Magnesium Cures: Q&A

Last Modified on Feb 25, 2013

Magnesium Supplements and Magnesium Compounds

02/25/2013: Ed from Thailand: "Dear Khun Parhatsathid, Ted, I have searched for suppliers for magnesium sulphate, sodium bicarbonate and sodium tetraborate (borax) in Bangkok. When Googling, your name keeps coming up (via the earth clinic website). I can see that you have helped many people.

May I ask you if you know of any suppliers where I can buy magnesium sulphate and sodium bicarbonate in big quantities? I use a cup of each in my bath water, so it is rather expensive to buy in 200g and 450g quantities. Ideally I would do such baths 5 days a week. I also use sodium bicarbonate for all cleaning. I can find sodium bicarbonate in 200 g plastic bags in most supermarket, but I think there must be bakeries buying 25 kg sacs of food grade sodium bicarbonate. I have been using the Vidhyasom magnesium sulphate, which comes in a very cute 450 g box, but if I could get a 10 or 25 kg sac of the same quality, it would be much better, as I use about 400 g in one bath.

I have found a online shop in Phuket selling sodium tetraborate, but I have not found anything in Bangkok.

And lastly, since I have bothered you so much already: Do you know a place in Bangkok selling refined coconut oil? I use coconut oil for cooking and on my skin, but the virgin type has a slightly allergenic effect (get acne). I found refined coconut oil once in Tops, which was not allergenic, but since I have not seen it anywhere.

Thank you very much. Wishing all the best.

02/26/2013: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "You are wasting money that way. The magnesium sulfate is best used by applying a wet towel of the solution onto your body several times, then you wash them out after 20 or 30 minutes.

The coconut oil is not sold by most retailers due to low profit margins.

Every type of magnesium has a specific chemical reaction in the body that you need to be aware of. Sulfate, chloride, citrate, carbonate, acetate, and bicarbonate are the common ones, and there is glycinate, gluconate and all the other aminos. In biological reactions the sulfate form is needed for hormones as a carrier device such as DHEA sulfate, vitamin D sulfate, etc., but the bicarbonate and chloride are also used by human physiology. But it must be at pH neutral ideally. This is one of the least explored options. A more direct form for sulfate is sodium sulfate or potassium sulfate. To correct the imbalances of electrolytes not used in current medicine, we actually used sodium citrate, potassium citrate, or sodium bicarbonate, and chloride forms. The unique one is acetate, which helps the metabolism of the liver, upon which most of the vital functions are dependent, as well as improving pH alkalinity.

The citrate forms are mostly used as a slow chelator of heavy metals, particularly lead and arsenic, which has to be balanced with sulfate forms, otherwise metals accumulate without the citrate form. The major cancer causes in my private research are sugar, arsenic and lead, the other ones are relatively minor. Most contaminants are from our drinking water. So take baking soda and lime juice is a simple way to balance the citrate and sulfate in our body.


02/27/2013: Ed from Thailand replies: "Dear Ted, Thank you for taking time to respond. I was not aware of the magnesium sulfate wet towel method. I will try. What I have noticed is that magnesium sulfate baths in themselves do not have a noticeable effect, but combined with sodium bicarbonate, which I understand help uptake by the skin, the effect is very noticable. It calms me down and helps with sleep. To my understanding, the mechanism is lowered adrenaline.

Yes, I believe in my case magnesium sulphate is helpful for reducing estrogen, promoting T3 synthesis in the liver, and as such reducing adrenaline.

I have seen acetate referred to as medroprogesterone acetate, sodium acetate etc. In fact, I did not think an acetate (chemical) could substitute the natural steriod hormone. My understanding is that progestin is an acetate, but it can have estrogenic effects.

Your research is very interesting. As for sugar, I believe it can be therapeutic for many. If the basic principle of life is energy at the cell level, then sugar can in many cases help optimize a favourable cellular metabolism. I drink home pressed and filtered orange juice daily. I could probably add some lime juice. I have been afraid of adding sodium bicarbonate to the juice, but I will try.

Thank you again,

04/02/2013: Boris from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Ed, Foodland (Thonglor Soi 8 cnr and Sukhumvit Soi 5) sell natural Coconut Oil from Koh Samui -1000 mls for approx 560 baht. I eat it cook with it and use it externally - great stuff."

Niacinamide for Sleep Aid?

