Minerals Essential to Life and Health

Business web MagnesiumHere is an excellent researched report by my good friend, Tim Brown, about the importance of essential minerals, specifically Magnesium. They are a key component for us to include in our bodies to enhance their ability to thrive. 

If you are concerned that you might not be getting enough magnesium (and apparently around 70% of other people in the USA are in a similar position, whether they know it or not) then transdermal magnesium oil can be more effective than oral supplements, which usually have poor absorption rates.

I use 6 to 8 sprays of Magnesium Oil (two bottles on the right in the picture) in the morning and the evening. I apply it on my feet, under my knees and on my armpits. It is a fabulous form of a deodorant –free of chemicals! For your convenience, here is the link to order this product: Click Here

I also have used Angstrom Minerals but have not established how many sprays to use morning and evening because I’m using up the oil first. Here is the link for this product: Click Here  

Prior to reading Tim’s report, enjoy this informative Youtube introduction on Magnesium by Mark Hyman M.D.

MAGNESIUM  VIDEO: The Most Powerful Relaxing Mineral Available

by Tim Brown 

Minerals are essential to life. Without them you can not live.  Without proper balance you can not achieve good health with all of the vitamins and essential oils in the world.  However once you understand their roles you will begin to understand how to achieve great health – as they come into balance the vitamins and essential oils will perform as though they are supercharged.

Although there are dozens of trace minerals found and utilized by your body we are going to look at the roles and interactions of these primary minerals in your body.

The 4 core minerals are:  – Calcium   – Potassium  – Sodium    – Magnesium

These core minerals are part of what is known as electrolytes; the major electrolytes in your body are:

ñ potassium (K+), ñ sodium (Na+), ñ chloride (Cl-), ñ calcium (Ca2+), ñ magnesium (Mg2+), ñ bicarbonate (HCO3-), ñ phosphate (PO42-), ñ sulfate (SO42-)

Although not part of the “major electrolytes”, Zinc is often added to the list of the 4 primary minerals as the 5th.

Vitamins and more recently essential oils are discussed in the natural health community as the answer to many of health issues.  Unfortunately minerals are rarely understood and discussed.  Yet without them you may never obtain the level of health you desire.

The exception to this is all of the hype about Sodium… you are told by almost everyone that you get too much.  What you are not told is that if the other minerals are in balance your body is equipped to maintain the proper levels.  For years companies have peddled Calcium as the answer to avoiding osteoporosis.  Some are promoting ingesting some Magnesium with Calcium along with Magnesium.

Do I Need Magnesium?

You will gain a sense of the importance of Magnesium from this quote from the NIH (National Institutes of Health)

“Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant .

Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines. Magnesium is excreted through the kidneys.”  http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium

This quote also from the NIH outlines the importance of Magnesium in the treatment of type II diabetes:

(from study to ”To examine the association between magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes.”)

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest a significant inverse association between magnesium intake and diabetes risk. This study supports the dietary recommendation to increase consumption of major food sources of magnesium, such as whole grains, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14693979

Magnesium FAQ’s

Magnesium is essential to more than 300 bodily functions.

Most individuals in North America obtain adequate amounts Calcium, Potassium, and Sodium in their diets… however Magnesium is another story.  Since measured from 1915 until now Magnesium levels in the soil and therefore in our food has dropped by 2/3’s.

Calcium causes muscles to contract

Magnesium causes muscles to relax

Calcium should be on the outside of the cell

Magnesium should be on the inside

Adequate magnesium keeps calcium on the outside

Inadequate magnesium results in many problems with calcium – excessive calcium in the heart, hardening of the arteries build-up in joins, bone spurs etc

Statistically worldwide areas having the softest water and therefore the highest magnesium levels and accordingly the lowest calcium levels have the lowest heart attack rates.

As we age magnesium levels naturally are reduce and accordingly health risks increase.

Autistic individuals statistically have exceptionally low Magnesium levels and generally respond to Magnesium and sulfur (Epsom salt).

