by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© April 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Magnesium may be called the bright and shining mineral. It is a bright, shiny metal that burns very brightly, and even burns under water.
It is a female, alkaline earth mineral with a valence of +2. Joseph Scogna calls it “the lion” or “contemplation of power”. These nicknames may be helpful to understand what magnesium does in the body.
Uses in industry. It is used to make strong, lightweight metal alloys for bicycle frames, flares, fireworks, aircraft parts, car engine parts, power tools, and optical equipment.
MAGNESIUM IN THE BODY
Magnesium is abundant in the body, and considered one of the macrominerals or electrolytes. Along with potassium, it is primarily an intracellular mineral. This is the opposite of calcium and sodium, which are found in higher concentrations outside of the cells of the body.
A lot of magnesium is found in the bones of the body, but it is present in every cell of the body.
Magnesium is involved in every body function, where it is required for thousands of critical enzymes everywhere in the body. It is also one of very few minerals that cannot be replaced by a less preferred mineral in many of these enzyme systems.
Placeholder. Magnesium in the form of magnesium chelate, citrate or even magnesium oxide functions well as a placeholder element until the body can obtain from food (cooked vegetables) enough high-quality magnesium.
Deficiency widespread. Most everyone is low in bioavailable magnesium. This is due primarily to very low dietary intake of the highest quality types of magnesium – found mainly in cooked vegetables.
Amigo magnesium. Instead of high quality magnesium compounds, which include magnesium sulfate and others, most people’s bodies have too much magnesium in an oxide form. This is called an “amigo” form on this website.
Oxides are not the best forms of minerals. They are irritants and oxidants, and do not perform as well in most enzymes.
The oxide form also slows or even stops development if too much is present. To read about this, please read Iron, Manganese, and Aluminum - The Amigos on this website.
Good food sources. Good sources of high quality magnesium are kelp, cooked vegetables, blue corn, other whole grains, nuts, seeds, meat and eggs. Most people do not eat nearly enough of the vegetable source magnesium foods.
Instead, most people eat refined grains. In all cases, the magnesium level is much lower in white flour and white sugar. Other foods that do not contain much high-quality magnesium are fruits, soda pop, coffee, tea and cows milk dairy products. These contain very little high-quality magnesium!
Depleting magnesium. Stress and too much exercise use up magnesium quickly. Very few sports drinks replenish it in great enough quantity, for instance. Diarrhea can also deplete magnesium if it continues for a week or more.
ENZYME SYSTEMS THAT ARE HIGHLY MAGNESIUM DEPENDENT
1. The brain. Thousands upon thousands of critical enzymes that control the functioning of the brain depend upon magnesium. No other mineral will do! This is why the body will utilize inferior magnesium compounds, if necessary, to keep these enzyme systems functioning.
Inferior magnesium. When the brain uses an inferior magnesium compound, the magnesium-dependent enzymes function at 50% of their optimum levels, or even less. As a result, the millions of chemical reactions required for thinking, processing traumas, memory and other functions are only operate at 50%. This is occurring in thousands of people everywhere in the world.
This accounts for many learning disabilities, memory loss, and “slow brain syndrome” in which people feel their brain is going in slow motion. The use of inferior magnesium also impairs one’s ability to understand and process traumas of all kinds.
2. The heart. Doctors are taught that magnesium plays a key role in the proper functioning of the heart. Deficiency is associated with irregular heart rhythm, fast or slow pulse, skipped beats, palpitations, angina, and other heart problems.
ROLES OF MAGNESIUM IN THE BODY
The three main areas of action of magnesium are:
1. Cell membrane effects. These include cell membrane permeability, muscle contraction, nerve impulse conduction, and opposing the action of calcium.
2. Intracellular fluid regulation. This includes viscosity, buffering, PO4 transport, and enzyme activation.
3. Regulation of protein synthesis.
MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS
These include anger, belligerence, irritability, fatigue and pain due to muscle tension, as seen in conditions such as fibromyalgia. However, magnesium activates and assists with so many enzymes that symptoms can include almost anything.
Other deficiency symptoms can include asthma, migraines, fatigue, acute muscle spasms, upper respiratory infections, chronic sinusitis, seasonal allergies, rhinitis, and most cardiovascular disease.
