Magnesium Treats The Disease of Aging - Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND

Magnesium Treats The Disease of Aging

August 19, 2019

Modern Medicine knows next to nothing about Antiaging Medicine and assumes a ridiculous patronizing tone designed to belittle anyone who claims it is an important aspect of medicine. The disparaging title “ The Wild West of Anti-Aging Medicine” warns doctors that they better not delve into such witchcraft.

The belittling tone that modern medicine takes towards alternative medicine reminds me of The Delphi Technique that I wrote about in Death by Modern Medicine. It’s basically a method of manipulation used by a group to maintain consensus and authority. Modern medicine doesn’t even bother to manipulate its audience it just outright attacks the various branches of alternative medicine.

The Wild West article criticizes anti-aging clinics that promise: more energy, less stress, a sharper brain, a stronger libido, a healthier heart, more resilient muscles and bones, a better immune system, a more youthful appearance. The anti-aging doctors say that “mainstream medicine is…disease-oriented and reactive, not preventive…nurses and physicians see patients when they’re sick, not sooner.” And “their tool bag is strictly disease-model and medication-based.”

One clinic, instead, offers 8-hour first-time appointments to evaluate activity levels, family history, stress, and eating habits. Of course, this comes at great cost to the patient. A major criticism of anti-aging or longevity clinics, besides the high cost, is the use of hormone therapy – HGH, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, thyroid hormone, and cortisol. I’m not a big fan of hormone replacement therapy either and I don’t believe it is the best way to approach longevity. One critic “characterizes the prescribing of human growth hormone (HGH) for anti-aging as quackery and hucksterism.” He also writes that “hormone replacement therapy and the drugs used to treat their side effects end up being hormonal toxic soups that can cause great medical and financial harm that far outweighs any long-term benefit.”

This article is written because physicians are bracing themselves for “growing numbers of aging patients who hope to live longer and have a better quality of life in their older years with less disease. Some treatments previously waved off as too expensive or even vain are slowly becoming more accepted. The idea is that aging is inevitable, yes, but it’s also treatable—and even somewhat preventable.”

The main anti-aging alternative medicine body is the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). Its mission is to “support research and technology that will detect, treat, and prevent diseases associated with aging, as well as treatments designed to prolong the human life span and optimize the human aging process…(it) has over 26,000 members.” When I attended many years ago I mostly saw a lot of face lifts masquerading as anti-aging techniques and never went back. I’m not on the side of either allopathic medicine or alternative medicine in the anti-aging debate because I don’t ascribe to hormone replacement therapy as a solution. Here’s what I say in my Magnesium Miracle (2017) book, Chapter 15.

Three Things You Need To Know About Magnesium And Aging

1. Aging itself is a risk factor for magnesium deficiency; as we get older we become more deficient in magnesium and therefore require more in our diet and in supplement form.

2. Magnesium is deficient in people who have Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

3. Telomeres, the deciding factor in aging, are protected by magnesium. 

Three hundred years ago, people did not live as long as we do today. Conditions back then were so unsanitary that simple scrapes and cuts became mortal wounds. Bathing was looked upon with suspicion. Tuberculosis, fostered by extremely close quarters, little sun exposure, dampness, and lack of fresh vegetables, was highly contagious and struck down many in their prime. Indoor fires without adequate ventilation caused chronic bronchitis and emphysema, if the people even lived long enough to develop these conditions.

When we implemented universal sanitation, the infectious diseases began to recede. The land was still fertile, and plants soaked up vital nutrients. Farm animals ate the plants, and humans absorbed the nutrients from eating fresh meat and fresh produce. The industrial revolution, however, harmed our health in a new way, with factories belching smoke and chemical poisons. Industrial farming techniques began poisoning the soil with pesticides, herbicides, and nitrogen fertilizers. The soil became lifeless.

