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Importance of Magnesium

Anonymous writes:

Dr. Cannell:
What role does magnesium play in vitamin D deficiency?

Dr. Cannell replies:

Actually, magnesium and vitamin D have many similarities. Both are dirt cheap. Just like vitamin D, magnesium has been getting a lot of press recently although some experts have been warning for years that magnesium deficiency is rampant and contributes to heart disease.

No one really knows how many people are at risk because magnesium blood tests tell you little about magnesium stores, just like an activated vitamin D test tells you little about vitamin D stores. Like vitamin D deficiency caused by health conscious people avoiding the sun and using sunscreens, magnesium deficiency has been made worse by health conscious people avoiding hard water and using water purifiers. Also, just like vitamin D, "normal" serum levels for magnesium were obtained from deficient patients.

Recently, magnesium has been implicated in the vitamin D-parathyroid hormone interaction. Many patients with heart disease are both vitamin D and magnesium deficient.

Finally, just like the Vitamin D Council, the Magnesium Website—operated by an activist—is trying to spread the word about magnesium deficiency. However, unlike Dr. Cannell of the Vitamin D Council (who is not able to give out free vitamin D), Paul Mason, president of the Healthy Water Association, will give free magnesium rich mineral water to anyone who drives to Adobe Springs, California to pick it up.

Another thing to do, if you must use salt, use real salt and not sodium chloride. Many people think salt and sodium chloride are the same thing. They are not. Salt is salt and sodium chloride is sodium chloride.

Salt is a complex combination of minerals obtained from the sea or from land deposits left by ancient sea beds. It was a precious commodity in ancient times. Salt has magnesium as well as numerous other trace minerals. Sodium chloride does not. When you buy most salt in the supermarket, you are actually buying sodium chloride, not salt. The Morton company mines salt, takes out the minerals—other than sodium chloride—and sells them separately; then takes what is left and sells that as salt. It's not salt, it's sodium chloride.

When you buy salt, buy real salt. Trader Joe's sells sea salt for a low price. Most mineral water, not bottled water, also contains magnesium.

Page last edited: 08 August 2011