Wednesday, May 29, 2013

15 Ways “Miracle Magnesium” Can Improve Your Health

magnesium deficiency

Lately it seems like everywhere I turn I am seeing another article about the benefits of magnesium. The headlines are quite attention-grabbing. They use words like “miracle”, “magic”, and “most powerful relaxation mineral available!” So of course I had to look into it!

Here is a startling fact I learned:

Up to 80 percent of the U.S. population is suffering from magnesium deficiency!

The reason we are so deficient is pretty simple:

1). Most of us eat a diet that contains practically no magnesium.

2). Magnesium levels are decreased by excess alcohol, salt, coffee, soda, prolonged or intense stress, antibiotics and other drugs.

3). Magnesium is poorly absorbed and easily lost from our bodies.

But there is some GOOD news amongst the bad….all of this can be very easily fixed!  (More on that later.)


magnesium deficiency



After reading probably a dozen different articles about this critical nutrient, I’m no expert, but I am definitely convinced there is something to this “miracle”. The advice from medical experts and the testimonials from people who have experienced the benefits are very impressive.


So I present, for your consideration, 15 ways that magnesium can improve your health.



magnesium deficiency

Anxiety and panic attacks

Magnesium helps keep adrenal stress hormones under control and also helps maintain normal brain function.



Magnesium helps relax the muscles of the bronchioles in the lungs.



magnesium deficiency

Blood Sugar

Magnesium is utilized in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions, including regulating healthy blood sugar levels. Magnesium deficiency is directly linked to causing insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to diabetes.


Cancer Prevention

Maintaining healthy magnesium levels in your body can greatly decrease your risk of developing cancer. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that for every 100-milligram (mg) increase in magnesium intake, a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer drops by about 13 percent.



magnesium deficiency


Magnesium helps keep bowels regular by maintaining normal bowel muscle function. Milk of magnesia has been used for decades to help constipation.



Inadequate magnesium appears to reduce serotonin levels, and antidepressants have been shown to raise brain magnesium.



magnesium deficiency


Because of its strong elimination potential, magnesium is considered a powerful detoxifier as well. Heavy metals, environmental chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, and various other toxins are greatly diminished inside the body when magnesium is present.


Gastrointestinal Distress

Since magnesium is required by the body to properly digest foods, supplementing with it can help alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort and disease. Magnesium helps break down food and assimilate nutrients. Magnesium also aids in the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, as well as triggers the healthy production of bile in your liver.



magnesium deficiency

Heart Disease

Magnesium deficiency is common in those with heart disease. An astounding number of studies have documented the effectiveness of IV magnesium in helping prevent cardiac damage and even death following a heart attack. The reason for this is that 40 to 60 percent of sudden deaths from heart attack are the result of spasm in the arteries, not blockage from clots or arrhythmias!



Without adequate magnesium, blood vessels constrict and blood pressure increases.



magnesium deficiency

Migraine Headaches

A few studies suggest that taking magnesium supplements may help prevent migraine headaches or at least shorten their duration and reduce the amount of medication needed. People who have migraines tend to have lower levels of magnesium.


Nerve Problems and Muscle Spasms

Magnesium helps eliminate peripheral nerve disturbances that can lead to headaches, leg and foot cramps, gastrointestinal cramps, and other muscle aches and pains.



magnesium deficiency


We’re always hearing about how important calcium is for maintaining healthy bones, but magnesium is even MORE important. In fact, magnesium must be present for calcium and vitamin D to do their job. Not getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium may play a role in the development of osteoporosis.


Obstetrical Problems

Preeclampsia is characterized by a sharp rise in blood pressure during the third trimester of pregnancy. Women with preeclampsia may develop seizures, or eclampsia. Magnesium, given intravenously in the hospital, is the treatment of choice to prevent or treat these complications.



magnesium deficiency

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Scientific studies suggest that magnesium supplements may help relieve symptoms associated with PMS, particularly bloating, insomnia, leg swelling, weight gain, and breast tenderness.



If you, or someone you care about, suffers from any of the symptoms above, don’t worry, according to Mark Hyman, M.D. practicing physician and founder of The UltraWellness Center, it really is an easy fix!


