NOTE: This comprehensive mental health
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-12,000 word article magnesium for mental health (222 references)


-Internet Resources
-Depression Defined
-Cured with Lithium or Magnesium
-NIH Table of Food Sources of Magnesium
-Well by June 7, 2000
-Stress as Ultimate Cause of Depression
-January 19, 2001 Update and Miscellaneous Musings
-Government Censorship of this Page
-Homeopathic Uses for Magnesium
-Collected Thoughts on Dosage
-Could George be Wrong about Magnesium Oxide?
-Leaky gut Syndrome
-Inulin - the Vital Prebiotic
-Magical Taurine - The Perfect-Poop Maker!
-Anti-Candida Albicans Agents
-Coconut Oil: Cure for Everything?
-Garlic: The Cure for Everything Else!
-Kefir: The Candida Crusher!
-Iodine: The Candida Killer
-Spanish Black Radish
-Bacillus Coagulans probiotics plus Biotin
-Killer Sugars
-Milk & Calcium Toxicity
-High Fat Dairy and Whole Grains Cause Brain Lesions
-What's Left to Eat?
-Monosodium Glutamate Causes Obesity and Short Children
-The Lethal Hypothyroid Low Magnesium Axis
-Diagnosing Magnesium Deficiency
-The Essentiality of Boron
-Foods that Contain 100 mg or more of either Calcium or Magnesium per 100 Grams
-Non Dietary and Non Stress Causes of Hypomagnesemia
-Magnesium and Calcium Ions in Synaptic Function in Brain
-Calcium Channel Blockers
-Glutamate Toxicity
-High Quality Sleep
-Fibromyalgia, CFS & Magnesium
-Transdermal magnesium chloride treatment of ciprofloxacin side effects
-Red Eyes, Dry Mouth, Dry Eyes
-Stress Relief Techniques
-Good & Bad Stress
-The Hypothyroid - Low Magnesium Axis
-Driving and Depression
-An Aspirin for the Emotions
-Epsom Salts Baths
-The Mind
-Meditation vs. Thought-Stopping
-Losing Your IQ? (Or Your Children's IQ?)
-Traumatic Brain Injury and Magnesium
-Other Types of Depression
-Magnesium and premature ejaculation
-Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
-Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder
-Falling In Love
-Corporate Murder and our Food
-Wheat, Asthma and Cardiac Arrhythmias
-Magnesium throat lozenges might kill pediatric asthmatics
-Constipation Means...
-How to Poop when Constipated
-Violence & Mayhem
-Good Fats and Deadly Fats
-Lithium / Magnesium Interactions
-Ketamine - A nearly instanteous acting anti-depressant!
-Age of Onset is Getting Lower
-The Tragedy of Infant and Childhood Depression and Anxiety
-Magnesium in Water
-Cocaine / Magnesium
-Mitral Valve prolapse
-Other Nutrients Important in Depression
-Tryptophan, 5-HTP and Serotonin
-Alzheimer's Disease Caused by Niacin Deficiency
-Veterinary Uses and Animal Research
-Our Prognosis and Caveats; My View as of July 31, 2001
-Codex Alimentarius: Will It Kill Us or Save Us?
-Tips for Diarrhea
-Magnesium Topically, by Injection or Rectum - no diarrhea
-What About You
-Dead Doctors Don't Lie!
-Can Afrin Cause or Worsen Depression?
-Drug and Magnesium Interactions
-Magnesium Compounds that Work, That Are Ineffective, or That Injure
-Economic Sources of Magnesium
-Concluding Remarks - Drugs Substituting for Magnesium
-Death by Modern Medicine
-Chinese Medicine: Doing It Right!
-Naturopathic Medicine
-What Does Dr. Atkins Say About Magnesium?
-Internet Resources
-Sum it up in a nutshell George Eby!
-White paper on magnesium and depression
-Glycemic Index of 1200 Foods (and how to live to 100)

mental illnesses caused by magnesium deficiency

Magnesium for Depression: A Cure for Depression using Magnesium?

by George Eby
George Eby Research Institute, Austin, Texas

Revised: September 8, 2015

Welcome! This is the most comprehensive page of 10 million web pages listed in for "magnesium and depression", and ten times the million pages for Prozac and depression. This page used to be on page one of Google searches for magnesium and depression, but the brains at Google have lowered it substantially for some Google technology reason.


        Forward: Although this depression treatment by magnesium essay was written originally to address the role of magnesium as a depression treatment, the role of magnesium deficiency as cause of vast other morbidity and mortality is also addressed. This essay is my "notes to myself", and you are welcome to visit and explore what I am finding and to discuss it with me by phone or e-mail. As much as possible, all depression treatment research presented is from primary medical research by others and personal observation. I am just a reporter who was very ill from depression and was interested in seeing why things are going wrong in American medicine. I am not a physician and, obviously, I do not practice medicine or give medical advice. I have researched nutrients as medicine since 1979 on a daily basis, and I have come to think that much is wrong with American medicine, but not American medical science. We need to look into the vast library of medical research to see our paths better, and not wait until organized medicine catches up. From this research, I am forced to believe that much of what is wrong stems from our practice of eating refined grain products and reliance on drugs for health, not nutrition. In centuries prior to the twentieth, bread was the "staff of life" primarily due to its mineral, protein and caloric content. Today, perhaps we need to think of bread and other refined grain products as the "staff of death" due to the absence or near absence of life-sustaining minerals and vitmins. As you read this essay, please ask yourself if it is actually possible that the entire foundation of modern medicine is built upon a foundation of quicksand (low magnesium and high calcium)? You may find some answers here.

       Concerning the above figure, magnesium deficiency causes a large number of mental and other illnesses, and the following article discusses nearly all of the mental illnesses. However, a single picture is truly worth a million words

        Magnesium deficiency is not the only nutrient deficiency that can cause depression. Here is a list, produced by Dr. Joel Wallach and taken from his booklet "A Dire Warning". Chromium, Copper excess, Iodine, Lithium, Potassium, Zinc, Biotin, Niacin, Paraaminobenzoic Acid (PABA), Thiamine, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Pyridoxine, Viamin B-12 and Vitamin C. His full list of aliments caused by nutrient deficiencies is found here.

        NOTE: I started writing this page in 2000 and have updated it continually. In this page, there are over 1,200 external links to interesting and important pages. However, some of those pages have been terminated or moved, so there are dead links in this page. You can find the dead link on the Archive.Org website by copying the missing link address into the "Wayback Machine" address box at Archive.Org. If you will notify me of dead links by email, I will update this page to the archived page. BTW, there are about 270 versions of this page stored at Archive.Org and you can find the old pages here and the newer versions (2007 and more recent) here.

        DEPRESSION REALLY SUCKS! It needlessly sucks happiness and joy out of a person and may even suck the life out too if it can't be brought under control. I believe that the cure for depression is often extremely simple and quick using magnesium rather than drugs for many people - fortunately! Read my story and check out the facts in the links. Many links are directly to medical articles in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed) and other authoritative sources. You may find my story of a magnesium cure for depression to be important to you. Remember my point of view that depression, and particularly stress- and/or diet-induced depression, and many other "diseases" discussed below are often symptoms of magnesium deficiency (either directly or indirectly through excess stress) and not psychoses.

        The National Institute of Health (NIH) reported in 2000 that a sign of magnesium deficiency is depression. NIH defined magnesium deficiency symptoms have three categories:

        If the NIH knows this, why don't doctors use magnesium to treat depression and other mental (and physical) disorders??? In 1989, C. Norman Shealy M.D., Ph.D. demonstrated that 99% of depressed patients have one or more neurochemical abnormalities; and that depression is a chemical disease as is diabetes, not a psychiatric disease. It seems to me that not using magnesium to treat depression is pure malpractice! We could rebuild and save lives! Magnesium ions are shown involved at the very heart of neural synaptic activity in this figure. Are you magnesium depleted or deficient? See this wonderful quick quiz by Dr. Pricilla Slagle, M.D., a magnesium expert very interested in helping people with magnesium problems. Also, visit Dr. Herbert C.Mansmann, Jr., MD at THE MAGNESIUM RESEARCH LABORATORY (archived), another very interested magnesium expert.

        Magnesium deficiency is a major risk factor for heart problems and diabetes and many other health issues, including sudden death. "The Magnesium Factor" by Mildred S. Seelig, MD, MPH and Andrea Rosanoff, PhD is an outstanding new book by the world's leading magnesium researcher and is highly recommended reading for learning how to prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Many of today's "diseases" are actually "symptoms" of magnesium deficiency, and are not diseases. For another eye opener, see this amazing list and thorough documentation of hundreds of "diseases" that are often nothing more than magnesium deficiencies. What would happen to "medicine", pharmaceutical company income, and public health if these "diseases" were treated with magnesium before trying side-effect laden drugs? Wouldn't this approach to improving public health be more ethical? Unfortunately, for space reasons, this essay is restricted to mental health issues reasonably related to depression (and cardiology), but the health risks resulting from magnesium deficiency are very broad and need much exploration.

Warnings concerning overdosing with oral magnesium

        Although it is absolutely certain that magnesium deficiency causes most cases of depression, treating depression with oral magnesium must be done cautiously, perhaps with no more than 800 mg daily of magnesium, specifically as magnesium glycinate. The most important discussion, more or less hidden in this report, concerns toxicity of too much magnesium when taken with inadequate calcium. When too much magnesium with inadequate calcium is taken orally, intestinal infections with Candida albicans (thrush) can occur and the result is worsening depression since the oral magnesium cannot be absorbed in the presence of this intestinal infection. Perhaps it would be wise for the reader to search this essay for the words "Candida albicans" to gather a better understanding of this problem. Too much calcium - to balance magnesium - can also worsen depression, so the subject is left in a Catch-22. If depression cannot be conquered with the above doses, then topical 30% magnesium chloride aqueous solutions (Magnesium Oil) must be added to the oral regimen. Read what others say about magnesium oil and depression here. This solution feels oily on the skin because it is super saturated, and is intended to be liberally applied. There are solutions available commercially that are specifically meant to be used topically on the skin. They are not intended for oral use. Used topically, they do not impact the intestinal tract. I have used topical 30% magnesium chloride solutions liberally applied to treat much of my torso, chest, back and legs with great benefit. It is wise to start treatment on a smaller area of the body to see how one reacts to it, since toxic doses are possible (causes sedation). If recommendations for oral dosages larger than 800 mg are encountered in this page, please ignore them.

Depression Defined

        Depression is an extremely common condition that affects more than 1 in 20 people in any one year in Western society. Depression used to be a rare condition, but as our consumption of magnesium has gone down over the last 100 years, or mental health has taken a serious hit as shown here. Depression is one of several hyperemotional states. A sudden loss of interest in life combined with a feeling of worthlessness may be associated with depression. Normally joy, sadness and grief are parts of everyday life. While a short period of depression in our response to daily problems is normal, a long period of depression and sadness is abnormal and is called "clinical depression". Depression can run in families, partly because families tend to eat the same foods and pass from one generation to the next similar eating patterns, and partly through genetics. Concerning genetics, I have found no evidence in the medical literature of a "depression" gene, but much evidence for a search for one. I suspect that the strong genetic component will be found to involve improper or inadequate magnesium metabolism.

        Depression may be associated with a variety of symptoms, including but not limited to:

  • Persistent sadness and pessimism
  • Feelings of loneliness, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest or enjoyment in nearly every aspect of life
  • Diminished ability to think or lack of concentration
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Poor appetite associated with either weight gain or loss
  • Fatigue, lack of energy
  • Physical hyperactivity or inactivity
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Physical symptoms such as headache, backaches, stomach troubles, constipation and blurred vision
  • Anxiety, agitation, irritability
  • Thoughts of suicide or death (90% of suicides result from depression)
  • Slow speech; slow movements
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • A drop in school performance

         Most depressive episodes are triggered by stressful personal event such as loss of a loved one or change of circumstances, and depression over a short period is a normal coping mechanism. Long-term stress-induced depression often, if not always, results when magnesium levels fall to dangerously low levels in the body by biochemical stress reactions discussed below. Magnesium deficiency related depression is a fixable biochemical problem and not necessarily a physiological problem.

         Depression can also be due to many other factors such as underlying disease hepatitis C, brain chemical imbalances requiring antidepressant drugs of one type or another, hormonal imbalance (particularly hypothyroidism and low testosterone), low cholesterol, Wilson's Disease, food allergy particularly gluten intolerance, heavy metal posioning and adverse reaction to medications, each of which requires professional care. Magnesium deficiency is not necessarily the only cause of depression, but it can be very useful in recovering from depression because the blood, body and especially the brain often become depleted of magnesium in depression, particularly stress-induced or diet-induced depression. Often, depression that does not respond to SSRI's (classical antidepressants - as in treatment-resistant depression) will respond best to magnesium treatment.

        Symptoms listed for paying for magnesium serum level tests to detect hypomagnesemia (low blood levels of magnesium) by a major United States insurance carrier include depression. However, magnesium is an intracellular cation, and its only valid measurement is through red blood cell (not whole blood or serum) testing. This is because only one percent of all body magnesium is found in the serum, while the remainder is found inside cells. Consequently, serum testing, the routine clinical measure, makes as much sense as checking the carburetor bowl of a car to see if gasoline is needed. However, brain magnesium is not well measured with anything except phosphorous nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.



       magnesium glycinate From early 2000 to summer of 2003, this essay focused upon magnesium glycinate as the preferred source of magnesium. In late summer of 2003, I shifted emphasis from magnesium glycinate to magnesium taurate (same as magnesium taurinate), which appeared to me at that time to be superior to all other forms of magnesium in treating treatment resistant depression due to its content of taurine (more on taurine here). However, I have had some complaints from various people about magnesium taruate as not being effective while they found magnesium glycinate and citrate were effective, as have I. I now emphasis magnesium glycinate plus taurine, and not magnesium taurate, since it appears too tightly bound chemically for some people to digest and utilize. After years of study, I remain truly amazed at the tremendous benefits of biologically available magnesium compounds and other nutrients in treating and preventing depression. In particular, I see magnesium as an important research topic for survival considering its limited (purposefully lowered) availability from our Western diets and due to its ability to inexpensively cure and prevent many expensive diseases, life threatening or not. As you will see from this essay, our dietary choices and our over consumption of certain foods are contributing to much illness, including depression. First, in early 2008 and now in 2015, I have re-emphasized magnesium glycinate in this essay, and discouraged the use of magnesium taurate. You can order magnesium glycinate by clicking on this link. Be certain that you read the labels and order only the product(s) that do not have magnesium oxide in them, since it is totally ineffective, since it is not absorbable. Each of magnesium, taurine and glycine are inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain and all are often low in depression. Second, magnesium taurate is often difficult to find, while magnesium glycinate and (separately) taurine are usually easier to find. Why not take magnesium glycinate and taurine? It greatly simplifies treatment and appears to be the best way of treating depression using readily available nutrients. Another reason is that in my study of insomnia as a symptom of minor magnesium deficiency, I ran into a problem, that being magnesium taurate did not prevent my insomnia, while magnesium glycinate worked well. Why? There are great individual differences between people in their ability to absorb nutrients, and much of that difference results from the individual's ability to make stomach acid. If the stomach acid pH is too high, some metallic compounds will be too difficult to break down. I think this is the case for magnesium taurate in some people, at some times. For example, magnesium taurate may work well for a while, and then something metabolic might change in the person and then it won't work. Clearly it produces less diarrhea in most people (suggesting poor bioavailability or the effect of taurine - who can say?), but dose-for-dose magnesium glycinate appears easier to breakdown, absorb and utilize than magnesium taurate.

       The most readily absorbed magnesium compound is always magnesium chloride; simply add some taurine and some glycine to the diet and you have the best of all worlds. The problem with magnesium chloride is that it is nearly always sold as a liquid since it is too hygroscopic for use in tablets or capsules, unless it is plated onto a silica gel drying agent. I use large amounts of magnesium chloride (25 to 35% solutions) topically, but have never used magnesium chloride orally.

       I have major PRECAUTIONS at this internal link concerning potentially harmful magnesium compounds and at this internal link concerning ineffective compounds of magnesium for treating depression. For brevity and simplicity: (a) magnesium oxide and magnesium hydroxide are ineffective and (b) magnesium glutamate and magnesium aspartate are always harmful to depressives.

         I know how bad depression can be, because I spent September of 1999 through April of 2000, in a clinical depression that worsened from the beginning, finally becomeing treatment-resistant-depression. First, I must mention that my life was at that time other-wise perfect. I had absolutely no financial, personal, psychological or other reason to be depressed. By Christmas the depression suddenly became much worse, nearly suicidal in intensity, and remained that way for four more months. It was treatment-resistant-depression. I had always thought that I was a mild hypo manic-depressive, not a suicidal idiot. In my highs, I was capable of deep, insightful thought and amplified abilities in general which I considered to be a great advantage. Never did I think that things could go so wrong with my biochemistry that it would cause me to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies. How wrong I was. I had been taking Zoloft (an antidepressant) since 1987 which seemed to take care of my depression. I lived on Zoloft, but by September of 1999, Zoloft stopped working - and I knew that something was really wrong.

         My severe depression in 2000 was preceded by many years and accompanied by major stress from over-work (which I thought I loved), treatment responsive depression, anxiety, hypomania, infrequent panic attacks, anger, stress, poor diet, overwhelming emotional feelings, night time muscle spasms, paranoia, asthma, prickly sensations in hands, arms, chest and lips. I wanted to sleep all day and had trouble getting up in mornings. My wife said I was also uncooperative, withdrawn, apathetic and nervous. I had become a real pain to deal with according to those around me. Occasionally my lips felt that they were going to vibrate or tingle off my face. I even saw a spider disappear into my arm once. About 10 years earlier, I had a very painful bout with calcium oxalate kidney stones, a recognized sign of magnesium deficiency. A few weeks before I was hospitalized in January of 2000, I had very low energy, mental fogginess, depression with strong suicidal thoughts and I was under enormous stress, even though I felt like I had no reason to be depressed. Now, I can recognize these "mental" symptoms as symptoms of magnesium deficiency and/or calcium toxicity. I won't bother you with the details of my hospitalized depressive episode, except to say that I was put on nearly every antidepressant drug known and had severe side effects to all of them and felt sicker and sicker. Like I said, it was treatment-resistant-depression. Nothing worked. I lost a lot of weight, and I was extremely constipated. I also had a cardiac arrhythmia. Being disgusted with the useless and apparently harmful treatment provided, I went home. My doctor told my wife, "Get his affairs in order". Gee! What an empathetic doctor! I couldn't work and about all I did was sleep, eat cheese, hard candy, fatty foods, bread, ice cream, tapioca pudding, drink a lot of milk, consume other bad-for-you high-calcium delicacies, watch TV and read. Maybe I secretly figured that if I didn't die slowly and agonizingly from depression, maybe I would die quickly with a heart killing diet (which actually worsened my depression).

         My reading preferences are in the biomedical field. At home, I researched medical journals, books and everything medical that I could find on depression and manic depression. I learned nothing of usefulness, at least nothing that my doctor had not already told me. I did find that certain foods like wheat and high carbohydrate diets can trigger dysphoric rage and depression, so it seemed to me that correcting nutritional problems should be beneficial, and that nutritional research would be worthwhile. On April 12, 2000, I looked like I was dying to several people important in my life. My psychiatrist agreed and took me off all antidepressant medications and put me on a tiny amount of lithium carbonate (150 mg twice a day).

NOTE: At the end of each following section of this essay, I have placed a link concerning my rules for success, and the affirmation that "Depression is not a psychosis.". I apologize ahead of time for being terribly redundant. My rules and my understanding of mood disorders as a magnesium deficiency are so commonly ignored, that I decided they were too important not to heavily emphasize.

Cured with Lithium or Magnesium?

         Shortly later, I picked up a 1975 copy of Nutrition Almanac, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, and happened to open it to the magnesium section. I was interested to find that magnesium was low in the serum of people who were suicidally depressed and others who were seriously depressed. The article indicated that magnesium dietary supplements had been effective in treating depression. Also, a person with a magnesium deficiency is apt to be uncooperative, withdrawn, apathetic, nervous, have tremors... essentially lots of neurological symptoms associated with depression. I was fascinated to notice that cardiac arrhythmias, heart attacks and kidney stones were also mentioned as magnesium deficiency related. Ah-ha! These looked like good clues, but definitely not convincing.

         That same day, I found the next clue in my library. It was in a 1995 medical textbook in which I had a published article about zinc lozenges and the common cold. In Handbook of Metal-Ligand Interactions in Biological Fluids - Bioinorganic Medicine, volume 2, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, there is an article by Durlach et al, entitled "Diverse Applications of Magnesium Therapy". Its authors assert that in their clinical and open trials they found symptoms of chronic magnesium deficiency in neuroses to include anxiety, hyper-emotionality (crying, grieving or other forms of depression), fatigue, headaches, insomnia, light-headedness, dizziness, nervous fits, lump in throat, blocked breathing and respiration, cramps, strong tingling, pricking, creeping feeling on the skin having no real cause, chest pain (either of a cardiac nature or not), palpitations, dysrhysthmias, Raynaud's syndrome, and more including latent tetany, constipation, and myocardial infarction. Some of these symptoms occurred as part of panic attacks, sometimes with the feeling of imminent death. Durlach also showed that aging was a risk factor for magnesium deficiency. In another Durlach article, magnesium deficiency and dementia were equated as being one and the same. Singh et al. showed that magnesium status was inversely associated with prevalence of coronary artery disease. I had a calcium oxalate kidney stone a few years ago and was told that I needed to increase my dietary intake of magnesium. I didn't increase it but now wish that I had because it is established that magnesium prevents calcium oxalate kidney stones. In many ways, depression can be thought of as an aspect of aging or premature aging.

         Of significant interest was Durlach's statement that chronic primary magnesium deficit affects about 15 to 20 percent of the Western population, while other sources more recently place the deficit much higher at nearly 70 percent. One reason given for the deficit is that magnesium-rich foods are rich in energy (fattening), and they are being avoided in an effort to maintain weight, and because we are eating more junk food void of magnesium.

         Wow! This magnesium/depression hypothesis is coming together! Just a few months previous to the onset of my depression, I had been hospitalized for chest pains, cardiac dysrhysthmia and an inability to take in more than about 1/5 my normal breath (varient angina pectoris). The hospital found no cardiac problems, and the internist gave me an IV drip of magnesium sulfate solution. A few hours later all of those symptoms vanished as rapidly as they had come. What I was beginning to see was that nearly all illnesses in my adult life were magnesium deficit related.

         From which foods do we get magnesium? According to my Nutrition Almanac, a cup of peanuts or almonds would satisfy the RDA for magnesium, while only 1/4 cup of kelp would be needed. Soy flour, bran flakes, whole wheat, raw brown rice, avocado, wheat bran, shrimp, tuna, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts and collard greens also supply significant dietary magnesium. In the Bible, Genesis 1:29 - God said, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." I marvel at the similarity of Biblical teaching to the above list of foods containing large amounts of magnesium.         Succeed!       Depression is not a psychosis!

NIH Table of Food Sources of Magnesium

         The National Institute of Health has prepared the following food table showing the best sources of magnesium in the U.S. diet. NIH does not admit that a sign of magnesium deficiency is depression. They do point out that magensium excess causes depression! Even though the NIH list appears accurate, it may be misleading for us because many of these foods have much more calcium than magnesium. Excess calcium over magnesium inhibits absorption of magnesium from the diet. A list of foods in this web page having more magnesium than calcium is here.

Kelp 100 grams (Warning! very high in glutamate)
Alfalfa 100 grams (Warning! Very high in glutamate)
Avocado, Florida, 1/2 med
Wheat germ, toasted, 1 oz
Almonds, dry roasted, 1 oz
Cereal, shredded wheat, 2 rectangular biscuits
Seeds, pumpkin, 1/2 oz
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 oz
Nuts, mixed, dry roasted, 1 oz
Spinach, cooked, 1/2 c
Bran flakes, 1/2 c
Cereal, oats, instant/fortified, cooked w/ water, 1 c
Potato, baked w/ skin, 1 med
Soybeans, cooked, 1/2 c
Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 oz
Peanut butter, 2 Tbs.
Chocolate bar, 1.45 oz
Bran (pure), 2 Tbs
Vegetarian baked beans, 1/2 c
Potato, baked w/out skin, 1 med
Avocado, California, 1/2 med
Lentils, cooked, 1/2 c
Banana, raw, 1 medium
Shrimp, mixed species, raw, 3 oz (12 large)
Tahini (from sesame seed), 2 Tbs
Raisins, golden seedless, 1/2 c packed
Cocoa powder, unsweetened, 1 Tbs
Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice
Spinach, raw, 1 c
Kiwi fruit, raw, 1 med
Hummus, 2 Tbs
Broccoli, chopped, boiled, 1/2 c

*DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). They were developed to help consumers determine if a food contains very much of a specific nutrient. The DV for magnesium is 400 milligrams (mg). The percent DV (%DV) listed on the nutrition facts panel of food labels tells adults what percentage of the DV is provided by one serving. Even foods that provide lower percentages of the DV will contribute to a healthful diet.

         Wow! I am lucky to be alive! My diet had excluded all magnesium rich foods for months. I wonder if people who go on diets delete these critical foods from their diet, start to feel a bit low, and rightfully decide to forget dieting. It is well known that some people must eat fattening foods simply to feel well. Is magnesium demand from fattening foods the link between fat people and depression avoidance? I know that I am not as hungry using magnesium supplements. Actually, I think the cure for hunger is magnesium, because the foods (mainly wheat) that used to be our main source of magnesium and other nutrients are no longer good sources for them.

         A few days after digesting what I had learned, I checked for some backup. I looked up "magnesium" AND "depression". Sure enough it was there. Calcium/magnesium imbalances with magnesium being low were found in depressed patients that had attempted suicide. Other articles supported the concept too. For example, high serum and cerebrospinal fluid calcium / magnesium ratios were found in recently hospitalized acutely depressed patients. The further I looked on the web, the more exciting and proliferate the evidence became - which, hopefully, is reflected in this page. Another book in my library, The Dictionary of Minerals, Thorsons Publishing Group, New York, point-blank read, "Therapy with magnesium has been used to treat ...mental depression...". Magnesium has recently been medically demonstrated to reduce severe therapy resistant mania. That was enough evidence for me. That same day I purchased magnesium glycinate, a non-toxic dietary supplement found in a local health food store. How much should I take each day? Was it safe? I really didn't know and didn't much care. I made a decision to start out with about 3 times the 400 mg/day RDA for magnesium, with 400 mg in the morning, 400 mg mid afternoon and 400 mg at bedtime. I used Carlson's chelated magnesium glycinate (200 mg magnesium elemental) product. I was an optimist by this time so I bought 3 bottles.

         What did it taste like? To me the first few times I used magnesium glycinate it tasted strangely metallic. But taking it with milk it didn't taste metallic at all. This is an important observation that merits explanation. There are chemicals in milk fats and other food fats that bind magnesium and other bioactive minerals to biologically inactive state. That may be a reason why fatty foods are bad for the heart. One might consume enough magnesium to fulfill the RDA, but if the magnesium is bound so tightly to a stearate or oleate that it is non soluble and is excreted through the feces without being absorbed into the blood, what good is it? What happens to the heart? Heart attack! I think this is why some in the FDA think the RDA for magnesium should be raised to about 900 mg per day. Other people using magnesium glycinate have not noticed any strange metallic taste.

         Within a few days to a short week, I felt remarkably better, my depression lifted noticeably, but I was getting a bit of diarrhea. Yeah! I didn't need that damned lithium corkscrew anymore!! (just kidding). Oh, the taste of those tablets! I needed some coated magnesium glycinate tablets. Actually, the taste was bad during the first few weeks only, after that the taste was not noticeable. Who knows what that means.

         Within a week to 10 days of starting magnesium, I felt close to being well. I looked so well, that my psychiatrist thought I looked better than he had ever seen me. One interesting fact from The Dictionary of Minerals is that lithium intake is associated with an increase in magnesium, calcium and phosphate blood serum concentrations. A possible explanation for these findings is that Li+ displaces Mg2+ from intracellular binding sites. As I improved, I lowered my dosage of magnesium to find the best dosage for me. I lowered it too much and depression symptoms rapidly came back. Eventually, I stabilized the dosage at four 200-mg elemental magnesium (as magnesium glycinate) tablets a day. Four hundred mg is the RDA for magnesium for men.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

June 7, 2000

        My depression is completely, totally, absolutely gone, gone, gone! I am active and can function mentally, emotionally, and physically at my best again. My vision and bowels also returned to normal - finally. I consider myself to be back to my good old normal self - although my critics will never admit that I am normal and have never been normal. Whatever normal is. Yet, a strange anxiety (fear) that the depression would return remained unabated.

         What caused my rapid recovery after being a treatment resistant, non-responder for many months? Why was my depression treatment resistant to everything except magnesium? Did going off those antidepressant meds cause it? Was it my imagination? Would I have gotten well anyway? Was it just the lithium? I seriously doubt it. My bet is on repletion of magnesium, both by dietary supplementation and action by lithium in increasing blood serum levels of magnesium. I can now see that my diet has been deficient in magnesium for years. My diet did not include high-in-magnesium foods listed above. Worse, I had been on a magnesium depleting diet from eating fatty foods and ingesting too much calcium. If I hadn't realized my magnesium problem, I probably would have died of a heart attack, like these guys warn. I repleted my body with magnesium, but did not use a great excess of magnesium as such might be toxic, cause diarhea and stimulate candida albicans overgrowth of the intestinal tract.        Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

Stress as Ultimate Cause of Depression

        If you are a medical or science type you might like to read Mechanisms of Action on the Nervous System in Magnesium Deficiency and Dementia. One paragraph in this link is so important that I quoted it here: "Although a neurosis pattern due to magnesium deficiency is frequently observed and simply cured through oral physiological supplementation, neuroses are preeminently conditioning factors for stress (thus increasing demand for magnesium). Neuroses may therefore very frequently produce secondary magnesium depletion. They require their own specific anti-neurotic treatment and not mere oral magnesium physiological supplementation, but both genuine forms of neurosis due to primary neural magnesium deficiency and magnesium depletion secondary to a neurosis may exist. These two conditions may be concomitant and reinforce each other. In these stressful patients it may be difficult to establish the primacy of one or the other. In practice, physiological oral magnesium supplements may be added to psychiatric treatments, at least at the start." I interpret this to mean that magnesium alone can prevent stress from resulting in neuroses.

       Stress intensifies release of two major classes of "stress hormones", the catecholamines and corticosteroids, which normally greatly increase survival of well animals when their lives are threatened.

       Catecholamines are chemically similar small molecules derived from the amino acid tyrosine. The major catecholamines are dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine (old name: adrenalin). Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (a chemical used to transmit impulses between nerve cells) found mainly in the brain. Norepinephrine is the primary neurotransmitter in the sympathetic nervous system (controls the "fight or flight" reaction) and is also found in the brain. Epinephrine is not only a brain neurotransmitter, but also a major hormone in the body. Epinephrine is secreted from the adrenal medulla in response to low blood glucose, exercise, and various forms of acute stress (in the latter case, the brain stimulates release of the hormone). Epinephrine causes a breakdown of glycogen to glucose in liver and muscle, the release of fatty acids from adipose tissue, vasodilation of small arteries within muscle tissue, and increases the rate and strength of the heartbeat. All of the catecholamines are metabolized by their target tissues or by the liver to become inactive substances that appear in the urine: For example, dopamine becomes HVA, norepinephrine becomes normetanephrine and VMA, and epinephrine becomes metanephrine and VMA. Consequently, a urine test for elevated catecholamines is both simple and available. If you want to test your brain neurotransmitters, you can get them tested by using a neuroscience test kit supplied by local physicians.

       Corticosteroids are group of natural and synthetic analogues of the hormones secreted by the hypothalamic-anterior pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, more commonly referred to as the pituitary gland. These include glucocorticoids, which are anti-inflammatory agents with a large number of other functions; mineralocorticoids, which control salt and water balance primarily through action on the kidneys; and corticotropins, which control secretion of hormones by the pituitary gland. They have been thoroughly researched and developed as drugs in the treatment of many diseases, but not including depression treatment. Corticosteroids are used to provide relief for inflamed areas of the body. They are extremely strong drugs. They lessen swelling, redness, itching, and allergic reactions. They are often used as part of the treatment for a number of different diseases, such as severe allergies or skin problems, asthma, arthritis and certain cancers and leukemias. They have many well-known side effects.

       When magnesium deficiency exists, stress paradoxically increases risk of cardiovascular damage including hypertension, cerebrovascular and coronary constriction and occlusion, arrhythmias, sudden cardiac death (SCD), asthma, anxiety and depression. Dietary imbalances such as high intakes of fat, sodium and/or calcium (Ca) can intensify inadequacy of magnesium, especially under conditions of stress. Thus, stress, whether physical (i.e. exertion, heat, cold, trauma - accidental or surgical, burns), or emotional (i.e. pain, anxiety, excitement or depression) and dyspnea (difficulty in breathing) as in asthma increases need for magnesium. Magnesium deficiency intensifies adverse reactions to stress that can be life threatening. Such reactions are mediated by excess release of the stress hormones, catecholamines and corticosteroids, which are increased by low magnesium and high calcium levels, and which further lower tissue magnesium in a feed back fashion, and suppress testosterone production.

       Testosterone production may or may not return upon replenishing magnesium. If it does not return, low testosterone can be an additional cause of depression, and testosterone creams, shots and pills are available. The creams are definitely the least likely to produce side effects. Shots and pills of testosterone can result in weird side effects that stimulate dangerously high female sex hormone production in men, which requires a female sex hormone suppressant treatment such as daily tablets of Arimedex. You can end up with more problems than before, thus they are prescription-only items.

VITAL LINK: See article: Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 13, No. 5, 429-446 (1994) Consequences of Magnesium Deficiency on the Enhancement of Stress Reactions; Preventive and Therapeutic Implications (A Review) Mildred S. Seelig, MD, MPH, Master ACN

         Genetic differences in magnesium utilization may account for differences in vulnerability to magnesium deficiency and differences in body responses to stress. There are so many stressors in our active lives that adversely affect magnesium reserves; it is a miracle that we can live on our puny magnesium deficient diets without vastly more cardiac and psychiatric problems.

         Magnesium is a required nutrient for people to handle stress in general and stress in neuropsychiatric disorders. Not getting sufficient dietary or supplemental magnesium during medical or depression treatment for stress related disorders such as anxiety and depression is bound to fail. Sometimes stress depletion of magnesium is so intense that dietary sources are insufficient, and supplementation is required to avoid depression and many other neurological conditions.

         Measure your level of stress here. These effects and aggressive behavior are easily observed in the mouse model. Magnesium is now marketed as an anti stress mineral. Stress, diuretics, fluoride, refined flour, chemotherapy, too much sugar, antibiotics, large amounts of protein, and high fat foods decrease absorption of magnesium, as do foods high in oxalic acid (mainly fresh spinach and possibly tea in excess) which deplete magnesium in the body, which in turns lowers one's resistance to stress and depression (a feedback loop). Overweight and obese people are usually low in magnesium, a mineral necessary to metabolize (burn) fat. People working outside in high temperatures and high humidity often become magnesium deficient and have stress related problems.

         What blows my mind is that there has already been an extraordinary amount of work collecting data that shows magnesium to be a profoundly important nutrient in preventing and treating hundreds of illnesses and conditions, particularly those illnesses related to stress. It seems that magnesium deficiency in our diet is responsible for many forms of bad health and early death. Don't take my word for it, rather visit Paul Mason's site and see his huge list of magnesium treatable disorders. Here is a growing but still incomplete list of magnesium deficiency symptoms, which include (alphabetically) acute heart attacks, agoraphobia, anxiety, angina pectoris, asthma, back aches, breast tenderness, cardiac arrhythmias, chronic fatigue syndrome, can't take a deep breath, carbohydrate craving (especially of chocolate) and carbohydrate intolerance, chest tightness, chronic cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, coronary artery disease, cramps, depression, diabetes, difficulty swallowing, eclampsia of pregnancy, feeling uptight, frequent sighing, epilepsy, headaches, high blood pressure, hyperactivity, insomnia, jaw joint (TMJ) dysfunction, lump in the throat-especially provoked by eating sugar, menstrual cramps, muscle soreness, muscle tension, mitral valve prolapse, musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, numbness, palpitations, panic disorder, pre-eclampsia, premenstrual irritability, photophobia, panic attacks, restlessness with constant movement, salt craving, tingling, twitches, urinary spasms, zips, zaps and vibratory sensations.

        I remain amazed and perplexed that magnesium deficiency remains, for the most part, ignored, neglected, and forgotten. There is one medical journal Magnesium Research that reports the subject very well, but it is a very difficult journal to find in nearly all medical libraries. It is the official organ of the International Society for the Development of Research on Magnesium. Their first publication date was July, 1988, which makes it a Johnny-come-lately among medical journals. The publisher is John Libbey and Company in London. Typically, magnesium researchers find that their work finds no interest by other journal editors, and they end up submitting their work to Magnesium Research simply to get it published, where it is totally ignored by establishment medical doctors and, until recently, remained the subject of academic curiosity. Fortunately, independent-minded physicians and citizens can research the National Library of Medicine's PubMed index and find these precious life-sustaining journal articles. Paul mason is trying to bring much original research on magnesium and health to the Internet. The full text of many vital magnesium and health articles can be directly viewed at his site. It seems to me that by ignoring these magnesium deficiency disorders, that medical doctors have a guaranteed retirement fund. What do I mean? Look at the above list, and other similar lists carefully and you will see that much of medicine is dedicated to developing medications for, and treating these specific symptoms and not treating the underling cause (magnesium deficiency). Consequently, patients remain ill and return to doctors' offices for more expensive pharmaceutical drugs. Folks, billions of dollars of Big Pharma drug company income and physician income is at stake! Be warned!

         Can I be so obtuse as to say that magnesium supplementation had nothing to do with my recovery? Can I be so callous as to not recommend magnesium to others who are suffering from depression, bi-polar disorder, or any of the anxiety related symptoms listed above? Or any of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency listed here? Duh!!!

         I am positive that all suffering from clinical depression want relief - NOW! No waiting for a med to kick in 4 to 8 weeks! You want it now!!! However, without sufficient magnesium, recovery will most likely be very difficult and prolonged.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

January 19, 2001 Update and Miscellaneous Musings

        Looking back over the last year, I now realize that the increases in lithium that I was prescribed (a gradual increase from 300 to 1050 mg lithium carbonate per day) was associated with progressive reductions in feeling of well being (sort of a placid zombie-like feeling) and pending damage to thyroid function (excess lithium causes hypothyroidism). On December 5, 2000, I decided that it was imperative for me to stop lithium because I did not want to have to be dependent upon thyroid extract for the rest of my life due to the toxicity of lithium. Even though lithium is a mineral element, it is not found in the human diet except in trace amounts (which are related to even temperament). However, magnesium is a vital to life essential human nutrient. I.E. there is no RDA for lithium (or any drug), but there is for magnesium! Actually, lithium is a drug that is being used to substitute for a nutrient, magnesium! How tricky of those docs! What a way to drum up business!

         Surprisingly, I began to feel better, even better than I felt in June when I first started taking low-dose lithium and high-dose magnesium. After several months off of lithium, people say I look ten years younger. I feel much sharper and my mental capabilities have returned to what is normal for me. I hope that I will never again take lithium. I now strongly suspect that the main biochemical function of lithium is to raise magnesium levels in the blood as mentioned above, with the mental benefit coming not from lithium but from lithium-induced increased magnesium blood levels. This idea could account for the 40 percent failure rate of lithium in preventing future depressive episodes. That is to say, if dietary magnesium intake is so low that not even lithium can return it to normal levels, then one succumbs to depression or other magnesium deficiency disorders.

         I remember meeting people (in group therapy classes and elsewhere) that looking backward seem likely to have been magnesium deficient. I remember a bright young lady that was terribly suicidal. She was totally resistant to all known antidepressants. She was so thin that she was nearly skin and bones and obviously was malnourished. She wanted to commit suicide so badly that she was under constant supervision. I can't help but wonder if she was misdiagnosed, meaning that she was severely, gravely magnesium depleted. I remember meeting many other people who were depressed; one was a single female registered nurse, who was overwhelmed by her stressful hospital duties and her desperate family child care situation. I remember a lovely young suicidal woman whose favorite tune was the theme from M*A*S*H. Apparently, she had no idea of the lyrics to the song "Suicide is Painless". She had been pounding out that song on piano for years. I wonder if she would have been there had her favorite song been something else. A 40ish man who could no longer accept that he was, in his opinion, a failure in his business. A lawyer who couldn't handle further domestic abuse. An internationally acclaimed scientist and editor who was overwhelmed by his time-line oriented job. Young children who were sad all of the time for no apparent reason, even if they were given all the toys they wanted. There was a young gay who desperately didn't want to be gay. Each of these people, and I suspect most depressives, share one thing common in their lives. STRESS! Magnesium deficiency can be brought on by diet too. I know a wonderful young lady who felt that she was too fat for her husband and went on a 1-month starvation diet. She lost enough weight, but became extremely magnesium deficient; and developed very difficult to treat multiple cardiac and depression symptoms causing enormous stress in her life. The strange part about stress is that magnesium deficiency and stress reinforce and build upon each other, resulting in a difficult to manage, unstable downward spiral.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!


Government Censorship of this Page

        On 28 July 2006, a State Food and Drug Investigator for the Texas Department of State Health Services, previously the Texas Department of Health, in an inspection of my business, Eby Pharma LLC, found violations of federal law as follows: "A review of the firm's web site,, showed that the web site promotes and sells Cardiovascular Research Ltd., Magnesium Taurate, 60 capsules, as a product that is intended to prevent, diagnose, mitigate, treat, or cure a disease (disease claims). This is not an all-inclusive review of the web site and the products that the firm markets. For example the web site includes the following information: "...magnesium taurate is the preferred forms of magnesium for treating depression..." and "...magnesium taurate also is wonderful in helping to prevent the diarrhea normally resultant from high-doses of magnesium..." and "...this is also the form of magnesium best for heart and brain health...".

         I promised the State of Texas investigator that I would stop selling Cardiovascular Research Magnesium Taurate. OK. No big deal, or is it? How have we as a nation come to legally forbid any reference to "nutrients" as being able to prevent, diagnose, mitigate, treat and cure any disease as mandated by United States law DSHEA - 1994? Can you imagine not treating scurvy with vitamin C? How about Prozac for scurvy? How about Prozac for depression? I am no legal expert, but a friend of mine, John Hammell, owner of the International Advocates of Health Freedom is a world-class expert and witness on what is going on in the Federal government concerning health freedom in the United States. I asked John the following questions:

         - John, why has there been no (apparently) effort to overturn DSHEA on grounds that it is overly broad? Seems to me that the US has often reversed "overly broad" laws that are not in the public interest. Seems to me that any law that would be in direct opposition to truth would be illegal too. Seems to me that someone needs to attack laws that make it illegal to claim that a nutrient can not be claimed to cure a nutritional deficiency disease. To say that nothing except a drug can cure, treat, prevent or diagnose a disease is "overly broad" because nutritional deficiency can not be cured, treated or prevented by anything except a nutrient. Doesn't make any sense to me that laws like this have not been attacked. Any comments?"

         John responded with these words: "DSHEA was passed in direct response to an FDA rule making effort called "The Dkykstra Report". The Dkykstra Report was an Advance Notice of Proposed Rule making that showed exactly what FDA intended to do to DESTROY the dietary supplement industry in America, and they had a congressional mandate through the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 to do just that. NLEA was a stealth bill that was rammed through the House at high speed during the summer when most people were on vacation. I didn't even know about it until August of 1989 when I jumped in with both feet in an effort to defend consumer access to dietary supplements. By the time I was aware of the bill, it was on its way to the Senate like a guided missile aimed straight for the heart of the dietary supplement industry. It would have had the exact same effect as Codex still could have unless we pull off a miracle and kill ratification in July through the last ditch campaign we are organizing. (Note: This may happen! CODEX was dealt a setback in June of 2005!) When I jumped into the fray to try to kill the NLEA, I was shocked and stunned to learn that the National Nutritional Foods Assn (NNFA) (the biggest vitamin trade association and the one which about half the health food stores belong to) was FOR this horrible bill. At the time, I was unaware that they were not enforcing their conflict of interest disclosure bylaw such that they were allowing pharmaceutical companies to be amongst their membership. NNFA didn't switch their position on this bill and turn against it til it was too late to stop its passage. I and millions of other people fought with every ounce of strength we had to try to kill it in the Senate, but it had too much momentum to stop. We failed, but we at least curbed some of its worst excesses, and we passed DSHEA as additional protection. No piece of legislation is perfect, any piece of legislation involves compromises due to its being shaped by a real diverse group of people including those on the other side. Our biggest opponents during those days were Henry Waxman and John Dingle. They both inserted language into DSHEA that to this day is causing us problems. When Milton Bass, JD; Clinton Ray Miller, Gerald Kessler of Natures Plus, and I attempted to rectify some of the bigger problems found in DSHEA by introducing legislation that could have filled some of the more onerous holes, we didn't get far at all because we were shot down by the pharma dominated vitamin trade associations and also by a controlled opposition group called Citizens for Health. I can't recall the bill number now, its been so many years, but you'll find it on the scroll bar at to this day, I haven't removed it. (The bill we were unable to pass that would have filled some of the worst holes in DSHEA.) Trojan Horse language was inserted into DSHEA by a 5th column group led by controlled opposition group "Citizens for Health." At the time, CFH's biggest financial backer was Nature's Way. Natures' Way was part of a coalition called the "European-American Phytomedicines Coalition" which was actively attempting to harmonize US to German law. They were operating in the US and Canada via two controlled opposition groups Citizens for Health in the USA, and Canadian Coalition for Health Freedom in Canada. IAHF was the sole voice attempting to expose both groups and I had death threats and constant threats of legal trouble for my efforts to expose them and for trying to stop CODEX. DSHEA does allow the making of structure function claims for dietary supplements. While not full fledged health claims, we also won a first amendment victory via Pierson v Schalala that should allow for the making of full health claims except the Supreme Court has refused to hear an additional complaint brought by Pierson that FDA refuses to obey the law. Against this backdrop of FDA refusing to obey current US dietary supplement laws we have the FDA violating US law at Codex meetings in Germany to set us up for harmonization of our laws to outrageously restrictive international standards. IAHF is going to be sending out an updated alert on this in the next few days. We're in a desperate race against the clock. Due to our membership in the WTO, we're no longer living in America. For all intents and purposes, America no longer exists because Congress lacks the political will to get us out of the WTO or the UN, and Codex is rolling on us like a runaway freight train with very few people even aware of its existence or the threat it poses due to spin that's been done against my message for the past several years. We're hoping to pull of a miracle. Stay tuned. A new alert is coming very soon.

John Hammell, IAHF

         Hummm. OK, that is a fine history of what happened, what is happening and what will likely happen. To sum it up in a nutshell, we are loosing our freedom of speech and our freedom of press and the public's right to buy and sell healthy products, perhaps mainly to continue our 15% GDP tithe to Big Pharma (pharmaceutical companies). As you read this article remember what is actually going on in America, and be warned.

         BUT! There is more. Turns out that the Life Extension Foundation can advertise and sell tons of nutritional supplements and describe exactly for what indication they are for and the FDA does nothing about it. Why? The Life Extension Foundation's people have sued the United States Food and Drug administration 3 times over freedom of speech issues and won each time at the Supreme Court level. Thank God for the Life Extension Foundation!

         It seems to me that the FDA had laws written that were in conflict with the United States Constitution. Read about it here. This is why you recently are seeing advertisements for foods and nutrients to "prevent" disease. Next, the Supreme Court will be asked whether or not the FDA can prohibit people from marketing nutrients to "treat"diseases. So, If you carry a big enough stick, it is possible to make the FDA bend over. The FDA is in a similar embarrassing situation; they have been cornered into a position that they cannot constitutionally get out of, i.e. Congress has grown increasingly hostile to new regulatory proposals and judges are ruling against them on First Amendment issues. Instead of admitting defeat, they created the “Better Health Information For Consumers” as a charade to make it appear that the FDA came up with the idea to uncensor health information and let consumers learn some of the proven health benefits of certain foods and supplements.

         The sad fact is that tens of millions of Americans needlessly died during most of the past century, as the FDA prohibited manufacturers of dietary supplements from disseminating information about peer-reviewed published scientific studies. The FDA went further by actively discouraging Americans from using dietary supplements and conducting nationwide seizure actions against companies who dared to make health claims.

Homeopathic Uses for Magnesium

         Even though the Texas Department of Health doesn't like magnesium as a cure for depression, magnesium has a long record of use as a depression treatment and for many different disorders in homeopathy, including depression realated disorders. For example magnesium chloride (Magnesia Muriatica), magnesium carbonate (Magnesia Carbonica), magnesium phosphate (Magnesia Phosphorica), magnesium sulfate (Magnesia Sulphurica) are all listed for use in treating the many disorders (click on item of interest in left-hand columns). However, if we want to look only at "MIND", then magnesium chloride (Magnesia Muriatica) is listed as being suitable for treating:


  • mind; aversions, dislikes; company;
  • aversions, dislikes; indolence, aversion to work;
  • aversions, dislikes; indolence, aversion to work; evening;
  • aversions, dislikes; aversion to mental work;
  • aversions, dislikes; to being spoken to;
  • behavior; kleptomania; steals dainties;
  • behavior; makes noises; growling like a dog;
  • behavior; shrieking; during sleep;
  • behavior; inclination to sit;
  • conversation;
  • dazed;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; creatures and animals; horses;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; visions of phantoms, figures, people; sees thieves;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; death; sees dead persons;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; death; corpse on a bier; mutilated body;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; environment and surroundings; clouds; before the fancy;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; environment and surroundings; clouds; clouds and rocks as if looking over;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; environment and surroundings; is on a journey;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; environment and surroundings; strange; familiar things seem strange;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; illusions of fantasy;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; illusions of fantasy; during heat;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; fire; visions of fire;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; hears sounds; growling, as of a bear;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; hears sounds; noise;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; delusions about other people; friends; being friendless;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; about self; circumstances; being friendless;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; unpleasant; sees mutilated bodies;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; visions or presence of phantoms, figures, people; someone is reading after her, which makes her read faster;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; visions or presence of phantoms, figures, people; thieves; sees;
  • delusions, imaginations, hallucinations, illusions; desire for open air;
  • desires, wants; to kill; on waking;
  • symptoms follow intense emotions; anger;
  • excitement;
  • excitement; during period;
  • mental exertion;
  • fantasies; of exaltation;
  • fantasies; of exaltation; on reading;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; boredom, dissatisfaction (see loathing of life);
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; cheerful, happy; daytime;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; forsaken feeling;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; impulsive; capriciousness;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; indecisive;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; indifference, apathy, etc.;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; indifference, apathy, etc.; morning, on waking;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; indifference, apathy, etc.; to pleasure;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; irritability;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; irritability; morning;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; irritability; morning; after rising;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; irritability; morning; on waking;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; irritability; late morning;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; irritability; evening;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; irritability; after sexual intercourse;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; irritability; during headache;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; irritability; before period;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; irritability; during period;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; irritability; on waking;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; loathing;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; loathing; morning;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; mirth, hilarity, liveliness, etc.; morning;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; mood; repulsive, bad mood;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; morose; morning;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; sensitive, oversensitive;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; sensitive, oversensitive; to noise;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; sensitive, oversensitive; to noise; voices;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; sensitive, oversensitive; to reading;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; sulky;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; unfriendly humor;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; unhappy; despair; discouraged;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; unhappy; discontent, displeased, dissatisfied, etc.;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; unhappy; sadness, mental depression;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; unhappy; sadness, mental depression; morning;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; unhappy; sadness, mental depression; before eating;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; unhappy; sadness, mental depression; eating;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; unhappy; sadness, mental depression; during period;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; weeping, crying, tearful mood (lamenting);
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; weeping, crying, tearful mood (lamenting); after eating;
  • emotions, feelings, attitude, disposition; weeping, crying, tearful mood (lamenting); in sleep;
  • home-sickness (see desires home);
  • hysteria;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; chaotic;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; difficulty concentrating;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; confusion;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; confusion; morning;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; confusion; on rising;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; confusion; open air;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; confusion; after dinner;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; confusion; after eating;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; confusion; when lying down;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; confusion; from mental exertion;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; confusion; wrapping up head;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; dull, sluggish;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; dull, sluggish; morning; on rising;
  • intellectual faculties; impaired thinking; dull, sluggish; in open air;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; morning;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; morning; on waking;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; afternoon;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; afternoon; until evening;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; evening;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; evening; in bed;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; evening; in bed; on closing the eyes;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; night;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; night; before midnight;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; open air;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; in bed;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; on closing eyes;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; during dinner;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; after eating;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; burping, belching;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; during fever;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; about health;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; in house;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; while reading;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; anxiety; before stool;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; fear;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; fear; evening;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; fear; after dinner;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; fear; after eating;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; fear; after food;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; fear; of robbers;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; frightened easily; starting, startled; like electric shocks; shocks through the body while wide awake;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; frightened easily; starting, startled; during sleep;
  • insecure, uncertain, scared; frightened easily; starting, startled; during sleep; starting from sleep;
  • perception; time; time passes too slowly;
  • preoccupied; absorbed, buried in thought; introspection;
  • restlessness, nervousness;
  • restlessness, nervousness; evening;
  • restlessness, nervousness; evening; in bed;
  • restlessness, nervousness; night;
  • restlessness, nervousness; night; before midnight;
  • restlessness, nervousness; night; 2 a.m.;
  • restlessness, nervousness; anxious, etc.;
  • restlessness, nervousness; forcing out of bed;
  • restlessness, nervousness; tossing about in bed;
  • restlessness, nervousness; on closing eyes at night;
  • restlessness, nervousness; during heat;
  • restlessness, nervousness; internal;
  • restlessness, nervousness; while lying down;
  • restlessness, nervousness; during period;
  • mental symptoms from sexual excesses;
  • talking, conversation; aversion to answering;
  • talking, conversation; aversion to answering; morning;
  • talking, conversation; contrary (see obstinate, irritable);
  • talking, conversation; obstinate;
  • talking, conversation; dislike of talking, desire to be silent, taciturn;
  • talking, conversation; dislike of talking, desire to be silent, taciturn; morning;
  • talking, conversation; of others;
  • talking, conversation; in sleep;
  • thoughts (see preoccupied); thoughtful;
  • unconsciousness;
  • unconsciousness; evening; when lying down;
  • unconsciousness; after eating;
  • unconsciousness; while lying down;

        Consequently, to the regulators that think that magnesium is a "new" drug treatment for depression, I say they are wrong. Magnesium has been around much longer than they, and humans have recognized it as treatment for many disorders and diseases much longer than the Food and Drug Administration and its lackeys have been in business. Fortunately, The Congressman who wrote the FDA law, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1939, was a homeopathy supporter named Sabath, from Illinois, and he made certain that homeopathy would remain legal. Consequently, any governmental regulator that says that we can not make drug claims for magnesium as a treatment for depression, a depression treatment, cure for depression, or means to prevent depression and a wide variety of related mental condition is on legally shaky grounds. All we have to do is use the proper Latin words!

Back to My Story

Back to my history and how I learned to cure my depression. When I purchased my first bottle of magnesium glycinate, it was not from intelligence that I chose that particular compound of magnesium. It was just what was available on the shelf at the store I visited. After considerable research, I found that the store provided the best form of magnesium that I could have chosen to treat depression. Both glycine and taurine have been used to effectively treat depression, and both should be taken with magnesium while treating depression. Also taurine has been shown to be low or absent in 100 percent of people with depression and chronic pain according to Shealy.

        I quit taking and quit recommending magnesium glycinate without additive taurine because glycine, in the doses taken and while taken for a protracted period of time, will damage its delicate balance with another amino acid, taurine (unless it is also taken). Taurine is vital to mental and cardiac health and must not be disturbed, while glycine is ubiquitous and appears highly unlikely to be bothered by too much taurine. For example, diets with up to 1% as taurine had no adverse effect on test animals. Long term high doses of glycinate may cause cardiac arrhythmias, and will never allow total recovery from depression or other mood disorders. However, most people will find that magnesium glycinate works miracles for them in the short-term. Also, both magnesium and taurine have been proven to be low in depression in about 80% and 100% of depression cases respectively, so why not take glycine and taurine and magnesium? Read Shealy's article starting here. See sentence immediately before the Discussion section. This does not mean magnesium glycinate is harmful in the short- or near-term, it just means one shouldn't use it year in and year out (without taurine), and it must be IMMEDIATELY stopped if side effects, particularly cardiac arrhythmias (PACs) occur. Taurine is the antidote to many cardiac problems. See this page for the first and only scientific discussion on how taurine prevents and treats experimental extra systoles (pre atrial contractions PACs) and many other serious heart conditions.

        Glycine (the second component of magnesium glycinate) chelates (removes) mercury from the body. Citric acid and cysteine also remove mercury. The first stability constants for mercury binding with glycine or cysteine or citric acid are in the log 10 to log 14 range, which are vastly stronger bindings than can be broken by any natural biology or chemistry event occurring in the body. Glycine is a non-essential amino acid, but for people with mercury poisoning, it, cysteine and citric acid may be highly important. Because of these amazing chelating, sequestering or binding powers, if they reacted with mercury in any form in the body, they should be able to bind them much more tightly, making mercury biologically unavailable in the body. Perhaps, consumption of large amounts of these amino acids from high quality protein sources, and consumption of citrus help protect from the toxic effects of mercury. Mercury is extremely toxic and can cause depression and many symptoms associated with depression. These symptoms include, insomnia, nervousness, memory loss, dizziness, anxiety, loss of self-confidence, irritability, drowsiness, weight loss, tremors, paraesthesia (numbness and tingling), hallucinations, headaches, fatigue, muscle weakness, hearing difficulties, emotional instability, skin inflammation, incoordination and kidney damage. The common areas where mercury is found are: auto exhaust emissions, used motor oils, pesticides, fertilizers, dental amalgams (silver fillings), drinking water (tap and well), leather tanning chemicals, felt, bleached flour, processed foods, fabric softeners, fish (tuna, swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tile fish), calomel (mercury chloride contaminant in talc, body powder), paint pigments and solvents, cinnabar (mercury sulfide - used in red jewelry items), inorganic mercury laxatives, mercurochrome/methiolate anti-infectives, cosmetics (mascara), floor waxes and polishes, wood preservatives, water plumbing & piping, adhesives, batteries, used air conditioner filters (better here than in the air), broken thermometers, and some electronic equipment. Consequently, supplementing several grams of these chelating agents daily is a good idea regardless of current mental health. However, DMSA is the drug, apparently a harmless drug, of choice for removing heavy metals.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

Collected Thoughts on Dosage

        Now, more than 3 years after my very rapid recovery, I still ponder the correct dosage for magnesium, perhaps because this is the number one question asked by readers. What are the facts? There are some in the FDA who believe the U.S. RDA of 400 mg for men and 350 for women is too low, and that many persons need as much as 900 a day in their diet for a normal life. Canada, who pays for its citizen's health care, has a RDA of 420 mg magnesium for adults.

       Dosage depends on the ligand, the thing to which the magnesium is attached. In the case of magnesium glycinate, the ligand is "glycinate or glycine". Absorption is largely a property of contact of the magnesium ion with the lining of the stomach and intestines. If magnesium is lightly bound to the ligand, then the acidity of the stomach can "ionize" the magnesium from its ligand and convert it to magnesium chloride (from the stomach acid hydrochloric acid) and finally into a positively charged ionic form for transfer into the blood where it is then picked up by various other ligands for transport to cells. Stomach acid can reduce the magnesium compound to the ionic form for metal complexes that have low to modest chemical stability, releasing both the magnesium ion and the ligand. The following magnesium compounds have sufficiently low stability that they offer very high absorption and are well tolerated. Magnesium acetate, chloride, citrate, gluconate, glycinate, lactate, malate, succinate and sulfate are all very good, ionizable sources of magnesium. Intravenously, hospitals give magnesium sulfate. Magnesium chloride would be best, but it is very hygroscopic and difficult to properly package, but it makes a wonderful oily skin lotion when present in more than 25% concentrations in water and is readily and beneficially absorbed. I like the "Ancient Minerals" magnesium chloride product sold by LL's Magnetic Clay. It is supposed to be from an ancient European mineral deposit called the "Zechstein magnesium salt bed" in Europe.

       On the other hand, magnesium oxide is totally useless (and potentially dangerous) because it is too tightly bound for stomach acid to dissociate into ionic form and it will not benefit humans at all. If you rely on it for your daily magnesium, you will not benefit. This medical journal article abstract reported that "taking magnesium citrate was best absorbed, and that magnesium oxide was no better than taking placebo." This medical journal article reported that "Results indicated relatively poor bioavailability of magnesium oxide (fractional absorption 4 per cent) but significantly higher and equivalent bioavailability of magnesium chloride, magnesium lactate and magnesium aspartate." Another article reported "The increment in urinary magnesium following magnesium citrate load (25 mMol) was significantly higher than that obtained from magnesium oxide load (during 4 hours post-load, 0.22 vs 0.006 mg/mg creatinine, p less than 0.05; during second 2 hours post-load, 0.035 vs 0.008 mg/mg creatinine, p less than 0.05). Thus, magnesium citrate was more soluble and bioavailable than magnesium oxide." This can be interpreted to mean that magnesium oxide raised blood levels of magnesium only 1 / 37 that of magnesium citrate. NOTE: I personally know someone that took 500 mg of magnesium from magnesium oxide every day for 40 years and died of a massive heart attack. This dirt cheap inorganic form of magnesium will not work, except in very much larger doses, which greatly increase risk of diarrhea. Magnesium hydroxide is mainly useful to treat constipation (Milk of Magnesia). All of the useful, ionizable compounds of magnesium have a metallic, mildly unpleasant taste. On the other hand magnesium carbonate, oxide, stearate and hydroxide have no taste. These compounds are so tightly bound not even the taste buds are affected by them. Always taste-test each bottle of magnesium to detect improperly labeled products. Improperly labeled magnesium products do exist in the United States and they do cause many people to complain that "magnesium doesn't work". Obviously, neurotoxic-to-us ligands (glutamate and aspartate) and oxides and hydroxides must be avoided if they are used for dietary supplement purposes. If I were writing the laws, they (the oxide, glutamate and aspartate forms) would be illegal for human and animal consumption.

       magnesium oxide vs magnesium sulfateThis figure from Enya tells an amazing story. The woman being treated here with potassium for numbness in her extremities, depression and some other minor mental ailments was also administered magnesium to aid in the absorption of potassium. She was administered first oral magnesium oxide. It did nothing except cause diarrhea, which was accompanied by a reduction in blood magnesium. Later, she was administered magnesium sulfate by IV drip, and her depression instantly disappeared. Her numbness also vanished. Do you get my point that magnesium oxide is not helpful????

       Actually, magnesium stearate has an important function in the manufacture of drugs and nutritional supplements, that being as a "tablet lubricant". Magnesium stearate is totally non reactive with all other chemicals, drugs and nutrients, and it has high lubrication properties. This lack of chemical reactivity and lubrication property makes it a necessary ingredient for inclusion in nearly all compressed tablets (but not gelatin capsules). Without magnesium stearate as an additive, machinery that make compressed tablets would not function correctly. The parts would stick together. Magnesium stearate prevents tablet-making machinery from sticking, and it allows tablets to be made by the millions per day without any damage to the equipment. Without magnesium stearate, the equipment could only make a few, perhaps less than 100 tablets per day, due to massive equipment failure from lack of lubrication.

       Much of this essay relates to and asks why one needs so much supplemental magnesium to maintain mood? Normally, people don't consider magnesium as a part of their nutrition, even though magnesium is the second most prevalent mineral inside their cells (potassium is first). Have you ever seen magnesium on a food ingredient label? Not likely. I know I haven't, except for Planters® nuts and some General Mills cereals. Clearly people with mood disorders leak or do not properly absorb magnesium. Consequently, without supplements of magnesium we are in desperate condition. There is an important section in this essay that explores in depth the question of why we leak magnesium and can't properly absorb it. Please read that section to see which factors might be involved in your personal situation. You will probably need to discuss these factors with your physician. Briefly, there are two main reasons, kidney (urinary) and gastrointestinal (fecal) losses. Some losses are caused by damage to these two organs by common drugs, usually prescription drugs like steroids, birth control pills, antifungals, laxatives and antibiotics. Other causes of damage include poor diet, endocrine disorders, parasites, infection and many other shown in this link. In my case, I know medicines damaged my gut by treating a yeast infection first with prescription antibiotics (improperly prescribed) and then with steroids (a potentially dangerous medicine). Did that further predispose me to depression? I think so.

       There are four very important dietary causes of low magnesium, which are: (1) "Leaky gut Syndrome" - inadequate intestinal bacteria, (2) insulin / sugar problems and (3) improper calcium / magnesium ratio, and (4) low bile production. During our youth, we are usually immune to each of these problems, but as we age (either in years or from toxins such as drugs or abuse of sugars and calcium), our ability to defend ourselves from these factors declines, sometimes to the point of illness. We will now discuss the main underling non-medical reasons for low intracellular magnesium, which cause depression (and many other common illnesses).

Could George be Wrong about Magnesium Oxide?

       Heavens to Betsy! Could George be wrong about magnesium oxide? Throughout the entirety of this essay, except for this single section, I indicate that magnesium oxide is garbage, useless and not bioavailable. On the other hand, maybe for some special people, magnesium oxide could be just what the doctor ordered. Here are the facts. Some people can't absorb ionizable magnesium compounds since they have intestinal problems, such as candida albicans infection and other problems perhaps of a medical nature, and they develop diarrhea with relatively small doses of ionizable magnesium like magnesium chloride, citrate, lactate, glycinate and so on. I believe they can't absorb ionizable magnesium since ionizable magnesium first feeds candida albicans fungus or other infective agent in the guts, thus worsening intestinal health and diminishing absorption. I don't know if this condition is rare or common, but suspect it is rare in well people but more common in sick people such as depressives. Perhaps leaky gut syndrome is present. There are fascinating tidbits of information that suggests magnesium oxide will not be absorbed by candida albicans (my intuition only - no facts here), yet the human gut absorbs it. However, the amount of magnesium oxide needed to effect a benefit in treating depression may be as high as 2,000 to 4,000 milligrams a day (split the doses please)! Whoa! That much magnesium citrate or other ionizable compounds might cause serious health problems (or death?), so it greatly worries me that people may not remember that these huge doses are very tentatively described ONLY for magnesium oxide and such doses may or may not cause severe side effects. Benefits? Maybe! Why am I taking this position now? Last year I worked on magnesium throat lozenges for asthma, see the article here. Although I did not expect magnesium oxide to work, it did, but much larger doses were required compared to ionizable forms. Therefore, I had some personal evidence that magnesium oxide could be absorbed and could be useful in treating human diseases. Was it very convincing? NO! There are other tidbits of information too. In this 1986 unpublished article by Vinson, he shows that magnesium oxide produced urinary levels of magnesium in excess of that produced by magnesium glycinate. That means that for those several people in the Vinson study, magnesium oxide was absorbed better than magnesium glycinate. Look at this 2006 article in Gut, a journal associated with the British Medical Journal, it shows with clear laboratory evidence that a woman having had part of her intestinal tract removed from a previous surgery, absorbed magnesium oxide but not other forms of magnesium. Are these three tidbits convincing? NOT YET, but I am convinced that there must be a simple solution to the problem of absorption of magnesium for those people that are having trouble absorbing ionizable magnesium compounds. Therefore, with considerable humility, I suggest that as a last ditch effort to make magnesium work, try magnesium oxide, and let me know your progress. I will publish your results here.

        Here is the first suggestion from Ryan H. that the above may be right for some select people.

        "I know you get a ton of mail so I will keep this brief (love the site, btw). My intention is not to challenge your findings but to find the truth for myself. I have tried three different types of magnesium for anxiety (malate, citrate, and oxide) and, believe it or not, only oxide helps. Before you dismiss this email, let me provide you with some background info. When I take malate or citrate (bound to magnesium, of course) in daily doses larger than 600 mg (divided into 4 separate doses), I get terrible diarrhea and cramps and no relief for my anxiety. However, I can consume 2500 mg (or more) magnesium oxide without any repercussions and it further cures my anxiety completely. I have found a few reputable links that report that on RARE occasions, some individuals actually absorb magnesium oxide better than other chelated forms (the links are below). The vast majority of the research I have done reaches the same conclusion that you do - magnesium oxide is garbage. Please give me your feedback on this - I can't explain why oxide works best for me, it just does."

       The links he mentioned are the two links about magnesium oxide that I have in my above text. Thanks, Ryan H. Had he not written, I would not have given any credibility to my magnesium oxide for asthma data, and would not have made the leap that there are gut issues here that may be positively influenced by low bioavailability magnesium compounds such as magnesium oxide. If you want to know how ionizable any given magnesium compound is, and don't mind a bit of chemical nomenclature see this page. However, I warn Ryan and anybody that will listen, that if your body changes, and you suddenly are able to easily absorb magnesium oxide, you could be in for a major overdose. See this internal link for signs and symptoms of magnesium toxicity. I think I would prefer people to use "non gut" methods of a taking magnesium, such as shots, IV, rectal, or topical described below rather than to overdose on magnesium oxide.


So far, I only seem to have a positive response to magnesium oxide in very high doses (over 10 grams, > possibly 14+). Do you know the best way to get this without taking tons of pills & how to counteract that with > > taurine or anything else? It definitely overstimulates bowels-so I get to feel good only I can't be around others. I've suffered from severe chronic depression my whole life & eat an extremely healthy raw vegan diet. I have tried tons of supplements & natural remedies all of which has done nothing. I had tried magnesium taurate previously & it didn't do anything, probably because I needed much higher doses.

i appreciate your assistance.

Thank you,


       Ahhhhhhh!!! You guys and gals are really scaring me! Those could be toxic doses if it were any compound other than magnesium oxide! WARNING!!!!!

"Leaky Gut Syndrome"

       The answer to the question, "How much should I take to cure my depression?", closely relates to what caused the magnesium malabsorption or leakage. In nearly all cases severe stress (metabolic, psychological, environmental, physical) is involved as a predisposing factor. However, "Leaky Gut Syndrome" may be the most frequent cause of our inability to absorb magnesium. In nearly all cases, improving digestion by any means possible, such as use of stomach acidifiers (AC Vinegar), enzymes, CoQ10, soluble fiber, and correcting "Leaky Gut Syndrome" are easy and should be our highest priorities for rapid recovery. How? First, we must realize that insufficient stomach acid prevents absorption of minerals including magnesium, and that anything that irritates or damages our intestines impairs our ability to absorb magnesium. If magnesium is not absorbed through the walls of the stomach, in the large intestines magnesium ions attract vast numbers of molecules of water and promote retention of water - the usually accepted cause of its laxative effects. However, inadequate production of bile and the resultant diarrhea may be far more important in our inability to absorb sufficient magnesium. We must also realize that magnesium when present in the gut in sufficient concentration acts on our intestinal flora in the same way as an antibiotic - a definite gut irritant! This action may be because magnesium ions (especially as magnesium chloride - the form of magnesium present in our bodies as result of hydrochloric stomach acid) have strong, wide-spectrum antibiotic action. The antibiotic action of magnesium ion, using Epsom Salt, is well appreciated in veterinary medicine, and is used daily in treating topical wounds in animals, particularly abscesses in hoofs of horses. Also, Walter Last recounts its early use in humans as an antibiotic here. Why magnesium ion is not used as a broad spectrum antibiotic in people today is unclear, but probably has little to do with efficacy and much to do with economics. Regardless, if sufficient magnesium gets into the large intestines, it can and often does disrupt the normal flora of the gut causing a form of "Leaky Gut Syndrome" in the absence of adequate bile. This effect results in inadequate absorption of magnesium, calcium and many other nutrients which can cause many disorders including depression. Treating "Leaky Gut Syndrome" therefore becomes a novel way to treat depression.

        How is "Leaky Gut Syndrome" treated? First, identify and avoid things that irritate the gut such as food allergens, alcohol, caffeine, sugar (excesses cause intestinal yeast overgrowth) and drugs. Second, probiotics (life-sustaining bacteria normal and required in the intestines) such as acidophilus lactobacillus (available at pharmacies, health food and grocery stores) are needed to maintain and replace intestinal flora killed by excess magnesium ion. Only the strongest, fresh (refrigerated) available should be used, in a sufficient amount (6+ billion viable microorganisms per dose) and at a frequency (3 to 5 doses a day) to terminate diarrhea nearly overnight. Taking probiotics at times of the day different from magnesium only makes sense. Just like we would never take antibiotics at the same time of taking probiotics, we must not take magnesium with probiotics. There seems to be zero risk of overdosage using quality products, but mixed probiotic cultures may not be useful particularly if un refrigerated, because they have the habit of killing each other in warm environments when stored for a long time. If you want to get really serious about GI health, do what I do, use refrigerated 450 billion bacteria VSL#3 packets several times a day. Gas may be a side effect until the body adjusts. Ask the store clerk which probiotics have been shipped and maintained in a refrigerated state and which are the strongest. Third, psyllium husk fibers or bars without added sugar are very helpful in providing intestinal bulk and harborage for the intestinal flora, but they greatly decrease absorption of magnesium, and should not be used while treating depression. See this medical journal article for details. Some researchers say that damage to the gut repairable using probiotics takes from 3 to 6 months, even though diarrhea can usually be terminated within a few days. Consequently, we must avoid the temptation of early withdrawal from these life- and health-sustaining agents. We need to remember that diarrhea is not necessary for there to be "Leaky Gut Syndrome". Diarrhea is only one symptom of this disorder. Learn more about how and why treating "Leaky Gut Syndrome" is vital to general health recovery, Kefir is vital in repopulating the intestines with friendly fungus after killing Albicans, an overgrowth of which is a potent cause of low magnesium.

