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Page 1

OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2008 www.nexusmagazine.com NEXUS • 1

Magnesium is nothing short of a miracle mineral in its healing effect on
a wide range of diseases as well as in its ability to rejuvenate the aging
body. We know that it is essential for many enzyme reactions, especially
in regard to cellular energy production, for the health of the brain and
nervous system and also for healthy teeth and bones. However, it may
come as a surprise that in the form of magnesium chloride it is also an
impressive infection fighter.1

T
he above statement by retired biochemist and nutritionist Walter Last is
no exaggeration in summarising the overriding importance of
magnesium for our health. It is doubly true because the magnesium
intake with our food has greatly declined due to the use of inorganic

fertilisers with an oversupply of calcium, and also because the medical
profession overemphasises our need for a high calcium intake and excessive
calcium supplementation at the expense of magnesium.

While calcium and magnesium work together in the body, they are also
opposites in their effects on our metabolism. This is largely due to the activity
of the parathyroid glands which try to keep the combined product of calcium
and magnesium in our blood steady and balanced against phosphorus. If the
magnesium levels are low, then the calcium levels need rise to restore balance.
Where does this extra calcium come from? From the bones and teeth, of
course!

This is even more of a problem when the parathyroids are chronically
overstimulated, usually combined with an underactive thyroid. This is a
common situation with the presence of candidiasis, mercury dental fillings and
root canal fillings: all of these appear to depress thyroid functions and
overstimulate the parathyroids.

What does the body do with the excess calcium in the blood? It dumps it into
tissue wherever there is some chronic inflammation. This leads, for instance, to
the calcification of joints, as in arthritis, and to the calcification of ovaries and
other glands, resulting in declining hormone production. Calcifying kidneys
eventually require dialysis, and calcifications in breast tissue, especially the
milk ducts, are often managed with unnecessary mastectomies and other
invasive treatments.

Magnesium for Healthy Bones and Teeth
Medical authorities claim that the widespread incidence of osteoporosis and

tooth decay in western countries can be prevented with a high calcium intake.
H o w e v e r, published evidence reveals that the opposite is true. 2 Asian and
African populations with a very low intake of about 300 milligrams (mg) of
calcium daily have very little incidence of osteoporosis. In Africa, Bantu
women with an intake of 200 to 350 mg of calcium daily have the lowest
incidence of osteoporosis in the world. In western countries with a high intake

A mineral nutrient
compound sourced

from evaporated
sea water,

magnesium chloride
is treasured for its
ability to promote
health and vitality,

treat numerous
diseases, combat

the ageing process
and fight infections.

by Barbara Bourke
with Walter Last

© 2008

Email: [email protected]
Website:

http://www.strideintohealth.com

Page 2

2 • NEXUS www.nexusmagazine.com OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2008

of dairy products, the average calcium intake is about
1,000 mg. The higher the calcium intake, especially in the
form of cow's milk products (except butter), the higher the
incidence of osteoporosis.3

Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus levels are kept in
a seesaw balance by the parathyroid hormones. If calcium
goes up, magnesium goes down and vice versa. With a
low magnesium intake, calcium goes out of the bones to
increase the calcium levels in tissues, while a high
magnesium intake causes calcium to go out of the tissues
and into the bones. A high phosphorus intake without a
high calcium or magnesium intake causes calcium to leach
from the bones and then leave the body with the urine. A
high phosphorus intake with high calcium and magnesium
leads to bone mineralisation.

Dr Lewis B. Barnett, an orthopaedic surgeon, practised
in two different US counties with very different mineral
levels in soil and water. In Dallas County, Texas, with a
high calcium and low magnesium concentration in the
water supply, osteoporosis and hip fractures were very
common, while in Hereford, Texas, with high magnesium
and low calcium levels, these
were nearly absent. In Dallas
C o u n t y, the magnesium content
of bones was 0.5 per cent, while
in Hereford it was 1.76 per cent.
In another comparison, the
magnesium content in bones of
osteoporosis sufferers was 0.62
per cent, while in healthy
individuals it was 1.26 per cent.4

The same applies for healthy
teeth as for healthy bones. In a
New Zealand study, it was found
that caries-resistant teeth had on
average twice the amount of magnesium as caries-prone
teeth. The average concentration of magnesium phosphate
in bones is given as about 1.0 per cent, in teeth about 1.5
per cent, in elephant tusks 2.0 per cent and in the teeth of
carnivorous animals that crush bones it is 5.0 per cent. In
regard to the strength of bones and teeth, think of calcium
as chalk and magnesium as superglue. The magnesium
s u p e rglue binds and transforms the chalk into superior
bones and teeth.5

