Statistics show that over 40% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. While there are blood tests for magnesium deficiency, some experts claim they’re not conclusive since only 1 percent of the body’s magnesium is found in the bloodstream; most is stored in your organs and bones. So it may be best to let your symptoms be your guide.

My friend Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND has devoted a large chunk of her life to educating people about the huge variety of diseases that are actually just magnesium deficiency. Common signs of magnesium deficiency include:

Muscle spasms and cramps, abnormal heart rhythms, fatigue, cold hands & feet, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, twitching/tics, PMS, osteoporosis, gagging or choking, rapid heart rate.

Aside from being nature’s muscle relaxant, magnesium also has powerful bone/teeth-building, cardiovascular, nervous system, and detoxification properties – among it’s many talents!

In addition, simple, yet tested ways to remove heavy metals from the body include the use of: Magnesium, chlorophyll, chlorella, cilantro, vitamin C, algae, kelp, lemon juice, etc. For now, let’s just look at using magnesium, both to detox and to address likely deficiencies.

As many people know, taking magnesium orally can loosen the bowels or even cause spasming as your peristalsis kicks into high gear to get rid of it. I discovered that magnesium citrate is very irritating to mucosal membranes (e.g. the lining of your intestines) the day I made it into a suppository (cause that’s the kind of ‘mad scientist’ I am) – this resulted in an intense ‘burning’ sensation in my rectum and let me tell you, I got rid of it pretty darn quick!

How To Take Large Doses of Magnesium

So how can people with IBD, or sensitive guts, or people using it to detox get enough magnesium into their system, without irritating their bowel? Basically, you need to bypass the digestive system. If the magnesium does not go through your intestines, then there is no irritation, absorption rates are WAY higher and it does not cause diarrhea or loose bowels.

We carry both Transdermal Magnesium and atom-sized (nano-sized) QuikPlus Magnesium and these have been used extensively by my readers with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (and you don’t get much more sensitive than that!). I’m going to give you instructions on how to use both, then I’m also going to tell you how I use them to get a ‘bigger bang for my buck’.

Transdermal Magnesium

Transdermal Magnesium is also known as magnesium oil because it feels like an oil to the touch, but it is really just condensed seawater. Traditional methods of application are to dilute the oil (supersaturated magnesium chloride) 50:50 with distilled water/clean water. Spread 1-2 tsp on your body after your morning shower. On the trunk/torso is better—as it gets a bit itchy on legs and arms. Also, magnesium oil naturally elevates DHEA in the body. Some people find it too itchy, in that case, wash oil off the skin after 30 minutes – most should be absorbed by then. Or, instead, add one ounce of magnesium oil to a warm/hot foot bath and soak feet for 30 minutes. Or, you can add 1-2 ounces to your bathwater and soak in the tub for 20-30 minutes.

Personally, I find magnesium oil WAY too itchy to apply directly to my skin (even diluted) – I am literally hopping around trying to stop myself from washing it off immediately. HOWEVER, here’s my turbo-charge secret: I add one ounce of transdermal magnesium along with 1 cup of Epsom salts (which is much cheaper – especially if you buy it at Costco) to my bathwater.

I find the two work synergistically together and that I get a nice infusion of magnesium for a much cheaper price than using magnesium oil only, and no itchy skin! If you want to make it smell nice, add any essential oil that you like directly to your tub of epsom salts and stir well. For a 10 lb tub of epsom salts we add about 50-70 drops of essential oil. Or, you can just add about five drops to each cup before you pour it in your bath.

To relax: add essential oils of lavender, rose, bergamot or jasmine.

To invigorate: add essential oils of rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint or spruce.

TIP: I run my bathwater through my shower filter (to take out the chlorine) and if I want a simultaneous respiratory treatment then I stuff a towel at the crack of the bathroom door and add 20 drops of eucalyptus oil to the bathwater when I first turn on the shower. The hot shower spray then turns the bathroom into a eucalyptus steam – which is great for clearing sinuses and lungs.

Then I add my magnesium oil and epsom salts when I climb in. I find I have to turn the hot water up super-high when it’s coming through the shower filter, since it cools so much by the time it hits the bath. Hence I don’t sit in the bath while it’s filling, I just fill it first, then add my magnesium oil and epsom salts and then get in the tub. This is especially relaxing last thing before bed.

Oral Atom-Sized (Nano) Magnesium

Here’s tip #2: You can take magnesium orally as long as it is atom-sized; in nanoparticle or angstrom-sized form. Which means the mineral is so tiny it is absorbed instantly (even through the lining of your mouth) and thus does not need to pass through the digestive system. Atom-sized minerals are used extensively with autistic kids – who often refuse to swallow anything.

Since the atom-sized magnesium does not pass through, nor irritate your digestive tract, you can take fairly high doses and your body will react the same way as if you ate too much spinach or kale – since the minerals in plants are atom-sized as well. I tested this with atom-sized iron and I took 16x the normal dose. The only thing that happened is it turned my stool green.

QuikPlus Magnesium Dosage

A daily maintenance dose of QuikPlus atom-sized Magnesium is 1 tbsp per day. For myself, I also take the Bone Matrix every day which also contains magnesium. So, because I’m taking both, 1 tbsp of the QuikPlus Magnesium is enough for me.

I once got a killer cramp in my foot (too much yoga!) so I took a dose of the QuikPlus Magnesium (1 tbsp) and the cramp disappeared in about 40 seconds! I have also tested this with my two eldest children – one is in competitive gymnastics and the other in competitive soccer and it eliminates their leg pains or cramps within a  minute or two. So it’s nice to have confirmation that the product works!

