Category Archives: Magnesium

What is Magnesium Chloride?

MgCl2Many people ask me which is the best magnesium (Mg) supplement to take and I always answer Mg Chloride (MgCl2). Then there’s the inevitable second question. What is Mg Chloride? Before I can answer there is often a 3rd question.  Why do you recommend Mg Chloride rather than any other Mg supplement?

So this article is to fully explain what MgCl2 is and why I think it is the best Mg supplement to take.  Have a look at this article about the benefits of this supplement.

Mg Chloride is the name for the chemical compound with the formula MgCl2 and its various hydrates MgCl2(H2O)x. These salts are highly soluble in water.  The hydrated Mg Chloride can be extracted from brine or sea water.

So many variables

The problem with Mg is, there are so many variations with some Mg salts being more bio available than others.   But who do you trust to tell you the truth?  The pharmaceutical companies?  The food manufacturers?   Your doctor?  It’s no wonder the public is confused as to which is the most efficient and bio available.  This is apart from the fact that few in the medical industry seem to even know about Mg and that includes allopathic doctors!

Not sure?

If you’re not sure what to do, research for yourself and your family.  If you haven’t got time to do your own research, look for a source that has no axe to grind and gives out information freely.  A source that has no ties with big pharma, big agra or food manufacturers.

A list of different Mg salts

Listed below in alphabetical order, is a rundown of the different magnesium salts available. You have probably realised that you can’t take magnesium in its elemental form ie. as a metal so it has to be processed to make it available to the body as a supplement.

  • Magnesium Aspartate – SCV 2.43 –  Avoid – breaks down to aspartic acid which is neurotoxic
  • Magnesium Bicarbonate – used as antacids
  • Magnesium Carbonate – used as antacids
  • Magnesium Chloride (6H2O) – SCV zero – 120mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Citrate – SCV 2.8 – 150mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Gluconate – SCV 0.70 – 50mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt – used in drips
  • Magnesium Glutamate – Avoid – breaks down to glutamic acid which is neurotoxic
  • Magnesium Glycinate – SCV 3.45 – 100mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Lysinate – used as a food additive
  • Magnesium Malate – SCV 1.55 – 150mg of elemental Mg per l gram of salt
  • Magnesium Orotate – 60mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Oxide –  Only 4% bio available – 600mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Phosphate – laxatives and antacids
  • Magnesium Sulfate – Epsom Salts – Laxative – 100mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt – used in drips
  • Magnesium Taurate – 100mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
It’s all about the bond

You may have noticed there is an SCV number next to some of them.  This is the Stability Constant Value of the Mg salts. This tells you if the strength of the bond between the two components is strong or weak.  The higher the number, the stronger the bond and the less bio availability.

Mg oxide’s laxative effect

Mg Oxide, for instance, has a very strong bond between the Mg and the oxygen which means it will not dissociate easily so the Mg cannot be used to any great extent biologically.  Instead, most of the compound will go straight through you giving a laxative Mg oxideeffect.  OK if you want a clear out!  I cannot find the official SCV of Mg oxide or some of the other salts, but I know the SCV of Mg oxide is high and is therefore strongly bonded to oxygen.  Unfortunately, Mg oxide is commonly added as the dietary source of magnesium to foods and supplements, because it’s cheap.  This likely produces dietary deficiencies resulting in poor health and a reduced life span. Mg oxide is at most only 4% bio available.

MgCl2 stability constant of zero

As you can see, Mg Chloride (MgCl2) has an SCV of zero.  This means the bond between the Mg and the chlorine to produce Mg Chloride is very weak.  This is good, because the two quickly disassociate from each other leaving the Mg in its ionic state to do its work immediately within the body.

What about Mg Citrate?

Mg Citrate also has quite a low SCV of just 2.8 and has good bio availability.  This molecule will give you a gentle laxative effect if you suffer from constipation which is a symptom for some people who have a Mg deficiency.  It is also very good for children, who often suffer with constipation, mainly because of all the junk food that’s available to them.  This is a very distressing condition for a child as well as the parents and also means that child has a Mg deficiency which can cause all kinds of serious conditions such as ADHD, ADD and asthma to name but a few and if not addressed, heralds health problems for the child’s future.  See this article which covers child constipation.

