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Is transdermal magnesium effective?

Mary

Moderator Resource
Messages
17,170
Location
Southern California
@amaru7 - I looked at the review you cited - they only looked at a couple of studies which only involved a small number of people, and concluded that:

Based on the current studies it is extremely alarming if a successful treatment of magnesium fails by propagation of transdermal magnesium, a scientifically not yet proven form of magnesium application. We suggest that future research should focus on a larger number of human subjects given higher concentrations of, for example, a magnesium cream application administered for longer durations to investigate whether transdermal application may show a significant contribution to improvement in magnesium status.

Basically they're saying sufficient research hasn't been done as to whether or not transdermal magnesium application is effectie, and in my experience, this is true of almost any nutrient - the research is not done, not nearly as much as compared to prescription drugs. So I don't think anyone could rely on this review to say that transdermal magnesium application is or is not effective.

I have found an epsom salt bath to be very relaxing but it takes work and effort to do, and a lot of water (!) so I only do it occasionally and I seem to do well with a magnesium glycinate supplement. I have found that magnesium "oil" (I get mine from Swanson's) is very effective for painful muscles - e.g.., my lower back when it goes out or one of my knees - within a few minutes application the pain is pretty much gone. I have to reapply a few hours later. It's great stuff, but I don't use it to try to raise my body's magnesium levels.

And I agree with @sunshine44 that many swear by transdermal magnesium. I
suggest you experiment to see what works best for you.

ETA: If you do decide to test your magnesium levels, I've read the best test is RBC magnesium - it measures magnesium levels actually in the cells, and not the blood serum.
 

datadragon

Senior Member
Messages
316
Location
East Coast, USA
Yes I found it to be very effective, both using Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) and topically applied ancient minerals magnesium oil (magnesium chloride) and in comparison to orally. The only consideration I did not take into account originally is that magnesium is bound to chloride, sulfate, glycinate (amino acid glycine), citrate, malate etc depending what form you take and need to understand the form its bound to can have additional effects beyond the magnesium which can help or hinder you. The other thing I learned is that pretty much anything you put on your skin gets taken in unfortunately and will also have effects in your body. I have seen blood pressure increase with certain soaps within minutes, and issues using certain ingredients I did not realize would have effects internally, not just on the skin.
 

Violeta

Senior Member
Messages
2,722
We have a 17 year old dog that has dementia. We started giving it homeopathic baryta for the dementia symptoms. One tablet in drinking water proved to be too strong and he had an over reaction. We decided to antidote the baryta, and magnesium sulphate is the antidote. We did not want to give it to him orally because of gut issues. We simply dipped his paws in a solution of 1 tablespoon mag sulph in 1 cup of water and he was so much better so quickly that we are applying the mag sulph two to three times a day now.

Not long after the first dose he showed improved appetite and alertness.

We decided to try it on our 15 year old dog, too. She has shown improved appetite and longer periods of being awake.

I am amazed.

But with respect to what @datadragon said about what the magnesium being bound to can have additional effects beyond the magnesium, I have read that sulphate and chloride can cause uric acid to be cleared from the blood and when it is cleared from the blood it is because it is deposited in tissue, so I am hesitant to use the magnesium chloride topically.
 
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datadragon

Senior Member
Messages
316
Location
East Coast, USA
Nice thinking out of the box, Violetta. Yes, Magnesium can’t just be by itself as a molecule, it has to be bound to something else to be stable. The biggest difference in different magnesium products is not from the magnesium itself (which is all the same) but from the molecule its bonded to. If you are taking your magnesium in a form where the bond is hard to break such as Magnesium Oxide, then you might as well be taking nothing at all because most will just pass right through you. In other words, it is like there is crazy glue holding the magnesium to its carrier, and if your body can't break the bond, then you won't absorb much if any. Magnesium taurate is mentioned as a good choice of magnesium supplement for people with cardiovascular issues, since it is known to prevent arrhythmias and guard the heart from damage caused by heart attacks. Taurine helps the heart pump blood throughout the body, improves blood flow to the heart and protects the heart from damage due to poor blood flow. As a result, these two compounds, taken in combination as magnesium taurate, could interact to help protect more against cardiovascular disease. Malate is normally good for those with fatigue since malic acid -- a natural fruit acid present in most cells in the body -- is a vital component of enzymes that play a key role in ATP synthesis and energy production. However those with CFS we are learning may not properly make energy through the krebs cycle. Bisglycinate/Glycinate are popular to fix deficiencies due to its lower laxative effect and the glycine might help with anxiety and works well even with low stomach acid but may have issues in those with glutamate balance. Since citric acid is a mild laxative, magnesium citrate functions as a constipation aid as well as a magnesium source. Magnesium L-Threonate is Magnesium supplementation has been shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing diabetes and atherosclerosis. Magnesium L-Threonate is a good oral source of magnesium for brain health, used often for ptsd, anxiety, depression, brain injuries. Elevated levels of magnesium may also protect from irregular heartbeats and sudden cardiac death. As you can see, its the benefits of what the magnesium is attached to that might add additional benefits.