Note: If you get cramps regularly, or they are really intense, then it’s best to also take potassium with magnesium (and all in the correct ratio with calcium), along with ginger. Yes, ginger! Fresh ginger or a ginger chew candy work equally well.

You could easily double or triple the daily dosage if you are deficient (2 – 3 tbsp). And for detox, I would combine the oral QuikPlus Magnesium with daily magnesium baths (combining magnesium oil and epsom salts) or foot baths – uptake through the soles of the feet is also very good. Adding clay to your bathwater would further increase the detoxification.

But Magnesium Makes Me Feel Worse

When some people increase their magnesium dosage, or begin taking a good dose of atom-sized magnesium for the first time, they can suddenly get an increase of symptoms like leg cramps. Wait – what?? How can a mineral increase the exact same symptom it’s supposed to resolve?

Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND says:

“When people feel worse with magnesium, I believe that the 700-800 enzyme systems that require magnesium just get jump-started and They Want More! Like everyone else, I used to write that magnesium was necessary in 325 enzyme systems but now, according to many researchers that number is more than twice what we previously thought.

All 800 enzyme systems want a piece of the action once they’re been woken up! And with each enzyme system pumping away they are using up the little magnesium you gave them and, like I said, They Want More!

This doesn’t mean that you’ll increase your magnesium ad infinitum! You will reach a saturation point of your magnesium stores and actually be able to decrease your magnesium intake.

To determine your magnesium saturation point, you can get a Magnesium RBC test through Request A Test. The range is usually given as 4.2-6.9 mg/dL; the optimum level is between 6.0-6.5mg/dL. It’s not the definitive magnesium test but it’s something that you can use to follow your magnesium saturation.”

So if your leg cramps increase, take more magnesium until you hit the dosage where they go away. Also, as I suggested above, add some potassium and ginger for severe cramping.

While you can temporarily get an increase in muscle cramps when you first start taking magnesium, and you’re not taking enough… you can also experience increased fatigue, low blood pressure, and weakness if you’re taking too much, too soon – due to adrenal fatigue.

If you rev up all 800 enzyme systems at once, that can make you feel pretty tired when your adrenal gland is already fatigued. The solution is to scale back the dosage and ramp up slowly. Yes, you need a whole lot more magnesium to resolve your deficiency, but as the whole body works in concert, you’ll have to proceed slowly to avoid triggering negative symptoms and give your body time to adapt.

Also make sure you’re taking enough magnesium to cover your Vitamin D3 supplementation – as Vitamin D requires magnesium to be converted to it’s active form.

SUMMARY: Increase your atom-sized magnesium intake, but proceed slowly to give your body time to adjust and to allow all the enzyme systems of your body to ramp up and integrate with all the other systems and components of your body.

Are Atom-Sized/Nano-Sized Minerals Safe?

When I looked at the fact that plants naturally produce atom-size (nanoparticle) minerals, thus indicating that our bodies have been safely absorbing minerals in this form for millenia, that gave me a base of confidence to try atom-size (angstrom, picometre) minerals.

As well, I looked at people/groups who have been consuming atom-sized minerals for years already – athletes and children with autism. A good friend of Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND – veterinarian Terry Wood – has been using atom-sized minerals and nano-sized electrolyte blends with animals and athletes for over 5 years. There were no accounts of adverse effects from using atom-sized nano minerals from any of these groups.

I also found a number of studies showing clear benefits to nanoparticle or angstrom-sized mineral supplementation for osteoporosis and tooth decay.

Can I use QuikPlus Liquid Minerals with Absorb Plus?

A few things are important to keep in mind:

The amounts of all minerals and vitamins in Absorb Plus are formulated for someone to be able to take a maximum of 12 servings per day, so to even get a daily therapeutic dose you would need to be consuming five shakes per day. Remember it is meant to be consumed as an elemental, sole food source.

There is very little magnesium in Absorb Plus since people are already on a liquid diet and their bowels are inflamed. Therefore, we do not want to give them diarrhea by giving them a lot of normal magnesium! The benefit of the QuikPlus Magnesium is people can finally take a therapeutic or high dose magnesium without suffering loose bowels or diarrhea.

So – yes! QuikPlus can be added to any shake or smoothie, juice, tea, soup, water.

Why Is Atom-Sized (Nano/Angstrom) Magnesium Better?

My friend Dr. Dean explains this perfectly in an article she wrote for my Infoletter:

“Physicists tell us that the size of the mineral channels in our cells, are between 4-5 angstroms in diameter. An angstrom is one ten billionth of a meter, a range between a nanometer and a picometer. If minerals are larger than this size, they are not readily absorbed through the cell membrane. What I call “dirt minerals” may be millions of times larger than the channel they are trying to enter. Colloidal minerals and ionic minerals, while they may claim to be smaller than dirt minerals can still be thousands of times bigger than angstrom [nano-sized] minerals. Therefore, you not only need to take the proper type of magnesium, but it also has to be in an easily absorbed form.”

Regular Magnesium Citrate

Of course, if you tend towards constipation, then you may prefer to take your magnesium as magnesium citrate, which has one of the best absorption levels for regular magnesium, but will loosen the bowels. I like a product called Natural Calm for this you can drink before bed – ensures a restful nights sleep and a bowel movement in the morning!