Here’s how:


magnesium deficiency

  • Limit coffee, colas, salt, sugar, and alcohol.


magnesium deficiency

  • Check with your doctor if your medication is causing magnesium loss (many high blood pressure drugs or diuretics cause loss of magnesium)


magnesium deficiency

  • Include the following in your diet as often as you can:  Kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, brazil nuts, dulse, filberts, millet, pecans, walnuts, rye, tofu, soy beans, brown rice, figs, dates, collard greens, shrimp, avocado, parsley, beans, barley, dandelion greens, and garlic


magnesium deficiency

  • Take Magnesium Supplements

- – -The RDA (the minimum amount needed) for magnesium is about 300 mg a day. Most of us get far less than 200 mg.
- – -Some may need much more depending on their condition.
- – -Most people benefit from 400 to 1,000 mg a day.
- – -The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, or aspartate.
- – -Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide.
- – -Side effects from too much magnesium include diarrhea, which can be avoided if you switch to magnesium glycinate.
- – -Most minerals are best taken as a team with other minerals in a multi-mineral formula.


magnesium deficiency


  • Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is a good way to absorb and get much needed magnesium.

People with kidney disease or severe heart disease should take magnesium only under a doctor’s supervision. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any health program.


If you are dealing with any of the above issues…magnesium might be worth looking into. Because based on the numbers, MOST of us could use more than we are getting!




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67 thoughts on “15 Ways “Miracle Magnesium” Can Improve Your Health

  1. Lucy


    Thanks for this article; I have also read a lot about magnesium helping with insomnia and have been trying it with success the last few nights.

  2. Rob

    Thanks for a great article. I have been having severe leg cramps which wake me up startled several times during the night. My daughter bought me some Magnesium to use either in the bath or as a foot bath. It has made a marked improvement and I am sleeping right through the night. I am on both high blood pressure medication and also a diuretic so after reading your article, I will speak to my doctor about the possibility of them causing magnesium loss. Thanks again Jillee.

    1. Louise

      Rob, if what your daughter bought you is magnesium chloride “flakes” (sort of looks like chunky epsom salts) you can make magnesium oil by dissolving them in warm purified or filtered water in a 1:1 ratio – dermal absorption of magnesium is substantially better then digestive absorption, you can spray this oil directly on affected body parts, such as your legs. I had greatly accelerated healing of some pulled muscles recently by spraying mag oil directly on the sore areas. It tends to feel strange on the skin and can sting on dry or irritated skin, but the speed of healing was worth any small discomfort.

      1. Diane

        Most of the magnesium taken orally isn’t absorbed into your body like a transdermal (by skin) application. I find the magnesium oil burns for a while after I use it. I love using the magnesium lotion. I use it after a bath – 2 cup Epsom Salt in a bath with a few drops of Lavender. The skin is the best way to absorb magnesium. I make my mag lotion from this recipe, but I use Ancient Minerals oil instead of the flakes because it’s more potent than the flakes.

  3. Almarie de Villiers

    I always take a warm bath with epsom salts in when I feel achy, constipated or have a migraine. It helps. It is also very good for very active children (read difficult to calm and control) to add a tablespoon or two to their bath water. It helps calm them and give them a good nights rest.
    Epsom salts is really good for such a whole lot of things, that it is worth keeping in your kitchen cabinet.
    A link to a previous article Jillee did on Epsom salts –

    1. Trina

      Great books: The Magnesium Miracle By Carolyn Dean Md Nd
      The Magnesium Factor By Mildred Seelig & Andrea Rosanoff. I got the first one at my library. Both are on amazon

  4. Deborah T

    Could you please share your sources, especially the scientific papers? I would like to do some additional reading up on this topic. Thanks.

    1. Jillee Post author


  5. Sharon

    Jillee….thank you, thank you for this info. My daughter suffers with insulin resistance and we have done everything by the book with diet, chromium supplements etc!!! No one has ever mentioned magnesium!!! I am going to get us both some as with menopause I am suffering with many of the issues mentioned.
    Again, thank you!! (Love your posts every day) hugs from Cape Town, South Africa. xx

  6. Helen

    I am quite confused as to what I should be taking? Am I better taking it orally or using it in a bath. Article says Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide but Epsom salts (magesium sulphate) for a bath – is this okay? Suffer from insomnia too and HBP. Any help very much appreciated.