Food manufacturers at fault


You can blame the food manufacturers for putting temptation in a youngsters way with all  the relentless advertising of all the sweets and processed foods such as cereals, biscuits and fizzy drinks.   Parents will generally relent when being nagged constantly by their child to buy certain items of sweets, junk food or carbonated drinks.

Mg Citrate can be bought in a tasteless powder form which you can put into soups, porridges etc..  The kids won’t even know it’s there.  With Mg Chloride such as ReMag, the taste can be salty and bitter, especially if not taken with enough water.  Kids will often baulk at taking it unless it is well disguised (please, not with aspartame laced fizzy drinks).

Mg Gluconate in hospital drips

The other low SCV supplement is Mg Gluconate at SCV 0.70.  Have you ever visited a hospital, particularly to see an older friend or relative.   The patient is often attached to a clear fluid drip for re-hydration.  If you look at the contents of the drip bag (without touching it of course) you will likely see Mg Gluconate as one of the salts.

Mg SulphateMg Sulphate & Pregnancy

Mg Sulphate is a treatment for preeclampsia, a condition of pregnancy.  This dangerous problem can be avoided if the mother is well supplemented with Mg before and during her pregnancy.  The lack of this vital mineral can kill. That does sound a little dramatic but this is a condition that can be a danger to both mother and child and has also been linked to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Naming salts

The name of a salt has two parts. The first part is the name of the metal and second is the salt that is formed.  The second part of the name comes from the acid used to make it. The names of salts made from hydrochloric acid end in -chloride, while the names of salts made from sulfuric acid end in -sulfate.

Formation of salts
Metal Acid Salt
aluminium reacts with hydrochloricacid to make aluminium chloride
copper reacts with hydrochloricacid to make copper chloride
calcium reacts with sulfuric acid to make calcium sulfate
zinc reacts with sulfuric acid to make zinc sulfate

Mg forms Mg salts when it reacts with acids. Therefore, Mg reacts with hydrochloric acid to make Mg chloride

So why is Mg Chloride so bio available
  1. Mg is dissociated from the weak chloride bond, leaving a Mg ion that is so small it will readily permeate through cell walls.  Because of this permeability, the Mg does not cause the laxative effect because much of it does not get into the gut before it has been absorbed into the body.
  2. The compound MgCl2 is a very small molecule, consequently it can even be absorbed through the skin, that’s why many people use it topically.  (Another topical application is Mg sulphate (epsom salts), which people often put in their bathwater for a relaxing soak.)  Great for getting more Mg into your body whilst pregnant
ReMagMgClsupplements on the market

There are a few MgClsupplements on the market, perhaps the most famous is Dr Carolyn Dean’s ReMag, a very popular and high quality supplement.  Dr Dean advertises her product concentrating on the tiny size of the molecule, calling it ‘picometer’ size.  This well explains how very small this compound is.  It could be misconstrued that the picometer size is only applicable to this particular brand of  MgCl2 but this is not the case.  Whichever brand you use, all the supplements will be this very small ‘picometer’ size and this is the beauty of MgCl2

Dr Carolyn Dean’s ReMag

ReMag is easily available in the US where it is competitively priced, not so in the UK, where it is very expensive.  This makes it difficult for those with limited funding to afford.  That being the case, if you really want to use MgCl2 you can make it up yourself.

You must, however obtain the best quality MgCl2 salt to make into your solution.  Always use food quality, don’t be tempted to go for the cheaper lower quality stuff.  Once you have obtained your MgCl2 from a reputable supplier, you can make up a 250ml bottle of the solution as follows:

Pyrex JugHow to make up MgClsolution

Put 125 grams into a small marked pyrex jug.  Add just a little mineral water, enough to dissolve the salts and stir.   Add more water to make your solution up to the 250ml mark, stir again and then pour it into a suitable glass bottle.  It will be very cloudy at first but that is not sediment, it is air bubbles, which will start to clear in a few minutes.