As far as topical going back to the question. Malabsorption is a factor for magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is absorbed in the small intestine and in the colon; so those with intestinal or colon damage such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, gastroenteritis, idiopathic steatorrhoea, resection of the small intestine, ileostomy patients or patients with ulcerative colitis, or autism may have magnesium deficiency due to this. A high calcium level also impairs magnesium absorption. In these situations, the epsom salt or a Magnesium Chloride transdermal spray therefore may be helpful by bypassing the gut absorption problems. Despite its name, Magnesium oil is not actually an oil - the name originated because of the oily texture when magnesium chloride flakes are mixed with water. Perhaps best from zechstein sea sources which are hidden deep beneath the earth's surface which should naturally be unspoiled by the modern day pollution of heavy metals that unfortunately might be found in some magnesium from other sources.

Chloride is essential to energy production in the body. On a blood test, the optimal range for chloride is 100-106 mEq/L. The Na-K-Cl (Sodium, Potassium, Chloride) system moves sodium, potassium, and chloride ions across the cell membrane barrier into the cell. The number of chloride ions moved equals the sum of the number of sodium and potassium ions, in other words the ratio of ions moved is 1 Sodium:1 Potassium: 2 Chloride. K-Cl (Potassium) cotransport is the electroneutral movement of one K+ (Potassium) ion with one Cl- (Chloride) ion across the cell membrane.

What this means is that you normally need chloride too, and one good way to get some is to take some of your daily magnesium supplement in the chloride form. Chloride is also part of salt such as healthy pink himalayan salt but that will increase your sodium as well. However those with CFS again may need to learn if that is helpful compared to those without CFS.
 

datadragon

Senior Member
Messages
316
Location
East Coast, USA
Thank you for such comprehensive information. I think I will start taking the magnesium chloride orally.

I mainly brought that up actually due to many conditions causing problems with oral intake and so why some people may benefit from using some topical or epsom salt external method. If you get benefits from the oral intake and dont have that issue, then you have quite a number of options as mentioned, chloride being just one for someone who tests lower in blood tests on chloride levels for example. And the point was that what its attached to has its own effects to consider, not all are the same.
 

triffid113

Day of the Square Peg
Messages
805
Location
Michigan
I take calcium magnesium citrate orally. But my heart doctor gave me.magnesium oil because it works and what do you do if you have the flu if you have hypertension? Magnesium oil is good to have on hand. I ca t tolerate more than 10 min of Epsom salts...maybe due to sulfate in it
 

CSMLSM

Senior Member
Messages
973
My personal experience is that epsom salts(magnesium sulphate) baths are very effective and I believe it to be a superior form of supplementing magnesium when trying to deal with a significant lack of it or trouble holding onto it like in POTS.

Trying to deal with a deficiency of magnesium by oral route is time consuming, epsom salt baths work fast to replenish levels from my experience.

I personally now use between 500g to 1000g in a bath of water just high enough to get most of my body minus head under the water. The water should be as warm as you can tolerate to help absorption. Washing with soap and flannel all over the skin at the beginning to help the exposure to the pores and allow better absorption.

Yes there is limited research available on this method but has been used for centuries and thought effective.

I am completely well now and try to have at least one a week. If you are dealing with deficiency which is hard to test especially brain magnesium levels, what I did was have one every 2-3 days and maybe start with 400g a time and work up.

Feeling of the heart rate and relaxing of muscles is a sure sign you are absorbing magnesium, be careful to still be able to get out of the bath. Do not stay in too long, 20-30min at most at first until you get use to how you respond to it.