    Thank you

    1. Diane

      Most of the magnesium taken orally isn’t absorbed into your body like a transdermal (by skin) application. I do take magnesium oxide orally.

      I find the magnesium oil burns for a while after I use it. I love using the magnesium lotion. I use it after a bath – 2 cup Epsom Salt in a bath with a few drops of Lavender. The skin is the best way to absorb magnesium. I make my mag lotion from this recipe, but I use Ancient Minerals oil instead of the flakes because it’s more potent than the flakes.

  7. Sandy

    Great article…I was just wondering if you can soak in it can it be added to Homemade Soap as an ingredient? I make Soap and wondered if the properties of magnesium would be altered in the process.
    Thank You,

  8. Shirls

    How coincidental that this article should appear in my google feed today. Only yesterday I bought some Slo-Mag (aspartate) because I was feeling so sluggish. I have found in the past that it gives me a lot of energy.

  9. Colleen

    I have been taking magnesium supplements for years, and recently started my son on them. It’s really helped with his growing pains, and anxiety. I just ordered magnesium flakes to try making my own magnesium oil, and magnesium body butter.

  10. tatiana

    too funny that you have that post on today! yesterday I had a very stressful day with my daughter (we are trying to take the bottle away) and I had an emotional breakdown… I was throwing up, my arms were hurting.. when hubby got home he took the baby and told me to take a bath.. I did put epsom salt in the bath and boy did I feel better!!!1 after 10 minutes my arms were feeling so much better and my whole body was all relaxed. I slept better and feel great this morning!

  11. Susie E

    I have been taking 500mg magnesium daily for the past two months to help combat the side effects of taking Femara (a hormone blocker for postmenopausal breast cancer) It seems to help with the muscle/joint pain, and the insomnia that accompanies this drug. I’ll be curious to see if my cholesterol levels are improved at my next check up. So far I’m a big advocate!

  12. Awnali

    You didn’t mention a key use of magnesium that’s impacted my family–prevention of kidney stones. After my husband had two kidney stones which descended at the same time and blocked both ureters, sending him into kidney failure (which was remedied surgically), he began taking a combination of magnesium citrate, potassium citrate, and calcium citrate. He’s had several kidney stones over the years, but not since starting that combination. I’m a big fan of magnesium in preventing kidney stones! For more information see:

  13. Sharon

    I recently had a headache for 12 days that would not go away no matter what I took. My daughter suggested I take magnesium citrate and gave me some of hers to try. It worked!!! I mentioned this to my doctor and of course, he was skeptical and said he thought it was a coincidence. *sigh* I KNOW it works because it helped me and continues to help me as I have made it a routine to take one every day.

    1. Diane

      Most of the magnesium taken orally isn’t absorbed into your body like a transdermal (by skin) application. I find the magnesium oil burns for a while after I use it. I love using the magnesium lotion. I use it after a bath – 2 cup Epsom Salt in a bath with a few drops of Lavender. The skin is the best way to absorb magnesium. I make my mag lotion from this recipe, but I use Ancient Minerals oil instead of the flakes because it’s more potent than the flakes.

  14. chris

    I’ve been taking magnesium oxide for years, after 2 back operations. It helps with nerve and muscle function. Why, exactly are we avoiding “oxide”? It seems to be working for me. Should I switch to something else?

    1. Ellen G

      My neurologist told me that magnesium oxide was the form that he recommends. He didn’t go on to explain why but it justified what I was already taking.

  15. Charlotte

    For years, I suffered from toe and foot cramps. A doctor I visited actually laughed at me and told me to eat more bananas as I lacked potassium. It didn’t help – and I thought it made it worse. In talking to a friend of mine who was an athlete, he told me it wasn’t potassium I was lacking – it was magnesium. He was absolutely correct.

    While I don’t take it on a regular basis, his article makes me wonder if it would help relieve the plantar fasciitis that I hobble along with. Hmm….

