Any scientific proof that Epsom salt absorbs Magnesium transdermally?

alicec

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Well, that answer doesn't quite disprove the "idiot thing", for me as a layman it does sound like a reasonable argument, but who knows.
Perhaps I am just frustrated that you purport to be looking for "scientific" proof that magnesium and/or sulfate is absorbed into the body as a result of Epsom salts baths, yet at the same time seem willing to accept any non-scientific claim that they aren't.

The claim about the dead sea is so ridiculous that I didn't think it worth a reply. But since you actually do seem to take it seriously I will just reiterate what I said previously about the ignorance of some of the commentators you quote of the role of transporters.

No one is suggesting that magnesium would be absorbed in an unregulated way. We know that magnesium is very tightly regulated and indeed the Waring study which you seem to be studiously ignoring shows just that.

Magnesium will be absorbed via the transdermal route to a certain level only and the amount taken up will depend on the starting levels of the mineral.
 

Mij

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Upon being introduced to the potential of liquid soaks for magnesium and natural DHEA stimulation, Dr. Shealy, a trained neuroscientist and medical researcher who studied at Duke University, performed experiments to test the ability of the skin to absorb magnesium.

Sixteen individuals with low intracellular magnesium levels were enlisted in his study. Participants were instructed to perform a 20 minute foot-soak daily with transdermal magnesium chloride bath flakes, in additional to spraying their entire body once daily with magnesium oil. Intracellular magnesium levels were assessed on all participants after 4 weeks, utilizing a diagnostic called ExaTest. The results – 12 of the 16 participants in the study showed marked improvements in their intracellular magnesium levels.8

Averaged diagnostic results after 4 weeks of daily body spraying and foot soaks:

Electrolyte Name Before After Reference Range
Magnesium 31.4 41.2 33.9 – 41.9
Calcium 7.5 4.8 3.2 – 5.0
Potassium 132.2 124.5 80.0 – 240.0
Sodium 3.4 4.1 3.8 – 5.8
Chloride 3.2 3.4 3.4 – 6.0
Phosphorous 22.2 17.6 14.2 – 17.0
Phosphorous/Cal 4.2 8.6 7.8 – 10.9
Magnesium/Phos 1.4 2.3 1.8 – 3.0
Magnesium/Ca 4.2 8.6 7.8 – 10.9
Potassium/Calcium 17.6 26.1 25.8 – 4.6
Potassium/Magnesium 4.2 3.0 2.4 – 4.6
Potassium/Sodium 39.1 30.5 21.5 – 44.6

Dr. Shealy’s conclusion was that the unique properties of supersaturated transdermal magnesium allow it to be absorbed into the skin, raising intracellular magnesium levels in nearly all individuals.

In discussing transdermal magnesium therapy versus oral magnesium supplements, Dr. Shealy has explained that:

  • Transdermal therapy creates “tissue saturation”, which allows magnesium to travel to the body’s tissues and cells at a high dose without losses through the gastrointestinal tract.
  • When taken orally, however, magnesium may be absorbed inefficiently, either due to the laxative effect of oral doses; due to the effect of other foods, vitamins or minerals in the gut that lessen absorption; or due to individual differences, such as leaky gut syndrome, that reduce magnesium processing.
 

amaru7

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@alicec Do you have any evidence for the claims you stated in regards to these carrier molecules being able to alleviate Mg deficiency the transdermal route?
@Mij quoting a manufacturer of transdermal Mag products in my eyes is no proof, because companies have a natural interest in getting an outcome that serves their purpose.
 

Mij

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The magnesium tests in the small study were done through Exatest. They measure magnesium levels in the cells.

My levels stay in normal range so I do trust their brand of mg chloride. I think Dr. Sarah Myhill rec's their brand too.
 

alicec

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Do you have any evidens for the claims?
I'm not sure which claims you refer to.

Let me spell it out again. There has been very little study of transdermal uptake of magnesium and/or sulfate - you are certainly correct about that.

The Waring study is very small and doesn't overclaim. She simply showed that after soaking in Epsom salts baths there was a modest increase in magnesium levels in the blood. This was not an exponential increase but rather increase to a certain level, consistent with what we know about the tight regulation of magnesium in the blood.

