Toggle Health Problems and D

Magnesium – I used to believe that food had enough, now I supplement with 400 mg daily – Dr. Lundberg May 2015

Magnesium Deficiency: Perhaps The Real Emperor of All Maladies – May 2015

Hello and welcome. I am Dr George Lundberg, and this is At Large at Medscape.
5 minute video
George D. Lundberg, MD – (audience = doctors), 107 comments as of May 21, 2015


Decrease in Magnesium during the past century
Magnesium decline
Magnesium and Vitamin D are synergistic, that is, increasing one helps the other

Magnesium not Magnesium
Vitamin D Magnesium or Vitamin D
Aging, Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Alzheimer's Disease;
Asthma, Attention Deficit Disorder; Autism, Cancer, Cerebrovascular,
Chronic Fatigue, Diabetes, Hearing Loss, Heart Disease. Heart Attack, Atherosclerosis,
Cardiovascular Disease, HIV, AIDS; Hypertension; Kidney Stones,
Migraine Headache, Multiple Sclerosis, Obesity, Osteoporosis; Peripheral vascular disease;
Pregnancy-related problems,Rheumatoid Arthritis; Sports-related problems,
Vitamin D only
Acne, Allergy, Autoimmune, Bone, Breathing,
Celiac, Cognition, Colds and Flu, Cystic Fibrosis,
Dental, Fertility, Hyperparathyroid, Immunity, Kidney,
Liver, Lupus, Osteoarthritis, Pain - chronic, Parkinson,
Psoriasis, Rickets, Strokes, Sarcoidosis, Thyroid, Parathyroid,
Tuberculosis, Vision, Hair, Skin, Sports
Not Vitamin D Magnesium only
Aggressive Behavior, Alcoholism, Arrhythmia, Cerebral Palsy,
Chemical Sensitivity, Cluster Headaches; Cocaine-related Stroke; Constipation,
Cramps, Fluoride Toxicity; Head Injuries, Central Nervous System Injuries,
Magnesium Deficiency; Menopause, Mitral Valve Prolapsee,
Nystagmus, Psychiatric Disorders; Repetitive Strain Injury, Sickle Cell Disease, SIDS,
Stress, Stuttering, Tetanus; Tinnitis, Sound Sensitivity; TMJ; Toxic Shock; Violence

See also Web

  • Magnesium in the Diet: The Bad News about Magnesium Food Sources
    "Magnesium content in vegetables has seen declines from 25-80% since pre-1950 figures,..."
    "The average American diet contains barely over 50% of the conservative US recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium, and roughly three quarters of the population consumes a magnesium insufficient diet"
    "Absorption rates can vary, and according to studies can sometimes be as low as 20%"
    "Refined grains remove 80-97 percent of magnesium"
  • 12 Things You Need to Know About Magnesium Deficiency Jan 2017
    " it’s hard to find a modern disease that’s not associated with low magnesium,"
    "... 3,700 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins, suggesting its role in our health is vastly underappreciated"
    "FACT #1: Eighty percent of the population may be deficient in magnesium"
    "FACT #11: Most people cannot get adequate magnesium from diet alone"
    "...only one-half to one-third of that ingested is actually absorbed"
       and even a smaller fraction for seniors (low stomach acid)
  • Glyphosate, a chelating agent—relevant for ecological risk assessment? Jan 2018
    Glyphosate blocks Magnesium 10.1007/s11356-017-1080-1 free PDF

How is your magnesium level?
I bet you don't know.
You may not think much about it.
How about your various patients' magnesium levels?
If you think calcium metabolism in health and disease is complicated, and I do, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Try magnesium.
With calcium, serum levels give you a pretty good idea as to whether the body has enough.
With magnesium, not so much.

Approximately 99% of total body magnesium is located in bone, muscles, and soft tissues; 1% is extracellular.[1] Thus, plasma or serum magnesium levels are only a rough approximation of amounts of magnesium. Substantial hypomagnesemia does indicate magnesium deficiency, but normal blood levels do not dependably exclude significant depletion of magnesium stores. We "manage what we measure." If we cannot reliably measure some metabolic substance, we have far less chance of sensibly understanding or managing it.