One patient reported to Walter Last: "My doctor rang
Friday afternoon re my bone density scan and wanted to
know what I have been doing over the last two years. I
asked why, and she said that by looking at the 2005 and
2006 scans, she could see with the 2008 scan that I had
improved. She couldn't believe it, and said that normally
when you are in the osteoporosis range you don't come out
of it." 6 That doctor was actually saying that she knew the
accepted treatment of high calcium supplementation does
not work but is used anyway. This patient had reversed
the medical treatment by lowering calcium and greatly
increasing her intake of magnesium (in addition to boron).

Magnesium Absorption and Dosage
A solution to this problem is to lower calcium levels in

the blood by keeping up a high intake of magnesium.
However, any excess magnesium is quickly lost with the
urine. Therefore, to keep calcium in the bones and teeth
rather than around the joints and in the soft tissues, we
need a steady supply of magnesium.

Traditionally, magnesium in our diet has been mainly in
ionic form and is converted in the stomach into
magnesium chloride or it binds to protein, especially
chlorophyll, and then is broken down, ending up for
absorption as magnesium chloride or chelated magnesium.
Therefore, when supplementing, we may as well use
magnesium chloride directly instead of magnesium oxide
or hydroxide and other forms that require additional
hydrochloric acid.

Magnesium chloride has another advantage: it provides
ions of magnesium and chloride which are both required
to stimulate the activity of digestive enzymes and produce
hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

Magnesium sulphate, also known as Epsom salts, is
poorly absorbed and therefore
attracts water in the colon and
functions as a laxative.

If fruit and vegetables are
grown in mineral-rich soil, then
these foods contain a high
content of minerals, including
magnesium. As the plant grows,
it converts the inorganic minerals
into organic minerals and these
then bind to acids like citric acid
and are easily absorbed in this
form. While most forms of
magnesium have a good

bioavailability, chelates with amino acids and magnesium
bound to fruit acids also have a beneficial alkalising effect
on the body.

The efficiency of magnesium absorption varies inversely
with the quantity of magnesium intake. Magnesium is
absorbed into the body primarily from the ileum of the
small intestine. When consuming the RDI
(Recommended Dietary Intake) of magnesium, which is
an average of between 360 and 410 mg a day, we absorb
approximately 50 per cent of magnesium, but when
ingesting sub-optimal quantities we may absorb as much
as 75 per cent. Absorption decreases rapidly when more
than 200 mg is consumed at one time, therefore it's
important to take magnesium in divided doses throughout
the day.

Magnesium chloride can be added to food or drink, like
juice, mostly to disguise the salty-bitter taste. I mix it with
juice myself, a quarter of a teaspoon at a time, and it is
fine. However, it's a matter of personal preference. You
can start with a few drops in your meal or drink and
slowly build up to half a teaspoon twice a dayÑ
amounting to 600 mg of magnesium chloride daily.

Therefore, to keep calcium
in the bones and teeth

rather than around the joints
and in the soft tissues,

we need a steady supply of
magnesium.

Page 3

OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2008 www.nexusmagazine.com NEXUS • 3

When dealing with factors such as stress, advancing age,
cardiovascular problems and signs of calcification, up to
1,000 mg is the daily dosage recommended by many
health practit ioners. The intestinal absorption of
magnesium declines with ageing and the presence of
gastrointestinal disorders, and especially with dysbiosis
caused by antibiotics and other pharmaceutical drugs.
Excessive loss of magnesium in urine can also be a side
effect of some pharmaceuticals.7

A study published in 2005 showed that over two-thirds
of Americans do not consume even the low level of the
RDI of magnesium, and 19 per cent use less than one-half
of this.8 It may take up to three months or longer of oral
magnesium supplementation to replenish intracellular
magnesium status, and according to Dr Norm Shealy it
can take up to a year.9

"Magnesium Oil" in Transdermal Therapy
All these problems make it more attractive to use

magnesium chloride transdermally (absorbed through the
skin), bypassing the digestive system with the need for
hydrochloric acid and a well-
functioning digestive tract.

