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Magnesium: A common deficiency that we can’t measure

Posted on: November 1, 2013   by  John Cannell, MD


Dr. Zittermann’s new editorial on magnesium (Mg) and vitamin D is important. We have been saying for the last 7 years that you need to be getting enough Mg.

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13 Responses to Magnesium: A common deficiency that we can’t measure

  1. Rita and Misty

    This is a very challenging task:

    “As of today, a Mg intake assessment is the only way to know if one is Mg deficient. That means counting all foods in your diet and then looking those foods up on Mg content of foods table.”

    And, the reason I think this task is very challenging, is that I often wonder how much of our soil has been depleted of its mineral content….and I wonder, therefore, if we are only making, at best, a giant supposition regarding actual mineral content in our foods…


  2. [email protected]

    Further confounding assessing mg sufficiency by dietary analysis is the mg wasting effect of excess dietary calcium.

  3. WolverBill

    I’ve read the Mg is very important for heart function.

  4. rtfdc1

    If the 70 year old Senate Document 264 is any indication, our soils have been depleted for decades.

  5. GoldieD

    I wonder what effect higher amounts of magnesium in one’s diet would have on heart muscle of those with Atrial fibrullation–anyone study this? Sure wish my husband’s otherwise healthy heart and body is still fibrullating. We’d love to see his heart work properly again –there must be a natural way.

  6. Michael

    Pizza, cheeseburger, spaghetti — it is all the same stuff, namely


    Is it any wonder 99% of the fast food world is everything deficient.


  7. [email protected]

    Yes, and even the foods that supposedly have Mg, are often based upon 50 year-old tables and testing. The same foods today don’t have the same Mg content, because: 1) The soil is depleted from continuous cropping; and 2) the application of pesticides, especially Roundup (Glyphosate), greatly impairs the plant’s ability to uptake minerals from the soil, especially Magnesium! So even if the soil does have Mg, you’re still not getting it in your food!

  8. Rita and Misty

    Thank you dew ! I had wondered about this.

    A friend of mine had informed me that an organically-grown apple as about 20 mg of Boron, but an apple exposed to pesticide has only 6 mg of Boron.

    Sometimes I wonder about what I hear, as I can be very naive…so, I try to remember to take all that hear with a grain or two of salt 😉

    Magnesium is a wonderful mineral…but so is Boron…and so is Iodine.

    Uncertain if we are all deficient in Boron.

    But, I do know we are all deficient in Iodine.

    BTW–if you do supplement with Iodine, be sure to also supplement with Selenium.

    It is all about balance….imo…. 🙂

  9. larryr1024

    What about the Red Blood Cell (RBC) magnesium blood tests?

    ARUP Laboratories says:
    “RBC magnesium results reflect the intracellular stores and general homeostasis of magnesium.”

    There are also RBC zinc tests from various labs too.

  10. Ian

    Can you supply any references for this?:

    “2) the application of pesticides, especially Roundup (Glyphosate), greatly impairs the plant’s ability to uptake minerals from the soil, especially Magnesium.”

    I am very interested to follow this up. Thanks

  11. JBG

    “Too much Mg has a laxative effect, as in milk of Mg.”

    This fact provides a means for titrating Mg intake: Take too much, stools get soft; back off and they get firmer again (assuming you’re healthy otherwise).

    My eating patterns includes a lot of Ca, so I probably need more Mg than most folks. Anyway, I currently take 675 mg every other day, and 450 mg on the alternate days. This works pretty well. Mg Citrate is my preferred form of supplement.

  12. Rita and Misty

    Does anyone have thoughts on transdermal Mg?

  13. John

    That’s the key Rita! Your skin will only absorb the Mg that it needs.

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