Magnesium Deficiency Staggers, Tremors and Spasms – Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND

Magnesium Deficiency Staggers, Tremors and Spasms

June 29, 2010

Here’s an interesting story from a lady farmer about her first experience with magnesium.

“We had just started farming when I found a cow down and looking dead. The vet said “Just watch and you will see something weird.” He proceeded to give the cow a shot of magnesium. She literally jumped off the needle and took off. We call this ‘grass tetany’ and it happens in the spring when the grass first comes up. That grass seems to have less magnesium. I immediately thought this could probably happen to people and I had the doctor test me for magnesium and it was low!!!”

I wrote about grass tetany in The Magnesium Miracle. Here’s an excerpt.

“Observing animals can teach us important lessons about our environment—if we only listen. One man who did was André Voisin, a French biochemist and farmer born in 1903. In 1963 Voisin wrote a book called Grass Tetany. Grass tetany is a metabolic disease of cattle and goats caused by a deficiency of magnesium in the soil. When animals eat magnesium-deficient grass they develop irritability, staggering, tremors, and spasms. Most dramatically, the animals fall down in convulsions at sudden loud noises or if they are frightened or excited. Voisin reported that in the 1930s magnesium deficiency had been proven to be the cause of grass tetany, since low levels of magnesium were found in suffering animals and the condition was miraculously reversed by injections of magnesium.”

I’m not a vet and I can’t prescribe for your animals, but from this farmer’s note, I’d say magnesium is as important for animals as it is for humans.

The story of grass tetany gives us an understanding of why there is so little magnesium in our foods. Modern farming methods rely on mineral-deficient commercial fertilizers. A potassium product called potash has been the fertilizer of choice since the 1930s. It’s cheap, easily obtained, and readily absorbed by plants. In fact, it is so readily taken up by plants that when there is an abundance of potassium the plants favor its absorption above magnesium and calcium, which are relatively harder to absorb.

The FDA makes a big “to-do” about labeling food products. But the nutrients in our foods are not routinely measured and never labeled. Since there is no minimum amount of minerals required in our grains, fruits, or vegetables, no one is looking at the devastating mineral deficiencies caused by potash fertilizers.

Once again, the take home message is for you to do your own research, take responsibility for your own health, and that of your animals!

Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future®

RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to:

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