She also provided indirect evidence of uptake into tissues from the blood since there was increased appearance of magnesium in the urine. Again this is consistent with what we know about the role of the kidneys in regulating magnesium levels.

That is as far as we can go. We don't know how the magnesium got from the bath to the blood.

We do, however, know something about uptake of magnesium from the gut into the blood and subsequent uptake into the cells.

I have uploaded a recent study focussing primarily on intestinal uptake and regulation of blood levels via the kidney.

Here is a general overview of magnesium.

Among other things it emphasises that
It is noteworthy that intestinal absorption is not directly proportional to magnesium intake but is dependent mainly on magnesium status. The lower the magnesium level, the more of this element is absorbed in the gut, thus relative magnesium absorption is high when intake is low and vice versa.
The kidneys are crucial in magnesium homeostasis [18, 49–51] as serum magnesium concentration is primarily controlled by its excretion in urine
Waring's study is entirely consistent with this.

Here is a study on the transporters which take magnesium into cells.

It is a reasonable assumption that similar mechanisms are likely to exist for uptake via the skin though of course this hasn't been studied so we can't say for sure.

The commentators you seem happy to rely on appear to be completely ignorant about such transport mechanisms and I took exception to their dismissal of the possibility of transdermal uptake of magnesium /sulfate on completely spurious ground.

There is abundant evidence for controlled uptake of charged substances into cells - there is an enormous family of solute carriers whose job it is to do just that - see the Wikipaedia article. There are other types of transporters also, as this article indicates.

As more studies are made of magnesium transporters, we may eventually get evidence for the mechanism of transdermal uptake. In the meantime it remains a completely plausible possibility.
 

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there is studies saying it does but I am skeptical it actually does, and think the studies must be fake. hemp seeds (700mg per 100g), and pumpkin seeds (535mg per 100g) are good food sources of magnesium. Or just take magnesium amino acid chelate which is cheap and for sale everywhere.
 

Hip

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there is studies saying it does but I am skeptical it actually does,
The following demonstrates that large amounts of magnesium are absorbed from the skin:

I once went on a high dose transdermal magnesium protocol (for anti-anxiety purposes, as high dose magnesium blocks the NMDA receptors).

I made up a saturated solution of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts), and applied this to the skin of my body from head to toe, letting it dry into the skin for a few minutes before putting my clothes back on. I did this three times a day. This I think may be better than an Epsom salts bath, because with this transdermal application, you have a much high concentration (100% saturated) of Epsom salts on your skin, and it is on your skin for longer periods than a bath, increasing absorption.

This high dose transdermal magnesium had noticeable anti-anxiety benefits (benefits which I did not observe from oral magnesium supplementation).


I took this very high dose of of transdermal magnesium daily for several weeks, but I forgot about the need for balanced calcium supplementation (calcium and magnesium are best supplemented in balanced proportion).

Then a bizarre thing happened: I suddenly developed an absolute love for drinking milk. I had never been particularly fond of drinking milk, I find its taste is OK, but nothing special. But all of a sudden, my taste buds just went crazy for milk; milk suddenly tasted delicious to me! I could not understand why I suddenly developed this love for drinking milk, but it tasted so good so I drank lots of it every day.

Eventually, I figured out that my body was just desperate for the calcium in milk, because with all that magnesium I was administering, my minerals were out of balance.

So amazingly enough, it seems that the body is intelligent enough to make you love the foods or drinks that contain the minerals you need. Calcium receptors on the tongue were discovered not so long ago, and I imagine that these calcium receptors detected the calcium in the milk, and then my brain picked up on this, and made me start really enjoying the flavor of milk. Thus is seems the brain can control whether you like or dislike the taste of any food or drink, according to your current nutritional needs. If the food contains nutrients that you need, your brain may make this food more desirable and tasty.

Once I stopped the high dose transdermal magnesium, my love of the taste of milk soon disappeared, and I stopped drinking it.

So I think this phenomenon demonstrates that large amounts of magnesium are absorbed from the skin.



