Here’s a great question from a reader about what types of magnesium are safe to use.
“I’m living in a remote area and am finding it very difficult to obtain any type of magnesium supplementation. The only thing I can find is Milk of Magnesia (intended for constipation). Can I use this?”
According to Wikipedia, Milk of Magnesia is a high-dose magnesium hydroxide that stimulates the motility in the intestines and flushes out the waste. The laxative dosage is 2,000-5,000 mg. The RDA of magnesium is 350-400mg. The “RDA” that I recommend is at least 600mg.
Here’s an interesting fact that I found when reading about Milk of Magnesia. Magnesium causes the release of the peptide hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) leading to the accumulation of water and electrolytes in the intestine that triggers intestinal motility.
CCK itself plays a key role in facilitating digestion within the small intestine. It is secreted from cells in the first segment of the small intestine (duodenum), and releases digestive enzymes from the pancreas and bile from the gall bladder. This helps explain why people with low magnesium and low CCK may find they can’t digest protein, which may drive them to pursue a vegetarian diet.
Now back to the question. Unfortunately Milk of Magnesia has a lot of stuff in it that you may not want to ingest. Besides magnesium hydroxide, the other ingredients of Milk of Magnesia are sodium hypochlorite, magnesium oxide, beryllium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, strontium hydroxide and barium hydroxide.
No, don’t ask me why they have to put barium and strontium in your Milk of Magnesia. In fact, the ingredients in most of the OTC drugs in the pharmacy come across to me like a witches brew yet nobody pays them any attention!
If you can find a plain magnesium hydroxide powder or capsule, and just take 600mg, that could work without causing the laxative effect. However, since I first started working with magnesium in 2010, I’ve created a non laxative magnesium called ReMag.
In my own case of magnesium deficiency, which caused heart palpitations, leg cramps, neck tension, insomnia, and back pain, I needed 1,200 mg of ReMag for 1.5 years before I became fully saturated and symptom-free, even though I felt much better within the first months. My saturation was evidenced by the laxative effect, and I cut back. I now only take 300-450mg of ReMag and have no magnesium deficiency symptoms.
In my opinion, all magnesiums can be beneficial but what makes the difference is having one that you can take in large doses to meet all your needs and even help you get off drugs that you have been taking to treat magnesium deficiency symptoms.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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