Saturday, October 23, 2004


Magnesium is frequently mentioned as something that may be of help to those with ME/CFIDS. If any readers have knowledge or experience of taking Magnesium, I'd sure appreciate a few lines in the comments. Thanks. Here is a description of Magnesium, courtesy CFS website:

Magnesium is a mineral that is needed by every cell of the body. Magnesium is needed for bone, protein, and fatty acid formation, making new cells, activating B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood, and forming ATP - the muscle's energy source. About half of the body's magnesium stores are found inside cells of body tissues and organs, and half are combined with calcium and phosphorus in bone. Only 1 percent of the magnesium in the body is found in blood. Dietary sources of magnesium include green vegetables such as spinach, as well as nuts, seeds, and some whole grains. The magnesium content of refined foods is usually low. Whole-wheat bread, for example, has twice as much magnesium as white bread because the magnesium-rich germ and bran are removed when white flour is processed. Interestingly, calcium and magnesium compete for absorption and too much calcium in the diet blocks magnesium absorption. For this reason, combined calcium / magnesium supplements should contain approx. a 2:1 calcium / magnesium ratio for the greatest effectiveness.

Studies on whether CFS patients are deficient in magnesium have been conflicting, with some finding a deficiency, and others finding normal levels. However, as both anecdotal reports and a double blind, placebo trial have found that magnesium supplementation may help to improve CFS fatigue, sleep, and to relieve muscle aches, it does seem like a reasonable treatment course to try. Moreover, as magnesium is inexpensive and essentially non-toxic (the primary side effect of taking too much magnesium is diarrhea) it does not pose a significant health risk.

Magnesium supplements can be taken as oral tablets, liquid, or as intramuscular injections. Oral magnesium is easy to take, but tends to be poorly absorbed. Magnesium chloride, citrate, gluconate and sulfate are the forms that the body absorbs best, while Magnesium oxide is often the cheapest, but is also the most poorly absorbed. Magnesium sulfate injections can be painful are are certainly more time consuming than simply taking an oral dose at home, but the injections seem to be a more reliable method of producing symptom improvement, even if the individual has a normal red cell magnesium count. The usual regime is 1gm/2mls given intramuscularly (1gm of 50% contains 100mgs of elemental magnesium) weekly for 10 weeks. After this, some patients may benefit from an injection every 1-4 weeks. Another approach is the "Myers Cocktail", which involves more regular injections, say every 3 days, in which a smaller amount of magnesium (1- 4 cc of 20% chloride or 50% sulfate) is added with other ingredients like vitamin B complex, vitamin C, calcium, an perhaps vitamin B12, and adrenal complex.


Blogger Hetty said...

Yes, taking magnesium twice a day did increase my energy levels quite a bit. Unfortunately, I have trouble being nice to myself and haven't been taking it the past couple of years. :( But when I do eat food that is high in magnesium (which I do quite a bit), I feel good from that too. Anytime I cut back on processed and refined foods, life is much better.

November 02, 2004  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Hello Hetty, nice to meet you - sorry I can't find your blog. The link leads to a Blogger page but nothing else. Please do leave your full link here if you get a chance. And thanks for the feedback on Magnesium. I can't help thinking if it was that great, you would be using it religiously. Check out my latest post on interleukin 6 - sounds hopeful in as much that it's the first thing I've come across that gets close to a remedy that might help stop what is affecting the brain, central nervous system and immune system. They say this illness is the immune system attacking itself - it certainly feels like attacks and flare ups.

November 08, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Ingrid,

Your blog came up in a Google search for the University of Leeds CFIDS study. More on that in a minute.

First the magnesium you were wondering about last October. My mother is diagnosed with CFS and has a wonderful doctor here in Atlanta that does part traditional and part alternative therapies. He started her on 40 units (in a 50 unit diabetes syringe) of injectable magnesium twice a day, in the morning and at bedtime. It was prescribed for her aching muscles, not to increase her energy levels. In about a month, she was able to blow dry her hair without pain in her arms and shoulders. We also felt that the injections enabled her to sleep better at night.

Later, we added daily shots of a mixture of Vit.B12, B Complex, Folic Acid and more magnesium (total of 100 units) that caused a remarkable change in outlook and energy at first, but has since leveled or perhaps even has tapered off. We still do them every day, though, as she has not gone all the way back to "Ground Zero".

If you are interested, I can give you the exact ratios.

You have probably heard or read about the article called "Is It All in My Head?", published in Psychology Today, June 2005. I don't have a link as I was given a copy of the article by a well-meaning, (but obviously confused) friend. This explains my interest in the U.of Leeds study. I am writing a strong letter to the editors and was just checking again to see if I had missed a study as the 1995 one that I found clearly does not say what this article implies.

Here is a link to the CFIDS Assoc. of America and their reaction to the article, which is a tamer reaction than my own.

Love your cat and found your blog interesting. It is bookmarked for further perusal.

Warm regards,

May 25, 2005  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Dear Carole, how heartwarming to receive your thoughtful comment, thank you. Sorry for the delay in replying here.

Your comment came through to me via email notification but it wasn't showing up in any post. I trawled through the blog manually trying to find it. Felt sure it was at my magnesium post. But there was nothing.

I returned later. Still nothing. Then I got sidetracked posting on the Sudan crisis. Now I am back and here you at the magnesium post.. Lovely to hear from you. Thank you for the useful information. Please stay in touch and let us know how your mother gets on. Please tell her about my latest post re the genetics research in Scotland which may bring a breakthrough in the next year. With best wishes and kind regards to you and your mother.

June 01, 2005  

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