    1. MARCIA

      I suffered with PF for about a year, but I finally got relief when I followed a friend’s advice and did daily stretching (foot against wall and lean into it) and rolling a frozen water bottle under each foot a few times a day. It didn’t make sense to me, but the stabbing pain in my heels went away—and I got good shoes with proper arch support.

  16. Valerie

    Great post, as always.
    However, I have to correct a photo that accompanies it; the diabetes-related photo that shows a drop of blood on the tip of the finger. As a type 1 diabetic, I’ve pricked my finger thousands of times, and I can tell you, the tip of the finger is the MOST painful spot to do it on. The sides of the fingers don’t contain as many nerves, and therefore are much, much less painful areas to draw blood from.

    I realize this doesn’t pertain to the post, but it’s one of those diabetes things I’m trying to correct out there in the world when I see it. I know your son also has type 1; I hope for his sake he tests on the side of his fingers! : )

  17. Ellen G

    My neurologist told me that taking Magnesium Oxide is one of the safest supplements one can take. Your body will flush out any excess that it doesn’t need so even taking in excess of 1000mg/day won’t hurt you. But it will give you the runs! So drink plenty of water to keep from getting dehydrated. This was prescribed to me for colon-rectal health and chronic constipation and it has helped in many other ways as well.

  18. MARCIA

    I too, like Helen, noticed the warning against Magnesium Sulfate and the benefit of it in the bathtub (empsom salts). Could this be that is it good taken through absorbtion, but not taken orally? I am confused now.

  19. Jenny

    I use transdermal magnesium oil everyday after my shower. I first put coconut oil all over by body and then use the magnesium oil. I also put it under my arm pits to help with pit stink. Then I put natural D.O. on after that. It seems to work well.

    The magnesium oil is really the best way to go. It bypasses the digestive system and goes straight into the blood stream to really benefit the body. A bottle of it lasts 6 months +.

  20. CTY

    So–how do you know if your magnesium level is low? Blood Test??
    Also– I heard that dark chocolate offers some magnesium. Not that one should try to get magnesium exclusively through chocolate– but if you are after an intense chocolate taste knowing that it has magnesium may reduce the intensity of guilt.

  21. Jo

    I have recently been reading about the wonders of magnesium! It is hard to get enough by diet. It is absorbed through the skin (like the part of your article about Epsom salt baths). I have read on a few website that Milk of Magnesia is a great product to use for a few purposes. I read on that it works as a deodorant. I tried it and it didn’t work for me however, by the comments I see that it works for many people. I read on another site (don’t remember where) that the person rubbed it in for about 20 seconds and then it worked for her, before that it didn’t. The application seems to make the difference here. I’m going to try it, although I’m completely happy with the coconut oil recipe on this site! Love it! I also read that Milk of Magnesia is great as a face primer under make-up. I have been using this for awhile now and I love it! It reduces the appearance of shiny skin and it makes my face feel less oily as the day goes on. Now in the afternoon it still feels really good. Plus I’m absorbing magnesium!

  22. Angela

    My neurologist has me taking 500mg of magnesium daily for my chronic migraines. I was getting one almost every day. They haven’t completely disappeared, but now I only get 4 or 5 a month. A huge improvement! Orally is working well for me. I should add that I take it in combination with calcium and vit D, which he didn’t tell me to do, but I believe helps absorption.

  23. rosy

    Hola es un excelente artículo, no sabia de las maravillas que hace y por supuesto que voy a intentarlo y ya les dejaré mi versión. Gracias y que dios la bendiga.

  24. KimH

    Another great use for magnesium is as a deodorant. I use a generic Milk of Magnesia that has no other ingredients in it other than Magnesium Hydroxide & water. The name brand has chlorine in it & Im trying to avoid all chlorine as possible so I dont use it.
    It is not an anti-antiperspirant but it does stop the bacteria that causes BO.. and if you already have BO, a swipe of MOM will make it disappear immediately.
    I’ve been using this for about 2 years and I’ll never go back to regular deo… I also use coconut oil/baking soda & it works great too.. but with the MOM, Im getting much needed magnesium.

  25. Penny

    It’s almost become a joke in my family that when something is wrong I say, “You need to take some magnesium”! It’s good for so many things and your body gets rid of any excess. I originally started taking it to help my severe migraines and I’m a firm believer in its powers! Rock on with magnesium!