Pregnant women have a need for greater intake of Magnesium to avoid many pregnancy risks to themselves and their child.

Magnesium use is increased during times of stress and and during sports activities.

Magnesium is used by your body to convert cholesterol into insulin as well as to help to regulate its levels.

Only 1% of the Magnesium in your body is found in the blood serum!

Magnesium is so important to the heart function the the body will reallocate cellular Magnesium to the blood serum to protect the heart… to the detriment of other body organs and functions.

When kidneys are functioning properly you can not take too much Magnesium as any excess will be excreted by the kidneys; but high levels of Magnesium can cause soft stool or diarrhea

80% or more of the population is deficient in Magnesium with the average intake of Magnesium at 40% of RDA

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency

The symptoms of magnesium deficiency (from low dietary intake or excessive losses) are so widespread that I would consider getting sufficient magnesium before doing anything else for your health.  Magnesium deficiency is involved in many diseases including:

ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
Alcoholism (alcoholics have low Magnesium; alcohol intake further reduces Magnesium levels, increasing Magnesium levels has shown benefits to overcoming this addiction)
Alzheimer’s (patients typically have low total body Magnesium
Arthritis (Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis)
Anxiety disorders (agitated, nervy, ready to explode)
Asthma (most Asthma sufferers are low in Magnesium and many drugs used to treat this issue further aggravate this condition)
Auto-immune disorders (all types)
Backache and shoulder pain
Blood clots
Bones (brittle bones – particularly in the elderly)
Calcium deficiency
Cancers (low Magnesium levels are associated with an increased risk of a variety of cancers and some studies have shown that high levels of supplemented Magnesium inhibits carcinogenesis.  Researchers have made the statement that “Magnesium deficiency can lead directly to cancer”).   The authors of “Magnesium for Life” make the statement that “Magnesium Chloride is first and most important item in any person’s cancer strategy”.
Cardiac arrhythmia
Craving for salt or chocolate
Cardiovascular disease
Cerebral Palsy (in children from Magnesium deficient mothers)
Chest Pain (Angina)
Cholesterol (high levels or imbalances – such as high triglycerides)
Chronic fatigue
Chronic pain
Congestive heart disease

DHEA – low levels (adequate Magnesium is required for your body to produce DHEA)
Dental issues: cavities & tooth decay
Dental issues: crooked teeth/narrow jaw – in children from Magnesium deficient mothers
Diabetes  (Type I & II but particularly Type II)
Drug addiction – Magnesium supplementation has been shown to be effective in the treatment of craving of opiate drugs such as  heroin, morphine, methadone, codeine, oxycodone (Oxycontin) meperidine (Demerol).  Increased Magnesium intake can positively impact emotional and mood issues while overcoming other drug addictions as well particularly drugs that lead to paranoia and mood disturbances.
Eating disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia
Emotional – in addition to depression individuals will low Magnesium may be high-strung, on edge, and experience Paranoia (increasing intake of Magnesium, the “mood balancer” can contribute to a person’s feeling of well-being
Energy low, lack of energy
Epileptic seizures
Erectile dysfunction (and premature ejaculation)
Focus – inability to focus or poor attention span
Heart palpitations, abnormal rhythms, racing pulse
High blood pressure
Hormone regulation