       The amount of magnesium that we ingest is not as important as the amount we absorb. Many times magnesium tablets do not quickly dissolve in the stomach, resulting in entire tablets getting into the intestines where they always cause diarrhea. Allowing a tablet to dissolve in a glass of water or in the mouth will reveal problems with tablet dissolution rates. In cases of slow dissolution, tablets can be crushed and dissolved in a small glass of water with soluble fiber. I have an indelicate pallet, and I chew the tablets to a powder. I don't know if others can do the same.

       What is the result of curing "Leaky Gut Syndrome" (a form of magnesium wasting) in the treatment of depression with magnesium? Perhaps most importantly, the total daily amount of magnesium required to improve mood is lowered. On occasion, repair is so complete that supplemental magnesium may be discontinued after a few months without recurrence of depression. Importantly, if we can cure "Leaky Gut Syndrome" and our mood improves to normal, we can be assured that we have fixed a serious problem using a very simple and harmless technique that allows us to rule out more complicated causes for our problems with mood. Who could say that treating depression with probiotics is not better than treating depression with Prozac®?

Inulin - the Vital Prebiotic

Inulin increases mineral absorption

       Not only are there beneficial probiotics, there are also vital "prebiotics" like inulin and oligofructose. They have a more important role in improving human health than almost anything we are likely to consume, since they greatly increase the absorption of minerals in the lower intestines. Without them we do not do well. Have you ever heard of them? Remember that ignorance kills, so pay attention. In history, these prebiotics were much more prevalent in our diets than today. In today's diet in the U.S., we might ingest 2 to 5 grams per day, while in European history they consumed 25 to 32 grams per day, and Australian aborigines ate between 200 and 300 grams per day. What foods contain inulin? Mainly chicory, dahlia, Jerusalem artichokes, munong, and yacon, which are not served at McDonald's. Actually, nearly one-third of all vegetables contain these prebiotics, but the U.S. diet remains horribly low in them accounting for poor mineral absorption in the large intestines. In the U.S. diet, wheat contributes the main source of inulin, with onions being a lesser second source. Increased mineral absorption from ingestion of inulin helps prevent a wide range of diseases, including depression, cancer, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, immune system disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, dental problems, skeletal issues, menopausal issues, and opportunistic infections (urinary tract health and Candidiaisis) as well as preventing generally a wide range of other mineral-deficiency-induced diseases. Do we need more inulin in our diets? Duh! Maybe a whole bunch more? Yes, I think so. I buy my inulin from Now Foods as a powder (order here). I scoop up a half-teaspoon (1.5 grams) and stir it into a glass of water at least three times/day and often more often. This gives me an added +4.5 grams of inulin, and frankly my dear, it is about all I can tolerate. It gives me gas! Big time! That is the main recognized side effect of supplemental inulin, gas! How on Earth can the Australian aborigines take 300 mg of inulin a day? All I can figure is that they must have cast-iron butts! Kidding aside, it is only in first several weeks of inulin treatment that it causes gastrointestinal problems. We (you and me) need to bite the bullet and take more, maybe much more, at least to take as much as the Europeans did. How does inulin work? It restores the bacteria in our lower intestinal tract to the bacterial population that we had in our youth. I.E., it is the fountain of youth for our lower intestines. The primary bacteria involved in absorption of minerals in the lower intestines is bifidobacteria, not lactobacilli, and inulin greatly increases those "good" bacteria. See this link and this link for much more on inulin and its vital role in human health. Inulin also helps prevent diarrhea, both directly and indirectly since less magnesium is required for the same benefit.

Taurine - The Perfect-Poop Maker!

       Inadequate production of bile, which is made in the liver and aids in proper digestion of fats, probably is five times more responsible for diarrhea and malabsorption of magnesium than any other single factor while taking therapeutic doses of magnesium. How can we get our bile production high enough to improve our absorption of magnesium? Cottage cheese, low in calcium and very high in taurine (1700 mg per cup), is a good food source. Taking taurine supplements along with various ionizable magnesium compounds (such as magnesium acetate, chloride, citrate, gluconate, glycinate, lactate, malate, succinate, sulfate, tartrate), seems to do the trick, because both often result in perfect poop. Loose stools normally attendant with daily 1200 mg magnesium dosage (split into 200 to 300 mg doses given 4 times per day), appeared completely preventable by taking six times the dosage of taurine with the magnesium doses (for example: for each 100 mg magnesium dosage, about 600 mg of taurine is ingested). Taurine is a conditional essential amino acid for humans, well known to be essential in human infants, but not in adults (except in aging, where its absence may be responsible for vast morbidity and early mortality). Its other main function is in preventing cardiac arrhythmias and palpitations, and regulating cardiac rhythm generally, by supporting potassium metabolism too. Since I have had an increasingly severe problem with cardiac arrhythmias (PACs), such is the reason I experimented with taurine. Although the arrhythmias were slowly benefited over a one month period and nearly disappeared, the poop issue became immediately evident the first morning after my initial taurine dosage. I searched the Internet and PubMed for and found only that "excess taurine acts as a diuretic and laxative". I disagree for the doses we are taking, but perhaps this is a problem for really large doses (much higher than our 6 grams per day). When I also add 2 to 5 grams of taurine with each meal and at bedtime to prevent bothersome cardiac arrhythmias (PACs), I do not notice any laxative effects from taurine. Here is an excellent 1998 article about the therapeutic value of taurine by Timothy C. Birdsall, ND, Executive Editor of Alternative Medicine Reviews. Here is the only scientific article on treating cardiac arrhythmias with taurine. This is a shame because cardiac problems nearly always involve low taurine, and taruine will keep you alive in many very severe cardiac illnesses.

       Taurine is supposed to be one of the most abundant amino acids in the body. It is found in human and animal central nervous systems, skeletal muscles and is very concentrated in brain, heart and eye tissues. It is synthesized from the amino acids methionine and cysteine, in conjunction with vitamin B6. Animal protein (particularly seafood) is a good source of taurine, but it is not found in vegetable protein. Vegetarians with an unbalanced protein intake, and therefore deficient in methionine or cysteine will have great difficulty manufacturing taurine. Dietary intake is thought to be more important in women as the female hormone estradiol depresses the formation of taurine in the liver.

       Taurine functions in electrically active tissues such as the brain and heart to help stabilize cell membranes. Taurine seems to inhibit and modulate neurotransmitters (like glycine and GABA) in the brain and helps to stabilize cell membranes. It also has functions in the gallbladder, eyes, and blood vessels and appears to have some antioxidant and detoxifying activity. Taurine aids the movement of potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium in and out of cells and thus helps generate nerve impulses. Zinc seems to support this effect of taurine. There have been reports on the benefits of taurine supplementation for epileptics. It has also been found to control motor tics, such as uncontrollable facial twitches. In Japan, taurine therapy is often used in the treatment of ischemic heart disease. In some people trying both magnesium and taurine for OCD, taurine seemed more effective, and some are saying that taurine cured their OCD.

       Low taurine and magnesium levels have been found in patients after heart attacks. Like magnesium, taurine affects cell membrane electrical excitability by normalizing potassium flow in and out of heart muscle cells. Supplements decrease the tendency to develop potentially lethal abnormal heart arrhythmias after heart attacks. People with congestive heart failure have also responded to supplementation with improved cardiac and respiratory function. Taurine is necessary for the chemical reactions that produce normal vision, and deficiencies are associated with retinal degeneration. I call taurine my "heart lube".

       Besides protecting the retina, taurine may help prevent and possibly reverse age-related cataracts. Low levels of taurine and other sulphur containing amino acids are associated with high blood pressure, and taurine supplements have been shown to lower blood pressure in some studies. Other possible uses for taurine supplementation include eye disease (including scleritis and retinal disease), cirrhosis, depression and male infertility (due to low sperm motility) and hypertension, and as a supplement for newborns and new mothers. It is vital in maintaining the correct composition of bile and the solubility of cholesterol. It has been found to have an effect on blood sugar levels similar to insulin.

       Very interestingly, taurine and glycine exist in the presence of a time- and dose-dependent exchange mechanism. After administering glycine to rats, researchers discovered that it produced a notable suppression of hepatic taurine content in the liver. Yet, this taurine decrease was not found in other taurine-rich organs such as the brain, heart or kidney. The mechanism for hepatic concentration of these two amino acids serves to alter liver concentrations of these amino acids without adversely affecting the rest of the body. The significance of this is very high, because as glycine goes up and taurine goes down in the liver, bile production is impaired and intestinal absorption of magnesium becomes greatly impaired, helping to explain why diarrhea resulting from magnesium plus taurine is less prevalent than without taurine. In some people sensitive to this reaction, magnesium glycinate would be contraindicated, while magnesium taurate would be more helpful. Why not take magnesium glycinate plus taurine?

       Like all nutrients, taurine enhances or decreases the action of other nutrients. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of the amino acid glutamic acid. If glutamic acid supplementation is given, as is sometimes done with alcoholics, it tends to reduce taurine. MSG itself can also reduce taurine levels. The amino acids beta-alanine and beta-hypotaurine, as well as the B-vitamin pantothenic acid, may also interfere with taurine's functions. Zinc, on the other hand, enhances taurine's heart lube effects. Zinc deficiency and combined vitamin A and zinc deficiency are associated with an increased excretion of taurine in the urine and with depleted taurine levels in the tissues where it is normally found. Cysteine (found in meat) and vitamin B6 are the most critical nutrients to support the manufacture of taurine in the body of human beings or those species that are able to synthesize enough.

For me, my taurine levels were so consistently low that to totally prevent PAC (pre atrial contractions) cardiac arrhythmias (harmless but nerve racking extra beats), I required 2 grams of taurine with each meal Here is an article, actually the only article ever written on the ability of taurine to regulate the electrical activity of the heart.

       Taurine (my heart lube) is an important regulator of cellular ion transport and osmotic balance, aspects that are pivotal to renal function. The kidney not only regulates body taurine status, but emerging information also suggests that body taurine status is of consequence for renal function. While reduction in endogenous taurine stores can attenuate renal excretory function, exogenous taurine supplementation is kidney-protective and augments kidney function in several conditions that are associated with reduction in diuresis and natriuresis. Thus taurine treatment may be of potential benefit in conditions that are associated with impaired kidney function and the accompanying dysregulation of body fluid and electrolyte homeostasis. I say that anything that improves kidney function is vital to us.

       Taurine supplementation is now recommended for the prevention and treatment of diabetes. In order to determine the effects of taurine supplementation or depletion on the morphological changes of pancreatic beta-cells in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, rats were fed diets supplemented with 1, 2 or 3% taurine or 5% beta-alanine in their drinking water for 7 weeks. After 3 weeks, diabetes was induced by streptozotocin injection (50 mg/kg body-weight). Pancreatic morphology was observed by transmission electron microscopy. The pancreatic beta-cell of the non-diabetic (CO) group had the many secretory granules, rough endoplasmic reticulum and rod shaped mitochondria. However, the beta-cells of non taurine-supplemented diabetic (EO) group were severely damaged, showing depleted secretory granules. In the 1% taurine-supplemented diabetic group, the beta-cells were less damaged compared to the EO group and had some apparently normal secretory granules, but most of rough endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria was destroyed. The beta-cell of 2% taurine-supplemented diabetic group had swollen rough endoplasmic reticulum, round-shaped mitochondria and some apparently normal secretory granules. The beta-cell of 3% taurine-supplemented diabetic group was little different from that of non-diabetic group. The pancreatic beta-cell of taurine-depleted diabetic group was not destroyed but had many small secretory granules which appeared immature. This was reflected in the blood glucose concentrations of this group. Therefore, taurine may prevent insulin-dependent diabetes by protection of the pancreatic beta-cell and may also preserve normal secretory granules. From these results, taurine supplementation may be recommended for prevention and treatment of diabetes. Beta-alanine worsened diabetes. Magnesium, however, plays an important role in the regulation of insulin secretion by altering the sensitivity of the beta cells of the Islets of Langerhans to glucose.

       The site commented that taurine was the antidote for glutamate poisoning. I questioned Carol Hoernlein, the founder of the site about her point of view and she wrote me back writing:

       The MSG toxicity - taurine deficiency link theory is my own. I developed the theory over ten years ago. At first in my research of glutamate toxicity and its effect on cardiovascular health, most of the neuro scientific data at the time linked glutamate toxicity to its effect on the amino acid cysteine. (Glutamate and cysteine compete for uptake in the body.) I then was given an article about the amino acid taurine by a colleague. That was the link. Taurine deficiency symptoms are the exact same symptoms of MSG reaction. Particularly a racing heart. (Taurine is an amino acid that regulates heart beat.) When I realized that the body manufactures taurine from cysteine, the pieces fell into place. I then tested my theory. The next MSG reaction I had, I took taurine in pill form. The headache went away, the racing heart calmed down, the blood pressure went down, and I was able to sleep. Since that time, I have used it quite often and always keep some handy as an "antidote". It is interesting to note, that now taurine is being used in Japan to treat high blood pressure. It is also being studied to treat diabetes and epilepsy now. These are also two diseases impacted by glutamate. Glutamate triggers the pancreas to produce insulin, but too much insulin can result in insulin resistance, Type II diabetes, and obesity. Also, MSG is well known as an epilepsy trigger. All these facts point to the conclusion that ingested MSG somehow interferes with taurine formation in the body, perhaps by interfering with the uptake of the cysteine needed to make taurine. It is by no means an "official" theory, but we have had many reports of MSG sensitive persons who report relief of some MSG reaction symptoms by ingesting taurine. It is also interesting to note that the body uses Vitamin B6 to make taurine, and that Vitamin B6 deficiency makes MSG reactions worse.
       I will be adding a page to the web site soon about taurine, as it is a fascinating amino acid.
       Hope this explains things a bit better. If you more questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

Carol A. Hoernlein, P.E.

       Carol's and my personal beliefs have major, scientific support. Taurine prevents glutamate excitotoxicity through regulation of calcium and mitochondrial energy metabolism according to scientists writing in the November 1999 issue of Journal of Neuroscience. They clearly and unambiguously point out that the control of intracellular calcium concentrations is a fundamental process in neuronal survival and function. This, prevention of glutamate excitotoxicity, is exactly what we need, and is a powerful reason I use magnesium glycinate plus taurine (not magnesium taurate since it is too tightly bound for many people). This importance of this point cannot be over emphasized. Additive taurine also is a potent sleep enhancer.

       Aspartate, glutamate, and possilby glutamine, among other amino acids, are excitatory. They are antagonistic to the functions of taurine, alanine, GABA and glycine according to a contemporary review of taurine by Richard Smayda, D.O.. Consequently, Carol is correct, taurine does detoxify glutamates. Dr. Smayda's review is of considerable importance to all of us interested in magnesium and depression. Dr. Smayda points out that major depression is marked by alterations in serum levels of the excitatory amino acids glutamate and aspartate, accompanied by deviations in levels of taurine, serine, and glycine as well. In patients who did not respond to depression treatment with classical SSRI antidepressants (treatment-resistant depression - like what we are discussing in this page), characteristically lower serum levels of taurine, aspartate, asparagine, serine and threonine, with a steep increase in glutamine, were noted. Consequently, magnesium glycinate plus taurine is my preferred form of magnesium for treating depression. These alterations may become valuable as diagnostic assessments to predict the response to treatment with antidepressants. I remain extremely cautious and worried about glutamates and aspartates due to toxicity that has been previously discussed. Here is a link to an important review of taurine in biological functions and food sources, with cottage cheese being low in calcium and high in taurine (1700 mg per cup). Here is a link to a really good discussion of the toxicity of MSG, aspartate and other excitatory agents.

       According to Dr. Smayda, taurine is a necessary and integral element for optimal health. Oral supplementation poses no major threat of toxicity, and its presence in foods makes it widely available to people seeking nutrition-oriented ways to improve their health. The importance of taurine cannot be overstated and its greater therapeutic application awaits only further research. It truly is part of the team of nutrients that we require for maintaining optimal health and sustaining life. However, in those individuals who develop stomach ulcers with aspirin, for instance, large doses of supplemental taurine may be contraindicated. Some people may have side effects from too much taurine, and there is a possibility that excessive taurine (6 grams or more per day) over a long time could cause histamine issues, perhaps resulting in increased - to greatly increased - respiratory mucous production, sort of a super allergy -type reaction.

       MF MaCarty writes in Medical Hypotheses: "By a variety of mechanisms, magnesium functions both intracellularly and extracellularly to minimize the cytoplasmic free calcium level, [Ca2+]i. This may be the chief reason why correction of magnesium deficiency, or induction of hypermagnesemia by parenteral infusion, exerts antihypertensive, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-arrhythmic and antithrombotic effects. Although the amino acid taurine can increase systolic calcium transients in cardiac cells (and thus has positive inotropic activity), it has other actions which tend to reduce [Ca2+]i. Indeed, in animal or clinical studies, taurine lowers elevated blood pressure, retards cholesterol-induced atherogenesis, prevents arrhythmias and stabilizes platelets--effects parallel to those of magnesium. The combination of magnesium glycinate and taurine may thus have considerable potential as a vascular-protective nutritional supplement pair, and might also be administered parenterally, as an alternative to magnesium sulfate, in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction as well as of pre-eclampsia. The effects of magnesium glycinate and taurine in diabetes deserve particular attention, since both magnesium and taurine may improve insulin sensitivity, and also may lessen risk for the micro- and macrovascular complications of diabetes."

       Concerning pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, MF MaCarty writes in Medical Hypotheses: "The use of parenteral magnesium sulfate for the management of pre-eclampsia/eclampsia is well established. In striking analogy to the effects of hypermagnesemia, taurine has antivasospastic, antihypertensive, platelet-stabilizing, anticonvulsant and hypoxia-protective properties. Thus parenteral magnesium sulfate plus taurine can reasonably be proposed as a superior alternative to magnesium sulfate in the treatment of pre-eclampsia; administered orally as a component of prenatal supplementation, and they might well have both preventive and therapeutic value in this syndrome. In the light of the hypoxia-protective actions of both magnesium and taurine, such supplementation might also protect fetuses experiencing temporary perinatal asphyxia, lessening the risk of cerebral palsy."

       Concerning migraines, MF MaCarty writes in Medical Hypotheses: "Although the pathogenesis of migraine is still poorly understood, various clinical investigations, as well as consideration of the characteristic activities of the wide range of drugs known to reduce migraine incidence, suggest that such phenomena as neuronal hyperexcitation, cortical spreading depression, vasospasm, platelet activation and sympathetic hyperactivity often play a part in this syndrome. Increased tissue levels of taurine, as well as increased extracellular magnesium, could be expected to dampen neuronal hyperexcitation, counteract vasospasm, increase tolerance to focal hypoxia and stabilize platelets; taurine may also lessen sympathetic outflow. Thus it is reasonable to speculate that supplemental magnesium and taurine will have preventive value in the treatment of migraine. Fish oil, owing to its platelet-stabilizing and antivasospastic actions, may also be useful in this regard, as suggested by a few clinical reports. Although many drugs have value for migraine prophylaxis, the two nutritional measures suggested here may have particular merit owing to the versatility of their actions, their safety and lack of side-effects and their long-term favorable impact on vascular health."

       In the cat, taurine is an essential amino acid, and one of the best layman's pages on taurine on the Internet is dedicated to cats. In that page taurine is again shown to antagonize glutamates, and visa versa.

       Recently, it has been suggested by Chinese scientist Zhao Xi-he and co-workers that taurine may act as an antihypertensive substance through central and peripheral mechanisms in animal models and in human essential hypertension. Taurine is high in seafood and not present in plant food. Foods high in taurine are eaten by ocean-loving people in countries including Japan, Sicily, Italy and Greece having a low incidence of cardiovascular disease and very long life spans.

       Taurine content of meats, poultry and aquatic products in China (mg/100 g edible portion)


Taurine conc.


Taurine conc.



Hairtail fish




Yellow croaker


Blood clam






Chicken leg




Chicken breast








Pig heart




Pig kidney


Crucial carp


Pig liver


Silver carp




       Taurine was not detected in egg, bean, rice and other plant food. The lowest prevalence of hypertension was among people that lived in fishing areas and this may be related to the high taurine content in their diet. Fujita et al. reported that when 6 g taurine/day was given to young adult males with borderline hypertension for 7 days, their systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly to levels similar to those of the placebo-treated controls.

       The same effect from taurine was also found by other nutritionists in China. Zhang et al. compared the blood pressure of three populations living in fishing and farming areas in China and found that the blood pressure of populations in the fishing area was the lowest. Serum and urinary taurine content were negatively related to blood pressure. They also found that sodium excretion was positively associated with taurine excretion. American scientists attribute this amazing resistance to cardiac problems to Omega-3 essential fatty acids, but the argument for taurine is also strong, and there is considerable overlap in benefits.

       More on taurine in foods by H. Pasantes-Morales in "Nutrition Reports International", Oct. 1989: Taurine is converted from methionine and cysteine, and with help from sulfur, sodium and chloride changes to taurine. The highest concentration of taurine was found in clams and octopus (41.4 micromoles/g and 31.2 micromoles/g), followed by shrimp and fish (12.4 micromoles/g and 9.1 micromoles/g). Beef, pork and lamb meat contain taurine in concentrations ranging 3.5-4.0 micromoles/g. Taurine concentration in chicken leg was 6.6 micromoles/g and in chicken breast was 1.4 micromoles/g. No taurine was found either in hen eggs (yolk or white) or in dairy products or in honey. Taurine was undetectable to trace amounts in fruits and vegetables to include rice, corn, oatmeal, pumpkin, rye, wheat, barley, sesame seed, coffee and cacao, black beans, chick peas, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pinenuts pistachios. All analysis were carried out in uncooked samples, and cooking greatly reduced taurine content of most foods.

       Looking at the low-taurine diseases above, one notes that they are generally diseases of aging. One may be led to ask if taurine production by the liver and retention by the kidney are impaired in aging. If yes, does supplementation of taurine make up for the losses? Eppler and Dawson found that a decrease in hepatic taurine biosynthesis may cause, in part, the observed decline in tissue taurine content in aged rats, and that taurine supplementation does restore taurine blood levels. Their study indicated that a decline in taurine content may exacerbate oxidative stress in aged rats, which can be reversed by dietary taurine supplementation. Dawson and team has done extensive research in decline in taurine in aging since 1990. They showed that age-related reduction in plasma taurine may have important consequences in respect to regulation of blood pressure, cardiovascular function, and cardioprotection, as well as possible CNS complications. Significant age-related declines in taurine content were observed in the spleen, kidney, eye, cerebellum and serum. Taurine supplementation corrected these deficits in tissue content in aged rats, and in many cases increased taurine content above that of adult controls. Urinary excretion of taurine was significantly reduced in aged rats indicating an increased need to conserve taurine. Taurine-deficient diets did not further exacerbate the age-related decline in tissue taurine content, suggesting biosynthetic adaptations to the lack of dietary taurine. Dietary taurine supplementation blunted age-related declines in serum IGF-1 and increases in serum creatinine and blood urinary nitrogen (BUN). Their studies suggest that advanced aging results in a taurine-deficient state that can be corrected by dietary supplementation. They also pointed out that taurine in the brain declined with aging, which was correlated with loss of dopamine. I add that such also appears true in humans.

Click on image for larger view.       To my way of reasoning, if taurine production falls off in aging, and if taurine is necessary for kidney preservation of electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium, low taurine seems to result in greatly reduced health partly by loss of magnesium through the kidneys. Look at this figure which shows the main biochemical pathways in the manufacturer of taurine in the body. Click on the figure to bring up an enlarged version. All of these steps and many nutrients are involved in the manufacture of taurine (lower right corner of figure). Clearly, if anything goes wrong in this process, taurine is not made and ill health ensues.

       Life Extension Foundation magazine has a presentation of 99 scientific "taurine" abstracts.

       Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has been reported by some people to minimize the loose bowels normally found using large amounts of magnesium. Very little information concerning this effect has been found in the literature, but the effect to those that have tried 100 mg CoQ10 with each dose of magnesium has been remarkable. Here is a link to "Altered Immunity & The Leaky Gut Syndrome" by Dr. Zoltan P. Rona MD, MSc, that goes into the biochemistry of leaky gut syndrome and what can be done about it better than any other article that I have found. CoQ10 is mentioned here, but little emphasis is placed on it. Looking into the relationship between yeasts and CoQ10, one finds that ubiquinones (in the human it is CoQ10) are essential for oxidative phosphorylation in both yeasts and humans. The human coenzyme Q, CoQ10, is also administered orally for the treatment of heart disease and other disorders. Some patients, however, require much higher doses than others to attain a therapeutic CoQ10 blood level. C. A. Krone et al. proposes that one possible explanation for this variability is excessive Candida colonization of the human GI tract. Many common medical treatments including antibiotics and anti-hyperchlorhydric agents increase the risk of GI tract Candida colonization. Subsequent uptake and utilization of supplemental CoQ10 by excessive yeast could diminish availability for the human subject. Data from one patient and an in vitro pilot study using two pathogenic strains of C. albicans supported Krone's hypothesis. If C. albicans in the GI tract can hinder availability and interfere with therapeutic effects of CoQ10, it could be of clinical significance for large numbers of depressed people having loose bowels from magnesium. Consequently, one can see a cause and effect relationship between ingestion of large amounts of CoQ10 and relief from loose bowels and diarrhea, thus improved recovery from depression due to improved absorption of magnesium. Consequently, the yeasts get fed their CoQ10 before we do, and sometimes we starve!

Anti-Candida Albicans Agents - Ways to Increase Magnesium Absorption

       Further in this page, I have identified a large number of health conditions that prevent or reduce the absorption of magnesium from the diet. One of the most frequent, I am convinced, is overgrowth of Candida Albicans in the digestive tract, intestines. Therefore, in the following few sections I cover various antifungal agents, more or less in the order that I uncovered them. These are the anti-Candida Albicans agents that are discussed in the following sections. You will notice that I did not discuss the OTC and prescriptions antifungals, simply due to my general aversion to drugs. If you want to learn about them, see your physician, but none of them work longer than a week before the Candida morphs to a resistant strain, just like for coconut oil and garlic. Here is a brief but really good discussion of candida and how it messes with our lives.
  • Coconut oil Helpful and safe, but works only for a week.
  • Garlic Helpful and safe, but works only for a week.
  • Iodine Very helpful but may not be safe - thyroid issues
  • Kefir Helpful and safe, and should be taken every day as our main source of calcium (greatly helps with magnesium wasting perhaps due to high content of inulin).
  • Indole-3-Carbinol) Helpful and extremely safe, and is my main anti-fungal, anti-cancer agent and anti magnesium wasting agent. It also seems to greatly reduce diarrhea and improve bowel function particularly with use of high-dose magnesium.
  • Bacillus coagulans plus biotin Whoa! This is the cat's meow! Finally some real efficacy! This is what I like the best. Read the link and see why.

Coconut Oil: Cure For Everything?

Is coconut oil the cure for everything?       Another natural anti-yeast treatment is plain old ordinary coconut oil. This natural substance has been known for many centuries to prevent yeast infections in women in Pacific islands. Finally, the oils in coconut oil have been tested against Candida yeast. Both capric and lauric acid found in coconut oil in very large amounts, were totally, absolutely, completely lethal to Candida yeast. Bergsson and Thormar writing in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy wrote: "The susceptibility of Candida albicans to several fatty acids and their 1-monoglycerides was tested with a short inactivation time, and ultra-thin sections were studied by transmission electron microscopy after treatment with capric acid (found in coconut oil). The results show that capric acid, a 10-carbon saturated fatty acid, causes the fastest and most effective killing of all three strains of C. albicans tested, leaving the cytoplasm disorganized and shrunken because of a disrupted or disintegrated plasma membrane. Lauric acid (also found in coconut oil), a 12-carbon saturated fatty acid, was the most active at lower concentrations and after a longer incubation time. Read the full article here and the 1.03 mb PDF version here. It is interesting that people who eat a lot of coconuts live in areas where yeast and fungi are extremely plentiful, yet they are rarely troubled by infections. Only in more temperate climates where processed vegetable oils like corn oil are the main source of dietary fat are yeast infections, skin fungus, acne, and other skin infections big problems. Much more research needs to be done on the effectiveness of coconut oil in curing Candida, but for now the evidence suggests a good quality Virgin Coconut Oil is one of the best weapons in killing Candida. Much information is on the internet concerning the use of coconut oil to treat yeast infections. It is also an excellent topical anti-yeast agent for treating vaginal yeast infections. Read why coconut oil is one of the most health promoting foods on Earth here. Bruce Fife reporting in his book: "The overall health of both groups of Pacific Islanders was extremely good compared to Western standards. There were no signs of kidney disease or hypothyroidism that might influence fat levels. There was no hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol). All inhabitants were lean and healthy despite a very high saturated-fat diet from coconut oil. In fact, the populations as a whole had ideal weight-to-height ratios as compared to the Body Mass Index figures used by nutritionists. Digestive problems are rare. Constipation is uncommon. They average two or more bowel movements a day. Atherosclerosis, heart disease, colitis, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, ulcers, diverticulosis, and appendicitis are conditions with which they are generally unfamiliar." Enough said? Try 3 to 4 tablespoons per day. It will not make you fat, and best of all it is non-toxic, very much unlike many prescription antifungals. But, start out with a low dose until you find out what your side effects from the break down of yeast affects you. You may say, "Yuck, coconut oil is a saturated fat!" Yes, but it is one very healthy food, and this is another highly important food that we have been conned into believing is bad for us by the American Soybean Association, Center for Science in the Public Interest and others interested in promoting their own products without regard for our health (a trade war). Search for more information about this issue here. Read how coconut oil is the healthiest oil on Earth.

Safety! Just beyond the breakers!       Is coconut oil the cure for many heart problems? YES! Why? Well, the biochemistry is interesting and fairly simple. Candida yeast breakdown products include acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde, (also a break down product of alcohol, and is found in ripe fruit, cigarette smoke and coffee) has been found to concentrate in the heart where it adversely affects heart cells, and has significant effects on cardiac contractility and function. Acetaldehyde can cause fibrosis and enlargement of individual heart cells. Also, Candidiasis (yeast overgrowth in the colon and mucous membranes) is well known to cause magnesium malabsorption, thus causing depression, heart trouble and colon cancer. Put these observations together, and presto, coconut oil looks like it is a cure for depression, cardiac arrhythmias, myocarditis, endocarditis and lone atrial fibrillations (LAF). I suspect all the other problems mentioned above not found in the Pacific Islanders are also largely preventable by daily use of coconut oil and not drinking alcohol, coffee, smoking, or eating ripe fruit. How many psychiatrists and cardiologists want you to know this? I suspect there are a few. However, as I previously mentioned, a low to zero carbohydrate diet is also required and the combination does produce temporary side effects. Systemic yeast die-off is so intense by orally taking a tablespoon of coconut oil morning and night, that most people have adverse reactions (Herxheimer effect) to the die-off products, worsening symptoms for a few days to a week. I liken this paradox being stranded in a boat seeing land, but finding one first must pass through the dangerous breakers, just off the coast. See what Dr. Mercola has to say about the fungal etiology of inflammatory bowel disease here. Clearly, anything that causes bowel problems will impair magnesium absorption.

Intestinal candida suprainfection.       Do you have a yeast infection? Do you have: athlete's foot? jock itch, thrush, recurrent cystitis or other vaginal infections, endometriosis, fungal infections of the nails or skin, problems from exposure to chemical fumes, perfumes, tobacco smoke etc., food allergies, abdominal bloating, diarrhoea or constipation, pre-menstrual syndrome. depression, fatigue, lethargy, poor memory, food cravings, muscular aches, tingling, numbness, burning, unaccountable aches, swelling in joints, erratic vision, spots before the eyes, floaters?, tachycardia, impotence or lack of sexual desire, symptoms usually worse on damp days, persistent drowsiness / tired all the time, lack of co-ordination, headaches / migraines, Mood swings, loss of balance, rashes, mucus in stools, belching and /or flatulence, bad breath, dry mouth or throat, nasal itch and/or congestion, nervous irritability, prostatitis, tightness in chest, ear sensitivity or fluid in ears, heartburn and indigestion, cardiac arrhythmias, HIV/AIDS. I ask again, do you have a yeast problem? I have read that over eighty percent of us do, primarily because we have taken antibiotics and consume a high carbohydrate and sugar diet. Find out using this questionnaire from the Yeast Connection site. Learn more about the benefits of coconut oil and why it is good for you here.

        Is it possible that the majority of diseases that we think of as being magnesium deficiency diseases are really manifestations of Candida suprainfections? If yes, could antifungals be the preventative or cure for a very large number of divergent chronic diseases? I think so. Walter Last also seems to think so in his new on-line book, 66 Natural Ways to Cure Diseases. See his section on Candida yeast as the cause of many widely different diseases and conditions including lack of energy, digestive disturbances, arthritic joint pains, skin diseases, menstrual problems, emotional instability, cancer and depression, including suicidal depression. Killing the Candida yeast is not enough, one must also replace the intestinal microflora as discussed here with kefir. I think that principal biological pathways in which Candida causes many diseases is through impaired magnesium metabolism and by diets that promote Candida yeast overgrowth. More on the fungusamongus problem at the FungusFocus web site. Look at the prostatitis page and you will notice that fungus-induced illness (prostatitis) has many symptoms identical to magnesium deficiency. In fact, the symptoms of Candida yeast overgrowth are essentially the same as magnesium deficiency. Candida allergy strongly depresses the body's ability to absorb magnesium, probably by inducing a leaky gut. Dr. Leo Galland observed this in 1985, although his emphasis was on latent tetany with normal serum calcium (low intracellular magnesium).

       On the other hand, go to your physician and ask him if you have a Candida infection and unless you have a mushroom growing out of your nose, he/she is very likely to tell you that yeast infections nearly always occur in immunosuppressant people, and they do not occur in you. Ask him if you might be magnesium deficient, and he will likely tell you that no one is magnesium deficient except for drunks. Why the adverse opinions? Well, if your doctor prescribed magnesium or coconut oil every time you visited, why go? I think that it makes vastly more financial sense to dissuade us from looking for root causes of illnesses than to treat simple underlying problems with natural products. Does the idea that "Candida infection" is bogus have support on the Internet? Yes, some. There are a few sites that proclaim "Candidiasis hypersensitivity" to be bogus, but the main antagonist seems to be the QuackWatch site. The QuackWatch site is pretty clear that systemic yeast infection is bogus. Is it? I don't know, but if you find benefit from large doses of coconut oil in treating the bewildering variety of Candida-related illnesses, I imagine that you will suspect that the QuackWatch guy, Stephen Barrett, M.D., needs watching! I do know this much. Five years ago, I complained of a severe yeast infection, and after seeing many physicians, and after being treated with many antifungals and antibiotics in the intervening years, I continued to have the problem until I used coconut oil. Steven Barrett is entitled to his opinion, but this is free country and we can disagree in good faith. Who is Steven Barrett? He is reported to be a non-practicing psychiatrist in Allentown, Pennsylvania, working out of his basement, who is laughed at in this page. Why wouldn't he be practicing? Did he get busted by the state, like my previous psychiatrist (who is now taking magnesium) for self-prescribing psychiatric drugs?

        What does George think about the disease causing potential of Candida yeast? I think Barrett is correct. Candida can not reach all these places to cause these other diseases, but its breakdown product, acetaldehyde, can and does. Acetaldehyde is an irritant, a toxin, a reproductive toxin, a mutagen and a carcinogen. It is a dangerous industrial chemical. It is also flammable, and five times more dangerous than the well known embalming fluid formaldehyde, of which it is a chemical relative. How do people detoxify this harmful chemical? Molybdenum is said to be vital in detoxifying acetaldehyde. In The Candida/Aldehyde detox pathway and the Molybdenum Connection, about 300 micrograms of the dietary supplement molybdenum, along with the B-vitamin pantethine (the active part of pantothenic acid), taken three times a day has been recommended to help people detoxify this truly harmful chemical. Alternatively, molybdenum is found in foods, with potatoes having about 600 micrograms per 100 grams. If potatoes are no longer eaten due to their high glycemic index, one might need a supplemental source for this vital nutrient. On the other hand, the Linus Pauling Institute reports that no healthy person has ever been reported to be deficient of this nutrient, although excesses are toxic .

        How about HIV/AIDS? Candida yeast is found in nearly all of these patients. Would coconut oil and garlic help treat HIV/AIDS? Dr Mercola thinks so because these oils are also antiviral to a number of viruses including HIV, measles, herpes simplex (HSV-1), vesicular stomatitis virus, visna virus and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Dr. Mercola points out that lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, and various pathogenic bacteria, including listeria monocytogenes and helicobacter pylori, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. Some studies are being conducted to see if lowering the yeast load in HIV can prevent the disease from becoming AIDS, with some success. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid. Do you feel like we have been deprived of the truth for long enough? Do you think implementation of Codex will prohibit the sale of coconut oil too? Seems like it should if the main purpose of Codex is to protect pharmaceutical company income.

       Want to know what that white stuff in your mouth is? Could it be candida? Dentists often find candida yeast infections in peoples' mouths. Here is a slide show about oral candida, which is likely to present more than you want to know. When your dentist chides you about not taking care of your gums by brushing better, he should be recommending antifungal treatments.

       Warning! Too much magnesium has been known to cause diarrhea for at least 100 years. Each magnesium ion will attract about 800 molecules of water, which is usually believed to be the cause of the diarrhea. However, too much magnesium exponentially stimulates the growth of Candida yeast cells in vitro, which was preventable by added calcium. Consequently, large doses of magnesium without calcium may stimulate intestinal Candida overgrowth in the human. Consequently, magnesium should be taken using several antifungal agents, and especially garlic with coconut oil. Also, Indole-3-Carbinol will greatly help in detoxifying the intestines and inducing immunity to Candida, thus reducing diarrhea and reducing magnesium wasting. These antifungals will also amplify the absorption of magnesium and greatly accelerate recovery but may increase toxicity of magnesium due to increased absorption. Consequently, when magnesium (without calcium) and antifungals are being used therapeutically, potential for overdose should be considered.

Garlic: The Cure for Everything Else!

Garlic:  The Cure for Everything Else       The medical literature shows that garlic has important anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal effects. I am experimenting in the spring and summer of 2004 with a heaping teaspoon of bottled, commercially prepared minced or ground garlic 4 times a day to add a second potent antifungal agent to my program to kill intestinal Candida yeast and other nasty critters in my intestinal tract. Fresh garlic extract has a greater efficacy than garlic powder extract. The antifungal effect of garlic lasts about one hour in the blood, but does not appear in urine. No physician is willing to tell me that I have a Candida yeast infection in my intestines, even though every time they prescribe an antifungal, I clearly feel better. You want to make a physician laugh? Tell him that garlic makes you feel better! They tend to hold their nose and giggle like crazy! So what! So far, garlic is helping quite a bit. It rapidly allowed me to reduce my magnesium intake by 75%, with no evidence of recurrence of any magnesium deficiency symptom. Currently, I only require 250 mg of magnesium supplements per day. My solid, 100 percent, totally convinced, no-questions-asked gut-feeling is that garlic in these large amounts contributed more to my feeling of true health and well being than anything else that I have ever tried outside of magnesium. Why? Because it really does the things claimed for it in terms of cleaning out the intestinal tract, improving digestion and allowing nutrients, and especially magnesium, to be properly absorbed.

       I thank my easily irritated friend Denise from Glendale, Arizona for her persistence on garlic. Even if she did get irritated at me for not wanting to try garlic, I thank her repeatedly and with great humility. Denise fussed at me relentlessly to get me to try garlic. I had never before in my life eaten garlic, except as an accidental ingredient in some restaurant foods. Have garlic in the house? You gotta be nuts! Not us! Bad breath! Think about the consequences of having bad breath from eating garlic and compare the outcome with the absence of health from having an ineffective, fungally-infected digestive tract. The need-more-taurine-for-digestion issue pales in comparison to the need for garlic. There should be an RDA for garlic. If I had to set one it would be 12 to 16 cloves per day as commercially prepared minced or ground garlic, but then again some people react to garlic poorly. In fact, when I tried to eat a clove of fresh raw garlic (fresh enough that it could have grown a new garlic plant if I had planted it in soil), I was met with the most amazing mouth pain. Fresh, raw garlic will cause mouth pain akin to eating a very hot chili pepper. Eating fresh or raw garlic is fine only if it is minced and added to food. I could not chew on a fresh garlic clove like one could chew on a fresh onion or a fresh carrot, but could if I minced the same clove and immediately added it to food. In the later case, I could not taste garlic at all. Eating fresh garlic hurts! What about odor-free garlic? No. As far as I can tell most (if not all) commercial processes damage the ability of garlic to provide us with the effects we need. All those widely advertised brands, Kwai, Kyolic, Garlinase, Garlique, and others, simply don't provide much benefit. This is because garlic pills are missing the key ingredient (allicin) only found in fresh-crushed garlic cloves. It is possible to extract allicin, but such products have not yet been commercialized. Regardless, garlic is the subject of extensive research. It is allicin that kills germs (bacteria - including anthrax -, viruses, fungi, amoeba). Allicin is the primary anti-cancer agent in garlic. Allicin also lowers blood pressure, control blood sugar levels, even controls weight gain. Each of these physiologic benefits probably occurs by improving magnesium absorption. A fresh crushed clove of garlic will provide from 4-12 milligrams of allicin. Unfortunately, allicin is also the odorant in garlic. I used really large amounts of bottled, minced and crushed garlic to get beneficial effects (probably without any allicin due to manufacturing and aging - which leaves open the exact cause of garlic's benefit), but much less fresh raw garlic is needed to get the same effect. Now that I have been taking garlic for a little over a month, my wife does not fuss at me for bad breath, but she won't follow behind me, because I have this little garlic cloud that follows me.

       Too much magnesium has been found to cause diarrhea for at least 100 years. Each magnesium ion will attract about 800 molecules of water, which is usually believed to be the cause of the diarrhea. However, too much magnesium exponentially stimulates the growth of Candida yeast cells in vitro, which was preventable by added calcium. Consequently, very large doses of magnesium without calcium might stimulate intestinal Candida overgrowth in the human, but such remains theoretical. Regardless, I think that therapeutic doses of magnesium should always be taken using several antifungal agents (because they can become resistant to individual antifungals), and especially garlic with coconut oil. These antifungals will also amplify the absorption of magnesium and greatly accelerate recovery but might increase toxicity of magnesium due to increased magnesium absorption. Consequently, when therapeutic doses of magnesium (without calcium) and antifungals are being used therapeutically, potential for magnesium overdose should be considered.

Iodine: The Candida Killer!

       Perhaps the world's cheapest, most traditional, and best anti Candida agent is the simplest. It is iodine. Yes, I am describing the same iodine found in "tincture of iodine" that your mother used to treat your cuts and scratches when you were a child. Because Big Pharma drug companies have re-educated us to believe that the fancy new (expensive) antibiotics are better and safer than (dirt cheap) iodine, we have lost sight of the one truly miraculous and completely natural antiviral, antibiotic and antifungal agent. Nothing is likely to beat iodine in this regard. However, Big Pharma marketing has taught us that we shouldn't tolerate the deep, long lasting stain that iodine causes when applied to our skin. Yes, iodine will stain your skin, but when used properly that stain can be of enormous value to you in your battle against Candida. Scientists say that if you apply a several-inch round stain of iodine to your skin, say to your belly, that if it disappears within 24-hours, you are iodine deficient. Well, I tried that and my iodine stain always disappeared within 6 to 12 hours, and I am clearly not iodine deficient. Marketing has also taught us that iodine in excess is dangerous, that it can mess up our thyroid. Physicians, especially surgeons, for many years world-wide disinfected multiple square-foot size areas of skin with iodine prior to major surgery, sometimes resulting in toxic overdoses of iodine. Excess iodine can also damage our thyroid function causing either reversible hypothyroidism or reversible hyperthyroidism. However, the benefits of proper use of small amounts of iodine are so enormous that iodine must never be neglected or discarded or disrespected, or we will pay dearly! And we are paying that price.

       How does one use iodine to battle Candida? If the Candida infection is intestinal, then we must treat the intestines either through the oral route or topically. That iodine is anti Candida is clear from this report. What I found works extremely well for me is to take 3 mg Prolamine Iodine tablets from Standard Processes with each meal and at bedtime for about 3 weeks, but never for longer than that. (Note: look for "Prolamine Iodine" in their Alphabetical List.) I repeat! Never take 3 mg iodine tablets for longer than 3 weeks because that dosage for longer than 3 weeks can interfere with thyroid function. I could not find this product when I first started to research iodine, so I added a few drops of Strong Tincture of Iodine 7% to a full glass of water and that worked well too. Iodine can never be swallowed straight (it is poisonous straight) and it must always be highly diluted. The taste of a single drop will provide clear evidence of that! From what we have read about Candida Albicans becoming resistant to various antifungals after a single week of treatment, one could hypothesize that such would also be true for iodine. Thus, there would be no need to treat for more than a week. However, in this article, are the words "All Candida Albicans strains tested showed similar susceptibility to the medicaments tested." This suggests to me that Candida Albicans is totally responsive to iodine, and that even if mutations occur, such is irrelevant to efficacy of iodine. However, in me after 3 weeks of 12 mg of iodine per day, I noticed that my body temperature has fallen a full degree, suggesting mild hypothyroidism. Worse, as one might expect from this figure concerning hypothyroidism and low magnesium, I notice a strange low level depression and malaise that just lingers and smolders, not evident to other people, but clearly evident to me. Time to get off of iodine and continue in the search for a perfect anti-fungal.

       Recently, I became curious about a strangely colored large toenail. What was that strange coloring of the nail? It looked just like the sickening toenails on the Lamisil advertisements. The infected toenail looked different but did not hurt or feel different. Three-quarters of it was detached from the skin but not loose. They have a really sick advertisement on TV for Lamisil, the new toenail antifungal. The graphics at this site looked like my big toe. So, old George here being too curious to be smart and buy Lamisil, I used iodine to treat my toe and it soaked under my toenail and exactly showed the area no longer stuck to the toe with a dark brown iodine stain. Iodine is enormously antifungal. I repeated the toenail treatment for about a week each evening. My wife is really grossed out by my toenail and I can effectively ward her off now by taking off my sock and sticking my toe up in the air. She runs away. Ha Ha! It is so much fun ;-) I have a blackened toe from the iodine, but she warns me of a "blackened eye" if I am not good! Ha Ha, me? Be good? What about my arrhythmias? They have been greatly reduced since I treated my toe with iodine. This tells me that at least some benign cardiac arrhythmias are caused by fungal infections, or the breakdown products of the fungus. Cardiology simplified. There goes another unnecessary pharmaceutical (Lamisil) down the drain. After a year of iodine treatment, my big toenail looked 100% normal. There was no evidence that the toenail had ever been infected.

       How about using iodine to treat other fungal infections? How about oral thrush? Well, scientists treating AIDS patients in Kenya, disappointed at the lack of efficacy and expense of antifungals (Contrimazole, Amphotericin B and Nyastatin) have turned to dirt-cheap two percent Povidine Iodine mouth washes (Betadine iodine) with astonishing success. Read the abstract here. All they did was gargle with it. How often is not stated, but it appears that they gargled for about 30 seconds whenever they noticed a return of mouth odor. Iodine is clearly their antifungal of choice, easily surpassing the efficacy of these expensive "FDA proven" anti-fungals. Here is a link for "betadine gargle". Nearly all of these products warn "DO NOT SWALLOW". Too much iodine is toxic, so be careful. Here is a google search for "betadine" and "oral thrush". Bite the dust Nyastatin!

       Obviously, after waiting a few months from stopping anti-candida treatment with iodine, one can return to use of iodine, perhaps as a 3 mg tablet / day as an irregularly-taken food supplement. Please note that the RDA for iodine is 0.150 mg/day (150 micrograms/day), although I personally believe that higher doses of iodine can be very beneficial to some but not all people. No one knows why some people can not tolerate large (therapeutic) amounts of iodine, but I believe that it is because they are too magnesium deficient to handle it. I am daily reminded that the Okinawans who live to be 120 years old eat much kelp, which is high in iodine (10 to 20 mg iodine per day) and taurine, and they also get very large amounts of magnesium from their foods. Another effective anti-Candida treatment is to apply tincture of iodine to the skin so that it can be absorbed from the skin and not the intestines in an equivalent dosage. I calculated each drop of Humco Strong 7% Tincture of Iodine to release 1 mg of iodine when applied to the skin using its special applicator. I am amazed at how fast 10 drops of iodine disappears into my skin (about 6 hours), while it seems to stay for several days on other people's skin. I am not certain that the "24-hour" test is valid. I think that if there were no other treatment available for Candida infection, iodine would be a fully acceptable choice, if the thyroid remains unaffected. Since there are other treatments that should be tried first (unless one is truly desperate), and because one can overdose on iodine, I mention it last. Obviously, if Candida infection is topical, perhaps genital, iodine might be used directly to treat the infection, but some experimenting with strength would be necessary. Bright red groin area rashes are usually Candida Albicans infections, and they should be aggressively treated with topical iodine in my opinion. Tincture of iodine is too strong for application to genitalia without stinging and possibly burning, and one must dilute it with water, perhaps in a 1 to 10 or 100 ratio. The only use of iodine (Lugol's solution) to treat genital Candida that I found in the literature was in mares. Be careful! Repeated application may be necessary. A final thought. Have you noticed that use of antibiotics causes Candida suprainfections? Have we made progress? Big Pharma thinks so. Check google for "iodine" and "candida". Eckerd's Drug stores in the United States carry Povidone iodine as a topical anti-fungal.

       Ionic zinc is also antifungal, and dietary supplements of zinc can also be helpful in treating candida infections. According to this article, it works synergistically with iodine. How much zinc? You won't believe my theories without substantial evidence, consequently I will refer you to my theoretical article on treating extremely dangerous disorders (smallpox and brown recluse spider bites) with extremely large amounts of zinc here. OK. Forget that, just don't take more zinc than will make you nauseous or more than one milligram per pound of body weight a day (2.2 mg/kg) for more than a month.

Kefir: The Candida Crusher

        Previously I have discussed agents that "kill" Candida to prevent magnesium wasting. Is that sufficient? I say no, it is not. Think of a pleasant green pasture with lots of horses, cows, pigs, goats and sheep happily foraging (analogous to the healthy intestinal tract with its myriads of symbiotically living bacteria and fungi). Next, consider the pasture becoming overgrown with weeds. What happens to these lovely critters? They don't do as well, and dependent upon the weed (toxic or non-toxic) their lives will be impacted, and in some cases prematurely terminated. Think of Candida Albicans as being a toxic weed. What do you do? Is it sufficient to kill the weeds? Is it sufficient to just kill the Candida Albicans? In both cases the answer is no. Why? They both come back later, and may even come back with a vengeance. Farmers know this all to well. What does a good farmer do? He will first stop fertilizing the weeds. This is exactly analogous to stopping the consumption of carbohydrates like sugar, colas, pastries, doughnuts and so forth. The next step for the farmer is to try to kill the weeds, by tilling the soil (the analogy here is surgery) and applying selective herbicides. Clearly we do not want surgery! There are many antifungal agents and I have previously described them. OK. Is it sufficient to stop feeding Candida and then kill the remaining Candida with fungicidals? NO! There is a third step, and in the case of both the pasture and our intestines, it is to re-seed. The farmer will plant whatever grass or crop seeds he wants, and we must repopulate our intestines with fungi and bacteria that will prevent the regrowth of Candida Albicans. Only by use of these three steps do we have a chance of defeating these aggressors. Also, it is absolutely insufficient to simply "eat yogurt" for its acidophilus lactobacillus content. These little bacteria just get eaten by any remaining Candida Albicans. Yummy!

       What must be done to assure victory over Candida Albicans is to use Kefir after killing Candida Albicans with antifungals, not while killing them, because the good guys in Kefir can easily be killed by antifungals, defeating the purpose of Kefir. I had never heard of Kefir until May of 2004, but after a few weeks of drinking Kefir, I became very willing to offer glowing praise for this old Turkish "feel good" product. Kefir is rich in gut friendly bacteria and yeasts. The friendly yeasts in Kefir repopulate the intestinal tract, replacing the dangerous Candida Albicans, allowing vastly improved digestion, terminating magnesium wasting and and improving intestinal health.

       According to Dr. Mercola, "While both Kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products, they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that already are present. Kefir actually colonizes the intestinal tract -- a feat that yogurt cannot match. Additionally, Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt: Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species. It also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside -- forming a virtual SWAT team that house-clean and strengthen the intestines. Consequently, the body also becomes vastly more efficient in resisting pathogens like E. Coli and intestinal parasites. Kefir's active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy. The curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, so it's also easier to digest, making it an ideal food for babies, the elderly, and anyone with digestive disorders, and especially magnesium wasting.

       Kefir is also rich in lactic acid and calcium. Although we must use Kefir to win the war against Candida Albicans, each 8 oz of the Lifeway brand kefir milk product that I used, contained 300 mg of calcium, which certainly has the potential for increasing depression and injuring us as discussed here. I used about 3 oz with each meal for the first 4 days. I strongly believe that we should not consume so much that it will injure us from excessive amounts of calcium. I suggest a long-term dosage not to exceed 6 to 9 oz per day, and perhaps even less when Candida overgrowth symptoms can be kept under control. Lifeway Kefir also contains inulin (not misspelled), which greatly increases absorption of magnesium, and to a lesser extent, calcium. As we advance our knowledge of Kefir and our skill in using Kefir, we can use Kefir "Starter kits" from Dr. Mercola, and perhaps by making our own Kefir drinks, we can use milk that is lower in calcium.

       For the Candida sufferer, following these three steps will very likely solve the Candida problem, as surely as victory over the weedy pasture. Without following these three steps, no real victory will occur.

       For the person with genital or skin Candida Albicans issues, frequent and regular daily topical (both internal and external) Kefir application is a vastly more effective and safer Candida albicans treatment than any prescription or OTC drug. Take a teaspoon or two of Kefir to the bathroom with you and ... If you let it sit on the counter top for a day or two, both its viscosity and efficacy increase.

       Also, sacchararomyces boulardii has long been used to treat diarrhea in Europe and is now becoming common in the United States. It is drawing attention in HIV/AIDS as a means to stop diarrhea from over use of antibiotics. Sacchararomyces boulardii is an anti Candida Albicans fungus that will repopulate the intestines and greatly improve digestion and absorption of magnesium. It can support gut function under many adverse conditions, including food allergies, parasites, Crohn's disease, Candida, Salmonella, travelers diarrhea, HIV diarrhea and Pseudomonas. Clinical studies also demonstrate the protective effect of S. boulardii in intestinal infections, including Clostridium difficile and cholera. The protective effect of S. boulardii involves several types of activity in the epithelial tissue of the digestive tract, including inactivation of bacterial toxins, stimulation of intestinal immune response, and release of polyamines. The best known brands are Jarrow and Allergy Research. They are available at the best health food stores, but may not be widely available except over the Internet.


       Perhaps the greatest and best kept health secret of all time is Indole-3-Carbinol. This is my next to favorite anti-candida (and anti-cancer) agent, which makes it wonderful in stopping magnesium wasting. It is NOT an anti-candida agent like OTC antifungals, prescription antifungals, coconut oil or garlic. It does not repopulate the intestinal tract like Kefir does in its action. Indole-3-Carbinol greatly improve the function of the intestinal immune system, thus making us temporarily immune to Candida Albicans. For those of us that are hypersensitive to Candida Albicans, increasing our immunity to Candida is absolutely and indisputably vital, and is the only way to go! Indole-3-Carbinol is effective in intestinal toxemia, especially for detoxifying the bowels and vastly improving bowel function. In fact, oncologist recommend Indole-3-Carbinol to their colon cancer patients, ostensibly to "improve the odor of their feces", but another very important effect is to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) of colon cancer cells.. One can now find indole-3-Carbinol tablets with up to 300 mg Indole-3-Carbinol per capsule at most health food stores in the United States and elsewhere. I am taking one 200 mg capsule of indole-3-Carbinol with each meal and at bedtime now that I have found it to be available locally from various manufacturers. It is also available over the Internet. See this google search.

        Indole-3-Carbinol helps directly protect against free radicals and indirectly to stimulate the body to help protect it against free radicals - the highly unstable oxygen molecules that damage cell matter, including DNA. Indole-3-Carbinol stimulates the body's own defense system for neutralizing harmful substances. Although many agents, like vitamin-C have this function, Indole-3-Carbinol does it in a readily observable manner. No need for statistics here! Agents such as indole-3-Carbinol and sulforaphene are also found in Spanish and Russian black radishes. These two substances stimulate two of the body's most powerful detoxification mechanisms - the cytochrome P450 and the Phase II enzyme systems - the body's biochemical pathways for converting toxins into harmless or easily excretable substances. If you click on these two links, you will be taken to over four hundred medical journal articles espousing the value of these two ingredients in protecting against intestinal breast and uterine cancer, but nothing on their role as antifungal agents. This makes me ask if Candida Albicans intestinal overgrowth is a prelude to colon cancer? I don't know, but there is nothing that I have found that is more effective in controlling sensitivity to candida albicans than indole-3-Carbinol. It works in conjunction with the liver in the body's natural efforts to detoxify. It is claimed to mobilize and help detoxify heavy metals.

        How on earth did I come up with the idea of Indole-3-Carbinol? Or even more mysterious, how about "Spanish Black Radish" for candida albicans? I didn't. I walked into People's Pharmacy on South Lamar in Austin, Texas and complained to the pharmacist/CCN on duty, Laura, and she said in one sentence: "Spanish Black Radish - 3 tablets, 4 times a day". I looked at her and thought, "Well, if that isn't the dumbest idea...", but I went along with her since I was "up the creek without a paddle". I took the little Standard Process Inc. bottle of Spanish Black Radish home, and well the rest is history. It worked perfectly from the first day I used it. How did I know that it "worked"? My most irritating health issue has been benign cardiac arrhythmias called pre atrial contractions (PACs), and they are caused by a weird combination of low taurine and candida albicans. (Later, upon analyses, I found that the active ingredient in Spanish Black Radish is Indole-3-Carbinol.)

        As discussed elsewhere in this essay, taurine in very high doses (3 grams, 4 times a day) would work for a while. When Spanish Black Radish was also used with moderately high doses of taurine, my arrhythmias were better controlled than by any other agent. I may mention other treatments for my cardiac arrhythmia problem elsewhere in this 180 page report, but nothing works better for me than Indole-3-Carbinol as of August of 2005. Are the other antifungals still necessary? I suspect that they are to some degree, and daily garlic and Kefir remain extremely important. We must greatly reduce our intake of "fuel" for candida albicans. Fuel? Yes, the primary role of candida albicans is to help digest carbohydrates like sugar.

        If you are interested in cardiac arrhythmias, then my article "Taurine Role in Cardiology and Cardiac Arrhythmias" featuring the fabulous 1974 medical journal article "Taurine and Electrical Activity of the Heart" by Chazov et. al is the place for you. The Chazov article is the only article in the medical literature - that I could find - to scientifically discuss the role of taurine in controlling and preventing certain cardiac arrhythmias. To my way of thinking, to ignore taurine and taurine deficiencies in cardiology is medical malpractice, and must be stopped.

Bacillus Coagulans plus Biotin

       I found this treatment on the Mercola site in early 2008 (NOTE: it was changed recently to a useless product). It can combat effectively Candida albicans. I really didn't believe it at first, thinking it was just commercial hype, but I became convinced after trying it for a few weeks. Here is the link to his original product archived on Note: Do not try to buy this Mercola product since the current version available at the Mercola site is no longer Bacillus Coagulans. They may have changed to avoid patent issues, but I don't know for sure. Be certain that your volume is turned on and that you listen to Dr. Mercola. This may be the most important health care product ever marketed, and it certainly is a hot item in today's commerce. I suppose that everyone, or nearly everyone "knows" that lactobacius acidophilus found in yogurt and supplements is good for our digestion. Well, that is dead wrong in my opinion, and for some of us it could mean the difference between life and death. Quoting Dr. Mercola's archived page, "Recently, Bacillus coagulans strain was found to produce the beneficial lactic acid that improves probiotic shelf life and survival issues in your stomach. This is different from the very popular Lactobacillus acidophilus strain which has major issues with shelf life, and does no good at all. Unlike other lactobacilli, Lactobacillus sporogenes (Bacillus coagulans) exists as a spore and is wrapped in a protective coat. Spores exist like plant seeds - they can stay alive for years. And when conditions exist for optimal growth, they open up and become a new plant in our intestines. Taken orally, the spores' protective coat helps them survive the rigors of stomach acid. The spores get activated due to the low pH, mechanical churning of the stomach, and water in the gastric environment. As the spores absorb water, they swell and move faster, propelling them into the small intestine. Once in the small intestine, they germinate, proliferate and multiply rapidly into viable bacilli to persist in their beneficial life activities. In the intestinal tract, they continue their metabolic activities, producing lactic acid to assist in digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals. In turn, the lactic acid levels on the inner surface of the intestinal tract maintain a micro-ecological balance in the GI tract. As I'm convinced these spores will make it to the small intestine where they do you the most good, this process of spore formation makes Bacillus Coagulans my top probiotic choice."

       If you want to read some of the medical literature on this see this PubMed search. If you want to do a google search for Bacillus coagulans, click this link. Here is a broadly marketed Bacillus coagulans product made by the Sustenex Company, now taken over by Schiff, a leading nutritional supplement company. Their product is available at many major retailers in the United States. Here is another product that I like, Lactospore(R). This is one of several commercial products listed that contain Bacillus Coagulans. Here are several lactospore products available in commerce in the United States. How much of the Bacillus Coagulans should one take each day? I take a serving (two capsules) with each meal and at bedtime and my poop don't stink no more!

       What about biotin? Biotin prevents non-harmful yeast from becoming harmful and invasive. Biotin is the weapon in our hand. Biotin taken in the amount of at least 5 (or more) Milligram daily will cut the transformation cycle from the yeast to the fungus form. In normal health, (a low sugar diet), a primary source of Biotin is the healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract. Because these are often compromised by a Candida Albicans overgrowth, candida sufferers are particularly prone to a Biotin deficiency. From "Candida, The Symptoms, The Causes, The Cure" by Dr. Luc DeShepper, "in avoid the spreading to the bloodstream, and thus giving the opportunity for the yeast cells to invade almost all of the organs, the interruption of the vicious cycle by supplementation of at least 5 milligrams of biotin daily is a must and a priority." Biotin is so cheap and readily available, I take 5 mg with each meal and bedtime. Yes, I feel better! If I keep feeling better, I may never die! This link is a google search for biotin and candida Albicans.

       Whoops! I almost made a mistake! I forgot to list gallium nitrate as a lethal candida albicans agent. Gallium III ions (from gallium nitrate) terminate the replication cycle of Candida albicans and some other fungi, all iron dependent bacteria (including the bacteria that cause arthritis), and also kills the HIV virus. The effect usually occurs within 24 hours. I have much information on the antimicrobial effects of gallium on my horse navicular disease research page (click here). Here are my pages on using gallium nitrate to treat and usually cure arthritis. Be certain to read about side effects linked from that page. Although Gallium III is lethal to many bad bacteria including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Yersinia, Salmonella, Chlamydia, Coxilla, Ehrlichia, Francisella, Legionella, MRSA and many, many others, it is harmless to "good" bacteria of the intestinal tract. Were it harmful, we would have never been able to use it successfully for over a decade in curing a horrible horse disease. The horse has a very delicate intestinal tract and would colic and perhap die if gallium were harmful to its intestinal bacteria. I sell gallium nitrate "for horses" and have been doing so since 1996. Dosage for a person? For a 120 pound person, it would be 1/10 of a horse dose since the horse weighs 1200. For heavier people, a proportionate increase in dosage would be useful. Have I tried gallium nitrate? Yes, both orally and topically for arthritis pain, but not for Candida albicans. Do I advise it? Not really since there is no human research to depend upon, not even a single testimonial. Regardless, if you decide to try it, you must dilute it to a one percent (1%) concentration or you will really, really, really regret it. If you try it, let me know how it works. If I get a number of testimonials, I will write a short medical journal article summarizing the results.

Killer Sugars

No carbohydrates are good carbohydrates.       Regardless of the ability of antifungals and probiotics and biotin to increase digestion and help absorb magnesium by control of Candida yeast, excessive amounts of carbohydrates, sugar and specifically dextrose (glucose), interfere with magnesium metabolism to a grave extent, and feed Candida yeast often preventing recovery. Abnormally high urinary losses of magnesium can also be caused by a number of kidney conditions discussed here. Perhaps the easiest and most important to deal with issue is excessive glucose (sugar), which flushes magnesium from cells and into the urine. High glucose sugars also greatly promote Candida yeast infections of the intestines (and the vagina), death of beneficial intestinal bacteria, and malabsorption of nutrients (such as magnesium). There may be no greater health problem facing the West than improper magnesium / glucose ratios. We love candy, sugar, sweet drinks and rich carbohydrate products. They are the same heavily commercialized products that make us fat, cause heart attacks, hypertension, strokes, diabetes, impair our immunity and cause many other diseases, all treatable by expensive medicines and medical specialists to the delight of the pharmaceutical drug pushers and physicians who will not tell you the truth. We can now add depression, and mood disorders to the list. High carbohydrate consumption causes intracellular magnesium deficiency and high intracellular calcium, the exact intracellular conditions causing depression. High carbohydrate consumption (doesn't matter if it's starches or sugars including high fructose corn syrup - which is being use to replace sugar to avoid the Atkins flack) results in high insulin levels throughout the day, and interferes with sleep at night and obviously greatly increases obesity. This report [Barbagallo, Renick 1994] shows that high blood glucose levels cause the flushing of different minerals from cells, among which is magnesium. Calcium, on the other hand, is not affected. These effects have also been seen by Delva et al. in 2002. Delva showed that only the man made dextrose molecule, the D-dextrose caused problems, while the natural form L-Dextrose, did not cause the problem. This is reminiscent of the problem with man-made D-glutamates. Guerrero-Romero and Rodriguez-Moran reported low serum magnesium in diabetes in 2002. Barbagallo reported altered cellular magnesium responsiveness to hyperglycemia in hypertensive subjects in 2001, finding: For all subjects, ionized magnesium responses to hyperglycemia were closely related to basal ionized magnesium levels with the higher the ionized magnesium, the greater the response (n=26, r=0.620, P<0.001). Thus, (1) erythrocytes from hypertensive vis-a-vis normotensive subjects are resistant to the ionic effects of extracellular hyperglycemia on ionized magnesium levels, and (2) cellular ionic responses to glucose depend on the basal ionized magnesium environment. Altogether, these data support a role for altered extracellular glucose levels in regulating cellular magnesium metabolism and also suggest the importance of ionic factors in determining cellular responsiveness to non hormonal as well as hormonal signals. These problems may result from inadequate insulin, and resultant loss of magnesium though kidneys. This paper shows that insulin is required inside the kidneys to prevent magnesium wasting. If nearly all of your insulin is being used to handle glucose in your blood, and there is little left over for use by the kidneys, frank magnesium wasting occurs, followed shortly by depression, anxiety and various states of hyper emotionality discussed here. Consequently, conserving insulin by dietary means (low glucose consumption) can prevent depression. There are many other causes of renal magnesium wasting, mostly drug and disease related. Increasing levels of magnesium were found to cause a marked depression of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion at fixed calcium levels, particularly at levels which bracketed the concentration of ultra filtrable magnesium found in normal rat plasma (1.3 meq/l), i.e., increasing magnesium from 0.6 to 1.2 meq/l depressed insulin secretion, and increasing magnesium from 1.2 to 2.4 meq/l resulted in a further depression.

        Glucose lowering of magnesium (but not calcium) poses problems because calcium is the antagonist of magnesium. This means that resultant higher calcium levels will further lower magnesium levels throughout the body. After eating a high-carbohydrate diet for years, magnesium deficiency and high calcium is often inevitable, perhaps from inadequate insulin. This relationship will not show up in blood magnesium tests, because 99% of magnesium is stored inside the cells, intracellularly, while much calcium is found external to cells. Only the red blood cell magnesium (not whole blood or serum) tests will tell you the truth about your intracellular magnesium / calcium ratios. If intracellular magnesium is low and calcium is high, there is little doubt that high glucose / high calcium / low magnesium is the main cause of depression. The reduced intracellular magnesium alters the way cells open the door for glucose. The low-magnesium and high-calcium ratio causes the insulin-key to not fit in cellular-locks. Also, the intracellular magnesium and calcium content of the pancreas cells change. This makes the pancreas overshoot insulin. The next time you eat carbohydrates, the same events occur and it gets worse and worse. Eventually the pancreatic cells stop making insulin and frank diabetes results, requiring insulin shots. Consequently, the high incidence of diabetes occurring in depression and vise versa is explained.

       Further, type-2 diabetes is caused by magnesium deficiency, and can be cured even in the very elderly with magnesium in dosages like are used to treat depression. See this case report of an 86-year old woman, deeply depressed, cured of her diabetes using magnesium. See this search for "magnesium" and "diabetes" for the latest news.

from Natural Health Magazine December, 2002        A diabetic's diet (avoiding foods with a high glycemic index) may be recommended for most people, but the main dietary culprit for those of us with borderline diabetes is simply to eliminate all candy, sugar, wheat breads, potatoes, beans and especially high dextrose content sweet products from our diets, getting us back to a diet more suitable to our paleolithic digestive system. Very briefly, we really, really need to get back to a paleolithic diet and here. Here is a search for "diet" AND "diabetics". Here are some recommended books concerning getting back to natural diets. Here is some on hypoglycemia and magnesium relationships. Here are over 200 links on, wherein Dr. Mildred Seelig MD (a world-class magnesium expert) warns of the Western catastrophe of too much sugar and too little magnesium. In Mildred S. Seelig, MD, MPH and Andrea Rosanoff, PhD's new book (The Magnesium Factor), there is a 3 page list of alternate names for "sugar", requiring careful reading of labels on processed foods. I prefer to avoid all processed foods, simply because sugar is in nearly everything processed by man. Diabetes increases myocardial (heart) calcium 400 times normal causing severe problems including many heart attacks through calcification of heart tissues. Eating regularly when not hungry can create a state of hyperinsulin secretion. Insulin increases appetite because it signals the need to transport sugar from the blood into the cells. The only known "remedy" for hyperinsulin secreters is hard exercise (60 minutes at 65% maximum heart rate capacity at least 4 times weekly). Seems like snacking on comfort foods would be helpful in depression and who of us can resist a chocolate bar when we feel bad. But snacking, particularly on high glycemic index foods like chocolate and other candies will always cause insulin to elevate, which will lower intracellular magnesium levels and worsen depression. Remember chocolate and candies are not natural foods but are processed foods.

       On the other hand, there are some instances wherein a food has a low GI value but a high "insulin index" value. This applies to dairy foods and to some highly palatable energy-dense "indulgence foods" such as jelly beans, Mars bars and yogurt. Some foods (such as meat, fish, and eggs) that contain no carbohydrate, just protein and fat (and essentially have a GI value of zero), still stimulate significant rises in blood insulin. At the present time, scientists don't know how to interpret this type of response (low glycemia, high insulinemia) for long-term health. It may be a good outcome because the rise in insulin has contributed to the low level of glycemia. On the other hand, I think it may be not-so-good, because the increased demand for insulin contributes to beta-cell "exhaustion" and the development of type 2 diabetes. Until studies are carried out to answer these types of questions, the glycemic index remains a proven tool for predicting the effects of food on health. Perhaps all that is needed to "safety" foods like these is additive magnesium. Clearly, carbohydrates require much more magnesium for their proper utilization than other foods.

       Here is a list of common foods by glycemic index thanks to the Integrative Healthcare web site. The index implies an equal weight of foods. A larger file of 1200 foods is available. This file is taken from the University of Sydney Glycemic Index web site, which seems to be the most authoritative source available.

Breads & Grains
waffle - 76
doughnut - 76
bagel - 72
wheat bread, white - 70
bread, whole wheat - 69
cornmeal - 68
bran muffin - 60
rice, white - 56
rice, instant - 91
rice, brown - 55
bulgur - 48
spaghetti, white - 41
whole wheat - 37
wheat kernels - 41
barley - 25

Rice Krispies - 82
Grape Nuts Flakes - 80
corn Flakes - 77
Cheerios - 74
shredded wheat - 69
Grape Nuts 67
Life - 66
oatmeal - 61
All Bran - 42

watermelon - 72
pineapple - 66
raisins - 64
banana - 53
grapes - 52
orange - 43
pear - 36
apple - 36

Starchy Vegetables
potatoes, baked - 83
potatoes, instant - 83
potatoes, mashed - 73
sweet potatoes - 54
green peas - 48

baked beans - 48
chick peas - 33
butter beans - 31
lentils - 29
kidney beans - 27
soy beans - 18

ice cream - 61
yogurt, sweetened - 33
milk, full fat - 27
milk, skim - 32

rice cakes - 82
jelly beans - 80
graham crackers - 74
corn chips - 73
life savers - 70
angel food cake - 67
wheat crackers - 67
popcorn - 55
oatmeal cookies - 55
potato chips - 54
chocolate - 49
banana cake - 47
peanuts - 14

glucose - 100
corn syrup - 100
honey - 73
sucrose - 65
lactose - 46
fructose - 23

soft drinks - 68
orange juice - 57
apple juice - 41

Foods listed from highest to lowest glycemic index within category. Glycemic index was calculated using glucose as the reference with GI of 100. Modified from Foster-Powell and Brand Miller (1995).

       Concerning me, I used to get cardiac palpitations (up to one each 10 beats) from certain "high glycemic index" foods. I found that eating chocolate, candy, eggs or potatoes in large amounts started palpations within an hour, and avoiding these foods prevented them or lessened them. Meat, peanuts and fish had no effect. As an experiment, I used a few "pinches" of magnesium sulfate crystals (with an equal amount of fructose for flavor) dissolved and held in the mouth over a half-hour to stop these palpitations very rapidly, but they continued unabated if not treated with magnesium, probably due to my long-term habit of using sodium bicarbonate as a mouth wash to decrease oral acidity as I previously mentioned. Palpitations in me seemed to be a sensitive indicator of my immediate cardiac magnesium status, which, in-turn, seemed to be highly dependent upon my sodium intake. Magnesium ingested in this manner probably is picked up by the lymphatic and venous systems surrounding the oral cavity area and is transported directly to the heart - much like nitroglycerin or sodium bicarbonate when used as a mouth wash. Magnesium supplementation is well known to terminate palpitations which are accompanied by mitral valve prolapse. In this same article, they showed that 54% of patients with emotional symptoms (anxiety and depression) had these symptoms resolve using magnesium. The literature does support the concept of imbalances between calcium and magnesium as causal for many episodes of cardiac palpitations and most more serious and deadly heart conditions. In my case, my cardiac magnesium status was adversely affected by my long-term use of powdered sodium bicarbonate while brushing teeth to de-acidify my mouth in the interest of preventing caries. As soon as I stopped using pure baking soda, my cardiac problems stopped.