Magnesium chloride consists
of 11.8 per cent magnesium
bound to 88.2 per cent chloride.
It is produced through
evaporation from saline waters,
mainly sea water (and also from
the Dead Sea). After removal of
sodium chloride, the bittern
remains, containing mainly
magnesium chloride and
magnesium sulphate.1 0
Magnesium chloride is much
less bitter than magnesium sulphate.

In the dry form, magnesium chloride is usually sold as
white hygroscopic (water-attracting) flakes, hydrated with
six molecules of water (hexahydrate) for each unit of
magnesium along with two chloride ions (MgCl2). This
affinity with water means that magnesium chloride can be
used as a product called "magnesium oil", which can be
applied to the skin as a transdermal magnesium therapy. It
is not oil in the true sense, but has the feel of oil when
rubbed on the skin.

Over a cup of lemongrass tea with Walter Last, I first
heard about magnesium chloride used as magnesium oil
and described in much detail in the book Tr a n s d e r m a l
Magnesium Therapyby Mark Sircus. As a health
supplement, it is safe to take internally or externally.
Mark Sircus writes:

Magnesium chloride solution is not only harmless for
tissue, but it had also a great effect over leucocytosis;
so it was perfect for external wound treatment.11

Rejuvenation by ingesting more magnesium is a slow
process, especially as the amount of magnesium that we

can take is limited by its laxative effect and the need to
keep it in a reasonable balance with the calcium and
phosphorus intake. The other problem is that spastic
muscles have poor blood and lymph circulation, which
makes it difficult for ingested magnesium to dissolve and
flush out the tissue and joint calcifications. These
problems then call for the use of magnesium oil.

We can greatly speed up the rejuvenation process by
increasing the circulation through permanently contracted
muscles by using magnesium oil with deep tissue massage
or just frequent rubbing, or by using it in hot packs.
However, we need to be careful with sensitive skin, as the
magnesium oil may sting for a while. In this case, it's best
to dilute it to an acceptable level. If rubbed on in a rather
diluted form, it may gradually disappear into the skin, but
in concentrated form it just remains sticky and needs to be
washed or showered off after some time. However, with
many conditions, such as arthritis and other forms of
s t i ffness and pain, it's a good idea to apply it to the
affected area and cover it with some old cloths overnight.

Antimicrobial Action of
Magnesium

Magnesium chloride is a great
infection fighter as well, which
no other magnesium combination
can claim to be.

The first prominent researcher
to investigate and promote the
antibiotic effects of magnesium
was a French surgeon, Professor
Pierre Delbet, MD.12 In 1915, he
was looking for a solution to
cleanse soldiers' wounds because
he found that traditionally used

antiseptics actually damaged tissues and encouraged
infections instead of preventing them. In all his tests,
magnesium chloride solution was by far the best. He
found that not only was it harmless for tissues, but it also
greatly increased leucocyte activity and phagocytosis, the
destruction of pathogenic microbes.

Later, Professor Delbet performed experiments with the
internal application of magnesium chloride and found it to
be a powerful immune system stimulant. In his
experiments, phagocytosis increased by up to 333 per
cent. This means that after magnesium chloride intake,
the same number of white blood cells destroyed up to
three times more microbes than before.

G r a d u a l l y, Professor Delbet found magnesium chloride
to be beneficial in treating a wide range of diseases. These
included: diseases of the digestive tract such as colitis and
gall bladder problems; Parkinson's disease, tremors and
muscle cramps; acne, eczema, psoriasis, warts and itching
skin; impotence, prostatic hypertrophy, cerebral and
circulatory problems; and asthma, hay fever, urticaria and
anaphylactic reactions. Hair and nails became stronger
and healthier, and patients had more energy.

He found that not only
was it harmless for tissues,
but it also greatly increased

leucocyte activity and
phagocytosis, the destruction

of pathogenic microbes.

Page 4

4 • NEXUS www.nexusmagazine.com OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2008

Professor Delbet also found that magnesium chloride
had a very good preventive effect against cancer and cured
precancerous conditions such as leukoplasia,
hyperkeratosis and chronic mastitis. Epidemiological
studies confirmed that regions with magnesium-rich soil
had less cancer than those with low magnesium levels.

Professor Delbet used to give magnesium chloride
solution routinely to his patients with infections and for
several days before any planned surg e r y, and he was
surprised that many of these patients experienced euphoria
and bursts of energy. Magnesium chloride supposedly has
a specific action on the tetanus virus and its effects on the
body. It even seems to be protective against snake bites.
Guinea pigs did not die after normally lethal injections of
snake venom and a rabbit survived a poisonous snakebite
when given magnesium chloride solution.

