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How to Supplement Magnesium

How to Supplement Magnesium

Do you need to supplement Magnesium?

You may NOT need extra magnesium if:

1. You  are NOT consuming excessive amounts of calcium (in dairy foods or supplements)

2. You also regularly consume chocolate, organic nuts, seeds, and deep, dark, leafy greens.

3. You do not live an overly stressful life, or drink excessive amounts of alcohol, tea, or coffee, or consume a lot of sugar

However, given the many factors (E.g. stress, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, diuretics) depleting what meager amount of Mg we manage to obtain, it is wise to consider supplementing this vitally important mineral.

The following questionnaire can help determine if you are deficient in Mg:

Magnesium Deficiency Questionaire

However, the reality is that most of the world is magnesium-deficient

–    >70% of the U.S. population intakes less than the RDA - which itself is woefully under-rated.

70% of US population may be  Mg-deficient

–    Today's lifestyle and diet promotes a greater need for magnesium than in the past

Why are we Mg-deficient?

Magnesium deficiency is linked to many health problems - since magnesium has a pivotal role in energy production and many cellular metabolic processes. Consequently, inadequate magnesium intake can cause muscle spasms, and is linked to CVD, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, migraines, osteoporosis, ischemic strokes and other degenerative health problems of our time.

Ensuring a sufficiency of magnesium in your body:

✔ Normalizes muscle function

✔ Improves INSULIN sensitivity

✔ Helps correct abnormal lipoprotein patterns

✔  Reduces blood pressure

✔ Blocks migraine headaches

✔ And much more.

Health Benefits of Magnesium


Magnesium from food

Consuming magnesium-rich foods is obviously the most natural way to get your magnesium - Unfortunately, most of us do not eat enough of these foods to satisfy our body's demands in today's world. Also, these traditionally high-Mg foods are likely lacking in magnesium content due to being grown in magnesium-depleted soils or as a consequence of cooking or processing methods;

Food Sources of Magnesium

Magnesium supplementation methods

Mg Bioavailability in medications and supplements

To obtain the benefits of magnesium in medications or supplements, your body must be able to absorb the magnesium the amount of magnesium on a supplement label may or may not make it into your bloodstream, where it is available for activity in your cells and tissues.

Magnesium Bioavailability

(working on this)

There are 3 general methods of supplementation

(1) Transdermal

(2) Oral

(3) Intravenous or intramuscular (Clinical)

Transdermal vs. Oral Supplementation

–   Not as convenient as oral supplementation

–   Does not cause diarrhea from overdosing

–   More bioavailable - since it bypasses the GI tract.

–   More suitable for high dosage applications - by avoiding diarrhea

–   Oral supplementation may take up to 6 months to see positive results / Transdermal application raises magnesium levels in weeks Transdermal supplementation is the best choice with a serious Mg deficiency or when more immediate results are required. Depending on your condition; many systems, muscles, bone, immune system, nerve system and brain, will begin to change with magnesium supplementation.

Transdermal magnesium supplementation   


 The most bioavailable form of Supplemental Magnesium

Magnesium in a magnesium salt (E.g. Magnesium Chloride) solution enters the body through the skin - The Mg solution is referred to as “Magnesium Oil”, because it feels slippery when first applied to skin, but is not actually an oil. A magnesium salt dissociates (separates) in solution (to varying degrees depending on the salt), making its Magnesium ions available for transport into the body

–   Transdermal magnesium provides the most bioavailable form of magnesium - but note that some magnesium salts are more bioavailable than others

•   Magnesium sulfate (better known as Epsom salts) is rapidly excreted through the kidneys – and thus difficult to assimilate, according to Daniel Reid, author of "The Tao of Detox". Magnesium sulfate is only about half as ionized in water as magnesium chloride, meaning less available magnesium ions for transport into the body.