       Perhaps Majid Ali, MD in his wonderful article entitled "Lions, Hypoglycemia, Insulin Roller Coasters, Heart Attacks" from his book What Do Lions Know about Stress says it best in his 5 faces of sugar-insulin dysregulation thesis. He writes of his conversation with his God-like-in-wisdom friend Choura, "Sugar is the primary villain in human metabolism. Excess sugar in food stresses human energy systems in many ways and causes the dysregulation of carbohydrate metabolism. Sugar-insulin dysregulation has five faces," says Choura. "What are those faces?" Ali asked. Choura replies, "First, sugar creates sudden surges in blood glucose levels - a condition called hyperglycemia. Second, sudden hyperglycemia triggers the rapid release of large amounts of insulin from the pancreas - a condition called hyperinsulinemia. Third, the insulin response to high blood sugar overshoots its mark and drives the blood sugar level below the normal range - a state of low blood sugar called hypoglycemia. The fourth face of glucose-insulin dysregulation is the insensitivity of insulin receptors at cell membranes (peripheral insulin resistance). The fifth face of glucose-insulin dysregulation is too much adrenaline -a state you may call adrenergic hypervigilance. When an insulin surge drives sugar below the desirable range, the adrenal glands kick in and dispense blasts of adrenaline to counter the insulin. Adrenaline is one of the most -if not the most -potent oxidant in the human body. The oxidative fires lit by adrenaline overdrive the heart causing arrhythmias, tighten arteries producing high blood pressure, rev up nerve-muscle conduction sites causing stiff muscles, jitters and sweating. And that sugar-insulin-adrenergic dysregulation is what the stress specialists call the 'STRESS RESPONSE'."  I am breathless in the face of this wisdom-of-the-ages. I can't help but realize, here we are again; right back at the stress response that we know drives down magnesium levels and causes our depression. We now also see that sugar drives intracellular levels of magnesium down, which independently causes depression - counter to what we intuitively believe. What are we to do about our love affair with sweets? Are we doomed to a life without sweets to avoid depression, heart attacks and most of the other illnesses that plague Western society?

       Many people have a sweet tooth, brought on by the opiate-like activity of sweet carbohydrates. Yes we are talking about addiction. Complete elimination of sweetness from our diet is not desirable or practical. Fortunately there is a very sweet food, fructose (not high fructose corn syrup), that is extremely low on the glycemic index. Fructose (GI 20) is a natural sugar, a monosaccharide and the mirror image of glucose. Fructose has exactly the same amount of energy, 4 kcal/gram as sugar or dextrose but it is up to twice as sweet as sugar therefore much less is required for sweetness. Fructose, fruit sugar, is the natural sweetener found in all fruits. Orally ingested fructose travels to the liver and can be used there without the need for much insulin. Fructose is converted to glucose in the liver and contributes to an increase in blood glucose, rather than being stored as glycogen. Unlike sucrose and glucose which cause quick changes to the blood glucose levels and disrupt the metabolic control of a person with diabetes, fructose is absorbed more slowly and causes fewer changes in blood glucose levels. Fructose does not interfere as much with the magnesium / glucose ratio, perhaps because only one-half of the amount of fructose produces the same sweetness as sugar. Fructose is available at health food stores, but its table use may not be totally satisfactory because it is hygroscopic, meaning it will become wet from moisture that it picks up from the air. Its primary use in foods is in cooking and preparation of sweet drinks. Alternatively, to satisfy a sweet tooth, and totally avoid aggravating depression, use Stevia, the ultra safe, herbal, top secret, super-sweetener that the FDA doesn't want you to know about. Avoid potatoes and eggs (the Classic Mexican-American breakfast-taco which causes diabetes in astonishing numbers) with their complex carbohydrates, which can have a greater impact on insulin than pure sugar. Regardless of your dietary interests, try for a maximum of 30 grams of carbohydrates a day. Keep your intake of high glycemic index foods to a minimum.

       There is also reason to be cautious about fructose, a very sweet carbohydrate. Ledochowski et al. at the Institute of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Innsbruck, Austria found in 2000 that elimination of fructose and high fructose content fruits from the diet has great benefit in treating depression in people that do not metabolize fructose or sorbitol correctly. They found that when fructose is not well absorbed, when it reaches the colon it is broken down by bacteria to short fatty acids, CO2 and hydrogen gas resulting in bloating, cramps, osmotic diarrhea and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. They showed that fructose malabsorption is associated with early signs of mental depression and low serum tryptophan concentrations. They found that a fructose-reduced diet could not only improve gastrointestinal complaints but also reduced depression scores by 65 percent after 4 weeks of diet (P < 0.0001), and there was a significant reduction of abdominal distension (P < 0.0001) and stool frequency (P < 0.01). Improvement of signs of depression and of abdominal distension was more pronounced in females than in males. They concluded that fructose- and sorbitol-reduced diet in subjects with fructose malabsorption does not only reduce gastrointestinal symptoms but also improves mood and early signs of depression. Consequently, if you have bloating, cramps, diarrhea or other bowel symptoms, you should eliminate all fruits from your diet and not use fructose or sorbitol as a sweetener.

       You know that alcohol is a carbohydrate. But did you know that alcohol is a very large contributor to low magnesium and depression, as well as dehydration, anxiety, osteoporosis, heart problems and diabetes? Study "alcohol" and "magnesium deficiency" on google. Got a hang-over headache? Try magnesium. Think about it. Back in the early '60s when I was in the old Strategic Air Command (SAC), when we got drunk and the APs rounded us up and escorted us back to the barracks, they gave us really large doses of vitamin B-6 (which is vital for magnesium metabolism), and we were usually sufficiently sober the next day to pass for being "present for duty". Magnesium would have been better. Dr. Ricardo Brown at Wayne State University found that acetaldehyde (the extremely toxic breakdown product of alcohol) reduced calcium entry into heart cells, which reduced inter-cellular exchanges that allow the heart to pump. The exposure to alcohol also caused cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the chambers of the heart are dilated more than normal. From there, Dr. Brown looked into whether those who suffered from diabetic cardiomyopathy or hypertension were worse off than those with normal hearts in response to alcohol consumption. Again, using diabetic or hypertensive rats as models, he found that the ability of the heart to contract in the presence of alcohol was even more depressed. His findings, published in the European Journal of Pharmacology for reduced heart damage from acetaldehyde toxicity was to supplement with magnesium, thus helping to restore proper calcium levels. He showed that in rats the cardiac damage from alcohol was much lower when large amounts of magnesium was added to the diet. Drunks urinate (waste) very large amounts of magnesium. I can hear it now, one drunk says to another, "Hey, Billy-Bob, pass me the magnesium." The other drunk says, "No way Jose, get your own." Remember that being stupid is a right, but being too stupid is a wrong. Although some alcohol-industry funded research suggests that small amounts of alcohol daily are healthful, perhaps by releasing magnesium from bone storage depots, I will not waste the non-alcoholic's time in discussing this totally preventable health risk (alcoholism) any further. For me, any alcohol is too much. Can you see how Kefir would prevent cardiac problems?

       Wanna hear a really good military story? While I was in SAC, I had a 1952 Buick with a bad transmission. One day I found that some stranger was removing the motor from my car with a portable hoist. Actually, he was stealing it. I called the California Highway Patrol and they arrested him and hauled him off to jail. The following Monday, I was recounting this story to my Captain, when the Mather AFB commander called. The General was in a blood-red-faced, rip-roaring rage, and he wanted me and my Captain front-and-center in his office in an hour. Why me? I was just a lowly airman. When we got there, we saluted and stood tall, not having the slightest idea of why we were there, and we were a bit scared. The General accused me of having his top B-52 crew chief locked up on a trumped-up charge of stealing my motor. Well, George was not going to have anything to do with that BS, so I explained the facts to him. Wow! He really didn't like it and was fuming mad and shaking from rage (certainly he was having palpitations). He told me that my actions effectively grounded one of his B-52 bombers that was needed for his Chrome Dome missions. Chrome Dome was an Air force program that used B-52s loaded with hydrogen bombs to cruise off the northern coast of the old Soviet block, an action which threatened life on this planet in a program eventually called Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Well, the discussion and debate got really, really heated, but when it was all over the general told me that he would trade my motor for his B-52! Hummm. Sounded good to me, but I drove a hard bargain and got the general to fix my Buick's transmission too. I am probably the only person on Earth to have ever held a B-52 hostage for a 52 Buick! I still am amazed that we didn't destroy the world in those days of General Curtis Lemay, and that it has been 60 years since we used an Atomic bomb.

       There are a number of minerals such as zinc, vanadium and chromium that are vital to carbohydrate metabolism. Without adequate intake of these minerals, life is not possible, and premature death, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diseases of aging (including depression and insomnia) occur. Insulin is often called "insulin zinc" because of the essential role played by zinc. A dietary intake of more than 15 mg zinc per day is required for good health, and intake of 100 mg per day has been shown to improve cellular immunity in old people and younger people, while 300 mg per day for 6 weeks impairs cellular immunity. The best source of supplemental zinc is zinc gluconate.

       Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF) chromium is an essential insulin cofactor too. Although 65% of the public has glucose intolerance, 90% of the public is low in chromium, thus our ability to regulate sugar is seen as a chromium deficiency - but there is more, because high glucose diets flush out chromium 3 times faster than low glucose diets. Chromium picolinate has long been recommended to enhance glucose handling, but "picolinate" is a pancreatic excretory product (sort of like "urate" or urine is a kidney excretory product) and is no longer recommended for use in dietary supplements. A B-vitamin complex of chromium called chromium nicotinate is found to be three-times more readily absorbed than other forms of chromium and is now recommended. The National Academy of Sciences recommends 50 to 200 mcg of chromium daily, but less than 10% of the public gets 50 mcg per day from their diet. Supplements of chromium in 200 mcg daily doses (1 or more daily) are needed by 90% of the public and all people having problems with high glycemic index foods. Me? I used 400 mcg chromium with each meal and bedtime to support my magnesium dosages. WARNING: This much chromium as "chromium picolinate (GTF chromium)" would be highly toxic. Picolinate is the toxic ingredient. This toxicity is particularly embarrassing to the U.S. Department of Agriculture since they developed it, patented it and continue to support it. In this article by Davidson, Abraham, Connor and McLeod, they show that chromium picolinate was also sort of effective in "atypical" depression. Their abstract reads: "Chromium picolinate has been reported to benefit patients with symptoms of atypical depression. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, pilot study of chromium picolinate was conducted in 15 patients with DSM-IV major depressive disorder, atypical type. Patients received 600 micro g of chromium picolinate or matching placebo for 8 weeks. Seven (70%) CP and zero (0%) placebo-treated patients met responder criteria (p =.02). Other outcomes were consistent with greater effect of chromium picolinate. Three patients on chromium picolinate failed to show any improvement. Chromium picolinate was well tolerated. Chromium picolinate shows promising antidepressant effects in atypical depression. Its mechanism of action may relate to 5HT2A down regulation, increased insulin sensitivity, or to other effects." I say it up regulated magnesium. On the other hand, Docherty et al. concluded that: "In a population of adults with atypical depression, most of whom were overweight or obese, chromium picolinate produced improvement on the following HAM-D-29 items: appetite increase, increased eating, carbohydrate craving, and diurnal variation of feelings. In a subpopulation of patients with high carbohydrate craving, overall HAM-D-29 scores improved significantly in patients treated with chromium picolinate compared with placebo. The results of this study suggest that the main effect of chromium was on carbohydrate craving and appetite regulation in depressed patients and that 600 mug of elemental chromium may be beneficial for patients with atypical depression who also have severe carbohydrate craving. Further studies are needed to evaluate chromium in depressed patients specifically selected for symptoms of increased appetite and carbohydrate craving as well as to determine whether a higher dose of chromium would have an effect on mood.

       Vanadium can mimic the role of insulin in rats and in humans , reducing the need for insulin. See this search for "vanadium" and "glucose". Dietary supplements of vanadium [as vanadyl sulfate 5000 micrograms (equivalent to 975 micrograms vanadium)] several times a day may be very beneficial in lowering the need for insulin, and is a hot topic of current interest amongst researchers and body builders. I tried experimenting with vanadium and I took two tablets of 975 mcg vanadium with each meal and bedtime. I found that these minerals appear to greatly stabilize magnesium balance and seemed to prevent its urinary loss. What is interesting here is the absence or deficiency of these three minerals (zinc, chromium and vanadium) can reduce the effectiveness of insulin on sugars thus leading to "magnesium wasting disease" which leads to depression. Redistribution of magnesium by insulin shots into cells may cause lower magnesium serum levels, which should be interpreted as beneficial not detrimental.

from page 16, January 2004 issue of Life Extension magazine       Throughout this section on "Killer Sugars", I have acted as if we all knew what our blood sugar was supposed to be. You have been told by your doctor that the range was "65 to 109 mg/dL". Life Extension magazine editor William Faloon presents a powerful case that such reference numbers are pure garbage. He presents his point with the observation that the pancreas, the body's main blood glucose level regulator, stops secreting insulin when glucose levels drop below 83 mg/dL, this data having been published in HARRISON'S PRINCIPLES OF INTERNAL MEDICINE, Thirteenth Edition, McGraw Hill, 1994, pages 2001 - 2004. Faloon's point is that "the pancreas thinks glucose levels should be no higher than 83 mg/dL and certainly not as high as physicians say to be "normal", which is a reference range of "what is observed" in our sick population, and not what it would be in a healthy population. Following the diet I present below for five months lowered my blood sugar level one hour after lunch to 84 mg/dL. In a study of 2000 men over a 22 year period, the research showed that men with fasting blood glucose values over 85 mg/dL had a 40% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease than those with lower blood glucose in otherwise healthy men. Getting sugar out of our diets will not only keep depression away but will keep us living longer.

       Uh Oh! Now we are hearing that fructose (and sugar) are posions! They are the main cause of childhood obsesity and will eventually be blammed for the premature death of our fat children. If you are really worried about fat children and why they are getting fat, just stop all sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and especially fructose. Read about this mess here and listen to an hour and twenty minute lecture by Robert Lustig, MD, a UCSF pediatric neuroendocrinologist about this mess here. Lustig says that the FDA will never take sugar and fructose out of our children's diets. Apparently, keeping them fat seems fine with the FDA. Manufaturers are sneaky and you must read the labels.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

Milk & Calcium Toxicity

       The third dietary cause of inadequate intracellular magnesium is competition by calcium. This is one very obvious cause, particularly to people who have gone off their ridiculous calcium supplements and dairy products diet and gotten much better in just a day or two. To those people that refuse to eliminate calcium supplementation (perhaps due to previous advice from a physician), I offer my condolences and hope that you have a good long-term health care insurance policy. People ask me if I worry about not getting enough calcium by "over" emphasizing magnesium. People seem to want to supplement their already calcium-rich, dairy product laden diets with calcium too, not magnesium. Some people are actually afraid to stop drinking milk, even though they are toxic from drinking too much of it and supplementing with calcium to theoretically "prevent osteoporosis". Why?

Doctors need more magnesium too!       The dairy industry has used "osteoporosis prevention" as a marketing tool for calcium. However, milk and calcium supplements do not seem to be the correct answer. In countries where dairy products are commonly consumed, there are actually more hip fractures than in other countries. When put to the test, most studies show that dairy products and calcium supplements have little effect on osteoporosis. As surprising as that may be, when researchers have measured bone loss in postmenopausal women, most have found that calcium intake has little effect on the bone density of the spine. There is also little or no effect on bone at the hip, where serious breaks can occur. Some studies have found a small effect from calcium intake on bone density in the forearm. The overall message seems to be that, as long as one is not grossly deficient in calcium, calcium supplements and dairy products do not have much beneficial effect. Science magazine (August 1, 1996) noted: "...the large body of evidence indicating no relationship between calcium intake and bone density." Why not? For one thing, hormones very carefully regulate the amount of calcium in bones. Other studies have shown that increasing magnesium intake increases bone absorption of calcium. Why? The balance of calcium and magnesium must be maintained, and since there is plenty of calcium in our diets, bone density increases from extra magnesium is an automatic reaction. On the other hand, simply increasing calcium intake does not fool these hormones into building more bone, any more than delivering an extra load of bricks will convince a construction crew to build a larger building. Psychiatrists have known for many years that loss of hormonal control of calcium causes severe mental illnesses (dementias) including depression. Apparently, long term, stress with excessive calcium intake and limited magnesium intake can cause loss of hormonal control of calcium.

Very low calcium with high magnesium does not harm bone density.       What happens to people that go cold-turkey on dairy and calcium supplements? In the spring of 1998, I had a heel bone density test done using the new FDA approved Sahara ultrasound test for osteoporosis, which is made by the Hologic Company. The test cost me $20 and was totally painless, as are all ultrasounds. It was conducted by a respected local clinic, so what did I have to loose? My 1998 test result was taken when I was 58. I had a new test done in Spring of 2003 and the fall of 2004. These are my test results for 1998 through 2004. My wife said I was (and still am) very hard headed, and these tests confirm her observations. Until I became depressed in 1999, I had been practicing the high-calcium-is-good-for-you-concept too. My bone density has fallen a bit, but my bone density is still 1 standard deviation higher than average. My heel bone density remains high, and T-Scores changed from +0.6 to -0.1 over the five years. These T-Scores are indicative of very low risk of bone breakage from osteoporosis, and the score is that of a young adult (but I am 63 in 2004). Obviously my bone density was not damaged by no-more-calcium-than-I-can-obtain from vegetables. Also, I drink de-ionized (essentially distilled) water without any mineral content, so that is not a source of hidden calcium. My mental health is much better with low calcium and I very much believe in very low calcium as a healthy way of living, but only if there is adequate magnesium. Please contact Hologic and find a local clinic that can do this test for you before you terminate calcium. Recheck each year.

       In the Spring of 2005, my daughter graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, and our family and friends attended the graduation ceremony. On the way out of the hall, we became separated. I climbed upon the head of a giant armadillo statue to look around to see if i could find my family. I found them and, momentarily forgetting that I was 64 years old and might have osteoporosis from low calcium consumption, jumped off the 7-foot tall statue. As I floated like a lead balloon to the ground, I realized that I was not too bright, and wondered if I would break a hip upon landing. I didn't and I landed running.

       Calcium is wonderful for water pipes and arteries.Calcium toxicity is something that even the National Dairy Council has a great concern, saying near the bottom of their page: "However, overuse of calcium-fortified foods, calcium supplements, or antacids containing calcium may increase risk of calcium toxicity, characterized by high blood levels of calcium, kidney damage, and calcification of soft tissues." High blood levels of calcium are called hypercalcemia, which can cause: nausea, vomiting, alterations of mental status, abdominal or flank (kidney) pain, constipation, lethargy, depression, weakness and vague muscle/joint aches, polyuria, headache, coma (severe elevation) and death (particularly in the elderly who are more sensitive to excess calcium). Kidney damage includes kidney stones. Do you really want to have "calcified soft tissues"? They include calcified arteries (hardening of the arteries), calcified heart valves (mitral valve prolapse), and calcified tendons. As we age, calcium also accumulates in the soft tissues of the body. When calcium deposits in dead tissue, it is called dystrophic calcium (like atherosclerotic plaques). When excess calcium becomes deposited in living tissue, it is called metastatic calcium (like arteriosclerosis). Heart attacks and death often result from excess accumulations of calcium in these conditions but do not occur from excess magnesium, which appears highly protective. When calcium gets into cells, the cells turn on, whatever "on" is for those cells. In the case of stress-induced depression and related mental disorders, the cells are the neuro synaptic cells of the brain discussed in depth here. When calcium enters a muscle cell, the muscle contracts. If excessive calcium stays there, the muscle stays contracted and results in severe pain. The familiar knots in our upper backs and necks are just such calcified muscles that are stuck in the "on" or contracted position. The pathological version of this condition is called fibromyalgia where there are many such knotted muscles. The extreme example of this is rigor mortis (as in death), in which all the muscles of the body are flooded with calcium and contract - permanently. As we age, we accumulate more and more dystrophic and metastatic calcium, and become stiffer and stiffer. The solution, balance excess calcium with excess magnesium, or simply don't indulge in the Calcium-At-Any-Cost campaign! Feel like you have been lied to? Yes? You are right. Interestingly, physicians now, (finally) report that low blood calcium can be caused by under active parathyroid glands, low calcium in the diet, severe burns or infections, pancreatitis, kidney failure, or low blood magnesium. Which of these six possible ways to develop low blood calcium is most likely to be cause of low calcium in the Western diet? Anybody remember magnesium fortification or magnesium promotions by any company? Any danger here? No. How about calcium promotions and advertisements? Aren't they everywhere? Yes! Given this apparent intent to poison Americans with calcium, why would anyone be concerned at this juncture about overdoing magnesium? Is this Al Qaeda's secret weapon for killing Americans? NO! We invented this one all by ourselves, probably thanks to the NIH's unbalanced consensus statement on calcium (a monograph absent balance with magnesium). Nothing that I am saying should be construed to mean anything more than we must feed ourselves in a way that keeps our magnesium and calcium balance correct, or, in many of our cases, reestablish a proper, healthy calcium - magnesium balance, nearly always by reducing calcium overloads and increasing magnesium. If we don't want to balance our calcium and magnesium ratios using supplemental magnesium and a low calcium diet, we can always allow psychiatrists to do it with electro convulsive therapy (ECT).

        All of these effects are exaggerated in space flight, and pose serious problems of heart attacks during flight and post flight. In addition to the previously described ischemic mechanisms which may lead to calcium overload of the myocardium and the arterial wall, and potentially leading to a myocardial infarction, other conditions complicating space flights, can precipitate calcium overload with cell necrosis, i.e. catecholamine elevations, insulin resistance and magnesium ion loss and deficiency. A major effort is in place to maintain magnesium serum levels during space flight, because loss of magnesium during space flight is found to be a limiting factor on space flight duration. The loss of magnesium is much greater in men and current interest in women in space flight is stimulated by their lower losses of magnesium. Candida albicans yeast is a serious problem in space flight because it depletes acidophilus bacteria and would greatly reduce magnesium absorption. One might hypothesize that female astronauts are strongly interested in preventing vaginal yeast infections in space flights and that they use antifungals, thus explaining these differences.

        Scientists and physicians will want to read this ten-page report titled "Calcium and Magnesium Deposits in Disease", by Mildred S. Seelig, MD, MPH of the American College of Nutrition, a world-class expert on magnesium. This article points out that most abnormal mineral deposits are calcareous, occurring in areas of tissue damage that can be caused by magnesium deficiency. Topics covered: Mineralization of arteries and heart by calcium excess, magnesium deficiency. Atherogenic and/or calcemic diets. Low magnesium and spontaneous myocardial infarction. High vitamin-D and/or phosphate diet intensifies magnesium deficiency. Stress and catecholamines. Mitochondrial lesions of ischemic hearts resemble those of magnesium deficiency. Diabetes increases myocardial calcium (Ca) 400 times normal. Mineralization by calcium of human arteriosclerotic arteries with aging due to lifelong magnesium deficiency. Infantile and juvenile cardiovascular calcification resemble experimental magnesium deficiency. Cardiovascular calcification in diabetes mellitus and renal failure, kidneys, urolithiasis, effect of magnesium in preventing. Soft tissue calcification inhibition by magnesium. Chrondrocalcinosis, enlarged joints, pseudogout Ca-PP-dihydrate. Apatite formation. Inhibit subcutaneous calcification by injection of CaATP with magnesium. Articular calcification of uremia. Interstitial and periarticular calcinosis. Myositis ossifacans. Tendons. Fluoride toxicity. Vitamin-D toxicity. Placenta calcification. Pancreatic calcification. Ocular calcification. Cardiovascular damage prevented by magnesium. These and other similar conditions, even in absence of magnesium deficiency, may be responsive to magnesium treatment over a one year period.

        The "Calcium-At-Any-Cost" campaign currently underway in the United states appears identical to the "Vitamin D-At-Any-Cost" campaign of the early part of the twentieth century. After many years of campaigning for a diet richer in vitamin-D, people began to get far too much with serious consequences. Normal exposure to sunlight provides enough vitamin-D to satisfy healthy bodily processes for most of us (exceptions including clinical cases of Season Affective disorder (SAD), and possibly dark-skinned people living in low-sunlight conditions). Supplementing with vitamin-D, pills, enriched breakfast foods, milk, and other sources of vitamin D led to an epidemic of calcification of soft tissues, such as the kidney, heart, aorta, muscle, hypercalcemia, decalcification of bone, muscular weakness, joint pains, and various other symptoms, all being symptoms of excess calcium. The "Vitamin D-At-Any-Cost" campaign was replaced by the "Calcium-At-Any-Cost" campaign, which has failed us too. It is time to get serious and address the real problem, magnesium deficiency. EDITORIAL OPINION: If a health consciousness revolution occurs and magnesium gets the attention currently afforded calcium, great displacement is likely in medicine, because much of modern clinical practice appears built on the foundation of faulty calcium-magnesium balances.

        For those of us that have consumed too much calcium relative to magnesium, excess calcium has become a neurotoxin. For example, I used to be so sensitive to calcium, that a single 500 mg calcium dietary supplement induced in me a strong feeling of depression within 1 hour (relievable with 400 mg magnesium). To me, this is clear evidence that either treatment-resistant or stress-induced depression are not necessarily psychological or psychiatric disorders (although depression certainly can be). Rather, these forms of depression are a disorder of calcium / magnesium balance. In fact, had I not experienced these effects, I could not have realized or appreciated how dangerous our high calcium diet actually is. I assume you are no different, and I urge you to tune in to your body better, and note your body's response to calcium supplements. See if you don't experience worsened depression or other worsened moods after ingesting a big wad of calcium. Many people, women usually, e-mailed me saying that magnesium did not terminate their depression. I always respond with a request for them to review their dietary supplements and dairy intake for calcium. Invariably, they report between 1000 and 2000 mg daily intake of calcium, as dietary supplements plus dairy, or that they used a non-ionizable, totally useless, criminally ineffective compound of magnesium, such as magnesium carbonate, magnesium oxide, stearate or magnesium hydroxide. People have also used magnesium chelates of undescribed nature, magnesium aspartate or magnesium glutamate with greatly worsened symptoms. I report back to them that in my opinion their calcium intake is preventing their recovery and their choice of magnesium compounds is wrong. Those that make the suggested changes usually report back to me with really nice words of praise and thanks you notes for their very speedy recovery. From these results and others, we can infer that large doses of ionic magnesium in depression treatment and treatment of other mental disorders either: (a) restore hormonal control of calcium or (b) re-balance the calcium / magnesium serum ratio. In my opinion, re-balancing the calcium / magnesium ratio is more likely. Why? The effects of magnesium, although extremely strong, can be short-lived; and continued magnesium supplementation has been required to maintain well being. If hormonal control were re-established, it seems to me that we would not need continued large doses of magnesium daily. This is not to say that over a long time, hormonal control may eventually result, particularly if we eliminate sugar and other high glycemic index foods from our diets and supplement with chromium and possibly vanadium.

calcium toxicity visible as spikes on blood cells        Viewed under a dark field microscope, these red blood cells taken from a Gulf War medical reporter show many small spikes sticking out from their surfaces. These cell-surface spikes are produced by severe intracellular magnesium depletion and excess calcium resulting in echinocytes. I wonder if presence of echinocytes is predictive of who will benefit from magnesium therapy in depression treatment and other mental disorders. I suspect magnesium treatment eventually eliminates echinocytes, restoring the picture of normal red blood cells. From this microphotograph, overdoing calcium supplements and foods rich in calcium (especially dairy products) and ignoring magnesium dietary intake appears to result in visible cellular "calcium toxicity". This photograph is amazing; and should illustrate a new way of determining severe, potentially life-threatening calcium/magnesium imbalance. The presence of spikes would prevent spiked blood cells from flowing smoothly through arteries and veins. It seems to me that spiked red blood cells (echinocytes) passing through the arteries and arterioles of the heart and brain could trigger strokes and heart attacks and all precursor symptoms associated with these disorders.

        Remember magnesium is used to regulate receptor sites for neurotransmitters, and is active in the hippocampus (the emotional center of the body). Our children may be at great risk because they think they need to remain thin to be accepted. Those foods that are high in magnesium that would help them cope with the stresses of growing up (school yard bullies, PMSing teen girls, and teen life in general) are not on their plates. However, milk and cheese products are on their plates, and calcium/magnesium imbalances may contribute to school violence in manic or manic depressive (bi-polar) students. Without enough magnesium, these young people can loose control over their moods, sometimes with devastating results. Violence or meanness to others has not been reported in the medical literature to be caused by insufficient magnesium except in some ADHD, mania or manic-depressive patients. Consequently, I am not worried about ADHD, manic, manic depressive, or depressive patients getting too much magnesium, rather I am concerned that our calcium / magnesium balance be corrected.

        My worries about milk are additive to what some scientists worry about concerning homogenized milk. "Homogenizing cow's milk transforms healthy butterfat into microscopic spheres of fat containing xanthine oxidase (XO) which is one of the most powerful digestive enzymes there is. The spheres are small enough to pass intact right through the stomach and intestines walls without first being digested. Thus this extremely powerful protein knife, XO, floats throughout the body in the blood and lymph systems. When the XO breaks free from its fat envelope, it attacks the inner wall of whatever vessel it is in. This creates a wound. The wound triggers the arrival of patching plaster to seal off that wound. The patching plaster is cholesterol. Hardening of the arteries, heart disease, chest pain, heart attack is the result." Atherosclerosis,1989;77:251-6. If you really want the scoop, and don't mind reading about the "pus" in milk, enjoy this site. Milk gives people gas too. If you are interested in this topic, one of the best books on it is "Milk: The Deadly Poison", by Robert Cohen. Read it and weep.

       We have bemoaned the fact that as intestinal bacteria decline our health declines. Is there more to the story? Yes, intestinal bacteria stimulate the production of vitamin K and from it vitamin K2. Without Vitamin K2, calcium sticks in our arteries rather than in our bones, and we develop atherosclerosis, especially in the presence of inadequate magnesium. Here is part of what Dr. James Howenstine, MD says about Vitamin K2 deficiencies as cause of atherosclerosis, and note that he says that we can reverese atherosclerosis simply by taking more Vitamin K2.

Vitamin K2 Removes Calcium From Arteries And Deposits It In Bone

Detecting calcium deposits in arteries by computer tomography scanning studies has become a valuable clue that an individual has arteriosclerotic heart disease and has significant risk for heart attack and sudden death. Detected calcium arterial deposits thus permit life style changes to be instituted before sudden death or acute myocardial infarction has occurred. Western cultures (Northern Europe, Canada, USA,) eat a high protein, high dairy, high phosphorus, low magnesium diet. This type food causes large amounts of calcium to be wasted in the urine as it is removed from bone tissue to try to preserve an alkaline cellular environment in the face of a very acidic dietary protein intake. To make matters even worse the ratio of calcium to magnesium in milk is 9 to 1 which exaggerates the lack of magnesium found in food grown on magnesium depleted U.S. soil. Low magnesium stores in bone cells prevent magnesium from being of any value in attempts to preserve an alkaline body pH. Naturally the Western diet leads to profound loss of calcium and magnesium from bone thus ensuring osteoporosis and fractured bones in the elderly. The nation of Thailand which eats almost no dairy products and obtains calcium primarily from vegetables has much less osteoporosis than western nations on their high protein high dairy product diets.

Calcification in cellular tissues is a sign of tissue damage, cellular aging and impending cell death. When cells are unable to regulate calcium and keep the calcium content of cells down cellular function degenerates. Calcified arteries, calcium in soft tissues and high levels of calcium within cells are all signs of aging. At age 80 the average calcium content in the aorta is 140 times greater than the levels of aortic calcification noted at age 40. This may relate to a long period of unrecognized Vitamin K2 deficiency.

Vitamin K1 is found in plants and Vitamin K2 is found in animals and bacteria (healthy colon bacteria, Japanese natto, low fat Dutch gouda and edam cheese). Bacteria in the colon are able to produce and store about one month of Vitamin K. All antibiotics kill many of these good intestinal bacteria thus impairing production of Vitamin K. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have similar adverse effects on these valuable bacteria. Vitamin K absorption is improved by dietary fat which stimulates bile secretion. We also know that these agents drive down magnesium. Studies have shown that subclinical Vitamin K deficiency is present in most healthy adults. The first symptoms of this deficiency can be heart attack or a fractured osteoporotic bone. In the Framingham study subjects in the highest quartile for Vitamin K intake had a significantly lower risk of hip fracture.

In 1984 scientists reported that patients with osteoporotic fractures had circulating Vitamin K1 levels that were 70% lower than age and sex matched controls. These findings were confirmed and it was noted that low levels of Vitamin K were associated with loss of bone mineral density creating an independent risk factor for bone fracture. Further studies have disclosed that Vitamin K1 was less effective than Vitamin K2 in preventing bone loss. The absorption of synthetic Vitamin K1 has recently been compared to the absorption of Vitamin K2(menaquinone-7) in healthy subjects. Vitamin K1 has been widely used in food supplements. Recently natural Vitamin K2 has become available for use in supplements. Both Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2 were well absorbed with peak blood levels reached at 4 hours. Unlike Vitamin K1, Vitamin K2 was found to have a very long half life which results in stable higher blood levels. During prolonged intake the long half life permits accumulation of K2 to levels 7- to 8-fold higher than that seen after one dose. Vitamin K2(MK-7) is 6 times more potent than Vitamin K1.

Use Of Vitamin K2(Menaquinone-7) To Prevent Calcium Plaques From Appearing In Arteries

The commonly used anticoagulant drug coumadin interferes with the metabolism and function of Vitamin K by inhibiting the enzymes needed to produce Vitamin K. This drug can produce excessive bleeding and does produce progressive widespread calcification of arteries and the aorta. A

clinical study from Rotterdam, Holland revealed a correlation between long term adequate Vitamin K2 intake and a lower incidence of calcification of the wall of the aorta. Arteries with no plaques have a 20 to 50 fold increase in Vitamin K2 concentration when compared to arteries with arterial plaques. The high K2(menaquinone-7) content arteries were noted to be more flexible and elastic than arteries lacking K2.

Lack of Vitamin K2 causes calcium to fail to be deposited in bones where it belongs and to be deposited instead in arteries, aorta, soft tissues including muscle, breast, kidneys and in heel spurs. A protein called osteocalcin transports calcium to bone. Vitamin K2(menaquinone-7) is used to solidify this calcium into the bone matrix. When Vitamin K2 is lacking the calcium remains in the blood and ends up getting deposited in the walls of arteries and other sites which is very undesirable. Thus Vitamin K2 becomes a critical nutrient for both bone and arteries. The primary therapy for osteoporosis in Japan has become Vitamin K2(Synergy K).

Dr. Leon Schurgers and Dr. Cees Vermeer of Maastricht University in Holland studied 4800 elderly Dutch men and women to ascertain whether Vitamin K2 could help prevent artery calcium deposits. They learned that persons with the highest dietary intake of K2 (primarily originating in low fat Dutch cheeses Gouda and Edam) had the least evidence of calcification of the aorta when compared to persons with low Vitamin K2 intakes. The higher the intake of these cheeses the lower the mortality from cardiovascular disease.

The fermented soy Japanese food natto contains Vitamin K2 in large amounts but Americans are likely to find it's taste and smell objectionable unless it is covered by sauces. All of the Vitamin K2 produced in making the enzyme nattokinase has now become available to be sold for use in food supplements.

The drug coumadin (chemically the same as warfarin the highly poisonous mouse and rat pesticide) is widely used by conventional medicine in cardiovascular disease to prevent clotting. Numerous natural health experts have been concerned for years that coumadin was not effective in preventing vascular deaths but also has problems with occasional serious internal bleeding episodes. German researchers found out in 2005 that long term use of coumadin produced increased calcium in the aortic valve and coronary arteries when compared to patients not taking coumadin. Dr. Gary Gordon states that "every patient on coumadin is increasing the calcium content of all vascular tissues. The calcium content of arteries is now proven to be more dangerous than diabetes, elevated cholesterol or hypertension, we must now try to educate patients." Patients taking coumadin can be easily moved to safer anticoagulant therapy. This information proves that Vitamin K2 is a critical nutrient for patients with arteriosclerosis as it has the potential to prevent and remove calcium from arteriosclerotic plaques thus making plaques easier to dissolve and less dangerous..

Vitamin K2 is now available as Synergy K. One capsule of Synergy K contains 45 mcg of Vitamin K2(Menaquinone-7) and 1 mg of (Menaquinone-4 less well absorbed than K2). Natural Health Team 1-800-416-2806 can supply Synergy K. The dose should be one capsule daily(45 mcg.)."

Morton's Salt Substitute (potassium chloride)        Some depressed people appear to need more calcium because laboratory tests show that they are in a negative calcium balance. That means they leak not just magnesium (hypomagnesemia), but calcium too. They may have accelerated bone loss perhaps from post menopausal osteoporosis or other diseases or disorders. They are in a bad predicament. If they increase calcium they often become more depressed. If they decrease calcium they believe that they risk breaking bones from osteoporosis or osteomalacia. Magnesium deficiency is usually associated with hypocalcemia (low blood calcium), hypophosphatemia (low phosphate), and/or hypokalemia (low potassium). Hypokalemia or hypocalcemia are important clinical complications of hypomagnesemia. When a person is unresponsive to treatment for hypokalemia or hypocalcemia, magnesium may have been depleted. What to do? The medical literature clearly supports taking more magnesium and taking boron supplements or eating foods high in boron to help prevent the loss of these critical minerals. Hypokalemia can also be treated by switching from plain table salt (sodium chloride) to Morton's Lite Salt [50/50 sodium chloride / potassium chloride - contains iodide (iodine)], or preferably by switching to Morton's Salt Substitute (nearly pure potassium chloride - does not contain iodide, which must be supplemented by other means to avoid cardiac issues identical to those produced by low magnesium / high calcium). Hypocalcemia has been treated with calcium supplements, but in depression and hyper emotionality, the doses needed are much lower and can be easily be obtained from lower calcium content food (non dairy).

       If Morton's Salt substitute is exclusively used, you must add iodide (iodine) to your diet to prevent iodine deficiency-induced cardiac problems identical to those found from a low magnesium / high calcium diet. The Japanese live to be 120 years old consuming a lot of kelp, which is rich in iodine, taurine and magnesium. Iodine is vital to cardiac health, and must not be ignored to live a long life. Here is a good discussion of kelp at this link. A chronic iodine deficiency can cause the same type of heart disease as is caused by deficiencies in magnesium. Iodine containing medication (amiodarone) is used to terminate certain deadly arrhythmias, but chronic overdose has caused thyroid problems. Hypothyroidism is common, particularly in elderly women, and dietary iodine deficiency remains an important cause. Hypothyroidism can present with nonspecific constitutional and neuropsychiatric complaints, or with hypercholesterolaemia, hyponatraemia, hyperprolactinaemia, or hyperhomocysteinaemia. Severe untreated hypothyroidism can lead to heart failure, psychosis, and coma. Further, iodine can improve digestion, increasing absorption of magnesium. For example, 10 mg/day of iodine, the average intake of iodine in the classical Japanese diet will eliminate the loose bowels found with excessive magnesium, perhaps by its well-known anti-helminic and anti-anaerobic bacteria activity. Sometimes primary hypothyroidism occurs due to too much iodine from kelp in the Japanese population, but it has been shown to be reversible in more than one-half of patients simply by dietary restriction of iodine for one to two months. On average, the Japanese ingest 0.1 to 20 mg of iodine from kelp daily, with an average of 10 mg/day, which is vastly more than the amount ingested by Americans (RDA is 150 micrograms/day). There are some interesting comments about peanuts and soybeans being harmful to thyroid function with coconut oil being beneficial to thyroid function here.

        How about CalMax, the heavily TV promoted calcium supplement with magnesium? NOT FOR US! NO! Why not? First, CalMax is very expensive, and second it has a highly absorbable compound of calcium (calcium gluconate) and a poorly absorbed magnesium compound (magnesium carbonate). Although CalMax is on the right track, the ratios of calcium (400 mg per dose) versus magnesium (200 mg) are biologically misleading because the calcium is so much better absorbed than magnesium. I estimate that CalMax is the biologically functional equivalent of 400 mg calcium and about 75 mg of magnesium. Consequently, to get 1000 mg (for example) of biologically available magnesium from CalMax daily, one would also get over 5000 mg of calcium, which is decidedly unhealthy. How about Coral Calcium? HA! How about Caltrate? HA! You figure these out for yourself!

       Calcium has been hyped as an anti-cancer agent recently on TV. However, these scientists reported in 1986 that large amounts of calcium supplements are promoters of cancer relative to the clear anti-cancer action of both zinc and magnesium supplements. These scientists reported in 2003 that large supplements of calcium increase the rate of prostate cancer. This is not to say that normal intake of calcium found in foods causes cancer, rather large amounts of supplemental calcium does nothing to help prevent it and appears to promote prostate cancer. Cadmium is a well-known cancer causative agent, which is inactivated in the body by both zinc and magnesium supplements but not by calcium supplements according to these scientists. Consequently protection against cancer is afforded by zinc and magnesium supplementation, but not large doses of calcium supplements; and very large intake of calcium supplements should be considered to be promotive of cancer. In fact, a comprehensive review of the evidence links the consumption of milk from cows treated with bovine growth hormone (IGF-1 or insulin-like growth factor 1) with an increased risk of breast, prostate and colon cancer. IGF-1 is known to stimulate the growth of both normal and cancerous cells. Can low magnesium actually cause cancer? Apparently yes; although finding information on this question has been somewhat difficult. In one article published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition, volume 1, number 1, in 1982, rats deprived of enough magnesium in their diets soon develop a 20 to 25 percent incidence of an acute, transmissible, non-spontaneous, lethal lymphoma-leukemia resembling human childhood leukemia. See this article here. See this patent on curing cancer with magnesium. See this patent on curing autoimmune diseases with magnesium.

Ischemic Heart Disease Rates Correlated with Dietary Calcium/Magnesium Ratios       This figure from (The Magnesium Factor) by Mildred S. Seelig, MD, MPH and Andrea Rosanoff, PhD, shows that in 1977 Western countries having the highest dietary calcium to magnesium ratios (Finland, United States and Netherlands) had rampant ischemic heart disease. More data here. On the other hand, Japan with a one to one ratio of calcium to magnesium had about 1/10 the incidence of ischemic heart disease. Why do we keep pushing the idea that more and more calcium is healthy; when in fact, it is a principal cause, perhaps the main cause, of heart disease and deaths in the United States? Are there some vested commercial interest at work here? Why doesn't the National Institute of Health speak to this horrifying issue? Why doesn't the Food and Drug Administration act? Why do doctors, nutritionists and dietitians push this toxic drug? Are they stupid? If there is any good to come from taking away our rights to free choice of vitamins, minerals, herbs and amino acids through implementation of the treaty provisions of CODEX, one would hope that calcium supplements would be prohibited. Not likely! I suspect that vested interests will prevail and magnesium supplements will be restricted, but not harmful calcium, sodium or sugar. Dr. Seelig points out that immediately after this data was released in 1978, Finland took action and people started consuming much more magnesium and potassium and much less calcium and sodium, and that now Finland has a ischemic heart disease rate lower than Japan. Did the U.S. take similar action? Ha! You gotta be kidding!

       Causes of Death in U.S.This figure is from Ben Best's Life Extension web site, which is really interesting reading. If you have a bit of time, visit it. Ben has compiled much information such as this figure. If we superimpose the 90% data from Dr. Seelig's work concerning incidence of lethal heart attacks ascribed to too much calcium and too little magnesium, we can see the impact on life by age and sex in this figure. Clearly, men are more impacted than women. Also note that about 90% of all suicides occur in depressed people. It is clear that low magnesium causes suicidal thoughts, and causes most (about 90%) of the suicides in this country. Concerning cancer, controlling hypercalcemia is a major part of cancer treatment. Oncology nurses are responsible for the ongoing assessment of hypercalcemia, including reviewing laboratory findings as well as evaluating patient symptomatology. Abnormal serum creatinine, calcium, electrolytes, magnesium, and phosphate levels and symptoms such as constipation, lethargy, and weakness may alert clinicians to problems with this oncologic emergency. Resolution of hypercalcemia is highly successful when appropriately monitored and treated and leads to a better quality of life and improved patient outcomes. Magnesium deficiency is not exactly carcinogenic, but certain concentrations of magnesium are needed to prevent cancer. Do you think that low magnesium could be causing much of our high incidence of cancer? I do. Yet, there is virtually no call for alarm by our health agencies, or our politicians, or our doctors, or our press; and no champions for magnesium having a national voice exist. Notice that the death rate from heart attacks in men greatly increases after age 40, which is consistent with the age most men learn what life is really all about, have wife, children about to go to college, heavy personal and professional responsibilities, and find themselves under more stress than they can handle. Consequently, the impact of low magnesium on human life span in the United States is overwhelming, and is a major drag on our economy. Think we have been misled about the quality of our food supply?

       Changes in deaths from heart attacks and magnesium intake over 20th centuryThis figure from page 5 of "The Magnesium Factor" (taken from the American Heart Association) shows clearly that lethal heart attacks were rare in the early part of the 20th century, and that there was sufficient magnesium in the diet to prevent them. As our need for calories increased and our grain refining techniques improved, more and more people ate larger and larger amounts of refined grains (minus their magnesium) and refined sugar cane (sugar), and heart attacks greatly increased. The United States population more than tripled from 76 million people in 1900 to 281 million people in 2000 according to page 14 of this census report, yet in the same time, heart attacks increased ~800-fold. Why participate in your early demise? Boycott all refined wheat products and sugar! Actually, people live longer now and don't die of other things early in live, like tuberculosis. Yet, low magnesium and high calcium contributes strongly to heart attacks.

       I have a bit of skill in mathematics, so I integrated the data in Figure 1.1 to find the total number of Americans that have died from heart attacks. The figure is a staggering 40,000,000 since 1900. That is the same number of people that live in Spain! That is also slightly less than the total killed in World War II.

       Like calcium and magnesium, phosphate is essential to every cell in humans, plants, animals - every living thing. It is necessary for many of the biochemical molecules and processes that define life itself. Phosphate is a charged group of atoms, or ion. It is made up of a phosphorus atom and four oxygen atoms (PO4) and carries three negative charges. The phosphate ion combines with various atoms and molecules within living organisms to form many different compounds essential to life. Some examples of phosphate's role in living matter include: (1) Giving shape to DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid), which is a blueprint of genetic contained in every living cell. A sugar-phosphate backbone forms the helical structure of every DNA molecule, playing a vital role in the way living matter provides energy for biochemical reactions in cells. The compound adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is extremely dependent upon adequate magnesium for its function) stores energy living matter gets from food (and sunlight in plants) and releases it when it is required for cellular activity. After the energy, in the form of a high-energy phosphate bond, is released the ATP becomes a lower-energy adenosine diphosphate (ADP)or a still lower-energy adenosine monophosphate (AMP) molecule. These will be replenished to the higher-energy ATP (or ADP) state with the addition of phosphate by various mechanisms in living cells. The forming and strengthening of bones and teeth. We get phosphate from the foods we eat.

       These examples show the phosphorus content of some foods (mg/100 grams of various foods).

Milk  93  
Lean Beef  204  
Potatoes 56  
Broccoli  72
Wheat Flour   101  
Cheddar Cheese 524  

       Do we get too much phosphate? For some people eating too much cheese, yes, they are getting too much calcium and phosphate, contributing significantly to magnesium deficiency. High phosphate (phosphoric acid) content sodas (Coca Colas and Pepsi Colas, to name a few) probably should be avoided, if for no other reason they are also high in glucose. Am I greatly worried about too much phosphate in our diets? Not yet, but only if we avoid cheese and its dual phosphate and calcium load.

       In summary, we can do much with our diet. We can ingest enormous amounts of magnesium (and fight off diarrhea), or we can save money by using less magnesium, ingest few or no high carbohydrate foods (especially sugar, corn syrup, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, bread, rice, cakes, pancakes, waffles and potatoes), terminate our fascination with dairy and calcium (along with cheese's excessive phosphate), and supplement with probiotics to regain our mental health and defeat depression. Also, we will not need those nasty antidepressants!

       Should your food be magnetic? If you were to put your iron-fortified breakfast cereal in a bowl of water, could you attract a flake of it with a magnet? If your food is fortified with iron, does that automatically mean that the manufacturer used a high quality iron source like heme iron? Probably not. Perhaps you should see if your cereal is magnetic! If it is magnetic, then the manufacturer could just as well have ground up some old horseshoes and tossed it in the batch. Think about it. If it is iron-fortified, what does that really mean? This is a simple illustration of my overall concern with manufactured food. How do we really know what goes in it?

High Fat Dairy and Whole Grains Cause Brain Lesions

High       High fat dairy and whole grains cause brain lesions in depressed people and in people who have recovered from depression. What? Wait a minute, I can understand how calcium from milk could cause depression, but high fat milk causes brain lesions, little holes in my brain? Never heard of such a thing! Whole grains are good for us! Everyone knows that, so how can they cause holes in my brain? Beats me, but that is the startling conclusion of a group of Duke University scientists led by Martha E. Payne, PhD writing in 2007 in the journal International Phychogeriatrics. Here is excactly what their abstract says: "Studies indicate that diet may be related to the occurrence of brain lesions. The cross-sectional association between food intake and brain lesion volumes in late-life depression was examined in a cohort of elderly individuals with current or prior depression. Food intake was assessed in 54 elderly vascular depression subjects (vascular depression defined by presence of hyperintensities on brain MRI)using a Block 1998 food frequency questionnaire. Food and kilocalorie intake were determined. Brain lesion volumes were calculated from MRI. Subjects were aged 60 or over and were participants in a longitudinal study of major depression. All subjects received psychiatric assessment and treatment, and medical comorbidity assessments. High-fat dairy and whole grains were significantly positively correlated with brain lesion volume, while other food groups were not significantly associated with lesion volume. In multivariable analyses, controlling for age, sex, hypertension, diabetes and total kilocalories, the positive association with lesion volume remained significant for both high-fat dairy and whole grains. High fat dairy and whole grain consumption may be associated with brain lesions in elderly subjects with depression." Read their entire article here. In a later unpublished article, these writers showed that excessive calcium and vitamin D caused brain lesions too, apparently from calcification of brain arteries.

       What can we conclude from the totality of the evidence on grains as foods? I say they are poison for depressives, and we should not eat any grains, either refined grains or whole grains. That has been my objective now for about 5 years. It works well for me, and really keeps the weight down.

What's Left To Eat?

natural food pyramid        After reading what not to eat (mainly calcium, grains and sugar), you are probably wondering what is left to eat. The natural food pyramid on the right shows what I eat every day. It is different from the USDA fodder pyramid in that no man-made refined carbohydrates are eaten, as per the strictest version of the Atkins diet (without the "eat all you want of meat and fat attitude"). I hardly ever (about once or twice a year - when trapped at someone's party) eat refined wheat products (white flour), breakfast cereals, waffles, pancakes, bread, cake, candy, French fries, pasta, rice or other starchy foods of any kind. These highly refined carbohydrate foods are heavy in the bottom row of the USDA fodder pyramid and are the main cause of obesity and ill health in America. Even though fats have twice the calories of carbohydrates, fat people have eaten vastly more carbohydrates than fats, often in an ill advised attempt to prevent or control depression. The entire bottom row of the antiquated USDA fodder pyramid is essentially "processed (man-made) foods", and many are also high in neurotoxic glutamates and very low in magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamins found in the raw grains from which they were made. Incidentally, refined wheat leaves in the toxic cadmium while ridding the product of essential nutrients. I avoided them entirely for a few months and lost ten pounds per month during the first 5 months. I now feel much better about my weight. Then, my weight stabilized at a very fit 165 pounds for my 5 foot 10 inch frame. Now, I have the flat belly of an 25-year-olds! Here is a web site that shows what the body of a really fit nutrition teacher looks like following these guidelines. He interests me when he equates "white flour" with insecticide. Turns out that white flour is so low in nutrition that insects and rodents cannot survive in it. This was the original reason to "refine" wheat into white flour. In the early 1900s, they did not have a way of storing grain without it becoming infested with insects and rodents. We now are living with "depleted wheat" made by refining, which is an effective insecticide and rodenticide. How come we can survive on depleted grains when the insects and rodents can not?

       The benefits of the natural food pyramid include weight loss, high vitamin and mineral content, lower food cost, low insulin requirements, very few heart attacks and absolutely no food craving. Better yet, my blood pressure fell to 100/60 and my blood sugar fell to 84 mg/dL. Why no craving? Because the carbohydrate foods that I no longer eat have an addictive property due to insulin production. Once a person stops eating them, the cravings disappear. Fish? Absolutely yes! Popcorn? Tacos? Yes! Anytime! Cheese? Not for me, except for cottage cheese, which is low in calcium and wonderfully high in taurine (1700 mg per cup). Meat? Yes, bring it on buddy! Fish? Of course! Salmon? Yes, this is to die for! Fresh beans, tomatoes, pears, apples, dates, raisins, grapefruit, eggs, nuts, peanuts, cashews, vegetables of all kinds (except potatoes), yes! WARNING: An alternate sources of potassium, which is high in potatoes, is needed if potatoes are eliminated from the diet to avoid serious health problems. Foods high in potassium include fresh tomatoes, bananas, beet greens, dates, raisins, grapefruit, soybeans, Lima beans and other foods shown on this USDA list of foods (by their potassium content), or on this easy to read table. When you think "bananas are high in potassium", remember that it would take about ten of them a day to give the RDA for potassium. Processed foods like cakes, Twinkies, doughnuts, puddings, Jell-O, beer, chocolate or candy? No. Once my carbohydrate intake dropped, my craving for them disappeared too, and I now look at them like other people look at globs of fat! Yuck! Vitamins, minerals and balanced sodium and potassium (Morton's Lite-Salt) salt? Yes, of course! One would need be an idiot not to consume an adequate supply of repair parts for one's mind and body!

       I have mentioned the notion that excessive monosodium glutamate stimulates appetite and is a principal cause of obesity and short stature (got short kids mom?). There is now clinical evidence that this is correct, and governmental policies need to be changed to prohibit MSG and its cousins from being added into human foods. Here is the abstract from Hermanussen et al in an article entitled: "Obesity, voracity, and short stature: the impact of glutamate on the regulation of appetite. "World-wide obesity has risen to alarming levels. We present experimental support for a new and very challenging hypothesis linking obesity, voracity, and growth hormone (GH) deficiency, to the consumption of elevated amounts of the amino-acid glutamate (GLU). Supraphysiological doses of GLU are toxic for neuronal cells. METHODS: Human data were obtained from 807,592 German conscripts born between 1974 and 1978, and from 1,432,368 women of the German birth statistics (deutsche Perinatalerhebung) 1995-1997. The effects of orally administered monosodium glutamate (MSG) were investigated in 30 pregnant Wistar rats and their offspring. Pregnant animals either received no extra MSG, or 2.5 g MSG, or 5 g MSG per day, up to the end of the weaning period. In all, 2.5 g, respectively 5 g, MSG accounted for some 10%, respectively 20%, of dry weight of the average daily food ration. After weaning, MSG feeding was continued in the offspring. FINDINGS: Morbid obesity associates with short stature. Average stature of conscripts progressively declines when body mass index increases above 38 kg/m2. Also morbidly obese young women are shorter than average though to a lesser extent than conscripts. Oral administration of MSG to pregnant rats affects birth weight of the offspring. Maternal feeding with 5 g MSG per day results in severe birth weight reduction (P<0.01). Weight increments remain subnormal when MSG feeding to the mothers is maintained during weaning (P < 0.01). GH serum levels are affected in animals that received MSG during prenatal life via maternal feeding. Animals that are kept on high MSG diet (5 g MSG per day) continue to show serum GH levels that are as low or even lower than those of MSG injected animals (P < 0.05), both at day 30 and at day 90 of life. Animals that were kept on medium MSG diet (2.5 g MSG per day) showed low serum GH levels at day 30 of life (P < 0.01), but seemed to partially recover before day 90. Almost identical results were observed in IGF-1 serum levels. Oral MSG resulted in dose dependent voracity. The animals fed 5 g MSG per day increased water uptake by threefold (P < 0.01), and food uptake by almost two-fold (P < 0.01). The influence of MSG is in general more marked in males than in females. Interpretation: GLU is a widely used nutritional substance that potentially exhibits significant neuronal toxicity. Voracity, and impaired GH secretion are the two major characteristics of parenterally administered GLU-induced neuronal damage. GLU maintains its toxicity in animals even when administered orally. Males appear to be more sensitive than females. The present study for the first time demonstrates, that a widely used nutritional monosubstance--the flavoring agent MSG--at concentrations that only slightly surpass those found in everyday human food, exhibits significant potential for damaging the hypothalamic regulation of appetite, and thereby determines the propensity of world-wide obesity. We suggest to reconsider the recommended daily allowances of amino acids and nutritional protein, and to abstain from the popular protein-rich diets, and particularly from adding the flavoring agents MSG.

       NOTE: The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion of the U.S. USDA has taken note of the problem of obesity and low magnesium in our diets and is considering changes to the "food pyramid". Watch for changes here. There will be emphasis on "whole grains" only, and refined wheat products and sugar will likely take a very substantial hit. Will they do the right thing and get MSG out of human food?

       We are what we eat, and I am built mainly of protein, not carbohydrate. Why would anyone build their body with excess carbohydrates (or fat) to become fat? Sure, we need some carbohydrate for fuel and amino acid production, but an excess will always be stored as fat. If you want carbohydrates as well as wonderfully balanced minerals, try cashew nuts. Interestingly, significant avoidance of dangerous trans fatty acids (trans fats) occurs on this diet. These are the man-made fats (shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and hydrogenated vegetable oils). Eat butter and use olive oil and coconut instead! They won't hurt you! Remember that the USDA's main role is to promote agriculture, not necessarily human health. Read Marion Nestle's eye-opener book Food Politics. Did Atkins discover something new? No. Apparently, the high carbohydrate diet was first found to cause obesity in 1863 by William Banting, and a diet very similar to this diet was found effective in weight loss and appetite suppression.

       According to Carol Hoernlein of the site, we all must be very careful when restricting carbohydrates, because an imbalance of certain amino acids is possible with unintended, adverse consequences. Tyramine is an amino acid that can be deadly to some taking certain medications like MAOI inhibitors. The blood pressure can raise dangerously high. It is usually a medicine - food interaction when it is deadly. In cases of folks who are sensitive to MSG, tyramine usually just gives them a headache, but it is quite upsetting. The other problem with tyramine is that amino acids like it and tyrosine compete for uptake into the brain with tryptophane. Foods that were found to have high (possibly dangerous) concentrations of tyramine included chicken liver, air-dried sausage, soy sauce, draft beer, aged-cheese, tofu, sauerkraut and others. When you don't eat enough carbohydrates (complex carbs are best) - and eat just protein (a perversion of the Atkins diet), tyrosine wins the battle and gets to the brain first where it acts as an "upper". Tryptophane is the loser in the race, but the brain needs tryptophane to make serotonin - the feel good calming stuff the brain needs to keep us from getting depressed. Too much protein and tyramine and not enough carbs = depression and agitation. Also, too much protein depletes magnesium. These reasons are probably why famed psychiatrists Judith Wurtman and her husband Richard Wurtman of MIT recommend carbohydrates for depression, and in particular, PMS related depression. Unfortunately, abuse of this technique causes enormous illness in the U.S. and Western culture. Please do not accept what I have written above to mean "no carbohydrates"; rather, please accept it as meaning one should eat foods that are not refined. Body fat develops because the body does not have sufficient minerals to burn the carbohydrates. That is why, IMHO, people can best loose weight consuming diets low in refined carbohydrates, supplemented with large amounts of magnesium and other minerals like manganese and zinc. Tyrosine imbalance is the reason people - who have misinterpreted Atkins to mean "eat all the steaks you want, but cut out all carbohydrates" - become acutely ill.

       After preparing the above natural food pyramid, I realized that the bottom level foods (vegetables, meats and fruits) were the first foods eaten by primitive humans millions of years ago, at the time our digestive systems were designed. Only recently (relatively) were dairy products added to the human diet. Even more recently people learned how to bake bread, prepare high carbohydrate fancy-foods, and separate out fats and oils from foods. Clearly vitamins and mineral supplements are a twentieth century invention. Consequently, this is a reasonably "natural" food pyramid. What can be learned here?

       Warning! Following the dietary and supplement recommendations outlined here will have the effect of preventing or correcting hyperinsulinemia, which will result in life extension of between 30 and 50 years, and much better health. These effects may ruin your personal relationship with your physicians and nurses, reduce profits of major drug companies, reduce the profits of processed food manufacturers, reduce hospital admissions, reduce employment opportunities in those industries and otherwise adversely affect our national Economy. Worse yet, you will be purposefully contributing to the failure of Social Security. Prevention of hyperinsulinemia by following these dietary suggestions will consequently prevent most cases of atherosclerosis, vascular disease, diabetes type 2, impotence, kidney failure, heart failure, liver damage, stroke, obesity, neuropathy, retinopathy, gangrene and other illnesses. Proceed with these dietary recommendations only if you agree that these "economic" side effects and Social Security health are irrelevant to you and that you accept the risk of longevity attendant with eating right. Be warned that if you accept these guidelines you will be out of step with national health care policy, that policy being that you should die before you injure Social Security. Read more about these horrific economic side effects and prospects for longevity at the Healing Matters site.

       Save Social Security! Kill Americans before they reach Social Security age!CHICAGO -- U.S. life expectancy will fall dramatically in coming years because of obesity, a major shift in a long-running trend toward longer lives. Obesity likely will shorten the average life span of 77.6 years by at least five years. That's more than the impact of cancer or heart disease, said lead author Jay Olshansky, a longevity researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "We think today's younger generation will have shorter and less healthy lives than their parents for the first time in modern history unless we intervene," he said. With obesity affecting at least 15 per cent of American school-age children, "it's not pie in the sky," Dr. Olshansky said. "The children who are extremely obese are already here." If the projections proved true, they would reverse the mostly steady increase in U.S. life expectancy that has occurred over the past two centuries and would have tremendous social and economic consequences that could even inadvertently help "save" the national Social Security program, Dr. Olshansky and colleagues contend.

Fun today! protest!       Everyone knows that primary hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol cause heart attacks (myocardial infarctions). Incidentally, "primary" hypertension means "high blood pressure from unknown causes". We have been taught that we must use diet and expensive statin drugs to lower our bad cholesterol if we don't want a heart attack. We have been taught that we must get our blood pressure down by diet (reduce our salt and fat intake and to exercise more) and to take a variety of expensive drugs including diuretics (lowers blood volume), beta-blockers (inhibits adrenaline), alpha-blockers (makes heart beat with less force and relaxes blood vessels), ACE - angiotensin-converting enzymes (spares magnesium and potassium, but looses sodium, and relaxes arteries), vasodilators (relaxes arteries), central adrenergic inhibitors (blocks certain signals from brain), calcium-channel-blockers (relaxes arteries). As hard as we try, improvements to our diets by reducing salt and cholesterol and fats have not worked. Also, these drugs are marketed almost exclusively to benefit cardiac risk factors, not extend life. Do they also prevent death from these cardiac-risk factors?

       Magnesium deficiency is the real disease I believe, and heart disease is a symptom of years and years and years and years of magnesium deficiency. We do know what causes "primary" hypertension, and it is often magnesium deficiency. This may seem wrong and certainly different from what we have been told, but it is a fact either well hidden by pharmaceutical drug pushers or just not known by them - who knows. Yet, scientists say magnesium deficiency must be corrected to save patients. It is vital to your heart health that you verify this claim by reading The Magnesium Factor . Briefly stated, all of the above medicines are poor substitutes for magnesium, because magnesium naturally does each of these "drug" functions better than the drugs themselves. How much magnesium? That is the catch. We must take enough magnesium each and every day to combat the effects of stress in its action in depleting magnesium, and this amount is higher than has been historically true. Our "modern" way of life is very stressful, and we all leak magnesium because of stress, some more than others.

       I can't personally see how we can get our blood pressure down to 100/60 (like it was when we were teenagers) with less than about 500 to 750 mg of supplemental magnesium per day. Incidentally, recently I measured my blood pressure and found it to be high (160/90). I was stunned! I thought I had been taking 800 mg of magnesium (as glycinate) daily for a long time. Something weird was going on. But what? Well, I checked my supplements and due to a fluke, I was only taking 400 mg of magnesium a day, not 800 as I thought. This had to do with the number of tablets to make a 400 mg "serving" of magnesium. In my specific case a "serving" was two tablets, and not the one tablet that I thought was right. I started to take 800 mg, and within a few days my blood pressure had dropped to 100/60. Wouldn't 800 mg of magensium per day be expensive? NO! Certainly not compared to the cost of these drugs, and certainly not when compared to the life-extending properties of magnesium compared with these drugs. Expensive to Social Security? Maybe. Expensive to Medicare? Perhaps, since you will live much longer. Your health care expenses will plummet downward, and you may forget the name of your doctor! Can you imagine what my blood pressure would be if I took no suplements of magnesium as recommended by my doctor? Sounds like it would be more business for him!

       Death rate from heart attacks over 20th century       I was not particularly satisfied with the Figure above by Seelig and Rosanoff, because it does not consider changes in population. Therefore, I used the United States Census data for the decennial years from 1900 to 2000, plus their 2003 population estimate and recent death rate data for 2003 from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as reported by Maureen Rouhi in Chemical and Engineering News to modify their figure. Notice again that the death rate per million Americans is ten times what it was in 1900, before grain refining got going. I wonder if Al Qaeda had a hand in "refining grain" to make nutrient depleted foods for us to starve on so slowly and painfully? Nah! We did this to ourselves! We are just really, really stupid. As time went on, the deaths from low magnesium/high calcium increased from nearly zero in 1900 to what they are today. Notice that after 1970 the death rate started downward, but the data for 2003 shows progress has recently been lost. I wonder why the cardiac drugs are not working as well as before? Drs. Seelig and Rosanoff suggest that the statins are depleting magnesium, and coupled with our increased intake of calcium in the last 5 to 10 years to "prevent osteoporosis", we see the effect in an great increase in deaths by heart attack. "Modern" science is failing us, and killing us, all for the want of magnesium. Remember that the government has laws and regulations that prohibit nutrients from being marketed to treat, cure and prevent diseases. The pharmaceutical drug pushers can not patent magnesium (or other nutrients), so they will not mess with it. Wow! What a way to run a country! Actually, companies can market nutrients to treat, cure, prevent disease, but only after they have had a New Drug Application approved by the Food and Drug Administration at the cost of a half billion dollars. No company will spend that kind of money on a non-patentable substance. Consequently, the impasse remains, and the law stands - until a more reasoned Congress figures out what is going on and puts a stop to the murder. What is likely to happen is that Congress will approve the CODEX treaty and allow the pharmaceutical drug pushers to have a total monopoly on nutrients like magnesium so that they can mark up the price 10 to 100-fold and bill Medicare. I say why do that? All we need is for the government to pass realistic laws that promote the fortification of "depleted flour" with nutrients including magnesium to the amount naturally found in grains, make calcium supplements without an equal amount of magnesium ILLEGAL, and add magnesium back into drinking water and soft drinks. That would be a much cheaper means of restoring health to America than to impose a heavy-handed treaty like CODEX which will mainly benefit the big pharmaceutical drug pushers and not the American people.

Men's death rate falls while women die more frequently - calcium consumption for osteoporosis       Take a look at the American Heart Association statistics (6 mb file) here. You will recognize Drs. Seelig's and Rosanoff's figure on page 4. Perhaps the most startling finding in this data is the reduction in death rate for men in the last 20 years while the death rate for women has increased. I say the reason for this difference is because women supplement their diets with calcium to ward off osteoporosis, and men do not.

       Look at what Dr. Mildred S. Seelig, MD, and Andrea Rosanoff PhD say about magnesium and statins in their 2004 article in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition article titled Comparison of mechanism and functional effects of magnesium and statin pharmaceuticals..

       Here is the abstract: "Since Mg(2+)-ATP is the controlling factor for the rate-limiting enzyme in the cholesterol biosynthesis sequence that is targeted by the statin pharmaceutical drugs, comparison of the effects of Mg(2+) on lipoproteins with those of the statin drugs is warranted. Formation of cholesterol in blood, as well as of cholesterol required in hormone synthesis, and membrane maintenance, is achieved in a series of enzymatic reactions that convert HMG-CoA to cholesterol. The rate-limiting reaction of this pathway is the enzymatic conversion of HMG CoA to mevalonate via HMG CoA. The statins and Mg inhibit that enzyme. Large trials have consistently shown that statins, taken by subjects with high LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) values, lower its blood levels 35 to 65%. They also reduce the incidence of heart attacks, angina and other nonfatal cardiac events, as well as cardiac, stroke, and total mortality. These effects of statins derive less from their lowering of LDL-C than from their reduction of mevalonate formation which improves endothelial function, inhibits proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells and macrophages, promotes plaque stabilization and regression, and reduces inflammation, Mg has effects that parallel those of statins. For example, the enzyme that deactivates HMG-CoA Reductase requires Mg, making Mg a Reductase controller rather than inhibitor. Mg is also necessary for the activity of lecithin cholesterol acyl transferase (LCAT), which lowers LDL-C and triglyceride levels and raises HDL-C levels. Desaturase is another Mg-dependent enzyme involved in lipid metabolism which statins do not directly affect. Desaturase catalyzes the first step in conversion of essential fatty acids (omega-3 linoleic acid and omega-6 linolenic acid) into prostaglandins, important in cardiovascular and overall health. Mg at optimal cellular concentration is well accepted as a natural calcium channel blocker. More recent work shows that Mg also acts as a statin." Why bother taking the pharmaceutical company junk when magnesium works better?

Boiling frog jumps to safety       I am reminded of the story of the boiling frogs. In biology, there is a famous experiment using frogs. A frog suddenly dropped into hot water will jump out instantly! Saving his life. On the other hand, a frog placed in warm water will enjoy the warmth and not jump out. If the heat is slowly increased to higher and higher temperatures, the frog will unknowingly cook to death. In this respect, we are like boiling frogs, slowly dying of an unknown and unrecognized threat. We responded as a nation instantly to the Al Qaeda attack on America. We are very good at this, but we are dying at the rate of a 9/11 every day from high calcium/low magnesium and can't see it. Do you enjoy the warmth?

       More. I am 68 years old and my blood pressure is 100/60. Who cares what the other cardiac risk are when one has this "teenager" blood pressure! I do keep my salt, carbohydrate and fat intake low and never smoke or drink. I do take 500 mg of magnesium as magnesium citrate (or glycinate) every day and I am not overweight, but can't stand to sweat, so I don't work out, although I regularly do manual labor on my central Texas ranch. Enough said?

       If you are on cardiac drugs and decide to do nature's magnesium plan, then you need the help of a willing-physician (good luck) to do it carefully. However, the best thing to do first is read "The Magnesium Factor" by Mildred S. Seelig, MD, MPH and Andrea Rosanoff, PhD. On pages 77 through 84, they state the following (much abbreviated) plan:

  • Read Dr. Seelig's book before taking any major action.
  • Make certain that you have primary hypertension.
  • Trust your doctor on the immediate need for drugs, but start with magnesium for the long term.
  • Consider metabolic syndrome X (other low magnesium deficiency symptoms). They will likely vanish too.
  • Be careful if you are using potassium sparing diuretics or beta-blockers, because potassium can go dangerously high (or low if on thiazide or some of the stronger loop diuretics).
  • Determine your potassium and magnesium levels using red blood cell testing.
  • Replenish your potassium and magnesium levels gradually.
  • Over the following few weeks, gradually lower your medication.
  • Consider a good multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement, and increase magnesium and potassium intake to high doses gradually.
  • If this works, but insufficiently, try alternate methods of magnesium administration.
  • If diarrhea develops, control it immediately using these tips.
  • Again, read Dr. Seelig's book before taking any major action.

       Add to that the following lesser known facts. Inflammation is a silent killer. One of the most significant markers, or indicators, predictive of who will get a heart attack is a substance known as C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is a marker of chronic inflammation, which is a primary indicator of heart attack and diabetes risk. C-reactive protein management is a major goal of pharmaceutical drug pushers. It is a marker of "inflammation", not a cause of heart attacks. Clearly, inflammation and fibrosis are involved. That high magnesium blood levels is associated with low C-reactive protein and reduced cardiac inflammation is one of the most carefully guarded secrets of health. The effect of magnesium on reducing C-reactive protein and inflammation could only have been reported by researchers having a vested interest in improving peoples' health, and not improving corporate income. This is exactly what happened, and this critically important work was first published in 2002 by the team of F. Guerrero-Romero and M. Rodriguez-Moran working at the Medical Research Unit in Clinical Epidemiology, General Hospital of the Mexican Social Security Institute, Durango, Mexico. Do you really believe that Pfizer would support and publish such research? Not me! The abstract for the Guerrero-Romero and M. Rodriguez-Moran article reads: "OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between serum magnesium levels and C-reactive protein (CRP) in non-diabetic, non-hypertensive obese subjects. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SUBJECTS: A total of 371 subjects, 101 men and 270 women. Of them 138 lean (37.2%), 133 (35.9%) overweight, and 100 (26.9%) were obese, matched by age. MEASUREMENTS: Fasting and 2 h serum glucose following a 75 g oral glucose load. Fasting serum total cholesterol, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, C-reactive protein (CRP), albumin; and magnesium levels; urinary protein excretion; body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and blood pressure. RESULTS: The presence of CRP was documented in four (2.9%) lean, 13 (9.8%) overweight, and 20 (20.0%) obese subjects, and decreased magnesium levels (equal or less than 1.8 mg/dl), in 2 (1.45%) lean, 7 (5.2%) overweight, and 19 (19%) obese subjects. The lowest serum magnesium levels and the highest CRP concentrations were documented in the obese subjects. Twenty-three (82.1%) of the subjects with low serum magnesium (five overweight and 18 obese) showed CRP concentration equal or more than 10 mg/l. There was a graded significant decrease between CRP concentration and serum magnesium levels (r = -0.39, P = 0.002). The odds ratio (CI95%) between magnesium and CRP adjusted by age, sex, BMI and glucose tolerance status for the subjects within the low quartile of magnesium distribution was 2.11 (1.23-3.84). CONCLUSION: The results of this study show that low serum magnesium levels are independently related to elevated CRP concentration, in non-diabetic, non-hypertensive obese subjects."