A "Really Big Deal"
Magnesium is an essential mineral, vitally involved in more than 300 regulatory enzyme systems controlling muscle, nerve, bone, protein, DNA, glucose, and energy metabolism. Magnesium is a really big deal.

The recommended daily intake of magnesium varies by age and gender, but 400 mg is a good round number for adults. The kidneys provide homeostasis, typically excreting 120 mg/day. Since the 1960s, we have known that consumption of alcohol, even in modest amounts, can double or even quadruple the excretion of magnesium.[1[] Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs, such as proton pump inhibitors, can lower body magnesium levels.

Is Magnesium the True Emperor of All Maladies?
Magnesium deficiency has been blamed for various

  • arrhythmias,
  • hypertension,
  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder,
  • anxiety,
  • seizures,
  • leg cramps,
  • restless legs syndrome,
  • kidney stones,
  • myocardial infarction,
  • headaches,
  • premenstrual syndrome,
  • fibromyalgia,
  • chest pain,
  • osteoporosis,
  • altitude sickness,
  • diabetes,
  • fatigue,
  • weakness, and other maladies.[1]

Whoaaa. Really? That is almost everything. Can that be true? Because of the vital nature of magnesium in so many cellular functions, it actually could be true. We simply do not know.

Calcium and magnesium interact in innumerable ways.
Magnesium is considered "the calming mineral."

WHO: Americans Need to Consume More Magnesium
There has been no large systematic study of the adequacy of magnesium body stores in Americans. In 2009, the World Health Organization published a report[2] that stated that 75% of Americans consumed less magnesium than needed. Some say that we have a nationwide magnesium deficiency. Certainly, those named illnesses are common. Obviously, the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should fund serious work to ascertain the status of Americans' magnesium body stores, and I call upon them to do so.

For most of my professional life, I have supported the adequacy of a balanced diet and opposed the addition of nutritional supplements as unnecessary, wasteful, possibly harmful, and mostly a scam. But as the "typical" American diet has evolved into one of fast foods and processed foods, my attitude has changed.

Eat Your Spinach, Take Supplements
Foods with high magnesium content include dark leafy greens, especially kale, chard, and spinach; tree nuts and peanuts; seeds; oily fish; beans, lentils, legumes, and whole grains; avocado, yogurt, bananas, and dried fruit; dark chocolate; and molasses. Supplemental magnesium is available over the counter in many forms: citrate, amino acid chelate, chloride, glycinate, malate, taurate, carbonate, and others, which vary in absorption, concentration, and bioavailability.

Because you cannot just draw a blood sample and ask the lab to identify a deficiency, I advise that if a patient has any of the symptoms I listed, you might best just try that old standby, "trial of therapy," and track what happens. Since I got interested in this topic a couple of years ago, I have emphasized the inclusion of magnesium-rich foods in my diet. Because I like to drink wine and I take occasional proton pump inhibitors, I supplement my balanced diet with an additional 400 mg of magnesium daily.

I feel terrific—better than before magnesium. I know that is subjective as all hell, but what better way would you like your patients to feel than "terrific"?

That's my opinion. I am Dr George Lundberg, at large at Medscape.


  1. Jahnen-Dechent W, Ketteler M. Magnesium basics. Clin Kidney J. 2012;5 Suppl 1:i3-i14.
  2. World Health Organization. Calcium and Magnesium in Drinking Water: Public Health Significance. Geneva: World Health Organization Press; 2009.

Note: Dr. Lundberg was fired as editor of JAMA in 1999


The Certainty of Uncertainty in Medicine

Why is most published research false? Dr Lundberg talks about conventional wisdom, medical dogma, publication bias, and how to fix this mess.
Experts And Viewpoints, May 2015

Is Calcium Good or Bad?

Calcium is a good thing, except when it's not. Dr Lundberg explains.
Experts And Viewpoints, February 2015

Is Vitamin K2 the New Vitamin D?

Could vitamin K2 be even more essential to health than the much-touted vitamin D?
Experts And Viewpoints, November 2014

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
11269 Mg decline.jpg admin 25 Jan, 2019 13:57 14.90 Kb 540