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Magnesium Supplements and Epsom Salts

Frequently Asked Questions About

Questions

1. Do you recommend Epsom salts in the bath to increase magnesium levels?

2. Can you give me a recommendation on types or dosages of magnesium supplements?

Answers

1. Question: Do you recommend Epsom salts in the bath to increase magnesium levels?

1. Answer: No. Epsom salts are very alkaline and I think they can adversely change the pH balance of the skin. One of my relatives used Epsom salt baths to soak his tired feet and legs and soon afterwards developed a leg rash as well as a case of itchy, Athlete's foot - exactly the places that had soaked the most in the Epsom salts.

His rash and fungus both cleared up with a home treatment of apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is very acidic and apparently killed off the fungus and whatever was causing the rash. He'd never had any rashes or fungal infections before he had the Epsom salt bath, and has not had any since, so I do believe the odds were, for him at least, that the Epsom salts caused the problems. Perhaps other people may not have as bad a reaction, but personally I would not use Epsom salts after his experience.

2. Question: Can you give me a recommendation on types or dosages of magnesium supplements?

2. Answer: Sorry, no. As I note in my disclaimer, "See your health care provider for a diagnosis and treatment of any medical concerns you may have, and before implementing any diet, supplement, exercise or other lifestyle changes."

Personally, these days I try to get all of the magnesium I need from my diet. The downside to magnesium supplements is that they are a very alkaline substance that can neutralize stomach acid, which can lead to malabsorption and other health problems. In fact, the main ingredient in many antacids is magnesium, such as Milk of Magnesia, which is a solution of magnesium hydroxide. I have taken and given my given my children magnesium supplements in the past, but on several occasions it has given us all stomach trouble. Eventually I figured out to give my children crushed magnesium in some cultured yogurt, which is an acid forming food, in order to balance the alkalinity of the magnesium.

Remember, taking magnesium supplements every day is like taking an antacid every day. It's not something I personally would do long term. People need the right amount of stomach acid to digest food and kill harmful bacteria, yeast and fungus. If your stomach acid is normal and you take an antacid regularly, logically then this may eventually decrease your stomach acid levels to below normal levels, which means you risk conditions like malabsorption and yeast overgrowth.( For information on the adverse effects of getting too much magnesium, see the "What is the health risk of too much magnesium? " at the web site for the National Institutes of Health.)

(Conversely, if you have perpetually high stomach acid problems, then taking an antacid every day is merely putting a band aid on the problem. A better long term solution may be better to change your overall diet to to eat more alkaline forming foods. )

While I prefer to get my magnesium from my diet, many of my web site readers do report great results, at least in the short term, from magnesium supplementation, especially for conditions like tics and migraines. However, there are some health conditions where magnesium supplements can actually be dangerous, such as kidney disease, so as noted above, talk to your doctor or other licensed health care provider to see if magnesium supplements are advisable for you or your child and for proper dosage instructions.

For information on locating a nutritionally oriented physician, see my section on holistic doctors.

With my children they seem to be doing okay currently by just getting magnesium from their diets. One is a good salad eater of magnesium rich dark green, leafy vegetables. The other one doesn't like salads but will drink "green" drinks (juiced fruits and green vegetables), so they both appear to be getting enough magnesium in the the foods they eat and drink. They both will also eat nuts and beans, especially refried beans, which also seem to be good sources of magnesium.

One of my sons does like to take magnesium supplements on occasion just before he plays competitive sport games to keep from getting nervous. At one point he said taking magnesium actually made him too relaxed and he didn't study enough for some tests at school the next day. After that he cut back on the supplements. For him there actually is such a thing as being too relaxed, as some stress is a good motivator for getting things done.

 

 

Related Pages in This Site:

How to Get More Magnesium in Your Diet

Magnesium and Acid - Base Balance

Getting More Magnesium in Your Child's Diet

Symptoms Associated with Low Magnesium Levels, Part II

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