100 doses from 250ml

This will give you 100 doses of 2.5ml (½ teaspoon).  Put one dose into a glass of water and drink over the course of the day.  If you don’t like the taste, lace it with a little cordial (NOT low sugar, we don’t want aspartame in it).  The taste doesn’t bother me but some find it a little bitter (hubby uses Rose’s lime cordial).  Up your doses gradually until you feel the difference.  Always spread your doses throughout the day.  Everyone needs a different dose and it’s a case of finding your own level.  I take around 2 teaspoons in a litre of water and drink it slowly throughout the day.  This gives me the equivalent of 600mg of elemental Mg. I used to suffer from insomnia, so to stop it recurring, I drink at least a quarter of my daily dose in the evening.  If I’m stressed or have a heavy day ahead, I will up my dose from 2 teaspoons to 2½.

Making up your own MgCl2 solution is much cheaper than buying it ready made.  It is a little inconvenient but well worth the trouble.  I have never bought MgCl2 in solution, I am quite happy Ches Powermaking it up myself.  Mind you, it is quite useful having hubby around as he has qualifications in peptide chemistry and has worked in a laboratory environment as a senior technical officer.
If someone who is au fait with chemistry takes this supplement every day, it may give you a clue as to how important it is for your overall health.

Magnesium, The Forgotten Mineral

Ca cubeCalcium, the most important mineral for bones?

Well, actually no it isn’t.  What about Magnesium, the forgotten mineral? There’s no denying that Calcium is important but in this modern age, we seem to be over consuming this alkaline metal. Calcium should be found mostly in the bones and teeth but I’m afraid it’s being found in all kinds of places where it shouldn’t be. Continue reading Magnesium, The Forgotten Mineral

Talking to a stranger – your doctor

How many of you actually know your doctor?  You may be acquainted with him or her, but they see hundreds of patients so they are not likely to know you very well nor you them. According to a recent report from the Health Foundation, the UK has the fewest doctors per 1,000 patients in the whole of the EU. Continue reading Talking to a stranger – your doctor

Causes of Muscle Spasms – and treatment

Causes of Muscle Spasms are a mystery to many people but there is an answer to most muscle spasms or cramping problems. But what sort of spasms are we talking about? Most people think of muscle spasms in the calves or thighs, causing cramp-like symptoms. But let’s think where else muscle spasms can occur in the body. But first watch this short video about the cause of blood pressure.

Continue reading Causes of Muscle Spasms – and treatment

What Is All-Cause Mortality? | a vital element ignored

Have you heard the phrase ‘all-cause mortality’?  What is all-cause mortality and in what context is it used?  Simply put, it is about the likelihood of dying from anything, any disease, accident, act of violence, anything.

medical termsIn medical terms…

But with respect to medical terms, it means mortality from any disease, infection or medical condition. There simply is no ‘silver bullet’ which will protect you from all- cause mortality…  but there is something that comes close.

Biggest killers

So let’s think about the serious diseases that are killing the majority of the population including your loved ones and friends. I suspect everyone reading this can relate to a family member or friend who has died as a consequence of one of these illnesses:

  1. acute myocardial infarction (AMI) otherwise known as a heart attack.AMI
  2. Ischemic stroke which is similar to a heart attack, the difference being it affects the blood vessels of the brain instead of the heart.
  3. Atherosclerosis is another major killer and is the precurser to AMI and stroke.  It is a disease of the arteries where plaque, made up of calcium, fat, cholesterol, fibrin and other substances, hardens and causes blockages.
  4. Inflammation, now generally regarded as being the start of many of the diseases we contract.
  5. Hypertension or high blood pressure, sometimes known as the silent killer and is another precurser to the conditions above.
  6. Diabetes type II where the cells are resistant to insulin so glucose is unable to enter the cell membrane.
  7. Cancer It is estimated that one in two men and one in three women will develop cancer sometime in their lives; a horrendous forecast.
Other illnesses

Other conditions that cause no end of misery and stress, with stress being a precursor to the above problems.  So, if you suffer from any condition, your body is under more stress than if you were healthy and stress free.  You are at risk of have one of the above life threatening diseases if you have:

  • osteo
    Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis  a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break.