Joint & muscle pain (chronic and periodic)
Immune system compromised (with secondary problems as a result)
Impaired athletic performance
Increased intracellular calcium
Inflammation (especially affecting the heart)
Intestinal disorders – including Crohn’s disease, IBS, Colitis and food allergies
Irregular heart beat
Kidney disease
Kidney stones
Memory issues  (poor memory, confusion)
Menstrual problem
Multiple Sclerosis
Muscle cramps (tight and knotting)
Muscle spasms and twitches
Muscle weakness
Muscular skeletal problems (fibrosis, fibromyalgia, cramps, pains)
Neck pain
Nervous problems, anxiety, panic attacks, confusion, irritability, hypertension
Noise sensitivity (and other nerve sensitivities)
Obstetric problems (per-campsite, pre-term labor, and other issues)
Osteoporosis (even a mild deficiency in magnesium is a risk factor for osteoporosis)
Panic attacks (irritable, apprehensive, aggressive)
Parkinson’s disease
Polio (compromised immunity & quick application of Magnesium to afflicted stopped and reversed long-term effects)Potassium deficiency (hypokalemia)
Restless legs syndrome
SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Sleep issues (inability to sleep, grinding teeth, sleep apnea, poor breathing, wake stiff & sore.
Skin – premature wrinkles
Skin (sensitivity, tingling, prickly feeling, crawling sensation)
Stress, increased sensitivity to stress
Stroke (Magnesium is preventative and can also help restore damaged tissue if administered quickly after event)Syndrome X- insulin resistance
Thyroid disorders – low, high and auto-immune; low magnesium reduces T4
Violent behavior and tendencies

This non-exhaustive list of just 90 diseases and afflictions reflective of or impacted by low Magnesium levels will begin to help you understand the importance of the role of Magnesium in your body!

Magnesium’s role in the use Potassium

Potassium provides regulation of  the heart. Potassium  also provides the kidneys with the ability to regulate the amount of sodium maintained by the body.  High blood pressure may be present in individuals obtaining enough Potassium in their diets due to inadequate amounts of Magnesium – others may need to supplement their Potassium intake to normalize their blood pressure.  However Magnesium supplementation is the place to start as inadequate intake of Magnesium may be the underlying cause of Potassium deficiency.

Warning: Remember Potassium regulates the heart; overtaking Potassium intake can lead to arrhythmia, slow heart rate or even stopping of the heart..

Magnesium’s role in the use of Sodium

If properly operating the kidneys will regulate the the amount of sodium retained by the body but requires Potassium to perform this function.  Adequate levels of Magnesium are required for Potassium to do its job.   This is one of the reasons that unprocessed sea salt is so important; it provides a natural balance of minerals necessary for your kidneys do to their job.  Table salt or processed sea salt contains only Sodium Chloride (and many times Aluminum sulfate) without the necessary minerals and trace minerals for your kidneys to be effective.

Magnesium’s role in the use of Calcium

Calcium’s use and regulation may be the most important job of Magnesium.  Failure to maintain an adequate Magnesium levels can result in Calcium acting like a crazed madman in your body.   Hardening of the arteries or calcification is only possible with low Magnesium levels.  Calcium deposits in the joints can be another result of a deficiency of Magnesium.  Magnesium should be found intracellular – Calcium extracellular; low Magnesium levels compromises this relationship.  Supplementing Calcium levels with inadequate Magnesium levels will only exasperate this situation sometimes with catastrophic results.

Magnesium’s role in Heavy Metal Poisoning

The term heavy metal poisoning normally refers to lead, mercury, iron, copper, manganese, cadmium, arsenic, nickle, aluminum and silver.   Evidence is mounting that low Magnesium levels contribute to elevated levels of heavy metals gaining access to the brain bypassing the brain/blood barrier.  It is also believe that low total body Magnesium levels contribute to learning disorders in children.

Factors and Substances Adversely affecting Magnesium Levels

Alcohol – all forms cause significant Magnesium losses
Calcium– high levels block magnesium absorption
Chronic pain– any cause
Coffee– significant losses
Cyclosporin– extra magnesium can protect from side-effects
Diabetes– Magnesium excretes with sugar in the urine
Diarrhea– any cause
Dieting– stress plus lowered intake
Diuretics- even potassium sparing diuretics do not reduce Magnesium losses
Insulin- whether from using insulin or from hyperinsulinemia
Over-training– extreme athletic physical conditioning/training
Phentermine / Fenfluramine
Physical exertion (sports activities, hard physical labor etc)
Prescription drugs – hundreds of prescription drugs adversely affect total body Magnesium levels (many of these can be found readily on the FDA website).  Beta blockers which are commonly used to treat high blood pressure, glaucoma, migraines, heart arrhythmia and angina can cause substantial Magnesium losses.
Sodas- especially cola type sodas, both diet and regular
Sodium– high salt intake (particularly processed salt lacking in minerals)
Stress– physical and mental- anything that gets your fight or flight reaction