Calcium crystals spear heart mitochondria - killing it.       More. You know what mitochondria are? They are the energy source of the cell. Without functional cellular mitochondria, the cell cools to room temperature and dies. If too many cells die, the organ dies. Consider the human heart. We need to do everything possible to keep our heart cells' mitochondria healthy. Certainly we shouldn't purposefully spear them with tiny daggers to kill them. Right? Low magnesium and high calcium creates tiny spears that kill the mitochondria from within. Dr. Burt Silver showed in 1975 in this original report that this exact situation occurred. Too much calcium in the presence of too little magnesium forms crystals that are mitochondria-killing spears. In the 3,000 reference 1980 book "Magnesium in Health and Disease" by Dr. Mildred S. Seelig, MD, (soon to be featured at the Magnesium Water site by Paul mason), Bert Silver and L. A. Sordahl shows microphotographs of these tiny calcium "spears", and that article is here. How about a tasty double cheese pizza for supper? Served hot with hundreds of billions of tiny heart-killing mitochondria-killing calcium spears! Sounds delicious to me!

       More on what causes a lethal heart attack, at least the calcification of heart and arterial tissues that leads to most lethal heart attacks. Fibrosis is another factor. In 1997, Emile Mohler MD, et al. at the University of Pennsylvania, published an article concerning a "bone building" protein found in calcified aortic valves. Mohler and colleagues found "osteopontin", a protein that makes up the molecular scaffolding to which calcium sticks in the formation of bone, in calcified hearts. "We're the first group, to my knowledge, to directly isolate osteopontin in calcified valves," notes Mohler. "Identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying ossification of valves could lead to novel therapies to prevent or treat valve disease." In addition, the work may help to determine how calcium deposits form in the arteries of people with atherosclerosis and other vascular diseases. Cardiac valve calcification often results in obstruction of blood flow, which eventually leads to valve replacement. Collagen and specific bone matrix proteins are thought to provide the framework for ectopic tissue calcification. Osteopontin was present in both heavily and minimally calcified aortic valves and absent in noncalcified aortic valves. Osteopontin also localized with valvular calcific deposits, and macrophages were identified in the vicinity of osteopontin. These results, in addition to showing that osteopontin is present in calcified human aortic valves, suggest that osteopontin is a regulatory protein in pathological calcification. OK. Sounds interesting. George says, I wonder if magnesium... So, I searched PubMed. If we go to this Japanese group's work on osteopontin formation in kidneys, we find that osteopontin is eliminated when magnesium supplements are given. This should not be too difficult to understand and interpret in terms of cardiology too. Although osteopontin is absolutely necessary for bone formation, osteopontin formation in soft tissues, like in the heart and arteries as well as the kidneys, leads to deposition of calcium, which leads to narrowing of arteries, heart attacks, kidney disease and a wide variety of calcification health issues. A very popular book is The Calcium Bomb which proposes nanobacteria as cause of calcium buildup in cardiac tissue. Perhaps this is true, but is osteopontin buildup the mechanism by which nanobacteria construct their calcium shells? If yes, then magnesium may likely prevent their buildup.

       The only other agent that I know of that inhibits osteopontin formation in soft tissue (but annihilates hypercalcemia, restores bone and generally heals tissue injuries) is gallium, an element that is normally found in the human to the extent of less than 0.2 milligrams. Gallium has clinical use in treating some serious bone loss diseases. I use a lot of gallium nitrate in the treatment of a bone/joint condition in horses called "navicular disease" with great effect. I have also postulated that gallium is an essential nutrient for survival of the 21st century. Gallium nitrate is effective in treating an otherwise incurable horse disease. I also give my horses large amounts of magnesium dietary supplements. My old horses run around like spring chickens! Magnesium and gallium really make them act young. Late in 2006, I published a veterinary journal article on gallium and the cure for navicular disease, which is located on the web here.

       Getting back on track, we remember that mitral valve prolapse can be totally reversed in about one year with daily supplements of 1,000 mg of magnesium as magnesium orotate (probably any other form of biologically available magnesium too). Also, look at these graphics of "calcified hearts" on Google. To me, if your physician has told you that you have calcium deposits in your arteries and/or heart, you would be totally insane not to take about 1,000 mg of magnesium every day, twice what I must take, in hope that in about a year you might become free of this silent killer. The benefits are believed to start immediately, but complete clearance will take a while, perhaps a long while. If you must take that much supplemental magnesium, be prepared for gut problems, and study tips on this page on how to deal with magnesium-induced diarrhea.

       Here is an example of a mouse poison made by Tomcat, which uses Vitamin D3 as a mouse poison. Still think lots of vitamin D3 is good for you? Dr. Mercola adds, "This is a major point: excess vitamin D will cause, not prevent, osteoporosis and hardening of your arteries. Please be very careful with cod liver oil. If you are unable to obtain vitamin D testing, then please do not exceed one to two teaspoons of cod liver oil or switch to plain fish oil (no vitamin D) immediately." According to this Wikipedia article, the exact long-term safe dose of bottled (supplemental) vitamin D is not entirely known, but dosages up to 250 micrograms (10,000 IU) /day in healthy adults are believed to be safe, and all known cases of bottled vitamin D toxicity with hypercalcemia have involved intake of or over 1,000 micrograms (40,000 IU)/day[37] of bottled Vitamin D. The U.S. Dietary Reference Intake Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of vitamin D for children and adults is 50 micrograms/day (2,000 IU/day), with evidence that this value is too low by a factor of 5. In adults, sustained intake of 2500 micrograms/day (100,000 IU) can produce toxicity within a few months. For infants (birth to 12 months) the tolerable UL is set at 25 micrograms/day (1000 IU/day), and vitamin D concentrations of 1000 micrograms/day (40,000 IU) in infants has been shown to produce toxicity within 1 to 4 months. In the United States, overdose exposure of vitamin D was reported by 284 individuals in 2004, leading to 1 death.[39] The Nutrition Desk Reference states "The threshold for toxicity is 500 to 600 micrograms [vitamin D] per kilogram body weight per day." One point universally agreed, is that sunlight-derived vitamin D is harmless since the body shuts off production before it can become toxic. This is why sunlight is the best source of vitamin D.

       Even snake keepers know too much calcium and bottled vitamin D will cause heart failure. Here is Fred's story. He was a python that died of a calcified heart. Apparently, some snakes are extremely sensitive to even small amounts of supplemental calcium, and bottled vitamin D.

The Lethal Hypothyroid - Low Magnesium Axis

        Near the beginning of this essay, I reported that hypothyroidism can cause depression and that it must be treated and/or ruled out as cause of depression. Now there is clear evidence as shown in this figure that one of the thyroid hormones (T4) is directly related to magnesium serum levels in major depression, particularly in women. For more information see this clinical report. Levels below 0.9 mMol magnesium are considered low. We can extend this observation to say that hypothyroidism causes low serum magnesium, which appears to be the actual mechanism by which hypothyroidism causes depression. Interestingly, hypothyroidism does not affect calcium blood levels. Low magnesium caused by hypothyroidism also contributes heavily to cardiovascular disease and it must be corrected for longevity.

       The simplest of all clinical tests, the use of a glass (not digital) thermometer held in the mouth far back under the tongue remains the gold standard for detecting hypothyroidism. The temperature should be taken over a full ten minute time and repeated for about a week each morning before warming up. An oral temperature below 97.5 degrees should be considered an 80% probability of hypothyroidism. While men can check their temperature any day of the month, women have a menstrual cycle that must be considered. The only accurate time of the month for determining true body temperature (as it relates to hypothyroidism) in women is while they are not menstruating. Some of the signs of hypothyroidism include: Fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, difficulty getting up in the morning, cold hands and feet or intolerance to cold, constipation, loss of hair, fluid retention, dry skin, poor resistance to infection, high cholesterol, psoriasis, eczema, acne, premenstrual syndrome, loss of menstrual periods, painful or irregular menstrual periods, excessive menstrual bleeding, infertility, fibrocystic breast disease, and ovarian cysts. There are many good web pages on thyroid disease, and I encourage you to examine them. The Father of thyroid disease research is Broda O. Barnes, MD and his web site is at His book "Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness" is both a standard and a classic, and it reports that untreated hypothyroidism is the cause of enormous amount of morbidity and mortality, often through heart attacks.

       In fact, Dr. Barnes' research suggested that many heart attacks have a hypothyroid component, apparently via lowering magnesium serum levels, strongly suggesting that the American Heart Association figure cited by Seelig and Rosanoff is, while accurate, it and its many derivatives are misleading. The point that Dr. Barnes made in his Chapter 11 is that although few people died of heart attacks pre-1900 (as is clearly shown by the misleading American Heart Association figure), they died of infectious diseases, usually tuberculosis, before they had a chance to die of heart failure. His review of 70,000 autopsy records of Graz, Austria showed that a very large number of people dying early of non-cardiac deaths also had the same cardiovascular lesions and cholesterol buildup that are known to cause heart attacks and death. They simply died of something else earlier, and theoretically would have died of heart failure later.

       Since Dr. Barnes' practice primarily addressed thyroid issues, he was baffled as to why his patients did not develop heart disease. He looked into his patients records and discovered the cause of many heart attacks! On his page 180, he showed that it was easy to prevent heart attacks in his patients - if and only if - hypothyroid issues were solved. His Table 1 shows the number of heart attacks in two different but essentially equivalent populations. The groups showed sex and age of patients, number of his patients treated with thyroid, total man-years patients were treated with thyroid, the resultant expected coronary cases (heart attacks) according to the Framingham study (not treated with thyroid) and coronary cases in the thyroid-treated patients of Dr. Barnes. He also showed that if hypothyroidism were corrected, high cholesterol issues would also go down. Further, he showed that hyperthyroidism would even further lower cholesterol! He strongly emphasized that only whole thyroid (Armour thyroid) was of value in this regard, suggesting that not everything is known about "thyroid". Any doubt that hypothyroidism does not have a major role to play in heart attack?

       According to Barnes, if T4 thyroid hormone is low and you have a low magnesium concentration, you are in deep trouble and you must resolve your thyroid issues first and keep them corrected for the rest of your life, or it will be shortened, and perhaps greatly shortened. Why? Here is how I see it. Thyroid T4 governs the blood levels of magnesium, which in turn governs cholesterol levels, which in turn governs the incidence of heart attacks. I knew an elderly woman that took large amounts of magnesium for her heart for many years, and she very greatly limited her intake of sodium chloride by only using potassium chloride. Sounds like a good idea, but in the United States Morton's Salt Substitute (potassium chloride) does not contain iodine like other salts, which in the United States is a primary source of dietary iodine. She died of a massive heart attack, as one would predict for low iodine-induced hypothyroidism, resulting in low serum magnesium. Remember that hypothyroidism can be essentially symptom-less, other than for the low body temperature. Interestingly enough, the thyroid researchers indicate that this is a typical death-pattern for elderly women. Elderly women are often hypothyroid and never know it, and they die of cardiovascular disease disproportionately to men as can be seen here. Only upon correcting thyroid issues will one see efforts in raising magnesium concentrations and eliminating depression succeed and cardiovascular disease related death prevented. I know of no research to show that low magnesium would cause hypothyroidism, but anything is possible.

       What causes hypothyroidism? Many things including some psychiatric drugs such as lithium and tricyclic antidepressants. I encourage you to avoid these drugs for obvious reasons. In the United States, our consumption of iodine and magnesium are both low and, if iodine is very low (considerably under 150 micrograms per day - the RDA), then hypothyroidism is likely caused by low iodine intake. Thus, one could extend the argument to say that low iodine causes low magnesium, which causes... . This single cause of low magnesium may very well explain some failed clinical trials, wherein magnesium supplementation failed to prevent heart attacks. For example, if hypothyroid patients were equally represented in both the placebo- and active-treated groups, then hypothyroidism would have prevented magnesium supplementation from having the desired and predicted beneficial effects.

       In the United States, high iodine (over 1 milligram per day by many reports), may also cause hypothyroidism, and may also cause hyperthyroidism. Too much iodine can raise body temperature, and may either mask hypothyroidism or cure it. In Okinawa, Japan, hypothyroidism from too much iodine doesn't occur until intake is in the 10 to 20 milligrams or higher per day range. Okinawans commonly have an intake of iodine in this range from their custom of ingesting large amounts of kelp, which is the best food source of iodine. They also have much higher intake of magnesium and taurine (also from kelp), and live to be 120 years of age with vastly greater frequency than short-lived Americans. They eat a lot of conch which is a major source of taurine.

       Clearly, we have much to learn about the optimal intake of iodine to prevent hypothyroidism, and much to learn about how to prevent hyperthyroidism from too much iodine. In my humble opinion, I believe that the principal cause of heart attacks is an inadequate supply of both iodine and magnesium. What we must understand in this instance is that in the United States, physicians tend to treat symptoms without much consideration of underlying causative factors, like hypothyroidism. Yes, low magnesium / high calcium remains the principal cause of lethal heart attacks, but we must dig deeper and find out what is causing the low magnesium issue. There is much more about the thyroid and the rationale for using Armour thyroid extract at the site.

       Ho Hum George, you are really getting a little on the hysterical side. What you are saying has been known, more or less, for a hundred years in homeopathy. In homeopathy, magnesium is suitable for a large number of CHEST symptoms, especially pain, palpitations and heart pain. Just go to this page and see what homeopaths have known about magnesium and chest illnesses since they discovered Epsom Salts in England over a hundred years ago. Ho Hum. This "magnesium for hearts" stuff is boring it is so old. But! It has become hidden and has fallen into disuse, while it should have been made into national and international health policy by our leaders. Our only solace is that they die of heart attacks too.

Other Cardiac Risk Factors

Copper sources in diet       There are some other dietary factors which can contribute to lethal heart attacks. Too little synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in the liver (or too little consumption of supplements of CoQ10), and too little fish oil (Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids), and especially too little copper contribute to death from heart failure as shown in this review of the copper/heart literature. Like magnesium, these three nutrients are vital in aging, and are particularly necessary in aging/stressed hearts. Salmon is high in both copper and omega-3 EFAs, and it is difficult for me to see which of these two nutrients is the more important in preventing heart attacks (more on this below). Perhaps it is both together that makes salmon such a wonderful heart food. According to Charles Weber's review, women may have greater resistance to heart attacks due to estrogen's ability to keep copper levels from falling. Copper works to keep connective tissues pliable and properly functioning. My favorite source of copper is liver. Some scientists have devised a regimen of "metabolic therapy" to protect the senescent (aging) heart against stress. Their metabolic therapy involves treatment with CoQ10, alpha lipoic acid, magnesium orotate, and omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with physical exercise and mental stress reduction. They found that damage to mitochondrial DNA from aging was less predictive of impaired response to stress (death) than age alone. They concluded that the aging heart has a diminished capacity to recover from stress that is not readily predictable by cardiac content of intact/damaged mitochondrial DNA, and that this recovery can be improved by metabolic therapy combined with physical exercise and mental stress reduction. Realize that low magnesium is THE major contributor to inability to withstand stress, and that low magnesium must be corrected to survive with an aging heart.

       Magnesium is vitally important to prevent aging of heart muscle for genetic reasons too. No other than world-famous scientist Bruce N. Ames of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California, Berkeley found that magnesium deficiency accelerates cellular senescence (aging) in cultured human fibroblasts, by noting that magnesium deficiency caused telomere attrition. Thus, the long-term consequence of inadequate magnesium availability was accelerated cellular senescence (aging), which may be a mechanism through which chronic magnesium inadequacy could promote or exacerbate age-related disease. Consequently, if we are deprived of magnesium for a long period of time, we will age much faster than had we sufficient magnesium. Ever wonder why people taking magnesium look younger and act younger than their age? Fountain of youth anyone???

       Lest I trick you into believing that magnesium is the cure-all for cardiovascular disease, take a look at this figure from William S. Harris writing in Pharmacological Research 55 (2007) 217-223. What does it tell you? It tells me that the risk of sudden cardiac death by low blood omega-3 essential fatty acids is vastly more important compared to other, more traditional blood-borne risk factors that your physician has harped about for years. The quartiles at highest risk (black bars) are set at a relative risk of 1.0 for each risk marker. Each subsequent lighter bar represents the risk at each decreasing (or, for HDL and omega-3 FA, increasing) quartile. Code: CRP=C reactive protein; Hcy = homocysteine; TC = total cholesterol; LDL = low density lipoprotein cholesterol; HDL = high density lipoprotein cholesterol; Tg = triglycerides. Notice that only the CRP and Omega-3 ratios are statistically significant, yet we are told to spend a lot of time and effort in getting our cholesterol right. Consequently, not only has magnesium status been ignored, the omega-3 to omega 6 ratio has been ignored too, with grave conseqences.

       If you want a fuller report on the benefits of Omega-3 EFA and heart health, please see my new page on this subject here.

       Does omega-3 EFA from fish oil cure depression? The jury is still out on that, and it seems that it may be effective in young people but perhaps not in old people according to the opinion of William S. Harris in his interesting and authoritive opinion piece. However, it has been hyped as if it were the "cure for depression", although others more respectful of the medical data again report that the jury is still out.

       However, remember that the main class of nutrients that patients with anorexia avoid for extended periods is fat. Many people with anorexia also have depression. Is there a cause and effect relation here? Patients with anorexia have a pervasive fear of fat and avoid any and all kinds of fat, with deleterious effects on the brain. How does fat avoidance affect mental health? The brain is a cholesterol-rich organ with fat contributing to 60% of its dry weight; and by omiting fat from the diet, the brain actually shrinks in both volume and weight. As a fat-rich organ, optimal brain function relies on adequate amounts of cholesterol and essential omega-3 fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Over the past 20 years, there have been several studies concluding that low omega-3 fatty acid levels are associated with depression, anxiety, and more recently suicide. See this Phycology Today report for more on the role of DHA and EPA in preventing depression, anxiety and suicide.

       When you go to a grocery store, pharmacy or health food store, note how many bottles of fish oil are available. Marketing for fish oil is very intense and likely to reduce the risk of mental illnesses nation-wide. Fish oil is strongly pushed by both medical GPs and all medical specialties, and rightly so. Compare that with the limited marketing of magnesium, and one can predict that magnesium deficiency will remain as a principle cause of depression. Here is a google search for fish oil and depression. Here is one for magnesium and depression.

       Here is a non-magnesium cardiovascular effect that I re-discovered in 1981 while doing my zinc lozenge and common cold research. Dr. William W. Halcomb and myself discovered that zinc could be used to stop, prevent and effectively treat angina pectoris, even when severe. Although we discovered this effect in 1981, we never published it except on the web at In 1985, serum zinc was shown to be low in unstable angina. An old man (seemed old to me at the time) came into our clinical trial with a bad cold and he received zinc gluconate lozenges for his cold. He was taking 23 mg of zinc each two wakeful hours. His cold did not benefit from zinc treatment, but his angina pectoris went away for the first time in over 15 years. He had been on a railroad disability and was considered totally disabled. He had been unable to walk across a room without major chest pain for many years. He had previously used nitroglycerin like candy all day long with some benefit. While taking zinc, he required zero nitroglycerin. He had no cardiac pain for the first time in 15 years and was ecstatic. He had always wanted to go snow skiing in the Rockies, and he did and brought us back home movies! We had a big beer bust. Life for him was good. We lost track of him because he moved to Chicago where I last heard he had a new job working for a railroad. I have several other friends that took zinc effectively for angina, and Dr. Halcomb immediately made it part of his clinical practice with success, finding that on average 160 mg of zinc a day would prevent over 50% of cases of angina pectoris. Now, with people weighing so much more, a better dosage would be 2.2 mg of zinc per kilogram of body weight (1 mg zinc per pound of body weight). One man, the father of a racing car friend of mine, was a large man aged 76 with horrible angina. He took 160 mg zinc a day for a week, and it did not help him, so he took 300 mg. (Old race car driver trick - if something won't work, use a bigger hammer.) In 30 days of zinc treatment at 300 mg per day, his angina suddenly subsided and he was pain free for the first time in many years. He became active again and started riding his son's horse. He took the horse on a cattle drive and rounded up cows for several days. He was a happy man like that for about a year. Then, he had a cardiologist appointment, and although he was in vastly better health than ever, his cardiologist forced him to stop the zinc since it was known to "slightly raise bad cholesterol" in young healthy students. About a month latter he developed congestive heart failure and died. We know little about the biochemistry of zinc and cholesterol in older, unhealthy people such as those with angina pectoris. However, it is clear that there is more depression and cardiac failure in elderly people with low zinc. Seems to me that we probably need to look at zinc much more closely for cardiovascular health. How can zinc work? Who knows, but zinc in these doses over extended periods of time would antagonize iron, a buildup of which is well known to be injurious to the heart. People believe that loss of iron in menses protects menstruating women from heart disease, and that once they become menopausal, that benefit is lost. Supplements of zinc to counter iron in the aging heart seem reasonable. I think a daily dose of 2.2 mg per kilogram body weight would work very well to demonstrate the effect of zinc in treating angina pectoris, if given for a minimum of 7 to 30 days. We used zinc gluconate in our clinical trial, which usually upsets the stomach if doses are greater than 20 to 50 mg per dose. However, if a person is zinc deficient, the upset stomach probably will not develop. I certainly would have periodic zinc blood levels done to insure that increases beyond the normal upper range do not occur because they can be immunosuppressive if taken out of the normal range over a one month period. Zinc. A wonderful element, which is also removed from whole grain during the refining process to make "depleted" wheat. Look at this data. The grain refiners were / are really looking out for the pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Halcomb and I decided to publish our thoughts about high dose zinc to cure angina pectoris (and by implication arteriosclerosis caused by cholesterol buildup in arteries) in Medical Hypotheses, a medical journal dedicated to new ideas that have sound theoretical support. We submitted our article and it was approved the same day we submitted it. Perhaps you don't see the significance of that timely acceptance, but it is close to miraculous to me. Our accepted article is here.

Stupidity Runneth Over

       In the United States, Uncle Sam has officially (and stupidly) proclaimed that 1200 mg of calcium and 400 mg of magnesium to be necessary daily intakes (RDA). I say, yes that is true only for doctors and hospitals that benefit from you and me having heart problems! (Remember that this is a multi-trillion dollar industry.) Seems to me that if you don't want your heart and arteries to calcify and turn to stone, take 400 to 600 mg of magnesium a day, never take calcium supplements, and carefully watch your dairy consumption (particularly cheese). Leave it to Uncle Sam to kill us all before we start drawing Social Security checks! Additionally, this screw up causes most of the chronic ill health in America today, creating vast wealth for pharmaceutical drug pushers. Take a look at this list of low magnesium symptoms (doctors call them diseases). Yes, folks, just keep spearing your mitochondria with calcium crystals! For more information on chronic illnesses treatable by magnesium, read the book by Dr. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD titled "HOLY WATER, SACRED OIL; THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH". Here is his index to diseases that are magnesium deficiency symptoms, or are responsive to magnesium treatment (on pages) of his book.

Allergies- 151, 159, 146
Alkalyzing Spondylitis- 164, 165
Age Reversal-  137, 138, 143, 147, 161, 162, 163, 184, 201, 203, 207, 211,
212, 213, 214 through 217
Angina Pectoris- 119
Anxiety- 118
Anorexia- 119
Arrhythmia- 119
Arthritis- 166,171,177, 181, 203, 146
Attention Deficit Disorder- 118, 119
Asthma- 119
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy- 119
Atherosclerosis- 119
Bulimia- 119
Babies (problems)- 179, 201
Bug Bites- 202, 203
Burns- 202
Bronchitis (chronic)- 119
Cancer- 119, 161, 163, 175, 181, 182
Cardiomyopathy- 119
Cellulite- 147, 149
Cartilage Restorer- 202
Chronic Fatigue- 119, 151, 164, 168, 170, 171, 174, 181, 184
Cirrhosis- 119
Congestive Heart Failure- 119
Confusion- 118
Constipation- 118
Depression- 118, 119, 123, 181
Detox- 150, 153, 147, 171
Diabetes- 119, 121, 178, 179, 180, 184, 185
Diabetic Neuropathy- 178, 179, 180
Diarrhea- 118
Dry Skin- 202
Eclampsia or Pre-eclampsia-119
Edema (water retention)- 170
Emphysema- 119
Faintness- 118
Fibromyalgia- 119, 123, 148, 150, 153, 175, 176, 181
Gall Bladder Infection and Stones- 119
Gastrointestinal Problems- 156, 201, 203
Headaches- 119, 152, 167
Hearing Loss- 119
Hair Color Restorer- 140, 202
Hyperactivity- 119, 179
Heart Attack- 119

High Cholesterol- 119
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)- 120, 122, 161, 185
Hyperventilation- 118
Hypoglycemia- 119
Incoordination- 118
Ingrown Toenails- 180
Insomnia- 147, 160, 169, 171, 174, 180, 181, 184
Immune Deficiency- 119
Infections (Viral & Bacterial)- 119
Intermittent Claudification-119
Interstitial Cystitis- 149, 152
Kidney Stones- 119, 171
Lumbar Scoliosis- 149
Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)- 121
Migraine- 119, 122
Mitral Valve Prolapse-119
Multiple Sclerosis- 166, 174, 178, 181
Muscle Spasms- 147, 172, 173
Menstrual Cramps- 152
Narcolepsy- 162
Osteoporosis- 119, 123, 124, 202
Pain (all types)- 147, 146, 148, 150, 154, 163, 164, 167, 169, 170, 171,
172, 173, 174, 177, 178, 179, 181, 184, 203
Panic Attacks- 119, 124
PMS- 119
Poor Memory- 119
Psoriasis- 148, 175, 176, 180, 181, 182
PVC's- 120
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy- 121, 124
Seizures- 119
Skin Rash- 147, 148, 170, 171, 173, 175, 176, 180, 181, 203
Strokes- 121, 178
Stress- 203
Sunburn- 147, 153, 180, 202
Tinnitus- 119
Toe Fungus- 180
Tooth and Gum Problems- 160
Vertigo- 119
Water Retention (Edema)- 170
Weight Loss- 139, 147, 159, 161, 181, 184
Wounds & Welts- 151, 154, 174, 177, 179, 184, 202, 203
Wrinkles- 137, 147, 150, 151, 164, 174, 175
Yeast Infection- 202

       Clearly the response to solving most of America's health problems with an inexpensive, readily available nutrient will be the banning of all sources of supplemental magnesium by the U.S. FDA in the interest of "protecting our health", unless we take action and influence the Congress. Clearly the pharmaceutical drug pushers have much to loose. They are responsible only to their shareholders (see the movie The Corporation for the low down on this pathological pursuit of profit and power), and the combination of the FDA wishing to protect its regulatory turf, and protect pharmaceutical company income (regardless of the human and animal consequences - because the pharmaceutical drug companies offer really great salaries for ex-FDA officials) is really overwhelming. Don't believe me? Here comes CODEX! Read it and weep. Sorry.

       Also, listen to this: "The FDA, through its abandonment of public health and its collusion with profit-prioritized drug companies, has achieved the dubious distinction of proving itself far more dangerous to the health and safety of everyday Americans than any terrorist group. Terrorist-related deaths in the USA: < 4,000, while FDA-related deaths since 2001 are over 750,000" - Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, July 2008.

       Physicians and researchers will want to review some of Drs. Seelig's and Rosanoff's 1,512 references in their book, The Magnesium Factor bearing witness to their findings.

       I have been puzzling over the relationship of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids to magnesium in the cardiac risk issue. Here is an interesting link - I think. We know that glutathione is important to increasing or maintaining or enhancing intracellular magnesium, but it is an expensive supplement. We also know that Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (from fish oil) are important to cardiac health, they relax cells like magnesium does. Now, there is a link between Omega-3s and glutathione, which translates into a need for Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids to maintain intracellular magnesium. See this Russian article . I do know that my bronchitis and arrhythmias are much relieved with supplements of Omega-3s, and now I can see why. Also, in 1985 Galland showed that in latent tetany (a magnesium deficiency disorder), Omega-3 EFA was also low.


       Perhaps every person that has seen a psychiatrist for depression is told to exercise. I wonder how many follow the doctor's advice. Exercise is good for you, but not too much or it will stimulate appetite. Why? The fact is that exercise changes the way our cells react with insulin. Exercise makes our cells less resistant to insulin, and therefore more able to hold magnesium. Exercise is mandatory for diabetics for the same reason. How much exercise? Well, the doctors suggest brisk walking, and we all know that we feel better after a walk. But the good feeling doesn't last. Why? Quite a number of papers show that resistance training for insulin resistance is better than aerobic training. Resistance training is referring to muscular exercises, body building and heavy, but not exhausting exercise. If you just do a bicep curl, you immediately increase the insulin sensitivity of your bicep. Walk briskly, and you immediately increase the sensitivity of your legs to insulin. Just by exercising you are increasing the blood flow to that muscle and decreasing insulin resistance, and improving retention of intracellular magnesium. It has been shown conclusively that resistance training, I.E. muscle building, will increase insulin sensitivity. If we are so depressed that we can't exercise, then we need to have someone exercise us, perhaps with an electric cattle prod to get us up off our butts! Get a menial job stacking boxes in a hardware store, stack lumber in a lumberyard, walk goats up a mountain, walk to the top of every hill and mountain in your state, one per day. Go to the gym and lift weights all day. Swim upstream in a fast moving creek. Think about the astronauts with their enormous loss of muscle mass (30% per flight) and vicious loss of magnesium. What do they do? They body-build with a vengeance, and so must we. They will sometimes exercise while on TV being interviewed. What kind of exercise? Depends on the person. Exercise enough that you sleep well at night. Exercise enough so that you are truly tired at the end of a day. Do fifteen minutes of exercise? OK, but do it each 30 minutes that you are awake! See what I mean? EXERCISE as if your life depended on it! I recently hired a laborer that very much impressed me. I had a large gully on a terrace behind my house and I needed to have the gully up that terrace slope filled in with soil. I hired a Mexican laborer, and with a shovel and wheelbarrow, that middle-aged man filled in that gully with an entire 12-ton dump truck of soil in 8 hours. How did he do it? One wheel barrow at a time walking up the hill. Can you imagine being nearly fifty years old and pushing a wheel barrow full of dirt up a hill all day long and then saying, "Para nada. Ése no es ningún problema. Gracias por el trabajo." He went home to a beer. Me? I was exhausted from watching him work! Remember what you are trying to do, which is restore your body's cells' sensitivity to insulin, which restores their ability to absorb and retain magnesium. How long will it take? Maybe six months, but such is a short time for such an enormous benefit. Dr. Mildred S. Seelig, the magnesium guru, points out the too much exercise will cause a loss of magnesium, but I think the benefits of exercise outweigh this problem because we can simply take more magnesium to compensate.

       Salt is a subject of some controversy right now, particularly as it applies to exercise. There is one vocal school that says too much salt (sodium chloride) causes hypertension, and another that disagrees. Some say that our high ratio of sodium relative to potassium intake is causing hypertension, a point of view which has support at the NIH, and is my opinion too. The NIH's point being that increasing fresh vegetable intake (naturally high in potassium) and lowering salt (sodium chloride) ingestion reduces hypertension. For data comparing the sodium and other electrolyte ratio changes from the year 1900 and 2000 see this link in this page. Others say that our potassium to sodium relative intake is dangerously low, and suggest increasing our intake of potassium chloride. I prefer to leave this debate in the hands of your physician, who after examining you can make an intelligent recommendation. Why? Too little dietary sodium intake will cause death in climates where the temperature is very high due to loss of salt in the sweat from excessive exercise or hard labor. Anyone that has tasted sweat will notice that it has a salty taste, clear evidence that one is loosing sodium and, to a lesser extent, potassium through the sweat. On the other hand, people with kidney disease may not be able to excrete sufficient sodium to clear excess dietary sodium, and will need a low sodium diet (a natural food diet and not a processed foods diet). The RDA for sodium is 2,400 mg per day (approximately 6,000 mg salt or 1 teaspoon of salt), while the estimated RDA for potassium is believed to be about 4,000 mg. In 1900 it was 6,000 mg, a time of very low incidence of heart problems. Nutritionists and physicians that proclaim a ZERO additive salt intake to be generally good advise actually provide deadly advise for people who sweat excessively due to exercise or labor in high heat conditions. Also, the main cause of death from protracted diarrhea is loss of salt (sodium chloride). Perhaps part of the confusion arises in our culture due to our addition of iodide to table salt but not to potassium chloride. Consequently, the benefits of iodide (iodine) in table salt sometimes (nearly always in elderly women) causes people consuming lots of table salt to be better off cardiac-wise than people not consuming iodide (iodine) through avoiding table salt and using a salt substitute (potassium chloride) instead. The answer? For me it is to avoid sodium chloride (table salt) like the plague, and supplement with iodine.

       Are you a pig? My father had more than 1000 white Yorkshire pigs in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas when I was growing up. We were looking for cheap foods for them and he found a shrimp packing plant that harvested fresh Gulf of Mexico shrimp and breaded them and packaged them for retail sale. The plant gave us truckloads of fresh breaded shrimp that had become contaminated, usually by it having fallen off of the conveyor belt. By all accounts that was still a suitable source of fresh protein for pigs. The pigs loved it and ate is with great glee. A few months after starting that "protein supplementation" program, they started to die. First just a few, then as the days went on, more died, a week later many died, then most of them died. At some point we involved the County Agriculture Extension Agent and he was terrified that our pigs had a terrible disease. He called for help and eventually we had Food and Drug Administration people, USDA people, Texas Department of Animal Health and a bunch of other County State and Federal regulatory and investigative people on our property trying to figure out if a county-wide quarantine was merited. The newspaper and radio and TV people were all there announcing the mystery death of thousands of pigs. What was killing the pigs? Scientists from the USDA reported that sodium chloride in the breading on the shrimp killed our pigs. Remember, we are very similar to pigs internally. This should make us consider whether or not salt is good for us.

       On the other, other hand, injected potassium chloride instantly kills by stopping the heart; and in fact, IV potassium chloride is used to execute criminals. A friend of mine on Martha's Vineyard felt that if a little bit of potassium chloride was good, then a bunch would be better. She took an entire teaspoon of pure potassium chloride salt and it "melted a hole through her stomach". She immediately caused herself to throw up and probably saved her life in the process, at least she saved herself a trip to the emergency room. Enough said? I repeat! Potassium chloride must never be consumed straight! It must always be diluted in water or used as a seasoning in food and judiciously used.

       I have experimented with judicious amounts of potassium chloride (1/4 teaspoon) dissolved in an 8-oz glass of water to lower my pulse rate. Good idea? Actually, yes, it is a very good idea! If our pulse rates can easily be lowered by reasonable intake of potassium chloride (in a glass of water or by simply substituting it for regular table salt), then such seems to indicate a deficiency situation that has been corrected. The RDA for potassium is 4700 mg per day, and it would take 1-1/2 teaspoons of potassium chloride to meet our daily requirements. Therefore, simply taking 1/4 teaspoon of Morton's Salt Substitute disolved in a glass of water with each meal remains less than the RDA, suggesting why many people have pulses that are too rapid. They are potassium deficient. However, remember that metabolic shock is hyperkalemia! Morton's Salt Company makes a mixture of sodium and potassium chloride salt that is increasingly popular. Is it safe? Yes, I think so because it is an equal 50/50 mixture of sodium and potassium salts and it has iodide (iodine) in it for heart and thyroid protection. However, many people eat processed foods which are already high in sodium chloride salt, and their intake may be so high that use of Morton's Salt Substitute (nearly pure potassium chloride) is absolutely necessary (but only when iodide or iodine (150 mcg or more/daily ) is otherwise supplemented). The healthiest ratio of sodium to potassium is about 1:30 (the ratio found in Americans in 1900), not the 2.5:1 ratio of today. Notice that Morton's Salt Substitute label asks the user to consult with a physician before using, because it has no iodide or iodine which is vital to preventing heart disease and thyroid issues, and must be supplemented otherwise. Limiting salt intake is only one of several steps necessary to reduce total sodium intake. Nearly all processed foods contain additive sodium, either as sodium chloride, or as some other food additive such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), or drugs such as OTC antacids and headache remedies. More on reducing hidden sources of dietary sodium here. I think the best idea for most of us is to consider additive dietary potassium chloride to be necessary, with preference given to eating high potassium content natural foods, not processed foods (very high in sodium chloride). Also, anyone that has developed muscle cramps from working in high temperatures and sought medical advise is certain to have been told that increasing potassium intake will help prevent muscle cramps. Consequently, both sodium and potassium are needed in extra amounts in high heat, sweat conditions. However, potassium chloride must never be consumed straight! It must always be diluted in water or used as a seasoning in food. In your decision making on potassium and sodium intake, remember that sodium drives down magnesium and potassium drives it up, and that iodine deficiency will cause the exact same cardiac injury that is caused by low magnesium and high calcium. For a really good report on potassium and health, similar in nature to this one, take a look at Joe Vialls's archived report, "POTASSIUM DEFICIENCY SCAM KILLS AND MAIMS MILLIONS".

       I was recently asked how much potassium chloride is needed to meet the U.S. RDA for potassium. Duh, how would I know? OK, I was a mathematician for NASA (LTA-8 thermodynamics project) in the '60s, so I really ought to be able to figure that out. I looked at the Morton's Salt Substitute label to see if there was enough data there to compute it using 4 grams of potassium per day as the value for the RDA of potassium. Note that the range recommended varies a bit (3500 to 4100 m/day). Here is data from the "Nutrition Facts" panel on the label. "Serving size: 1/4 teaspoon = 1.2 grams of Morton's Salt substitute (estimated to be nearly all potssium chloride)" "Amount per serving, Potassium = 610 mg (17% of the Daily Value for Potassium" (computed to be 3588 mg)). Using that data, potassium = 610 mg / 1200 mg = 51% potassium chloride. To take the RDA of potasium (4 grams per day) obviously would require right at 8 grams of potassium chloride. If 1200 mg potassium chloride = 1/4 teaspoon, then, 8000 / 1200 x 4 = 1.65 teaspoons a day of potassium chloride. Can you imagine your doctor's reaction to you eating all that poison? Well... Numbers do not lie, but physicans do since their income depends upon you being a bit sick, but just well enough to get to the office since they don't make house calls anymore. READ "POTASSIUM DEFICIENCY SCAM KILLS AND MAIMS MILLIONS".         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

Diagnosis Of Magnesium Deficiency

        Serum or blood levels of magnesium (typically found in clinical laboratories) are a total waste of blood, money and time except in acute alcoholism, starvation or diabetic acidosis. These tests have perpetuated the myth that magnesium deficiency does not exist, and should be made illegal due to the grave, national-health damage caused by them. There are only three tests worthwhile: oral dosing, magnesium loading and intracellular spectroscopy, although some still like the red blood cell test.

  • "Oral Dosing" is nothing more than giving magnesium at proper dosages and observing improvement as described in my section on Dosage". Never give toxic forms of magnesium. This test does not require a physician or laboratory tests and is considered definitive.
  • "Magnesium Loading" is considered the standard by the few physicians who at least recognize the possibility of magnesium deficiency. The test is somewhat tedious and frustrating to patients. First one has to collect every drop of urine for exactly 24 hours. The urine is then analyzed for total magnesium and creatinine output in a clinical laboratory. Then the patient is given intravenously a specific "load" of magnesium and a second 24 hour urine is collected and tested for magnesium and creatinine. If less than 50% of the administered magnesium is excreted, this is "proof" of magnesium deficiency. In fact, if less than 20% is excreted, "borderline" magnesium deficiency is suspected.
  • Red blood cell testing (not whole blood or serum tests) can be performed in most medical laboratories and is reasonably accurate.
  • Perhaps the most sophisticated test of all is the ionic magnesium test developed by Drs. Burton and Bella Altura of SUNY-Brooklyn Downstate Medical School, School of Graduate Studies. Search this page for more on their research. This test measures ionized magnesium. Here is an important point from this article: "The research in Dr. Bella Altura's laboratory is focusing in the roles of cytosolic free magnesium ([Mg2+]i) and serum ionized Mg2+ in cardiovascular homeostasis and disease. Much of our recent research centers on the role of this action in women's health and disease. We have found that estrogens and progesterone play dominant roles in regulating blood and vascular smooth muscle cell levels of free Mg2+ ions. Disturbances in the menstrual cycle and menopause lead to perturbation of the normal hormonal regulation of Mg2+ in women. Certain disease processes in women, particularly those associated with cardiovascular disease, demonstrate abnormalities in Mg2+ metabolism. Much of these advances have been obtained through the use of Mg2+ ion-selective electrodes which our laboratory helped to pioneer." More... "We have found that Mg2+ regulates the state of oxidation of vascular smooth muscle membranes and generation of a variety of sphingolipids which exert vasomotor actions on numerous blood vessels in the brain and peripheral circulation. Recent findings, in our laboratory, suggest that nitric oxide generation or its inhibition plays an important role in the cardiovascular and molecular-cellular action of Mg2+. Mg2+ appears to modulate atherogenesis and blood pressure regulation via its actions on PKC isoforms and nuclear transcription via NF-kB activation or inhibition."
  • The most sophisticated test for brain magnesium is the phosphorous nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy test, which has been used mainly in research animals until recently. It is still a research tool but shows promise for future human research.

       More on magnesium testing at the HeadachePainFree site.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

The Essentiality of Boron

        Boron is well known for its role in preventing urinary losses of both calcium and magnesium. Apparently, it can raise both calcium and magnesium by about 1/3. Consequently, boron is important in recovery from depression; and it has the potential to reduce the amount of magnesium required to alleviate depression, and increases resistance to diarrhea. Boron has recently been found to be important in brain and psychological function. Published studies consistently show that the administration of small amounts of boron (2-3 mg/day) reduce the amount of calcium and magnesium urinary excretion. The effect of boron in preserving critical minerals is more apparent when dietary intake of magnesium is low. In response to boron supplementation, estrogen and testosterone levels increase in postmenopausal women, which may restart menses. Boron's function in bone formation appears to be related to magnesium metabolism. Boron also appears helpful in treating and preventing autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. In human deficiency studies, supplementation with boron improved several parameters including mental alertness, memory, mineral metabolism, and blood hemoglobin. Recently, the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine has set the tolerable upper intake levels for boron at 20 milligrams per day, but did not establish a RDA. Along with a diet high in boron, I also took 6 to 12 milligrams of boron (Twin Labs Tri-Boron) in the morning. Many years ago, when boric acid was used as a food preservative, 500 mg were found to have adverse effects in humans causing severe gastrointestinal distress and problems with appetite. Some important food sources of boron are shown in the following table.

Concentrations of Boron in Selected Foods (from: Futureceuticals)

Food Boron Food Boron
(mg/100g) (mg/100g)
Almond 2.82 Hazel Nuts 2.77
Apple (red) 0.32 Honey 0.50
Apricots (dried)  2.11 Lentils 0.74
Avocado 2.06 Olive 0.35
Banana 0.16 Onion 0.20
Beans (Kidney) 1.40 Orange 0.25
Bran (wheat) 0.32 Peach 0.52
Brazil Nuts 1.72 Peanut Butter 1.92
Broccoli 0.31 Pear 0.32
Carrot 0.30 Potato 0.18
Cashew Nuts 1.15 Prunes 1.18
Celery 0.50 Raisins 4.51
Chick Peas 0.71 Walnut 1.63
Dates 1.08 Wine (Shiraz Cabaret) 0.86
Grapes (red) 0.50

       Notice that almonds are high in boron. Tracy R. from Vermont called me yesterday (July 12, 2005) and told me a story about her autistic 10-year old daughter. She had all the problems one would expect from an autistic child. She found that she had some magnesium deficiency symptoms and some food intolerance symptoms as well as many other problems. The child could not tolerate magnesium supplements and they gave her a rash. The removal of casein, gluten, corn, chocolate, soy and citrus greatly reduced her autism symptoms. However, food preparation was a difficult task. As a substitute for wheat flour, she recently started using almond flour. She noticed that child's autism symptoms, particularly the child's problems with food sensitivities, regressed substantially. When she gave 3-mg of boron daily, boron enabled the child to eat all foods that previously exacerbated autism symptoms.. When she stopped giving boron, the digestive problems returned. She could modulate her digestive problems simply by giving boron dietary food supplements. She now sees considerable progress in her child, and the child is now diagnosed as having "Pervasive Developmental Disorder, not otherwise specified" rather than autism. She sees some very positive cognitive results as well. She is improving verbally and physically and she feels she's made a slight gain in comprehension due to boron supplementation. I checked for the search terms "autism" and "boron" and found zero papers. Is boron the cure for autism? Will boron cure autism? Maybe! If you test this hypothesis, please let me know what you find.

       Dr. James G. Penland of the Grand Forks, North Dakota United States Department of Agriculture wrote an article entitled: Dietary boron, brain function, and cognitive performance. His article was published in Environ Health Perspect 102(suppl 7):65-72, 1994. His abstract reads: "Although the trace element boron has yet to be recognized as an essential nutrient for humans, recent findings from animal and human studies suggest that boron may be important for mineral metabolism and membrane function. To further investigate the functional role of boron in humans, measures of brain function (the electroencephalogram or EEG) and performance on several mental and motor tasks were collected from healthy older men and women fed ~0.25 and ~3.50 mg boron/2000 kcal/day. When compared to high boron intake, low dietary boron resulted in changes in the EEG similar to those found in cases of general malnutrition and heavy metal toxicity. Performance measures (e.g., response time) also showed an effect of dietary boron. When compared to high boron intake, low dietary boron resulted in poorer performance on tasks emphasizing manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, attention, encoding and short-term memory. Collectively, the results of these three studies indicate that boron may play a role in human brain function and mental and motor performance, and provide additional evidence that boron is an essential nutrient for humans."

       Dr. Penland followed up with a second report, the abstract of which reads: "Boron (B) nutriture has been related to bone, mineral and lipid metabolism, energy utilization, and immune function. As evidence accumulates that B is essential for humans, it is important to consider possible relationships between B nutriture and brain and psychological function. Five studies conducted in our laboratory are reviewed. Assessments of brain electrical activity in both animals and humans found that B deprivation results in decreased brain electrical activity similar to that observed in nonspecific malnutrition. Assessments of cognitive and psychomotor function in humans found that B deprivation results in poorer performance on tasks of motor speed and dexterity, attention, and short-term memory. However, little support was found for anecdotal reports that supplementation with physiologic amounts of B helps alleviate the somatic and psychological symptoms of menopause. Parallels between nutritional and toxicological effects of B on brain and psychological function are presented, and possible biological mechanisms for dietary effects are reviewed. Findings support the hypothesis that B nutriture is important for brain and psychological function in humans."

       He also showed: "Severe magnesium deficiency is frequently accompanied by excessive electrical activity in the brain, including seizure-like activity. This controlled, double-blind study investigated whether marginal intakes of dietary magnesium, similar to those consumed by many Americans, would also result in increased brain electrical activity. Because previous studies have shown that the mineral boron may affect biological response to magnesium, dietary intakes of boron were also examined. Compared to when they ate more than 300 mg magnesium daily, postmenopausal women eating approximately 115 mg magnesium daily for six weeks showed increases in brain electrical activity very similar to but not as extreme as those found with severe magnesium deficiency. Some changes in brain electrical activity were also found when these women ate less than 1 mg of boron daily, compared to when they ate more than 3 mg of boron daily. The effect of low dietary boron was to decrease the type of electrical activity associated with alertness. In very few instances did the amount of boron eaten affect the response to the amount of magnesium eaten. These findings are important to gaining a better understanding of the functional consequences of marginal as well as severe deficiencies of magnesium and boron in the diet."

       Maybe Tracy's observations were right on the money! Stay tuned!

       Remember that this page is about magnesium and mental health. What about magnesium and autism? Tracy noted that her daughter had some problems with magnesium. What does the medical literature say about magnesium and autism. Will magnesium cure autism? Is magnesium the cure for autism? In 2006, Italian researchers showed that autistic children given magnesium and vitamin B-6 had strong improvement in autism symptoms including improvements in social interactions, communication stereotyped restricted behavior, abnormal/delayed functioning. Most importantly, when the magnesium and vitamin B-6 were stopped the autism symptoms returned within a few weeks. The dosage of magnesium given was 6 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day and the vitamin B-6 dosage was 0.6 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. Since one kilogram equals 2.2 pounds, magnesium dosage was about 3 mg per pound of body weight. For a 60 pound child, that works out to 180 mg magnesium per day. See this link for details. I find the idea that a combination of low magnesium, low B-6 and low boron to be the most appealing theoretical cause of autism. Boron used to be very common in the diet, but it was removed due to some theoretical hazards. B-6 and magnesium are greatly reduced in our diets due to the grain refining process.

       I am also worried about toxic overloads of heavy minerals (lead, cadmium, mercury, etc.), and the critical role of other nutrients in mental health, which have only recently become of interest to physicians. A major problem with refined wheat is that the toxic mineral cadmium is found inside the endosperm, the white stuff we eat, and it is not removed by refining although the nutrients are removed. This sets up an imbalance between cadmium and zinc and since there is not enough zinc to compete with cadmium, cadmium often gains access to cells and causes toxicity through its substitution for zinc in intracellular zinc-binding sites.

       The brain is a chemical factory that produces serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and other organic brain chemicals 24 hours a day. The only raw materials for their syntheses are nutrients, namely, amino acids, cholesterol, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. If the brain receives improper amounts of these nutrient building blocks or receives toxic heavy metals, which take the place of essential nutrients (particularly minerals) in the brain, we must expect serious problems with our organic neurotransmitters. For example, some depression patients have a genetic pyrrole disorder which renders them grossly depleted in vitamin B-6. A pyrrole is a basic chemical structure that is used in the formation of heme, which makes blood red. Pyrroles bind with B6 and then with zinc, thus depleting these nutrients. These individuals cannot efficiently create serotonin (a neurotransmitter) since B-6 is an important factor in the last step of its synthesis. Some people report 500 mg B6 to be needed daily to stabilize their mood. Many of these persons appear to benefit from prescription drugs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, or other serotonin-enhancing medications. However, as with all non-nutritive mind-altering drugs, side effects occur and the true cause of the mental difficulties remains uncorrected. Similar - and more healthful - benefits can be achieved by simply taking sufficient amounts of B-6 along with supporting nutrients such as magnesium, boron, taurine and essential fatty acids. If you want to test your brain neurotransmitters, you can get them tested by using a neuroscience test kit supplied by local physicians. To find a local physician that tests neurotransmitters, contact NeuroScience, Inc.

       What about mercury and cadmium? They have been consistently implicated as causative of autism. Thimerosal (a mercury containing preservative found in children's vaccines) has really been given major blame. Has removal of Thimerosal reduced the incidence of autism? YES! See this report. Why? I suspect the reason is that both toxic mercury and toxic cadmium are replacing biologically essential zinc in biological systems. Zinc is also being removed from the American diet by food manufacturers at a steady rate. For example, the RDA for zinc has recently been reduced from 15 mg a day to about one half that amount to reflect the amount of zinc actually in the American diet. Is this harmful? I say yes, absolutely yes since mercury and cadmium are increasing in our environment and they have the absolute capability of replacing zinc in all biological systems including neurons due to their extremely close proximity on the Periodic Table of Elements. When cadmium contaminates our food, it is often found in the center of grain, while zinc is found mainly in the grain covering. Eating whole grains, which have a higher amount of zinc than of cadmium, will reduce any possible absorption of cadmium. With refining of grains into flour, the zinc-cadmium ratio is decreased, and cadmium is more likely to be absorbed and cause problems. Yes Mothers! Just keep on feeding your children white bread! It helps the medical-pharmaceutical complex enormously. Your government is helping! Helping? Sure! We have the best government corporations can buy. By the way, did you know that zinc prevents menstrual cramps? See this article and make up your own mind if you suffer from cramps.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

Foods That Contain 100 mg or More of Either Calcium or Magnesium per 100 Grams (3-1/2 oz)

       The following figure shows the amount of magnesium and calcium in foods wherein the amount of either magnesium or calcium exceeds 100 milligrams (1/4 the RDA for magnesium) per one hundred grams of that same food. A complete list of hundreds of foods (fresh foods and processed foods by brand name) arranged by their magnesium content is in this USDA report, which is a document that you should print out and tape to your refrigerator. Here is the USDA index for all nutrients alphabetically and by weight. The following foods shown in bold and brown have more magnesium than calcium, while all other foods shown have more calcium than magnesium.

  milligrams Magnesium per 100 grams food milligrams Calcium per 100 grams food
Beverages & Mixes

      Cocoa powder

520 130
      Chocolate drink 150 30
      Milo 210 465
      Ovaltine 0 270
Biscuits, Cakes, Cereals, Desserts
      Biscuit, chocolate 40 110
      Biscuit, crispbread, rye 100 50
      Biscuit, gingernut 25 130
      Biscuit, semi-sweet 20 120
      Bran, wheat 520 110
      Buckwheat 230 114
      Cake, sponge 10 140
      Carob flour 10 350
      Custard 10 140
      Custard tart 20 110
      Flour, soy (full fat) 240 210
      Flour, soy (low fat) 290 240
      Flour, wholemeal 140 40
      Milk pudding (e.g.. sago) 10 130
      Millet 162 10
      Pancake 10 120
      Pizza, cheese & tomato 20 240
      Rye 115 38
      Scone 20 620
      Sponge pudding, steamed 10 210
      Wheat bran 490 120
      Wheat germ 336 72
      Wheat grain 160 46
      Yeast, brewer's 231 210
      Yeast, dried bakers 230 80
Egg & Cheese Dishes
      Cauliflower cheese 20 160
      Cheese soufflé 20 230
      Macaroni cheese 20 180
      Quiche Lorraine 20 260
Fats & Oils
Fish & Other Seafood
      Crab, canned 30 120
      Haddock, fried 30 110
      Mussels, boiled 30 200
      Oysters, raw 40 190
      Prawns, boiled 40 150
      Sardines, canned 40 460
      Scallops, steamed  40 120
      Avocado 106 5
      Figs, dried 90 280
      Lemon slices 10 110
Meat & Meat Products
      Tripe, stewed 20 150
Milk & Milk Products
      Buttermilk 10 120
      Cheese, Camembert 20 380
      Cheese, Cheddar 30 800
      Cheese spread 30 510
      Cream cheese 10 100
      Cheese, Danish blue  20 580
      Cheese, edam 30 740
      Cheese, parmesan 50 1220
      Cheese, processed 20 700
      Cheese, Stilton 30 360
      Cheese, Swiss 0 950
      Ice cream 10 140
      Ice cream, non-dairy 10 120
      Milk, cow's, condensed skim 40 380
      Milk, cow's condensed whole 10 280
      Milk, cow's dried skimmed 120 1020
      Milk, cow's dried whole 80 1020
      Milk, cow's evaporated, whole 30 280
      Milk, cow's flavored 0 110
      Milk, cow's fresh skimmed 10 130
      Milk, cow's fresh whole 10 120
      Milk, goat's 20 130
      Milk shake, flavored 0 110
      Yogurt, flavored 0 130
      Yogurt, fruit low-fat 20 160
      Yogurt, natural low-fat 20 180
      Yogurt, plain 0 145
      Almonds 260 250
      Brazil 410 180
      Cashews 267 38
      Filberts 184 10
      Pecans 142 73
      Peanuts, raw in shells 130 40
      Peanuts, roasted salted 180 60
      Pistachio, shelled 0 130
      Sesame seeds - hulled 0 110
      Sunflower seeds 38 120
      Walnuts 130 60
Sauces & Condiments
      Curry powder 0 645
      Dulse (red seaweed) 220 300
      Mustard powder 0 335
      Olives, ripe 0 106
      Oxo Cubes 60 180
      Pepper  50 130
      Worcestershire sauce 0 100
Sugars, Jams & Spreads
      Fish paste 30 280
      Peanut butter 180 40
      Treacle, black 140 500
      Caramel 0 140
      Carob bar 30 160
      Chocolate square, milk 60 220
      Fruit and honey bar 200 70
      Molasses 258 684
      Sesame bar 140 90
      Toffee, mixed 30 100
      Alfalfa 230 900
      Broccoli 24 103
      Collard greens 57 250
      Dandelion greens 36 190
      Kale 10 250
      Kelp (Warning! very high in glutamate) 760 1110
      Onions, spring 10 140
      Parsley, sprigs 50 330
      Tofu 111 128
      Turnip greens 10 250
      Watercrest 10 150

       No wonder we have trouble getting enough magnesium from our food! Calcium is found in most of these foods in great excess over magnesium thus preventing magnesium from being fully absorbed into the body. To us, calcium has become a neurotoxin. Have we lost some degree of control over the normally exquisitely regulated calcium ion concentration in our brains? Can we recover if we continue to eat neurotoxins? I don't think so.

       Remember, the amount of magnesium and calcium is shown for 100 grams of the food. Some of these foods we eat in small amounts, so the data is not particularly meaningful. However, milk and cheese products, which we eat in great amounts, are loaded with calcium and harmful fats. We are not likely to gain significant advantage from eating or drinking them in order to gain magnesium. Want a pizza? How about a hamburger? I remember that my mother fed me a lot of peanut butter sandwiches when I was young. I grew to dislike those sandwiches there were so many. But it looks like mom knew best after all. She also fed me lots of cocoa powder in water drinks. I hated them and demanded that the cocoa powder be in milk (I thought she was being cheap). I still love chocolate bars and drinks and I guess that is good. Chocolate contains many drug-like compounds, some of which are very similar to anandamide, a substance in the brain whose name literally means "internal bliss." Anandamide binds to and activates the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, mimicking the effects of drugs such as marijuana. Almonds and peanuts I love, but I don't like walnuts. Guess I need to develop a taste for them after all.

        I am surprised at how little magnesium and calcium there are in foods that I thought were good for us, like eggs, soups, fish, fruit, meat and vegetables. Although meats and vegetables generally have more magnesium than calcium, one would need to eat a lot of them to add up to a useful amount. I am surprised that pizzas (gobs of calcium) and hamburgers (not much of anything) are still legal. I am not surprised at the absence of magnesium and calcium in fats, beverages (alcoholic beverages were zero), sugars, sweets, sauces and condiments. What do your eat? Does this table suggest your choice of foods needs to change to maintain a good mood?

        The official USDA Nutrient Database for Magnesium content of selected foods (30 pages) is here. The USDA nutrient database for all foods and nutrients can be accessed here. Guess what characteristic the following foods have in common according to the USDA: Margarine, M&M MARS candy, STARBURST Fruit Chews, honey, radishes, corn syrup, frosting, whipped cream, salad dressings, butter, cornstarch, beef broth soup, chicken with rice soup, pepper sauce, candy, gumdrops, salt, alcoholic beverages, Honey Nut CHEX cereals, carbonated beverages, and peanut, olive, sesame, sunflower, safflower vegetable oils. ANSWER: Zero mg magnesium per 100 grams of the food. ZERO!         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

Non-Dietary and Non-Stress Causes of Hypomagnesemia

         From the Hypomagnesemia web site, causes of low blood magnesium (hypomagnesemia) other than inadequate magnesium and boron intake and stress are related to primarily to renal and gastrointestinal losses:

  • Renal and gastrointestinal (GI) losses:
    • Malabsorption of magnesium in the ileum results in hypomagnesemia. Situations of decreased absorption include malabsorption syndromes (e.g., celiac disease, sprue), radiation injury to the bowel, bowel resection, or small bowel bypass.
    • Significant losses of magnesium resulting in hypomagnesemia may result from chronic diarrhea, laxative abuse, inflammatory bowel disease, or neoplasm.
    • Renal losses from primary renal disorders or secondary causes (e.g., drugs, toxins such as mercury, hormones, osmotic load) may result in magnesium wasting and subsequent hypomagnesemia.
    • Primary renal disorders cause hypomagnesemia by decreased tubular reabsorption of magnesium by the damaged kidneys. This condition occurs in the diuretic phase of acute tubular necrosis, post obstructive diuresis, and renal tubular acidosis.
  • Drugs:
    • Diuretics (e.g., thiazide, loop diuretics), cisplatin (causes dose-dependent kidney damage in 100% of patients receiving this drug), pentamidine, some antibiotics, fluoride poisoning, oral contraceptives. See larger list in this page here.
  • Endocrine disorders:
    • Primary aldosteronism decreases magnesium levels by increasing renal flow.
    • Hypoparathyroidism and hyperthyroidism may cause renal wasting.
  • Osmotic diuresis results in magnesium loss in the kidney:
    • Diabetic patients, especially those with poor glucose control, develop hypomagnesemia from a glucose-induced osmotic diuresis.
    • Alcoholics become hypomagnesemic partially by an osmotic diuresis from alcohol. Urinary losses have been reported to be 2-3 times control values.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Extracellular volume expansion, as in cirrhosis or intravenous (IV) fluid administration, may decrease magnesium levels.
    • Redistribution of magnesium into cells may cause lower magnesium levels. Insulin causes this effect.
    • Excessive lactation may create a significant amount of magnesium loss. 
    • Hungry bone syndrome may lead to lower serum magnesium concentrations.
    • Pregnant women have been found to be magnesium depleted, especially those women who experience pre term labor.
    • Leaky Gut Syndrome. Always treat with probiotics.
      • Antibiotics because they lead to the overgrowth of abnormal flora in the gastrointestinal tract (bacteria, parasites, candida, fungi) causing "Leaky Gut Syndrome". Treatment with Mercola's Complete Probiotics and CoQ10 is often curative.
      • Caffeine and other strong gut irritants.
      • Foods and beverages contaminated by parasites like Giardia Lamblia, Cryptosporidium, Blastocystis hominis and others. Treatment with Mercola's Complete Probiotics and CoQ10 are often curative.
      • Foods and beverages contaminated by bacteria like Helicobacter pylori, Klebsiella, citrobacter, Pseudomonas and others. Treatment with Mercola's Complete Probiotics and CoQ10 is often curative.
      • Chemicals in fermented and processed food (dyes, preservatives, peroxidized fats).
      • Enzyme deficiencies (e.g. celiac disease, lactase deficiency causing lactose intolerance.) NOTE: Scientists believe that lactose malabsorption may interfere with the availability of L-tryptophan and the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
      • NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ASA, ibuprofen, indomethacin, etc. Treatment with Mercola's Complete Probiotics and CoQ10 are often curative.
      • Prescription corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone) and methotrexate. Treatment with Mercola's Complete Probiotics and CoQ10 are often curative.
      • High refined carbohydrate diet (e.g. candy bars, cookies, cake, soft drinks, white bread). Treatment with Mercola's Complete Probiotics and CoQ10 is often curative.
      • Mold and fungal mycotoxins in stored grains, fruit and refined carbohydrates. Treatment with Mercola's Complete Probiotics and CoQ10 are often curative.
      • Toxic mold from the walls of sick buildings.
      • Inadequate bile production.
      • Inadequate garlic consumption.
      • Inadequate iodine (iodide) intake.
      • Inadequate probiotics intake. Treatment with Mercola's Complete Probiotics and CoQ10 is often curative.

              More medically important information on hypomagnesia symptoms and causes are here, and here on the Family Practice Notebook site. This search for "magnesium wasting may provide additional important information.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Magnesium and Calcium Ions in Synaptic Function in Brain

              This figure from LTP Lecture Notes from the University of California, San Diego - Department of Cognitive Science, one can clearly see that magnesium ions and calcium ions are involved in nerve cell electrical conduction activity across brain cell synapses. Too much calcium ion and glutamate and not enough magnesium ion, particularly in the hippocampus, play a vital role in brain cell synaptic dysfunction leading to depression and other mood and behavioral disorders.

              The earliest indication that glutamate and many synthetic glutamate receptor agonists are toxic was obtained in the 1970's (Olney and Ho, 1970). However, most surprising was the finding that even endogenous glutamate may cause neurotoxicity via over-excitation under certain conditions - a situation called "excitotoxicity". Processes that increase the sensitivity of glutamate receptors or affect glutamate homeostasis often induce cell death usually connected with Calcium2+ ion overload.

              Most of the better known neurotransmitter systems - dopamine, noradrenalin, serotonin (5HT), and acetylcholine in particular - have modulatory roles; and when defective require specific drugs, preferably supplemental natural hormones, to restore their balance. They are produced by a few neurons located in specific clusters, and drugs affecting them often have specific effects. Receptors for these neurotransmitters tend to operate fairly slowly, taking milliseconds or longer to communicate. Rather than directly changing the potential of the neuron, they often trigger second-messenger responses. If you want to test your brain neurotransmitters, you can get them tested by using a neuroscience test kit supplied by local physicians. To find a local physician that tests neurotransmitters, contact NeuroScience, Inc.

              On the other hand, most of the brain's regular function operates quickly, and involves the excitatory and inhibitory amino acids. The excitatory amino acid neurotransmitters include glutamate (between 70 and 85 percent) and aspartate. The receptors for amino acids are generally calcium and magnesium ion channels and to a lesser extent zinc. When the receptor is activated, these ions enter or exit the cell, which change its potential.

              Taurine, Gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) acid and glycine are major inhibitory neurotransmitters in the central nervous system (CNS), predominantly active in the spinal cord and brain stem. Taurine and glycine also acts as a modulator of excitatory amino acid transmission mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors.

              NMDA receptors are unique for several reasons. Unlike most neuronal receptors, they require two agonists (glutamate or aspartate, plus glycine) before the channel opens. These two agonists bind to two different locations on the NMDA receptor. After both agonists have bound to the channel, it opens enough for potassium to enter. Normally, a magnesium ion is bound to a specific location at the opening of the channel. The magnesium ion allows potassium to pass through but prevents calcium. NMDA receptors are only activated following depolarization of the post synaptic membrane, which relieves their voltage-dependent blockade by Mg2+ ions. Once the cell becomes activated enough, the cell potential rises enough that the magnesium ion is no longer stuck to the cell. Calcium can enter the cell through the fully open NMDA channel. Once inside, calcium sets into motion a series of responses, which enhance the strength of the synapse.

              Calcium helps cells do many things, including carry nerve signals. Neurons normally are very careful about the amount of calcium they allow in because they use minute changes in levels of internal calcium to interpret messages from other neurons. Too much calcium inside cells leads to cell death. Over-stimulation of both non-NMDA and NMDA receptors with glutamate results in a large influx of calcium into the cell interior, particularly the neuronal mitochondria. Although normal levels are necessary for many cellular processes, if the intra neuronal mitochondrial concentration of calcium is excessive, such can result in a series of calcium-depended enzymes that are normally suppressed, becoming activated. When these enzymes, like lipid peroxidase, nitric oxide synthetase, and xanthine oxidase, are activated, they cause the production of free radicals and nitric oxide, cytoskeletal breakdown, failure to generate ATP (the cells' energy source), lipid peroxidation, and nucleic acid fragmentation, which leads to neuronal death.

              Similarly, in Wilson's disease (a serious copper accumulation disease), zinc given to eliminate copper accumulation (in the brain) results in elimination of depression found in Wilson's disease patients. Also, 25 mg of zinc has been found to relieve depression in otherwise well people. According to G. Nowak et al., there is a growing body of evidence implicates a derangement of zinc homeostasis in mood disorders. In general, unipolar depression is connected with low blood zinc levels that are increased by effective antidepressant therapy. A placebo-controlled, double blind pilot study of zinc supplementation in antidepressant therapy was conducted in patients who fulfilled DSM IV criteria for major (unipolar) depression. Patients received zinc supplementation (6 patients; 25 mg of Zn2+ once daily) or placebo (8 patients) and were treated with standard antidepressant therapy (tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were used to assess efficacy of antidepressant therapy, and patients' status was evaluated before the depression treatment and 2, 6 and 12 weeks after its commencement. Antidepressant treatment significantly reduced HDRS scores by the 2nd week of treatment in both groups, and lowered BDI scores at the 6th week in zinc-treated group. Zinc supplementation significantly reduced scores in both measures after 6- and 12-week supplementation when compared with placebo treatment. This preliminary study is the first demonstration of the benefit of zinc supplementation in antidepressant therapy. The mechanism(s) may be related to modulation of glutamatergic or immune systems by zinc ion. A good source of zinc is zinc gluconate, which is very readily available at pharmacies, grocery stores and health food stores.

             As previously mentioned, zinc does the same job as magnesium in 10 to 20 percent of neurons, and its deficiency is harmful to mood too. Interestingly, zinc deficiency is also harmful to IQ, attention, memory and the learning process in general. A little extra zinc in the diets of school children could be the answer to every teacher's prayers. A new study finds students pay more attention and behave better when they are given more zinc. Researchers gave seventh graders 20 milligrams of zinc, five days a week for 10 to 12 weeks. Testing revealed improvement in mental performance over children who received no additional zinc. Previous studies have shown zinc is an important part of motor, cognitive and psychosocial function in very young children and adults. This is the first study to look at the effects of zinc supplementation in adolescents. Researchers studied 209 seventh graders. They gave each child a juice drink containing 0, 10, or 20 milligrams of zinc (from zinc gluconate). Students, teachers, and parents were unaware of who was being given which dose of zinc supplementation. The current Recommended Daily Allowances for zinc is 10 milligrams a day. Study author James G. Penland, Ph.D., says a deficiency of the mineral is not uncommon in the United States, especially in adolescents, because of their rapid growth and typically poor eating habits. The group receiving just 10 milligrams showed no improvement on tests gauging reaction time, memory, reading abilities, and the ability to sustain attention. The group receiving 20 milligrams not only did better on the tests, they were also reprimanded for fewer behavior problems. If further testing confirms these findings, Penland says he hopes the current dietary guidelines would be updated to reflect the positive benefits of zinc. Penland is in position to get those guidelines raises since he is a research psychologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Dr. Penland presented these results at the Experimental Biology 2005 meeting, as part of the scientific sessions of the American Society of Nutritional Sciences in San Diego, March 31-April 6, 2005.

             NMDA receptors are involved in excitotoxicity (nerve cell death via over-stimulation). The chemicals that agonize (activate) NMDA receptors can also kill the very same nerve cells they are activating. Glutamic and aspartic acid, are capable of doing damage if present in sufficient amounts. This excitotoxicity is directly responsible for much of the damage attributed to various types of trauma and insult to the CNS from many diseases, and helps explain why magnesium glutamate and magnesium aspartate worsen depression (These compounds contain about 9 times the amount of these ligands than magnesium). Note "PRECAUTIONS" concerning using magnesium glutamate and aspartate to treat depression. If you want to dig into neurotransmitter biochemicals further, see "Neurotransmitters", but you will not find mention of magnesium ions. If you want to test your brain neurotransmitters, you can get them tested by using a neuroscience test kit supplied by local physicians. To find a local physician that tests neurotransmitters, contact NeuroScience, Inc.

              Harold Murck writing in Nutritional-Neuroscience in 2002 pointed out that there are several findings on the action of magnesium ions which support their therapeutic potential in affective disorders. Examinations of the sleep-electroencephalogram (EEG) and of endocrine systems point to the involvement of the limbic-hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical axis as magnesium affects all elements of this system. Magnesium has the property to suppress hippocampal kindling, to reduce the release of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) and to affect adrenocortical sensitivity to ACTH. The role of magnesium in the central nervous system could be mediated via the N-methyl-D-aspartate-antagonistic, gamma-aminobutyric acidA-agonistic or a angiotensin II-antagonistic property of this ion. A direct impact of magnesium on the function of the transport protein p-glycoprotein at the level of the blood-brain barrier has also been demonstrated, possibly influencing the access of corticosteroids to the brain. Furthermore, magnesium dampens the calciumion-proteinkinase C related neuro transmission and stimulates the Na-K-ATPase. All these systems have been reported to be involved in the pathophysiology of depression. Despite the antagonism of lithium to magnesium in some cell-based experimental systems, similarities exist on the functional level, i.e. with respect to kindling, sleep-EEG and endocrine effects.

             I was sufficiently impressed by Dr. Murck's work that I invited him to present his paper "Magnesium and affective disorders" at the 2008 Gordon Research Conference March 9 - 14 in Ventura California. He blew everyone's minds and I was very please with his presentation. Here is a link to that conference. His presentation was Tuesday evening. I was pleased that Dr. Vink, the discussion leader, also showed my tornado, which is shown at the top of this page as an introduction to the subject of magnesium in neuroscience and mental health. Magnesium and neuroscience focus in previous years has been on brain injury and magnesium.

              Carman and Wyatt, writing in Biological Psychiatry as early as 1979 showed that decreases in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) calcium accompany mood elevation and motor activation in depressed patients undergoing depression treatment with ECT, lithium, and total sleep deprivation. Similarly, decreases in CSF calcium occur during acute psychotic agitation or mania. On the other hand, periodic recurrences of such agitated states are accompanied at their onset by transient increases in serum calcium and phosphorus. Several observations suggest that such serum ion shifts may trigger the more enduring and opposite shifts in CSF calcium and, in turn, the manic behavior. Progressive restriction of dietary calcium was earlier reported to mitigate and finally abolish both rhythmic rises in serum calcium and periodic agitated episodes in one psychotic patient. Lithium, which decreases the efficiency of alimentary calcium absorption, may function similarly. Conversely, a modest oral calcium lactate supplement (approximately one additional Recommended Daily Allowance of dietary calcium) seemed to slightly intensify agitation in six patients. Dihydrotachysterol (DHT), an analog of vitamin D, which more exactly mimics the increase in both serum calcium and phosphorus, appeared in at least one periodically psychotic patient to trigger and opposite shift in CSF calcium. Moreover, in eight patients, manic symptomatology appeared de novo or grew significantly and substantially worse during 2 to 6 weeks of oral DHT administration. On the other hand, in 12 patients, subcutaneous injections of synthetic salmon calcitonin (SCT) decreased serum calcium and phosphorus, increased CSF calcium, and decreased agitation while augmenting depressive symptomatology. SCT also decreased quantified motor activity, frequency and severity of periodic agitated episodes, serum CPK and prolactin, and nocturnal sleep, while DHT or calcium lactate had opposite effects on the same parameters.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Calcium Channel Blockers

              Calcium channel blockers, especially magnesium ions, alter influx of calcium from the extracellular fluid to the cytosol of cells through calcium channels, which is important for the release of neurotransmitters from presynaptic neurons. Thus magnesium ions act presynaptically rather than by blocking receptors postsynaptically to prevent over stimulation by calcium, and are therefore nature's true calcium-channel blockers.

