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Magnesium against Cancer

Mg has multiple anti-cancer roles

Mg has multiple essential roles, which need to be “played”to avoid setting the stage for the creation, growth and metastasis of cancer cells:

Mg Function

Cancer Relevance

> 300 Enzymes Need Magnesium to Function

These enzymes are needed for all the following cancer-related functions and many of the body's other life-sustaining chemical interconversions.

Maintains mitochondrial ATP production and Cell membrane “Battery”

Most of the enzymes involved in mitochondrialATP energy production require Mg.ATP provides the power to actively transport ions across the plasma membrane, necessary to remove waste/heavy metals from the cell and to maintain the cell “battery”level (by transporting Na+ and K+ ions against their concentration gradient). Low ATP production is a hallmark of cancer.

Needed for fatty acid and phospholipid metabolism

To maintain cell membrane integrity and prevent cell infection (evidence is mounting that microbial infection of cells is involved in cancer); it is thought that Mg deficiency increases plasma membrane* permeability and fluidity affecting ion transport across cell membrane. *Plasma membrane - cell membrane interfacing with extracellular fluid.

Needed for production of glutathione (body's primary antioxidant and detoxifier of cell cytoplasm)

Glutathione detoxifies toxins, including heavy metals, which increase oxidant damage to cells, recognized as a factor in cancer. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant, helps red blood cells carry oxygen and is needed for the creation and maintenance of T-cell lymphocytes –the immune system's frontline defense against infection.

Counteracts calcification of cell membranes

Up to 30% of cellular energy production is used to pump calcium out of the cells. A healthy cell has high Mg/ Low calcium levels, but a lower ATP energy output means less calcium is pumped out of cell. Calcium accumulation on the inner cell membrane (called calcification) of various tissue cells manifests in many of the health problems seen today, including cancer. Calcification of the membrane interferes with ion transport into and out of the cell and with waste removal from the cell.

Facilitates hormone uptake and release

Hormonal imbalance is a recognized factor in cancer;

Alkalizing agent

Cancer cells can not survive in an alkaline environment

Heavy metal detoxification

Heavy metal presence increases oxidant damage in body. Damage to cell membranes and genetic components are involved in cancer.

Needed to convert vitamin D to its active form

Many studies now confirm the ability of vitamin D to significantly protect against cancer

Research correlating Mg deficiency with cancer

High Mg levels associated with 50% decrease in cancer mortility - found researchers at the Lille Pasteur Institute in a study of > 4,000 men over an 18-year follow up period. (Also a 40% decrease in cardiovascular and all-cause mortality).

"Zinc, Copper and Magnesium and Risks for All-Cause Cancer, and Cardiovascular Mortality" Epidemiology, Vol. 17, No. 3, May 2006,

Much less Mg binding to cancer cells than normal cells -using cells from induced cancers, researchers found that there is much less magnesium (Mg++) binding to membrane phospholipids of cancer cells, than to normal cell membranes. Mg-deficient cell membranes have a smoother surface than normal. They also have decreased membrane viscosity, similar to changes in human leukemia cells.

Anghileri, L.J. Magnesium concentration variations during carcinogenesis. Magnesium Bull. 1979; 1:46-48.

Restoring Mg levels caused periosteal(fibrous connective tissue wrapped around bone) tumors to rapidly disappear

Hunt, B.J., Belanger, L.F. Localized, multiform, sub-periosteal hyperplasia and generalized osteomyelosclerosis in magnesium-deficient rats. Calcif. Tiss. Res. 1972; 9:17-27.

In solid tumors a high level of supplemented magnesium inhibits carcinogenesis

Durlach J, Bara M, Guiet-Bara A, Collery P. Relationship between magnesium, cancer and carcinogenic or anticancer metals. Anticancer Res. 1986 Nov-Dec;6(6):1353-61.

Mg seems to be protective against cancer -both cancer cells and Mg deficiency show a dramatically impaired ionic flux between the outer and inner cell membranes i.e. higher Ca and Na; lower Mg and K levels. Lead (Pb) salts cause moreleukemia cells when given to Mg deficient rats, than when they are given to Mg-adequate rats, suggesting that Mg protects against cancer; researchers concluded that inadequacy of Mg and antioxidants are important risk factors in predisposing to leukemias.