You can test this phenomenon for yourself: if you apply transdermal magnesium sulfate as a saturated solution three times a day from head to toe (and without taking any calcium supplements), after a few weeks you may also develop a strong liking for the flavor of any foods like milk which contain calcium.
 
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pattismith

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@Hip

magnesium sulfate can relieve cerebral vasospasm, which could be involved in CFS/ME of some patients.

However Nimodipine is more efficient than MgS to do the job, did you try it?

Also, Nimodipine have also a microglia apoptosis action, and also an anti-Prostagladin E2 and F2alpha action and some other activities.


Comparison of the anticonstrictor action of dihydropyridines (nimodipine and nicardipine) and Mg2+ in isolated human cerebral arteries


Abstract

The isometric tension recorded from ring segments of branches of human middle cerebral artery was the parameter used to study the inhibition of spasmogen-induced contractions as model for cerebral vasospasm.

Concentration-response curves to 5-hydroxytryptamine (10−9−3 × 10−5 M) and prostaglandin F2α (10−7−3 × 10−5 M) were inhibited in Ca2+-free medium and in Ca2+-free medium to which EGTA (1 mM) had been added, respectively.

Nimodipine (10−7, 10−5 M), nicardipine (10−7, 10−5 M) and Mg2+ (magnesium sulfate 10−4, 10−2 M) inhibited the 5-HT-elicited contractions, and this inhibition was similar for the highest concentrations tested.

In contrast, nimodipine and nicardipine were more effective than Mg2+ to inhibit the prostaglandin F2α-elicited contractions.

Nimodipine (10−9−10−5 M), nicardipine (10−9−10−5 M) and Mg2+ (10−5 − 3 × 10−2 M) relaxed the arteries precontracted with PGF2α (10−5 M), but nicardipine was the most potent relaxant drug.

Because 5-hydroxytryptamine and prostaglandin F2α may be involved in the pathogenesis of cerebral vasospasm, nimodipine, nicardipine, and Mg2+ could be used in the pharmacological treatment of this disorder. However, dihydropyridines (particularly nicardipine) are more potent anticonstrictors than Mg2+.
 

Sarah94

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The following demonstrates that large amounts of magnesium are absorbed from the skin:

I once went on a high dose transdermal magnesium protocol (for anti-anxiety purposes, as high dose magnesium blocks the NMDA receptors).

I made up a saturated solution of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts), and applied this to the skin of my body from head to toe, letting it dry into the skin for a few minutes before putting my clothes back on. I did this three times a day. This I think may be better than an Epsom salts bath, because with this transdermal application, you have a much high concentration (100% saturated) of Epsom salts on your skin, and it is on your skin for longer periods than a bath, increasing absorption.

This high dose transdermal magnesium had noticeable anti-anxiety benefits (benefits which I did not observe from oral magnesium supplementation).


I took this very high dose of of transdermal magnesium daily for several weeks, but I forgot about the need for balanced calcium supplementation (calcium and magnesium are best supplemented in balanced proportion).

Then a bizarre thing happened: I suddenly developed an absolute love for drinking milk. I had never been particularly fond of drinking milk, I find its taste is OK, but nothing special. But all of a sudden, my taste buds just went crazy for milk; milk suddenly tasted delicious to me! I could not understand why I suddenly developed this love for drinking milk, but it tasted so good so I drank lots of it every day.

Eventually, I figured out that my body was just desperate for the calcium in milk, because with all that magnesium I was administering, my minerals were out of balance.

So amazingly enough, it seems that the body is intelligent enough to make you love the foods or drinks that contain the minerals you need. Calcium receptors on the tongue were discovered not so long ago, and I imagine that these calcium receptors detected the calcium in the milk, and then my brain picked up on this, and made me start really enjoying the flavor of milk. Thus is seems the brain can control whether you like or dislike the taste of any food or drink, according to your current nutritional needs. If the food contains nutrients that you need, your brain may make this food more desirable and tasty.

Once I stopped the high dose transdermal magnesium, my love of the taste of milk soon disappeared, and I stopped drinking it.

So I think this phenomenon demonstrates that large amounts of magnesium are absorbed from the skin.