              In health, exquisite homeostatic regulation of serum calcium levels exists, and alterations from the norm in calcium serum levels are well known to cause serious mental illness. Free intracellular calcium-ion concentrations are elevated in platelets and lymphocytes of manic and bipolar depressed patients but not in control or unipolar depressed patients or in patients made euthymic (normal, neither elated nor depressed) by various medications or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Some element of hyperexcitable as shown by Weston in 1921, or an imbalance in calcium/magnesium ratio (either induced by stress, improper diet, or calcium toxicity) in tissues are most likely necessary for magnesium supplementation to provide benefits observed in depression treatment. I find interesting that beneficial mechanisms of action of many dangerous, prescription psychiatric drugs and ECT on manic and bipolar illness is restoration of proper calcium serum/magnesium balance, a property easily restored with over-the-counter magnesium.

              Prescription calcium channel-blockers often produce mental depression as a side effect in cardiac therapy, while magnesium used as a calcium channel blocker in cardiology does not. I find it interesting that cardiology has embraced magnesium to rescue patients, while psychiatry has not.

              The earliest substance to be reported having calcium-channel blocking effects was magnesium ion. These findings were reported by Weston 80 years ago to ameliorate excited psychotic states. See journal pages at: Weston, PG. Magnesium as a sedative. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1921-22;1:637-8. Weston showed that 220 doses out of 250 doses of magnesium sulfate given to 50 patients having various types of agitation, with half being patients having agitated depression, caused patients to relax and sleep from four to six hours. This is about a 90% success rate. He noted that side effects from giving too much magnesium were quickly and easily reversed by giving calcium chloride. With such vital effects known for 80 years, it seems unlikely that psychiatry will, without political force, in this century embrace magnesium in the treatment of depression. Due to the strong Big Pharma lobby, deference will be given to the known SSRIs and other patentable and highly profitable anti-depressant drugs, even though magnesium plays a much wider role in mental health, particularly depression and other hyperexcitability states. The pharmaceutical drug pusher lobby is simply too strong. Wouldn't federal and state laws reading in part, "Treatment by physicians of disease with drugs having any significant side effect without treating underlying malnutrition attributed to causing such disease, shall be considered malpractice" really change medicine for the better?         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Glutamate Toxicity

             The worst mistake you can make is to use a magnesium compound called "magnesium amino acid chelate", or "chelated magnesium", or "magnesium chelate". Why? Many times these products are in fact magnesium glutamate or magnesium aspartate products and they will very likely make your depression worse. I don't know why laws exist to allow companies to label their products as a "chelate". That makes as much sense as labeling a product a "magnesium compound" or a "magnesium complex", since the words do not tell the full truth. I strongly suggest that you look over this list of legal aliases for the words "glutamate" or "aspartate".

      • chelate
      • glutamate
      • caseinate
      • textured protein
      • natural flavoring
      • yeast food
      • autolyzed yeast
      • hydrolyzed protein
      • hydrolyzed vegetable protein
      • yeast extract
      • hydrolyzed yeast
      • natural chicken or turkey flavoring
      • spices, and
      • modified food starch

             Any time you find a magnesium compound that contains the above words in any kind of description, watch out! It will likely make you much more depressed than if you did nothing at all, since all of these words may (or may not) mean that glutamate and/or aspartate is the main ingredient in the product. The reason I bring this up is that a man from England bought and used a product labled "Magnesium Chelate" and got much sicker. This has also occured in the United States (very common) and Canada, and I suspect elsewhere too. When I researched it, I found the product to contain the magnesium complex of a modified food starch (glutamate). Needless to say, it made him much, much sicker. He barely survived since it very greatly worsened his depression and suicidal tendency. You have been warned as loudly as I can scream this warning! Here is more on glutamtate and aspartate.

              Adverse effects sometimes occur in people who eat foods containing monosodium glutamate (sometimes called the Chinese restaurant syndrome). None of us should ever eat foods or drugs containing substantial amounts of (monosodium) glutamate, or we must greatly increase our magnesium intake at the same time to help detoxify additive glutamate. Although the side effects from aspartate is similar, it is not as well considered [with the exception of aspartame (good link for FDA-Monsanto hanky-panky) and a link between Gulf War Syndrome and aspartame ingestion], perhaps because they are not used as extensively in foods. Glutamates are naturally found in cheese, milk, meat, peas, mushrooms, tomatoes, and soy sauce. Canned vegetables, caned soups and other processed foods often have additive glutamate (L-glutamic acid plus the toxic form D-glutamic acid) to enhance their flavor. Glutamates and aspartates are also in some mineral dietary supplements (including magnesium), and are often referred to as "amino acid chelates". Aspartame was shown in this 2005 study to be a carcinogen, causing lymphomas, leukemias and brain cancer in rats. We must avoid these, because they are in so many foods that their accumulative effects can be quite severe. They show their toxic effects from minutes to a day after ingestion making it difficult to determine a cause-and-effect relationship unless one is aware. If you have some of these symptoms from time to time, check back in your memory and see if you can identify the source(s) of glutamate. According to the Truth In Labeling Campaign, adverse effects of additive glutamate ingestion are dose dependent and may include:


            Atrial fibrillation
            Rapid heartbeat
            Slow heartbeat
            Extreme rise or drop in blood pressure




            Stomach cramps
            Irritable bowel
            Swelling of hemorrhoids and/or anus area
            Rectal bleeding


            Flu-like achiness
            Joint pain


            Mood swings
            Rage reactions
            Migraine headache
            Loss of balance
            Mental confusion
            Panic attacks
            Behavioral problems in children
            Attention deficit disorders
            Numbness or paralysis
            Slurred speech
            Chills and shakes


            Blurred vision
            Difficulty focusing
            Pressure around eyes


            Shortness of breath
            Chest pain
            Tightness in the chest
            Runny nose

      Urological / Genital

            Swelling of the prostate
            Swelling of the vagina
            Vaginal spotting
            Frequent urination


            Hives (internal and/or external)
            Mouth lesions
            Temporary tightness or partial paralysis (numbness or tingling)of the skin
            Extreme dryness of the mouth
            Face swelling
            Tongue swelling
            Bags under eyes

              You will find "free glutamate" in one form or another in almost all processed or manufactured food as a flavor enhancer. Other names for glutamate include: monosodium glutamate (MSG), calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, textured protein, natural flavoring, yeast food, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, yeast extract, hydrolyzed yeast, natural chicken or turkey flavoring, other spices, and modified food starch. (NOTE: A list of glutamate aliases suitable for taping to the refrigerator and using at the grocery store to purchase non-glutamate containing foods is presented here.) Food manufacturers can use a reduced amount of a food product and some cheap glutamate while getting a big taste enhancement and saving a lot of money. Unfortunately, about 30 percent of the population will experience some adverse reaction when they use this substance at the dosages available in food products.

      Here are disorders that are also caused, worsened or aggravated by excessive glutamates from the site. MSG and Addiction, MSG and Alcoholism, MSG & Allergy, MSG and A.L.S., MSG and Alzheimer's, MSG and Asthma, MSG and Atrial Fibrillation, MSG and Autism, MSG and Blindness, MSG and Celiac Sprue, MSG and Depression, MSG and Diabetes, MSG and Dizziness, MSG and Epilepsy, MSG and Fibromyalgia, MSG and Heat Stroke, MSG and High Blood Pressure, MSG and Hypoglycemia, MSG and Hypothyroidism, Irritable Bowel syndrome, MSG and Inflammation, MSG and Migraine, MSG and MS, MSG and Myopia, MSG and Obesity, MSG and Pituitary Tumors, MSG and Rage/Panic Disorder, MSG and Rosacea, MSG and Sulfite Sensitivity, MSG and Tinnitus and MSG and Sleeplessness.

              Supposedly, a natural glutamate antagonist is the structurally similar amino acid L-theanine. I am not nearly as enthusiast about L-theanine as many, but I will complete the record as follows. The similarity enables L-theanine (L-Glutamic acid-γ-monoethylamide) to physically block glutamate, thus preventing calcium ion induced hyperexcitability. Although researchers aren't positive how theanine works yet, they theorize that theanine blocks the NMDA receptor which is the doorway that glutamate uses to enter cells. Theanine is known to increase GABA (Gamma-Amino-Butyric Acid), an important inhibitory neurotransmitter. Because of the similar structure, theanine can also fit in this doorway, blocking access to glutamate. But, although it can fit in the doorway, theanine does not have the same effect on the cell as glutamate does. Rather than causing damage, theanine acts like a shield against damage. Theanine is the active ingredient in green tea. The Japanese have used enormous amounts of MSG for many years to improve taste of poor quality food, but they offset its toxic effects with green tea. In 1964, Japan approved theanine's use in all food, except baby food. In Japan, you can buy over 50 different food items that contain theanine. Japanese soft drinks are spiked with the relaxant, and it has been put into chewing gum. The tranquilizing effects of theanine definitely are not imaginary. Theanine readily crosses the blood-brain barrier of humans and exerts subtle changes in biochemistry. An increase in brain alpha waves (resulting in an increase in wakeful relaxation) has been documented, and the effect has been compared to getting a massage or taking a hot bath. And, unlike tranquilizing drugs (including kava-kava, valerian and St. John's wort), it doesn't interfere with the ability to either think or exercise good judgement. It does not sedate, as demonstrated by no change in brain theta waves upon administration. It does not help one doze or fall asleep, unless the person is excited or hyper. By shutting down the "worry" mode, L-theanine increases concentration and focuses thought. This is the concept behind the Japanese tea ceremony which causes a person to focus on the moment. Dosage is reported to be 100 mg 1 to 4 times per day. Consider this: the risk of mortality for Japanese women who practice tea ceremony is half of other Japanese women. The Japanese are already the longest-lived people on earth. Interestingly, L-theanine is also reported to enhance the effects of cancer chemotherapy and reduce side effects by blocking glutamate. It may also helps block toxic effects of excess caffeine. Here is a search for "glutamate", "toxicity" and "Japanese". Since we are so often exposed to excess free glutamate, we must learn more about dealing with overdoses of glutamate. Is L-theanine helpful for depressives? If we are stressed, hyperexcited or too anxious, maybe. If not, it does absolutely nothing. It does not react with tranquilizers or other drugs, at least no adverse reactions have been reported. Is it expensive in the U.S.? Yes, its retail price is over three times the price of gold, unless one purchases it in kilogram lots of pure powder, which is about one thousand dollars ($1 per gram). Is it worth it? I don't think so.

              Back to magnesium and taurine, supplementation has been used effectively as an antidote to nearly all, or all, of glutamate's side effects. Magnesium does not reduce glutamate sensitivity or toxicity, although taurine does.

              A 1995 report from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), an independent body of scientists, reported to the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) that temporary adverse reactions (headaches, perceived heart palpitations and gastrointestinal discomfort) after consuming 3 grams or more of glutamate are likely. Parmesan cheese, a food with one of the highest levels of naturally occurring glutamate (and calcium), contains about 1.3 grams of free glutamate per 100 grams. Ripe tomatoes are also high in glutamates. People with severe, poorly controlled asthma, in addition to being prone to the above symptoms, will suffer worsening of asthmatic symptoms after consuming as little as 0.5 grams MSG. Consequently, we have two or three major reasons to avoid parmesan cheese. Other foods with even greater amounts of glutamate and side effects caused by them are listed here. A search for "glutamates" is here.

              Remember my strong admonition to "NEVER USE MAGNESIUM GLUTAMATE"? Here is why. One gram of magnesium is attached to 15 grams of glutamate to make 16 grams of chemical magnesium glutamate (more properly termed Monomagnesium di-L-glutamate tetrahydrate). That amount of glutamate is over 5 times the level considered problematic by the FASEB, and clearly a severe health hazard to us. Yet the Congress allows glutamates in dietary supplements through the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, apparently without regard to safety for us (depressives).

              Glutamates are generally defined as salts of glutamic acids, and have been shown to be potent nerve toxins in laboratory cell cultures. Glutamates can cause a nerve to swell 90 seconds after contact. The mechanism for this is not entirely clear, but it is generally thought that exposure to glutamates causes a calcium influx in the nerve cell. According to Dr. John Olney, a psychiatrist at Washington University in St.Louis, "Over twenty years ago glutamate was shown to cause brain damage to infant animals. Since then, it has become increasingly evident that glutamate and closely related substances are neurotoxins that can cause human neurodegenerative diseases." As mentioned previously, MSG in combination with aspartame can be especially damaging. Not only may glutamates and aspartates cause degenerative nerve damage in adults, but there is growing evidence that the immature brain in children is more vulnerable than the brain of an adult since nerve myelination has not progressed very far. The glutamates that create this damage were also once added to baby food which incredibly damages the still-forming brain in children. The Food and Drug Administration agreed that one chemical, monosodium glutamate (MSG), should not be added to infant foods. Food manufacturers removed MSG and added three different related excitotoxins to replace the MSG. These chemicals are extremely dangerous to a forming brain, yet they are still added to infant processed food products, because they promote good taste and help insure that the infant will eat his processed food. Wait a minute! Is "processed food" an oxymoron?

      Neurons in revolt for more magnesium       What are we to do? We are being flooded in excess glutamates and calcium from processed foods, where they kill our brain cells. The blood-brain barrier is simply unable to cope with the excesses of our "modern" American diet. Mark Leigton et al. point out that excess glutamate is more poisonous than cyanide to neurons, even though glutamate is absolutely required in low concentrations for most neuronal activities. The glutamate-induced elevated calcium over activate a number of enzymes, including protein kinase C, calcium/cadmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, phospholipases, proteases, phosphatases, nitric oxide synthase, endonucleases, and ornithine decarboxylase. Some of these enzymes can also produce positive feedback loops to accelerate the downward spiral toward neuronal death. Activation of phospholipase A, for example, generates platelet-activating factors and arachidonic acid and its metabolites. Platelet-activating factor directly contributes to the excitotoxic cascade by increasing glutamate release. Arachidonic acid inhibits reuptake of glutamate from the synaptic space, leading to further activation of glutamate receptors and more arachidonic acid formation. Increased arachidonic acid levels form oxygen free radicals, which activate phospholipase A, leading to more arachidonic acid formation. These enzymes and the generated feedback loops rapidly lead to neuronal self-digestion by protein breakdown, free radical formation, and lipid peroxidation.

             To my way of thinking, this is like saying that excess (spilled) gasoline is hazardous to a car. One match and "ka-boom!" the whole thing is gone. Long ago the Environmental protection Agency prohibited spilling gasoline during refueling cars at service stations. In some states (California), they won't even let gasoline fumes into the air during refueling. Yet the Food and Drug Administration is prohibited by law (DSHEA) from wiping up excess neurotoxins more dangerous than cyanide. In fact, glutamates are encouraged and are found (in one form or another using aliases) in most processed foods. You will be fascinated reviewing the neurological graphics and astonishing glutamate toxicity material by Leighton et al. in their article "Pictorial Review of Glutamate Excitotoxicity: Fundamental Concepts for Neuroimaging".

              Even though there has been massive public uproar, lawsuits, controversy, and strong anecdotal evidence of great harm caused by chemical addition of glutamates in our foods and drugs, the FDA considers it safe and effective for most people except asthmatics (a known magnesium deficiency disorder). Although food products containing additive "glutamate" are now required to be labeled, the labeling requirements can be easily avoided by using one of the above related compounds. No matter what the FDA says, glutamates are vital components of neurological function and tossing in extra glutamate in abnormal amounts really messes up our brains! PERIOD!!! Can you imagine what would happen if a mechanic tossed in a bucket full of bolts and nuts into a machine having moving parts? HA! No mechanic would be fool enough to do that! So what is the FDA's problem (beyond the Congress)? It is spelled: I-n   b-e-d   w-i-t-h   t-h-e   p-h-a-r-m-a-c-u-t-i-c-a-l   i-n-d-u-s-t-r-y, who just happen to make money selling drugs to treat these symptoms. Ethics? HA!

              Processed food quality and purity? HA! They gotcha sucker! Corporations make much more money selling inferior foods processed with glutamates than without it. If a food product is not in nature's wrapper, it has been processed by corporations, and it may contain glutamates or closely related chemicals. Wonder why you feel bad so often? "Take two magnesiums (aspirins) and call me in the morning".         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      High Quality Sleep

              If you have suffered depression, anxiety or any of the magnesium deficiency mental health disorders mentioned here, you most likely have or have had serious, chronic sleep problems. Very often well-meaning physicians prescribe benzodiazepines (hypnotics) such as alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan) for anxiety and insomnia. To many people they are magic! They do promote sleep and they do relieve anxiety. But is this a healthy way to achieve these goals? With long-term (more than two weeks) high-dose use of benzodiazepines, there is an apparent decrease in the efficacy of GABA-A receptors, presumably a mechanism of tolerance. When high-dose benzodiazepines are abruptly discontinued, this "down-regulated" state of inhibitory transmission is unmasked, leading to characteristic withdrawal symptoms such as potentially serious anxiety, insomnia, autonomic hyperactivity and life-threatening seizures. In other words, you are really, really hooked! Withdrawal efforts must be excruciatingly slow, perhaps requiring months to carefully reduce dosage to the tiniest possible dosage, and up to two years to become completely recovered from all side effects of these drugs once they have been stopped. I relied on Klonopin for sleep for 15 years before I realized how harmful this drug could be for me. I loved going to sleep with Klonopin. Each time I tried to taper off, I was overwhelmed by side effects. For me the scariest were high anxiety, serious insomnia and many transient symptoms for which I could not find a cause - all because I asked a physician nearly 20 years ago for help going to sleep? If you have taken any of these drugs, you are most likely experiencing one or more of hundreds of potential side effects, and are not nearly as sick as you think! Please take the time to print and carefully review the huge list of side effects from use of these drugs at the site. I had the list here, but it was many pages long and I had to resort to linking the site. How can anyone defend drugs that will replace simple insomnia with much worse long-term problems? To many people these drugs have become drugs from hell. If necessary during the withdrawal process, you probably can use these drugs with magnesium, but the effects of both the drugs and magnesium in inducing sleep should be considered. MOST IMPORTANT: You must seek the advice of a physician or pharmacist for specific instructions on safe withdrawal from these drugs. Good luck in finding a physician that will help you withdraw. By the way, your physician will probably offer you a drug to treat each and every one of your benzodiazepine side-effects, or you can take magnesium and get well. A more complete list of benzodiazepine drugs include: Alprazolam (Xanax), Bromazepam (Lexotan, Lexomil), Chlordiazepoxide (Librium), Clobazam (Frisium), Clonazepam (Klonopin, Rivotril), Clorazepate, Diazepam (Valium), Estazolam (ProSom), Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), Flurazepam (Dalmane), Halazepam (Paxipam), Ketazolam (Anxon), Loprazolam (Dormonoct), Lorazepam (Ativan), Lormetazepam (Noctamid), Medazepam (Nobrium), Nitrazepam (Mogadon), Oxazepam (Serax, Serenid, Serepax), Prazepam (Centrax), Quazepam (Doral), Temazepam (Restoril, Normison, Euhypnos), Triazolam (Halcion). Non-benzodiazepines which may have similar side effects include: Zaleplon (Sonata), Zolpidem (Ambien, Stilnoct), Zopiclone (Zimovane, Imovane).

             How did I go off of Klonopin, and what did I experience? Briefly, after two years of hell, life is beginning to become normal. The following is an e-mail answer to a man announcing that he was going off Klonopin after being on it for nine years. He wanted to know how I went off Klonopin and what were my experiences.

      Dear Terry,


      Congratulations on your decision!!!!!

      My condolences too.

      You and I have had our brains rewired to depend upon Klonopin for many things, sleep being one of them. Your best future depends on withdrawal I believe. However, this will be an extremely slow decent through hell, but there is a silver lining. The easy part is slowly tapering from the big doses to the little doses. When you finally get down to one 0.5 mg pill, the trouble starts. You should further taper to a half pill and stay there for a few weeks. Then you should taper to a 1/4 pill and stay there for a few weeks. Then you should taper to 1/8 pill and stay there for a few weeks.

      Finally, you will decide to stop. Then, hell breaks loose and you may think you are ill to very ill with one or more (usually multiple) of the side effects mentioned on the site. You will be tempted to see a physician for one or more health issues that are clearly identifiable as Klonopin withdrawal symptoms. You will not trust your health. You will think that sleep is impossible. You will be certain that there is something wrong with you when you can no longer sleep. Hopefully, you will use about 400 to 500 mg magnesium citrate plus taurine at bedtime as a sedative. You will probably wake up after 4 to 5 hours totally relaxed and rested and ready to get up. You can get up and putter around the house or try to do something useful. For me, those were the hours that I used to write my web page. At a recent conference on magnesium, one of the speakers said that he thought that the reason for the early awakening was due to the ready detoxification of calcium by magnesium. If we don't get enough magnesium, then we require more sleep to detoxify excess calcium.

      Complete trust for your health will not occur for at least a year and perhaps two. That means for that year or two, you will be rather uncomfortable and will have many weird symptoms. IT IS JUST KLONOPIN SAYING, "MISS ME?" Tell yourself, "I am in withdrawal" and relax. Tell yourself again, "I am in withdrawal" and relax. Repeat this one hundred times. Anxiety about your health may be more than you can tolerate, and you will probably be very tempted to go to a doctor for more drugs. Please tell yourself that there is no nutritional requirement for drugs, but there is for magnesium. I could go on, but you get my drift. I will never go to a doctor again unless I am on a stretcher or need some kind of shot, and I get my flu shots at Wal-Mart!

      Hope that helps.


             In depression, high quality sleep is mandatory for recovery, but is often very difficult to achieve without magnesium and taurine repletion and a low glycemic diet. Remember that both stress and a high glycemic diet dramatically lower intracellular magnesium and must be controlled. Had Weston's discovery of the sedative value of magnesium been fully utilized over the last 80 years, many problems due to inadequate sleep (in depression or otherwise), could have been largely avoided. Clearly, 400 - 500 mg of ionizable magnesium at bedtime induces a natural, pleasant sleep unequaled in the human experience. On the other hand, lack of sleep is another cause of magnesium deficiency; probably due to the lowered amounts of growth hormone secretion, which occurs as result of sleep deprivation. Growth hormone is responsible for creating a substance known as insulin growth factor (IGF-1). IGF-1 has been found to have many uses in the body, but is best known for tissue repair, which occurs primarily during sleep. Lack of sleep is often found in people with fibromyalgia, which is responsive to magnesium repletion. Magnesium ions regulate many nerve receptors, such as NMDA or 5-HT3. When inadequately regulated due to magnesium deficiency, those receptors cause fibromyalgia pain and increase sleep deprivation, further worsening magnesium deficiency. Worse, Tanabe and others have shown a link between sudden cardiac death from chronic fatigue (lack of sleep) and magnesium depletion. They hypothesized that coronary arterial spasm and thrombus formation occur during chronic fatigue. They found in a small trial that chronic sleep deprivation leads to a cellular magnesium deficiency and an increase in the thromboxane B2 level, thus promoting coronary arterial spasm and thrombus formation.

             Too much carbohydrate in the diet will cause insomnia, partly because it interferes with magnesium. Sugar prevents magnesium from staying in cells and adversely alters calcium and magnesium intracellular balances, worsening depression too. Excess sugar, less than one might imagine, results in severe urinary losses of magnesium. Sometimes people on magnesium will awaken early, too early, perhaps 2:30 to 4:00AM, and can not get back to sleep. This is rarely (if ever) from "excessive" magnesium, and is much more likely to be from hypoglycemia induced by hyperinsulinemia. This is especially suspect if the pulse rate is higher than normal. Supplements of chromium and vanadium at the time of insomnia with higher than normal pulse rate should bring down the pulse rate and allow sleep to resume.

             Early awakening (after about 3 to 4 hours sleep) without a high pulse rate is type II insomnia. It might be caused by calcium deficiency, but the researchers at a recent magnesium conference suggested that it was due to the effect of magnesium detoxifying calcium. They thought that too much calcium makes us sleep longer simply to detoxify it. Type II insomnia might mean you have done your job of depleting excess calcium by following a low calcium or a calcium reduction diet as discussed. Excess, toxic, amounts of calcium have been removed from the blood. This effect will usually require about a year of purposeful trying to deplete calcium. Consequently, if you are a recent convert to low calcium intake, you may not notice this effect. Many people find that adding small amounts of calcium, preferably as a small serving (3 to 6 FL OZ) of ice cream, to their diet shortly before bedtime will prevent calcium "deficiency" insomnia that same night. On the other hand, difficulty in getting to sleep is vastly more common and is called type I insomnia, which is caused by magnesium deficiency. What do sleeping aids like the benzos actually do? They mask magnesium deficiency. For that reason alone, they should not be used.

             If your brain glutamate levels are high, and they often are in depression, the glutamate causes hyperexcitability and greatly reduces our ability to rest and sleep. Sleep is interrupted and short, perhaps no longer than a few hours at a time. I thought that I had my glutamate levels managed by taking magnesium and taurine. Taurine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, counters the excitatory neurotoxin effects of glutamate. But how much taurine is needed? I don't know in all cases, but it took two grams of taurine with each meal and two grams at bedtime and at 4 a.m. for me to get a full night's sleep and to feel completely rested. In my case, I have become so old that I no longer make enough taurine for me to be able to keep my neurotransmitters in balance. Actually, I am not that old, but when taurine levels fall (perhaps from liver damage), one feels very old and lacking in both energy and the ability to relax and sleep. Low taurine is rampant world-wide and is a main cause of the extremely successful "energy" drinks like Red Bull, which contains one gram taurine per can. Too bad Red Bull is loaded with caffeine. Forget Red bull at bedtime!!! I believe alcohol consumption is the main cause of liver damage resulting in loss of taurine production ability. If you want to test your brain neurotransmitters, you can get them tested by using a neuroscience test kit supplied by local physicians. To find a local physician that tests neurotransmitters, contact NeuroScience, Inc.

      Another possibility for early arising is spiking cortisol at these early hours. Normally cortisol increases at about 8:00 a.m. to help us cope with our day and falls in the evening and remains low during sleep. However, my cortisol levels are at their highest between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., which causes me to awaken full of energy and with a razor sharp mind. It is during these hours that most of the work on this page occurs. Perhaps I need to live in Europe to take advantage of the time difference. Maybe my spiking cortisol levels would work our better for me. You can find out about your cortisol levels at various times of the day using the Salivatest kit. Since my cortisol levels are low during the day, I take naps.

             Most of us do things daily that adversely affect our ability to sleep, that when looked at in context, make little sense. For example, we take stimulants in the morning to get us going and sedatives in the evening to help us relax and sleep. We love our sweets too and we find them everywhere, making avoiding a high glycemic index diet difficult. Some of us also take decongestants (Afrin Nasal Spray, Sine-Aid, Sudafed) or appetite suppressants such as Acutrim and Dexatrim which are strong stimulant drugs, which should be avoided by insomniacs. Our economy promotes the idea of more is better and less is counter to supporting our "way of life". Well, perhaps that is true, but at what cost to us as individuals? Can we be turned on in the morning and off at bedtime like a machine? A machine? Do we really want to be machines? Where did we get the idea that we have to perform as perfectly as a well tuned Ferrari, go like a banshee each day and sleep like a baby each night? Somehow we have learned this concept while growing up, most likely from our parents, teachers and peers. Now we are in a pickle, depressed and even burnt out but unable to sleep. Why? I think many of us turn on in the morning and off at night on demand - using drugs. Drugs? You say, "I don't use cocaine or speed to get me going in the morning!" No? What do you use to get going in the morning? Caffeine from coffee, tea or colas? Do you have to have your coffee to get going in the morning? How about an afternoon cup of tea or a cola? How about some lovely chocolates in the evening? How about 800 nicotine hits per day? These products sound totally benign (with the exception of smoking), but they each share one thing in common with the most dangerous drug in the world - crystal methamphetamine. They are all stimulants. All of us react to stimulants and sedatives differently, and many people can turn on and off successfully using drugs. But do we all pay a price eventually? Usually. You paid the price or you would not be reading this. Every morning you get up have a cup of coffee and never consider that caffeine could be building up in your body and keeping you from sleeping at night. Me? I have never drank a cup of coffee in my life and I still have trouble sleeping. I am so extremely sensitive to caffeine that one cup of tea or a single chocolate bar contain enough caffeine to keep me awake at night - for several nights! Are you hypersensitive to caffeine too but refuse to admit it? Most of us will not admit that uppers like caffeine keep us from sleeping. It is part of our lives! We depend upon our cup of coffee, and will not stop using this drug. DRUG? Caffeine? Yes. It is an upper just like crystal meth. Stimulants: caffeine and nicotine, cocaine (including freebase, rock, and crack), amphetamines, meth, ("crank, speed"), diet pills and decongestants all have big payoffs, such as energy, productivity, confidence, coping with depression and stress. Users often appear successful and well adjusted. But we all have a stress reaction to them. All these drugs imitate or stimulate the production of norepinephrine or adrenalin, creating a "fight or flight" response, in addition to the pleasure response. Doesn't this sound familiar? What have I been preaching about stress as the ultimate cause of depression? Here we are again, depressed and feeding that depression with things that keep us from sleeping! Are we weird or not! Yes, we have become very weird in our "behavior". Did you know that your decongestant was keeping you from sleeping? Better take Nyquil! How about calcium plus aspirin? How about: Ephedra? Aspirin Plus Caffeine (APC)? Excedrin? Why do you think they make Excedrin PM?

             What about sleeping pills? Are they OK to use? The answer is usually no, not for us. Research proves over and over again that sleeping pills are actually the worst treatment for chronic insomnia. The reason is that sleeping pills merely cover up the underlying cause of the insomnia. After a while, people develop a tolerance to or dependency on the sleeping pill and never really treat the reason for the insomnia in the first place. To truly cure our insomnia, we need to seek medical help to receive a diagnosis and treatment for the root cause of the insomnia. Guess what your doctor will find as the root cause of your insomnia? Depression. Back to magnesium. Use of mild sedatives, sleeping pills or antihistamines, such as Benadryl®, to induce sleep without magnesium in treating depression can result in much worse problems than they solve. On the other hand when used as part of a magnesium repletion program, they can work miracles. Want me to recommend one? You might try low dose (25 mg) Benadryl®. However, we must detoxify ourselves of stimulant drugs such as caffeine and nicotine first, which is something most people will not do. However, if you are interested in detoxifying from stimulants and are want to learn more, start here. Withdrawal from stimulants usually increases depression for a while, and a bit of 5-HTP will help as discussed in the next paragraph and elsewhere in this essay.

             Did you know that taking a morning or afternoon nap can keep you from sleeping at night? Researchers have found that taking a nap lasting 20 minutes or longer will reset the biological clock, making nighttime sleep difficult and interrupted. Also, flying from one time zone to another, particularly multiple time zones, will also affect nighttime sleep patterns, because your biological clock is set for your origin time zone - not the destination time zone. These changes in your biological clock can be reset with melatonin. However, for the depressive, be careful with melatonin, the biochemical that establishes our natural sleep rhythm. Examine melatonin dietary supplement labels carefully, and quality melatonin products will warn: "Not for use by depressives". Why? Melatonin is involved in the sleep process, why wouldn't it be helpful? Melatonin is a hormone (N-acetyl-5 methoxytryptamine) produced especially at night in the pineal gland. Its secretion is stimulated by the dark and inhibited by light. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin and finally converted to melatonin. During sleep serotonin is converted to melatonin and during wakefulness melatonin is converted to serotonin. However, the person with depression may not be able to convert melatonin into serotonin effectively and melatonin may build up worsening depression and causing the person to oversleep. What to do? Supplement with both melatonin and 5-HTP, the immediate precursor to serotonin (vital to sleep). How much? Try using 50-mg 5-HTP, and 3-mg melatonin. This may help correct the problem for depressives in a wonderful way, and allow us to benefit from melatonin as well as benefit from the sleep enhancing effect of 5-HTP supplementation. How about a big glass of milk for sleep induction? HA! Not for depressives. However, calcium is involved with sleep maintenance as previously mentioned, but we usually get enough from our diets even if we work to eliminate toxic amounts of it as discussed here.

      melatonin       As we age we produce less and less melatonin. Melatonin levels have been proposed to be a direct indicator of chronological age in forensics because melatonin production declines nearly linearly with age. Low night-time melatonin production is likely the main cause of insomnia in older people and particularly in the elderly. Normally, melatonin concentration is 6 to 12 times higher at night than during the day. Replenishing night-time melatonin to youthful levels sometimes results in restoration of youthful sleep patterns. Melatonin production is also inversely associated with nocturia (total urinary output and urinary frequency at night). Yes, total urinary production is greatly reduced, suggesting melatonin levels control urinary production, which appears related to melatonin's role in lowering night-time blood pressure. Many older men think that they have prostate problems because they frequently are awakened by a strong need to urinate, often 3 to 5 times a night. This is another aspect of insomnia and depression that appears poorly treated in medicine. Melatonin nearly always cures the supposed "prostate problem", because it wasn't a prostrate problem at all. Melatonin is equally effective in women. The time of day that melatonin is taken to prevent insomnia and nocturia is important, and must be determined by each person due to individuality of melatonin metabolism. Taking melatonin at about 10 PM is a good starting point in eliminating nocturia and its resulting insomnia. On the other hand, if melatonin is taken in the morning, night-time insomnia will likely result, because it will change the body's clock.

             SPECIAL NOTE: Sometimes, melatonin causes gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and the cure for GERD is to immediately take several hundred mg of magnesium, preferably magnesium glycinate. I open one or two magnesium glycinate capsules and dissolve the powder in my mouth and swallow. That always cures my GERD within a few minutes. Using magnesium like this, I get immediate relief and never suffer long from GERD. Depressives should not use calcium to treat GERD.

             Back to insomnia, if insomnia persists and one takes an "extra" tablet in the early hours of the morning, sleepiness may occur during the day for the same reason. Some researchers report that several weeks of treatment with melatonin may be required before insomnia and nocturia abate, while others report two treatments is sufficient. Rarely, it works on the first night, perhaps because correct dosage or timing has yet to be established, or because too much liquid is consumed several hours before bedtime (in the case of nocturia). If melatonin terminates insomnia and nocturia, supplementation may be needed for years. As side notes, people that work or around electromagnetic fields (especially microwave) are often low in melatonin, presumably by action of the electromagnetic field on melatonin metabolism. Cancer treatment and prevention using melatonin has been discussed. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola as sleep quality and quantity declined in aging, levels of the adrenal hormone cortisol increase, while levels of Growth Hormone (GH) declined. After the age of 25, men experience a decline in deep sleep that accompanied by a drop in GH production. GH deficiency is related to reduced muscle mass and strength, increased fat tissue, weakened immunity to infection, and other health declines. In later years, a new sleep pattern emerges, in which men get less sleep overall and levels of cortisol go up. Cortisol levels increase especially in the early morning hours from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m, which usually wakens the person due to its stimulating effects. Strangely, cortisol levels at other times of the day may be lower than normal. Elevated cortisol may underlie a host of mental and metabolic problems, including memory loss and insulin resistance -- a precursor to diabetes. One of the best discussions concerning the severity of high cortisol as it relates to stress and adrenal function is found on the Dr. Lam site at his adrenal fatigue page. He shows that when our body is stressed in a prolonged, unnatural way (may be a standard way in our Western high pressure work and social environment), our cortisol level rises in an environment where the adrenal negative feedback system is dampened. While this is happening, our DHEA level continues to drop (but high DHEA can be maintained by high magnesium intake according to Dr. Norman Shealy and my own personal observations). The result is a high cortisol to DHEA ratio and:

      1. Reduced insulin sensitivity, reduced glucose utilization and increased blood sugar, which lead to diabetes.
      2. Reduced secretory IgA (the main cellular defense factor), natural killer (NK) cell and T-lymphocyte activity. This leads to increase chances of getting infections such as Herpes, yeast overgrowth, and viral infections.
      3. Increased loss in bone mass as calcium absorption is blocked and demineralization of bone occurs, thus leading to osteoporosis.
      4. Increased fat accumulation around the waist and protein breakdown, thus leading to muscle wasting and an inability to reduce weight.
      5. Increased water and salt retention, leading to high blood pressure.
      6. Estrogen dominance, leading to PMS, uterine fibroids, and breast cancer.

      Consequently, maintaining a high magnesium status can mute most of the effects of high cortisol at least in part by raising DHEA.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

               There are many tried and true methods of getting to sleep that do not involve adjusting biochemistry. These techniques involve stress and pain avoidance. Obviously your bedroom should be as comfortable as possible. After all, sleeping is required to rejuvenate your entire being. A painful night from an uncomfortable bed is not conducive to sleep. Some people are so calcified by calcium-abuse that their joints and back hurt from laying down, which likely applies to you. As your magnesium/calcium balance improves over the first year of magnesium replenishment and calcium depletion, you will likely notice that pain associated with sleep disappear. In the meantime, good pillows, sheets and a firm, comfortable mattress are necessary. An "egg crate" foam pad (as seen on right) is often the difference between quality sleep and poor or no sleep. They are available at any sleep or bedding store and make poor mattresses work like the best mattress ever made. However, the "best" mattress is not a stuffed mattress at all, but is an air mattress. These two items, "egg crate" foam pads and air mattresses are the ultimate in sleep equipment, and they are very inexpensive. Make bedtime as routine as possible. Do not oversleep in the morning (the melatonin problem). Make sure your room is quiet, dark (too much light = melatonin problem) and has a comfortable temperature that is neither too hot nor too cold. An electric mattress pad is often preferable over an electric blanket, because heat comes up from below. Listen to poetry or soft music. Your bedroom should only be used for sleep and sex. Sex aids sleep. Don't watch television, work, read or talk on the phone. Bathing your insomnia away with an Epsom salts bath often is very helpful. Finally, use any appropriate stress relief technique listed here.

             People sometimes find that when they go off their drugs and onto magnesium that they wake up after about 5 hours (often about 3 to 4AM) and can't get back to sleep. If sugars have been kept low, calories restricted generally, adequate chromium and vanadium ingested, nocturia controlled, melatonin taken, stress relieved, comfortable sleeping arrangements provided, then is all than can be done? Why no sleep? I propose that you are no longer under so much stress that you need your previous amount of sleep. Get up and do something productive or enjoyable, read a book, listen to music or find a second job! Enjoy your time awake, because sleep is too much like death to enjoy sleeping more than necessary. With magnesium repletion, you don't need as much sleep. Or, you can have a nice bowl of ice cream before bedtime and sleep a few more hours than normal. Alternatively, you can take another 400 mg of magnesium and hope you make it to work on time without diarrhea. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, MD, "the need for sleep is akin to the need for food, in that getting less than people want may be better for them." In other words, with magnesium repletion, even though you may not get as much sleep as you want, you will be healthier.

             Dying to get more sleep? The operative word here is "dying". Did you know that improper sleep position can cause death? In the infant, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) remains a leading cause of death during the first year, and is now suspected as being a severe magnesium deficiency while sleeping on the stomach. Similarly, adults with magnesium deficiency who sleep on their stomachs risk death too. Why? An infant or an adult sleeping face-down in the prone position could be jeopardized if he lacked the muscle strength to shift his position or turn his head to rescue himself from a life-threatening situation. Muscle strength can be seriously impaired in the magnesium deficient subject, while magnesium rapidly reverses muscle weakness. Obesity directly increases risk of death while sleeping on stomach. Think about it for a moment. When you lay on your stomach and you try to breath in, you slightly lift your entire upper body using your diaphragm muscle! Is that a good idea for waking up in the morning? NO! Be careful while sleeping on your stomach. On the other hand, sleeping on your back only requires your diaphragm to lift your rib cage. Sleeping on your side requires no lifting of any body part, and is the safest position for sleeping. However, you can ruin your shoulder joint by sleeping on your side while using your arm as a pillow. When the arm is extended above your head while sleeping on your side, tearing and inflammation can occur in the shoulder joint resulting in a condition called "frozen shoulder" or adhesive capsulitis. This is a rare but painful tendon condition that lasts for about a year, with several phases. The pain is best likened to momentary scorpion stings, coupled with a "joint popping" sensation that is both palpable and audible. I can assure you from personal experience, that frozen shoulder will keep you a wake at night. No sleep is possible when scorpions sting you every time you shift positions. This will definitely keep your partner awake too! Treatments are varied, and apparently depot cortisone shots directly into the shoulder produce the most rapid relief. I, on the other hand, will not allow physicians to inject me with cortisone, and I found that a strong solution of Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate), water and DMSO applied topically to my shoulder each several hours seems to work as well as non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, but without the side effects.

      Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Magnesium

              Fibromyalgia, (severe muscle cramps or pain in leg, foot, neck, chest, back, soft tissue) chronic pain appear nearly always symptoms of severe magnesium deficiency coupled with excess extracellular calcium accumulation (but low intracellular calcium) and possibly low potassium. For example, Shealy, et al. showed in 1992 that 80 percent of more than 200 patients with depression and/or chronic pain had magnesium serum levels below normal here. Magnesium malate has a history of use in treating fibromyalgia. Many articles concern low magnesium levels in chronic fatigue syndrome and low magnesium in fibromyalgia. Also, there is much interest in potassium problems in CFS. Although I am quite certain that fibromyalgia is primarily a low magnesium problem, I now believe that CFS is a low magnesium and low potassium problem. This seems to be a novel approach to treating CFS, but it may have much more merit than anyone could have predicted as few as 5 years ago. See the discussion in this page concerning foods and salts that can be used to increase potassium here, and do a search generally in this page for "potassium" to learn about its hazards and benefits. Potassium is the most prevalent metal inside cells at about 70% of the mineral content of cells, and plays vital life- and health-sustaining roles. See this page for a comprehensive discussion of treatments and causes of CFS. As previously mentioned, magnesium regulates many nerve receptors, such as NMDA or 5-HT3. When inadequately regulated due to magnesium deficiency, those receptors cause fibromyalgia pain and increase sleep deprivation, further worsening magnesium deficiency. Fibromyalgia, chronic pain and chronic fatigue syndrome are often not diagnosed by internists, rather they conduct multiple expensive tests to rule out other possibilities. These painful symptoms are always predictive of major health problems in the future including cardiac trouble and depression if not treated with ionizable magnesium at about 200 mg three to four times a day. However, menstrual cramps are symptoms of zinc deficiency, not magnesium deficiency. Read more in this essay about how calcium toxicity and magnesium deficiency cause fibromyalgia here, and a bit about the problem of sleep in fibromyalgia here. Doesn't it seem more reasonable to you, the patient, to try something nutritional before spending a fortune on expensive tests? You don't believe me? How about believing a MIT researcher and his extensive research? If you wait for your doctor to make this diagnosis, I hope you have plenty of money or really good insurance. On the other hand, see what one of the best CFS physicians in the world, Dr. Sarah Myhill in Great Britain does for fatigue here.

             By mid-February of 2008, I am no longer convinced that fibromyalgia and chronic pain can usually be treated successfully with large dietary supplements of magnesium. There are cases that simply do not respond as well as they should, and in those cases, I believe that there is something blocking magnesium, perhaps in the intestinal tract or genetics, that prevents it from working. In that case, I suspect that transdermal magnesium chloride will be preferred to oral magnesium, in a manner akin to what we used a paragraph below to treat my daughter of her antibiotic (ciprofloxacin) induced fibromyalgia and chronic pain symptoms. In these cases of magnesium resistance, sleep was a critical factor and we used enough magnesium chloride, spread over a sufficiently large part of her body that she slept for 14 to 16 hours a day. Please be aware that this dosage is very high, and may be near a toxic level. Yet, what else is a person to do? There is a new drug approved by the FDA to treat fibromyalgia called Lyrica, also known as pregabalin. It is a derivative of an inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and its main effect in the nervous system is to act as a calcium channel blocker, just like magnesium. However, my family will not use pharmaceutical drugs when a nutrient might work. For a background on transdermal (topical) magnesium chloride, read more about it and read Dr. Mark Sircus's book Transdermal Magnesium Chloride.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

             Concerning chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, I suspect that antibiotic drugs like ciprofloxacin and similar fluoroquinolone drugs may be an important and possibly a frequent cause of the recent, great increase in these symptoms in the Western world. Many people diagnosed with chronic pain in the last 30 to 40 years (since these drugs first became broadly used) may be suffering ciprofloxacin and ciprofloxacin-like drug side effects. Unfortunately, these side effects on the body and brain are sometimes permanent; and, as I understand the subject, the illness is nearly as likely to worsen over time as it is to fully resolve. Some of the severe symptoms, especially tendon and ligament problems (including ruptures) may develop weeks to several months after the drug has been discontinued, making proper diagnosis problematic. This iatrogenic illness is far beyond the scope of this report, and the reader may want to review this PDF report, or search the web for "ciprofloxacin" and "side effects". Personally, I do not believe there is any other drug that can so adversely affect our health without outright killing us; maybe there is but I don't know what it would be. The fluoroquinolone drugs can cause severe mental issues, ranging from irritability and rage to depression and even suicidal depression, apparently by binding with neuronal magnesium.

             Ciprofloxacin has been described by others as one of the most toxic (side effect prone) of all drugs, and its very frequent prescription for a variety of bacterial illnesses appears to me to reflect the growing contempt of physicians and pharmaceutical drug pushers for maintaining human wellness. The high sounding "First do no harm!" motto of physicians appears dead, buried and forgotten, and all powers rest in the pharmaceutical drug pushers and their lackey, the U.S. FDA. Some of the symptoms of fluoroquinolone side effects include: tendon and muscle pain, tendon failure (ruptures), severe insomnia, burning pain, chronic pain for years, digestion disorders, anxiety, heart problems, vision disorders, ringing in the ears, rashes, hyperglycemia, mental disorders including depersonalization, rage, severe depression, suicidal depression, seizures, severe and debilitating pain, liver failure, stroke, death, and various other adverse reactions. This class of drugs (fluoridated quinolones) according to the Quinolone Antibiotics Adverse Reaction Forum page include ofloxacin (Floxin®), levofloxacin (Levaquin®, Tavanic®), ciprofloxacinfloxacin (cipro®, Baycip®, Cetraxal®, Ciflox®, Cifran®, Ciplox®, Cyprobay®, Quintor®), norfloxacin (Noroxin®, Amicrobin®, Anquin®, Baccidal®, Barazan®, Biofloxin®, Floxenor®, Fulgram®, Janacin®, Lexinor®, Norofin®, Norxacin®, Orixacin®, Oroflox®, Urinox®, Zoroxin®),penoxacin(Penetrex®), lomefloxacin(Maxaquin®), grepafloxacin(Raxar®), trovafloxacin(Trovan®), sparfloxacin(Zagam®), temafloxacin(Omniflox®), moxifloxacin(Avelox®), gatifloxacin(Tequin®), and gemifloxacin. Here is another adverse reaction page for Levaquin.

             You can't successfully sue the idiot doctors or pharmaceutical companies due to tort "reform", but something has to happen to change the way medicine is practiced. Without access to civil remedies, there is no legal way of extracting justice. The key word here is the word "legal". A Fall 2008 episode of the Boston Legal TV program brought out this point when one of the company's employees tried to burn down her doctor's office since he gave her a drug that caused her to have a heart attack. The jury realized the inequities apparent in the American pharmaceutical/medical complex and acquited her due to "temporary insanity". Civil laws were created to prevent the use of violence in seeking justice (or revenge), but our lawmakers seem to have forgotten that point. What we get for being a non-violent (more or less) society appears to be abuse from the Congress, the old Republican Administration and major businesses and even the Supreme Court. How long will we put up with that? Democrats, please come to our rescue! Restore power to the people! Maybe there should be a law requiring physicians to take their own medicine first before prescribing it to us peasants. NOTE: Recently Boston Legal's Alan Shore had a jury acquit a woman of killing her husband's brutal murderer, a man that had been acquitted of murdering him. Is Boston Legal trying to teach than "vengeance killing" is OK? I could find no evidence that any religion or government supported that notion.

             Interestingly, magnesium has been the only substance said to be helpful in recovering from these side effects, and magnesium deficiency greatly worsens these side effects, and may render them permanent. I know another lady that has severely suffered for 6 years from ciprofloxacin toxicity. Helping them recover from these side effects will be my area of concern and research for a while. For more of my comments about the dangers of ciprofloxacin and ciprofloxacin like drugs, and a much larger list of their side effects (including the FDA's strong warnings), see this page.

             In the summer of 2007, my 31 year old daughter instantly become an invalid with a major rage problem, simply because some idiot doctor gave her ciprofloxacin to treat a case of food poisoning, which rarely should be treated with any antibiotics (it is usually viral). Two weeks latter: Well, I am a bit surprised and extremely pleased that my wife not only gave her magnesium glycinate (500 mg per day) but she also rubbed 33% magnesium chloride solutions all over my daughter's skin from the beginning of her episode each day for ten days, and surprisingly, she snapped out of her rage and pains for a while. Needless to say, she slept 14 to 16 hours a day due to the sedating effects of that much magnesium. Why topical magnesium chloride? Because ciprofloxacin and the other fluoroquinolone drugs concentrate in the skin, much more so than in the serum; therefore, topical magnesium was a direct application to a large reserve of ciprofloxacin in her body. Second, and more importantly, magnesium deactivates fluoroquinolone drugs according to the ciprofloxacin label. The ciprofloxacin label warns not to take magnesium, aluminum, zinc or iron with it to preserve its antibacterial efficacy. Third, ciprofloxacin neurological side effects appear primarily due to the fact that ciprofloxacin depletes magnesium in the body. By rapidly restoring her magnesium, she is no longer an invalid and is ambulatory (but limps a bit from heel pain). We did get her a temporary "disabled driver" car tag so she would not have to walk so far to her classes. She also experiences random pains in various parts of her body usually related to a joint, which she effectively treats with topical magnesium chloride on the skin directly over the pain. It will be a year before she is totally out of the woods. (People with kidney disease must not do this, because that much magnesium is very hard on kidneys.) Thank God for magnesium chloride! If you want to learn more about topical, transdermal, magnesium chloride, then read Dr. Mark Sircus's book Transdermal Magnesium Therapy.

             Five months latter: We had hoped that her initial success would remain and continue, and it did for 5 months. Clearly, topical magnesium saved her life and sanity. However, her ability to handle stress seems much, much lower now. She has regressed, and she either can not engage in many of life's normal activities or she has severe difficulty. We put her back on 33% topical magnesium chloride over her legs at bedtime and will see how that works - again. Now in early February of 2008, she continues to have tendon pain with swelling, severe debilitating joint pain, severe mood swings, severe irritability, an episode of suicidal depression, mental fogginess, impaired vision, aggravated food allergies, impaired gastrointestinal system with lots of stomach upset issues. It was the suicidal depression that really got my attention, and caused me to fully realize how sick she really was. She was distressed about some school-related issue as far as I can determine, and was intent on driving her car head-on into a tree. She says that the only reason she didn't do that was that there would be no one to take care of her little dog, Angie. This bout with suicidal depression left as suddenly as it came. She said the death wish was extremely strong, but that her intellect and desire to take care of Angie were sufficient to keep her alive. She is able to discuss the episode with intellect and not emotion. Unfortunately, the delayed effects of ciprofloxacin toxicity are starting to show up and it seems like her list of complaints increases daily. Either that or she is no longer able to handle stress, even mild stress. Some of the side effects of ciprofloxacin toxicity don't show up for 1 to 1-1/2 years after ingestion, and it will be a major wait-and-see time. She has really poor ability to handle social stress, and she dropped out of half of her college classes. Now, she is resting at home every other day and is trying to lower her stress level, hopefully to help restore her magnesium balance. Apparently, her ability to manage and utilize magnesium is seriously impaired and I will need to figure out what is necessary to get her well again and stay well. Consider her situation this way, she can get well but can not stay well. The cycling good and bad days are better than at first when every day was really bad, but why can't she have all good (or just normal) days? I suspect that many of the considerations given to my depression situation will apply to her too. I think Cipro toxicity is a genetic thing, since most people do not have a noticeable problem with ciprofloxacin, even though the opponents of thes drugs say that everyone is injured from use of fluroquinolone drugs, but most people don't realize it. For example, maybe the severe shoulder/tendon pains, severe shoulder weakness and eye problems (floaters and white lights) that I have experienced over the last few years are actually ciprofloxacin toxicity issues rather than old age. I was given an antibiotic for a severe (possibly life threatening) perirectal abscess a few years ago but I don't know what I was given. It could have been one of the fluoroquinolones. I need to figure out who that specialist was and get my records from him. Such might shed a bit more light on my daughter's situation. You can bet that both daughter, son and me will never allow any physician to give us a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, and my wife won't either. I should mention that MSM (1000 mg 4 times a day) seems to be helping my shoulder more than anything else.

             Interestingly, Public Citizen has recently sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for not putting a black box warning on fluoroquinolone (Cipro) antibiotics, saying that the risk of tendon ruptures and other severe, permanent side effects is much too high and that the public has not benefited from the presentation of the very long laundry-list of routine-looking side effects printed on the ciprofloxacin package insert.

             I wonder what antibiotics I can take since the penicillin drugs (amoxicillin) cause me to gasp for breath (a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction). As you can well imagine, I am not pleased with the poor quality (side effects) of American medicine. Angie is Karen's best medicine, and being a hermit is mine. From now on, I will just let bacterial infections run their course without any antibiotics, with the exception of the use of gallium nitrate, a potent broad spectrum natural bacteriocide. It substitutes gallium for iron in bacteria, preventing their replication. That is a lot better idea that substituting fluorine for hydrogen, as occurs with the fluoroquinolones. Ironically, the only product that I sell to the public is gallium nitrate. I bet that I could have fixed my daughter's problem with gallium nitrate without any side effects, but she didn't ask me. Many people use gallium nitrate to treat navicular disease in horses, and some people are using it "off label" to treat human and animal arthritis. It has tons and tons and tons of other uses, as shown in a section of my article on navicular disease and gallium nitrate.

             Now, in the middle of February, 2008, after nearly 2 weeks of topical magnesium chloride leg treatment, she woke up without any pain at all and appears totally normal. Even the irritability is gone!! Clearly her ciprofloxacin attacks appear to be episodic rather than permanent, if she can get her magnesium balance restored. Thank God for topical magnesium chloride.

             We are now trying topical magnesium chloride on our friend Veronique. If it works for her, we will begin to believe we are onto something important. In Veronique's case, only one night of topical 33% magnesium chloride treatment applied to her hands, arms, legs, feet and chest terminated her chronic "tingling hands" and allowed her a normal night's sleep, two things that had been severely problematic with her for many years. More coming ...

             Here is a PowerPoint presentation about this matter.

             VICTORY over ciprofloxacin! Sort of. On July 8 2008, the U.S. FDA ordered a black box warning (the most severe warning available) on all fluoroquinolone antibiotics including cipro. Here is the FDA Press Release. Bastards all.

             In October of 2008, she tried a teaspoon of fish oil four times a day and after treatment for a few weeks, that seemed to clear up much of her remaining pains and discomforts. Nature to the rescue. She felt good enough to ride in a horse trial at Pine Hill near Bellville, Texas. It was the first time she had competed in about 5 years. However, it took her a week to recover from the activities with chronic pain reoccurring. That is the evil nature of this disease, it comes back with a vengeance - when you least expect it. She now considers herself a permanent invalid (lame) and pursues her legal rights as a disabled person under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

             Until the flouroquinolones and quinolones are removed from commerce, people will continue to experience disabilities - at least until all of the genetically-prone people are disabled. The in-effect consequences of this madness is that businesses have been granted the authority to kill us or change our DNA to conform with the needs of their company's profits and products, and we have no "legal" recourse to prevent it. Equality under the law in the United States of America? Ha! Ha! You got to be nuts if you believe that! I love Boston Legal because they tell it the way it is. I love the idea that juries would acquit people of striking out at medical injustice with impunity (temporary insanity). Do you remember the episode when the secretary tried to burn down her doctor's office becasue he gave her a drug that caused her to have a heart attack as a side effect? The jury acquited her because of her "temporary insanity". Remember that murder is not necessarily a bad thing. We condone murder every time we eat meat or eggs. For murder of a human by poisoning to be legal, it must be indirect through FDA-approved drug side effects. Thus our doctors have a license to kill us and they are a main cause of death in the USA. This needs to be changed. In the mean time, try not to piss-off your doctor! don't believe me? See this discussion about the number 3 cause of death in the United States - medical doctors.

      Flouroquinolones are the cause of about 55% of the cases of C. diff, a horrific hospital infection responsible for about the same number of deaths as automobile accidents in the USA. See this horrific report in USA Today. Do you understand that if you get sick in the USA, your doctor and hospital have a good chance of killing you? Did you know that inserting feces from a well person into the anus of a dying person with C. diff will cure them? Its called "Fecal Microbiota Transplantation". No way!? See this report. It works vastly better than antibiotics.

             What else works for chronic pain?

      • A 30-minute, long hot bath two to four times a day magically stops the pain and stiffness and allows normal function for a while. We had to add a second water heater to supply the required hot water. We just added the second water heater in series with the original 30 gallons. Adding a 38 gallon tank resulted in a 68 gallon system. Any electrician can do it. Lots of people swear by "hot baths" for chronic pain according to this search. Our neighbor has a hot tube and they use it for all sorts of body pains, discomforts and agrivations.
      • She likes Emu oil applied topically to the tendons and feet when they are on fire from the ciprofloxacin. Emu oil has omega-3, omega-6, omega-9 oils, and other oils in it. Doctors still do not understand that the side effects of ciprofloxacin last for years after the ciprofloxacin (or any other flouroquinolone drug) is completely out of the persons' body. They don't realize that the body is permanently changed by these drugs, perhaps at the genetic level. Maybe the high death rate atributed to doctors a few paragraphs above is suicide to escape chronic pain. The incidence of suicide in people with chronic pain is much higher than in people without chronic pain.
      • Resting. Rest helps and stress hurts. Work hurts. Resting helps. A person with ciprofloxacin-induced chronic pain, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue appears to the rest of the world to be a major goof-off. However, nothing could be further from the truth. They are working their butts off just to put one foot in front of the other just to walk to the bathroom. Even smiling and keyboarding hurts.
      • Afrin or Sinex nasal degongestants applied directly to the painful skin. Who knows how that works, but it seems to work well. My reasoning for trying it was that it has a vasoconstrition effect roughly the opposite of magnesium. Duh! Why would that work? Beats me. Its just the inventor in me saying try everything! I do not recommend it since it is probably being used in substantial overdose and since it is a drug it may not be safe used in this manner. It may have side effects, and one woman said that its main side effect was the temporary increase in her breast cup size by two sizes!

             Considering the Republican anti-people laws of the United States, maybe it is time to vote out the idiot Republicans in the Congress. I say a good Republican Party is a dead Republican Party. Hopefully they will disappear the same way as did the Whig party. Maybe president Obama will work to restore rights (to a safe visitation to a doctor) to the people. We will see. Click here to hear Frank Sinatra sing "High Hopes". Interestingly, the new democratic leadership does show some interest in stopping the legal drug pushers from continuing marketing drugs with toxic side effects. See this November 6, 2008 Wall Street Journal article entitled, "New FDA Leaders Could Be Tougher on Drug Makers".

      Red Eyes, Dry Mouth, Dry Eyes

             Scleritis (sometimes painful, but always severe redness in the white part of eye) is a disease usually of unknown origin, but has been documented in arthritis, and several infectious diseases. Scleritis can be recurring, and in my case, the red eye syndrome lasted for about a week and reoccurred each 4 to 6 weeks. No drug was effective in treating this eye condition, but it did respond slightly to magnesium sulfate eye drops. On the other hand, taurine is known to be vital for eye function and much information is available on this matter, particularly in macular degeneration. However, no one has documented the effect of dietary or topical taurine on scleritis. Severe scleritis is an important eye disease because it has been found to occur in people in the last 5 years of their life. Since I first developed scleritis in my left eye in 1999, by the fall of 2003, I was wondering how that would work out! Upon adding taurine to magnesium glycinate last summer, my only incident of scleritis was much milder. I reasoned that the only real change that I had made was to greatly increase my taurine intake. Being somewhat a curious George, I made a saturated solution of taurine and dropped a few drops into my eye at bedtime. The next morning the redness was totally absent. Following up on topical taurine by using dietary supplements of taurine and the eye-drops on occasion, my scleritis did not return for several weeks, but it did return as episcleritis, which is a milder form of scleritis). Recently, I stopped dietary taurine, and the scleritis returned the following morning. To reduce the severity of scleritis, one can try 6 grams of pure taurine with each meal and at bedtime for a few weeks.

             I have found some evidence that intestinal yeast overgrowth will cause the kidneys to be unable to recycle taurine, with taurine being lost into the urine. Yeast overgrowth of the intestines is also blamed for many of the arthritic-like complaints often found with scleritis, and is the likely cause of scleritis. Consequently, any effective treatment for Candida yeast should also prevent scleritis. The best treatment for Candida is the combination of biotin and Mercola's Complete Probiotics. I have also found that coconut oil and garlic are helpful, particularly when used with taurine. Taurine in these doses should not be considered nutritional in nature, but medicinal, and I don't recommend it. The human body only contains 70 grams of taurine, and supplements of 24 grams per day seem much too high and I took that dosage for only several weeks. Actually, I think that anything that treats inflammatory or irritable bowel disorders would be beneficial in treating or preventing scleritis. However, Kefir is the absolute cat's meow for preventing and curing scleritis. Since I started Kefir (I backed off garlic and coconut oil completely), I have had zero incidence of scleritis (for many months now), thus showing, IMHO, that taurine preservation by elimination of Candida Albicans using Kefir is vital to the cure for scleritis.

             Dry mouth and dry eyes are some of the most irritating side effects of many prescription anti-depressant drugs (and some other drugs). Dry mouth and dry eyes are usually symptoms of magnesium (and possibly potassium and taurine) deficiency. Dry mouth and dry eyes are very easily treated with oral ionizable magnesium - the nutrient your body is likely starving for. Use of synthetic tears and other simplistic wetting techniques including chewing gum are not solving the nutritional deficits that cause the problem. Magnesium and high potassium content foods such as bananas, potatoes and other whole foods are greatly preferable to drugs. I have found that my health improved greatly simply by using balanced potassium/sodium salts [Morton's Lite Salt - which contains iodide (iodine)] rather than by using plain table salt (sodium chloride). Use of plain table salt can easily lead to imbalances between potassium and sodium. Dry mouth can also cause dental caries. Although calcium is necessary as a component of teeth, it does not play the major role in preventing dental caries, as is popularly supposed, but magnesium does. Magnesium is mandatory for strong teeth and bones, and without it or with inadequate amounts, caries form. In fact, dental caries and tartar formation can be completely prevented for years with a high magnesium diet. Dry mouth and dry eyes, particularly when coupled with insomnia often precede other better-known magnesium deficiency symptoms. If promptly treated with magnesium more serious magnesium deficiency disorders such as anxiety and depression can be prevented.        Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Stress Relief Techniques

             Perhaps the obvious needs to be stated. Stress hurts us if we don't know how to get relief. We have let stress hurt us and build up in us by not taking affirmative action at the right time. Stress has built up in us until we became seriously ill and magnesium depleted. There are many stress coping skills that we have not yet mastered, or we would not be ill. Environmental, physical, metabolic and psychological stressors are around us every day. We can try to limit these stressors and/or we can learn to deal with them. Metabolic stress can be directly dealt with using magnesium, and limiting our intake of calcium. Physical and environmental traumas happen. We can plan to deal with some of these by taking extra magnesium before hand, or immediately afterward. Psychological stressors can be dealt with magnesium too. However, forgiveness is key to overcoming the "fight or flight" stress reaction to aggravation, anger and anxiety caused by other people. A certain amount of pain is inevitable in life, but suffering is optional. Do not let anger get you down! Personally, I really like magnesium glycinate as an "aspirin for the emotions". Include in your stress relief tool kit:

      • Say this little prayer: "Oh Lord, grant me the courage to change the things I can change, the serenity to accept the things I can't change, and the wisdom to know the difference."
      • Consider others: If you think you have problems, then you need to see this picture of me having a really bad day!
      • Consider your problems in relationship to the problems of others. How do others handle their problems? Don't be so hard on yourself when you screw up.
      • Walk: Walking is the number one choice for stress relief. Take a walk in the park or on the beach, or walk to work. Nature can be very relaxing and is so easy on the eyes. Feel the breeze lift your hair and gently stroke your face. Some researchers have reported that walking increases temporarily magnesium in blood serum.
      • Recreate: Go to a gym, or do a sport such as tennis, hiking, golf or running.
      • Ride a horse, therapeutically, not like my daughter jumping a horse off a cliff unless you are an expert.
      • Learn the joy of simple pleasures, like my horses did when they discovered snow. Watch this short movie of my horses' first joyous experience in snow!
      • Swim: Swimming with its obligatory regular slow breathing is excellent for relaxation.
      • Breathing exercises: Breath in slowly and deeply through your nose, then slowly breath out through your mouth. Imagine all of the tension flow out of you as you exhale. Try this while you are walking or swimming for a double whammy on stress.
      • Massage and aromatherapy: Let someone take care of you. It feels so gooood.
      • Learn why zebras don't get ulcers. Read Dr. Robert M. Sapolsky's classic book on stress and its management Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers as soon as possible. It is an important book for all of us to read and understand, but he doesn't know beans about magnesium.
      • Smoking: Cigarette usage is stupid; but smoking promotes slow, conscious inhaling and slow, conscious exhaling, which is probably the reason smokers believe that cigarettes are relaxing.
      • Disciplines: Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi, Dancing, Bioenergetics Classes all have utility in stress reduction.
      • Credit management: Destroy all of your credit cards. Do not live on credit. Pay them off or declare bankruptcy and get an honest, legal clean start.
      • Have fun: Fun is not a dirty word. Play! Do something you used to do as a child or long ago before you had all of the commitments. Find your old electric train set and play with it. Or, go to a carnival, circus, water recreation park, and while you are there eat some cotton candy.
      • Get busy: Do something you like, such as shopping or go to a movie or dancing.
      • Treat yourself: Buy a new outfit, a haircut, an all day spa. If you are a handy guy, buy some new power tools and make something for someone.
      • Talk it out: Clergy, counselors and psychologists listen well. Knowing someone else understands and hears you without judging you is valuable.
      • Sleep more: Four hundred mg of magnesium (as magnesium glycinate) taken an hour before bedtime will give you the best sleep you have ever had. Lack of sleep leads to stress, creating a vicious cycle. More sleep can leave you stress free.
      • Eat right: Eat a well-balanced meal, with plenty of fresh cold-water fish, nuts, fruits and vegetable. When you shop for food, do not buy anything that is not a fresh, whole food. Avoid the SAD Western diet. Avoid the processed food isles. Forget the Twinkies, white bread, cookies, canned food, and literally all processed foods. You would be surprised at how much weight can be lost simply by not eating processed foods, which are depleted of magnesium and other shelf-life damaging minerals. Your appetite will become lessened and your stomach flatter when on a high magnesium diet. Loosing weight with a high magnesium diet is usually easy and natural. Avoid foods high in calcium for a while.
      • Avoid brain poisons:  Avoid foods and drinks that contain Aspartame or monosodium glutamate (ask about foods at restaurants, and read labels). They are excitotoxins and can cause or worsen depression. To satisfy a sweet tooth, and avoid aggravating depression, always use Stevia, the ultra safe, herbal, top secret, super-sweetener that the FDA doesn't want you to know about.
      • Stretch: You can feel the stress leave your body.
      • Take time for yourself: Don't keep giving and giving. Take time for yourself. Get away. Take a trip. Take a vacation.
      • Simplify, simplify, simplify! Simplifying and prioritizing is essential to stress relief, particularly for those of us that tend to be a bit on the bi-polar or ADHA side. Lest we run around in circles looking like crazy people!
      • Get closer to God: Biblical faith in our Father is an enormous stress reliever; cast your cares on Him that can handle them. Read Psalm 66 and 96.
      • Read and understand the truth and wonderment of reality:  Read the Book of Tao.
      • Above all, be a lover of truth: Be like the Sufi.
      • Focus, visual relaxation: Close your eyes and imagine you are somewhere nice that you choose such as on a deserted island walking along the shore or skiing on a snow covered slope with the cold brisk wind in your face or whatever you like to do.
      • Positive attitude:  Look at things in a more positive and forgiving light. Always think of something positive when you would prefer to dwell on the negative.
      • TV as poison:  Flip the channel on bad news on TV and other media. Don't watch it. It has nothing to do with your life. Watch the PAX TV, The Discovery channels, including the Learning, Travel, Animal Planet, Health and History channels, Horse TV, religious or science channels. Avoid the hard metal rock music channels with their songs of twisted minds.
      • Imagination:  Don't let your imagination run away with you. Never dwell on negative things that could happen, such as disasters or tragedies. Imagining the worst often causes it to occur. Ask and ye shall receive!
      • Smile and laugh more: Think up a joke and tell it to a friend or spouse. Laughter is the Best Medicine. Laugh at other peoples' jokes, but not disingenuously. Laughter is a medical necessity. Perhaps because laughter is beneficial to your immune system too. Here is a joke that I recently dreamed in my sleep. There was a Viet Nam vet that had been totally insane for 30 years since being held in a 4-foot bamboo tiger cage by the Viet Cong. One day a young V.A. doctor gave him some new medicine. The vet immediately jumped up saying he was totally well! All of the insanity was gone! He was absolutely thrilled. When he asked what was in the medicine, the doctor said, "Extract of bamboo". Moral? Magnesium allows one to remember dreams.
      • Enjoy some black humor. Remember Gloria Gaynor's song "I will survive"? It was a 1979 disco classic. It is now available on the web as a spoof called "Alien Song", which is a little mpeg that has a surprise ending. An ending that is predictive of all future endings, but not an ending for today.
      • Get organized. Try organizing your closet, office or garage.
      • Lighten up your clothing color scheme: Whites and yellows and light blues with neat patterns are proven to be happy colors, as opposed to reds, blacks, brown, gray and dark blues.
      • Don't let people get to you: Most people have problems and they sometimes try taking it out on others. It's not your problem, so why accept it as yours? It's garbage and useless baggage. Dump it where it belongs.
      • Sex: Sex is a positive stressor, which relieves negative stress.
      • Read: Get caught in a love story or in a "who done it" story, escape for a little while.
      • Plan for your period: Zinc prevents menstrual cramps and bloating. Magnesium is important in treating PMS.
      • Find your passion in life: Get a hobby like painting, gardening, writing, cooking, etc.
      • Work smarter not harder: Leave stressful professions and their baggage behind, get a real life.
      • Illegal street drugs. Bliss for a moment, pain and crime for life. Only the most stupid, foolish and dying do street drugs. There is only one time in life when cocaine is appropriate.
      • Cults: Run for your life. They only immerse you with their own problems and agendas, which make your problems seem insignificant.
      • Psychiatrists: Bash your psychiatrist with magnesium information. Why? Most have become "drug pushers" in disguise. They are not to blame for not knowing about magnesium and its curative powers because no drug company promotes magnesium because it is not patentable. Magnesium adoption into psychiatry would devastate the lucrative anti-depressant drug trade. After ruling out diseases and hormonal disorders that can cause depression, trying magnesium glycinate and taurine, stress relief and seeing a nutritionist and a psychologist before seeing a psychiatrist seems reasonable to me. Psychiatrists would be much more valuable if they learned about magnesium and its related brain biochemistry, than prescribing SSRIs which act mainly as placebos. The first thing my psychiatrist did when I told him about magnesium curing me, was call a poison control center hot-line! He had no idea! And your shrink won't have a clue either. Rather than congratulating you on your progress on magnesium, he/she will likely ridicule you and possibly intimidate you to get you hooked on drugs. In my opinion, prescribing powerful psychoactive drugs having major side effects for depression, bi-polar, and ADHD and related disorders without prescribing magnesium to treat magnesium depletion masquerading as these mental illness will someday be recognized and considered malpractice. Perhaps other mental conditions are also nutrient deficiencies. Perhaps consideration should be given to whether psychiatry is even a legitimate medical field. Don Weitz has listed 25 good reasons why psychiatry must be abolished.
      • Try practicing Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. This is a psychological acupressure technique. You will not achieve your body's ideal healing and preventative powers if emotional barriers stand in your way.
      • Visit "stress relief strategy" web sites: Simply learning about stress relief strategies that others have learned the hard way is helpful.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Understress, Optimal Stress, and Overstress

              To this point I seem to have implied that "stress" is bad and harmful to health. Please forgive me because that is incorrect. It is only "overstress" that is very harmful to health and can cause magnesium depletion leading to anxiety, heart attacks, depression and death (self inflicted or heart attack). People require a certain level of stress in their lives for happiness. Just as a violin's strings must have the correct tension to sound perfect, people must have the correct tension (stress) too. Although "understress" rarely leads to illness from magnesium depletion, it too can be a life-threatening problem. Understressed people tend to be working and living well below their potential or desired life style thus resulting in boredom, apathy, and other characteristics, some of which are shown below. Optimal stress is the amount of stress that leads to a full life, filled with challenge, excitement, satisfaction and pleasure. As discussed throughout this page, it is "overstress" that causes magnesium depletion health problems.