Another French doctor, Dr A. Neveu,1 3 cured several
diphtheria patients with magnesium chloride within two
days. He also published 15 cases of poliomyelitis that was
cured within days if treatment was started immediately or
within months if paralysis had already progressed. Dr
Neveu found magnesium
chloride effective against
asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia,
emphysema, pharyngitis,
tonsillitis, hoarseness, common
cold, influenza, whooping cough,
measles, rubella, mumps, scarlet
f e v e r, poisoning, gastroenteritis,
boils, abscesses, whitlow,
infected wounds and
osteomyelitis.

In more recent years, Raul
Ve rgini, MD and others
confirmed these earlier results
and added more illnesses and conditions to the list of
successful uses of magnesium chloride: acute asthma
attack, shock, tetanus, herpes zoster, acute and chronic
conjunctivitis, optic neuritis, rheumatic diseases, many
allergic diseases and chronic fatigue syndrome. They also
found it to have beneficial effects in cancer therapy. In all
of these cases, magnesium chloride gave much better
results than other magnesium compounds.14

Magnesium for Nerves
Magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system,

so it is frequently used to promote good sleep. It can also
be used to calm irritated and overexcited nerves. This is
especially useful with epileptic seizures, convulsions in
pregnant women and the "shakes" in alcoholics.
Magnesium levels are generally low in alcoholics,
contributing to or causing many of their health problems.
If magnesium levels are low, the nerves lose control over
muscle activity, respiration and mental processes.
Nervous fatigue, tics and twitches, tremors, irritability,
h y p e r s e n s i t i v i t y, muscle spasms, restlessness, anxiety,
confusion, disorientation and irregular heartbeat all

respond to increased magnesium intake. A common
phenomenon of magnesium deficiency is a sharp muscle
reaction to an unexpected, loud noise. "Memory pills"
have been marketed that consist mainly of magnesium.15

Sleep in magnesium deficiency is restless and agitated
and is disturbed by frequent night-time awakenings.
H o w e v e r, all forms of magnesium are not equally
e ffective. In a study of more than 200 patients, Dr W.
Davis used magnesium chloride as a possible means of
combatting insomnia. The researcher reported that sleep
was induced rapidly and was uninterrupted, and that
waking tiredness disappeared in 99 per cent of the
patients. In addition, anxiety and tension diminished
during the day.16

Many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease can be
overcome with high magnesium supplementation; shaking
can be prevented and rigidity eased. With pre-eclampsia,
pregnant women may develop convulsions, nausea,
dizziness and headaches; in hospitals, this is treated with
magnesium infusions. Because of its strongly relaxing
effect, magnesium helps not only in promoting better sleep

but is also useful in overcoming
headaches and migraines. Even
the number of suicides is linked
with magnesium deficiency: the
lower the magnesium content in
soil and water in a given region,
the higher the suicide rate.17

Epilepsy is marked by
abnormally low magnesium
levels in the blood, spinal fluid
and brain, causing
hyperexcitability in regions of
the brain. There are many
reported cases of epilepsy greatly

improving or disappearing with magnesium
supplementation. In a trial with 30 epileptics, 450 mg of
magnesium supplied daily successfully controlled their
seizures. Another study found that the lower the
magnesium blood level, the more severe was the epilepsy.
Magnesium works best combined with vitamin B6 and
zinc. In sufficient concentrations, magnesium inhibits
convulsions by limiting or slowing the spread of the
electric discharge from an isolated group of brain cells to
the rest of the brain. Even the initial burst of firing nerve
cells that starts an epileptic attack can be suppressed with
magnesium.18

Magnesium for Rejuvenation
Calcium and magnesium are opposites in their effects on

our body structure. As a general rule, the softer our body
structure, the more we need calcium; the more rigid and
inflexible it is, the less calcium and the more magnesium
we need. Magnesium can reverse the age-related
degenerative calcification of our body structure and, with
this, help us to rejuvenate. Walter Last calls magnesium
"the mineral for rejuvenation".

They also found it to have
beneficial effects in cancer

therapy. In all of these cases,
magnesium chloride gave

much better results than other
magnesium compounds.

