High Dose Magnesium Absorption

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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted 12/13/2008 4:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I found what I thought was a interesting piece on how to get really high levels of magnesium into your body without Gastro problems. I will link it here for any that feel like reading it, but its basicaly saying that many people cannot tolerate, or barely tolerate even 500 milligrams of magnesium a day, which is barely over the RDA of 360 mgs for women and 480 mgs for men. And it goes on to say that when magnesium intake was slowly brought up 2 to 3 grams a day, pain and muscular problems and a bunch of other disorders almost completely disapeared on allot of different stuff.

The basic method of getting the dose that high is to use either a powdered form of magnesium or crush up those tablets to fine powder and mix it with allot of water, starting off at 160 to 250 milligrams a dose and take it every 1 to 2 hours or up to 4 hours if you can tolerate higher amounts, and then slowly work it up from there. The idea is that the stomach tolerates magnesium well and its the excess getting down into the intestines that is causing the diahrea and loose stools. So the more you can get absorption up high in the GI tract, the higher amounts you can take, and the higher amounts are actualy making it into the body.

I am giving it a try. I would love to get these muscle relaxers out of my life. I ran out of magnesium about 2 weeks ago and didn't replace it and my pain levels everywhere were going through the roof. It was getting so bad I was getting up with massive nausea and stomach pain every morning on top of the growing back and muscle pain.

Worth a try to me. My magnesium comes in powdered capsules anyhow, so its no big deal to open them up and put in a bottle of water and take it that way in smaller amounts, more times a day. Have to see how much I can get it past 500 milligrams I am stuck at now and if it helps. It should since the 500 milligrams obviously does.


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   Posted 12/13/2008 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I recently started having alot of palpitations, which I can get when my magnesium is low. I was taking about 1000 mg a day of tablets, but it wasn't helping (and it wasn't giving me diarrhea). I bought some of that "Natural Calm" which is a powdered magnesium, and that helped a bit. But I can hardly swallow that stuff. I think it has something like alka seltzer in it too.
Anyhow......I hadn't thought of crushing my tablets and mixing them with water. I'll try that too. I think drinking it with warm water helps with the absorption too.
thanks for the tip.

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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted 12/13/2008 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Your welcome.

Got 1200 in me so far in 6 hours and no problem yet. Of course its the morning test that usualy counts the most. But 1200 in one shot or even over 6 hours in straight tablets would have definitly got me running to the bathroom before now.

Something else I read a long time ago out of a book written by two Naturopathic Doctors came to mind. They ran clinical test to see if magnesium effected panic attack disorder. I can't remember what it was they injected people with, but it was a chemical the body produces under stress, that induced panic attacks. In every instance on the trial, the people with low cellular magnesium levels had a panic attack after getting the chemical, and everyone with normal or high levels did not have a attack. The high magnesium levels neutralized this chemical, and this chemical would just take down magnesium levels and people under allot of chronic stress produced lots of it.

I found that one interesting because coincidentaly, and it might have been just that, a coincidence, I was not able to get rid of my panic attacks without taking any drugs until several months after starting on Magnesium. I take Klonopin to control anxiety and panic syndrome now, but it always feels like the drugs are just masking things and I can feel the stress, like its just laying there underneath.

It would be interesting to me to find out if there actualy is a correlation. I guess that is asking an awful lot though. Free or mostly free of pain meds, anxiety meds, muscle relaxers, off of getting that one mineral high enough and keeping it there long enough.

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Date Joined Dec 2008
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   Posted 12/14/2008 7:43 AM (GMT -6)   

I found your post very interesting. My question is can you get too much mg like you can calcium? I know they are in a direct ratio but not sure how it goes. I had blood hypercalcemia and was totally shocked. No problems resulted but they can.

My biggest issus is muscle cramping with this fibro which is a clear sign of mg defienctcy. I may need to really up the mg as you have suggested. So afraid of diarrhea which I got so readily when on it before. What do you know about the malic acid need also?

Thanks, Patsie

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   Posted 12/14/2008 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I am not 100 percent sure about taking to much magnesium. What I do know is the RDA is already close to 500 MG a day. I also know the absorption level of Magnesium is horrible, especialy Magnesium Oxide, which is like 1 percent. Magnesium Citrate is around 3 percent. If your taking 500 to 1000 milligrams of Magnesium Oxide or Citrate a day, my opinion is its doubtful your coming close to getting to much magnesium because of the poor absorption levels.