      Optimal Stress
      Boredom Exhilaration Insomnia
      Overqualified for work High motivation Irritability
      Apathy Mental alertness Accidents
      Erratic, interrupted sleep High energy Alcoholism
      Irritability Realistic analysis of problems Absenteeism
      Decrease in motivation Improved memory and recall Change in appetite
      Accidents Sharp perception Apathy
      Alcoholism Calmness under pressure Strained relationships
      Absenteeism Good relationships Poor judgment
      Change in appetite Accuracy Increased errors
      Lethargy Happiness Lack of clarity
      Negativity Can do attitude Indecisiveness
      Loneliness, unwanted Appreciates solitude Withdrawal
      Dullness Cooperative Feeling of falling
      Increased errors Dedication Loss of perspective
      Seeks distractions In harmony Diminished memory and recall
      Low muscle tone Ready to react muscles Tense, strained muscles
      Anxiety, depression, suicide Content, happy fulfilled lives Anxiety, depression, suicide

              As we examine the above table from the 1981 book "Stress/Unstress" by Keith W. Sehnert, MD, we can see that people can have stress characteristics that are listed in both the overstressed and understressed columns. Alcoholism, appetite problems, irritability, sleep problems, anxiety, depression and suicide occur in people not optimally stressed. Does alcoholism in the understressed and overstressed result in loss of magnesium? Yes; in 60 to 80%% of alcoholics, and it is usually accompanied by liver or kidney damage. Current belief is ethanol acts generally in the brain by reducing free magnesium levels, and directly at hydrophobic sites on brain proteins to cause acute intoxication by potentiation of inhibitory GABAA receptors, inhibition of excitatory NMDA-type glutamate receptors, 5-HT3 and adenosine receptors, and 5-HT uptake sites, according to University of Texas Tech pharmacologist, Peter J. Syapin. How does intelligence, loneliness, education, sexuality, and physical, mental and spiritual health relate to our ability to handle stress? These parameters definitely influence our ability or inability to handle stress. Perhaps educating a person would shift his paradigms in beneficial ways, by allowing him/her to be employed in more interesting work, and/or associate with a more enthusiastic, happy, loving or spiritual group of people. On the other hand, over-education for a job would usually result in an understressed situation and the person could become bored. Alternately, excessive education and reduction to logic can leave a person wondering who he/she is. Such concept of self alienation through education was memorialized by the British rock band Supertramp in their amazing "The Logical Song" 0.54MB.wav 5.9MB.wma in the late 1970s. Follow the words here.

              Boredom, a major characteristic of understress, causes people to seek distractions from their boring lives. Some "distractions" include but are not limited to drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, sex, violence, and sports, all being major industries. Severe, prolonged boredom can eventually cause anxiety, depression and suicide, but probably not from magnesium depletion. If boredom is a problem, then visiting some of the 400,000 web pages on "boredom" is for you. Most are boring, but the Boredom Institute is quite interesting and potentially helpful; and quotes William J. Bennett, in the "Death of Outrage" as saying:

      "In living memory, the chief threats to American democracy have come from without; first, Nazism and Japanese imperialism, and, later, Soviet communism. But these wars, hot and cold, ended in spectacular American victories. The threats we now face are from within. They are far different, more difficult to detect, more insidious: decadence, cynicism, and boredom."

              We all know people that seem totally immune to the effects of what we would call an overly stressful situation. For example, Barack Obama makes being the President of the United States look like an easy job, whether you agree with his politics or not. Of which other Presidents can that be said? Other people are overstressed simply by being asked to work an hour longer a day for a while, or awaken an hour earlier than usual. They resent it and are openly unhappy about the "overwhelming" load they are forced to carry. Consequently, we can see that different people have different "scopes", or carrying capacities for stress. Some people are vastly flexible and can carry many varied responsibilities without suffering from stress overload. Others can not. It is human nature and nurture. Adding to the complexity, the carrying capacity for stress varies at different stages of life. Generally, neither the child can carry the stress burden of a mature adult, nor can the very elderly, but even here there are exceptions. We can all think of child prodigies such as Charlotte Church (perhaps the greatest singer alive and only 13 years old), and retiring 81 year old Senator Jesse Helms. What can we do to increase our scope? Beyond education, a disciplined mind and heart, and healthy eating and living, I am not certain that I know.

             Is magnesium supplementation the general answer to increasing our scope? Yes, because people deficient in magnesium have difficulty learning, and retaining knowledge. Optimally stressed and understressed people will also benefit from magnesium supplementation if they are deficient; and there is evidence that magnesium deficiency is rampant in our society, causing hundreds of specific health problems listed. Magnesium depletion will occur regardless of stress if the diet is low or absent in magnesium and/or there is an excess of calcium. Overall, men in Western cultures are believed to have a shortfall of about 100-mg magnesium from their diet per day and slightly larger shortfall for women. With so much to gain and nothing to lose, it seems like the NIH and other health agencies would become much more interested in promoting magnesium - for health.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Driving and Depression

             Driving while depressed? Don't do it! In early summer of 2008 I went on vacation with my family to Washington State. I was amazed to find that Washington residents were driving 5 to 10 miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit on Interstate 5 north of Seattle. I was really puzzled since in Texas a 70 mile per hour speed limit means 80 to 90 mph. This was so apparent that I was afraid to open it up and GO! Why were they driving so slow? Was it the several hundred dollar fine for speeding? No, I don't think so since that is similar to Texas fines. Was it the absolutely breath-taking mountains and pine forests? No, we were on a flat and level stretch similar to Texas. Was it the unmarked police cars? No, we have them in Texas too. What was it? I asked that question of a waitress at the beautiful Salish Lodge where we spent a few days, since I was still stunned by what I had seen a full day later. The waitress turned out to be a University of Washington student, and rather than give me a flippant conversational answer, she said she would think about it. A few minutes later she came back and gave me an answer that I would never have expected, but now can see is likely to be absolutely accurate. She said that Washington state had horrible, cloudy, misty, damp, dreary weather most of the year (the days were perfectly beautiful sun shiny while we were there) and that there was little vitamin D from sunlight and the incidence of depression was extremely high, and that depressed drivers drove much slower than non-depressed drivers. Whoa! Blow me away! There was fascinating intellect there and I really wanted to talk with her more. Just as suddenly as she appeared, she disappeared and I didn't get a chance to talk with her more. I thought about what she said the remainder of my vacation. (What a bummer!)

             I considered what I knew about my own driving habits and can assure you that the depressed driver wants to drive slow. I thought about why that is so, and realized that inadequate magnesium is affecting our brains more-so than just by causing depression. There are complex optical requirements for magnesium and low magnesium alters the way our eyes transmit data to our brains and alters the way we perceive visual stimulation. First, the visual data is not processed as fast in the depressed person compared to the normal person, and second our brains may not process visual information as fast as before. We are simply overwhelmed by all the data coming in at high speeds and feel very uncomfortable about trying to comprehend what we are seeing. Thus we drive at a speed we feel comfortable. It is not that our IQ is necessarily lowered by depression (although it may be), we just can't comprehend stuff as fast as before. This was a severe blow to me since I had been an amateur and professional race car driver in the '70s. I drove SCCA, Tex-Mex and IMSA series. As an Internet example, I drove in the 1971 Texas World Speedway night IMSA race in the rain at 34 - 36 degrees F. and finished well (see me as I appeared in the '70s Texas racing scene here) in what many racers still believe to have been the hardest race ever held in the U.S. Every lap was different due to crashed or spun out cars littering the track. See how I placed at the Texas 200 here.

             A simple test of visual comprehension can be performed watching TV. If we adjust our TV so that the words are silenced and the closed-caption words appear, we may not be able to stay up with the words, even though we have absolutely no problem listening to those exact same words. That simple test will tell a lot about our ability to drive at normal or faster than normal speeds. The depressed person's optical nerves are damaged too, even though vision may seem normal. Does "slow viewing" ever go away? Hard to say, since over the years we also get older and it is difficult to separate magnesium deficiency-induced visusal damage from aging. In fact, visual damage and visual aging may be one and the same. Low magnesium attrits the telomeres in our DNA causing aging and eventually cancer and early death. This is the most important reason we have to keep our magnesium levels high, since it slows aging. This was discovered recently by none other than world-famous geneticist Bruce N. Ames of Berkley. Here is what his Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences abstract says:

      Magnesium inadequacy affects more than half of the U.S. population and is associated with increased risk for many age-related diseases, yet the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Altered cellular physiology has been demonstrated after acute exposure to severe magnesium deficiency, but few reports have addressed the consequences of long-term exposure to moderate magnesium deficiency in human cells. Therefore, IMR-90 human fibroblasts were continuously cultured in magnesium-deficient conditions to determine the long-term effects on the cells. These fibroblasts did not demonstrate differences in cellular viability or plating efficiency but did exhibit a decreased replicative lifespan in populations cultured in magnesium-deficient compared with standard media conditions, both at ambient (20% O2) and physiological (5% O2) oxygen tension. The growth rates for immortalized IMR-90 fibroblasts were not affected under the same conditions. IMR-90 fibroblast populations cultured in magnesium-deficient conditions had increased senescence-associated ß-galactosidase activity and increased p16INK4a and p21WAF1 protein expression compared with cultures from standard media conditions. Telomere attrition was also accelerated in cell populations from magnesium-deficient cultures. Thus, the long-term consequence of inadequate magnesium availability in human fibroblast cultures was accelerated cellular senescence, which may be a mechanism through which chronic magnesium inadequacy could promote or exacerbate age-related disease.

             If you don't know what "telomeres" are, I will tell you and give you a reference. Telomeres are the sacrificial ends of strands of DNA. They are lost a little bit each year and eventually we run out of them. At that time our DNA gets messed up and shortly later we get cancer and/or die of old age. If cells divided without telomeres, they would lose the end of their chromosomes, and the necessary information it contains. In 1972, James Watson named this phenomenon the "end replication problem." The telomere is a disposable buffer for our DNA strands, which is consumed during cell division and is replenished by an enzyme, the telomerase reverse transcriptase. This mechanism usually limits cells to a fixed number of divisions, and animal studies suggest that this is responsible for aging on the cellular level and it directly affects, rather, governs or determines, lifespan. Telomeres also protect a cell's chromosomes from fusing with each other or rearranging. These chromosome abnormalities can lead to cancer, so cells are normally destroyed when telomeres are consumed. Most cancer is the result of cells bypassing this destruction. Biologists speculate that this mechanism is a tradeoff between aging and cancer. Seems to me that there would be a big market for telomerase reverse transcriptase if it could be bottled or injected. We could call the product "DNA Bumpers".

             Should the depressed driver drive? I will tell you no. The depressed driver should not drive. We are impaired. We are distracted by the depression. In Texas it is illegal to drive distracted. We can't process the visual data well. We don't drive well anymore. Worse, in Washington State there are a disproportionate number of single car accidents that look very much like suicides. Every big tree along side the road appears inviting to the suicidally-depressed. Just like the depressed should not have access to guns, knives and other instruments of self-destruction, they should not be allowed to drive motor vehicles faster than a self-propelled lawnmower. However, reality has a way of making us drive, and those of us so forced will drive slower and more carefully, unless we are suicidally depressed, then look out trees! What can we do to facilitate safer driving for the depressed? One, we should realize that their slow driving habits are vital to their (and our) survival. Think of the state of Washington! Think of all the drivers up there wandering slowly down the highway trying to stay out of the way of others. Second, don't bug them! Don't honk at a slow driver, he may be suicidally depressed and become pissed off at you! Then you become part of his problem and perhaps both will get wiped out. Third, if they must drive, someone else needs to navigate new roads. Better yet, let the depressed person navigate and the non-depressed drive. That way the depressed can only get you lost, not killed. Remember that our telomeres are shortened by magnesium deficiency and we are aging at a disproportionately faster rate than others and we must reverse that effect by taking more magnesium to stop the excessive attrition of telomeres. Think of how slowly old people drive. What is the difference between the slow driving of old people and depressives? Wow! Beats me!

              Sidebar: Maybe the government will label magnesium a drug and restict its use since people will live longer and bankrupt Social Security faster with magnesium than without it. Don't snicker.

      An Aspirin for the Emotions

              I have found that magnesium glycinate plus taurine is as effective and quick in treating stress (objectionable and debilitating, acute, emotional problems such as anger, fear, rage, depression, and anxiety) as aspirin is effective in getting rid of simple headaches. I call magnesium an "aspirin for the emotions". For example, If something makes me very upset (stressed) for real and legitimately reasons (or otherwise), that if I take a magnesium capsule, the problem becomes much more manageable; and my head is cleared of the negativity that makes dealing with those stressful situations difficult. March 19, 2001 was the most difficult, emotionally draining, frustrating, aggravating, irritating day that I have experienced in many years. I took 200 mg magnesium about 6 times during the day and evening to overcome those stressors throughout the day with no side effects. Each time the magnesium seemed to work to alleviate the bad feelings, and those feelings were dissipated before they could reinforce each other and really make things worse. It works every time in many more people reporting than only me. To get through the stress of the Attack on America, I needed 1800 mg of magnesium per day.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!


              Treating headaches with magnesium should be obvious to the reader by now. Does magnesium work for migraine headaches? Researchers have found that patients who suffer with migraines also suffer with low magnesium levels and high calcium. In fact, most chronic headaches are caused by high calcium and low magnesium. When treated with IV magnesium 88% of those patients found complete relief of their migraines. Low-ionized magnesium and high-ionized calcium/magnesium ratios in patients with daily migrainous headaches are frequently noted. Since starting web site in September of 2000, Shawna Kopchu RN, its director, has given advice to hundreds of migraine patients on the use of magnesium for their migraines. Out of those patients - ALL of them got some sort of relief with the use of magnesium. Some were completely cured and others found that it decreased the frequency and intensity of the migraines they did get. Magnesium glycinate may be preferable to other forms of magnesium in its treatment of migraines.

              I have also found that regular use of magnesium prevents headaches. Since I started using magnesium for depression, I have not had a headache (unless I did something really stupid - for which I deserved a good headache). I have a friend that suffered from cluster headaches, the worst and most debilitating type of headache known to humans. People have committed suicide to be free of them. This person was really irritable (a clear sign of magnesium deficiency) and would not take magnesium, saying that if the best doctors in the field could not cure his headaches, why would he even listen to me? He suffered horrible cluster headaches for another year, and was suffering from some prescription drug overdoses and bad side effects. Finally, his girlfriend told him (after I had proselytized her for that year), that she was going to leave him if he didn't give magnesium a good college try. OK. He was in so much pain that he laid down on the floor. I did too. He knew my position on magnesium already and all he wanted to know was the dosage. I told him that if I were him, I would take, at least in the beginning, 400-mg ionizable magnesium three times a day (breakfast, mid afternoon and bedtime) totaling 1200 mg magnesium. I told him that he would eventually get diarrhea at that dosage, and that he should back off to a more sustainable dosage in about a week. I told him to avoid the toxic forms of magnesium, which would probably make his headaches worse. I also told him to avoid man-made glutamates and cut down on calcium. I didn't see them for several days, then, I heard a loud and very rapid knocking on my door about midnight. It was my friend and his girlfriend, and they were tripping over each other trying to be first to explosively and joyfully tell me the good news! NO MORE HEADACHES! PERIOD!!!!!!!! Not even a minor headache! What more can I say. Chronic headaches without clear explanation (like a well deserved hangover) are just another symptom of our sick, over-medicated, magnesium deficient society. Can you imagine the financial losses that would be incurred by pharmaceutical drug pushers if the truth were known about magnesium and its critical role in health? I suspect they would declare magnesium to be toxic and force the FDA to take it off the market. This may happen due to the Codex treaty.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Epsom Salts Baths

              First discovered in the town well of Epsom, England and patented in the 17th century for its healing and curative powers, Epsom salt baths are the oldest and cheapest ways of relaxing muscles and settling nerves. Simply add two cups (1 pound, 454 grams, 16 oz., 1 pint, 1/2 liter, 500 ml) to your warm bath water to make a standard Epsom salt bath, and enjoy! To make a strong Epsom salt bath, double to quadruple the amount of Epsom salt. To make a VERY strong bath, double it again. Like our friend Teddy Bear here, Epsom salt baths have produced pleasure for millions for a very long time - at least three hundred and fifty years. One of the coolest ladies that I know takes one every 5 days, whether she needs it or not, because it is part of her routine for staying well. Even today, Epsom salt is the primary ingredient in nearly all expensive relaxing bath salts. The crystals are 10 percent pure magnesium, and a rounded 1/2 tablespoon (7.2 milliliter) yields 1 gram of magnesium. It is one of the most highly absorbed magnesium compounds known (easily absorbed through the skin or digestive tract). The effect of these baths has not been understood from a neuroscience aspect until recently. These baths can raise blood and tissue levels of magnesium, resulting in the feeling of well being and relaxation, and perhaps sedation in overdose for all the reasons stated in this essay for orally ingested magnesium. Few who use Epsom salt baths judiciously for relaxation go away unhappy. Now, you can buy your own sensory deprivation tank and fill it with Epsom Salts and really space out!

             Here is a clinical report of the absorption of magnesium sulfate from Epsom Salts baths.

             Although I found no clinical evidence of using Epsom salt baths to treat clinical anxiety or depression, in theory there is no reason why, with experimentation, such would not work, and perhaps work very, very well. The trick to success may be simply finding the correct strength. Should one use a standard or strong Epsom salt bath? I think a VERY strong one is best, when done with modest caution. The main side effect of prolonged strong Epsom salt baths, other than relaxing to the point where one falls asleep, is diarrhea. Taking a VERY strong Epsom salt water bath without someone ready to watch the person is unwise, and could lead to overdose, sleep and drowning. Too long spent in very strong Epsom salt baths will put a person on the commode with diarrhea for at least a half hour. What is too long? I think about 20 minutes of a VERY strong bath is long enough, and 60 minutes may result in diarrhea because of the very strong water-drawing capability of the magnesium ion. How frequently should strong Epsom salt baths be taken to treat depression? Daily? Several times daily? Perhaps. Four to six times daily? Let's not over do it, but maybe for a week or two in the beginning.

              Epsom salts are of particular value to people outside of the United States where there are fewer medicinal or nutritional forms of magnesium. Epsom salt along with magnesium chloride are found using industrial, agricultural, medicinal and veterinary sources world-wide. America has stepped around these old standbys as if they were unimportant, which is a shame. Strong Epsom salt may draw out water from the skin, causing temporarily dry skin in overdose. Severe overdose (resulting in flushing of the skin, thirst, low blood pressure, loss of reflexes and respiratory depression, anesthesia (and eventually heart failure if untreated) are countered with intravenous calcium gluconate in a hospital. Seriously, the benefits of judicious use of Epsom Salt baths far outweigh the risks. Think of the opportunities for pleasure! Here are 13 wonderful ways to use Epsom salt. Epsom salt baths or topical rinses are used for many purposes in medicine and veterinary medicine. In people, Epsom salt are routinely used for: soothing relief from arthritic pain; reducing stiffness, soreness, and tightness of joints; improving discomfort from muscle aches, pains and tenderness; soothing painful bruises, sprains and strains; alleviating pain from over exertion during sport activities; improving the body's sleeping and resting productivity; increasing and improving body energy levels; improving the rate of natural body healing; soothing away stress; deep cleaning skin and pores; taking the sting out of insect bites and drawing out splinters.

             If bathing to get your magnesium does not appeal, then dissolving a rounded 1/2 tablespoon (7.2 milliliter) of Epsom salt (yielding 1 gram of magnesium), can be dissolved in 1 cup (8 oz., 1/4 liter, 250 mL water). This prepares a strong stock of magnesium mineral water, which can be added an ounce or two at a time to other beverages to prepare very inexpensive and highly nourishing magnesium drinks. Do not try to swallow crystals.

             Think something as "natural" as Epsom Salts can't hurt you? Review this case of a fatality induced by using an entire box of Epsom Salts over a 2-day period as a gargle for halitosis.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      The Mind

              The mind, consciousness, is a funny thing. It is neither space, time, matter nor energy, but a separate entity all of its own. Mind has been shown to be able to affect changes in energy and matter, and perhaps time and space. The mind is the only non-Newtonian part of the body and it is of a quantum mechanic nature. The realm of the mind is in the vast collection of microtubules of neuronal synapses, an area solely of a quantum and/or post quantum mechanics nature; an area quite sensitive to magnesium concentration. Quantum mechanics, not Newtonian science and calcium channel blocking in the vastly larger synapses, offers the best chance to understand the interactions of consciousness with the Universe. Some have speculated that our own individual consciousness is not found solely in our own brains, but in the nonlocality of the Universe. There are many Internet sites devoted to "consciousness" and "quantum mechanics". One excellent, but long (slow PDF download), 1995 report by the Center for Theoretical Physics, Texas A&M University and others is "Theory of Brain Function, Quantum Mechanics and Superstrings". There are mind-matter interactions demonstrable in delicate scientific equipment, proven by eminent academic and government scientists. Cells (human, animal, and plant) have been caught in the act of communication with their host even if they have been taken miles away from their host.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      The Creation of Adam - Michelangelo

              The Creation of Adam (1508-1512) on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has long been recognized as one of the world's great art treasures. In 1990 Frank Lynn Meshberger, M.D. described what millions had overlooked for centuries - an anatomically accurate image of the human brain was portrayed behind God. On close examination, borders in the painting correlate with sulci in the inner and outer surface of the brain, the brain stem, the basilar artery, the pituitary gland and the optic chiasm. God's hand does not touch Adam, yet Adam is already alive as if the spark of life is being transmitted across a synaptic cleft.* Below the right arm of God is a sad angel in an area of the brain that is sometimes activated on PET scans when someone experiences a sad thought. God is superimposed over the limbic system, the emotional center of the brain and possibly the anatomical counterpart of the human soul. God's right arm extends to the prefrontal cortex, the most creative and most uniquely human region of the brain.

      *Frank Lynn Meshberger, M.D., The Interpretation of Michelangelo's Creation of Adam, Basilar Neuroanatomy, JAMA #14 October 1990.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!


              There is no act more selfish than suicide. It hurts those that we love in perpetuity. Can you imagine your spouse, mother, father, brother, sister showing up dead by their own hand? How about your child? Dead of his/her own hand? Isn't that the most shattering thought? Considering suicide? Consider how your loved ones will feel, then get a bottle of magnesium - not poison. Think of how you would feel if one of your loved ones committed suicide. Treat yourself as you would like your loved ones to treat themselves. Isn't this notion similar to the Bible's Golden Rule - "Treat others as you would like to be treated."? Would you be surprised if such thoughts were caused by magnesium depletion, and not your psyche?

              I can understand that a deficiency in a nutrient could adversely affect our ability to think, but can it affect what we think? Why does magnesium depletion cause people to think of suicide and actually commit suicide? Medical literature from 1985 clearly shows that calcium/magnesium imbalances with magnesium being low were found in depressed patients that had attempted suicide. If we go back in time farther - to articles and books published before the National Institute of Health started indexing medical articles in PubMed, other researchers showed more about how magnesium deficiency promotes suicide. Why this research has been ignored is another travesty. Did you know that the American Psychological Association does not mention "magnesium" in its web site? With so little current interest, could we expect anything different? Considerable research from earlier in this century by various scientists needs vastly more consideration.

              For example, French scientist, M. L. Robinet, in a study of suicide statistics, discovered that "the comparison of geological maps and statistics establishes in a striking manner the influence of the magnesium content of the soil on the number of suicides. It is evident," M. Robinet points out, "that one doesn't commit suicide because the soil is poor in magnesium. But, those who regularly absorb a good amount of magnesium salts have a more stable equilibrium, they support adversity with more calm and do not renounce everything to avoid some sorrow. "The use of magnesium permits one to support adversity with more serenity," M. Robinet concludes in the Bulletin of the Academy of Medicine published in France (1934).

              Magnesium, says Dr. Lewis B. Barnett, is needed by the pituitary gland. The pituitary, sometimes called the miracle gland, takes instructions from the hypothalamus in the brain to which it is connected by a thin stalk, then transmits them through the body in the form of chemical messengers known as hormones. These hormones not only exert a direct influence of their own, but also trigger the production of other vital hormones elsewhere in the body. When the pituitary is not getting the magnesium it needs, it fails in its function of exercising a sort of thermostatic control over the adrenals which are thus allowed to overproduce adrenaline (a major stress hormone). It is known that situations of danger incite the activity of the adrenal glands. Troubles or worry also incite the adrenal glands, which then pour hormones through the body that increase heartbeat, release sugar from the liver, and contribute to a host of problems not the least of which is hyperexcitability and an inability to "cope."

              According to some startling data presented at the meeting of the American Societies for Experimental Biology in May, 1966 the adrenal glands also contribute to the desire of a suicide to cut himself away from life. Evidence was presented at this conference that showed how, in the split instant of final decision to take his life, it is the adrenal glands rather than the psyche that give that last little push. "Successful suicides had highly active adrenal glands just before their deaths. That discovery fits neatly into other observations that depressed patients--those most likely to commit suicide--also have more adrenal hormone in their blood than do normal persons," reports Earl Ubell, science editor of the Herald Tribune (May, 1966). One investigation revealed that, just before attempting suicide, depressed patients experience a rapid rise of adrenal breakdown products in the urine. As reported in that study, a laboratory made measurements on one woman, found an extraordinarily high hormone level, and called her home to warn her family only to find she had already killed herself. What can be done to prevent this adrenaline rush? As far as I can tell, the only way is to eliminate stimulants, particularly chocolate, from the diet. Death by chocolate seems far fetched, but it does release theobromine, a relative of caffeine, and phenylalanine which is a building block for dopamine and adrenaline. Who knows the number of deaths by chocolate? No one, but for suicidal and insomniac people that have too much adrenaline and low magnesium, avoiding chocolate seems reasonable, and may be life saving.

             Why is there such a thing as "depression"? Having studied the issue of depression treatment using magnesium for 9 years, I do have an opinion, which may be startling to you. Consider that our genetic code goes back hundreds of millions of years and is derived from precursor animal DNA, which pre-existed by hundreds of millions of years before we were human. Consider that life was extremely scarce at that time and that preservation of life (not just human life but all life) was vital. Also consider that food, mainly high magnesium content foods like nuts, seeds and grain was scarce. I believe that people and other animals were genetically coded to develop depression in the face of inadequate magnesium in order to facilitate death to preserve other life, by recycling life. Yes, I mean to make death acceptable and to prevent the depressed individual from harming a hungry and well nourished predator, thus preserving the predator's life. In giving up life by a malnourished individual, life is given to a well nourished individual strengthening the prevailing species. Conseqently, through death springs life. Even today, people and animals that are in protracted "fight or flight" situations eventually give up and surrender. Clearly the adrenalin released lowers magnesium, accelerating depression. Seems to me that hunters and soldiers would do well on increased magnesium intake. You can notice depression in very old, and sick animals, and I am thinking specifically of very skinny, old horses. Take a look at this skinny old horse. Doesn't he look depressed? Did you know that horses are being more abused and neglected now than in many years due to the poor U.S. economy? Tragedy and depression follows a poor economy.

              Remember that Durlach showed that aging is a risk factor for magnesium deficiency. Those that study aging know that suicide is a major cause of death among old people. Every 90 minutes in the United States a person over age 65 commits suicide. Remember that 90% of suicides occur in people with depression. Remember that about 20% of seniors are afflicted by depression, roughly in keeping with the percentage of elderly people known to be magnesium depleted. In addition to chronic low magnesium, many non-dietary causes of hypomagnesia result from medical conditions that often accumulate as a result of aging. Consequently, in older adults (particularly those without close relatives or loved ones), conditions are right for an older person to forcefully desire suicide. What can we do? It seems to me that very close attention to magnesium status of older people showing signs of depression is appropriate. Who will administer magnesium to our older, isolated seniors already considering suicide as a cure for their depression? What else can we do to prevent these horrifying thoughts? Is seeing a physician the answer?

              Consider these amazing facts first. Suicide rates are very high in physicians. Overall, the physician suicide rate is about 3 percent of male physicians and 6 percent of female physicians. Worse, a study by Dr. Daniel DeSole of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Albany showed that 26 percent of all deaths among physicians 25 to 39 years of age were suicides. This compares to a rate of 9 percent for white males in the same age group. Physicians are under enormous stress and stress kills. Not knowing the role of magnesium in mental health is killing our doctors. Can you guess which medical specialty has the most suicides? Psychiatrists! For more on doctors killing themselves see this search. To see what doctors are teaching each other about suicide see this education link. On the other hand, a search for "nutritionist suicide" comes up with zero meaningful entries! Does this mean nutritionists do not kill themselves? Hummmm. Maybe there is something to be learned here.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Meditation vs. Thought-Stopping

             Most of us have heard of "meditation", but how many of us have heard of its opposite, "thought-stopping"? Is there an important difference? YES! Meditation and thought-stopping are both found in religion and psychology. They relate to the way we treat our own thinking. Our job is to know when to use each technique. In meditation, we let whatever will enter our minds enter. In thought-stopping, we control what is in our minds. Which is better? To me, a depressive, the answer is very clear. I will not surrender my mind to whatever thought I might have and surrender myself to whatever emotion such thought produces. I demand control of my own mind. It is mine! I will not allow religion or my early childhood training to force me to accept whatever thought that occurs to me. It doesn't need to work that way. Meditation, supposedly, is often an unguided, unintentional, sustained fantasy or mental state of reflection and contemplation, although it is supposed to be an exercise in mindfulness and when done properly (i.e. with the guidance of a teacher) can help you detach from negative thoughts, and all thoughts in general. They become like clouds floating by across a clear blue sky. There is a new psychotherapy for depression based on meditative techniques. It's called mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT). For more info, see: Meditation is supposed to be a relaxing experience, a "quiet time," a self-paced desensitization process. For people without mood disorder, it is often a productive endeavor; but for people with mood disorders, we must use another technique. According to Bernhardt, when using emotional thought-stopping, negative thoughts from the unconscious are cut off the very second they present, PERIOD! This technique demands that whenever we have a negative thought, we slam dunk it into oblivion with commands such as STOP! DON'T GO THERE! ERASE THAT THOUGHT! SHUT UP! Let no negative thought go unchallenged 24-7 or it will produce a negative emotion. Never let yourself stew in your own negativity. Isn't that a much better approach for a depressive than to meditate and let whatever thought that comes to you take over your existence? Can thought-stopping be useful in forms of anxiety such as OCD? I think so. Consider changing a repetitive thought or action to something less harmful or obvious. For example, suppose a person has an obsessive thought about how badly someone has wronged him/her. That thought is driving him/her crazy! When such thought occurs, why not try to bog down the mind with a challenging substitute thought instead? Obviously, there are many thoughts that can bog us down, but we know they do not have answers (such as where is the beginning and end of the Universe), and we should not consider those kinds of question as useful thought-stoppers. Leave them to the professionals. However, we can really bog down our minds with distracting mental quests such as: list all words that start with the letters "re". I will start the list for you. Re-examine, reflect, restart, reconsider, reconcile, revamp, revisit... Get the idea? Read "Brain Lock" by Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz for more. By the way, don't the commands I mentioned above in bold sound a lot like the commands we give our children when they are misbehaving?

              Is this an example? I went into a new-to-me restaurant recently and ordered a meal. The waitress brought the meal, and I noticed that she had a nice face, but was fat, sloppily dressed and barefoot. She stomped as she walked, and the whole presentation was somewhat un-nerving. I sort-of accepted her appearance and lack of professionalism, and asked her for some ketchup. She brought out a dirty, disgustingly shabby bottle of ketchup with nasty-looking fingerprints and what looked like bloody smears on the label, and that stupid bottle of ketchup completely destroyed my enthusiasm for the meal and for the restaurant and made me want to throw up. That bottle of ketchup destroyed my day and I am still irritated about it. How should I have reacted? BTW, the restaurant soon folded up.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Losing Your IQ? (Or Your Children's IQ?)

      Stress destroys IQ

              Since you are reading this page, you are concerned about mental function and magnesium. Does this graphic get your attention? This is what happens to the intelligence quotient (IQ) of children living in a highly stressed orphanage compared with kids living at home. Nothing is more harmful to IQ than stress! It drives down magnesium so intensely that these children loose their IQ. Yet, we keep piling stress on our children and ask them to like it. Are we crazy? Are we stupid? Insane? The Gods Must be Crazy! Notice that the kids that lived at home have a normal distribution of IQ, a bell-shaped curve if you will. The kids living under stress have an extremely distorted IQ range, with only a very few having normal and better IQ. This data is from Table 3 of "Magnesium and some psychological features in two groups of pupils", by Victoria Papadopol, Eugenia Tuchendria and Iliana Palamaru of the Institute of Public Health, Iaþi, Romania. In my opinion, these authors deserve a Nobel Prize in Medicine for this truly original research. There are no other papers on magnesium and intelligence on PubMed. Unfortunately, the last sentence of the article's abstract reads,

      "A direct correlation between magnesium level and neuroticism was demonstrated." This sentence was grossly mistranslated from the words in their Conclusions, which read : Our study pointed out a positive connection between magnesium deficit and neuroticism".

             Never before has there been such a clear and unambiguous relationship between intracellular magnesium levels and attention, memory and intelligence shown. Of great interest is the absence of similar relationships between serum magnesium and these parameters. The consequence of not looking in the right place for magnesium (intracellular and not serum) has resulted in grave mental and emotional damage to our children. For the statistician the p values are (p=0.000), which means extreme statistical significant and meaningfulness. Pay attention to them concerning the role of low magnesium in causing neuropsychological disorders in children including: agitation, anxiety, depression, irritability, weakness, fatigue, confusion, asthenia (loss of strength), sleepnessless, headache, convulsive, nervous attacks, delirium, hallucinations and hyperexcitablity. In my opinion, ignoring low magnesium is criminal and is going to destroy America and the Western world if emergency action is not taken to change our children's diets to get them more magnesium to withstand the stress of American and Western life. Our children are not bad, but their diets are!

             Magnesium deficiency due to stress and/or diet is the number one reason for low intelligence quotient in American school children and adults. Children that you know could be doing better in school but don't, are most likely magnesium deficient. Loss of previous well-being from minor magnesium deficits also cause irritability, poor manners, strange behavior, belligerence, moodiness and violence. Such behavior changes are further confirmation of low magnesium, in both children and adults, and those problems will only worsen without magnesium intervention. Have a doctor test their magnesium status and the test will nearly always come back "within the normal range". Why? Magnesium is an intracellular cation. That means that nearly all is inside cells, and not in the serum where it can be easily tested. A magnesium dietary supplement program of 400 to 800 mg lasting a minimum of 6 months will confirm low magnesium. If IQ, behavior and test scores improve, a harmful magnesium deficit was corrected. However, one must always avoid toxic and ineffective forms of magnesium listed here. A 10 to 50 point increase in IQ if deficient is usual from supplementing magnesium. Think of the countless stressful jobs that have been lost to low performance when the individual seemed to offer great potential. More tragic is the lack of a future - reliant upon a normal or higher IQ - that school children face. They are always under stress in school and rarely get sufficient magnesium in their diets. Once they become old enough to make up their own minds, they usually stop eating magnesium rich foods. Instead, they gorge on high calorie junk food and sodas pushed upon them by corporate America. The consequences of corporate America's attention to our children's pocketbooks? Their magnesium status deteriorates, they gain weight, become more stressed, ostracized, depressed, and violent. Our future is our children and their ability to operate this technology-driven country. Our future as an economic power and viable nation is at stake. Must this nation continue to import brain-power from other countries simply because we don't feed our children correctly? Osama Bin Laden could not have planned a better way to destroy America than to keep our kids and public magnesium deprived. This topic is too depressing for me to consider further. If you want the full skinny, there are nearly 500 pages on the Internet devoted to "IQ, intelligence and magnesium". Forget searching PubMed for useful information on this topic. I only found one item, that being the above Romainian article. The docs simply don't know, even though the National Institute of Health lists "reduced ability to learn" as a facet of magnesium deficiency. YES STUPID, JUST KEEP ON STRESSING YOUR KIDS!

             I was sufficiently impressed by Dr.Papadopol's work that I invited her to present her paper "Magnesium and its effects on psychological features in two groups of children" at the 2008 Gordon Research Conference march 9 - 14 in Ventura California. She blew everyone's minds and I was very please with her presentation. Her is a link to that conference. Her presentation was Tuesday evening.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Traumatic Brain Injury and Magnesium

              Perhaps no injury is worse emotionally than traumatic brain injury to a young person full of life, hope for the future and energy. Traumatic brain injury can put a person into a vegetative state if sufficiently severe (we all remember the Florida lady Terri Schiavo's horrible incident of a 13-year vegetative state from traumatic brain injury), or it can knock the sense out of them - permanently. Trauma is a blunt mechanism that massively elevates the extracellular glutamate levels. Normal extracellular glutamate concentration is about 0.6 micromol/L. Substantial neuronal excitotoxic injury occurs with glutamate concentrations of 2 to 5 micromol/L. Traumatic injury to neurons can produce disastrous results with the exposure of the normal intracellular glutamate concentrations of about 10 µmol/L to the extracellular space. Mechanical injury to a single neuron, therefore, puts all of the neighboring neurons at risk. Significant collateral injury occurs to surrounding neurons from this type of glutamate release. One recent therapeutic strategy is to immediately treat persons with injuries to the head or spinal column with glutamate receptor blockers to minimize the spread of neuronal death beyond the immediate physically disrupted neurons. Attempts have also been made to affect the various sites of the coupled glutamate receptor itself. Some of these drugs include felbamate, ifenprodil, magnesium, memantine, and nitroglycerin. These "downstream" drugs attempt to influence such intracellular events as free radical formation, nitric oxide formation, proteolysis, endonuclease activity, and ICE-like protease formation (an important component in the process leading to programmed cell death, or apoptosis).

             I remember a really wonderful story of a very pretty, smart and nice young lady studying architecture at a Texas university. One day, in a hurry, she didn't see the spilled soft drink at the top of one of the school's huge granite stair steps. As her fortune would have it, she slipped and fell headfirst down the full length of the stairs striking her head on each step as she fell. By the time her 40-pound backpack had separated from her and she was consequently able to get stopped, she felt pretty woozy and was in significant pain. She made her way to an emergency hospital room where was treated and observed. An MRI showed no injury and she was discharged. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injury had occurred and her ability to remember her lessons was severely impaired. Her effective IQ dropped from 140 to about 80, and after a semester of D grades, she dropped out of the University with medical expunction of her bad grades. The University was clearly at fault legally. But now what? What is a young girl to do with only limited IQ? She eventually became depressed, and later found this page. She self-treated with magnesium glycinate, with rapid recovery from her depression. Amazingly, she noticed that her short term memory was returning and that she could remember as well as she could before her traumatic head injury. She reapplied to the University, was re-accepted and is now making straight A grades, but she must continue with her magnesium self-treatment or her problems seem to reoccur.

             How can magnesium be responsible for repair of traumatic brain injury? Was magnesium even responsible? Or was it the glycinate? That question remains difficult to answer to this day, but new work with rats following diffuse traumatic brain injury by Robert Vink, Christine A. O'Connor, Alan J. Nimmo and Deanne L. Heath working at the University of Adelaide in South Australia appears to be shedding new light on her "miraculous" recovery from traumatic brain injury. In brief, Vink et. al. concluded that "posttraumatic magnesium administration attenuates long-term motor and cognitive deficits after traumatic brain injury, and that this improvement may include some reduction of post-traumatic stress and anxiety." Vink says, "it is now well accepted that magnesium does decline in all forms of brain injury (traumatic, stroke, drugs, radiation, etc) and that treatment with magnesium is beneficial to outcome in experimental animals." In their article (see figure to right) they show that learning ability in rats that received magnesium sulfate (250 micromolar/kg) dosage treated 30 minutes after injury allowed rats to learn at the same rate as uninjured rats, while untreated injured rats failed to learn. They propose that this amazing response is attributed to the role of magnesium in inhibiting secondary injury factors including amongst others glutamate release, the activity of NMDA channel, calcium channel, lipid peroxidation, free radical production, edema formation and opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pores. I strongly suspect that administration of magnesium to patients having recent traumatic brain injury will become common-place. See this important article in its entirety here. Even though these amazing findings seem to have application to this young girl's case, there exists the possibility that traumatic brain injury, regardless of the cause, be it blunt force trauma, stroke, legal and illegal drugs, malnutrition, and aging induces a persistent low magnesium status that is corrected only by supplementation of magnesium.

             Dr. Vink is a world-leader in magnesium and inflammation research. He hosted the 10th International Magnesium Symposium September 7 - 11, 2003 in Cairns, Australia. This meeting was one of a series of International Magnesium Symposia organized every three years by the International Society for Development of Magnesium Research (SDRM). This group consists of the world-leaders in magnesium research. The abstracts of this symposium are available on line here. Selected and generalized topics of interest to us in these abstracts include:

      • clinical relevance of magnesium from gestation to old age
      • estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) risks in magnesium deficiency
      • effects of certain drugs on magnesium balance
      • magnesium and blood-brain barrier
      • magnesium-Vitamin B6 intake reduces central nervous hyperexcitability in children
      • magnesium protection in traumatic brain injury
      • magnesium and the inflammatory response
      • magnesium deficiency on primary tumour growth
      • attenuation of post-traumatic depression/anxiety following diffuse traumatic brain injury
      • effects of oral magnesium therapy in patients with coronary artery disease
      • Optimal dosage of magnesium sulfate for torsades de pointes
      • effects of Mg2+ on cardiac excitation-contraction coupling
      • intracellular magnesium assay correlations to serum and other measures
      • intracellular magnesium in furosemide-treated patients with congestive heart failure
      • outcome of intravenous magnesium therapy in acute mayocardial infarct patients
      • subcutaneous (non-oral) magnesium product for space missions
      • free Mg, plasma membrane and circulating lipids in hypertension
      • comparision of magnesium and statin pharmaceuticals
      • magnesium in essential hypertension
      • Osteoblastic cell growth as a function of Ca2+/Mg2+ ratio
      • bone mineral density and serum magnesium
      • magnesium deficiency and interaction with aminoglycoside and quinolone antibiotics
      • magnesium in sports
      • a functional biological marker is needed for diagnosing magnesium deficiency
      • the relation of birth weight to intracellular magnesium
      • balance of Mg positively correlates with that of Ca
      • magnesium and cancer in clinical practice (update).
      • intracellular magnesium is independent from extracellular availability during proliferation
      • magnesium, insulin resistance and body composition in heathy postmenopausal women
      • clinical efficacy of magnesium supplementation in patients with type 2 diabetes
      • post-cholecystectomy syndrome and magnesium deficiency
      • effect of magnesium diets in ischemic stroke
      • increases in brain intracellular free magnesium concentration after diffuse traumatic brain injury
      • amiloride increases neuronal damage after traumatic brain injury
      • propofol attenuates the neuroprotective effects of magnesium in experimental traumatic brain injury
      • effects of reduced magnesium availability and mild oxidative stress on aging
      • food intake and magnesium intake affect true absorption and endogenous fecal excretion of magnesium
      • serum magnesium levels and dependency/disability in hospitalised elderly patients
      • absorption and effect of the magnesium content of a mineral water
      • about the misdiagnostics of magnesium deficiency
      • magnesium in asthma attack
      • experimentally induced prolonged magnesium deficiency causes osteoporosis
      • modifications of magnesium concentrations in patients with suppurations of the oro-maxilar area
      • Lyme disease and magnesium deficiency
      • magnesium in animal nutrition
      • Mg-content in different plants and the importance of Mg in N2-fixation

             Having participated in national and international symposia on zinc, I know the enormous value of these kind of symposia, and would love to have attended. The next SDRM symposia on magnesium will be: 8th European Magnesium Congress, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, May 25-28, 2004; Gordon Conference, Ventura, USA, January, 2005; 11th International Magnesium Symposium, Osaka, Japan, October 22-26, 2006.

      Kathryne E. Saatman, Florence M. Bareyre, M. Sean Grady, and Tracy K. MCIntosh in 2001 showed that traumatic brain injury results in a profound decline in intracellular magnesium ion levels that may jeopardize critical cellular functions. They examined the consequences of pre-injury magnesium deficiency and post-traumatic magnesium treatment on injury-induced cytoskeletal damage and cell death at 24 h after injury. Adult male rats were fed either a normal (n 5 24) or magnesium-deficient diet (n 5 16) for 2 wk prior to anesthesia and lateral fluid percussion brain injury (n 5 31) or sham injury (n 5 9). Normally fed animals were then randomized to receive magnesium chloride (125 mMol, i.v., n 5 10) or vehicle solution (n 5 11) at 10 min post-injury. Magnesium treatment reduced cortical cell loss (p , 0.05), cortical alterations in microtubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2) (p , 0.05), and both cortical and hippocampal calpain-mediated spectrin breakdown (p , 0.05 for each region) when compared to vehicle treatment. Conversely, magnesium deficiency prior to brain injury led to a greater area of cortical cell loss (p , 0.05 compared to vehicle treatment). Moreover, brain injury to magnesium deficient rats resulted in cytoskeletal alterations within the cortex and hippocampus that were not observed in vehicle- or magnesium-treated animals. These data suggested to them that cortical cell death and cytoskeletal disruptions in cortical and hippocampal neurons may be sensitive to magnesium status after experimental brain injury, and may be mediated in part through modulation of calpains. See full article here.

      Other Types of Depression

              Seasonal Affective Disorder. What is it? As winter approaches and the daylight lessens, some people experience a form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - an extreme case of the "winter blues" that disappears during the spring and summer months. About 25% of people get SAD during winter, really spoiling their Holiday season. Symptoms may include:

      • Lack of energy
      • Increased desire to sleep
      • Depression
      • Increased appetite leading to weight gain
      • Anxiety
      • Difficulty concentrating
      • Irritability
      • Withdrawal; difficulty with relationships; loss of sexual desire
      • For women, increase in PMS-related symptoms

             Interestingly, each of these individual symptoms, including PMS-related symptoms, result from magnesium deficiency. Although the cause of SAD is not clinically proven, various treatments including vitamins, amino acids, magnesium and light therapy have helped many people, while melatonin usually worsens SAD. Light therapy is rewarding to many, perhaps because it stimulates the production of Vitamin D-3, the type of vitamin D produced by action of sunlight on skin. Supplementation of 400 to 800 units of vitamin D-3 resulted in modest improvement of SAD within 5 days in a clinical trial. If Vitamin D-3 deficits from lack of sunlight were the primary cause of SAD, it seems that even more than 25% of people would be affected by it. Vitamin D-3 is well known to be required for proper utilization of magnesium, and supplementation of magnesium should be a more direct route to recovery from SAD and all of its symptoms than taking Vitamin D-3. Magnesium dietary deficits are well known to affect at least 25% of people and in some countries and regions as many as 70%. Supplementation of both Vitamin D-3 and magnesium (400 mg magnesium as magnesium glycinate taken in the morning and at night) may result in even faster recovery from SAD.

              Here is a poem to the sun from my friend Martha of Martha's Vineyard, who really needs to move to southern California to get more sun:

      The Sun is my Prozac
      I shall not want
      He maketh me to lie down
      in warm climates,
      He restoreth my serotonin
      He leadeth me out of the winter blues
      In Him I bake.
      Thou preparest a path before me
      in the presence of Thy radiance,
      Thou annointeth my head with Vitamin D,
      My brain turneth over..

      Yea, though I walk through the valley
      of the shadow of depression,
      I will fear no evil
      for Thou, Sun, art with me,
      Thy light and thy warmth they comfort me.
      Surely goodness and mercy
      shall follow me
      all the days of my life
      And I will dwell
      in the Land of the Sun

              Post Partum Depression (PPD). The birth of a new baby should be one of the very happiest times for a woman and her family. The sound of a happy baby should bring tears of joy to a mother's eyes, and a bond that can never be broken. However, in about 10 percent of births things go wrong, and shortly after the mother gives birth, the blues [Post Partum Depression (PPD)]set in.  Sometimes these blues are mild and short term and sometimes they become so severe that they become a psychosis. Postpartum depression (PPD) can be much more severe than clinical depression in other women. Many psychiatric symptoms found in people that later develop clinical depression are also found in women destined to develop PPD. Magnesium depletion of the mother by the fetus is very likely the main cause of PPD. Magnesium is extremely important for the synthesis of steroids such as the androgenic and estrogenic hormones as well as cortisone-like hormones. It is well known that the fetus and placenta absorb enormous amounts of nutrients (especially magnesium) from the mother, which is a major stressor for the mother. Magnesium and hormones are not plentiful in the delivered placenta, but are in the newborn. Stress depletes magnesium and can result in depression, whether the person is a postpartum woman or not, or an infant. In the infant, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) remains a leading cause of death during the first year, and is now suspected as being a severe magnesium deficiency. Similarly, sudden death in adults is believed to be caused by severe magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is effective in rapidly curing depression and preventing sudden death heart attacks in adults. Each of the stressors shown above (physical, trauma, psychological, environmental and metabolic) clearly apply to pregnancy and childbirth. It is very difficult to see how they would not have an adverse effect on maternal magnesium reserves unless the mother has allowed herself to eat those fattening foods rich in magnesium or has supplemented her diet with magnesium. If postpartum depression is nothing but clinical depression due to magnesium deficits induced by stress (including financial), poor diet, or both, magnesium supplements in the dosage of 200 mg magnesium per meal should easily prevent and cure this horrible condition without side effects. In hospitals, magnesium sulfate IV is given to women to prevent seizures of eclampsia. Magnesium sulfate exposure to fetuses reduced by 90 percent the incidence of cerebral palsy and mental retardation in very low birth weight babies during their first five years of life. It is difficult for me to understand how these expensive hospital treatments are more justified than inexpensive dietary magnesium supplementation during pregnancy to prevent these complications and post partum depression (PPD). There are numerous Post Partum Depression (PPD) support pages on the Internet, and this is my favorite. At least four women having had extreme problems with PPD in several previous pregnancies used magnesium in response to this essay to essentially prevent post partum depression (PPD). In PPD, endocrine problems also usually need to be addressed, but they are secondary to magnesium. Reported first in 2001, low magnesium in infants causes weak muscles which promotes Sudden Infant Death (SIDS), which is believed to be associated with maternal PPD.

              Premature ejaculation often causes misery and depression for both men and women. When a man continually can't last long enough in bed to please his woman, many times sex isn't even fun for him anymore. Premature ejaculation is very frustrating to a woman - so I have been told. Nothing is worse for a woman than being left in a lurch, just like the way a man feels. Continual complaints can cause deep depression in a man. Interestingly, antidepressants prevent premature ejaculation. Antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil have a natural side effect of delaying ejaculation during intercourse. In early 2009, a man emailed me telling me that his serious premature ejaculation problem (and depression) ended with his self-treatment with magnesium due to reading that magnesium would cure depression (from reading this page). Is magnesium a premature ejaculation treatment for men? Is it the cure for premature ejaculation? What does the medical literature say about magnesium for premature ejaculation? Since I don't have this problem, I had no idea that there was a relationship.

              Here is what I found in the medical literature. First of all I googled "premature ejaculation" and magnesium just to see what was there. I was amazed to see that there were over 800,000 pages cited. Where did this information come? (no pun intended) These are the only 3 medical journal articles listed as of January 28, 2009:

      1. Seminal plasma magnesium and premature ejaculation: a case-control study. Nikoobakht MR, Aloosh M, Hasani M. Urol J. 2005 Spring;2(2):102-5.
      2. Seminal plasma magnesium and premature ejaculation: a case-control study. Aloosh M, Hassani M, Nikoobakht M. BJU Int. 2006 Aug;98(2):402-4. 3:
      3. Magnesium in human semen: possible role in premature ejaculation. Omu AE, Al-Bader AA, Dashti H, Oriowo MA. Arch Androl. 2001 Jan-Feb;46(1):59-66.

              Yep, guys take your magnesium or your wife just might beat your butt!

              Sports Over Training occurs when stressful and repetitive training depletes the individual's magnesium stores. See original medical research here. Sports and physical fitness training requires stress, not mental stress, but adaptive body stress. Athletes must put their bodies under correct amounts of stress to increase physical capabilities. Where the stress loads are appropriate then the athletes's performance will improve, but if the stress loads are excessive then a state of "over-training" will occur as magnesium stores are depleted. Symptoms indicating over exertion can be classified in the following way:

      • Movement co-ordination symptoms: Increased incidence of disturbances in movement (the re-appearance of faults that seemed to have been overcome, cramp, inhibitions, insecurity). Disturbances in rhythm and flow of movement. Lack of ability to concentrate. Reduced power of differentiation and correction.
      • Condition symptoms: Diminished powers of endurance, strength, speed. Increase in recovery time, loss of 'sparkle' Competitive Qualities. Reduced readiness for action, fear of competition, giving-up in face of difficult situations, especially at the finish. Confusion in competition, departure from usual tactics. Susceptibility to demoralizing influences before and during competition. Increasing tendency to abandon the struggle (quit sports).
      • Psychological symptoms: Increased irritability, obstinacy, tendency to hysteria, grumbling, defiance, increased quarrelsomeness, avoidance of contact with coach and colleagues, over-sensitivity to criticism, or increasing indolence, poor incentive, dullness, hallucination, anxiety, depression, melancholy, insecurity, burn-out.

               These symptoms also occur in military recruit training and during the stress of military conflicts. Lack of sufficient magnesium in the diets of our athletes and soldiers limits our nation's ability to compete. Consider this fact. During the invasion of Afghanistan to route al Qaeda, we sent many tons of raw wheat, rich in magnesium, to prevent starvation in natives, yet we sent our troops to Afghanistan with Meals-Ready-To-Eat, which is only average (450 mg magnesium/day) in magnesium. Mamas send your soldiers some magnesium!

               Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a disorder that occurs in and after military or police conflict, terrorism, such as the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, major accidents, school yard bullying and other stressful events, meet all of the symptomatic and stressor criteria for being a magnesium deficiency disorder due to excess stress and should also respond to magnesium treatment.

             Spasmophilia, in France and to a lesser extent in Germany and Hungary, has a similar meaning to manic depression in the United States. The main symptoms are anxiety neurosis, panic attacks, permanent muscle spasms, asthma and other respiratory problems and prickly sensations in hands and arms and sometimes face. Spasmophilia is also a condition of very low energy, mental fogginess, vague depression and unexplained but extremely persistent muscle spasms. The French studies on spasmophilia however indicate that it is not only magnesium but calcium that is deficient as well as potassium, phosphorus and vitamin D. If you read French (or will click on translation), you will find that considerable research has been done on "SPASMOPHILIE" which is well worth our time to examine closely due to the closeness of these French and U.S. afflictions and their treatment with magnesium. Since low magnesium will cause low calcium, potassium and phosphorus in the serum, perhaps all these people need is more magnesium and some sunlight.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

               In 1921, Dr. Paul G. Weston, MD first showed that magnesium sulfate administered intravenously relaxed people having excited emotional states, the very definition of ADHD. All of the patients were noisy, talkative, very restless and resistant. Many were depressed, some were manic, and some had other mental disorders. Out of 250 doses, 220 of these depression treatments resulted in relaxing the patients and they slept for 4 to 6 hours upon IV administration of magnesium sulfate. Dr. Weston's findings, published in Volume 1 of the American Journal of Psychiatry was completely ignored by the American Psychiatric Association, setting the stage for magnesium deficiency as cause of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder in children and adults to remain ignored for the following 80 years. However, there were hints along the way that magnesium was helpful in treating hyperactivity. For example biochemist, Dr. Adell Davis suggested in her 1970 book Let's East right to Keep Fit, that magnesium was beneficial in treating hyperactivity in children and adults. In 1987, Nelson et al. reported neonatal hyperexcitability in full term babies was related to significantly lower than normal serum magnesium.

               In 1993 Nizankowska-Blaz found low level of magnesium in blood serum in 24 out of 247 children in Poland. Twenty-one of the 24 children had neurotic reactions or concentration disturbances. In 1994 Kozielec et al. found significant magnesium, zinc, copper, iron and calcium deficits in plasma, erythrocytes, urine and hair in 50 Polish children aged from 4 to 13 years with hyperactivity. The average concentration of all trace elements was lower compared with the healthy children control group and they found that it was absolutely necessary to supplement trace elements in children with hyperactivity for them to regain emotional control. In a follow up study Kozielec et al. introduced their 1997 article with the comment: "A positive influence of magnesium in the prevention and treatment of hyperactivity in children is more and more frequently raised in the medical literature". They continued in their original research article with the astonishing finding that in 116 children (94 boys and 20 girls), aged 9-12 years, with recognized ADHD, magnesium deficiency was found in 95 per cent of those examined. Following up their observations, Kozielec et al. treated ADHD children with and without magnesium with spectacular results. Their research comprised 50 hyperactive children, aged 7-12 years, who fulfilled DSM IV criteria for ADHD syndrome, with recognized deficiency of magnesium in the blood and in hair. In the period of 6 months those examined regularly took magnesium preparations in a dosage of about 200 mg/day. Thirty of those examined with ADHD showed coexisting disorders specific to developmental age, and 20 of them showed disruptive behavior. The control group consisted of 25 children with ADHD and magnesium deficiency, who were treated in the standard way (without magnesium supplements). Fifteen members of this group showed coexisting disorders specific for developmental age, and 10 members showed disruptive behavior. Hyperactivity was assessed with the aid of psychometric scales: the Conners Rating Scale for Parents and Teachers, Wender's Scale of Behavior and the Quotient of Development to Freedom from Distractibility. In the group of children given 6 months of magnesium supplementation, independently of other mental disorders coexisting with hyperactivity, an increase in magnesium contents in hair and a significant decrease of hyperactivity of those examined was achieved, compared to their clinical state before supplementation and compared to the control group which had not been treated with magnesium.

               Later in 1998, one of the Polish scientists, Dr. Starobrat-Hermelin followed up with analysis of more minerals in ADHD. He studied the deficiencies of magnesium, copper, zinc, calcium and iron in blood that occurred among 116 ADHD hyperactive children (DSM IV criteria) and compared them with blood from healthy children. Although some disruptive children had slightly higher zinc serum concentrations, magnesium concentrations were lower in children with ADHD than in healthy children. Supplementing with magnesium alone, all minerals tested increased compared to ADHD children not given magnesium supplements. Accompanying the rise in mineral serum concentration there was a decrease of hyperactivity in the group of children treated with magnesium. Among the children given standard treatment (without magnesium) hyperactivity intensified. Consequently, this Polish study provides strong clinical evidence that there is a need for magnesium supplementation in ADHD children irrespectively of other mental disorders.

               Do you think Western children with ADHD will receive proper magnesium supplementation to decrease their hyperactivity? If you are a skeptic, you are probably right. Instead, they will be given "upper" drugs; one such drug is the amphetamine dextroamphetamine which has the unique property of elevating magnesium in serum and significantly reducing the calcium to magnesium ratio. On the other hand, psychiatric drugs like Psychoverlan and Pemoline, and are being used to treat ADHA which contain magnesium. Mothers! watch out for the pharmaceutical drug peddlers! Ritalin, a standard for ADHA is now believed to cause cancer. Clearly the FDA does not know what it is doing.

              Insomnia is a major problem in the treatment of ADHD with stimulants. I wonder if too much sugar and not enough magnesium causes insomnia of ADHD? wouldn't hurt to try. Let me know!         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder (AAADD)

               Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder (AAADD) is a newly described mental condition currently being experimentally treated using very aggressive and expensive psychiatric medications by extremely accomplished psychiatrists. The symptoms are complex and usually totally bewildering. AAADD affects mostly men in Western society over 40 years of age, and causes great economic hardship and injury if not carefully treated. AAADD usually affects men for the rest of their lives if not successfully and promptly treated. AAADD is usually first identified by spouses of men so afflicted. Rather than to try to describe the extremely subjective signs and symptoms of this most difficult and challenging mental illness, I will recount a story in a letter to me from a newly diagnosed AAADD victim.

      Dear George,

               They have finally found a diagnosis for my condition. I have recently been diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder...

               This is how it goes on a typical Saturday morning:

               I decide to wash the car; I start toward the garage and notice the mail on the table. OK, I'm going to wash the car, but first I'm going to go through the mail. I lay the car keys down on the desk, discard the junk mail and I notice the trash can is full.

               OK, I'll just put the bills on my desk and take the trash can out, but since I'm going to be near the mailbox anyway, I'll pay these few bills first. Now, where is my checkbook?

               Oops, there's only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk. Oh, there's the coke I was drinking. I'm going to look for those checks, but first I need to put my coke further away from the computer, or maybe I'll pop it into the fridge to keep it cold for a while.

               I head towards the kitchen and my potted flowers catch my eye, they need some water. I set the coke on the counter and, uh oh! There are my glasses. I was looking for them all morning! I'd better put them away first.

               I fill a container with water and head for the flower pots - - Aaaaaagh! Someone left the TV remote in the kitchen. We will never think to look in the kitchen tonight when we want to watch television so I'd better put it back in the family room where it belongs.

               I splash some water into the flower pots, but most of it goes onto the floor. Better clean this up. I head back down the hall to the bathroom, the remote still in my hand. I set the remote on the toilet seat so I can pull an old bath towel down from the shelf. As I walk back down the hall I'm trying to figure out what it was I was going to do.

               NOON: The car isn't washed, the bills are unpaid, the coke is sitting on the kitchen counter, the flowers are half watered, there is a water stain on the floor, the checkbook still only has one check in it and I can't seem to find my car keys or the TV remote.

               There is only one obvious solution: I need to settle down and check my mail. WOW, look at those cool photos my sister sent, and those jokes from my nephew. Oh, what the heck, I'll just make me a TO-DO list and tend to the other chores later, maybe tomorrow. Now where did I put my pen?"

      Your friend, Tom Toya,

               Either a very specialized and expensive psychiatric treatment is required, or victims can just take magnesium. Actually, You have just been spoofed! And I hope you find this anecdote humorous. There is no psychiatric illness called AAADD, but don't the symptoms seem all too real? Who knows, maybe it is a real disorder treatable by magnesium.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Falling In Love

               "Falling in love" has a special sound to it. It is the topic of countless songs, movies, and TV shows. Countless diaries record love affairs and the despair that goes with unrequited love and lost, dying love affairs. Take another look at the words "falling in love". It seems that "falling" is the operative word. Why don't we say "rising" in love with a sweet heart? Jesus wanted us to "rise in love" of the Father. Why would we want to "fall" into anything? Would you want to fall into a pit (of despair)? Wouldn't love be better if love (not animal passion) caused us to "rise" in love? Ideally, love does raise our spirits, and a few times in a person's life, "falling in love" leads to marriage, and our well-loved, and usually spoiled progeny. After all, love is what makes the world go around.

               The "dark side" of love is not as simple to explore, and we must reconsider "falling in love" as a "hyperexcitatory" or "hyperemotional" state which is treatable with magnesium. When love-gone-wrong turns to depression (as it does for so many love-sick teenagers and desperate-for-love folks of any age), think magnesium - not Prozac. When that special loved one makes you so anxious you could scream, think magnesium - not Valium. When that special loved one irritates you to the point you want to kill the bastard, think magnesium - not a gun.

               Unrequited love is a saddening affair which no one will doubt. There is little that one can do to fight a shadow, and one can't run from a shadow either. You are stuck and in deep stress and turmoil and in need of magnesium and time. We often turn to music in our darkest love-less moments. In my experience with music, there is one album (F L O A T I N G  I N T O  T H E  N I G HT ) that really goes all the way in exploring the dark underside of love-gone-wrong. The lyrics are by D a v i d L y n c h, and the music is by A n g e l o  B a d a l m e n t i. The compositions are sung with great reverence, style and beauty by J u l e e  C r u i s e. Some of you will recognize songs in this album as being from D a v i d  L y n c h's ethereal TV program of the early 90's "T w i n  P e a k s". If you are love-struck, and just want to listen to someone who seems to feels as bad as you, I strongly suggest curling up with a magnesium bottle and listening to her songs of love-gone-wrong. I might add that in the early 90's, I was so struck by her music that I spent hours each day listening to this single album. I nearly drove my wife crazy. Please buy her album, it is a world-class treasure worthy of any lover's music collection.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Divorce: George Eby style

              On July 23, 2010, my wife of 45 years filed for divorce. I have never felt such a shock and pain. At first I was filled with anger and later came the depression, the deep, severe, major, nearly suicidal depression. I have used magnesium daily, 800 mg of magnesium from magnesium glycinate, for about ten years and my magnesium levels are very likely to be fine.

              Yet, the depression (or was it grief) came back. What to do? First, one must recognize that there is a difference between depression and grief. We know what to do for clinical depression, that being treat with magnesium. What does one do for "grief"? It can result in suicide, just like clinical depression, so it must be properly managed. I think it requires much more human contact than I currently have. I solved my problem with "talk therapy" in the Generations Program for people over 65 years of age at Seton Hospital in Austin, Texas. I was enrolled in the program for a year, and it was very effective in increasing my problem of lack of human contact. (I got a girl friend out of the program!) The talk theraphy allowed each of us in the program to discuss our problems openly, and I was amazed to see how similar our situations were. Briefly, we all had problems with relatives, usually spouses, children or grand children. Over time, grief goes away.

               I have concentrated on building this web page and others similar to it, (see and biomedical research in general for many years. The work encroached into my family life at the expense of relations with my wife. In effect, writing has become a substitute for good human relations for me. What to do? How does one repair a broken family life? How does one take back the hundreds of thousands hours lost to work? Divorce is by far the most painful experience of my life.

               How can one survive the catastrophe called "divorce"? Perhaps the first thing to do is to differentiate between "academic intelligence" and "social intelligence". I am well known for high academic intelligence, but how about my social intelligence? I suspect that it is very low since I have so few friends and my wife was my social life. How does one improve social intelligence" so that there is even a remote chance for future happiness? Where does one start? Perhaps the first thing to do in case of divorce, is to join DivorceCare. Go to this page and sign up for daily messages that will bring some understanding and perhaps comfort to you. Perhaps the best advice is to go forward into the future and forget the past as is found in this bible verse: The old has gone; Behold the new has come (2 Corithians 5:17)

               One expects on a daily basis that attack can come from many different "external" directions. Simply walking down the street one could experience a mugger. A business deal could go south, or any of a million external treats could zap us at any time. We have trained ourselves for that, but what happens when we are attacked from "inside"? That is what divorce is, an attack from inside. Think of the words, "in case of divorce" in the same way as we must think about the term "in case of fire". They are both potentially lethal and they must be handled quickly and correctly. In a way, this webpage is devoted to understanding, handling and treating another "attack from inside", that being major depression. In Divorce, the problem of depression (or grief) can be extremely severe and occasionally can result in suicide and/or murder of the wife. Read the medical literature on this horrific problem here. For example, my divorce attorney told me that he regularly had 3 to 5 male clients per year commit suicide. They just couldn't accept that they had been so seriously betrayed by their "loving" wife.

               Concerning divorce finances, what we really need is "divorce insurance", somewhat like "life insurance". I had never heard of such a thing, so I Googled "divorce inurance" and found that there was only one company, Wedlock Divoce Insurance that offered it. I really wish that I had divorce insurance, since maybe they would have helped pay for my horific legal expenses. Alternatively, there is a company, Balance Point Divorce Funding that helps fund clients that are likely to win sizable awards in a divorce, but who do not have the funds to adequately pursue the case.

               STUNNING RESULTS USING TESTOSTERONE TO CURE MY DEPRESSION! I had been taking testosterone for my heart, but stopped when my wife left. Recently, I had my testosterone blood levels taken again, and 4 months after my wife left, its value was very low at 275, even for a seventy-year-old-man like me. That was far below normal and might cause illnesses, especially of a cardiovascular nature. Could that very low level of blood testosterone cause my: major depression? Heart flutters? Heart stabbing pains? Extreme physical weakness? Walking stooped over like a little-old-man? Dificulty sleeping? Well, I went back on testosterone at 1/2 of the recommended dosage and shortly all of those horrific symptoms totally disappeared! WOW! I went overnight from a disabled old man back to a 45 year old. In fact, today, I was so physically fit (one day after feeling and looking like a disabled old man) that I loaded a truck with firewood for my friend Veronique Mathews. I was stunned. I checked the medical literature, and found a number of articles that support my observation, especially this review. The gist of this article is as follows. "Seven studies (N=364 men) were identified that included a placebo-control group in a double-blind design. Meta-analysis of the data from these seven studies showed a highly significant positive effect of testosterone therapy on depressed patients when compared with placebo (P < 0.0001). They concluded that testosterone treatment may have a strong antidepressant effect in depressed men, especially elderly subpopulations." In further research, I found out that testosterone used to be the treatment of choice for depression in older men.

               Interestingly, there was a medical journal article that showed that low-dose testosterone treatment was also beneficial in treating treatment-resistant-depression and fatigue in women! See this link.

               There are also some web pages that support my testosterone obsrervations. How long will the benefit last? Beats me, we will see! See some of these articles found using this google search. Please remember that testosterone falls in men each year of their life, and in men over 60, it can be, and often is, dangerously low. Furthermore, old men that have low testosterone usually die of heart problems. (That is why I was taking testosterone before my wife left.) In fact, some scientist now belief - based on much evidence (see this link) - that the reason women greatly outlive men is that women need very little testosterone compared with men. Thus, they live 5 to 15 years longer than males. Well, its back to the testosterone bottle for George! How long will the benefit last? In my case, I now have minor depressive episodes fairly frequently, but am OK the rest of the time. This is called treatment-resistant depression.

               I enter 2011 filled with anxiety and depression. What will this year bring?

              Tragically, 2011 brought the death of my son, Colin Martin Eby. He died of ALS on May 14, 2011, which was 10 days after my ex-wife and my divorce hearing in front of the judge. When did I learn of his death? March 17, 2012, nearly a year afterward. I hadn't heard from him in a long time, so I googled his name and found this obituary anouncing his death. Apparently, my ex-wife and ex-daughter hid his death from me for nearly a year before I accidentlly found out about it. They didn't even list me on the obituary. I loved my son. How would you like to be treated like that? When I tell this story to friends and acquaintences, the one word that each uses to decribe their horrible behavior is the word "evil".

               On the other hand, 2011 brought George a girlfriend! Yea! for a really nice woman that saved old George! Although she was being treated for depression at Seton also, she fixed my depression and lifted my spirts tremendously! April 29, 2012; my girlfriend and I have now been together for exactly one year, and I must confess that I have been happier during this year than at any time during my marriage.

               Unfortunately, my girlfriend was very prone to anger, and thing popped up, like arguments and fights, between us which detracted from our relationship. She ultimately became so angry at me that she threatened me with death, saying "George, I have had it with you, I am going to Red's gun store, buy a gun, get them to teach me how to use it and I am going to kill you." I immediately called the police since she made a convincing illegal terroristic threat, and I left and never saw her again. I was so destraught that I went back into Seton Hospital for a week of intensive in-patient treatment. I got over my grief fairly rapidly, but I will never see her again - not after her threats. This does bring up the notion that "grief" and "clinical depression" are totally different. I suggest that "grief" is a condition of the heart, while "clinical depression" is a condition of the brain.

              Mike Harrison of summed up the mistakes men make which end up in divorce, as follows:

              Men! Wake up men! She really will leave you! Women file for divorce twice as often as men do in the United States, with the top reason being NEGLECT. (That was my sin.) When you combine all the tedious tasks the average woman has to do, usually carrying the bulk of the domestic burden, with very little sexual fulfillment or emotional intimacy at home, you have a recipe for disaster. It is surprising that many more women don't have extra-marital affairs. After a certain amount of neglect, women are left with no choice but to permanently withdraw emotionally. With no emotional connection, every domestic task becomes a burden. It is no way for women to live. Unfortunately, husbands are TOTALLY oblivious to what is going on, even when the situation becomes extreme. The average husband wakes up to reality only when he is served divorce papers. This is simply not acceptable.

              Men, if you want to keep your partner in life, take to heart the following advice.

      • Listen: Put down the laptop and spend time every day listening to your wife. Amazingly, she often won't require anything more of you. Usually, she just wants to know you care.
      • Think (of her): An ounce of thoughtfulness yields gallons of appreciation in return. Do something for her without having to be asked. Simple!
      • Help: Wash the dishes - VERY, VERY IMPORTANT! Do the laundry (without ruining anything). Do homework with the kids. Come out of the garage and into family life. Just knowing you are available will lift her burden.
      • Feel: That's right. Feel. It takes courage to make yourself vulnerable, more courage than many men possess. Be brave. Share your feelings.
      • Extend: Remember that love is the willingness to extend yourself on behalf of another. In other words, go out of your way for her. There is no better way to demonstrate your love and create respect and trust. This is the opposite of neglect, men - a perfect divorce antidote.

              With a few of the fundamentals of healthy relating in place, emotional and sexual intimacy will naturally follow, if you are up for it. If not, I hope you are up for the end of your relationship. Then, when you find another partner, you'll face the same challenges all over again.

              If you have any concerns about your marriage, both of you must seek professional counseling - and definitely go to counceling together.

      My Experience with Heaven and Hell

              My experience with "Heaven" came quite by accident. I had made a comment on a YouTube violin piece called Chi Mai, by Katica Illenyi. All I wrote was, "I think I died and gone to heaven!" I really love that song and Katica is clearly, and absolutely the finest violinist I have ever heard play. As you can see, I am very impressed with her and her work. I love her! Recently, I had a need to Google the word "heaven". I don't remember why. Guess what! On May 11, 2014, I found my comments and her perfect Chi Mai violin piece in 7th place on the first page of Google! I can't imagine how many priests, rabbis, and preachers of all religions would cherish being given such a lofty spot in a search for Heaven! But, leave it to the Google guys to hide it somewhere latter.

              My next experience with heaven came shortly thereafter my first one. I saw a "PERFECT" woman. I had never seen one before and was totally stunned. here is my story. I was in an HEB grocery store in Austin, Texas. As I walked around the corner of an isle, I saw a woman selling Smirnoff Ice Watermelon Mimosa, but was she a real woman? She was so absolutely perfect thast I thought she was a manequin, so I told her, "You are perfect, are you a manequin? She smiled and I instantly knew she wasn't a manequin. We talked for a bit about her looking perfect, and she said "I get a lot of that." I felt a bit stupid, but I looked at her and looked at her and was falling madly in love with what I saw. I knew I had to leave immediately, but I did buy some stuff from her. As I left I blew her a kisss and she blew me a kiss in return and we both smiled at each other. There was only about a 50-year age difference between us. I will never drink my purchase, but will keep it forever as a reminder of her. What does a perfect woman look like? I Googled it and got this page. I cried all the way home.