MAGNESIUM AND HAIR ANALYSIS
An ideal hair magnesium level is about 6 mg% or 60 parts per million. This does not mean, however, that a magnesium deficiency is not present. In fact, most people need more magnesium, regardless of the hair level.
Fast oxidizers often need the most magnesium, especially when the sodium/potassium ratio is less than 2.5, regardless of the hair magnesium level.
Slow oxidizers tend to have higher hair levels of magnesium, but some of it is always biounavailable. Dr. Eck supplemented everyone with magnesium and gave more, at times, if the magnesium level was very high or very low.
Biounavailable magnesium on the hair analysis. When magnesium is above about 9 mg% it is at least partially biounavailable. This is a problem for millions of people. Symptoms of this imbalance may include fibromyalgia and other types of pain, irritability, insomnia, muscle weakness, depression, muscle cramps, especially after exercising, and possibly others.
Magnesium part of many hair analysis patterns. Magnesium is involved in several key mineral ratios on a hair mineral analysis. These are the calcium/magnesium ratio and the sodium/magnesium ratio. For this reason, magnesium is involved in dozens of important hair analysis patterns.
Among these are the oxidation rate, the lifestyle ratio (formerly called the blood sugar ratio), death patterns, four lows, four highs, criminal patterns, shell patterns, and others.
Magnesium rise on a retest. In the course of a complete nutritional balancing program, at times the hair magnesium level will rise significantly. In most of these instances, the cause for this rise is the replacement of an inferior magnesium compound with a better form of magnesium in the body. This is discussed later in this article under the heading of The Controller Souls.
These are similar to those for calcium. They include vitamins A, D, E, K and perhaps a few others. Vitamin D, for example, appears to assist magnesium metabolism, not just calcium absorption. Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine has a close relationship with magnesium. Magnesium is thought to help vitamin B6 to be incorporated into some enzymes.
Vitamin B1 or thiamin is a synergist with magnesium in glucose metabolism. Vitamin C is a synergist in connective tissue synthesis. Tetraiodothyronine or T4 increases cellular magnesium levels. In fact, many nutrients are synergistic with magnesium because magnesium is involved in almost all body functions.
Magnesium antagonists tend to be somewhat similar to those for calcium. Important ones include calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphates, fluoride, all toxic metals and others. Alcohol severely depletes magnesium. This is due, at least in part, to the fact that metabolizing alcohol uses up many magnesium-dependent enzymes. This requires them to be reconstituted, using up a lot of magnesium. Alcohol is also a diuretic that can remove magnesium from the body through the kidneys.
Diarrhea. Magnesium is rich in the stool as it passes through the digestive tract. If diarrhea occurs, significant amounts of water and magnesium are lost from the body. This can help deplete magnesium. Several days of diarrhea are not a severe problem. However, if one has chronic intermittent diarrhea, as can occur with irritable bowel syndrome or colitis, magnesium loss can be significant.
Soda pop and sugar in the diet lower magnesium levels. These contain phosphorus compounds that bind firmly to magnesium, along with calcium and zinc, and tend to remove these minerals from the body.
Soda pop is the worst. Some of the ‘high’ that one gets from drinking soda pop is actually magnesium depletion that causes a form of anxiety and irritability. Even the high phosphorus content of meat, eggs, cheese and other animal proteins lowers magnesium to some degree, but not that much because these foods contain some magnesium.
Exercise. Exercise uses up some magnesium. This contributes to leg cramps, shin splints and other symptoms that come with exercise. It can explain the ‘high’ of exercise to some degree as well.
Ionizing radiation can lower the body’s magnesium level significantly. It is not usually noticeable unless exposure is chronic and intense. Taking extra magnesium before radiation treatments may help protect one from some of the damage due to radiation therapy.
CONTROLLER SOULS AND MAGNESIUM
Certain souls called controller souls help the body utilize magnesium. This is a great benefit that everyone needs.
In some people, these souls are not present. If one experiences trauma such as a rape or beating, or if one becomes too nutritionally depleted, these souls can leave. The person often feels more tired, and somewhat directionless.