The major indicator of to much magnesium is fatigue. And it would take months at high doses to reach that level, just like it takes months of high Calcium intake, in the range of 2000 to 3000 milligrams a day to reach the point your risking cardiovascular problems, which is the major risk on getting to much Calcium.

This is not clearly answering your question. I have seen no studies showing adverse effects from high magnesium intake. I have read probably hundreds of studies and Medical papers from MD's and researchers, at this point, showing major benefits on dozens of different ailments. Some of them recommend 400 to 500 milligrams a day, but most of those are for preventive measures. The figures are that 80 percent of Americans are magnesium deficient. It is believed that magnesium deficiency in the American diet is a major factor in why were developing so many chronic ailments and diseases, diabetis type 2 being one of the major ones. There are some nations where complication diseases from Diabetis are the leading cause of death. Those nations have the lowest magnesium intake in the world.

So it's back to how much is to much. Personaly, I believe when we factor in that we are dealing with Fibro and Chronic Fatigue at various levels, and that most people with these disorders also have, depression, and stress and anxiety syndromes, which blow magnesium out of the body like crazy, and that allot of people with Fibro eventualy develop periphrial neuropathies, and that magnesium has been proven to have measurable impact on Fibro, Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, and periphrial neuropathies the math adds up preaty fast.

I personaly think the question comes down to not how much is to much, but how to get more in there without it sending us running to the bathroom, and then we find out what allot of it getting absorbed does for our symptoms.

Even though there is some inverse relationship between calcium and magnesium, I don't think it's a major problem even if a person needed to take Calcium supplements. The increased magnesium is going to increase our calcium absorption. And we have huge stores of calcium in our bodies, and its in allot of what we eat. The magnesium is harder for us to get, unless were eating piles of green leafy vegetables or nuts or figuring out a way to get our supplements to absorb well. The body will tend to remove excess cellular magnesium levels, whereas excess Calcium builds up in places its not supposed to be.

As for Malic Acid, one of the major things it does is called ATP synthesis. ATP is basicaly what your body and muscles are using for energy. It takes acid to do what is called the Krebs cycle. The Krebs cycle is when your body has the necessary components to convert fats to energy and ATP being muscle energy. Our bodies use carbs for short term energy, proteins for medium, and fats for long term. The Krebs cycle lets us utilize stored and ingested fats for energy and this takes acid, and Malic Acid is a good source because it also does some other helpful things. This is a easy enough concept to test out, even without Malic acid. If your tired, try drinking things with high acid content if your stomach can handle it, like lemon aid with lots of lemon in it, or take some Vitamin C from Ascorbic Acid. Your energy level will go up. Its the Krebs cycle producing ATP. Watch your acid intake though, as to much can make your muscles hurt. This helps your muscles work in a non exhausted state.

Two of the other things I know that Malic Acid does is allow the body to detox aluminum. It also breaks down sludge in the biliary tubes of the liver. Since it is detoxing aluminum, its probably also helping to break down other substances that are blocking and agravateing nerve pathways. And its helping the liver to clear itself better in general, so its detoxing better.

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   Posted 12/14/2008 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
There is some good info about malic acid and magnesium and how it works in the body, in the Fibro 101 thread.  The malic acid link had links to this info.
Patsie, being deficient in potassium and also being deficient in calcium can cause cramping.  I used to get a lot of cramping in my feet and hands but, once I started taking 1,200 mg. of calcium a day, the cramping has stopped.
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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted 12/14/2008 4:21 PM (GMT -6)   

I notice under disease, disorders you have diabetis. I read a good piece by a MD on Diabetis and magnesium. I sent it to my two sisters and brother. Sisters are both diabetic type 1 since childhood. Brother is diabetic type 2 for about 10 years and been so far out of control despite medications and reasonable attempts at diet control that he is having to go on insulin. One sister started with CFS about 20 years ago, progressed to a Fibro DX about 15 years ago and now has bad neuropathy to hands and feet. She also has the very long list of other ailments that often accompany Fibromyalgia. The older sister is basicaly still dealing with the type 1 diabetic only, diet controlled only and is 65. Preaty darn good for a juvenile diabetic that was told she would probably have a short lifespan 50 years ago.