              My experiences with "Hell" came at about the same time as my above experience with Heaven, as I have had six painful outbreaks of the hives starting April 30, 2014 going through May 26, 2014, which appears to have been caused by an allergy to Garcinia Cambogia, the weight loss herb. Allergic side effects have been reported in the medical literature to include itching, skin rash, hives, mouth or throat tingling, chest tightness, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the hands, face or throat, nearly all of which I had. An allergic reaction to Garcinia cambogia (or anythiing that causes hives) is a medical emergency. The first of my attacks sent me to an emergency hospital, while I treated the other outbreaks with supersaturated zinc gluconate solutions applied topically all over my skin, which cured the hives in less than an hour. At least, hives is what I was diagnosed to have by a physician. However, the "hives" were much more likely to have been a "niacin flush" as I took fast release nicain during May by accident. Normally, I take sustained release niacine, which does not cause a flush - or hives!

              My doctor had been telling me that I probably had "sleep apnea" since I fell asleep watching TV during the day. What? That sounds rediculous, and I assured her that I did not have sleep apnea. She insisted that I did, repeatedly, so I volunteered for a sleep study, more or less to document that she was wrong. However, the sleep study showed that I had a severe case of sleep apnea called Cheyne-Stokes respiration, a sleep disorder often found in central sleep apnea and I also had mild obstructive sleep apnea. I had absolutely no warning or symptoms of this condition. I never knew I had a sleep problem. My doctor diagnosed me as having a sleep apnea problem only becaue I often fell asleep watching TV. Consider how many Americans likely have that problem.

              Central sleep apnea This abnormal pattern of breathing (click figure to enlarge) in which breathing is absent for a period and then rapid for a period, can be seen in patients with congestive heart failure, strokes, traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors and severe water accumlation, none of which I have - to the best of my knowledge. However, there is literature showing an association between atrial fibrilation and Cheyne-Stokes respiration, and I have had afib for many years. Cheyne-Stokes is mainly thought to be caused by a problem with the respiratory center which is in the lower most part of the brain stem. Hospice personnel sometimes see Cheyne–Stokes breathing as a patient nears death. Yikes! Interestingly, solving the Cheyne-Stokes issue often terminates atrial fibrillation too. YEA! Cheyne-Stokes can be minimized by sleeping on one's side, while sleeping in the supine body position (on one's back) increases the frequency of apnoeas and hypopnoeas in patients with Cheyne-Stokes respiration. I always sleep on my side. I have been consitent about that for decades. There is also a relation between sleep apneas and other disorders, including erectile dysfunction. Treating sleep apnea reduces erectile dysfuncion.

              Later in May, I had another sleep study, this time wearing a CPAP and later in the night a BiPap machine and mask. They were torture! How on earth sleep doctors think that people can sleep with those things on their faces is beyond me. The nurse had to put it on me several times during the night, and each time she did, I felt like I was having a mini-panic attack! I have seen reports that people often, perhaps as much as 50% of the time, cannot use these masks. However, since wearing these masks reduces the risk of dying in one's sleep by more than two-fold compared to people without it, I will wear the mask.

              Now that I have been using a little nostrils-only mask for a few weeks, I can tolerate the BiPap machine. I have done some research and I am finding that sleep apnea underlies most of the aging-related diseases that often result in death. Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents (caused by falling asleep at the wheel), diabetes, depression, and other ailments. We worry about each of these separately as if there is nothing under-lying them. However, as we learn more about sleep apnea, it becomes more and more clear that sleep apnea is the underlying cause of these lethal disorders. Taking this one step further, and back to napping, there is now evidence that napping is associated with death, and perhaps causes, death. Napping associated with death???? How, can that be? Remember that napping is a major symptom of sleep apnea.

              I found that theophylline therapy was good for near fatal Cheyne-Stokes respiration. Theophylline is an ingredient in tea, but not in enough concentration to be therapeutic. Humm! Interesting? Yes, but large therapeutic dosages causes worsened heart issues, and the same dosages in different people can result in a broad range of serum concentrations, and the higher concentrations can be dangerous. Seems like 200 mg twice a day is right. However, for the time being, I think I will stick with tea! Wouldn't it be cool if Cheyne-Stokes respiration was just a tea deficiency? I have already shown that obstructive sleep apnea was a DHEA deficiency. See my article about it here.

      Using gratitude to defeat depression

              Many studies show that consistent positive interactions, particularly ones that involve gratitude, increase happiness and decrease levels of depression. What are the gratitude techniques research says help alleviate depression? Here are 7 that offer an antidote to depressive symptoms all year long.

      1. Gratitude visit – Deliver a letter of gratitude in writing or email to a person you are grateful to, but have not thanked appropriately.
      2. Three good things - Write down three things that had gone well for you this week and an explanation why those things happened.
      3. Using signature strengths in a new way – Use one of your best strengths in a new way every week.
      4. Three funny things - Write down three funny things you experienced or did this week - and an explanation why those things happened.
      5. Counting kindness - Count and report the acts of kindness you offer every day. Or the ones you receive every day.
      6. Gift of time - Offer at least three "gifts of time" by contacting/meeting three persons about whom you care about each week.
      7. One door closes, another door opens - Write about a moment in your life this week when a negative event led to unforeseen positive consequences.

      Corporate Murder and Our Food

               In her year 2000 book, CRAZY MAKERS - How the Food Industry is Destroying Our Brains and Harming Our Children", published by Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putman, New York, NY; nutritionist Carol Simontacchi, PhD, writes, "It (magnesium) is used to regulate receptor sites for neurotransmitters, and is active in the hippocampus, the emotional center of the body." This book explores our dietary habits and exposes American food manufacturers as compromising our foods and leading us into malnutrition and its corollary mental and physical disorders. Most importantly, it explains what we can do about it. In the tradition of Dr. Rachel Carson's landmark work Silent Spring, she takes a hard, shattering look at how the pseudo foods being promoted today, from infant formulas to supposedly health-conscious packaged meals can, in fact, physically erode our brains.

      Grain Drain         The "Grain Drain", displayed without comment (Reader's Digest, March 2003, page 180) says much. This data adopted from the November 2002 issue of Harvard Heart Letter is a strong indictment of grain refiners. The nutrients taken out of wheat are the same nutrients that when deficient cause depression and many health problems in the West. Who is to blame for much of human health misery? I vote for the grain refiners. But wait! They listen to the consumer, and the consumer (totally mindless when it comes to nutrition and health) wants a fine white bread that has the consistency of velvet. What is the difference between bread and cake? Sugar. We know we shouldn't eat cake, but there is little benefit left in bread too. We have only ourselves to blame, because we are listening to our taste buds rather than common sense. Why hasn't public policy addressed this horrible circumstance? Lobbyists?

              Considering the raw wheat used to make our bread, magnesium content is high and is about 4 times higher than calcium; yet, commercial breads, cakes and cookies that we serve our families are nearly devoid of these precious minerals - to preserve freshness and shelf life!  Scientists around 1930 studying comparative cancer rates in Egypt and the West noted that Egyptian breads contained natural amounts of magnesium while Western processed bread contained very little. They noted that the cancer rate in Egypt was ten percent that of the West at that time. Is there something to be learned here? If we don't start paying attention to what we eat, will we perish? I wish they would worry more about "preserving" our lives rather than "preserving" shelf life. Do you know of any magnesium fortified foods? I don't. NOTE: We now know why this is true. Magnesium deficiency attrites (shortens) telomeres in the chromosomes of our DNA resulting in damage to our DNA which causes cancer and early death. None other than world-famous Standford University Dr. Bruce N. Ames and his co-worker David W. Killilea worked up this information. See their Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article here.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Wheat, Asthma and Cardiac Arrhythmias

             All of my life I have had asthma, usually mild, sometimes severe. For the last 8 years I have had cardiac arrhythmias, benign but irritating. I have lately done considerable research on these two issues and have some good things to report. However, there is a catch-22, and that makes my following story interesting. So, here we go...

             Asthma is associated with low dietary magnesium, a fact that has been known to magnesium researchers for many years. Magnesium is often given to asthmatics being treated in hospitals. Most researchers have found that only the most severely asthmatic patients respond to asthma by mouth, or inhalation directly into the lungs, while injected magnesium usually works in about 30 minutes to perhaps 4 hours. I discovered a very rapid acting method of treating asthma using magnesium throat lozenges. They work in seconds to minutes, but they have a potential for side effects, namely worsened common colds, herpes infections and candida albicans infections and may kill people with rhinovirus-induced asthma (see article here). If you want to read my published medical journal article on this matter, then read this article. OK. That is all good and dandy, but it is not my main point. After I decided to avoid using magnesium throat lozenge unless I was having a serious attack, I asked myself the simple question, "What is causing my asthma?" Seems like an easy question, so I did an easy thing. I Googled it. Up came the notion that "wheat allergy" would cause asthma. There I go again, bashing wheat! There are many reasons to not eat wheat, but for the person with asthma, this is by far the most important. I put myself and my asthmatic daughter on a wheat elimination diet, and presto, within a day, our symptoms abated and after a few more days they disappeared altogether. We both had serious wheat allergies, even though our intake of wheat had been modest, and we had not eaten stuff like waffles, bread, cakes and pancakes for years. It does not take but one cracker a day to have an asthmatic day if you are allergic to wheat. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

      Magnesium throat lozenges might kill asthmatics, especially children

             I mentioned above that magnesium lozenges caused side effects, one of which was worsened colds. Not even the world's strongest anti-common cold medicines available (Eby's ColdCure Zinc Acetate Lozenges) had any noticeable effects on magnesium throat lozenge fertilized common colds. This is because magnesium stimulates the release of rhinoviruses by 8 to 310-fold. If you have a rhinovirus cold, they will greatly worsen it. There - I have shown the world how to shorten and lengthen colds. No one else has ever done that.

             Unfortunately, asthma, especially in children, is often caused by rhinoviruses and use of magnesium throat lozenges, designed to dissolve slowly in the mouth, or simply by slowly dissolving dietary supplements of nearly any magnesium compound could hypothetically kill asthmatic children and possibly an adult. Can you imagine having an asthma attack 310 times worse than normal? In July of 2009, I raised this imagined (I had a nightmare about it) hypothesis in a letter to the editor of Medical Hypotheses, which has been accepted. This is the same journal that published my article on treating adult asthma, which is usually allergy induced (but can be rhinoviral-induced), with magnesium throat lozenges in 2006. Remember that deaths in pediatric asthma cases have increased steadily over the last 20 to 30 years, which is about the same time period that researchers have been experimenting with and recommending magnesium for asthma.

             Imagine a pediatrician recommending to a mother of a child with asthma to increase the child's dietary intake of magnesium. Imagine a mom buying dietary supplements of magnesium and giving them to her asthmatic child. Imagine a rebellious child, one who will not take pills or a child that has trouble taking big pills. Imagine the child dissolving the pill in his mouth. Imagine an asthma attack 310 times worse than the child had ever had before. Imagine not being able to breath. Imagine a child dying of severe asthma. Neither the mother nor the pediatrician would link magnesium to the child's death. "Magnesium is a nutrient and can't hurt a child", says the pediatrician to the mourning mom. Depressing? You bet! Adults seem less likely to dissolve a magnesium tablet since their mouths are sufficiently large and they do not have trouble swallowing the - usually - large magnesium dietary supplements.

             I might add that magnesium in gelatin capsules would be safest for an asthmatic child (or adult) since there is no oral contact with the magnesium. I think mom's should be very, very,very careful giving magnesium tablets or capsules to asthmatic children and they must watch them swallow the pills. Swallowing the pills will not cause these problems in my opinion since the magnesium does not contact the oral tissues. It seems to me that there is absolutely no room for error here, not even once. All this raises the question how do you do a double-blind, placebo controlled, clinical trial to test my hypothesis? You don't! You wait, watch and worry. I will keep you informed if I hear anything. Don't understand how this can be? Asthma is in the lungs, not the throat! Trust me on this, I know about what I write. Read my 2006 Medical Hypotheses article for the science and read my 2009 letter to the editor here. If the magnesium rapidly gets to the lungs as I hypothesized, then it will aggravate rhinoviruses in the lungs, greatly increasing their release. Check out the references in the letter. Click on the reference numbers and the links will take you to the cited articles. Notice from my references that this effect was first described in the early '60s. No research occurred concerning this laboratory effect in humans until I described the effect of a single 100 mg magnesium chloride throat lozenge on my adult daughter's cold in my 2006 article. She lost an entire semester of college due to that magnesium-fueled common cold. Remember that she only used one 100 mg magnesium (magnesium chloride) throat lozenge.

             Before her nightmarish magnesium-fueled cold, I was very impressed with the effect of magnesium throat lozenges on adult allergy-induced asthma, and I nearly commercialized them. I called them "Asthmag". I caught my mistake before I ever sold a single one of them. I destroyed every bottle, every single one. I smashed them to smithereens then burned the empty bottles. I am really glad I did. I could not tolerate the thought of an asthmatic child (or adult) dying from a product of mine. How do you think the magnesium dietary supplement manufacturers will feel if others find that my nightmarish hypothesis is correct? What will be the FDA's position on magnesium supplements? The FDA has never been very friendly to nutritional supplements, and this hypothesis - particularly if verified - will fuel the fire. BTW, this is what magnesium looks like when it is used to start a fire. Click here. Notice that water makes it worse. There is no brighter light on Earth than a magnesium fire. The reaction releases huge amounts of energy during the oxidization of magnesium. Think your body's biochemistry has enough energy to take magnesium oxide apart so that you can use the elemental magnesium? HA! Forget it.

      My personal experience with magnesium throat lozenges

             I mentioned above that magnesium throat lozenges would worsen candida albicans infections, namely thrush and chronic rhino-sinusitis. You guessed it, after using a few of the magnesium lozenges, I came down with chronic rhino-sinusitis and I, being a major whiner, convinced those around me that I was dying. My nose and sinuses were in terrible condition. They were filled solid and the sinuses drained 24/7, and they hurt, making sleep impossible. I went to several doctors and all they could offer were antibiotics and steroids, something that I resist like crazy. I took them anyway. They didn't help. I tried my zinc lozenges. They didn't help. I thought for certain that I was going to either drown or die from a lack of sleep. I was loosing weight, becoming irritable, and was really a mess. This went on for months. No one could help me. What now, brown cow? Back to google. By googling, I found out that candida albicans was the most likely culprit, as it was usually found in chronic sinusitis. I knew I was allergic to candida albicans too. I checked PubMed and found convincing evidence that it was, in fact, candida albicans that was the likely culprit. I remain amazed to this day how nasty that little critter is in terms of harming human health. We need a National initiative to treat it. I ran across an obscure article about nitric oxide (NO) being anti-fungal, and the article showed that at a certain concentration NO was lethal to candida albicans without harming tissue. OK, sounded good to me, so where do you buy NO? I looked on the web for NO, and found that by humming, one could generate nasal NO. The Karolinska Institute researchers in Sweden were looking into the use of humming to generate nasal NO. Cool! That seemed to be exactly what I needed to treat my chronic sinusitis. Well, I hummed my head off, literally, since humming too strongly will give one a headache and make one dizzy, making driving impossibly dangerous (don't do it). The next day, my chronic sinusitis symptoms were nearly absent. I repeated it the following few days and have been symptom-free since then. Later, I reread the article and it said that repeated humming wouldn't work! B.S.! It worked perfectly, so I emailed Dr. Maniscalco, the main author, and we corresponded for a while. I encouraged him to further research humming to treat chronic sinusitis. To be certain that the evidence was presented to the world, I wrote a medical journal article on this discovery, and it is here for you to read. Coincidentally, my cardiac arrhythmias disappeared while humming! Clearly, the action on the arrhythmias was by nitric oxide induced by humming.

             Consequently, I have also been doing research into management of cardiac arrhythmias using other agents that induce nitric oxide, such as L-arginine. I published that research, and it is here for you to read. Now, you can see why I told you the above story. It all fits together nicely. I used taurine and L-arginine for a long time to effectively prevent my cardiac arrhythmias. A background article is here. Also, here is a page out of a Chinese medical book suggesting that they have been doing this for thousands of years.

             Now, we go back to the beginning where I stopped eating wheat to prevent my asthma. As I mentioned above, stopping eating wheat was very effective in stopping my asthma, but after about 3 days of being completely off of wheat (and no other carbohydrate consumption), my cardiac arrhythmias came back with a vengeance. Was this coincidental? Or was there a relationship between wheat and arrhythmias? Even though I increased my L-arginine from 6 grams a day to 20 grams, the arrhythmias persisted. Then, I did the stupidest thing. I actually took a moment to read the label on the NOWTM 500 mg L-arginine bottle. It read in part: "Take between meals or at bedtime with a carbohydrate drink to facilitate absorption." Whoa! I couldn't believe my eyes! I was stunned to find that by eliminating wheat (my main source of carbohydrates) totally from my diet that I had damaged my ability to absorb L-arginine, thus worsening my arrhythmias. My main point here is that our diets greatly influence our health, and that foods can harm us. By reading my own article, I also found that L-carnitine was effective in treating cardiac arrhythmias. It is another of the "conditional" essential nutrients like taurine and arginine. I added L-carnitine to my regime (5 grams 4 times a day) and with an equal amount of taurine and arginine, my cardiac arrhythmias are the least they have been in years. Each of these three amino acids is normally made in the body by the liver and in an axis of the kidneys and intestines. My old 65-year old body no longer is making enough of these life supporting nutrients, and if I don't supplement them I can not do well. As we age, nutrients that are considered "conditional" and therefore getting no attention, become "essential". Fortunately, I have a tick-tock clock that reminds me moment-to-moment of my amino acid status, which allows me to fine-tune it. By the way, the dreadful taste of L-arginine is effectively canceled by the sugar needed to metabolize it. Pretty cools stuff.

             I have one more "arginine" technique for stopping cardiac arrhythmias. Sprinkle 500 mg of L-arginine into the mouth, thus the arginine is absorbed in the mouth and throat (like would result from use of an arginine lozenge). I let it totally dissolve in the saliva and kept it in my mouth for about 20 minutes. In less than 20 minutes, my arrhythmias stopped and remained stopped for 36 to 40 hours, not quite 2 days. I didn't have to take any taurine, arginine or carnitine - NOTHING! Sound too good to be true? Yes, it is too good to be the whole story. The arginine caused pain in my tongue. Go figure! I have no idea what that is about, but the pain lasted for hours and only gradually tapered off to nothing in about 24 to 36 hours. There you have it, I can have perfect cardiac rhythm or a pain-free tongue, but not both! Arrrggggg!!!!!! If getting old was not so serious, this would be down-right funny.

             BTW, I Googled "nitric oxide causes pain" and googled "arginine cause pain" and found zero pages. In fact, it seems to be the other way around, they prevent pain. For instance, "Arginine produces nitric oxide to inhibit neuropathic pain." What now brown cow?

             There you have it. I hope I have convinced you that I think respiration and circulation are important, and that I have contributed to the science. I have both taught how to cure and lengthen common colds, treat asthma effectively (life saving potential) and terminate chronic rhinosinusitis. Not bad for a country boy. Too bad no one seems to care - little prospect for commercialization. To see all of my medical research, click here.

      How your cat can cause you to catch schizophrenia

             Crazy old cat woman.I suppose everyone has heard about the crazy old cat woman. Here is a very short, but very entertaining Simpson "Crazy old cat lady" cartoon on Youtube. You know the type. What is now being uncovered is that cats can cause people to "catch" schizophrenia. You say, people don't "catch" schizophrenia, they "develop" schizophrenia. It is not "catchable". Or is it? The scientific evidence is coming in that it is catchable and that the main vector is from cat poop, especially cat poop that has been in a cat litter box for 24 hours. Here is the deal. Cats are the main carrier of a parasite called toxoplasmosis which can cause behavior changes in people. It is spread to humans by handling their kitty litter. It seems that about a day is required for the toxoplasmosis spores to grow to dangerous concentrations after exiting the cat. When this parasite gets into the human brain, it may cause schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. The most likely way the spoors get into the brain is by breathing the dust from the kitty litter box with the spores attaching themelves to the olfactory organ, which is an extension of the brain into the upper nasal cavity.

             The evidence comes mainly from animal research published in the Proceedings of the National Acadamy of Science, and much more needs to be learned. Here is a Wikipedia article about toxoplasmosis and behavior changes. Note from this section that one scientist found toxoplasmosis in all cases of schizophrenia reviewed. In fact, about 10 to 11 percent of all people appear to be infected, perhaps causing toxoplasmosis to be the largest determinant of adverse human behavior on the planet. Here is a U.S. Center for Disease Control article on the problem. In a study of rat behavior, this parasite caused a research study's rats to become "attracted to", instead of "averted from", the scent of cat urine. Think about that, this bug causes totally backwards and totally destructive behavior, which can be termed "reversals".

             I know a brilliant young lady that was extremely schizophrenic a few years ago. After spending a fortune on "medical care" she found that no one could help her except herself. Although she was truly crazy, her IQ was not affected and she desparately sought out a cause for her mental illness. Someone told her she acted like a "crazy cat lady" since she carried around her cat all the time. She wondered if the cat had anything to do with her schizophrenia, so she Googled "cats and schizophrenia". She was stunned by what she read, and she tossed her cat over the roof and out of her life. Here is another Simpson cartoon of a "crazy old cat woman" tossing her cat over the roof of a house. In about nine months with no medical care (due to her desparate financial status) she spontaneously normalized. Her schizophrenia was gone and stayed away.

             In rats, toxoplasmosis causes "reversals" of behavior, or perhaps reversals of "opinion". What does it do in humans to cause schizophrenia symptoms? What do "reversals" look like in humans? In another case, an otherwise-healthy old woman, who had spent about an hour each day for years cleaning mutiple kitty litter boxes in her house (bedroom, office, bathroom, dining room), developed over a long time the following "reversal" symptoms suggesting Toxoplasmosis:

      • TV choices reversed from sweet, lovey-dovy TV programs like Gilmore Girls to CSI Miami, Burn Notice and other murder, violence/police programs
      • Hording antiques and figurines reversed to hording empty boxes, plastic bottles, plastic bags, wrappers and other junk
      • Hating guns reversed to sleeping with a gun
      • Hating violence reversed to reading large numbers of murder mystery books
      • Loving the truth revered to becoming a lying schemer
      • Sweet and loving disposition reversed to hatefulness and complaining
      • Loving music reversed to hating it
      • Loving Schlitterbahn reversed to hating Schlitterbahn
      • Loving sex reversed to hating it
      • Loving her home reversed to hating it
      • Loving her husband reversed to hating him
      • Totally honest and trustworthy nature reversed to a scheming, back-stabbing, run-away
      • Marrying for life reversed to filing for divorce

             Each case marks a "reversal", which appears very remincent of the "reversal" seen in rats exposed to cat urine. If untreated, the reversals will continue and true, mind disabling schizophrenia appears likely to develop. Do men get this too? Yes, but men don't scoop the poop as a rule, and they leave that household chore to the women. The ability of the parasite to make dopamine also implies a potential link with other neurological conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, Tourette's syndrome and attention deficit disorders. A simple blood test can be performed, and medical treatments can restore mental health. Here is more information on drugs for this parasite. One would think that psychiatrists would welcome this treatment, but no... Absolutely NO! They are not interested in replacing years of income producing "psychiatric therapy" with a bottle of anti-parasite medicine. Know any crazy old cat women? I do.

             How does this disease relate to magnesium and depression? These mental problems create enormous amounts of stress which drives down brain magnesium worsening depression and causing a downward mental/emotional spiral that would be impossible to attenuate without substantial magnesium treatment, as well as anti-parasite drugs. Do you think people so affected will admit they are infected and seek treatment? No!

      Constipation Means To Us...

              NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH CONSENSUS DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE STATEMENT - OPTIMAL CALCIUM INTAKE: Normally, constipation is associated with too much water being removed by the colon. However, we (people toxic on calcium) must also consider the role of calcium overdose in constipation. The above official United States government report describes optimal calcium intake for various age and status groups of people mentioning the word "magnesium" once, stating that "magnesium did not affect calcium absorption or excretion significantly". Of particular note, "...Gastrointestinal side effects of calcium supplements have been observed, usually at relatively high dosages. A variable effect on the incidence of constipation has been reported in controlled studies of calcium supplements. The calcium ion stimulates gastrin secretion and gastric acid secretion, which can produce a 'rebound hyperacidity' when calcium carbonate is used as an antacid. These side effects should not be major problems with a modest increase in calcium intake, however practices that might encourage total calcium intake to approach or exceed 2,000 mg/day seem more likely to produce adverse effects and should be monitored closely."

              Two thousand milligrams of calcium per day is the upper safe limit? Wow! What a disaster! If calcium were a newly discovered drug (perhaps dietary supplements of calcium should be so considered), it would be described as having an extremely low threshold for toxicity and would likely be a prescription drug! Apparently because of the emphasis on calcium by the NIH, the current rage among other government food scientists, food product manufacturers, dietary supplement manufacturers and dairy industry is to routinely push our total intake of calcium over the 2,000 mg/day limit. I believe that abuse of this "consensus report" is rapidly deteriorating mental and cardiologic health, and is greatly increasing violence in Western society.

              Where is the NIH consensus report on magnesium? It doesn't exist, yet magnesium is key to mental health as discussed in this essay. With the NIH overemphasis on calcium, many depressed people have exceeded the 2,000-mg/day limit and are becoming very constipated. With little magnesium (relative to calcium in the intestinal tract) and resultant inability to regulate water and maintain a soft stool, constipation results. The amount of calcium required to produce constipation is related to the dietary intake of magnesium required to loosen the stool. If an imbalance between calcium and magnesium exists, with calcium being high and magnesium being low, then constipation occurs at much lower intake of calcium than the 2,000-mg/day limit. What to do? Taking more magnesium dietary supplements to balance the intestinal calcium/magnesium ion ratio greatly reduces constipation. Although too much magnesium can lead to diarrhea, just as too much calcium can lead to constipation, magnesium glycinate is readily absorbed into the blood and is not as likely to produce diarrhea as are other forms of magnesium. Magnesium oxide, hydroxide and carbonate, stearate are either very poorly absorbed or not absorbed at all, never raise blood levels, and hardly ever show biological utility. Consequently the oxides and hydroxides end up in the large intestines and colon attracting large amounts of water producing diarrhea. The stearate just passes through with no effects, either beneficial or negative. Obviously, foods high in magnesium and foods high in water-soluble fiber are preferred to refined foods and cheese to prevent constipation.

              As far as we are concerned in depression treatment(and other magnesium deficiency disorders especially cardiologic problems) using magnesium, constipation certainly can mean that we are not getting enough magnesium relative to calcium in our diets. In many cases of depression and depression treatment and medical treatment of related disorders, our diets are much too high in calcium and must be greatly lowered deleting most foods high in calcium from our diets in order to benefit from magnesium in our depression treatment. Apparently, We have become toxic with calcium.

              By the way, constipation is a main cause, perhaps THE cause of hemorrhoids, which are weakened and dilated varicose veins in and around the anus. They have become grossly dilated nearly always from the excess pressures of trying to defecate a calcified plug. Ever hear of something called "vasodialation"? What is the cure for hemorrhoids other than changing your calcium to magnesium intake? Vasoconstrictors, obviously. What is a great vasoconstrictor? Afrin (oxymetazoline hydrochloride), the nasal decongestant! Yep! Just squirt Afrin onto your hemorrhoids and the pain from them will disappear within a few hours. A daily spray for a few days will keep the hemorrhoid under control and it soon disappears. Hemorrhoid cured with Afrin! Nothing to it if you just think about what a hemorrhoid is. Internal hemorrhoids are a bit more involved, since one has to coat the complete surface of the hemorrhoids with Afrin. Afrin has mild lubricating properties, so apply with a finger. No need for added lubricants, just squirt anus and finger with Afrin and with Afrin-wetted finger treat the hemorrhoids. For cleanliness, there is no need for the Afrin bottle tip to contact the anus. Presto! A simple, cheap and quick cure for hemorrhoids! Is it safe? Probably safer than squirting Afrin into the nose to treat nasal congestion unless you have heart arrhythmias, which it will greatly worsen. Who knows about safety, but it seems safe, butt there is precious little data on this matter except for a few of these patent papers wherein they use oxymetazoline hydrochloride in a long-lasting rectal composition. I suggest not using that particular bottle to treat nasal congestion! Wannaseea lotsof hemorrhoids? Click here.

              Check your calcium intake from this handy calcium intake calculator. If you have a calcium intake near or over 1,000 mg/day, and have little magnesium intake, you may very well have a dietary imbalance of calcium and magnesium complete with all the attendant sequela. Be honest!

              Here is an interesting tid-bit. We know magnesium oxide is a health food supplement (absorbed only by 4% and is totally useless) and that magnesium hydroxide is a strong laxative (not absorbed into blood at all), but what about calcium oxide and calcium hydroxide? Have you ever seen calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide in a health food or grocery store? No! You never have! Why do I know that? Because calcium oxide and calcium hydroxide are extremely caustic and are commonly used to dissolve flesh from bones in animal rendering plants and to disinfect outhouse waste. You think calcium is always healthy and good for you? These two compounds of calcium will kill you very quickly and painfully as they dissolve your mouth, throat, esophagus and stomach.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      How to Poop

             Trying to force poop out by sitting upright on a comode can be very harmful to the colon and other intestinal components, possibly causing constiption, hemorrhoids, bloating, IBS, bladder and pelvic floor issues, straining, even causing a heart attack according to this Mercola page. Squatting while leaning forward (especially when standing on a short stand) is helpful; but I suggest that the best way to poop when constipated, or when one is in a hurry to poop and get going, is to sit upright on the comode and rotate the torso, leaning, in a clockwise manner. This means leaning to the left, then rotate upper body to the front while leaning and then to the right and continue rotating in a circular pattern, while leaning until all poop is gone. Too simple! The effect is so strong, that I believe the majority of the large intestines is vacated, not just the poop in the lower colon.

      Violence and Mayhem

               Violence is not simply a magnesium deficiency problem for people; but is a complex societal problem involving as principal factors magnesium and calcium / magnesium dietary intake ratios, medical conditions resulting in or from loss of magnesium, drugs (both legal and illegal), stress, and our moral, cultural and religious training and beliefs. That magnesium deficiency as a cause of violence has not been directly recognized by medicine or science can easily be ascertained by doing a PubMed search for the words "magnesium" and "violence". ZERO meaningful entries result, except for the two listed articles by Banki. Be certain to read them to understand how magnessium deficiecy affects the brain.

              However, work at the Institute of Public Health, Iaþi, Romania, is making inroads through a recently published study of low intracellular magnesium and psychological features (attention, memory, intelligence, psyhoticism, neuroticism and extraversion). This study shows profound differences in intracellular magnesium levels and these parameters between children growing up in an orphanage and children growing up at home. The adverse effect of low intracellular magnesium on these parameters often translates into "bad behavior" in school age children, which includes violence and mayhem.

               People having problems with irritability, anxiety, depression, ADHD, mania, hypo-mania, bi-polar disorder, hyper-excitability and hyper-emotionality are all very closely tied to the latent potential for violence, outright violence and mayhem, either self-inflicted or inflicted upon other people or property. This is so well known, that I feel no pressure to cite volumes of medical literature. It is common knowledge. Why has there been no medical research on the role of magnesium deficit in violence and violence prevention? Perhaps we are unwilling to accept the notion that the foods we eat affect our minds, and would rather accept the notion that we have diseases curable by powerful psychiatric drugs. Really? Who does the research on mental diseases? Nutritionists? No. Psychiatrists and pharmaceutical drug companies? Yes. Is there more money to be made in drugs or nutrients? Where does the money flow? No need for me to answer these questions lest one consider me to be a "conspiracy theorist". Are physicians well trained in nutrition? Not many. There is a void in the education of people we trust to take care of us when we are ill that, to me, borders on criminality.

               The way I see magnesium in violence and mayhem prevention is potentially as a gentle injected sedative for use by emergency medical service people, paramedics and other emergency medical professionals treating an agitated, potentially violent individual; and in nature and nutrition, as a natural gate or valve in the brain synapses that regulates influx of calcium into postsynaptic calcium channels from presynaptic neurons in parts of the brain that are involved in mood and behavior such as the hippocampus. With inadequate magnesium or calcium toxicity, this function becomes altered and irritability, anxiety, depression, ADHD, mania, hypo-mania, bi-polar disorder, hyper-excitability and hyper-emotionality, and perhaps some psychoses, result. If an exogenously or endogenously agitated person has weak moral, cultural and/or religious training and beliefs, manifesting as few behavioral inhibitions, and inadequate magnesium to inhibit his emoted actions, violence may result. As a society, we need to strengthen our moral, cultural and religious training and beliefs, and we need much more magnesium in our diets to inhibit our actions during times of emotional distress - often brought on by calcium and/or glutamate toxicity.

               Nearly ninety percent of all suicides result from depression (except for Middle-Eastern crazed religious zealots who actually believe they are doing good), which results from severe magnesium depletion due to stress or dietary inadequacies or excessive losses of magnesium through the urine. Manic behavior is nearly always outwardly directed, and a manic person may commit violence upon another person or damage or destroy property during emotional outbursts. Hyperexcitability, and hyperemotionality in persons with mania, hypo-mania, by-polar disorder and ADHD have been shown in this essay to be nearly always controllable with IV magnesium as a depression treatment, and are responsive to dietary magnesium supplementation. Paul Mason makes a case for violence prevention through a magnesium/serotonin connection. Although society has a major role to play in preventing violence, proper magnesium nutrition plays an equal, if not superior role - which remains generally unrecognized, even though animal research shows increased aggressive behavior in magnesium deprived test animals. Remember, the NIH reports that even modest magnesium deficits cause irritability, and such does not impair one's strength or ability to mount aggressive action and commit violence. I wonder if animals would become aggressive and violent if they were deprived of magnesium rich whole grains by feeding them refined bread, cheese and pizzas? I wonder if violence-prone Palestinians and Arabs get enough magnesium in their diets?

               What about Andrea Yeats' violence to her children? Andrea is the Houston, Texas, lady that had a long history of severe depression and suicidal tendencies and severe postpartum depression after the births of her most recent two of her five children. Magnesium is fairly well known to be depleted by pregnancies. I believe depletion of magnesium by multiple childbirth and inadequate magnesium nutrition causes postpartum depression for reasons explained here and throughout this essay generally. Is it possible that Andrea suffered medical malpractice by not being treated for severe magnesium deficiency brought on by her multiple pregnancies? Was she tested for magnesium deficiency? At least seven women in response to this essay through 2003 having had progressively worse problems with PPD in several previous pregnancies used magnesium to essentially prevent PPD after their most recent deliveries. Is it possible that Andrea was so suicidal that in her psychotic mind committing suicide (a side effect of grave magnesium depletion) was an insufficient punishment to herself? If she were to commit suicide, who would have taken care of her children? Was she so delusional she felt that killing her children was the only way to save them from eternal damnation of a violent and unholy world if she committed suicide? Doesn't it appear reasonable that she had to kill her children before she killed herself? And that in a single moment of sanity afterwards called 911 instead? Can magnesium deficiency be so severe that not even suicide is sufficient?

               What do you eat? Do your eating habits promote hyperexcitability or depression from excess calcium?         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Good Fats and Deadly Fats

              We have been told all our lives that cholesterol is dangerous and that we must limit our cholesterol intake. Based upon new evidence, we must revise our thinking about cholesterol a little to take into consideration that very low cholesterol will kill a person faster than high cholesterol. Generally, the normal fasting concentration of total cholesterol is 160 to 200 mg/dL in serum. Many cardiologists and pharmaceutical drug pushers argue that the range should be lower. However, in a series of recent clinical research reports since 1992, people with low cholesterol (and some with low Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids) were prone to suicide, violence, rage, depression, and violent impulsive behavior often resulting in a death. This research is so new and so different from conventional wisdom, that it has not made its way into mainstream psychiatry. Psychiatrists may see people with this condition on occasion but they rarely, if ever, see this as a serious mental health problem. Search PubMed for "low cholesterol" "suicide", "violence", "death" and "depression" for some of the most exciting psychiatric research every conducted. I doubt that no one should purposefully raise his or her cholesterol intake if it is in the normal range; but if it is significantly lower than 160 mg/dL, consideration of its cause is mandatory and is extremely urgent.

              Consequently, we must reconsider the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs. Statin drugs, or "HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors", are the most widely prescribed class of blood cholesterol-lowering drug. The top sellers as of this writing are atorvastatin (Lipitor), which currently is given to 4 million persons in the US, and simvastatin (Zocor), and pravastatin (Pravachol). Other statins include fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), and cerivastatin (Baycol). These drugs have been shown to markedly reduce heart attacks, and to reduce strokes as well as "peripheral arterial disease" (a disease that consists of 'clogging' of the arteries to the legs). Many studies have confirmed reduction in heart attacks and strokes. However, studies in monkeys, performed by Dr. Jay Kaplan at Bowman Gray Medical School, have shown that lowering cholesterol in monkeys makes them more aggressive; and also lowers activity of the brain chemical serotonin. Low serotonin activity is known to relate to suicide and depression in people; and to increased risk-taking behaviors in monkeys. If these drugs pass through the blood-brain barrier, they would interfere with vital brain cholesterol, the main biochemical component of the brain. We must remember that there is vastly more cholesterol in the brain than in any other organ, tissue or blood. The brain has its own support cells that make brain cholesterol. In fact, about 60% of the brain (in all species) is cholesterol. Cholesterol belongs in the brain and forms critical brain structures. Upsetting that balance - either too much or too little - is harmful to mental health. Too much and one risks strokes and Alzheimer's disease; and too little, one risks mood disorders, violence and suicide. The unproven hypothesis that cholesterol-lowering drugs save lives needs to be carefully examined to see if deaths from violence and suicide equals or exceeds the number of lives saved from heart attacks. To my way of thinking, one should not take statin drugs more than absolutely necessary to maintain cholesterol in the normal range, and only after trying to correct cholesterol levels using Omega-3 EFAs, taurine and magnesium. One of the tragedies of our time is over emphasis of eliminating fats from our diets. Physicians, especially female physicians, have bought into the erroneous theory of avoiding fats, and they consequently have the highest suicide rates of any profession.

              Lets not forget lecithin. Lecithin is a lipid that is required by every single cell in your body and is an important source of inositol and phosphate. Inositol has been reported to be effective in treating central nervous system disorders such as depression, Alzheimer's disease, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and acetylcholine in the brain depend on inositol to function properly. The cell membranes in the body are composed largely of lecithin and water. These membranes handle the flow of nutrients in and out of the cell. The protective sheaths around your brain are also made of lecithin. Muscles and nerve cells also use lecithin. Should everyone take lecithin or inositol? Not necessarily. Although, inositol has therapeutic effects in the spectrum of illness responsive to serotonin selective re-uptake inhibitors, including depression, panic and OCD, it may not be beneficial, in patients with schizophrenia.

              Bad fats? Practically everything that is man made or processed, especially hydrogenated fats, margarine, and trans fatty acids. More on essential fatty acids and their role in preventing cancer are here.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Lithium / Magnesium Interactions

              I want to know more about lithium / magnesium interactions. We know that magnesium is primarily an intracellular metal. We have seen above that lithium pulls magnesium out of cells and into the blood serum. Yet, we see low levels of serum magnesium in suicidally depressed patients. High dose IV magnesium terminated treatment-resistant mania. We also see that about 40 percent of lithium treated manic-depressive patients have a relapse. There is clearly more to the lithium / magnesium interaction story than we currently know. Questions to be answered include:

      • Which cells, organelle, enzymes and proteins are being drained of their magnesium by lithium and what are the binding constants applicable?
      • Which brain cells, organelle, enzymes and proteins are up taking the freed magnesium and what are the binding constants applicable?
      • Is the beneficial effect of dietary supplements of magnesium substituting for the blood magnesium raising effect of lithium?
      • Is low or falling magnesium blood content a marker for mania or depression in otherwise well people having a history of mania and/or depression?
      • In relapse during lithium treatment, do the relapsing patients have low blood serum levels of magnesium?
      • Are the side effects of lithium treatment the result of its intracellular magnesium depleting function?
      • Should magnesium be used to treat mania and/or depression before drugs are tried, or should it be a treatment of last resort, or should it be used as an adjuvant to other drug treatment?
      • Are neurotransmitter fluxes and functions optimized in magnesium responsive mania and depression?
      • Is lithium an inappropriate treatment in cases where magnesium supplementation is effective in eliminating mania and/or depression? I say YES!!!!!
      • Is raising blood magnesium concentrations all that is necessary to prevent and terminate mania and depression, and prevent relapses of mania or depression? NO!!! It must be maintained!
      • Is the effect of magnesium relevant to only a subset of people with depression, or a subset of people with manic depression; or is it universally relevant?

               In 1998, lithium's action in regulating both mania and depression was ascribed to its ability to regulate glutamate levels in the brain. As reported in the July 7 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found that in mice brains, lithium exerts a push/pull effect on the neurotransmitter glutamate, eventually causing it to level off in a stable zone where it can control both extremes. I don't know if the effect of lithium in human brains is the same as in mice brains, but I do know that I felt much better taking magnesium than lithium. Regardless, both magnesium and lithium control the ups and downs of bi-polar illness. Why? It is simple, the final stage of the recycling process of IP3 involves inositol monophosphate, which controls the levels of IP3 and controls mood swings. The enzyme needs two atoms of magnesium to function, an element which is much more similar to lithium than calcium (the diagonal relationship). Computer modeling shows that lithium binds to the second magnesium site, especially if phosphate is present. This stops the enzyme working. Thus IP3 is not broken down. The lithium only works on an overactive enzyme, one that breaks down IP3 too quickly causing mood swings. Why not give magnesium? Seems pretty stupid (and criminal?) to me to give lithium when magnesium is being called for by the brain.        Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Ketamine - A Nearly Instantaneous Acting Anti-Depressant!

              The general anesthetic Ketamine offers nearly instant relief from depression. Its other use, and perhaps best known use is as a recreational drug where it produces a dissociative state lasting a few hours which is characterised by a sense of detachment from one's physical body and the external world which is known as depersonalization and derealization. At sufficiently high doses (75–125 mg IM), users may experience what is called the "K-hole", a state of dissociation whose effects are thought to mimic the phenomenology of schizophrenia.

              At much lower doses, Ketamine has been found to terminate chronic depression, treatment resistant depression and suicidal ideation usually within several hours. However, the benefits of Ketamine gradually wear off after one to four weeks requiring retreatment.

              OK, so Ketamine is helpful in inducing rapid remission from these dreaded symptoms. How does it work and what is its relationship to magnesisum? My friend and co-author, Dr. Harald Murck MD, PhD wrote an article titled: Ketamine, magnesium and major depression--from pharmacology to pathophysiology and back that explains. Read his article here.

              The glutamatergic mechanism of antidepressant treatments is now in the center of research to overcome the limitations of monoamine-based approaches. There are several unresolved issues. For the action of the model compound, ketamine, NMDA-receptor block, AMPA-receptor activation and BDNF release appear to be involved in a mechanism, which leads to synaptic sprouting and strengthened synaptic connections. The link to the pathophysiology of depression is not clear. An overlooked connection is the role of magnesium, which acts as physiological NMDA-receptor antagonist:

      • There is overlap between the actions of ketamine with that of high doses of magnesium in animal models, finally leading to synaptic sprouting.
      • Magnesium and ketamine lead to synaptic strengthening, as measured by an increase in slow wave sleep in humans.
      • Pathophysiological mechanisms, which have been identified as risk factors for depression, lead to a reduction of (intracellular) magnesium. These are neuroendocrine changes (increased cortisol and aldosterone) and diabetes mellitus as well as Mg(2+) deficiency.
      • Patients with therapy refractory depression appear to have lower CNS Mg(2+) levels in comparison to health controls.
      • Experimental Mg(2+) depletion leads to depression- and anxiety like behavior in animal models.
      • Ketamine, directly or indirectly via non-NMDA glutamate receptor activation, acts to increase brain Mg(2+) levels. Similar effects have been observed with other classes of antidepressants.
      • Depressed patients with low Mg(2+) levels tend to be therapy refractory. Accordingly, administration of Mg(2+) either alone or in combination with standard antidepressants acts synergistically on depression like behavior in animal models.

              Dr. Murck concludes that: On the basis of the potential pathophysiological role of Mg(2+)-regulation, it may be possible to predict the action of ketamine and of related compounds based on Mg(2+) levels. Furthermore, screening for compounds to increase neuronal Mg(2+) concentration could be a promising instrument to identify new classes of antidepressants. Overall, any discussion of the glutamatergic system in affective disorders should consider the role of Mg(2+).

              There you have it, ketamine helps increase brain magnesium. Seems like what is indicated here is for treatment of severe cases of depression would involve first treating with Ketamine followed immediately with magnesium treatment. Want some Ketamine? Try Ketamine Online, or talk with a veterinarian that uses it on pets as an anesthesia - maybe! Stay up with Ketamine for depression medical journal articles here.


               Magnesium is a critical element in 350+ biochemical reactions and enzymes in the human body, and many of them are brain biochemicals. Magnesium is the second-most abundant intracellular cation and; overall, the fourth-most abundant cation. Almost all enzymatic processes using phosphorus as an energy source require magnesium for activation. Magnesium is involved in nearly every aspect of biochemical metabolism [eg, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and protein synthesis, glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation]. Nearly all enzymes involved in phosphorus reactions (eg, adenosine triphosphatase [ATPase]) require magnesium for activation. Magnesium serves as a molecular stabilizer of ribonucleic acid (RNA), DNA, and ribosomes. Because magnesium is bound to ATP inside the cell, shifts in intracellular magnesium concentration may help regulate cellular bioenergetics such as mitochondrial respiration. Extracellularly, magnesium ions block neurosynaptic transmission by interfering with the release of acetylcholine. Magnesium ions also may interfere with the release of catecholamines from the adrenal medulla. Magnesium has been proposed as an endogenous endocrine modulator of the catecholamine component of the physiologic stress response, a main thrust of this essay. Recent research in France and several other European countries gives clues concerning the role magnesium plays in the transmission of hormones (such as insulin, thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, etc.), neurotransmitters (such as dopamine, catecholamines, serotonin, GABA, etc.), and minerals and mineral electrolytes. Consequently, its deficiency and a linkage to depression should be expected.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Age of Onset is Getting Lower

              We are getting sick with depression earlier. Perhaps the best testimony of the effect of reducing the amount of magnesium in our diets by eating depleted wheat products (refined grain products) is found in this figure. It is from page 386 of Psychopharmacology by Jerrold S. Meyer and Linda F. Quenzer, copyright 2005 by Sinauer Associates, a psychology text book. Only 1 percent of Americans born before 1905 developed depression before they were 75 years old, while 6 percent of Americans born in 1955 developed depression by the time they were 25 years old. I say this increase in depression is caused by our increased use of refined (depleted) wheat. The grain refiners are taking care of Big Pharma! The authors only mention magnesium in passing once, and have essentially ignored the extraordinary breadth of the role of magnesium in psychopharmacology, insuring that the secret will remain for at least another generation of future neuro psychologists. Yes, America has the best health care system in the world because we need it, and low magnesium is the driving force.

      Magnesium in Water

               Natural magnesium in water (magnesium carbonate dissolved in CO2-rich water) is suggested to be more bio-available than magnesium in food or pill, and is suggested to offer greater cardio-protection. However, these mineral waters are not commercially available at your grocery store at this time. A citizen's petition for the voluntary fortification of beverages has been submitted to the FDA, but was rejected. Scientists have advocated increasing hard water consumption to gain minerals such as magnesium. This idea has merit in depression for two reasons. We would increase our magnesium intake from drinking hard water. Second, the feeling that we associate as being "hungry" is often a disguised desire for water - thirst! Consequently, we get our water from the foods we eat, along with the calories associated with unhealthy, demoralizing weight gain - if we eat the wrong foods. See this link for more on eating disorders.

               Magnesium-rich mineral waters are available in most of the world, and a few sources are available in the United States. For example, NOAH's Spring Water in Modesto, CA is made from Adobe Springs water and contains 110 mg/liter magnesium. Ditto Hi-O-Silver oxygenated water, also bottled in Modesto by 7-Up. Coca-Cola has a brand new beverage that is probably the best-for-you beverage ever marketed by a major soft drink company. It is loaded with magnesium sulfate and potassium chloride, so loaded one can clearly taste the metals. What is it called? Dasani!!!! Ah heck. I rechecked Dasani and it no longer tastes metallic. I guess they took the magnesium out of it. Genesee Valley water has a high magnesium content and is bottled in Michigan. Here is a list of the magnesium content of some of the waters bottled in the US. For a complete list of hundreds of magnesium-rich waters bottled throughout the world, click here.                   Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Cocaine / Magnesium

               Magnesium given to mice was shown to increase the potency of a single dose of cocaine and a magnesium-deficient diet reduced its potency. On the other hand, with chronic cocaine use magnesium countered cocaine's effects, according to these medical researchers. Perhaps cocaine abuse in people could be controlled with high dose magnesium. Perhaps the cocaine-like property of magnesium is the property that elevates mood in depression refractory to antidepressants.

               Exposure of cocaine HCl (10-9 to 10-7 molar) resulted in significant, rapid (1 minute) loss of intracellular free magnesium ions (Mg2+ ion) in cultured canine cerebral vascular smooth muscle cells; these reductions (12-25%) in Mg2+ ion were reversible upon exposure to normal, Mg2+ ion -containing physiological salt solution. These findings help to provide a rational basis for why cocaine can result in cerebrovasospasm, and hemorrhagic stroke. Here are examples for rats and dogs. Other researchers have found data that suggests that magnesium salts might be useful agents in the treatment of cocaine-induced intoxication and prevention of brain damage. Considerable additional evidence for benefit of "magnesium" in "cocaine" toxicity in laboratory research is now available in this PubMed search.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Mitral Valve Prolapse

               Along with depression, mitral valve prolapse is often found in young thin women. Among the curable disorders associated with the heart that are magnesium deficiencies are mitral valve prolapse according to this Russian study. These young ladies watch their weight and avoid fattening foods which coincidentally are the main dietary source of magnesium. Additional on this relationship can be found by searching PubMed using "mitral valve prolapse" and "magnesium" as keywords. Also see Magnesium Deficiency in the Pathogenesis of Mitral Valve Prolapse and Mitral Valve Prolapse. The way in which magnesium affects mitral valve prolapse relates to leaky heart valves having hardened tissue, possibly from tiny calcium deposits in the valves. Just like a hardened rubber gasket in a water valve can leak, a supple new rubber gasket doesn't leak. In the same way, magnesium makes tissues suppler. Consequently, proper magnesium nutrition eliminates the incidence of mitral valve prolapse and repleating magnesium to proper levels reverses it after a year of treatment as shown in the Russian study. Clinical symptoms of mitral valve prolapse are related to hypomagnesemia and attenuated by magnesium supplementation. After 5 weeks of magnesium therapy, the mean number of symptoms per patient decreased from 10.4 +/- 2.1 to 5.6 +/- 2.5 (p < 0.0001), and a significant reduction in weakness, chest pain, dyspnea, arrhythmias, and anxiety was observed. Increased noradrenalin excretion before and after magnesium was seen in 63% and 17% of patients, respectively (p < 0.01). Mean daily excretion of noradrenalin and adrenaline (catecholamines or stress hormones) was significantly diminished after magnesium. It is concluded that many patients with heavily symptomatic MVP have low serum magnesium, and supplementation of this ion leads to improvement in most symptoms along with a decrease in catecholamine excretion.

               Interestingly, in 2001, when this paragraph was first written, there were 4,000 articles about magnesium and cardiology on the Internet, with nearly all showing benefit to the heart and cardiovascular system, usually through management of calcium and relaxation of cardiac muscles. Today, in October of 2004, there are 504,000 articles. People are listening to scientists and speaking out! No more will the pharmaceutical drug pushers monopolize this issue!        Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Other Nutrients Important in Depression

               Potassium is very important in magnesium metabolism. Few of us get enough potassium unless we frequently eat bananas, tomatoes and potatoes and use Morton's Salt Substitute, which contains nearly pure potassium chloride [without cardiac protective iodide (iodine)], which helps balance our pre-salted foods' high content of sodium chloride. These minerals, sodium and potassium, should be consumed in the same meal because they work together to determine the body's electrolyte balance, which regulates water levels. Eating a lot of salty (sodium chloride) food disrupts this balance and harmfully lowers magnesium concentrations. This not only produces high blood pressure, but also affects neurotransmitter levels, producing depression and PMS. In addition, the misuse of diuretics, or "water pills," can lead to potassium deficiency, which in turn can manifest itself as depression.

              In Mildred S. Seelig, MD, MPH and Andrea Rosanoff, PhD's new book The magnesium Factor on page 61 is a fascinating table that shows exactly why we have problems with increased stress and stress-induced depression (treatment resistant depression) from a mineral perspective. Although she is addressing the enormous increase in incidence of hypertension and cardiac problems in the later part of the twentieth century compared to 1900, the data also explains the enormous increase in emotional problems.

      Changes in Average Mineral Intake, Mineral Ratios in the Diet and Hypertension

      This table from "The magnesium Factor" shows the change in the average mineral intake and balances that have occurred among the American population between 1900 and 2000.  Note the great rise in sodium and the decline in both magnesium and potassium.
      Indicator Year 1900 Year 2000
      Average daily sodium intake 200 mg 5,000 (25 times higher than in 1900)
      Average daily potassium intake 6000 mg 2,000 mg (2/3 lower than in 1900)
      Average daily magnesium intake 400 mg 250-300 mg (2/3 lower than in 1900
      Average sodium:potassium ratio 1:30 2.5:1 (75 times higher)
      Average sodium:magnesium ratio 1:2 25:1 (50 times higher)
      Incidence of hypertension and stress induced illnesses Low High

              Clearly, this horrific change in dietary intake of these critical minerals affects our emotional and mental health. We are eating too few vegetables and much too much processed foods and salt and not enough magnesium to keep us in good health. Although this essay relates primarily to the relatively unknown value of magnesium in treating depression and related disorders, it is not the only nutrient important in treating depression. Here are more interesting and highly revealing tid-bits on diet and emotions. Other natural remedies for depression include supplements of the amino acids L-tyrosine, D,L-phenylalanine, L-tryptophan, Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Folic acid, Vitamin B12, taurine, CoQ10 and Vitamin C. Here is a link for kids concerning nutrient deficiencies and mental health, which adults can learn from also.

               This is VitaRoyal's Mineral Wheel. It represents the competitive interactions between different metals during absorption in the intestines. Many metals interfere with absorption of others. Dietary bias in favor of one mineral, say magnesium, will affect absorption of several other minerals, mainly calcium and manganese. What we eat and drink can influence our magnesium balance, but not to the extent that is caused by large supplements of minerals. It should be noted that magnesium and calcium share a common route of absorption in the intestinal tract and appear to have a mutually suppressive effect; thus, if calcium intake (or dairy intake) is unusually high, calcium will be absorbed in preference to magnesium. Also, excessive doses of vitamin D (perhaps explaining SAD in summer), calcium supplements and glucose can cause renal magnesium loss. Excessive calcium, animal fat, saturated fats, manganese and phosphorus decrease intestinal absorption. Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, potassium and sodium increase urinary excretion. Folic acid may increase the metabolic need for magnesium. High protein and excessive sugar (glucose) in the diet definitely require increased magnesium intake, sometimes to the upper limit possible. High dose riboflavin may increase the risk of magnesium deficiency. Vitamin B6 increases cell membrane transfer and utilization of magnesium, and is very helpful, indispensable, in retaining magnesium.

               People like me that have craved milk, cheese and ice cream products from childhood usually have an allergy (eventually becoming a maladaption) to milk products. The maladaption stage may wait 20 years, even 30, before setting in. Then come headaches, depression, cramps, and diarrhea. The milk allergy never really left. If eliminating milk from the diet helps depression symptoms, by all means don't drink milk - none! Since cheese is a potent source of calcium, competition with magnesium for intestinal binding sites may result in reduced magnesium absorption helping to cause depression symptoms. Scientists believe that lactose malabsorption from milk and dairy products may interfere with the availability of L-tryptophan and the synthesis of serotonin. Both substances are anti-depressants, suggesting food supplements of L-tryptophan and lactase enzyme (Lactaid®) in depressed lactose intolerant people.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Tryptophan, 5-HTP and Serotonin

               No discussion of depression can be complete without considering the role of classical antidepressants including tryptophan, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, atypical antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Examples of SSRIs include Fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®), sertraline (Zoloft®), and paroxetine (Paxil®). Other antidepressants include tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil®), imipramine (Tofranil®) and, nortriptyline (Pamelor®), atypical antidepressants including trazodone (Desyrel®), nefazodone (Serzone®), buproprion (Wellbutrin® and MAOIs including phenelzine (Nardil®), and tranylcypromine (Parnate®). A much more comprehensive list of psychiatric drugs and their pharmacology is here. Many of these drugs (Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Serzone and Remeron) have been linked to worsened depression and make many people, particularly children and teenagers suicidal. Read more about these side effects and the findings by the Food And Drug Administration dated March 10, 2004. These are some of the most financially lucrative drugs on the market and are taken by many millions of people. The theory, extremely briefly, is that depressives are deficient in certain biochemicals. Serotonin (5-HT) is selectively targeted by SSRIs, while tricyclic antidepressants affect the uptake of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine to different degrees. Atypical antidepressants have actions not well understood. MAOIs increase the levels of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine by inhibiting an enzyme that inactivates them. These drugs will "fix our biochemistry" and make us feel better. Have you tried these drugs? Did you experience horrible side effects? I did. Fix my biochemistry? HA! Really! Did your doctor tell you that you would need to be on these drugs for at least a month before they worked? I wonder how many people would get better in the same time without them?

      Here is a wonderful Opus cartoon titled "Let the Sunshine In". It is in five frames, and you will need to pull down to see each of the frames. Opus makes fun of the horrible state of affairs of drug side effects, and is vital to our appreciation of the problems attendant with taking pharmaceutical drugs. The side effects are often worse than the original complaint. There must be a better way to market drugs. I call for a national health care policy of "no sales" if there are any side effects worse than the problem being addressed. Watch out for the "Big Nose Pimples!".

              Have you wondered where these drugs came from? Who thought them up? Well, you are in real luck now, because I now offer you the chance of a lifetime to read a report by one of the Nobel Laureates who came up with some of the SSRIs, Dr. Arvid Carlsson. He writes in 1999 "A Half-Century of Neurotransmitter Research: Impact on Neurology and Psychiatry". This is first class reading! BUT! The American Psychological Association says that the main effect of these drugs is one of a placebo effect. Interestingly, Dr. Carlsson points out in his article that he was originally working on calcium metabolism in brain research until he was told by an advisory panel of "experts" that calcium had no role in neruochemistry. We see now exactly where and when neuroscience went the wrong direction. I suspect that had Dr. Carlsson not been so horribly ill advised, he would have found the missing-magnesium link to depression nearly 50 years ago.

              Many people have serious side effects (see this registry) while taking these drugs; and in the case of Prozac, and other chemically similar drugs, have had strong suicidal tendencies after withdrawal from them. There is an online petition addressed to the Office of the Surgeon General of the United States; The Department of Health & Human Services; The Federal Bureau of Investigations and The Justice Department currently signed by more then 10,000 petitioners demanding a Grand Jury Investigation into serious misconduct concerning Prozac on the part of Eli Lilly, the drug's manufacturer. Specifically, the petitioners assert that Eli Lilly has known of and engaged in the suppression of the truth concerning the drug's ability to cause suicide and suicidal ideation. They assert that Eli Lilly has knowingly and fraudulently concealed facts surrounding its drug's deadly side effects. This tendency toward suicide upon stopping these drugs causes many people to continue taking them after their need for them has passed. Probably all of these drugs have side effects in some people and many have serious side effects upon withdrawal. Search for your antidepressant and add the terms "withdrawal" and "side effects" to see what risk you are exposed to upon withdrawal. Many of these drugs have class-action lawsuits filed against them. In your search, add the words "class-action" or "class action" to find these lawsuits. Use quotation marks in your search to multi-word terms to find the exact term. Strangely, perhaps to the cynic, predictably few physicians counsel their patients about the risks associated with withdrawal. Perhaps a greatly over-simplified explanation for "withdrawal" side effects is that by use of these drugs, brain chemicals are provided from a bottle, not from the brain's own biochemical factory. This results in shifts in brain biochemical production that over time can not be quickly altered by the brain upon a sudden withdrawal. Consequently, the symptoms return and often they return with a vengeance. In a saner world, many of these drugs would probably be considered the ultimate in crazy, illegal, and addictive drugs, having side effects as bad as illegal street drugs.

              The Prozac Truth web site contains much information about issues related to Prozac and other SSRIs. The site also describes the side effects of SSRIs and other antidepressants and psychiatric medication, and recommends nutritional supplements and other strategies to counteract side effects and assist with withdrawal. One finding mentioned is that low levels of glutathione (an amino acid consisting of cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine), which is manufactured only inside cells, causes many of the side effects of classical antidepressants and that nutritional support might help. Magnesium deficiency is rampant in depression, and scientists have recently found that low intracellular magnesium causes low intracellular glutathione (explore this search). Consequently, if you are taking a SSRI and want to minimize side effects and accelerate recovery, magnesium supplementation will likely be very beneficial.

               Remember that clinical drug tests are paid for by the pharmaceutical drug pushers, who tweak their trials' design for the best possible results. Until recently, only the most favorable findings got published, because those journals dependent on the drug pushers for funding (advertising). The drugs are approved for marketing by government regulators, whose salaries are mostly financed by the subjects of their evaluations - since pharmaceutical companies pay to have their products vetted. The regulators don't stay at government jobs long, since their real fortunes are with the pharmaceutical drug pushers, and they rotate in and out of the FDA and other governmental regulatory agencies but always go to Big Pharma for their real "reward". The medicines are then prescribed by doctors routinely courted with pharma gifts - from free pens to family skiing holidays - meant to persuade them to change their prescribing habits. They bombard you with advertisements for their poisons on TV, so that you will ask your doctor for them. They have programmed you to behave the way they want, just like they program the regulators. Recently, I learned that to expedite drug testing, some companies use tribal African natives in medical research experiments, people who are well outside of the regulatory authorities in the United States.

               However, the Internet has helped consumers turn the tables on the pharmaceutical drug pushers. Pages like the one you are reading and many others dedicated to exposing the toxic effects of antidepressants have finally made an impact on the pharmacartels. This is coming to light especially now with the Seroxat problem. Drug injury has been worrying experts for decades. But after the thalidomide tragedies of the 1950s, the subject failed to catch fire for politicians and the public until the recent Seroxat antidepressant controversy. Last month, that debate made headlines when Britain's GlaxoSmithKline, the world's second-largest pharma, denied any wrongdoing, but agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the State of New York accusing it of fraud for concealing evidence of its antidepressant Seroxat's potential for harming children, while doing them no measurable good. As time goes on, the public using the Internet will show the evil of these companies, and demand that both the benefits and harm found in every clinical trial, not just the good stuff, be made public.

               Each of the above drugs affect serotonin levels, either exclusively or along with other brain biochemicals. The best way to address true serotonin deficiency may not be through these potentially dangerous drugs. Rather, the answer may lie in precursors to serotonin such as tryptophan and 5-HTP and repletion of magnesium. Low magnesium has been implicated in low serotonin, resulting in depression and sometimes violence. Clearly, from this essay, magnesium is involved in mood and mental health. The effect of magnesium supplementation can be much more rapid on depression than any psychiatric drug, tryptophan or 5-HTP taken without magnesium, suggesting the need for increased magnesium, and perhaps one or more of these drugs or natural precursors to serotonin. However, remember that the effects of most antidepressants is one of a placebo effect.

              Unfortunately, most people seeking help from physicians for depression also need to seek their help for other illnesses too. Seems like when the "brain goes south" that everything else does too. Consequently, other drugs are also used by depressives, some of which deplete magnesium and other critical nutrients. Although there is very little published information about the depletion of nutrients by SSRIs, there is much known about the depletion of nutrients by other drugs. Drugs that are known to deplete magnesium include: Premarin (conjugated estrogens), Lasix (furosemide), Hydrochlorothiazide, Triamterene/HCTZ, Prednisone, Ortho Tri-Cyclen (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol), Prempro (conjugated estrogens/medroxyprogesterone) and Flovent (fluticasone). Catherine Creel has listed the nutrient depletion effects of the 45 most commonly prescribed drugs in the Medicine Garden web site. If you are taking any prescription or non-prescription drugs, you need to review her page and supplement accordingly. Catherine alarmingly points out: "Drugs that are used primarily to address mental status show a distinct pattern of a lack of nutrient depletion studies. People who take any of these drugs long term usually develop digestion problems, thyroid problems, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, kidney and liver weakness and/or disease, loss of energy and interests, and have a higher incidence of cancers than those who do not take any of these." Consequently, they often resort to use of additional drugs to treat those side effects. You have been warned!

               Tryptophane is an amino acid found in our food. It was a very popular natural antidepressant several decades ago, but was prohibited by the FDA for sale for a few years in the United States until 1994 when the DSHEA, was passed. Tryptophane was prohibited because a single batch was improperly made in Japan using genetically engineered bacteria, causing eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) in about 1500 cases, including at least 37 known deaths. Many thought that the real reason was to protect the lucrative pharmaceutical drug trade. While tryptophan prohibition may have been needless, it had one unforeseen benefit. It allowed researchers to focus on 5-HTP; which, it turns out, may be much better than tryptophan ever was for treating disorders that appear to be related to a deficiency of serotonin in the brain including depression. Examples of the tryptophan levels in a few foods are listed below.

      Pineapple, fresh 1 cup 8
      Pineapple, juice-packed 1 cup 13
      Yogurt, plain 1 cup 51
      Turkey, light meat, roasted 3.5 oz 340
      Turkey, dark meat, roasted 3.5 oz 325
      Chicken, light meat, roasted 3.5 oz 361
      Chicken, dark meat, roasted 3.5 oz 303
      Banana 1 medium 14
      Almonds, dry roasted 1 oz 83
      Cashews, dry roasted 1 oz 67
      Peanuts, dry roasted 1 oz 64
      Sunflower seeds, dry roasted 1 oz 84

               5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid. Commercial 5-HTP is not a manufactured chemical but is found in high concentrations in a herb, namely the dark brown seed of Griffonia simplicifolia, an African plant. Consequently, 5-HTP is less likely to have a potential for manufacturing mistakes and is generally considered to be safe when used in low doses. Our bodies make 5-HTP from tryptophan and convert it to serotonin, an important brain chemical. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in turkey, chicken, milk, potatoes, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, turnip, collard greens and seaweed. With the exception of seaweed, don't these foods sound like foods we eat to celebrate our American Thanksgiving Day? Tryptophan and 5-HTP dietary supplements help raise serotonin levels in the brain, which produce a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, aggression, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. 5-HTP has been neglected by many psychiatrists and mental health scientists despite tantalizing hints in the scientific literature that it may have profound effects on a variety of extremely common and often debilitating ailments such as depression. Perhaps this neglect comes from its lack of patentability and profitability. 5-HTP has no national advertising campaigns in its support. The NIH, FDA and other governmental agencies are more concerned about the public finding its efficacy and using it over the more thoroughly researched pharmaceutical company manufactured antidepressants. It is the same old story, nature knows best, but Big Pharma has the big bucks. Yet, clinical trials show that it is more effective, has fewer side effects than several prescription antidepressants, and takes about the same amount of time as prescription antidepressants to become effective. 5-HTP is generally better tolerated than its SSRI counterparts, such as Prozac®. The following chart compares the rate of side effects between 5-HTP and SSRIs.

      Side Effect % of Patients Experiencing Side Effect
      5-HTP SSRIs
      Dry mouth
      Vision Changes
      Source: 5-HTP The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity, and Insomnia by Michael Murray, N.D.

               In magnesium replete people, 5-HTP can work overnight; again strongly implicating low magnesium as the cause of slow or limited response to prescription and herbal anti-depressants. There are many over-the-counter sources of 5-HTP. Nearly every health food store has it and absolutely no prescription is required. Here is a link to sources of 5-HTP on the Internet. Does 5-HTP have other beneficial effects? Yes. 5-HTP may, in fact, be treating a much broader disease termed "serotonin deficiency syndrome." This syndrome may manifest in any of a variety of forms, including depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, aggressiveness, agitation, obsessive-compulsive traits, migraines, and other common behavioral disorders; in short, everything that is currently being treated with expensive SSRIs today. Is 5-HTP a threat to major pharmaceutical company income and stock prices? Yes. Should we expect some kind of pharmaceutical company organized attack on 5-HTP? YES, but DSHEA will block those attacks to a large degree - at least until Congress can be convinced to revise DSHEA by implementation of CODEX. At least the public will have a chance to be involved in that political process. What are the side effects and contraindications? Large excesses of serotonin in the peripheral circulation can cause cardiovascular disease and other adverse effects. Alcohol does not mix well with 5-HTP. See full list of side effects and contraindications here. Too much 5-HTP in the diet could potentially result in too much serotonin in the peripheral circulation causing cardiovascular disease. The literature suggests that 5-HTP can be safely used as a nutritional supplement at a dosage of up to 100 milligrams (mg) per day. Some authorities maintain that much larger dosages can be consumed without adverse effects. Some also suggest that 5-HTP, especially in larger doses should be used with the prescription drug "carbidopa" to prevent the cardiovascular problem. There is a warning about too much vitamin B-6 with 5-HTP. All in all, 5-HTP seems much safer and more effective, particularly when used with magnesium, than prescription drugs. Perhaps the most startling story of results with 5-HTP occurred in the treatment of a man that had not been able to sleep for 4 months, possibly due to a viral infection of the brain. 5-HTP given in large doses (2 to 12 grams) first improved the patient's condition dramatically. After 5-HTP withdrawal there was a gradual worsening of the patient's condition. 5-HTP therapy was again attempted but was then ineffective in reversing the symptoms and the patient died after 11 months of sickness. Other precautions are at 5-HTP Danger, and include warnings about use in lactation, pregnancy, use with other antidepressants, and other health conditions. Other general is here. Of concern to me is what side effects can be expected upon withdrawal from 5-HTP? I found none, but strongly suspect there could be some. I base this reasoning on the fact that all of the serotonin enhancing agents, when suddenly discontinued present the brain with a major change in serotonin levels, a change to which the brain can not suddenly adapt. Abuse of any of these agents can cause serotonin toxicity.

              But what does the American Psychological Association say about these antidepressants? Well, to put it politely they think that their main effects are placebo effects. I tend to agree, but less kindly because I found them harmful. In the abstract of their report, they found that the mean effect sizes for changes in depression were calculated for 2,318 patients who had been randomly assigned to either antidepressant medication or placebo in 19 double-blind clinical trials. As a proportion of the drug response, the placebo response was constant across different types of medication (75%), and the correlation between placebo effect and drug effect was 0.90 (extremely high correlation). Their data indicated that virtually all of the variation in drug effect size was due to the placebo characteristics of the studies. The effect size for active medications that are not regarded to be antidepressants was as large as that for those classified as antidepressants, and in both cases, the inactive placebos produced improvement that was 75% of the effect of the active drug. Their data raised the possibility that the apparent drug effect (25% of the drug response) is actually an active placebo effect. Examination of pre-post effect sizes among depressed individuals assigned to no-treatment or wait-list control groups suggested that approximately one quarter of the drug response is due to the administration of an active medication, one half is a placebo effect, and the remaining quarter is due to other nonspecific factors.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Alzheimer's Disease is Caused by Niacin Deficiency?

              What is this? Niacin deficiency causes Alzheimer's Disease? Maybe. In a single word, the answer may be yes. Niacin deficiency might cause or worsen Alzheimer's disease. Does niacin cure Alzheimer's Disease? I don't know, but it seems to me that niacin treatment to both prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease should be a top priority for National Institute of Health research. Here is what is currently known. Anthony J. Brown, M.D. in the Alzheimer's Support page wrote: "High intake of niacin, particularly from food sources, may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline, according to a report in the August issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. Severe niacin deficiency is known to cause dementia. However, the researchers note that it is unclear if more subtle variations in niacin intake influence the risk of neurodegenerative decline. "There have been no epidemiologic studies to look at the association between dietary niacin and Alzheimer's disease or cognitive decline," lead author Dr. Martha C. Morris, from the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging in Chicago, told Reuters Health. Moreover, "animal studies and other studies have really focused on the effects of very high therapeutic dose levels of niacin," not amounts found in a standard diet. To investigate, the researchers administered food frequency questionnaires and cognitive tests to several thousand elderly people living in a Chicago community. The study focused on 815 randomly selected subjects who were free from Alzheimer's disease at baseline. After an average of 3.9 years, 131 of the subjects were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. A high level of total niacin intake seemed to protect against both Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. The association was stronger for niacin intake from foods than for niacin intake from supplements. "We were surprised to see a fairly strong association between niacin intake from foods and Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Morris said. "Compared with the lowest quintile of intake, the highest quintile was linked to an 80% reduction in risk." In the overall study population, high niacin intake was also linked to a reduced risk of cognitive decline. Although the finding are provocative, Dr. Morris concluded, they will require verification before any changes to current dietary guidelines can be recommended. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2004;75:1093-1099.

              What does George think about this? First, I take niacin, but I take sustained release niacin (500 mg twice a day), which also helps my cholesterol balance. I use it to prevent a particularly lethal form of cardiac arrhythmias that are associated with improper metabolism of adrenaline to adrenochrome, a very potent cardiotoxin. All type-A personality type people should do the same. Further: I am very distressed that so much time, money and energy has gone into nearly useless drug and medical "treatments" for Alzheimer's Disease and nearly nothing into preventing Alzheimer's Disease. The observation of Morris at al. again shows the undesirable influence of money in treating disease and the unhealthy attitude of medicine against nutrition (since it is such a financial burden on medicine). Please forgive my extremely dour and sour attitude, but this take the cake and really, really, really infuriates me. Note: Cigarette smokers inhale deadly toxins but they also inhale nicotinic acid, which is niacin. Does smoking prevent Alzheimer's Disease? NO! The incidence of Alzheimer's Disease is increased by smoking according this Rush Institute study. Go figure! What is the relationship between niacin, tryptophane and magnesium? It is surprising! LOTS MORE TO COME!