You can test this phenomenon for yourself: if you apply transdermal magnesium sulfate as a saturated solution three times a day from head to toe (and without taking any calcium supplements), after a few weeks you may also develop a strong liking for the flavor of any foods like milk which contain calcium.
Hi @Hip . I was just wondering how did you make up the saturated solution of magnesium sulphate? What's the ratio of MgS to water? Thanks.
 

Hope4

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I sometimes use the recipe from the afibbers site for magnesium water:
http://afibbers.org/Wallerwater.pdf


...
Recipe for Magnesium/Bicarbonate Water


Natural mineral waters with high concentrations of magnesium and bicarbonate ions have long been prized for their health promoting qualities. The famous Apollinaris water contains 104 mg/L of magnesium, but unfortunately is also fairly high in sodium and calcium. Mendocino water contains 130 mg/L of magnesium, but again has fairly high calcium and sodium levels. A more ideal water is Noah’s spring water bottled from the Adobe Springs in California. Noah’s California Spring Water contains 110 mg/L of magnesium, but only 3 mg/L of calcium and 5 mg/L of sodium. It also contains 529 mg/L of bicarbonate ions and has a pH of 8.3.

Magnesium-rich mineral waters are easily absorbed and have many health benefits due not only to their magnesium content, but also because of their content of bicarbonate ions that help neutralize the carbonic acid formed in the body during metabolic processes. Several studies have shown that an increased intake of bicarbonate may help prevent muscle wasting and bone loss[1-3].

A manufactured magnesium/bicarbonate water, “Unique Water”, has recently been developed in Australia. It contains 120 mg of magnesium and 650 mg of bicarbonate per liter and has a pH of 8.3.

Erling Waller, a former afibber, and Jackie Burgess, both frequent contributors to the Bulletin Board, collaborated to develop a recipe for homemade magnesium/bicarbonate water that, in its composition, is very close to both Noah’s California Spring Water and Unique Water. The recipe is based on the reaction of magnesium hydroxide (in milk of magnesia) with plain carbonated water according to the formula Mg(OH)2 + 2CO2 ---> Mg(HCO3)2.

Plain Milk of Magnesia (MoM) should be used in the recipe. The “active” ingredient should only be magnesium hydroxide [Mg (OH)2], 400 mg per teaspoon (5 ml), and the “inactive” ingredient should only be purified water. 41.7% by weight of magnesium hydroxide is magnesium (Mg), so 5 ml of MoM has 167 mg of Mg, and 1 tablespoon has 500 mg of Mg (1 tablespoon = 15 ml).

To prepare the water follow these steps:

1. Chill completely to refrigerator temperature a 1-liter bottle of fully carbonated water. Carbonated waters such as Canada Dry Seltzer, which consist of only water and carbon dioxide (CO2), are suitable. Club sodas such as Schweppes Club Soda are also suitable; they are carbonated water with a small amount of added sodium.
  1. Shake well the bottle of MoM, then measure out as accurately as possible 3 tablespoons (45 ml) and have it ready. The plastic measuring cup that comes with the MoM is accurate and ideal for the purpose.
  2. Remove the bottle of carbonated water from the refrigerator without agitating it. Open it slowly and carefully to minimize the loss of CO2. As soon as the initial fizzing settles down, slowly add the pre-measured MoM. Promptly replace the cap on the water bottle and shake it vigorously for 30 seconds or so, making the liquid cloudy. After 1⁄2 hour or so the liquid will have cleared, and any un-dissolved magnesium hydroxide will have settled to the bottom of the bottle. Again shake the bottle vigorously for 30 seconds or so, making the liquid cloudy again. When the liquid again clears all of the magnesium hydroxide in the MoM should have reacted with all of the CO2 to become dissolved (ionized) magnesium and bicarbonate. However, if a small amount of un-dissolved magnesium hydroxide still remains in the bottom of the bottle as a sediment it may be ignored. This 1 liter of concentrated magnesium bicarbonate water will have approximately 1500 mg of magnesium and approximately 7500 mg of bicarbonate. It should be kept in the refrigerator. You may note that the sides of the bottle “cave in” when the liquid clears. This is a sign that the reaction is complete.
  3. To make 4 liters of magnesium bicarbonate drinking water with approximately 125 mg of magnesium and approximately 625 mg of bicarbonate per liter and a pH of approximately 8+ measure and transfer 1/3 liter of the concentrate (333 ml) into a 4-liter container. Fill the container with 3 2/3 liters of plain or purified water, as desired.
Magnesium dissolved in water (ionized) is considerably more bioavailable than is magnesium in solid tablets or capsules. About 50% of the magnesium contained in magnesium/bicarbonate water is absorbed[4,5]. This is 12 times better than the absorption rate for magnesium oxide. So drinking 1 liter of magnesium/bicarbonate water per day would correspond to taking five 500 mg magnesium oxide tablets daily.