Methods used to apply transdermal magnesium oil:

Rubbing on skin

A footbath

A full-body bath

Compress/magnesium oil pack – for sprains and swellings


For information on transdermal magnesium chloride oil and how to use it:

Transdermal Magnesium Chloride –“MaGic Oil”

Oral supplementation

For help choosing an effective oral magnesium supplement:

Oral Magnesium Supplements

Clinical supplementation

Clinical magnesium supplementation - magnesium may be given by intramuscular injection or as an intravenous drip.

–   Magnesium chloride/sulphate at typically prescribed CLINICAL levels during pregnancy may be toxic to developing fetus - according to a study published in Cell Death and Disease: "Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) has been used in clinical obstetrics for over 70 years to treat pre-eclampsia/eclampsia and preterm labor, conditions that complicate approximately 3% and 12.4% of pregnancies, respectively, in the U.S. each year. Mg++ administration is typically titrated to maintain maternal serum levels of approximately 4-8 mg per 100 ml (1.6-3.3 mM). These concentrations are near the lowest concentrations that induced significant neuronal toxicity in our experiments." Physiological Mg concentration is 0.8 mM


How much Magnesium to supplement?

Guidelines on supplemental magnesium dosage can be found at:

How much magnesium should I supplement?

Getting the most out of magnesium

Support nutrients for Mg

–   For health it is crucial to obtain an appropriately balanced intake of calcium, magnesium , potassium, sodium and phosphorus and also vitamins A and D - all of which work together as a team.

▲  Calcium - required for magnesium to function properly, and vice versa

  Vitamin D - CRITICAL for body's ability to utilize magnesium

–   B-vitamins – help magnesium enter cells, especially B6

–    Selenium (200mcg/day) - helps magnesium stay inside cells for maximum benefit

Foods that ENHANCE magnesium absorption

  PROTEIN - 93g magnesium/day vs. 43g enhanced magnesium absorption in adolescents

Schwartz R, Walker G, Linz MD, MacKellar I. Metabolic responses of adolescent boys to two levels of dietary magnesium and protein. I. Magnesium and nitrogen retention. Am J Clin Nutr. 1973;26(5):510-518.

     Quinoa, almonds, yogurt (plain), whey protein (non-isolate)

▲  Natural fructose: apples, dates, plums, RAW honey

▲  Medium chain tryglycerides (MCTs) - coconut oil, palm oil, cheese, butter, milk, yogurt

▲  Complex carbs (whole grains) - E.g oats, barley, buckwheat

Foods / Conditions that DECREASE magnesium absorption

▲  Phosphorus - in milk and many sodas form phosphate that binds magnesium

▲   Antacids, Proton Pump Inhibitors (Eg. Protonix, Prilosec, Nexium)  - stomach acid is needed to digest magnesium

▲  Diuretics - alcohol, tea, coffee increase magnesium in urine

▲  Aging

▲  Stress - acidifies body tissues; as an alkalizing agent, the body uses magnesium to neutralize acid; under stress the body may not produce sufficient hydrochloric acid for breaking down inorganic forms of magnesium in the stomach.

▲  Digestive malfunction - affects intestinal magnesium absorption

▲  Kidney dysfunction: interferes with magnesium balance in body


Although magnesium normally protects the kidneys, its supplementation could cause more harm if there is already chronic kidney damage - Mg should then only be used under medical supervision. Because people with kidney disease may not be able to excrete excess amounts of magnesium, they should not take magnesium supplements unless prescribed by a physician.

If your bowel becomes too soft or you get diarrhea - temporarily reduce your dose and build up gradually; take a smaller amount of magnesium at one time.

Interactions with medications and psycho-active herbs – as you deal with a Mg deficiency, you will alter your need for certain medications or herbs

–   If you are taking any of the following, you will need to monitor and reduce / eliminate these medications



St. John's Wort


Sleep medications

Cholesterol-lowering drugs

Thyroid medication


Diabetic drugs



Other medications

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