Page 5

OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2008 www.nexusmagazine.com NEXUS • 5

Young women, children and, most of all, babies have
soft body structures and smooth skin, with low calcium
and high magnesium levels in their cells and soft tissues.
They generally need high calcium intakes. This is the
biochemistry of youth. As we age, we become more and
more inflexible; this is most pronounced in old men and
post-menopausal women. The arteries harden to cause
arteriosclerosis; the skeletal system calcifies to cause
r i g i d i t y, with fusion of the spine and joints; kidneys and
other organs and glands increasingly calcify and harden,
with stone formation; calcification in the eyes causes
cataracts; and even the skin hardens, becoming tough and
wrinkled. In this way, calcium is in the same league as
oxygen and free radicals, while magnesium works
together with hydrogen and the antioxidants to keep the
body structure soft.

While a higher magnesium intake is beneficial for most
individuals, those with low blood pressure usually require
more calcium. Normal blood pressure is about 120/80; the
lower it is, the higher should be the daily intake of
calcium. While those with high blood pressure may
benefit from ingesting up to
twice as much magnesium as
calcium, those with low blood
pressure may take twice as much
calcium as magnesium, but both
minerals in relatively high
amounts. Those with low blood
pressure and a tendency towards
inflammation may also reduce
their intake of phosphorus.

A gynaecologist reported that
some of the first organs to
calcify are the ovaries, leading to
premenstrual tension. When he
put his patients on a high magnesium intake, their PMT
vanished and they felt and looked much younger. Most of
these women said that they lost weight, increased their
e n e rg y, felt less depressed and enjoyed sex again much
more than before. For men, magnesium is equally
beneficial for problems arising from an enlarged prostate
gland. Symptoms commonly improve after a period of
supplementation with magnesium chloride.19

Other Health Benefits
We see how essential magnesium is to the normal

function of the cardiovascular and nervous systems as well
as in over 300 enzyme reactions and in energy production.
According to Mark Sircus:

Magnesium is the single most important mineral for
maintaining proper electrical balance and facilitating
smooth metabolism in cells. Magnesium is the second
most abundant intracellular and the fourth most
abundant cation (positively charged ion) in the body.
It is a transmembrane and intracellular modulator of
cellular electrical activity. As such, a deficiency in the
body is nothing short of disastrous for the cell's life.

Yet, this fact is not widely known.20

And is it not at the cellular level that health and disease
start?

Sircus also says: "Without magnesium there is no
energy, no movement, no life."21

In practice, I often use the help of a reference software
program called Hyperhealth (the definitive database for
natural medicine based on published scientific research;
see http://www.hyperhealth.com). It lists the health
benefits that magnesium exerts on the different body
systems, including the cardiovascular and nervous systems
(as already stated) and the digestive, respiratory, excretory,
lymphatic/immune, musculoskeletal, respiratory and
reproductive systems, as well as on energy production. It
mentions magnesium's positive influence on metabolism
such as in control of weight, blood sugar and cholesterol,
and states that magnesium is needed for protein, starch
and fat metabolism and is important in liver, thyroid and
parathyroid function. It even lists benefits in hearing,
vision and oral health.

The pathologies associated with
magnesium deficiency are
staggering: hypertension and
other cardiovascular diseases,
kidney and liver damage,
migraine, multiple sclerosis,
glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease,
recurrent bacterial infections,
fungal infections, premenstrual
syndrome, calcium and
potassium deficiency, diabetes,
cramps, muscle weakness,
impotence, aggression, fibromas,
hearing loss and iron

accumulation.22
Increased magnesium intake helps to prevent or dissolve

kidney stones and gall bladder stones.2 3 Activation of
digestive enzymes and bile production as well as
improvement of intestinal flora health are factors that
make magnesium chloride beneficial in normalising
digestive processes and reducing digestive discomfort,
bloating and offensive stool odours. It actually reduces all
o ffensive body odours, including underarm and foot
o d o u r. This may explain why chlorophyll is generally
very effective in reducing body odour, as it is high in
magnesium.

I'd like to share some of my own clinical experiences
with magnesium oil. I treated a patient with diet and
supplements while she decreased her intake of anti-
depressant drugs. She improved but still had a big
problem with insomnia. Doing relaxation exercises and
having a foot bath with added magnesium oil every night
made her fall asleep while still soaking her feet! Another
client, after using magnesium oil for the first time, slept
through the night without waking up with leg cramps. She
also took magnesium chloride orally (note that as it is

We see how essential
magnesium is to the normal

function of the cardiovascular
and nervous systems as well as
in over 300 enzyme reactions

and in energy production.

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