  26. Laura

    Dr. Oz said at one time that magnesium will bind with some prescription drugs. He suggested taking magnesium at a different time of day than your prescriptions.

  27. Debra

    Be sure to get the correct kind of magnesium. Mag oxide is basically useless. Google magnesium and you’ll find a ton of information. Just FYI.

  28. Karen Irizarry

    Magnesium is especially helpful for pain…those that suffer from connective tissue disorders, like Ehlers-Danlos, are also usually deficient in magnesium. There is an over-the-counter product called CALM, by Peter Gillam. It is a powder mixed into water that is very helpful for those that need more magnesium. Children with autism also commonly are deficient in magnesium.
    Thank you, Jillee!

  29. Jody

    Great article! I’m a believer in getting enough Mg both in the diet and with supplements and/or with transdermal Mg (Epsom salt baths and Magnesium oil).

    My kids tease me a little because I am constantly saying that someone’s problem is probably due to lack of Mg. However, they’ve all realized how important it is in their own lives (and they take it too).

    For years I suffered from chronic back pain. When I finally started taking Mg, it totally went away! I take magnesium malate (it’s easier on the bowels) and also spray on my homemade Mg Oil after showering. I like to use coconut oil afterwards to moisturize my skin.

    My son had an Achilles injury recently and the sports trainer told him to be sure to take Mg along with doing the physical therapy. I think it made a big difference in his recovery. I have read that athletes who expend much energy/sweat/minerals should make sure they take enough Mg.

    When my hands and feet get stiff from hard work, I spray on Mg Oil and it really helps alleviate that achy feeling.

    Thanks for bringing this important mineral to our attention, Jillee.

  30. Nicole Curtis

    this was very timely for me, I have a lot of the problems listed in at least mild forms, and NO ONE has said I might need Magnesium, I think i will try some. I am having insulin problems. It would great if i could find some help.

  31. Noelle

    Thanks for this article, Jillee! Ironically I was drinking my “magnesium OJ” while reading it, as I too had heard about this wonderful Nutrient a few months ago and started taking it. For those who don’t like to take big pills, I’d recommend the Pure Essence Labs Ionic-Fizz Magnesium which is just a powder that you dissolve in water. (I buy at I think it tastes good and because it’s in ionic form, it absorbs really well. Who knew that magnesium would make such a difference! I feel more energetic yet calm and it helps keep your hormones balanced as well.

  32. Linda F

    Wow… I had no idea that magnesium would have such an effect on our health! I’ll try it! Thanks for sharing such potentially life changing information. It appears that many concur with you on this one!

  33. murphy

    Question from Germany, here. I translated Epsom salts, magnesium sulfate and then did a search, and found a fertilizer for evergreen trees from the hardware store. This is surely not the same stuff, right?

    1. Jillee Post author

      Hi Murphy! That fertilizer probably does have magnesium sulfate but that isn’t the kind you want to take in a supplement. You want to look for magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, or aspartate.

  34. Becky

    Hi, thanks for an informative article. I was wondering why to avoid the types of magnesium you listed. i take a multivitamin that I like, but it has about 480 mg of magnesium oxide in it. Is this a problem?

  35. Alyssa B

    Pretty sure this is the last post I will read. I’m tired of “miracle” this and “miracle” that. It’s science, not a miracle. But I don’t see any credible sources cited, so I’m not even sure this can be called science. One mineral is not going to magically solve all of your problems.

  36. Doris

    jILL What would be the advantage of the double strength magnesium orver the single strength. want to order but not sure which ot order. would apperciate an answer before ordering. thanx

  37. Jackie

    Thank you for the article. Since reading it a month ago and adding 500 mg magnesium to my diet daily, I have noticed a reduction in sugar cravings, more energy and lessened PMS symptoms. These are especially hard for me because I have PCOS. Thanks also for citing your sources.

  38. Amy

    I scanned the comments and haven’t seen this addressed yet. If it has been, please forgive me. :)

    I’ve seen both magnesium oil and magnesium gel (with seaweed extract in it) at the health food store. Could either be used as a carrier oil with a blend of EOs?



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