04/14/2012: Anne from Brisbane, Australia: "Could someone please tell me if 500mg niacinamide is as effective as niacin when taken with the magnesium for sleep? Thank you."

Which Form of Magnesium Would Be Best W/ Weak Kidneys?

03/10/2012: Hailey from Tyler, Texas: "If you had weak kidneys but you had to take magnesium, which form would you choose? My mother has a very tired heart and all the signs of a severe magnesium deficiency. But, she has very weak kidneys and got acute pylonephritis after she took several doses too close together. It was such a bad experience she has not taken any since. I know it's bad for the kidneys but at the moment her heart poses the biggest threat to her health."

10/09/2013: Sunny from Ca replies: "Food high in Magnesium instead, pumpkin seeds, spinach, greens, beans, can also try pumpkin seed oil softgels ( high I natural magnesium) ( Cold pressed) or Magnesium oil in skin). Pass it forward>> Health and love to you."

03/14/2014: Delfina from Dubai replies: "Is NIGARI flakes which is used in tufo can be taken for magnesium deficiency? How? Thank you very much for the input."

Making Magnesium Citrate From Milk of Magnesia and Lemons

11/15/2009: Bill from San Fernando, Philippines: "Hi Ted...I was wondering if I could create a drinkable solution of Magnesium Citrate for my intake by mixing Milk of Magnesia (Phillip's brand) and lemon juice diluted in a glass of water.

Is this feasible?

The Philippines where I live has good fruit, but poor quality minerals and vitamins!!

Thanks again..."

11/17/2009: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "It's much more easier to obtain Magnesium Chloride or Magnesium citrate, otherwise you need even more chemicals just to convert magnesium hydroxide to magnesium chloride. Also, there's only about 8% magnesium hydroxide in the laxative solution. It's not a lot. 8 grams magnesium hydroxide per 100 grams of water."

Question About Magnesium Malate

11/13/2009: Bill from San Fernando, Philippines: "Hi Ted...I live in the Philippines, and have read much good information here on the necessity to get a safe absorbable form of Magnesium. But it is quite difficult to buy the Magnesium citrate form that you advise within the Philippines.

I was wondering if I could just simply create a saturated solution of Magnesium malate from combining Milk of Magnesia (pure MgOH) with ACV.

Would this work and be safe and suitable to ingest in dilution as a source of Magnesium?"

11/13/2009: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Bill:

if magnesium citrate (alkaline form), and magnesium chloride can't be found. Then magnesium malate may do. However, I havent yet gotten a chance to test magnesium malate.

Milk of magnesia is poorly absorbed, I wouldn't use this as a magnesium supplement.


Magnesium Causing Loose Bowels

10/15/2008: Linda from Barnesville, Ohio: "I take mag oxude400 8 pills a day, and I have loose bowels all the time it`s very hard to keep my magnessium up I loose magnesium I have Gitleman`s syndrome Is there a better magnesium to take? please help Linda"

10/17/2008: Joyce from Joelton, Tn replies: "Hi Linda, Did I read that right. MgOxide 400 x8 daily. No wonder you can't keep your Magnesium up. There is an excellent article on transdermal magnesium on line - As the author says because of its laxative quality, it is difficult to take enough orally without diarrhea causing you to most of what you take. It isn't the way he says do it, but seems to me that visiting the Dollar Tree or another like it and purchasing a 2 lb. carton of epsom salts which is magnesium sulfate, putting a cupful in your bath water several times a week should be an excellent way to do transdermal magnesium supplements."

10/19/2008: Joyce from Joelton, Tn replies: "Hi Linda, Your Gitelman's Syndrome sent me on line to find out what it was. After reading what it is, I got to wondering why? My mother died with pyelonephritis and when she'd have another bout of it she would dump potassium. Me and an older sister did the same thing with a bout of pyelonephritis. Now we know that something is messed up in the kidneys, it makes you wonder why it is causing loss of magnesium, chloride, sodium. The first question that comes to mind is: Do you drink carbonated beverages? If you do I suggest that you leave off all carbonated beverages for at least 4 weeks or more to see it makes you feel better. If it does, you might want to get your blood and/or urine checked to see if you are still spilling these necessary nutrients. If you find you are spilling less or hopefully stopped spilling them altogether, you will have found the cause of your problem. The reason I am suggesting this is because we picked up 4 children who were spilling protein in their urine and could find no explanation for it. Remembering several short articles I had read several years earlier about 2 men who developed gross hematuria and the doctors could not determine any cause for it and both cleared up while in the hospital. One thorough and curious doctor started visiting both patients and finally determined that both men worked in a large carbonated beverage bottling plant at the capping machine which was a hot warehouse type job. Both had a habit of getting an uncapped beverage of the machine and drinking it when thirsty instead of getting a drink of water. Doing nothing other than having the children's mom totally eliminate all carbonated beverages solved the problem. One week later the 4+ proteinuria and dropped to a trace (Mom said she fudged and drank one on the way to the clinic that morning. The other three had gone from 3+ to negative protein in the urine. Their problem was also in the tubules of the kidneys. Apparently something or maybe a combination of all the unnecessary chemicals in the carbonated beverages caused swelling in the tubules that let the protein spill into the urine instead of where it was supposed to be. The quickest way to find out is to eliminate them and see if it makes a difference in your particular case. Let us know how it comes out - you may be able to help others with the same or similar problem. Good luck & God bless."