Testing for Magnesium Levels

It is estimated that nearly 80-90% of the U.S. Population suffers from low Magnesium levels.  This is despite many of these individuals showing normal blood levels.   How is this possible?   Less than 1% of Magnesium is found in the blood.  Additionally the body has the amazing capability to protect itself; if the heart is receiving low amounts of Magnesium your body has the ability to draw Magnesium from your cells from all other parts of your body to provide enough in your blood to keep your heart beating!     Blood tests may therefore show normal levels of Magnesium while your body is starved of it!

In a Magnesium sufficient body 53% will be found in bone, 27% in muscle, 19% in soft tissue and the remaining 1% in blood, sweat and fat (Comparatively 85% of Sodium in the body is found in the blood and lymph systems).

Additional demands on Magnesium are made during times of stress as well as during exertion (sports and otherwise).

Understanding this may concept help you to understand why an individual my have a heart attack in a stressful situation, trauma (including surgical), in the midst of the excitement of hunting, shoveling snow, while running, or even a high school athlete dropping dead after a game.

There are a number of costly more advanced tests that can provide a better picture of Magnesium levels but since most individuals are deficient and excess Magnesium is excreted by the body there is little reason not to increase Magnesium intake.

Magnesium For Cellular Health

Magnesium is essential for cellular health.  Magnesium is a necessary mineral to enable your cells to perform DNA repair and replication of cells damaged by disease. With the aid of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) it is believed that uptake of magnesium to the cells is increased.  Many people find that taking a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a glass of water daily increases their energy level due to the impact that it has on the mitochondria (the energy pumps of the cells).   It is recommended that bicarbonate of soda not be taken around mealtimes to avoid lowering of stomach acids needed for the digestive process.

How much Magnesium do you need?

The RDA recommendation for adults is 350mg daily although typically only 1/3 this amount is obtained in your diet.  As this is an average you may need as much as 2-3 times this amount.  Many researchers argue that the RDA recommendation is too low.  Studies have shown that over the last 70 years Magnesium obtained in the diet has dropped substantially.  It is interesting that the increase of heart disease over this same time period have Magnesium intake has dropped similarly.   Additionally statistics show risk for heart failure is greatest in hard water areas of the world (higher calcium/lower magnesium).  Statistically this risk follows countries and even cities!

Forms of Magnesium

While Magnesium is one of the most basic and plentiful elements found in the sea it binds to many other elements and therefore is available in many forms.  Looking up Magnesium supplements can be dazzling with more than a dozen and a half forms – mostly in tablet or powder form.  Some of these forms can have just a 2% absorption rate!  The best oral solids supplements may have a 30% absorption rate.  Some require healthy stomach functions (high levels of hydrochloric acid) for utilization.  With most solid forms of Magnesium supplements you will experience a laxative effect or even diarrhea before adequate levels of Magnesium are achieved.  These effects may actually result in lowering your available Magnesium levels!

The exception to oral supplementation is angstrom Magnesium which boasts an absorption rate of 99.9%.   This sub-cellular form of Magnesium can be taken internally or used transdermally.   Note: an angstrom is a measurement, 1/10 billionth of a meter is is used to measure atoms, molecules and microscopic biological structures.  Due to processing to an angstrom size minerals in this form readily pass through cell walls.

Angstrom Magnesium is available in different concentrations.  At the highest concentration (9000 mg/L) 2 tablespoons (1oz) of this bitter liquid will provide 267mg of bioavailable Magnesium.