We may think we are better off in this century with our drugs and medical technology, but as we’ve seen, they have also become toxic and undermine our health, especially in a polluted environment where our basic nutrition is impaired. Popping anti-aging pills and megavitamins, however, does not add years to your life. An excellent diet that provides optimal nutrients, exercise, and an outgoing, optimistic attitude and therapeutic nutrients are the true keys to longevity.

Aging = Calcification

Aging in industrialized societies is associated with an increasing prevalence of hypertension, heart disease, reduced insulin sensitivity, and adult-onset diabetes. Aging in general also means altered calcium and magnesium ion levels, indistinguishable from those observed in hypertension and diabetes.[i] As noted in the introduction to Part Three, French magnesium researcher Dr. Pierre Delbet, who practiced in the early 1900s, was convinced that the aging body’s tissues have three times more calcium than magnesium. He knew that calcium precipitates out into tissues that are deficient in magnesium. He observed the toxicity of excess calcium in the testicles, brain, and other tissues and concluded almost a century ago that magnesium deficiency plays a role in senility.

In Chapter 8, I talked about insulin resistance and its role in exacerbating hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes mellitus. Insulin-resistant states, as well as what is often thought of as “normal” aging, are characterized by the accumulation of calcium and depletion of magnesium in the cells. With this in mind, clinical researchers in this century are finally suggesting that an imbalance of calcium and magnesium ions might be the missing link responsible for the frequent clinical coexistence of hypertension, atherosclerosis, and metabolic disorders in aging.[ii]

As is evident from animal experiments and epidemiological studies, magnesium deficiency and calcium excess may increase our susceptibility to cardiovascular disease as well as accelerate aging.[iii] In a study of nursing home residents, low magnesium levels were significantly associated with two conditions that plague the elderly, calf cramps and diabetes mellitus.[iv] Centenarians (individuals reaching a hundred years of age) have higher total body magnesium and lower calcium levels than most elderly people.[v]

“Smart drugs” such as piracetam, oxiracetam, pramiracetam, and aniracetam are thought to enhance learning, facilitate the flow of information between the two hemispheres of the brain, help the brain resist physical and chemical injuries, and be relatively free of side effects. Magnesium fits all the above criteria for “smart drugs,” but it is much less costly and has no side effects.


In 1993, Dr. Jean Durlach, a preeminent magnesium expert in France, summed up the existing research on magnesium and aging with the following seven points.[vi]

1. Chronic marginal magnesium deficiency reduces life span in rats.
2. Magnesium deficiency accelerates aging through its various effects on the neuromuscular, cardiovascular, and endocrine apparatus; kidneys and bones; and immune, antistress, and antioxidant systems.
3.In developed countries, magnesium intake is marginal throughout the entire population regardless of age: around 4 mg/kg/day instead of a minimum of 6 mg/kg/day recommended to maintain balance. However, diseases, handicaps, and physical or psychological impairments expose elderly individuals to more severe nutritional deficiencies and higher requirements.
4. Around the age of seventy, magnesium absorption is two-thirds of what it is at age thirty.
5. Various mechanisms of deficiency include intestinal malabsorption; reduced bone uptake and mobilization (osteoporosis); increased urinary losses; chronic stress; insulin resistance leading to diabetes with severe magnesium loss in the urine; lack of response to adrenal stimulation; loss caused by medication, especially diuretics; alcohol addiction; and cigarette smoking.
6. Magnesium deficiency symptoms in the elderly include central nervous system symptoms that seem largely “neurotic’: anxiety, excessive emotionality, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, light-headedness, dizziness, nervous fits, sensation of a lump in the throat, and impaired breathing. Peripheral nervous system signs are common: pins and needles of the extremities, cramps, muscle pains. Functional disorders include chest pain, shortness of breath, chest pressure, palpitations, extra systoles (occasional heart thumps from an isolated extra beat), abnormal heart rhythm, and Raynaud’s syndrome. Autonomic nervous system disturbances involve both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, causing hypotension on rising quickly or borderline hypertension. In elderly patients, excessive emotionality, tremor, weakness, sleep disorders, amnesia, and cognitive disturbances are particularly important aspects of magnesium deficiency.
7. A trial of oral magnesium supplementation is the best diagnostic tool for establishing the importance of magnesium.