Epsom Salt As Source?

12/24/2007: C from Arizona: "Can anybody tell me if Epson salt would be a good supplement form of magnesium for the body. If not can it easily be converted into a more beneficial form. The ingredients are 9.28% magnesium and 12.98% sulfur. Its otherwise referred to as magnesium sulfate. I was thinking that I possibly could mix one cup Epsom salt to one cup water and then heat it up and then let it cool off. Then maybe I could store it in the refrigerator for use. I'm basically looking for a cheap way to get my magnesium"

Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "I prefer the magnesium citrate, rather than epsom salt if taken internally, as the citrate form modifies the body's pH too and the citrate also help to detoxify the calcium buildup inside the cells, which is can kill cells pretty quickly, while giving more energy to those who take it. I don't like the epsom salt because of its inability to alkalize the person as effectively as the citrate form. Normally I used epsom salt for external application against skin problem. However, a more superior form for skin rashes I used, and I sometimes cannot go without it is the well shaken bottle of Milk of Magnesia (Magnesium hydroxide, WITHOUT the aluminum). It works better than other medications I used against skin allergy and hives in most cases, except for methanol alcohol burns of the skin, in which case distilled vinegar would to the job. However, one use of epsom salt I do use is to use it to take baths, which helps detoxify the body better, because of its sulfate form, but a large amounts is used in this case."

Why Do We Take Magnesium?

08/01/2006: Methuselah : "I took some magnesium citrate powder right away. I had done some sweating outside today and I was feeling tired-- the kind of sweating that could not have any negative impact on me just a few years ago! But I felt better right away after taking the magnesium supplement."

Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Yes, magnesium citrate is quite bioavailable. Magnesium chloride also. The secret is its solubility. You cannot do this with magnesium oxide since they don't dissolve and therefore do not go into your blood stream. This is the same with magnesium carbonate. You can tell. Just put it in a glass of water, they will settle on the bottom.

It takes about 30 -45 minutes for the therapeutic effects after you take magnesium. Yes, I have gone so far as to time how long it takes before you can feel it. I have tested many people here in Bangkok, but only in the form of magnesium citrate or magnesium chloride. Bangkok don't have magnesium citrate, so I guess magnesium chloride will do. The advantage of magnesium citrate is two things: it buffers your pH to alkaline and it puts magnesium where your body needs the most: the muscle.

Here is a tip: if you have muscle pain that refuses to go away. A 500 mg dose of magnesium citrate will get almost all the pain out the next day. Let me in on a secret to predicting heart attacks and heart disease. Before people get them, there will be a warning signs. The body, brilliant in its design, will deplete the magnesium from the back, arms and legs before it reaches the heart. So if you have a long term muscle pain and magnesium is depleted, given enough time the heart will be effected. Another way to tell if you are magnesium is depleted is hot weather, and muscle twitching, or nightmare shock such as falling down from a tower. These are just simple signs of magnesium deficiency and by paying attention to these little things, you have a good chance to avoid heart attack. When muscle in heart twitches, just like you have in your arms and legs, it will soon reach the heart, given enough time. Mother nature always warns us, we just don't pay attention. In the States, while I was in High School, way back in the early 1970s no one ever heard about magnesium or even find a good magnesium supplements, for conditions of heat exhaustion for example. Therefore, if you cannot find it, take plenty of sunflower seeds. They are high in magnesium. It just takes a longer time for the body to absorb them and notice the effects -- at least 24-72 hours before you can feel it. The reason is simple, sunflower seeds are not water soluble that much so the body takes somewhat more effort to make use of it."