  • Asthma a respiratory condition causing difficulty in breathing because of attacks or spasms in the bronchi of the lungs.
  • Migraines characterized by recurrent headaches that can be severe enough to disable the sufferer.
  • Convulsive disorders such as epilepsy and narcolepsy.
  • Alzheimer’s progressive mental deterioration, mostly occuring in the older generation, due to a degeneration of the brain.
  • Angina caused by severe muscle spasms in heart muscles.
  • Adrenal Fatigue caused by chronic stress, anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Fibromyalgia or fibrositis has an array of symptoms, all unpleasant with the incidence of this condition is rapidly rising.
  • Kidney Stones most of which are calcium stones, usually in the form of calcium oxalate.
  • Depression a mood disorder characterized by feelings of despair, dejection, melancholy and sadness.
  • Insomnia which presents as a habitual inability to sleep.MS
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse an abnormally thickened mitral valve leaflet which prevents efficient opening and closing into the left atrium of the heart.
  • Neurological disorders is any disorder of the nervous system such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.
All of the above…

All the above diseases and conditions (and there are many more too numerous to mention) are caused and/or exacerbated by the lack of one single vital nutrient mineral.

A vital element ignored

Some eminent doctors recognise the importance of this element, but the majority of the medical profession ignore its existance. They will not recommend supplementing with it and would prefer to prescribe a drug.  What’s more, the majority of medical professionals do not recommend this nutrient to their patients. This despite its proven protective capabilities, to avoid the onset of dangerous diseases in later life.

what is all-cause mortalityThe ignored silver bullet

This is a silver bullet that is being ignored by many, but thankfully not by all of the medical community.  Some of our medical doctors who are or have been practicing allopathic medicine have turned to naturopathic treatments.  They advocate treating with natural vitamins and minerals in preference to pharmaceutical drugs.  As long as they know that the natural treatment is more remedial.  They use drugs as a last resort and not in preference to a natural solution.

All the above conditions and diseases have been exacerbated or caused by a mineral deficiency.  That mineral is Magnesium (Mg).  Stress is the biggest depleter of Mg and unfortunately, we are all under all kinds of stress.

A medical myth

There is also a medical myth that many people, particularly women, are deficient in Ca.  This is believed by many doctors and medical practioners alike.  Consequently the public consume Ca supplements to excess. They wrongly think that the more they consume the better.  In fact, they are seriously damaging their health with a toxic overload of this vital, but overly consumed mineral.

Breast cancer

A group of 1,170 women who had breast cancer were followed after diagnosis for a term of just over 7 years. It was found that their magnesium levels were associated with their all course mortality. This means the higher intake of magnesium the lower risk of death from all causes. What’s more, the researchers found that higher levels of magnesium in the body may significantly improve survival following breast cancer.  Interestingly, they also found that the Ca:Mg ration was very important. The more calcium compared to magnesium, the worse your chances of survival.

Dr Thomas Levy – board certified cardiologist

Have a look at this short video of an interview with Dr Thomas Levy about the dangers of high Ca levels compared to Mg.  It’s only 2 minutes long but full of information that you need to know for your future good health!

Astounding studies

Here is another similar study on the amazing outcome of taking Mg. A study done back in 2003, aimed at analysing the long term survival and cardiac function of 194 AMI patients using Mg.  96 patients received a 48 hour intravenous Mg sulphate of 22g with the other group of 98 having a placebo.  After a follow up of nearly 5 years, all cause mortality and cardiac mortality were significantly lower in the Mg group compared to the placebo group.  There was absolutely no doubt that the group having just that one 22g infusion of Mg had a reduced all cause mortality.  Think of the benefits of having a Mg supplement on a daily basis not just over 48 hours!

And in 2011

Another study in 2011 found a reduction in all-cause mortality after a period of 10.1 years.  Those who were Mg deficient had 10.95 deaths per 1000 person years.  Those taking Mg supplement had 1.45 deaths per 1000 person years.  Specifically for cardiovascular disease, those who were Mg deficient had 3.44 deaths per 1000 person years and those replete in Mg had 1.53 deaths per 1000 person years.

balance Mg:CaA fine balance

Mg and Ca are in a constant dance and should be taken into the body in equal measures.  A ratio of 1:1 is the target for the best balance.  Our diet and all the junk food, sugary cakes and biscuits and sodas, is nearly always low in Mg. In turn, this gives the body a toxic overload of Ca by default.  Mg resides in our cells whereas Ca should reside outside of our cells.  Without the control of Mg, Ca floods our cells and unless ushered out in double quick time by Mg, the cell will start to die.