               DHEA, dehydroepiandrosterone, is the most prevalent and one of the most essential hormones in human health. Unfortunately, most Americans lose 80-90% of their optimal DHEA between ages 30 and 80. According to Dr. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, every known human illness is associated with both a magnesium deficiency and low levels of the hormone DHEA. DHEA is the health and youth hormone in humans. If DHEA is low, magnesium is low. They go together. Even a 10% increase in magnesium and DHEA serum levels is associated with a 48% decrease in death from cardiovascular disease and a 36% decrease in mortality from all causes. Humans have the only body that has significant levels of DHEA. Low levels of both DHEA and magnesium characterize most human illnesses. A connection between these essential chemicals appears to be basic to the understanding of health, wellness and the restoring and maintaining of youth. Low levels of DHEA are found in women up to nine years BEFORE development of breast cancer. And men may have low DHEA levels for four or more years prior to development of prostate cancer There is a long list of DHEA/magnesium deficiency symptoms. They are anxiety, hyperactivity, confusion, depression, diarrhea or constipation, faintness, fatigue, hyperventilation, lack of coordination, insomnia, intestinal problems, muscle cramps, muscle tightness, pain, poor memory, seizures, tinnitus and vertigo; and these are just the symptoms! All of which are associated with depression, and all of which are markers for worsened future health without intervention with magnesium.

               Major diseases associated with DHEA and magnesium deficiencies are: angina pectoris, arrhythmia, asthma, atherosclerosis, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), auricular fibrillation, bulimia, cancer, cardiomyopathy, chronic fatigue, chronic bronchitis, congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, depression, diabetes, emphysema, gall bladder infections and stones, hearing loss, heart attack, high cholesterol, hypertension, hypoglycemia, chronic infection (viral and bacterial) intermittent claudication (leg calf pain), kidney stones, migraine, mitral-valve prolapse, osteoporosis, panic attacks, PMS (premenstrual syndrome), benign prostate hypertrophy, PVC's and strokes. In no illness is DHEA /magnesium deficiency more prevalent than myocardial infarction (acute heart attack). On average, patients given magnesium intravenously have a 70% greater survival rate.

               Can we take DHEA supplements? Yes, but in people that don't need DHEA, an increase in cancer risk occurs. Dr. Shealy believes that raising magnesium concentration inside cells will also raise DHEA concentrations and is much safer than taking DHEA supplements. Research PubMed and for "DHEA" and "magnesium". Interestingly, there are only 20 items on PubMed citing "magnesium" and "DHEA", over 7000 on DHEA, and over 63,000 on magnesium. Why, if these arguments are correct, are their so few on the combination?         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Veterinary Uses and Animal Research

               We compete one of our horses in national competitions. Loss of appetite, exhaustion, poor condition, excessive excitability (ever try to ride an excited horse?), nervousness (this condition can get the rider killed), sweating, muscular tremor, cillosis, muscle strains, cramps, tetanies, and cardiovascular disturbances are prevented using horse magnesium supplements. Also, taurine (two heaping tablespoons with each of four meals per day) benefits horses similarly, making the hottest, wildest thoroughbred horses docile and well mannered even for the dressage arena, even though their energy levels increase. It seems to me that veterinary medicine is far ahead of psychiatric medicine!

              The antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties of magnesium can be shown in research animals subjected to severe stress. For example, Poleszaka, Szewczykb, Kedzierskaa, Wlaz, Pilcb, Nowak in Poland in 2003 showed: "The antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects of magnesium, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor inhibitor, were studied in mice using the forced swim test and elevated plus-maze test, respectively. The doses of 20 and 30 mg Mg/kg, reduced immobility time in the forced swim test exerting antidepressant-like activity. In the elevated plus-maze test, magnesium at the same doses produced anxiolytic-like effect. The doses of magnesium active in both tests did not affect locomotor activity. To evaluate the tolerance to these effects, we also performed experiments on the following acute/chronic magnesium treatment schedule: chronic saline and saline challenge at 0.5 h before behavioral experiments or serum magnesium determination (S + S), chronic saline and magnesium challenge (S + Mg), chronic magnesium and saline challenge (Mg + S), chronic magnesium and magnesium challenge (Mg + Mg). The antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effect of magnesium was demonstrated in groups treated acutely and chronically with magnesium (Mg + Mg), but not in the Mg+ S group. Moreover, these effects seem to be connected with at least 58% increase in serum magnesium concentration. The results indicate that magnesium induces the antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects without tolerance to these activities, which suggests a potential antidepressant and anxiolytic activity of magnesium in these disorders in humans." See their complete article here. Yep, those guys are right!         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Our Prognosis and Caveats

               The diagnosis of manic depression (bi-polar disorder) or depression is devastating. What is the prognosis for those of us that are responsive to magnesium and not pharmaceutical drugs? Will we be permanently cured of our condition using magnesium supplements? My prediction is PROBABLY NOT, BUT VERY, VERY CLOSE TO BEING CURED. I base that point of view on personal observations after using magnesium for over three years (with a few lapses), and the many reports of others that have used magnesium successfully to rapidly terminate their symptoms and who have later gone off magnesium. The results of going off magnesium are similar to a manic depressive or depressive going off his/her prescription "meds". The symptoms come back, albeit much more rapidly than with drugs having a long half-life. And, they go away equally fast upon resumption of magnesium. What does this mean? Perhaps we have developed a permanent condition, which is best described as an inability to properly process, manage, store, assimilate, utilize and metabolize magnesium from our diet. However, judiciously adding boron and Omega-3 EFAs, chromium and vanadium, and cutting out high glycemic index foods and cutting out calcium and glutamates and especially eliminating Candida Albicans infections seem to greatly improve our ability to use magnesium and the combination appears much more curative. Reducing stress in our lives to lower our adrenalin levels (one of the magnesium depleting agents) that is normal to the "fight or flight" reaction is also helpful. Remember, stress (disabling emotion) builds up when we cannot fight or flight, and magnesium acts like an "aspirin for the emotions".

               Lowering catecholamine levels (several magnesium depleting stress hormones released during stress) should reduce the loss of magnesium and prevent depression. However, those of us with a history of depression react to catecholamine depleting agents very differently than people who have never been depressed. We become more depressed, not better, while people having never been depressed have little or no response to catecholamine depletion. Worse, catecholamine depletion adversely affects the immune system and makes us vulnerable to infectious diseases and cancer. We are different - WE NEED MORE MAGNESIUM THAN OTHER PEOPLE. I hope people will respect our civil rights and not discriminate in employment or insurance by using the catecholamine test to test for a history of depression.

               On the other hand, our prognosis is vastly better than before. Not only does our depression disappear and remain absent while taking the right amount of magnesium, but we gain many other well known benefits from elevated magnesium intake. Some other benefits of magnesium repletion in aging were briefly compiled by the Novartis Foundation for Gerontology. The foundation shows that magnesium will:

      • Prevent hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis)
      • Prevent strokes and heart attacks
      • Reduce your blood pressure
      • Lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels
      • Correct heart arrhythmias
      • Stop acute asthma attacks
      • Decrease your insulin needs if you have diabetes and can cure diabetes
      • Prevent kidney stones
      • Treat Crohn's disease
      • Treat noise-induced hearing loss
      • Improve your vision if you have glaucoma
      • Reduce cramps, irritability, fatigue, depression, and water retention associated with menstruation
      • Prevent serious complications of pregnancy, such as preeclampsia and eclampsia
      • Restore your normal energy level
      • Improve your sleep
      • Reduce anxiety and depression
      • Reduce the effects of stress         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Codex Alimentarius: Will It Kill Us or Save Us?

             Codex Alimentarius (Codex) is something that we will need to consider. Will it kill us or save us? I don't know, but we all need to be aware of the issue. Codex is a world-wide set of rules that are supposed to "harmonize" all foods and food substances throughout the world as part of the World Trade Organization treaty. The United States signed the treaty under the belief that it would not harm the health and well being of United States citizens, and that it would be beneficial to Americans and trade generally.

      Federal drug prosecutions 2009        One part of these rules is "harmonization" of the content of vitamin, mineral, amino acid, and herbal supplements. The net effect of Codex concerning these nutrients is that the total amounts of these food supplements would likely be greatly reduced or eliminated. In other words, if you wanted to go down to your neighborhood health food store and buy a bottle of 500 mg Vitamin C tablets, sorry, the Codex would not allow sales of more than about 30 mg tablets at about the same price that we now pay for the 500 mg tablets. Other examples include total disallowance of many commercial vitamin, mineral, amino acid and herbal products. I have heard that about 90% of products currently available in health food stores would be abolished, and heavy criminal fines, and jail terms, would be established. Five-hundred mg Vitamin C tablets, magnesium supplements and many other seemingly innocuous products and combinations would be as illegal as sale of heroin or ephedra. Only approved nutrient supplements and dosages would be available over the counter. The theory being that some of these dosages and combinations are "hazardous" and that the rules are needed to preserve the public health world-wide, which makes as much sense as restricting computers to no more than a 286 microprocessor, because the Pentium class processors are "national security" risks. However, really dangerous and clearly harmful food supplements like table salt (sodium chloride), excesses of which without sufficient potassium to balance it, cause some heart attacks, and sugar (sucrose), excesses of which causes sugar diabetes (curable with large doses of magnesium), and refined flour (essentially gluten), nutrient depleted for shelf-life reasons, would not be regulated because they are part of our establishment "culture". Implementation of Codex would bypass current United States laws, and eliminate important choices for Americans and others world-wide primarily to benefit the international pharmaceutical drug pushers.

             International pharmaceutical companies have been totally unable to commercialize nutrients as treatments for diseases, especially as a depression treatment, mainly because of the wide availability of low price nutritional supplements. Even though pharmaceutical drug pushers are as aware of their health benefits as any well-trained nutritionist, they can not compete financially with the dietary supplement industry. There have been FDA movements to prevent people and companies from telling the truth about the value of nutrients in treating diseases and preserving health. Even though a very famous Supreme Court case (Pearson vs. Shalala) forced the FDA to back off (sort-of), the FDA has tried to make statements that "nutrients cure, prevent or treat diseases" illegal. This is in deference to the will of pharmaceutical drug companies. Foods and nutrients prevent and cure many "diseases" that are really nutrient deficiencies in disguise. For example, severe depression can be considered the "symptom" of magnesium wasting disease, which is the real illness. Without some of the to-be-disallowed nutrients, there exists the clear possibility that people will die, become or remain ill with no legal way to recover. The idea of individual differences in nutrient demands of people, well established by many nutritionist and other scientists, would be thrown out the door.

             On the other hand, food producers, mainly grain refiners and the entire industry that relies on grains to produce everything from Twinkies to waffles seems unable and unwilling to fortify flour and flour products with the minerals, vitamins and amino acids removed from these food products during refining. Consequently, many nutrient deficiency diseases have occurred and are greatly affecting the quality of life and shortening the life span of people who rely upon these low-cost "foods". Perhaps they are not "low-cost" at all when their adverse impacts on health are considered.

      Turn on your sound and click here for top secret information on meat quality and where to get the good stuff.        Now, enter Codex rules! Consider the actual effect of these rules. The food producers get to prepare nutrient depleted foods, which results in many nutrient deficiency diseases, while the pharmaceutical drug pushers will have no competition to sell nutrients to treat the diseases that would otherwise be prevented if people could retain access to truly wholesome foods and supplements. The pharmaceutical drug pushers would prepare expensive (half-billion dollar) New Drug Applications and work with the FDA and other national drug regulatory groups to prepare those same nutrients that will be taken away from us, and then sell them back to us at about 10 to 50 times the price that they are available to us now.

             I really wonder if this is what Congress and the Administration had in mind when they approved the World Trade Organization treaty. I think the grain and food refiners and the pharmaceutical drug companies are really pulling a fast one over America and the Western world. What will happen if, overnight, all of the nutrients that we have come to rely upon are taken away from us? Well, John C. Hammell, Legislative Advocate and founder of the International Advocates for Health Freedom seems to believe that it will cause a grass roots rebellion. Indeed, they actively seek rebellion world-wide. See their extensive files and contribution towards protecting our health freedom at their web site. Read their most recent situational report and about their lawsuit at "RIPPING UP THE RAILROAD TRACKS TO AUSCHWITZ". Much more here. A search for Codex Alimentarius. What do I think? Since the Internet is most actively sought source of on health and illness, I suspect that the supply of really effective vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs will move underground and be sold via the Internet. If federal prosecutions become as serious as opponents of Codex predict, then suppliers will need to move off shore, and smuggling of nutrients will become the business of international drug smugglers. Heck, if that is the case, why buy ephedra when the same source will sell you cocaine? Is this the intent of Congress? To drive us into the hands of international drug smugglers? Maybe we need to have U. S. regulation of dietary supplements transferred from the Food and Drug Administration to the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. I suspect they would be better treated there, compared with commodities that are truly dangerous but allowed. The best review of this horrific situation that I have found is at the Australian GetALife site. You don't think that nations would do such a thing? It is a done deal in New Zealand and Australia.

             Actually, the simplest way to get fairness in the FDA is to split the FDA into two competing components, one being an Office of Nutrition and Dietary Supplements and the second being an office of Drugs and Medical Devices, each with their own separate enabling legislation. Let them compete with each other to devise and make plans for improving nutrition and the use of nutrients to cure, treat, prevent and mitigate diseases, and compare the long term results with the use of drugs to cure, treat, prevent and mitigate diseases. With the exception of accidents, genetic and infectious diseases, I strongly suspect that nutrients would win in the battle for human and animal health.

             Back to reality, what do I think about CODEX and the FDA's interest in pushing CODEX through the Congress as "good medicine"? I think it is a death sentence for many Americans, which will only benefit the pharmaceutical drug pushers, and extend the "death-by-heart-attack century well into the 21st century, with the main benefit being pharmaceutical company health and well being, not the public's health and well being. For that reason, I think the United States Food and Drug Administration should immediately be split into two separate agencies, to dilute their abusive power into manageable doses. Call one of them the "Food and Beverage Administration" and the other the "Drug, Cosmetic and Medical Devices Administration". I think this would be the best way for America to improve our national health. Why? Because if the FDA were split up, then one agency (led by nutritionists and naturopathic physicians) could compete with the other (led by medical doctors) to see which agency could best improve the health of Americans. The FDA has had 70 years to fix the refined grain (depleted foods) issue, and has completely ignored it for practical purposes, showing that there is great deference toward drugs and contempt for superior nutrition and nutritional supplements. The current situation with the FDA over both aspects of our health (food and drugs) creates a lethal conflict of interest between foods and drugs, with foods easily being defeated by drugs simply because there is vastly more money coming at the FDA through the Prescription Drug User Fee Act of 1992 which causes the FDA to look like it is "bought and paid for" by pharmaceutical companies. Clearly, there is a major interest by the FDA, perhaps not Congressionally mandated, but real just the same, in pleasing pharmaceutical companies with "approval" of new drugs. After all, that is the mandate of Congress, for the FDA to "approve" new drugs. Safety issues of many drugs are of great concern right now and the FDA has taken a hit over improperly approved drugs like Vioxx and Celebrex because they cause an increase in heart attacks. Please note that Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market, not the FDA. In effect, the The Federal branches of government responsible for protecting and promoting public health are in a state of moral collapse according to Bill Sardi as shown on the Friends of Freedom page. But Pfizer will not withdraw Celebrex. Does the FDA need to act? I think so. But they won't. They don't want to go back to aspirin, which appears to work better for many anyway. Aspirin increases absorption of magnesium and decreases the excretion of magnesium in the urine, which raise magnesium levels in the body which seems - in turn - to inhibit blood clotting and to lessen the blood-vessel-constricting effects of adrenaline - according to page 23 and 24 of "The Magnesium Factor". The public is left with only one recourse - that being the courts. But the Bush administration tried to terminate or greatly reduce the public's right to sue American companies in class action lawsuits. There are many senior-led lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, and the Bush administration was being pressured by the pharmaceutical companies to do something to relieve the pressure. Is that a good idea? CODEX was dealt a setback in June of 2005 by a European Union judge. Read all about it here. Interestingly, the new democratic leadership does show some interest in stopping the legal drug pushers from continuing marketing drugs with toxic side effects. See this November 6, 2008 Wall Street Journal article entitled, "New FDA Leaders Could Be Tougher on Drug Makers".

      Tips for Diarrhea

             Magnesium can cause diarrhea at the high dosages needed to treat depression effectively and stabilize mood. Diarrhea causes loss of magnesium and other nutrients worsening depression and creating other serious side effects. Preventing diarrhea is absolutely mandatory. Perhaps the best idea is to try combinations of the following natural and drug means of controlling diarrhea.

      • Too much magnesium has been found to cause diarrhea for at least 100 years. Each magnesium ion will attract about 800 molecules of water, which is usually believed to be the cause of the diarrhea. However, too much magnesium exponentially stimulates the growth of Candida yeast cells in vitro, which was preventable by added calcium. Consequently, large doses of magnesium without calcium may stimulate intestinal Candida overgrowth in the human. Consequently, magnesium should be taken using several antifungal agents, and especially garlic with coconut oil. These antifungals will also amplify the absorption of magnesium and greatly accelerate recovery but may increase toxicity of magnesium due to increased absorption. Consequently, when magnesium (without calcium) and antifungals are being used therapeutically, potential for overdose must be considered.
      • Try topical magnesium chloride solutions rubbed over chest, arms, back and/or legs as needed. This technique helps prevent diarrhea since the guts are not directly contacted. Topical magnesium chloride is also a wonderful and extremely safe under-arm deodorant. The crystals are to be mixed with water at a 1:3 ratio by weight (saturated solution at room temperature). The crystals must not be used orally since there is no accurate way to measure it, thus risk of overdose is substantial.
      • Try wonderment of all wonderments - Kefir. Kefir, a milk product full of beneficial gut fungi and bacteria, is perfect for control and eventual elimination of overgrowths of systemic (gut) Candida Albicans, which may have been stimulated by large doses of magnesium. Kefir is vital in stopping magnesium wasting. Kefir also contains calcium. Be careful with Kefir, because for those of us sensitive to calcium, it can bite back!
      • Try indole-3-Carbinol if there is a candida problem causing magnesium wasting. See this link.
      • Try one to two gram of the amino acid L-arginine with each meal for a few weeks. In several people trying this offbeat technique, two to three grams of L-arginine per meal caused severe constipation while using magnesium supplementation that previously caused diarrhea. This "constipation" effect did not seem to occur with one gram of L-arginine per meal. Very little is known about this technique and more information is needed. Here is a search for arginine. However, L-arginine has been used to treat depression and reduce effects of stress, so it is doubly good for us. On the other hand, L-arginine appears dangerous to people who are recovering from heart attacks. Six out of 76 people recovering from heart attacks treated with 9 grams L-arginine/day died compared with zero for placebo according to this NIH supported study. I would not be surprised to learn that L-arginine made them so constipated that it killed them. The mechanism of action shown by Tomita et al. is due to increased nitric oxide production in the intestines, which mediates nonadrenergic, noncholinergic inhibitory nerves and plays an important role in the dysmotility observed in the colons of patients with slow-transit constipation. This effect is very strong using compressed tablets of L-arginine, but not when using gelatin capsules of L-arginine, suggesting that hard compressed tablets reach and dissolve in the colon (enhancing local nitric oxide production) and not in the stomach. This is the Letter to the Editor of JAMA that I submitted today, January 14, 2006: Sir: Concerning the question of why L-arginine seems to have killed patients in the study of Schuleman et al. (JAMA. 2006;295:58-64), it should be noted that L-arginine in the 9 grams per day (3 grams with each meal) doses used by Schuleman et al. causes extreme, highly dangerous constipation in people with slow-transit constipation, perhaps due to the effect of excessive arginine-induced nitric oxide on nonadrenergic, noncholinergic inhibitory nerves of the colon (Tomita R, Fujisaki S, Ikeda T, Fukuzawa M. Role of nitric oxide in the colon of patients with slow-transit constipation. Dis Colon Rectum. 2002 May;45(5):593-600.). In fact, these 9 grams/day doses are highly constipating in other people too. For that reason alone, L-arginine should not be used in those excessive doses (particularly in the form of hard compressed tablets likely to reach the colon), while one to two grams per day as dietary supplement (prepared in gelatin capsules) seem harmless. -- George Eby, Austin, Texas . In other words, if you have had a heart attack or have a weakened heart, you do not want to become constipated from excessive L-arginine or from excessive calcium or any other way. Remember how Elvis died! Don't strain trying to poop! Stay loose!
      • Try an injection or rectal form of magnesium administration. These do not cause "diarrhea", but may cause some localized water attraction.
      • Oral magnesium supplement are wide spectrum antibiotics. Good bacteria in the intestines are vital in nature's plan to prevent diarrhea, but magnesium in the gut can and will kill them. Use very large amounts of Mercola's Complete Probiotics to maintain and replace your intestinal flora. do not use other probiotics since they are killed by the stomach acid and are ineffective. Take Mercola's Complete probiotics at times different from magnesium. Watch his video. Learn how and why treating Leaky Gut Syndrome is vital to recovery.
      • Try Coenzyme Q-10 (100 mg am and pm), which for me along with magnesium helped my leaky gut syndrome and cardiac arrhythmias (PACs), but nothing was truly curative until I discovered the value of 2.5 grams of taurine with each meal and at bedtime. That really stopped the PACs. See this article for the science behind this amazing cardiac cure-all.
      • Use of sacchararomyces boulardii has long been used to treat diarrhea in Europe and is becoming common in the United States. It is drawing attention in HIV/AIDS as a means to stop diarrhea. Sacchararomyces boulardii is a anti Candida Albicans fungus that will repopulate the intestines and greatly improve digestion and absorption of magnesium. It can support gut function under many adverse conditions, including food allergies, parasites, Crohn's disease, Candida, Salmonella, travelers diarrhea, HIV diarrhea and Pseudomonas. Clinical studies also demonstrate the protective effect of S. boulardii in intestinal infections, including Clostridium difficile and cholera. The protective effect of S. boulardii involves several types of activity in the epithelial tissue of the digestive tract, including inactivation of bacterial toxins, stimulation of intestinal immune response, and release of polyamines. A common brand is Jarrow.
      • Perhaps the most significant cause of irritable gut syndrome and diarrhea is consumption of refined sugars, corn syrup, dextrose and all foods with a high glycemic index. Also, see "Glycemic Index of 1200 Foods (how to live to be 100). These soluble carbohydrates should be eliminated from the diet, and consumption of other foods having a high glycemic index greatly reduced.
      • Use magnesium glycinate rather than other forms of oral magnesium.
      • Try boron supplements (3 to 12 mg/day), which help stimulate mental alertness, taken with magnesium.
      • Try to avoid milk products, non-soluble fiber, greasy foods or foods high in sugar. They can aggravate diarrhea.
      • Prevent dehydration by drinking sufficient fluids.
      • The usual way to stop diarrhea using drugs is to stop the back flow of water from plasma to intestine. Opiate agonist drugs like Imodium are used to that specific purpose. (One capsule after each liquid stool.) These drugs can cause drowsiness and provoke allergies.
      • If the above fail, terminating diarrhea with drugs such as Lomotil® will be mandatory, but do not overdose.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Magnesium Topically, by Injection or by Rectum - No Diarrhea

              The limitation of diarrhea from the oral route will force some people to use alternative routes of administering magnesium. There are four other approaches that absolutely will not cause diarrhea. The first two require the assistance of a physician. The first route is intramuscular, by injections. According to Dr. Ruth Nyhill, M.D., the usual regime is an injection of 2 ml of 50% magnesium sulphate (1 gram magnesium sulfate, equaling 100 mg elemental magnesium). If you want more information on this route of administration be certain to read Dr. Myhill's article on treating CFS with magnesium injections. The second way is by an intravenous infusion (IV) of magnesium sulfate. IV magnesium treatment is often given in a hospital emergency room for treatment of cardiac pain, and more recently for migraine headaches. There is no reason that IVs of magnesium sulfate could not be given by a physician as an outpatient treatment. The dosage is the same as intramuscular, but without the pain.

              The simplest and cheapest way of increasing blood levels of magnesium is through topical application of extremely strong (supersaturated) solutions of magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salts) to the skin over large areas, such as chest, back, lower body and legs, or the entire body. Every pharmacy has Epsom Salts and it is extremely inexpensive. Avoid getting it in the eyes. We have used these saturated solutions with great effect in treating asthma in both humans and dogs (known low magnesium symptoms). Dogs lick it off where they can, but several applications over much of their body per day works very well. This techniques most likely would work in any specie needing increased blood levels of magnesium without the intestinal side effects associated with the oral route. This Epsom Salts treatment also makes dogs and people quite relaxed. Dr. Norman Shealy, M.D. reports great success in increasing blood levels with topical magnesium chloride with foot soaks for 20 minutes as shown in his clinical test.

              Magnesium chloride, especially as "Magic Oil" by the Wolfe Clinic has a major advantage over magnesium sulfate because it is hygroscopic and will attract water to it, thus keeping it wet on the skin and vastly more likely to be absorbed, while magnesium sulfate simply "dries" and becomes "powdery". Magic Oil is a +25% solution of magnesium chloride, which feels "oily" on the skin. This should work to cure depression after a few weeks daily application. The biggest benefit of topical magnesium chloride administration is that the intestines are not adversely impacted by large doses of oral magnesium. I use topical magnesium chloride to stop my and my dog's asthma symptoms, and topical magnesium chloride works faster than any prescription anti-asthma medicine. Remember that Fick's Laws of Membrane Permeability applies here. Those laws say that the amount of any solute (magnesium) that will be absorbed is directly dependent upon the area of contact, the concentration of the solution and the time that the solute is in contact with the membrane. One could see that the maximum amount absorbed is obtained when all skin is treated with the strongest solution not to precipitate out and applied 24/7. Be careful, because there is very little documentation (mainly Dr. Shealy's) of these effects, and a foot soak may be all that is needed - as he showed major improvement in blood levels in just a few weeks. Me? I use it when I need to and I apply it liberally over my arms and chest. If it gets in a cut, it will sting a bit. Note: Dr. Shealy is a world-class expert on pain management and in 1967 he invented the Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS Unit) for pain relief.

              On the other hand, if insects, like our dreaded Texas Fire Ants, sting on skin treated with oily magnesium chloride, there will be no immune reaction. In other words, the sting does not hurt and the skin does not swell and become inflamed. Is topical magnesium chloride a cure for fire ant stings after they occur? I don't know yet, but I suspect so.

              Magnesium per rectum is another means of administering magnesium in therapeutic doses for any illness requiring magnesium therapy. This treatment is sufficiently new that there is very little information on it, but it might be a good depression treatment. A search shows these articles. Other similar searches showed nothing. Dr. Myhill, about treating chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) with intra-rectal magnesium sulfate, writes:

      "At a recent conference in Australia I spoke to a doctor who had been trying magnesium sulphate given PR (per rectum - i.e. up the backside! Like a suppository) with some success. If this technique works, then it would be a cheap, safe, do-it-yourself at home technique which could replace uncomfortable injections. I have now tried magnesium PR with quite a few of my patients and it has been as effective as the injections in some of them."

      "To try this at home, you need some Epsom salts, a 10 ml syringe (Eby's NOTE: 10 ml is less than a teaspoon in volume) and a small length of soft plastic tubing. Epsom salts are virtually pure magnesium sulphate and are available from chemists (at Boots a 500g bag costs £1.10, 3kg bags are also available). The syringe and tubing can be ordered from me (Dr. Myhill) and can be re-used so long as sensible hygienic precautions are taken between doses."

      "Dissolve 100g (4 oz) of Epsom salts in 200 ml (a mug) of lukewarm water. This solution can be stored in the fridge for six months, but do not forget to warm up before use."

      "The soft plastic tubing is meant to be cut into a short length, say 3" and pushed over the end of the syringe to allow insertion into the rectum."

      "To load the syringe, simply push all the air out, dip the plastic tube into the magnesium solution, and draw some magnesium sulphate back into the syringe. The exact amount is not important and I am happy for patients to experiment with smaller or larger amounts, perhaps every two to three days, according to their response. Some patients find it easier to hold the magnesium in by starting with 1 ml of the liquid and slowly increasing the dose, thus giving the back passage time to get used to the experience! If you find that you are tolerating this well, you may want to increase the concentration of Epsom salts in the water, i.e. dissolve an extra amount of the salts in the same amount of water."

      "If you can find somebody to insert the tube tip into your bottom, then this makes life easier! (It may need greasing with a little oil, margarine or soap). However it is perfectly possible to do it yourself. Once the tube is in position, slowly push in the plunger of the syringe and the contents will pass into the rectum. Don't then dash off to the loo or it will all be lost!"

      "If the magnesium is being absorbed, then I would expect patients to get the same response as from a magnesium injection, but of course without the pain. It does work for a useful proportion of CFSs so well worth trying if you get benefit from the magnesium injections."

      Magnesium suppositories and syringe for injecting magnesium sulfate into rectal cavity.        Clearly, these techniques are highly experimental. On the other hand, enemas have been used for hundreds of years to treat constipation. Why not try one of these methods when oral supplements are insufficient or if they cause diarrhea? The ten milliliter syringe shown on the right would contain less than a teaspoon of solution, so there is little risk of leakage if left inside without further attention. The yellow plastic tubing was found at a hobby store, and is model aircraft fuel line. The darkened tip has been heated with a match to combustion, thus rounding the tip and eliminating sharp edges.

              Alternatively, ask your physician to prescribe 1,000 mg magnesium sulfate (100 mg elemental magnesium) rectal suppositories. I repeat, magnesium sulfate is 10% elemental magnesium. Then ask a local compounding pharmacist to fill your magnesium suppository order. Be certain that the grade of magnesium sulfate is pharmaceutical, and that it is amorphous or powder and not crystalline. These suppositories are stock items for compounding pharmacists and they only need to know what you want incorporated within them. In this case we need magnesium sulfate added. These suppositories come in packages of 12 and remain in their molds until you are ready to use them. They must be kept refrigerated for them to keep their shape. If you don't know how to use rectal suppositories visit

              In view of the fact that these rectal methods might suggest use of an enema bag, be aware that there is considerable risk of overdose which might result in significant sedation, or worse, due to the large capacity of the bag. In fact, a recent article shows that a 7-year old boy died from an Epsom Salts enema. Do not do this! A reasonable enema bag preparation might be about one-half gram of magnesium from five grams of magnesium sulfate (1/2 level teaspoon of Epsom Salts) in 1/2 cup of warm water. Do not give more than 1/5 of the full preparation (100 mg of elemental magnesium). The enema bag technique is only for true emergencies and is quite likely to produce overdose and can be lethal. The enema bag technique is also likely to leak unless a conscious effort is made to hold it in. Remember that Weston in 1921 used the injection technique in these dosage sizes (about 100 to 200 mg magnesium) as a sedative. Notice from Weston the effect of multiple depression treatments.

              These non-oral dosages should be administered or prescribed only by a physician or other appropriate health-care worker, due to the risk of overdose and perhaps even death. These 100 mg magnesium doses appear to be the rough equivalent of 1000 mg oral magnesium doses in terms of efficacy from what I can ascertain from the very limited literature on the subject. People report a warming sensation (vasodilation) from the magnesium rectal treatments. The antidote is an equal amount of calcium gluconate. The calcium content of calcium gluconate is 9 percent. NOTE: Sarah Mayhill, M.D., is a British doctor working both for the British National Health Service and with a private practice. About 10% of her NHS patients suffer from CFS and approximately 70% in her private practice have it. Dr. Myhill is a medical advisor to Action for ME, a national support organization in the UK for ME/CFS sufferers. She is also the Honorary Secretary of the British Society for Allergy Environmental and Nutritional Medicine. She uses a lot of magnesium in her treatment of CFS. Her homepage is

      What About YOU?

               First things first. Although unfortunate, being clinically depressed or manic-depressive is not something to be ashamed about. Seriously consider trying magnesium glycinate (preferably with the other nutrients discussed in this essay like taurine) in the doses that I used if your prescription antidepressants are not working. Talk about your condition and get all the family and professional help you can. Talk it over with your physician, but be aware, he/she will likely have no knowledge of magnesium or its role in human health and especially depression. Quiz him/her and note his/her response, and if you really want to entertain yourself, give him a copy of my article. His response is certain to be at least entertaining! My shrink called poison control for information! Remember what you are dealing with. In the order of illness severity, only a heart attack and death are more debilitating to a person and his/her family. You didn't purposefully cause it. Perhaps you could have avoided it by relieving stress before it bit you hard, but you didn't. Perhaps you didn't understand the significance of stress, or know about the role of magnesium in managing stress, or that you may have a biochemistry that requires more magnesium than most people. Remember, depression is just a short little time in one's long life where everything really seems to be going wrong. But that too will pass, if we handle ourselves correctly. For many of us, all we need to do is prevent, treat and cure stress, and supplement our diets with magnesium glycinate and taurine and these other nutrients.

               Believe me - but remember that I am not a physician, and I am not offering medical advice (either intentionally or unintentionally) in this page or in e-mail. This page and my comments are presented only for educational purposes, which might be useful to you and your physician in his or her treatment of your depression or bi-polar disorder. Actually, this page was written to myself as a form of personal "note keeping", since I can't remember what I had for breakfast, let alone remember complicated biochemistry and medical stuff. I know magnesium was useful to me and countless others who were non-responders to classical antidepressants, but it remains to be seen what magnesium will do for you; although from the amount of e-mail that I am receiving in response to this page, you too can be reasonably assured that if you start magnesium as a depression treatment and stay on it, such can be of enormous, perhaps life saving benefit.

               Concerning how much magnesium is enough, I can only tell you what I took. In a way I let my bowels tell me what was too much.  At first, 1200 mg a day (in split doses) for an extended period was too much for me, but not too much for me later or for others who have successfully, and rapidly eliminated their depression following my lead. There are some in the FDA who believe the RDA of 400 mg for men and 350 for women is too low, and that many persons need as much as 900 a day in their diet for a normal life. This may not seem too much when compared with the Canadian RDA. People ask me how much magnesium they should take. In 2001 through half of 2003, I took 200 mg magnesium with breakfast, 200 mg with lunch, 200 mg with supper and 400 mg at bedtime. Occasionally I took more if I felt like I needed it, sometimes another dosage at about 3 AM, if I woke up too early. In the later half of 2003 and early 2004, I reduced my dosage by more than 50% due to my use of large amounts of coconut oil to eliminate yeast that impaired magnesium absorption. Each person must determine the cause of low magnesium and correct that problem. Review the dosage issues that cause magnesium absorption and cellular retention to fail, and review the non dietary causes of hypomagnesia. Remember my comments that magnesium can be used as an "aspirin for the emotions". I can't advise anyone concerning how much is right for him or her. I don't know, and only the individual can determine how much is too much, and back down a bit if side-effects like diarrhea occur. Since magnesium is easily lost in the urine, doses a half hour or so before meals and at bedtime probably produce best results.

               Manic behavior in manic depression is often much more destructive, can lead to violence, criminal behavior and financial ruin; but depression just sucks. Magnesium definitely helps both extremes like lithium (actually, lithium is substituting for magnesium and should no longer be used in preference to magnesium). The list of Famous Names & Faces with Manic Depressive Disorder (bibliography) is staggering. They dealt with it and had successful lives. Many of them did so before the advent of antidepressants or lithium. If they made it, so can you.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Dead Doctors Don't Lie!

      Dr. Joel Wallach        We have seen before at this link that physicians, and especially psychiatrists commit suicide more frequently than the rest of the population. Why? Perhaps they actually believe that their medicine is their "cure". Who knows. We know this is preposterous and that proper nutrition is the only way to actual health, barring accidental injury or infection. I am not the first to expound upon this subject. Many others have spoken too. Perhaps one of the most eloquent was Dr. Joel Wallach, author of the popular audio tape "Dead Doctors Don't Lie: But Live Ones Do". In 1991, he was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Medicine (meaning a person having already won one, nominated him). Did he get it? No. Perhaps if he had, medicine would be vastly better today. Instead, pigs get better health care than humans, and Dr. Wallach was vilified. Why? Veterinarians and farmers know that the only way to profit is from healthy pigs through nutrition, not drugs. On the other hand, it seems to me that physicians and our government [perhaps biased by the trillion dollar health(sic) industry place economic concerns ahead of people, by emphasizing drugs and demeaning nutrition. Does it make sense for the government to prohibit saying, "nutrients can cure, prevent or treat disease"? I don't think so unless one is ready to call scurvy a non-disease. Do you know how much a pork chop would cost if medical doctors were in charge of animal health? Dr. Wallach pegs it at over $325 per pork chop. Get the idea? If I get sick, sent me to a veterinarian! If you have never heard his eloquent call for medical doctors to exercise logic concerning nutrition and long life, or if you are an old admirer who want to again hear his world-famous lecture series, go to this page and follow the links to his 5-part audio tape. At his peek, he made 300 lectures a year. If you want to visit his site go to and see a truly caring man's work. See why he says that all people and animals that die of "natural causes" actually die of malnutrition. Listen to his tapes at learn which profession kills 300,000 people a year in the U.S. and gets paid for it! He says, "don't ever go to a physician if you want to live a long life". Why? You need to listen to his tapes. I don't know anything about his products, but I trust him. As you listen to him, transpose "magnesium" for his word "calcium" in each instance, and you will see that had he made that change, he would have won the Nobel Prize from the very obvious benefit to human health that he would have produced. It is little mistakes like this that have ruined lay interest in nutritional research and nutrition prophets.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Can Afrin Cause or Worsen Depression?

              What? A nasal decongestant, Afrin, causes depression? Afrin worsens depression? What is going on here? That is what I wanted to know when I recieved the following letter:

      Dear Mr. Eby,

      Recently my doctor put me on 50 mg Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate). I found it sort of helpful, but I had non-specific minor complaints about the way it made me feel. It also made me feel dizzy or light-headed upon standing up, it gave me severe dry mouth, it caused physical weakness, it caused weight gain, and most alarming it caused mental dullness. The problem with mental dullness seemed much more apparent while driving a car, and I nearly had 4 severe auto accidents. I was only lucky that I didn’t actually crash. Since I have never had an automobile accident, I found this very significant.

      Totally separate from this, but while I was taking Seroquel, I stopped taking Afrin (oxymetazoline) which is an alpha adrenergic agonist that induces vasoconstriction. I have been adicted to this nasal decongestant for about ten years, roughly the time I have had depression symptoms. I started taking the Walgreens formulation for Claritin-D (240 mg of pseudoephrine sulfate nasal decongestant and 10 mg of loratadine an antihistamine).

      Upon stopping Afrin and starting the Claritin, I was extremely surprised to find that all of my complaints about Seroquel disappeared and all of my depression symptoms totally vanished!. This was something that Seroquel did not do, and something that I had no reason to suspect would happen from changing from Afrin to Claritin. Since I had no depression and no weird feelings, I stopped taking Seroquel to see what would happen, and I now find that I have never felt better. I suspect I will live much longer on Claritin and off Seroquel – due to my vastly better driving! After a few weeks on Claritin, I wondered if I could stop that too. Stopping Claritin caused no depression symptoms and my nose remained open at night with the help of Breath Right nasal strips.

      I did a Google search to see if others had the same experience with Claritin or Afrin and depression, and found no real support. Both listed depression as occuring in less than 1% of users. I had been on Afrin nightly for severe rebound congestion for at least 10 years, which is roughly the same time that I have had depression symptoms. Could it be that Afrin was causing my depression? I guess I am really unlucky! Actually, I am very lucky that I found this out - by accident!

      Whether or not this will be of benefit to you or others, I have no idea.

      Best wishes,

      John Doe

      Well, duh... I looked up Afrin and depression on Google and found that there are a number of abreviated articles on the issue. Most are reported on cryptic FDA Adverse Drug Reports. See: this page. Some of the articles, perhaps all, relate to CNS depression, which is not "depression" as is being discussed on this page. If it does cause depression, remember that Afrin is a stimulant and it causes insomnia in some people. Perhaps the insomnia attributes to depression. At least that is my guess. If you take Afrin, be forewarned!

      Drug Interactions

               If you decide the "magnesium repletion to cure depression and other related symptoms" idea sounds promising, talk it over with your own physician. Let him or her consider if there are any side effects or drug / magnesium interaction side effects that he or she would want to consider. However, if your physician was like mine, he won't have a clue about magnesium, and you must decide what to do yourself. If he has no clue, I would find out about the possible interactions from him and his Physician's Desk Reference (PDR), and then seek the advise of a naturopathic physician concerning magnesium and other nutrients as discussed here. Just because lithium and magnesium seemed to work together, doesn't mean that other drugs and magnesium will. Since lithium pulls magnesium out of cells and into the blood stream, the combination can cause diarrhea. The Natural Pharmacist has a very helpful drug interaction site, allowing criteria such as age and gender also to be considered. Clearly tetracycline is rendered ineffective by magnesium, and they must be taken at least two hours apart. Other magnesium/drug interactions are known. For example, magnesium should not be taken with calcium channel blockers, because magnesium is a calcium channel blocker. 

                Your doctor using the Physician's Desk Reference and the drug insert are the gold standards for checking drug interaction. Be very careful using magnesium if you have kidney disease, because the main occurrence of side effect will be in kidney patients that retain too much magnesium (rarely applies to us).         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Magnesium Compounds That Work, That Are Ineffective, or That Injure

               ON A PRECAUTIONARY NOTE, two amino acid chelates of magnesium (magnesium aspartate, magnesium glutamate) MUST be avoided in treating depression. Each of these amino acid complexes of magnesium has been reported to worsen depression. Aspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters in the brain and retina by facilitating the transmission of from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate or glutamate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells. The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate and glutamate is why they are referred to as "excitotoxins." They "excite" or stimulate the neural cells to death. Aspartate is a principal ingredient in the highly maligned Aspartame sweetener. To avoid aggravating depression with super-sweeteners, instead use Stevia.        Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!


               The Dictionary of Minerals reports toxicity of magnesium is rare when taken as dietary supplements. Even so, there are some important toxicology concerns:

      • Too much magnesium has been associated with diarrhea for at least 100 years. Each magnesium ion will attract about 800 molecules of water, which is usually believed to be the cause of the diarrhea. However, too much magnesium exponentially stimulates the growth of Candida yeast cells in vitro, which was preventable by added calcium. Consequently, large doses of magnesium without calcium may stimulate intestinal Candida overgrowth. Consequently, magnesium should be taken using antifungal agents, and especially garlic and coconut oil, or prescription antifungal drugs. Antifungals will amplify the absorption of magnesium, greatly accelerate recovery and may increase toxicity of magnesium due to increased absorption. Consequently, when magnesium (without calcium) is being used therapeutically, consideration of overdose must be given consideration.
      • Magnesium hydroxide (such as Milk of Magnesia) and magnesium oxide are ABSOLUTELY CONTRAINDICATED in depression treatment or related depression symptoms because of poor bioavailability. Magnesium hydroxide has no known use other than as a laxative and de-acidifier, which will impair mineral absorption. Although magnesium oxide is widely avaialable and marketed as a dietary supplement, there is evidence that it is NOT bioavailable. Search this page for instances of the words "magnesium oxide" for much more information.
      • Magnesium toxicity is common in those with kidney failure. High dosage magnesium is contraindicated with kidney or adrenal failure, or in severe hypothyroidism (but only in cases where the thyroid disease has caused hypermagnesia).
      • Magnesium aspartate and magnesium glutamate worsen depression. If you are taking a magnesium product identified as "Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate" and your depression worsens greatly, you probably are taking one of these amino acid chelates of magnesium. Be VERY careful.
      • Magnesium sulfate, a purgative, must not be taken by those with kidney problems, and probably should not be taken internally by anyone in large doses, unless they want diarrhea. Magnesium sulfate, commonly called Epsom Salts, is readily available at nearly every pharmacy with directions for preparing a relaxing bath. These baths are capable of causing people to relax to the point that they fall asleep - thus the potential for drowning (and diarrhea if the bath are VERY strong and lasts more than an hour).
      • People having hypermagnesia from any disorder must not supplement magnesium (no need).
      • Magnesium supplements usually worsen myasthenia gravis because it appears to be a symptom of manganese deficiency. Large amounts of magnesium, of course, can lower manganese in the body.
      • Known symptoms of magnesium toxicity include flushing of the skin, thirst, low blood pressure, loss of reflexes and respiratory depression and coma. Excessively high blood levels lead to anesthesia and eventually heart failure.
      • Treatment of severe magnesium intoxication is a purely medical matter involving circulatory and respiratory support combined with intravenous administration of calcium gluconate.
      • Regardless of any claimed toxicity for magnesium by prescription drug enthusiasts (physicians), all of us need to remember that our livers see all drugs (prescription, OTC and illegal) as foreign and tries to detoxify them. Consequently, about 50 times the amount needed in vitro is often prescribed to defeat this liver function, sometimes resulting in serious liver damage and death. This does not happen with magnesium and other nutrients.
      • Review this case of a fatality induced by using an entire box of Epsom Salts over a 2-day period as a gargle for halitosis.

               Am I afraid that in the long run we (meaning those of us that have magnesium responsive mood disorders) will overdose on magnesium? No. Not at the dosages considered on this page, unless absorption is so greatly increased by antifungals that toxicity occurs. Generally, we leak magnesium through our sweat, urine and feces (particularly when we have diarrhea) more than other people. Think of us as being water (magnesium) tanks, and that we have allowed the tank to become nearly empty. We have the dual problem of filling the tank back up to normal levels as well as getting our daily usage (leakage) met at the same time. Our health was not built in a day, but over a lifetime; and it may take years to refill our tanks.  We leak. However, chromium, taurine, vanadium, boron, Omega-3 EFA and lecithin are important plug-like nutrients, capable of stopping that leakage (if sugars and calcium are kept low) and allowing our magnesium reserves to be restored to normal. If, after taking magnesium for a year or two at high dosages, daytime sleepiness becomes a problem, one can be assured that magnesium reserves have been restored and intake of supplemental magnesium can be reduced or replaced totally with high magnesium content foods. However, some people will require supplemental magnesium for the rest of their lives to maintain a good mood.         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      Economic Sources of Magnesium

              Magnesium chloride has been used for about 85 years to treat and cure a wide variety of "diseases" including depression. See Walter Last's site for the remarkable history and uses of use of magnesium chloride in medicine and health. It is an inexpensive form of magnesium often used as an industrial chemical, fertilizer, human and animal nutrient. Walter Last reports that hydrated magnesium chloride (the kind you can buy over the counter) contains about 120 mg of magnesium per gram (12% magnesium) or 600 mg elemental magnesium per rounded teaspoon. It is also a powerful and natural antibacterial agent. This form of magnesium can often be purchased in parts of the world where more expensive organic compounds of magnesium (such as magnesium glycinate) are unavailable and emergency services from me are unavailable or much too expensive due to distance. NOTE: I have shipped long distances, for example to a prince in Africa, but it was very expensive and not advised unless absolutely necessary. Magnesium chloride is sufficiently inexpensive that it is used by the hundreds of truckloads to prevent icing and to de-ice airport runways, public roads and highways. Follow this link for "magnesium chloride" "dietary supplements". Magnesium chloride is the most absorbable form of magnesium for human use, because stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) converts all other biologically available compounds of magnesium to magnesium chloride before they are absorbed. Magnesium chloride breaks down into magnesium ions and chloride upon absorption, and tastes terrible - requiring dilution in water. If taurine can be obtained, addition of taurine (10 grams a day) should equal the effect of 1000 mg of magnesium from magnesium taurate. This link will take you to sources of "glycine dietary supplements".         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

              After the question of dosage, the most frequent question that people ask me is, "Why don't physicians know about this?" Well, the answer to that question could easily cause me to write another web page at least as long and tedious as this one. Some of them know and are very sympathetic and/or knowledgeable about nutritional healing. A wonderful example is Dr. Joseph Mercola, MD. Whatever he says, you can bet your life and your family's lives that he is correct. I know of no other medical doctor that I would trust more. Others have a layman's understanding of nutrition and generally are supportive, while most seem to subscribe to the American Medical Association's position that, "You get all the nutrition you need from your food". Are medical doctors [mainly general practitioners (GPs)] correct on this matter? No. Particularly as the question relates to magnesium and its purposeful depletion from grains during the last 100 years of grain refining, with massive injury to both mental and physical health. In fact, the entire field of medicine in the United States and the West in general appears to me to be built upon the incorrect ratio of dietary calcium to magnesium. This single error accounts for about 60% of our medical expenses, morbidity and mortality. Will this change? I wonder. From the large number of inquiries that I receive from chiropractors, pharmacists, nutritionists, psychologists, psychiatrists and academic faculty, I think there is a some hope for change, but perhaps as a trickle-down effect from these leaders. However, in the defense of modern medical doctors and medical science, no profession in history has done a better job of rescuing us in emergencies and saving our lives from acute illnesses. PERIOD! I gladly and gratefully tip my hat to those brave hospital cardiologists that are rescuing people with IV magnesium sulfate. The vast majority of chronic diseases, particularly mental, cardiac and circulatory disorders, and deaths by "natural causes" remain nutritional deficiencies in disguise, for which most general practice physicians (MDs) have either no training or very little training, and apparently no or little interest, thus making many cardiologists feed magnesium to people by IV drip! How unfortunate!

      Death by Modern Medicine

              Medical doctors (MDs) are reported in medical journals reviewed by Joseph Mercola MD to be the number 3 cause of death in the United States (about 250,000 cases per year, equal to killing all people in a town the size of Galveston, Texas). Another much higher estimate by Gary Null PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, and Dorothy Smith PhD in 2003 shows the total number of iatrogenic deaths in an article titled Death by Medicine to be about 780,000 (equivalent to killing all the people in a city slightly larger than Austin, Texas). From their data, it is evident that the American medical system is a leading cause of death and injury in the United States, considerably ahead of the 2001 heart disease annual death rate of 700,000 and the annual cancer death rate of 550,000. Heart attack is a new disease that has come about in this century. Prior to 1925, there was almost no knowledge of this disease. We have seen from international data that ninety-percent of these heart attacks deaths in the United States are caused by our lethal high-calcium low-magnesium diets.

              Let's put this in some kind of perspective. For example, we know that the number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000. We know that the accidental deaths caused by physicians per year are 250,000. Therefore, the accidental deaths rate per physician is 0.357. These statistics are courtesy of U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services. Now think about this: The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000. (Yes, that's 80 million). The number of accidental gun deaths per year, considering all age groups, is 1,500, and he number of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.000188. Statistics courtesy of FBI. Statistically speaking, doctors are approximately 2,000 times more dangerous (likely to kill you) than gun owners. Remember, "Guns don't kill people, doctors do." FACT: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN, BUT, Almost everyone has at least one doctor. This means you are over 2000 times more likely to be killed by a doctor than by a gun owner! We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand! Out of concern for the public at large, I withheld the statistics on lawyers for fear the shock would cause people to panic and seek medical attention!

             If we wanted to blame medical doctors (people with enormous financial interests in treating - but not necessarily in preventing heart attacks), then we can add some of these numbers and come up with nearly 1,500,000 deaths per year caused by physicians in the United States, which clearly puts physicians as the leading cause of death in the United States. This is the same as killing all of the people in a city the size of Philadelphia, PA, each and every year. And they complain about their insurance rates being too high? Duh!!! If the radical Islamics killed 1,500,000 Americans a year, there would be thermonuclear war! I suspect insurance companies would be better off insuring radical, suicidal bomber Islamics! An article showing the grave extent of the magnesium deficiency problem was written by Jane E. Brody, the well known New York Times health writer, and was published recently in the Times and reprinted in many other major newspapers. The Brody article cited Seelig and the Alturas and covered all topics in a most concise manner. I think it is mandatory reading. This single article, if given the consideration it truly deserves, places the general reading public far ahead of physicians in their understanding and knowledge of this epidemic catastrophe. The Brody article is located here.

             If you are not aware of the severity of this national and Western cultural catastrophe, then you must educate yourself. A really good place to start is here at the article by Gary Null PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD Debora Rasio MD, and Dorothy Smith PhD titled "Death by Medicine". Next, buy Dr. Dean's 2005 book "Death by Modern Medicine", but first, read the reviews of this book. "Death by Modern Medicine" by Carolyn Dean is a blockbuster book that will bust the blockbuster drugs that have become the hallmark of modern medicine. It contains an unprecedented three forewords by Dr. Abraham Hoffer, the father of orthomolecular medicine, Dr. Joseph Mercola, well known for his top-rated web site, and Dr. Julian Whitaker author of the famous health newsletter Health and Healing. This book identifies the tragic aspects of a medical system that in its short history of about eighty years, has managed to kill tens of millions of victims. Dr. Dean's widely circulated paper, "Death by Medicine", written for Dr. Gary Null in November 2003, was the first to identify the extent of these casualties. Dr. Dean verified that from 1990-2000 about 7.8 million victims suffered Death by Medicine. Many people were shocked at this figure, but since then people's eyes have been opened to the full horror of modern medicine. Her book is a tale of propaganda, health care bureaucracy, the business of cancer, our own personal addictions to sugar and drugs, and the denial we all harbor to help us cope with the overwhelming burden, are woven into this 360-page volume. if you have any interest in surviving "modern medicine", you must read this book. Here is a wonderful Opus cartoon that makes fun of this horrific problem.

             Here is a year 2000 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) article that places the annual iatrogenic (physician induced) death rate in the United States at 225,000, still maintaining their lead as the number 3 cause of death in the United States. 12,000 of those deaths were from unnecessary surgery (butchery), 7,000 from medication errors in hospitals (poisoning), 20,000 from other errors in hospitals (fuck ups), 80,000 infections in hospitals (filth) and 106,000 non-error, negative effects of drugs (poisonings).

             If you want to get really scared of hospitals and doctors, see this figure showing the relative risk of death from 60 different sources, ranging from meteorites on the low end to hospitals on the high end.

             If GPs knew better, I feel certain that their attitudes would be different, but they are the willing victims of multi-billion dollar physician educational (propaganda) programs by pharmaceutical drug pushers, and trillion dollar hospital investments. Physicians and hospitals have enormous financial incentives that steer them away from no-cost or low cost prevention-of-disease and towards expensive-treatment-of-diseases at our expense. They have no financial incentive under our economic system to keep you well, or to get you totally well. Their role seems to be to keep you sufficiently well so that you can get to their office or the hospital, perhaps because they no longer make house calls. They are unlikely to make nutritional recommendations that are sufficiently specific that would benefit the patient's particular illness. In other words, they are not likely to recommend nutrients to do the work of pharmaceutical drugs. Some day, if we are lucky, the playing field will reverse, and it will be illegal to prescribe a prescription drug to treat an illness caused by a nutritional deficit - as many of today's chronic diseases are. The international pharmaceutical drug pushers are very much aware of this major health-care issue, and they desperately want control of all nutrients (herbs, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids), thus their behind the scenes push to have CODEX implemented. At that time, these agents will miraculously be discovered by physicians to "cure everything!" However, you will be paying your 15% annual tithe to Big Pharma from then on. I now think that CODEX will be a death sentence to millions of people, and it will perpetuate and increase the iatrogenic deaths illuminated here.

             In a concession to international pharmaceutical drug companies when passing the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act of 1984 (DSHEA), which took herbs, vitamins, minerals and amino acids out of effective control of the U.S. FDA, an outright lie was written into law by the Congress. What lie? The lie that you see on nearly every package of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids that "support" a bodily structure or function. Those infamous words, "This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease". In fact, these words are directly from the DSHEA: "The DSHEA provides for the use of various types of statements on the label of dietary supplements, although claims may not be made about the use of a dietary supplement to diagnose, prevent, mitigate, treat, or cure a specific disease (unless approved under the new drug provisions of the FD&C Act). For example, a product may not carry the claim "cures cancer" or "treats arthritis." Appropriate health claims authorized by FDA--such as the claim linking folic acid and reduce risk of neural tube birth defects and the claim that calcium may reduce the risk of osteoporosis--may be made in supplement labeling if the product qualifies to bear the claim. Under DSHEA, firms can make statements about classical nutrient deficiency diseases--as long as these statements disclose the prevalence of the disease in the United States. In addition, manufacturers may describe the supplement's effects on "structure or function" of the body or the "well-being" achieved by consuming the dietary ingredient. To use these claims, manufacturers must have substantiation that the statements are truthful and not misleading and the product label must bear the statement, "This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." Unlike health claims, nutritional support statements need not be approved by FDA before manufacturers market products bearing the statements, however, the agency must be notified no later than 30 days after a product that bears the claim is first marketed. Consequently, the Congress, even though it unknowingly lied, wisely made these elements-of-life the property of the public and not the property of the pharmaceutical drug pushers. I note here the comment in DSHEA, "calcium may reduce the risk of osteoporosis, is another inaccuracy, which probably has set the nation's nutritional supplement companies, nutritionists, MDs, NDs, and nearly all of American health care system off onto the wrong path. As we now know, the real cure for osteoporosis is magnesium and other minerals such as zinc, copper and so forth, as well as the obvious mineral, calcium.

             There is much more wrong with modern American medicine. Modern medicine is doing a far, far worse job of treating disease today and saving lives from serious injuries than doctors were doing over 200 years ago. So what has gone wrong? Lets look way back in history. Medical results from the British battle of Waterloo against Napoleon's huge French army in the early 19th century tells the story. This was the huge defeat for Napoleon and a great win for the British. Consequently, the records from the battle are part of the British national history. The medical records have kept to this day and are very clear. Vastly more people are dying in today's modern hospitals from serious injury than died from the medical treatments given to the injured soldiers in the Battle of Waterloo. Of the 50 privates in the 13th Light Dragoons wounded by sabres, gunfire and cannon injuries at Waterloo, only two subsequently died. This was despite that fact that all had serious infections and nearly complete shut down of all internal organs, only two of 50, or 4% died as a result.

             Just 60 years later, during the American Civil War, new surgical techniques used unclean scalpels and butcher knives to remove injured arms and legs. The result was nearly 1/5 or 20% of the injured soldiers were dying days later of severe infections and septicemia caused by their medical treatments. A greater percentage of Civil War soldiers were dying from the medical care they received, than were dying from enemy gunfire on the battlefield. This problem was solved when doctors actually started washing their hands before surgery and even cleaning their surgical tools. But...

             Compare these statistics to what is happening in today's modern hospitals where surgical patients are dying at even far greater rates, about 30%, from septicemia and major organ shutdown. Something is going wrong in modern hospitals. Our record is worse than the record of the Civil War surgeons who did not wash their hands or pay much attention to hygiene. So what can be going so terribly wrong? And why is nobody shouting about this? Why is the medical profession going backwards?

             Survival statistics from the battle of Waterloo throw up a radical theory - that multiple organ failure, triggered by severe trauma and subsequent infection, may represent the body's last-ditch attempt to survive a critical illness. By switching itself off to become dormant, like hibernating animals during extreme cold, the body may thus be able to better care for itself through the critical period. Support for this theory comes from the fact that the organs invariably recovered, to the point of appearing remarkably normal, within days to weeks when the patient survives.

             Despite the lack of antibiotics, blood transfusions, life-support machines and other paraphernalia of modern American medical care, most of the British Waterloo soldiers recovered from life-threatening injuries. Even lowering the temperature of feverish patients is counter-productive. Lowering the temperature of a feverish patient shuts down critical parts of the patient's immune system opening the body to increased bacterial and viral infections, or septicemia, which days later results in complete organ shutdown and death. What seems to be a successful treatment, lowering the fever, actually results days later in death. This is now very common and lowering fever is a standard of "care".

             This is why so many people are dying in today's hospitals. The doctors are killing their own patients by mistakenly treating the fever as if it were a disease, and not by treating the fever as the human body successfully mounting an attack against infection. The fever should be raised and not lowered. Why aren't American doctors aware of such simple facts? Quite simply because for over 100 years, American medicine headed by the Rockefeller University and Rockefeller-owned pharmaceutical drug pushers have taught doctors that all diseases (any variation from "normal) should be treated with profit-making medicines and procedures. Anything that looks like inexpensive home remedies or even letting the patient's body treat the disease for free, is pooh-poohed in the prestigious medical journals, and outlawed by the government's FDA. CODEX will make this problem worse.

             To protect their practice from lawsuits, American doctors must go along with the medical profession's standards of care. For most doctors those standards are typified by what is found in the latest edition of the Merck Manual. Of course, the Merck Manual is published by Merck & Co., Inc. -- a pharmaceutical company. This is why today's hospitals have a death rate of about 30% from septicemia following heroic life-saving attempts with modern American medical techniques and medications, while the severely injured British soldiers of the 13th Light Dragoons following the battle of Waterloo, only had a death rate of 4%. That is a 750 percent increase in Death by Medicine in the last 200 years. Is there something wrong with modern American medicine? You betcha.

      Chinese Medicine: Doing It Right!

      China FDA       The Chinese have figured it out. This cartoon clearly shows the differences between Chinese thinking and American thinking when it comes to drugs and the drug approval process. According to the site: "What's interesting about China's execution of its top FDA official (Zheng Xiaoyu) for accepting bribes from drug companies is not that China executed a corrupt official, it's that such harsh actions demonstrate, in contrast, the complete lack of action against corrupt FDA officials in the United States. In the U.S., the more corrupt the politician or bureaucrat, the more power they seem to gain, and those who demonstrate the most extreme degrees of evil, greed and contempt for fellow human beings seem to end up at the very top."

             Corruption may or may not be a factor in the American Drug approval process, but the evidence clearly shows that the FDA relies on what the drug companies tell them, and that the FDA takes enormous amount of money from the drug industry to approve their drugs. If that is not a formula for corruption, I don't know what is. If you enjoyed this cartoon, see many more health-cartoons at This is an excellent website devoted to fixing American health issues, starting with the government and working down.

      Naturopathic Medicine

             On the other hand, lets look at another type of physician, the naturopathic physician, naturopath or ND. They are interested in nutritional and natural therapies and specifically non-pharmaceutical approaches to taking care of people's health care needs, whether they be acute or chronic illnesses, conditions or injuries. However, as a concession to "medical doctors" and the extremely powerful American Medical Association, they are not allowed to prescribe drugs, and are not called "medical doctors", nor are they listed in the yellow pages of telephone books along with "medical doctors". They are listed separately as "naturopathic physicians" or "naturopaths" in most yellow pages, a practice which I think is highly prejudicial. They probably do not make as much money as do medical doctors, and as a rule don't advertise. Of course, medical doctors belittle them, even though some NDs have more training and education than MDs in the areas of biomedicine that we need the most.

             The original intention of medicine as advocated by Hippocrates is no longer reflected in the way many medical doctors practice medicine (due to their use of drugs and not nutrition). The word "physician" is from the Greek root meaning "nature". Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived 2400 years ago, should be considered the earliest predecessor of "naturopathic" physicians, not of "medical" physicians. Hippocrates taught that nature is healer of all diseases, thus his formulation of the concept "vis medicatrix naturae" -- meaning the healing power of nature. This concept has long been at the core of indigenous medicine in many cultures around the world and remains one of the central themes of naturopathic philosophy even in the United States to this day. The word "naturopathy" was first used in the US over 100 years ago. But the natural therapies and the philosophy on which naturopathy are based have been effectively used to treat diseases since ancient times. American naturopathic physicians (NDs) receive extensive training in and use therapies that are primarily natural (hence the name naturopathic) and nontoxic, including clinical nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, hydrotherapy, physical medicine, and counseling. Many NDs have additional training and certification in acupuncture and home birthing. These NDs, who have attended naturopathic medical colleges recognized by the US Department of Education, practice medicine as primary health care providers and are increasingly acknowledged as leaders in bringing about progressive changes in the nation's medical system.

             You can find a naturopathic physician in your area by accessing the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians web site and searching their directory. I personally encourage anyone with a chronic illness or chronic health condition, even cancer, to seek the advise and knowledge of these fine, caring people. Yes, even cancer. Naturopathic medicine is also at the foreground of cancer prevention and treatment, and when used with cancer chemotherapy, it is very effective. This is what the "Cancer Treatment Centers of America" program is all about. Yes, the same outfit that you see on cable TV advertising that they "have treatment options that you don't know about". Clearly, if our immune system functions are restored with nutrients (many chemotherapy agents deplete one or more nutrients or harm our ability to absorb nutrients), we have a much better chance of surviving cancer. In fact, my career in medical and biomedical research started with my observation that supplemental zinc with appropriate chemotherapy cured my 3-year old daughter's acute lymphocytic leukemia in 2 weeks. See my original cure for leukemia with zinc research report here, which led to my cure for common colds, which led to my cure for herpes, and my cure for mononucleosis and so forth...

              If you wish to have a telephone consultation with a real naturopathic physician who is also a medical doctor, Dr. Carolyn Dean MD, ND (who I mention above) really understands what I am talking about in these pages, and she has written a very good book on magnesium and health called "The Miracle of Magnesium" so she knows the issues very well. Please visit this link and read my review of her book. Dr. Dean and I are friends and I also recommend her for consultations for a wide variety of health issues. She is both a medical doctor and naturopathic doctor who assists individuals with all types of illness at any stage or severity. She specializes in managing and healing often misdiagnosed and chronic conditions such as digestive problems, hormone imbalance, recurring infections, irritable bowel syndrome, widespread inflammation, allergies, anxiety, fibromyalgia, mood swings, chronic fatigue syndrome, fluid retention, lost vitality, and many other conditions that often remain unresolved. She does not take a generalized or standardized approach to treating her patients. From a medical perspective, she teaches that each person is highly unique and requires a specialized application of treatment. She evaluates symptoms from a broad range of perspectives using many medical and naturopathic resources and offers a wide array of healing applications. For each patient she creates individualized formulas for reversing illness and restoring health. She has had success in identifying and alleviating conditions that often seem mystifying and puzzling. For most patients, Dr. Dean assists in halting disease progression and preventing symptoms from worsening. Feeling better and attaining a former state of better health, in many cases, are attainable goals. She has been in the forefront of health issues for twenty-eight years. Above all else, Dr. Dean is dedicated to improving the health of her patients. Check her out at         Succeed!    Depression is not a psychosis!

      What Does Dr. Atkins Say About Magnesium?

             Perhaps the most influential "weight loss" or "diet" phenomenon of recent history is the "Atkins Diet". Dr. Robert C. Atkins' books on diet have caused a health care revolution that is still unfolding. His basic point is to avoid carbohydrates, specifically refined wheat products. Why? Simply this, to avoid eating foods that are depleted of magnesium. Perhaps by avoiding them, people will find other foods like nuts, green leafy vegetables and magnesium supplements that will improve their health and lives. On pages 119 through 123 of his 1999 book "Dr. Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution - Nature's Answer to Drugs" are these important words:

      MAGNESIUM: The heart's most important mineral

      Magnesium is scientifically established as the heart's most important mineral. More than three hundred different enzymes in the body depend on the mineral, yet some 80 percent of all Americans fail to consume as much as they need. Even worse, few cardiologists bother to prescribe it routinely. No wonder heart disease is so rampant.

      Elemental medicine We face threats to rob us of magnesium no matter where we turn. The mineral is all but absent from the sugary junk foods that now constitute . More than 35 percent of the average person's diet. Crops are grown in soil that steadily becomes more deficient in the mineral. The body expends much of its meager supply to cleanse itself of smog, pesticides, and so many other toxins. Perspiration and stress drain off what's left, as do diuretics and other drugs. For most of us, a deficiency seems unavoidable. Age brings it even closer to reality. As we get older, we absorb less of many nutrients, including magnesium, from food. Because of dental problems, we may avoid nuts, seeds, and other good dietary-sources, and we will probably be taking more nutrient-depleting medications.

      Magnesium touches almost every aspect of our health, but because it's one of the strongest explanations for the presence or absence of cardiac problems, the heart is a good place to start.

      Cardiovascular Disease. As a cardiologist, I see more people for heart-related ailments than for any other problem. About 98 percent, I'd guess, need magnesium, and all of them benefit from it. Yet only a handful of them were-ever instructed by their previous doctors to take it. The following summary of what's possible with regular supplement use reads more like a wish list for any person with heart disorders.

      • Irregular heart rhythms become more stable.
      • High blood pressure improves.
      • The body keeps a better balance of potassium, another important cardiovascular mineral.
      • The heart pumps a larger volume of blood with no extra demand for oxygen.
      • Constricted blood vessels relax, allowing blood to flow more freely.
      • The chest pains of angina pectoris strike less frequently.
      • By not allowing platelets to clump together, the blood becomes less likely to form artery-blocking clots.
      • HDL cholesterol rises and LDL cholesterol falls.

      Acute Heart Attacks. Hospital cardiologists are quite interested in what magnesium can do when a patient is first admitted to a coronary care unit, because half a dozen studies showed it to be effective in preventing complications. This led to a larger study, which failed to demonstrate benefit. Dr. Mildred Seelig, the magnesium guru, feels that the mineral's benefits could be maintained with the individualization of treatment and a flexible dosage system. Magnesium, when given by the vein, as in these studies, can stabilize or destabilize the heart.

      Blood Sugar Disorders. How well the body metabolizes sugar is tightly linked to magnesium, making the mineral essential to anyone with diabetes or insulin resistance. In and of itself, poor sugar control raises the risk of a magnesium deficiency, which in turn further impairs sugar metabolism. Supplements allow people with Type II diabetes to regulate blood sugar more easily. As a result, their need for oral diabetes drugs usually diminishes and could disappear altogether. People susceptible to bouts of hypoglycemia, too, can stabilize the roller-coaster rise and fall of their blood sugar. Although the mineral doesn't affect Type I diabetes as dramatically, it is nevertheless a benefactor that shouldn't be neglected.

      High Blood Pressure. Following our nutritional approach, about 80 percent of the Atkins Center's hypertension patients reduce or eliminate their need for diuretics and other blood pressure medications. All of the ingredients we use contribute to that success, but magnesium is largely responsible. A person with high blood pressure typically will have a lower level of the mineral compared with somebody who has a healthier blood pressure reading. Supplements work like a natural calcium channel blocker, another standard anti-hypertension drug, but without ill effects. Excess insulin in the blood, low potassium levels, constricted blood vessels-the nutrient addresses all of the condition's primary causes simultaneously.

      Pregnancy Complications. For expectant mothers and their babies, magnesium supplements can frequently overcome several serious blood pressure disorders that may arise. As medicine has known for more than fifty years, the mineral is a choice treatment for preeclampsia, a relatively common complication seen in the latter part of pregnancy that raises blood pressure and causes water retention, among other problems. In extreme cases of preeclampsia, a woman may suffer convulsions or lapse into a coma. Again, magnesium is a very effective treatment. Some 60 percent of all such hypertension-related complications could be avoided, researchers estimate, if pregnant women were to take supplements. By administering magnesium' instead of drugs, doctors also might be able to rescue certain babies whose lives are endangered by high blood pressure. As described in a medical journal article, physicians gave the nutrient to seven infants after all other medications failed to help them. The babies were expected to die, but injections of magnesium sulfate brought down their blood pressure and saved their lives.

      Mitral Valve Prolapse. This condition, which involves a weakness of a valve in the heart, increases magnesium excretion. Resupplying the mineral helps to correct low blood sugar, one of the main problems linked to mitral valve prolapse, and counteracts fatigue, which probably is the most frequently encountered symptom.

      Asthma. By diminishing wheezing and encouraging bronchial muscles to relax, magnesium reinforces my better-breathing programs for bronchitis, emphysema, and other chronic lung disorders. When given intravenously, it stops an asthma attack cold. Safe and consistently effective, this "IV push," as we call it, is also a great on-the-spot treatment for allergic flare-ups.

      Migraines. The IV push significantly relieves migraine headaches, too. In most cases it'll stave off a recurrence' for more than twenty-four hours. Not surprisingly, people who enjoy the most prolonged relief usually have the lowest blood levels of the mineral. Regular migraine sufferers need not anticipate a future of daily visits to the doctor's office if they want sustained relief; taking magnesium orally is a good preventive.

      Fibromyalgia. For anyone who copes with the muscle and joint pains of this rheumatic ailment, magnesium is a valuable part of an effective treatment. I also use it, in a dosage of 300-600 mg, for a related condition, chronic fatigue syndrome. It's especially powerful when combined with 1-2 grams of malic acid.

      Brain Function. Magnesium readings are markedly lower than average in people who have multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's or other types of dementia. Many of them have an unusually high amount of aluminum in their brains, and the metal is known to interfere with magnesium. Institutionalized psychiatric patients also have reduced blood levels of the mineral. An outright deficiency can aggravate psychiatric symptoms, some research suggests, and cause the brain to age prematurely.

      Osteoporosis. For preventing and perhaps reversing osteoporosis, magnesium might be more important than calcium. Although constituting only a fraction of bone matter, the mineral plays a disproportionately important role, balancing the body's calcium supply and keeping it from being excreted. Some scientists go so far as to say that how much magnesium we eat is a stronger predictor of bone density than calcium consumption. Without enough magnesium and the other trace minerals, any additional calcium we ingest will be deposited not around our bones, but elsewhere, perhaps in the walls of our arteries.

      Strength Training. Muscle growth and strength, especially from a weight-training program, depends on magnesium. Supplements attracted a good deal of interest from competitors in the 1988 Olympics, especially athletes involved in rowing, weight lifting, and other power sports.

      Premenstrual Tension. Supplements have decreased the number of mood swings that may occur as menstruation nears. They also help tame premenstrual migraines and yeast infections.

      Cancer. Scientists haven't studied humans directly for a link between magnesium and cancer, but other evidence suggests a strong relationship. For instance, tumors can develop in animals that eat a low-magnesium diet, and higher rates of the disease seem to exist where the local water and soil contain low concentrations. Cancer drugs and radiation therapy, in addition, deplete the body of magnesium.

      Other Conditions. Magnesium should be a part of any nutrient program for better sleep. Besides encouraging a more restful slumber, it works against bruxism, an involuntary gri