The  Preferable Way to take Magnesium

I share a common aversion to taking lots of tablets and pills.. here’s the good news:  Magnesium is readily absorbed and utilized transdermaly.   While you will want to avoid your eyes both Magnesium Oil and Angstrom Magnesium can be applied to all other parts of your body.

Magnesium Oil is actually not an oil but feels like an oil to the touch.  It is made from evaporated Magnesium Chloride being added to distilled water resulting in a 35% solution. Since the specific gravities are different of these items it is possible to calculate the effective dosage.  Most individuals will find 5-6 spritzes from a spray bottle provide an adequate daily intake.

Application is most effective on the bottoms of your feet, the insides of your thighs and your armpits; and makes a wonderful substitute for deodorant (you seriously want to avoid  antiperspirants which depend on Aluminum sulfate to constrict blood vessels and results in uptake of poisonous Aluminum).  Also don’t hesitate to apply over sore muscles or joints.  Make a habit of using Magnesium Oil as part of an after-shower routine to avoid forgetting to increase your daily intake.

Transdermal application is so effective that the claim is made that using Magnesium Oil everyday for 4 weeks following the above guidelines can approximate 10 intravenous Magnesium Chloride treatments  that might be a protocol applied in an emergency room in response to a heart attack or stroke.

Magnesium Sulfate a.k.a. Epsom Salt

Magnesium sulfate commonly known Epsom Salt (not really a salt) can also be used as a foot soak in a bath but has a low Magnesium absorption rate.  The inclusion of sulfur can help to reduce joint and muscle pain.  Epsom salt can also be useful garden additive for tomatoes, peppers, roses and many vegetables as a soil additive to increase Magnesium and Sulfur levels or as a foliar spray (@ a rate of 1 Tablespoon per gallon).  Yellowed leafs will turn a healthy rich green as more chlorophyll is produced.


Excess amounts of Magnesium can cause soft stools or diarrhea.  Begin any supplementation process with Magnesium slowly and adjust intake as tolerance increases.  Also, individuals with Kidney problems should consult their physicians first.  In some cases increased Magnesium can help to normalize kidney functions; in other cases the failed or failing kidneys can result in Magnesium overload with symptoms that mimic Magnesium deficiency.

“Note: Due the the alkaline nature of Magnesium some users may experience temporary tingling or skin irritation when using Magnesium oil transdermally. You may tolerate this sensation or need to start initially by diluting solution with additional distilled water.  Alternatively remember that most of the Magnesium is absorbed in the first 20-30 minutes after application. You may rinse your skin with water after 20-30 minutes.”

Other minerals (and vitamins) to consider

Zinc: Often considered the one of the 5 (rather than 4) primary minerals, Zinc is a mineral essential to your immune system.

Selenium: Lower Selenium levels seem to correspond with increased cancer levels and particularly prostate issues.

D3: Magnesium is the key factor in converting Vitamin D3 to a form that can be used by the body.  D3 is essential for a strong immune system.

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References & Sources/Recommended Reading

Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, Mark Sircus

Magnesium, The Nutrient That Could Change Your Life, J.I. Rodale (1968; out of print)

The Magnesium Mineral, Carolyn Dean

The Magnesium Factor, Mildred Seelig & Andrea Rosanoff

Angstrom Mineral – Information & Reference Guide by Annette Hasalone-Eve, N.D.c

The Blaylock Wellness Report, Dr Russell Blaylock (newsletter subscribers are given to back issues, many of which address Magnesium deficiency)

You will find dozens of good references on Magnesium on the Web but here are a few to start:

Web: http://magnesiumforlife.com/medical-application/magnesium-and-cancer/

Web: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2146789/

Web: http://www.goodhealthwellnessblog.com/186/vitamin-d3-deficiency-magnesium-connection/ (great article on the relationship between D3 and Magnesium)

Disclaimer: The content of this document has not been reviewed by a physician.  Links and information provided upon request for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication.

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