Aleksandrowicz, J., Blicharski, J., Dzigowska, A., Lisiewicz, J. Leuko- and oncogenesis in the light of studies on metabolism of magnesium and its turnover in biocenosis. Acta Med. Pol. 1970; 11:289-302. (abstr: Blood 1971; 37:245)

Researchers found that 46% of the patients admitted to the ICU of a cancer center presented with Mg deficiency

D. Deheinzelin, E.M. Negri1, M.R. Tucci, M.Z. Salem1, V.M. da Cruz1, R.M. Oliveira, I.N. Nishimoto and C. Hoelz. Hypomagnesemia in critically ill cancer patients: a prospective study of predictive factors. Braz J Med Biol Res, December 2000, Volume 33(12) 1443-1448

Mg-rich diets reduced the occurrence of colon cancer -conclude School of Public Health researchers at the University of Minnesota; A study from Sweden reported that women with the highest magnesium intake had a 40% lower risk of developing colon cancer than those with the lowest Mg intake. Reference?

A Vanderbuilt university study found that low ratios of Mg and calcium are associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer. "The risk of colorectal cancer adenoma recurrence was reduced by 32 per cent among those with baseline calcium to magnesium ratio below the median in comparison to no reduction for those above the median,"said Qi Dai, MD, PhD, a member of the research team.

Calcium supplementation only reduced the risk of cancer recurrence if the ratio of calcium to magnesium was low, and remained low during the intervention period. Both high Mg and calcium levels have been linked to reduced risks of colon cancer, but high calcium levels inhibit the absorption of magnesium.

[Findings presented at the seventh annual American Association for Cancer (AACR) Research (AACR) international conference on frontiers in cancer prevention research]

Pretreatment hypomagnesemia has been reported in young leukemic children - 78% of whom have histories of anorexia, and have excessive gut and urinary losses of Mg.

Paunier, L., Radde, I.C.: Normal and abnormal magnesium metabolism. Bull. of Hosp. for Sick Childr. (Toronto) 1965; 14:16-23.

Several studies have shown an increased cancer rate in regions with low magnesium levels in soil and drinking water (also with low selenium levels) E.g. in N and S of France and Italy cancer rates correlate with magnesium deficiency in soil

Areas with a high average Mg intake have significantly less cancer -in Egypt, the cancer rate was only about 10% of that in Europe and America (and practically non-existent in rural peasants). Average Mg intake of the Egyptian cancer-free populations is 2.5-3g, > 10 x most western countries.

MAY 19, 1931, Dr. P. Schrumpf-Pierron presented a paper entitled “On the Cause Of the Rarity of Cancer in Egypt,”which was printed in theBulletin of the Academy of Medicine, and theBulletin of the French Association for the Study of Cancerin July, 1931.

Mg provides protective effect against gastric cancer - the School of Public Health at the Kaohsiung Medical College in Taiwan found that Mg exerts a protective effect against gastric cancer, but only for the group with the highest levels.

Yang CY et al. Jpn J Cancer Res.1998 Feb;89 (2):124-30. Calcium, magnesium, and nitrate in drinking water and gastric cancer mortality.

Mg deficiency -The missing link between alcohol consumption and increased risk of breast cancer? -Mg-deficiency is a known consequence of alcohol consumption. Wine, beer and liquor add equally to the risk of women developing breast cancer. Women who had one or two drinks a day increased their risk of developing breast cancer by 10%. More than three drinks a day raised their risk by 30 percent.

Dr. Arthur Klatsky and associates of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Oakland,, Calif. revealed their findings at a meeting of the European Cancer Organization in Barcelona in late 2007

According to data published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2002, 4% of all breast cancers (~4,000 cases a year) in the U.K. are due to alcohol consumption.

Maybe it is not the alcohol itself causing these cancers, but rather the effects of Mg depletion caused by the alcohol? Yes, we know that a drink or two protects against heart attacks, but it seems that magnesium supplementation may be necessary to avoid an increased cancer risk.

If you have cancer, then restoring your body's Magnesium levels is a “NO BRAINER!”

Cancer patients have notably low levels of Mg in their bodies -and studies suggest that cancer may not be able to exist in a body saturated with magnesium;

Radiation and chemotherapy both deplete the body's magnesium levels

Magnesium is a team player - you will also need to ensure that the other nutrients on Mg's team are not only present, but also in balanced proportion, since they all work together. The other main team members are Calcium, Phosphorus, Vitamins A, D and K. The “team”also includes manganese, zinc and copper.

Research suggests that almost anyone with cancer should begin a Ca:Mg intake ratio of 1:1 - High calcium levels are commonly attributed to either mainstream cancer treatments or the cancer itself, but the underlying issue is most likely Mg deficiency. Severe hypercalcemia can be avoided if magnesium levels are brought up to normal.

Transdermal Magnesium Chloride is the firstand most important item in any cancer treatment strategy -It takes 3-4 months of transdermal Mg therapy to restore cellular Mg levels where they need to be, but the benefits will be experienced throughout the body's systems within only a few days - much like quenching your thirst after being dehydrated.

Transdermal Magnesium Chloride


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