Anyhow, although there could be allot of different factors involved between the one sister that is still cruising at 65 with no other complications, and the sister that was diagnosed diabetic at the same time when they were kids, and the brother that went totaly out of control type 2 in 10 years, there is one factor I found kind of interesting in the difference on their lifestyles. They are all highly stressed out and always have been, but the oldest that is by far doing the best has been soaking in a Epson Salt bath every morning for at least a half an hour for the last 30 years.

Then I read this article by a MD on magnesium and diabetis.


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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted 12/14/2008 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   

Since you already showed Hypercalcemia, I would try upping the magnesium first and see if your cramping goes away. I have seen leg cramping and restless leg syndrome go away both on increasing calcium or increasing magnesium. Every month my daughter would be just miserable during her time and wouldn't even get out of bed and call in sick to work, and every month I would have to go and hand her a bunch of Calcium and Magnesium tablets and it would go away. That treatment for monthly cramps is no state secret. Then every month she would forget what had gotten rid of most of her symptoms, and I would have to go and hand them to her again.

Maybe its a absorption problem on the Hypercalcium levels and over a extended period of time it can cause serious cardiovascular problems, so I wouldn't take calcium supplements until its back to normal. For some reason its circulateing around high in your blood. More magnesium should bring that down and hopefully get the Calcium to absorb. Sherrine is right that one of the low Potassium level symptoms is cramps, but so is sodium, since its the balancing mineral to the potasium. Your plasma potasium levels could be showing normal on your blood test and the cellular levels off from a sodium deficiency. That is another thing that causes cramping, low sodium. That is preaty easy for someone with Fibro and CFS to have also. The adrenals use allot of sodium to deal with stress. The sodium levels get low, which is the cellular balance on the outside of the cells to the potassium on the inside.

If it was me, and I was showing hypercalcemia on my blood test, and I had cramping, I would increase my intake of all the major electrolytes, sodium, potassium, especialy magnesium. Sodium you can leave alone if you are already are getting allot in your food and your not craving it, but if your craving salt on your food, or crave salty food, your low on salt, and being low on salt will make you low on cellular potassium even if its showing normal on blood test. If your craving salt though, and you increase it, you have to increase your potassium intake along with it.

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   Posted 12/14/2008 11:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Grailhunter,

Thanks for the interesting information and discussion. I do have one questions tho... you were mentioning your sister who has diabetes...

The older sister is basicaly still dealing with the type 1 diabetic only, diet controlled only and is 65. Preaty darn good for a juvenile diabetic that was told she would probably have a short lifespan 50 years ago."

The definition of Type 1 diabetes is that the pancreas no longer makes insulin and you must take insulin, along with monitoring your blood sugars, eating healthy and getting exercise. Did you mean she's type 2 possibly? I've been type 2 for around 15 years and have been on insulin for over 10. Many type 2's can maintain life with diet alone but others need pills to help their body either utilize the insulin they have or to aid their body in producing more insulin. Then, like me, some type 2's will end up on insulin no matter what they do.

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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 12/15/2008 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
That's true that the definition of type ! is the lack of the pancreas to make insulin. But like all organs that aren't functioning right, there are degree's of how badly they are not functioning. My sisters have been going to Diabetes specialist their whole lives, and they are definitly Type 1, although they do not require insulin injections, just barely.

Type 1 and Type 2, although both called diabetes really are two different diseases. When they discovered Type 2 they probably should have called it something else to avoid confusion. Type 1 is the pancreas not putting out enough insulin to whatever degree. The complete definition doesn't require insulin injections for it to be type 1. Type 2 is insulin resistance, or ineffective insulin, or both. A person with type 2 that ends up progressing to needing insulin is either becoming more resistant, or the drugs are failing on them, which they will tend to do over time, or their insulin is becoming less effective, or they can actualy be progressing into a partial type 1 from the pancreas wearing down after years of cranking out high insulin levels.

Both girls had glucose tolerance test as children and both of them failed, but not to the point they had to take insulin. I am not even sure what year insulin even became available. Their pancreas were weak at making insulin. So they were diet controlled for years. One sister had to start on drugs to increase insulin output and sensitivity years ago, once they were finaly available, and the other still doesn't have to take drugs. She also has to take metmorphin on top of that because she has developed type 2 on top of type 1. The other sister did not. Her pancreas is still weak at insulin output, but not unable and does not have type 2 on top of the type 1.