A nutritional balancing program will, in every case, eventually bring these souls back to a person’s body. To bring them back, the body must be made more yang, and it must become much better nourished. Also, if possible, the trauma should be released, which also occurs with nutritional balancing programs.
One can make an educated guess that one or more controller souls has returned to a body if:
1. The person is following a complete nutritional balancing program for at least one or two months.
2. The hair magnesium level rises at least 100% on a retest.
3. Usually the magnesium rises without a corresponding rise in the hair calcium level.
The rise in hair tissue magnesium is actually an elimination of less bioavailable magnesium due to the efforts of the controller souls. This results in a higher energy level and better overall health.
Hospitals use a lot of intravenous (IV) or intramuscular (IM) magnesium. It is one of the best things they use, because it is basically a nutritional solution for situations such as eclampsia and pre-eclampsia, heart attacks and some other emergencies.
Some holistic doctors and naturopaths give intravenous magnesium with other vitamins and minerals such as the Myers Cocktail, to replenish the body’s magnesium. While it can improve symptoms of fatigue, fibromyalgia, and other conditions, it has several problems that make it unacceptable in nutritional balancing. These problems are 1) yin, 2) temporary, 3) a shotgun approach.
Yin means that it subtly unbalances the body in a very harmful way over time. One or two treatments is not a problem, and indeed helps some who are very nutritionally depleted. However, when continued, the body gradually becomes more yin, which is very harmful. For more, please read Yin Disease on this website.
Temporary means that the beneficial effects of intravenous magnesium tend to wear off after a few days to a few weeks. This tells us the magnesium shots or IVs fill a need, but they do not, on their own, restore the mineral balance.
A shotgun approach means that magnesium is not carefully measured and given in the exact dosage needed. Instead, one just loads up on it, hoping it will have the desired effect. Doctors even call it a “magnesium push”.
Indeed, giving any mineral intravenously or intramuscularly bypasses the way the body normally controls how much of a substance it absorbs. This is always more dangerous, as one can overload the system easily.
For all these reasons, the only time I would recommend intravenous magnesium is the way it is used in emergencies in the hospital. I never recommend intravenous or intramuscular magnesium in an ongoing way, as some holistic and naturopathic doctors offer. I do not find it necessary and it can easily do more harm than good.
TOPICAL OR TRANSDERMAL MAGNESIUM
Some books and doctors advise people to rub magnesium oil on the skin. This is quite dangerous! It gives a quick symptomatic effect that can reduce muscle pain, fibromyalgia and perhaps alleviate fatigue.
Transdermal magnesium lowered the sodium/potassium ratio of one of our clients. After a few months of it, he had a severe stroke. Please do not do this procedure. For more, please read Transdermal Magnesium on this site.
1. Barney, P. Doctor’s Guide To Natural Medicine, Woodland Publishing, Inc., Utah, 2014.
2. Casdorph, HR and Walker, M., Toxic Metal Syndrome, Avery Publishing Group, NY, 1995.
3. Diem, K. and Lentner, C, Scientific Tables, seventh edition, Ciba-Geigy, New York, 1973.
4. Droesti, I.E. and Smith, R.M., editors, Neurobiology Of The Trace Elements, Humana Press, New Jersey, 1983.
5. Dunne, L.J., Nutrition Almanac, fifth edition, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2002.
6. Guyton, A., Textbook Of Medical Physiology, sixth edition, W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, 1981.
7. Kasper, D. and Fauci, A., Harrison’s Principles Of Internal Medicine, Elsevier Medical, 2015.
8. Jensen, B., The Chemistry Of Man, Bernard Jensen Publishing, California, 1983.
9. Kutsky, R., Handbook Of Vitamins, Minerals & Hormones, 2nd edition, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1981.
10. Pfeiffer, C. C., Mental And Elemental Nutrients, Keats Publishing, Connecticut, 1975.
11. Schroeder, H., The Trace Elements And Man, The Devin-Adair Company, 1973.
12. Segala, M., editor, Disease Prevention And Treatment, expanded fourth edition, Life Extension Media, Florida 2003.
13. Stryer, L., Biochemistry, second edition, W.H.Freeman And Company, New York, 1981.
14. Wilson, L., Nutritional Balancing And Hair Mineral Analysis, 2010, 2014, 2016.