Mortality in Magnesium Deficiency 

In 2006, the journal Epidemiology reported that there is a 40 percent lower risk of dying from all types of cancer and cardiovascular disease in men whose magnesium levels were highest compared to the group that had the lowest levels.[vii] A study published in 2014 documented a 34 percent lower risk of all-causes of death in men and women with higher intake of magnesium.[viii]

The converse is seen in the 2014 study “Hypomagnesaemia In Patients Hospitalised In Internal Medicine Is Associated With Increased Mortality.”[ix] In this study, the researchers concluded that: “The prevalence of hypomagnesaemia in internal medicine is very high. It is associated with higher mortality and longer hospital stay in our population. It can be a useful tool in predicting morbidity and mortality. Although no causal role can be defined for it at present, the low cost and minimal discomfort of measuring magnesium justifies its routine measurement and replacement in patients hospitalised in internal medicine.” Once again, the measurement that will be used is the highly inaccurate Serum Magnesium test.

In my blog “Telomeres Crave Magnesium” I quote from The Magnesium Miracle and praise the work of Drs. Burton and Bella Altura as they expertly define the importance of magnesium in all aspects of life including anti-aging.

What is the focus of allopathic medicine? An April 2018 article on Yahoo touts a supposed breakthrough in medicine “Enzyme That Affects Ageing, Cancer Decoded.”

Apparently scientists spent 20 years mapping an enzyme called telomerase that repairs the tips of chromosomes (called telomeres) so they don’t fray and deteriorate. The researchers were elated. They say that decoding telomerase, could lead to drugs that slow or block the ageing process and lead to new treatments for cancer. But, as usual, they are counting their chickens long before they hatch.

They are also playing with fire. A telomerase deficiency could accelerate cell death or too much telomerase “supports unbridled cell growth in most human cancers.” Scientists don’t know how to control the on/off switch for telomerase – they just know its genetic sequence.

Until they have a real breakthrough and a real treatment to stabilize telomeres, I recommend my old friend magnesium! I made that case in my blog “Magnesium Stabilizes Telomeres” August, 2012.  And here’s what I say in The Magnesium Miracle (2017):

The current research on aging is firmly tied up with telomeres. As we baby boomers age, we’re desperately trying to find ways to stay younger. Anti-aging research is a multi-billion dollar industry. And besides facelifts and Botox, finding a way to protect our telomeres has become the Holy Grail of longevity research.

It should come as no surprise that magnesium is tightly wrapped up with telomeres. But the real shock is how few researchers are focusing on the miracle of magnesium in keeping telomeres from unraveling. Instead they are looking for drugs or formulating expensive supplements to save the telomeres – ignoring the solution that’s right before their eyes.

Shortened telomeres correspond with many conditions associated with aging including heart disease. Heart disease is often a product of magnesium deficiency. Two brilliant magnesium researchers, Drs. Burton and Bella Altura, who wrote the foreword to this book, have published well over 1,000 scientific articles, most of them on magnesium. In 2014 the Alturas participated in a groundbreaking study on magnesium and the enzyme telomerase. (1)

Please read the paper online in its entirety. In it the Alturas describe 25 years of their research that prefigures this present study. The paper’s discussion section is especially important showing how telomeres are damaged by a host of environmental factors, all of which are treatable and preventable by therapeutic levels of magnesium. The paper is supported with 142 references and it is so brilliant that I’m quite beside myself with excitement and I want to quote every word of it for you.