Magnesium Stearate in Multivitamins: Healthy?

07/31/2006: Dona from Colville, WA: "Hi, I'm new to your web site and appreciate it a lot. Q: I've noticed that 99 percent of all vitamin supplements have added magnesium stearate and am wondering WHY and if this will cause an imbalance of magnesium? Thank you for your time. :) Dona"

08/01/2006: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dona: Magnesium stearate is a stearic acid with magnesium ions attached. It is used as fillers in vitamin capsules to prevent sticking during vitamin production. It also gives the vitamin tablets its waxy appearance and it melts at 88 degrees celsius.

As a result, any vitamin tablets with magnesium stearate will reduce bioavailability of the vitamins as it reduces the ability for vitamin to dissolve in your stomach. Just imagine eating a candle mixed with vitamins and you get the picture.

I will always try to avoid any vitamins with magnesium stearate, not only does it prevent the absorption of the vitamins by reducing the solubility, magnesium stearate alone cannot be used as a nutrition either. The only best thing I can say about magnesium stearate is to prevent or reduce constipation a little bit by providing some lubricating effect to your intestines, however this is so minor, it is not even worth using. When I take vitamins I go the old fashion way. I take them in either powder form or take vitamins in soft capsules. They get dissolve faster.

A test for bioavailability is to put your vitamin supplements in a glass of water. If the entire tablets will dissolve in less than 10-15 minutes then it is o.k. This is the approximate length of time an average vitamin spends its time in your stomach. So by the time it reaches the intestines, vitamin should be absorbed. Now for the bad news: no vitamins I have ever tested in tablet form passed the test. Capsules do, but not entirely.

The one form of vitamin that does pass the test is the most obvious ones, a vitamin in powder form and dissolve them yourself. This is what I do.

Parents have often come screaming at me all the time that they cannot raise their child's zinc or magnesium levels despite two years of supplementation.

The answer is simple, two fillings that seems to be interfering with absorption is the magnesium stearate, and also tricalcium phosphate. Therefore, it is best to avoid tablet form of vitamin altogether. The reason I know this fact is I used to moonlight making these vitamin tablets and just knew that companies don't care whether it is bioavailability, all the want is to get those numbers (mg. of minerals, or vitamins) show on the packaging since this is how consumers judge the quality of the vitamins.

The funny thing about bioavailable vitamins that manufacturers fear a lot is that people don't need to take them everyday. And as soon as they take it for the entire month, I found myself recommend them to pare of taking it and take only either once a week or two week and sometimes once a month. So in terms of sales, you can see why manufacturers rather give you an oxide form so that you can take them forever, without raising the mineral levels. It helps with sales, two years of sales is not bad, compared to a more bioavailable one which roughly calculates to only one month's sales for a better quality one. I make a very bad salesman, if you ask me. So that is why I avoid doing this kind of "vitamin business" altogether.

Here is the proper way (to be fair with everyone):

1. Vitamin and minerals should dissolve in 10-15 minutes in glass of water. Tricalcium phosphate often blocks absorption. Magnesium stearate will slow solubility and also block vitamin absorption.

2. Powder form is generally the best, followed by soft capsules, and tablets that dissolve in less than 15 minutes in the glass. Soft capsules usually will be better than tablets because to get tablets in their "form" the machine must be pressed heavily, making them quite invulnerable often even to moisture.

3. Absolutely avoid all ingredients in oxide form. Oxide forms of mineral include magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, etc. They don't dissolve in water and will generally stay in their original form. It is poorly absorbed. The second worse form is carbonate form of mineral, such as magnesium carbonate, zinc carbonate, etc. These are also poorly soluble. Aspartate are soluble, but they are toxic of the likes similar in some ways to aspartame, such as magnesium aspartate. Generally the best form are also the hardest ones you can find, minerals in the form of citrate, bicarbonates, and chloride. These has been my favorites.

Therefore, it is best to generally avoid magnesium stearate that is used in fillings. If you INSIST in using it, then may I suggest you get the tablet and pound them in mortal and pestle so they become powder. Take this ALONG with the food you eat or mix it with the food. This is the best way to work around a problem, make them into powder form again. I know the kids won't like the powder, so you just hide them in honey, molasses, or strong food with strong taste. You just have to get your vitamin to go stealth. Ted"



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