Why do we succumb?

All the above listed diseases, have a number of negative factors:

Stress

Stress comes in all forms such as emotional stress, like relationships, financial worries, work related issues, food related stress like junk food and sugary drinks devoid of nutrition, environmental stress like exposure to toxins and pharmaceutical drugs.  The body has to deal with all of these stressors and to cope, it uses up massive amounts of Mg.  You can include physical stress like exercise and working out too.  A disease or condition puts the body under constant Mg depleting stress on a daily basis.

Ca DangersMg deficiency

Most medical practioners see the main electrolytes as potassion (K), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), and Chloride (Cl).  For some strange reason which eludes me, they forget the most important mineral, the one that controls the others, magnesium (Mg).

An excess of Ca

Mg works hard to regulate Ca by activating hormones that control the levels and placement of Ca within the body.  Inadequate Mg means that Ca runs amok and starts migrating around the body and into the soft tissue and vascular system. Excessive Ca can damage your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which controls your unconscious functioning and reflexes.

The SNSMg Ca in cells

The SNS is responsible for initiating the ‘fight-flight’ response and triggers the inflammatory process.  Without Mg, Ca will overstimulate your SNS and set in motion an inflammatory cascade which again increases already high levels of stress hormones.  This creates more stress contributing to more Mg depletion which produces a vicious circle of Mg deficiency.

Energy production.

Our energy is produced in the mitrochondria, tiny organelles found in our cells.  Muscle cells have an abundance of mitrochondria because of the work they have to do.  Without Mg,  the heart cannot make the energy it needs to function properly.  Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the energy currency of our body and enables the body’s fundamental metabolic processes. But before ATP can be activated it needs to be bound to a Mg ion, forming a new compound known as Mg-ATP enabling the energy to then be used by the cells.

Magnesium HeartThe hard working heart

Because the heart works harder than any other organ in the body, it needs copious amounts of Mg-ATP.  If Mg is depleted, the heart muscle cells cannot work efficiently and the ability to pump blood around the vascular system will be impaired.  The heart muscle cells will slowly begin to deteriorate, starve and die.

Did you know

The human heart cycles around 6kgs of Mg-ATP per day!! For the whole body, the amount is 70kg per day! This is according to the reknowned Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff of Nottingham University in the UK.

Calcium is a double edged sword!

When we die, our cells are flooded with Ca which starts the death throws of our body, heralding the start of rigor mortis.  If Ca is allowed to stay in the cell, it will kill it.

99% of Ca should be in bone tissue

Ca is a vital mineral but it needs to be in the right place, mainly in the bones.  Our bodies contain around 1kg of Ca with 99% of it stored in the bone tissue.  The remaining 1% circulates in the blood and other fluids.

CC scanIn a nutshell

So here we have it.  Various stressors including excess Ca help cause a Mg deficiency.  The Mg deficiency causes an electrolyte imbalance and loss of energy.  This in turn causes a malfunction in the cardiovascular system (as well as other parts of the body). As a result, the heart cells start to die and the arteries become damaged.  Inflammation sets in with plaque and Ca deposits building up in the heart and arteries.  Heart disease ensues in forms of atherosclerosis, cardiac arrest, hypertension, stroke, heart attack etc..

Mg glassDon’t ignore Mgwhat is all-cause mortality

Mg is the nearest thing you will get to a silver bullet.  Being replete in this vital mineral will protect you from numerous diseases and conditions so get your silver bullet now and supplement with a good quality Mg supplement.  Those I recommend can be found on the right hand side bar of this site.

Have you had a CCS?

Ches PowerIf you’ve had a coronary calcium scan (CCS) and it shows you have Ca buildup in your arteries, you can take a Mg supplement along with vitamin K2 MK-7 (menaquinone 7).  See my article for the lowdown on this vitamin which actually aids Mg to usher Ca back into the bones by activating MGP (matrix gla protein) found in the vascular system.