Your definition is correct, but its a matter of degree between total and partial failure on the pancreas. I am not to sure that 50 years ago they even knew the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 or if there even was a Type 2 . The only test they ran for a definitive diagnoses was the Glucose tolerance test and there was guidelines for what normal was, and how far are you falling out of these guidelines decided if your DX was diabetic. Both sisters were tested as children and determined to be diabetic, and told that they would get worse as they got older. They didn't have much for treatment back then, no drugs to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. They were both in the area that extreme diet control would work for now.

They are both type 1, but the pancreas is still partialy working, with one sister also developing farther into type 2. My brother that is type 2 is slowly progressing farther into type 1.

The sister that is type 1 only has had a very strict diet her entire life. She eats like a bird. A few times over the years, like at office parties she has slipped, ate a couple of cookies, or a piece of cake and went to the Hospital where they had to give her insulin. Once, a small piece of chocolate cake sent her to the Hospital and she was in a coma she barely came back from. Her pancreas is working, just well enough that she can get by if she makes no mistakes at all.

But like I said, back when they were diagnosed, you were either diabetic or not diabetic. I don't think they had differentiated the two different diseases, or how much of their diabetis was the pancreas not working well, or how much was do to insulin resistance. Part of it could have been insulin resistance, or ineffective insulin, but at 10 and 15 years old, it definitly was not adult onset where the resistance, or ineffective insulin would have been from a lifetime of poor diet.

You can actualy see the borderline risk on me for Type 2. If I eat as I please, my fasting blood test at the Doctors will go over normal. I have a glucose meter I periodicaly use to see how high it will go depending on what I eat, and how fast it will drop to normal. If I eat stupidly, it will jump to about 275 by bedtime and still be around 160 by morning. Also, my A1C will go slightly into the high range after months of eating as I please. If I eat like I have some sense, the Glucose meter is reading normal ranges and responses all day and in the morning. And after months of eating with some sensibility, the A1C is in the normal range. It's all preaty handy, because it's very plainly warning me that I have gotten away with all I am going to get away with in this life.

What I wonder about that though is the difference between my brother and sisters and me. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes is rampant in my family. But I am the only one that has taken allot of supplements most of his life that have been shown to have the side effect of decreasing insulin resistance. Magnesium is just one of them. That brings me back to my one sister that has been soaking in magnesium everyday for 30 years. She can be sent to the Hospital over a small piece of chocolate cake, and yet she has not developed any of the long list of health problems that diabetes can cause. That article I linked up above is preaty much saying just that. The magnesium seems to help protect people from these other health complications developing, and it seems to delay the onset of Type 2.

Post Edited (Grailhunter) : 12/15/2008 1:11:11 PM (GMT-7)

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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 12/15/2008 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I wanted to add in something regarding the original post about how to increase magnesium intake and absorption. I have been doing what I read about using a powdered form and taking less more times a day, mixed up with allot of water. Up till now, my absolute limit on magnesium tablets was 500 milligrams in the morning and 500 milligrams at night, and still I had very loose stools in the morning. I have been taking 360 milligrams, powdered form, mixed with allot of water every two hours all day for about 3 days now. I am not doing it perfectly all day, but I am right at 2 grams total. I am getting no GI upset or loose stools, and I notice my muscle flexibility and pain level, and even the costocondritis problem are obviously improved. 3 days is nowhere near long enough to see if there is a long term benefit, or progressive gain, but in the short term I definitly feel better. I attribute it mainly to the regular muscle relaxing effect, but it could be having a effect on the pain pathways also.

One thing I figured out though is that the Magnesium in higher doses is having a additive effect on the muscle relaxers. I go home from work and lay down and my body feels like a limp rag. I am hoping to reach the point I can start slowly weaning off those muscle relaxers. Its Baclofen and has to be weaned like a Benzodiazepene, but not as slowly, or it can cause convulsions or seizures. I guess for now, total muscle relaxation is probably a good thing, but I really want to see that Baclofen go.

The trial report I read was saying that it takes 2 to 3 grams with this method, and there is a long term gain. I'll see.

Post Edited (Grailhunter) : 12/15/2008 6:52:40 PM (GMT-7)

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