the old-fashioned out-of-date idea that your skin is an impervious barrier. I swim in the ocean several times each week, but even in my case this is not enough to get sufficient magnesium. West Australia where I live, is an ancient sand belt deficient in most minerals. The crops grown here contain virtually no magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium and other essential minerals. Soils are also depleted in most other parts of the world.

Magnesium oil - magnesium chloride

USA distributor

Magnesium oil - USA distributor

Magnesium oil contains mostly magnesium chloride; some brands contain a variety of other rare minerals. Magnesium oil is not an oil, but when you put it on your skin it looks and feels a bit oily. Magnesium oil is the best way that I have discovered to get sufficient magnesium without upsetting your digestion.

When I first started using magnesium oil, it felt a little itchy and even had a slight sting for up to half an hour after applying it. After a couple of weeks of daily use, that "been to the beach" feeling disappeared. I started by applying it only to my arms and legs, but now also use it on my torso. It seems that the worse your magnesium deficiency, the more uncomfortable it is when you first start using it. A few very deficient people even get a slight rash. So when you first start to use it, just apply a little to the exposed parts of your arms and legs, and wait half an hour to see what happens. If your skin reacts, it is a sign of how deficient you are - just dilute it half with filtered or spring water. Within a few days your magnesium level will start to build up.

You can apply the oil with a spray or put a little on your hand and rub it over your arms and legs. As your magnesium level builds up to normal, you can rub it into more sensitive skin on your torso.

The quality of magnesium oil varies between different brands. Try to buy magnesium oil that contains a range of minerals in addition to the magnesium. Some are sourced from pristine ocean water. The best are made from minerals obtained from glacial valleys, peat bogs and moors, and natural saltpans. A good example is the magnesium oil made from the ancient Zechstein seabed in Europe. The Dead Sea also contains a high level of magnesium; for thousands of years people have swam in it and used the salts on their skins.

Epsom salts - magnesium sulphate

Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulphate (magnesium sulfate in the USA) is a traditional home remedy that is used to relieve sore muscles, constipation, sprained ankles and many other ailments. It is widely available in stores and pet shops in a dry, crystalline form. It has the formula MgSO4.

Epsom salts does not dissolve to form an "oil" in the same manner as magnesium chloride. The best way to use Epsom salts is in a bath (or a foot bath if you don't have a full sized bath). Run a warm to hot bath and add half a cup of Epsom salts. Enjoy a soak in the bath for between 12 to 20 minutes. You need a minimum of 12 minutes to get a good absorption of the magnesium. People treating specific pains and ailments can use up to 2 cups of Epsom salts in a bath.

An Epsom salt bath is a pleasant way to supplement magnesium, and people who add half a cup to their bath each week are usually magnesium sufficient.

References

1. Emily K. Tarleton, Benjamin Littenberg, Charles D. MacLean, Amanda G. Kennedy, Christopher Daley. Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial. PLOS One, published 27 June 2017. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0180067.

2. Forrest H. Nielsen, Loanne M. Mullen, Sandra K. Gallagher. Effect of Boron Depletion and Repletion on Blood Indicators of Calcium Status in Humans Fed a Magnesium-low Diet. The Journal of Trace Elements in Experimental Medicine. 3:45-54 (1990).

3. Cuciureanu MD, Vink R. Magnesium and stress. In: Vink R, Nechifor M, editors. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System, University of Adelaide Press. 2011.

4. Rosanoff A, Seelig MS. Comparison of mechanism and functional effects of magnesium and statin pharmaceuticals. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Oct;23(5):501S-505S. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2004.10719389. PMID: 15466951.

5. Bobkowski W, Nowak A, Durlach J. The importance of magnesium status in the pathophysiology of mitral valve prolapse. Magnes Res. 2005 Mar;18(1):35-52. PMID: 15945614.

6. Galland LD, Baker SM, McLellan RK. Magnesium deficiency in the pathogenesis of mitral valve prolapse. Magnesium. 1986;5(3-4):165-74. PMID: 3014234.

7. Barbara Lichodziejewska, Jadwiga Klos, Joanna Rezler, Katarzyna Grudzka, Maria Dluzzniewska, Andrzej Budaj, Leszek Ceremuzynski. Clinical Symptoms of Mitral Valve Prolapse Are Related to Hypomagnesemia and Attenuated by Magnesium Supplementation. Amercian Journal of Cardiology, Volume 79, Issue 6, P768-772, 15 March 1997.

8. Anique D ter Braake, Catherine M Shanahan, Jeroen HF de Baaij. Magnesium Counteracts Vascular Calcification. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 37, 8, pp 1431-1445, (2017), doi 10.1161/ATVBAHA.117.309182.

9. Mathew AA, Panonnummal R. Magnesium - the master cation - as a drug - possibilities and evidences. Biometals 34, 955-986 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10534-021-00328-7.

10. Fujita K, Shindo Y, Katsuta Y et al. Intracellular Mg2+ protects mitochondria from oxidative stress in human keratinocytes. Commun Biol 6, 868 (2023). doi.org/10.1038/s42003-023-05247-6.

11. Suleiman MS. New concepts in the cardioprotective action of magnesium and taurine during the calcium paradox and ischaemia of the heart. Magnes Res. 1994 Dec;7(3-4):295-312. PMID: 7786694.

12. Ter Braake AD, Tinnemans PT, Shanahan CM, Hoenderop JGJ, de Baaij JHF. Magnesium prevents vascular calcification in vitro by inhibition of hydroxyapatite crystal formation. Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 1;8(1):2069. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-20241-3. PMID: 29391410; PMCID: PMC5794996.

13. Anique D ter Braake, Catherine M Shanahan, Jeroen HF de Baaij. Magnesium Counteracts Vascular Calcification. Passive Interference or Active Modulation? 29 Jun 2017. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2017;37:1431-1445.

14. Mathew AA, Panonnummal R. Magnesium - the master cation-as a drug-possibilities and evidences. Biometals 34, 955-986 (2021). doi.org/10.1007/s10534-021-00328-7.

15. Jeanette AM Maier 1, Laura Locatelli, Giorgia Fedele, Alessandra Cazzaniga, Andre Mazur. Magnesium and the Brain: A Focus on Neuroinflammation and Neurodegeneration. 23 December 2022. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(1), 223.

16. Fujita K, Shindo Y, Katsuta Y et al. Intracellular Mg2+ protects mitochondria from oxidative stress in human keratinocytes. Commun Biol 6, 868 (2023).

17. Suleiman MS. New concepts in the cardioprotective action of magnesium and taurine during the calcium paradox and ischaemia of the heart. Magnes Res. 1994 Dec;7(3-4):295-312. PMID: 7786694.