George Lundberg, MD, former editor of JAMA and now editor-at-large of Medscape, refers to low levels of magnesium as “the emperor of all maladies.”
Magnesium is largely ignored by doctors, despite the fact that having an insufficient amount of this mineral has been linked to:
- Heart arrhythmias and heart attacks
- High blood pressure
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Leg cramps
- Restless leg syndrome
- Kidney stones
- Tension headaches and migraines
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Chest pain
- Altitude sickness
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
…and a host of other conditions.
Alan Gaby, MD, author of the 1,500-page textbook Nutritional Medicine, likes to remind doctors that magnesium is involved in more than 300 of the body’s enzyme functions, most importantly ATP production, which in turn is the principle molecule for storing and transferring energy.
Dr. Gaby’s Magnesium, a 46-page paperback written in 1998, $2.95 when first published, is now a collector’s item costing nearly $300. (Dr. Gaby thinks this is funny and suggests you purchase his textbook for $200 instead.)
Focus on the US
Each of the chronic illnesses listed above is disproportionately higher in the US than in other western countries, according to the World Health Organization, which also notes:
- The main symptoms linked to low magnesium are fatigue, muscle cramps, palpitations, numbness/tingling, nausea, depression, asthma, high blood pressure, and migraine.
- 75% of all Americans consume less magnesium than they need for good health and well-being.
- Specifically, we don’t eat enough magnesium-rich foods. These include dark green leafy vegetables, tree nuts, seeds, oily fish, beans, lentils, legumes, whole grains, and molasses.
- Many of us take drugs that deplete magnesium. The main culprits are diuretics (water pills) and proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, and Prevacid. Drinking alcohol also depletes magnesium.
Moreover, on a worldwide basis, climate change and poor farming practices have seriously depleted the soil of magnesium. This important article discusses how plants themselves are suffering magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium is one of the electrolytes, which include sodium, potassium, chloride, and calcium. These last four are easy to measure with a routine blood draw because they’re in your blood serum. Magnesium is different. Most magnesium is intracellular (inside your cells) and although there are several techniques used to measure the body’s magnesium, they’re quite involved and often inaccurate.
Given the challenges we face trying to get enough magnesium and the health risks caused by deficiency, whether you have symptoms or not a daily supplement is a good idea. The recommended minimum is 400 mg a day. Most of this can be found in a nutritious diet, supplemented by a good product such as this by Metagenics, taken twice daily.
One easy way to boost magnesium quickly and efficiently is to call and schedule a Myers’ cocktail IV. These have been around for decades and, over the years, we’ve administered literally thousands of them, a boost of vitamins and minerals with plenty of magnesium. Interestingly, when patients who arrive with chronic fatigue experience their first Myers’ infusion, they often feel a real energy boost. This means the IV is correcting either a B12 deficiency or a magnesium deficiency. Definitely interesting to witness.
David Edelberg, MD
PS: The Federal Trade Commission has specifically warned all nutritionally oriented websites like ours to make no supplement recommendations regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fine. Just to let you know that flu season is upon us and our Immune Boost IV doesn’t differentiate its protection from one virus to the next. With this latest virus (the one that seems to have been named after a new model of smart phone), I urge you to get vaccinated if you are not.
My immune supplement recommendations remain the same:
Integrative Therapeutics Buffered C, 1,000 mg twice daily.
Thorne vitamin D, 5,000 IU daily.
Zinc picolinate, 50 mg daily.