The alkaline magnesium/bicarbonate water should be consumed throughout the day. It can be consumed with a meal, but not in such quantities that it results in dilution of stomach acid. Anyone not in the habit of drinking water should begin by consuming small daily amounts, and should take at least a month to reach a consumption of 1 to 2 liters per day.
....


----

I make sure that the Milk of Magnesia has only water in the "inactive ingredients". Some brands have sodium hypochlorite in the "inactive ingredients", which is bleach.
 
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Hip

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I was just wondering how did you make up the saturated solution of magnesium sulphate? What's the ratio of MgS to water? Thanks.
I use warm water, and you just keep adding the Epsom salts until you cannot dissolve any more. That makes a saturated solution.

I use a bottle of 750 ml of water (see this post for my full method), and you get a surprisingly large amount of Epsom salts dissolving in that water: about 2 mugfuls (about 500 grams).

So if using a 750 ml bottle, then you can just throw in two 2 mugfuls.
 
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pamojja

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A more ideal water is Noah’s spring water bottled from the Adobe Springs in California. Noah’s California Spring Water contains 110 mg/L of magnesium, but only 3 mg/L of calcium and 5 mg/L of sodium.
I drink Rogadska Donat Mg natural mineral water from Slovenia, which contain 1g per liter. though with reltatively much more calcium and sodium (though to monitor with lab-tests and needed both anyway). As plus it contains 3mg of lithium per liter. Only minus is that here it only comes in plastic bottles.
 

Sarah94

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@Hip is there another way to get magnesium transdermally, without using sulphate? I seem to be intolerant to sulphur. I know there are magnesium chloride sprays that one can buy, but they have such a tiny amount of magnesium per spray - and they sting my skin terribly!
 

Hip

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@Hip is there another way to get magnesium transdermally, without using sulphate?
You can buy magnesium chloride crystals quite cheaply on eBay (eg, 1kg for £5). You can make up a saturated solution of these crystals and apply to the skin much in the same way as you do with magnesium sulphate.
 

Sarah94

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You can buy magnesium chloride crystals quite cheaply on eBay (eg, 1kg for £5). You can make up a saturated solution of these crystals and apply to the skin much in the same way as you do with magnesium sulphate.
Thanks. Any idea how I could calculate how much magnesium would be in the spray?

And any idea how the absorption rate would compare to the mag sulphate?
 

Hip

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Any idea how I could calculate how much magnesium would be in the spray?

And any idea how the absorption rate would compare to the mag sulphate?
For Epsom salts, I calculated that each spray from a household cleaner bottle will contain about 100 mg of elemental magnesium, if you use a saturated solution (ie, a solution in which you've dissolved more and more Epsom salts until no more dissolves). See this post. I would guess that magnesium chloride will be similar, and have a similar transdermal absorption.
 

Sarah94

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For Epsom salts, I calculated that each spray from a household cleaner bottle will contain about 100 mg of elemental magnesium, if you use a saturated solution (ie, a solution in which you've dissolved more and more Epsom salts until no more dissolves). See this post. I would guess that magnesium chloride will be similar, and have a similar transdermal absorption.
I think it will depend on how the chemical structure of mag sulphate compares with the chemical structure of mag chloride. I'd have to calculate it using molecular weight to wor out what percentage of mag chloride is actually magnesium... I don't remember how to do that, it's 8 years since I did my GCSE Chemistry lol. Can't remember if there's also a way to calculate how much of a particular chemical will dissolve in water...