Let me first report the findings of the study: In this animal study, healthy rats were tested for their magnesium levels. The animals were then divided into two groups. One group ate rat chow with standard amounts of magnesium; the other group was given chow with reduced magnesium. After 21 days, the telomerase levels had dropped a significant 70-88 percent in the low-magnesium group. Telomerase measured specifically in heart cells was similarly reduced. Markers for free radical damage to DNA were increased; free radicals shorten telomeres.

In their conclusion, the Alturas say “We believe in view of the current report, and other works recently published by our labs, prolonged magnesium deficiency should be categorized as another epigenetic mechanism.”

By epigenetic mechanism they mean that telomerase is not being affected by some factor inherit in our genes and chromosomes but by an outside “switch”. That outside switch is magnesium. Epigenetics is the study of cellular or genetic  variations that result from external or environmental factors that switch genes on and off and affect how cells express genes. It’s great news that magnesium has the ability to positively affect on genes, and keep our telomeres where they belong at the end of chromosomes.

Here are the recommendations for Longevity that I make in The Magnesium Miracle.

Management of Aluminum Heavy Metal Toxicity 

1. Use only filtered water, and ensure that the filter guarantees removal of aluminum.
2. Water Intake Guidelines: Drink 1/2 your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water. If you weigh 150 lbs, you will drink 75 ounces. Add Sea salt or Himalayan salt: ¼ – ½ tsp to every quart/liter of drinking water. 
3. Take all the Completement Formulas –
4. Check labels and avoid antacids containing aluminum. 
5. Use natural antiperspirants – without aluminum.
6. Avoid cooking in aluminum pots.
7. Do not drink fruit juice or soft drinks stored in aluminum containers. 
8. Get checked for thyroid disease and treat appropriately. Investigate 9. ReMyte, which provides the 9 minerals required for thyroid hormone production.
9. Check for heavy metal toxicity (aluminum, mercury, copper, lead, and iron) through urine testing or hair analysis. 
10. Pursue gentle detoxification of heavy metals. I recommend ReAline, which provides precursors to glutathione and methylated B vitamins.
11. Avoid mercury fillings or have them replaced using a practitioner who has been trained in their safe removal, as improper removal can result in more mercury being released into the tissues (See Resources). 
12. Clean out all the chemicals in your home and immediate environment.
13. Eat organic food. 
14. Exercise.
15. Take regular saunas.

Diet Advice For Longevity

1. My general diet recommendations are as follows: 
2. Exclude alcohol, coffee, white sugar, white flour, gluten, fried foods, trans fatty acids (found in margarine and in baked, fried, and processed foods).
3. Animal protein: Organic: grass fed beef, free-range chicken and eggs, fish (wild salmon)
4. Protein from dairy: fermented dairy, non lactose cheese, ReStructure Meal Replacement (non casein, very low lactose whey, pea, rice protein)
Vegetarian protein: legumes, non gluten grains, nuts, seeds
5. Healthy carbs: raw, cooked and fermented vegetables, and 2-3 pieces of fruit a day. Include magnesium-rich foods listed in Appendix A. The foods that are high in calcium are usually abundant in magnesium as well; they include nuts and seeds, sardines, bok choy, collards, and broccoli. See the list of foods containing high amounts of calcium in Appendix B.
6. Fats and oils: butter, olive oil, flaxseed oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil.
7. Therapeutic foods include cilantro, garlic, onions, seaweeds, and ginger, which help bind and excrete heavy metals.

Completement Supplements For Longevity 

ReMag: With picometer, stabilized-ionic, non-laxative magnesium you can reach therapeutic amounts. Start with ¼ tsp (75 mg) and work up to 2-3 tsp (300-900 mg) per day. Add ReMag to a liter of water and sip all day to achieve full absorption. See Chapter 18 for more advice about magnesium supplementation. 
ReMyte: Picometer, 12-Mineral Solution: ½ tsp three times a day or in a liter of water with ReMag and sipped through the day.
ReAline: 1 capsule twice per day (Contains: Food-based B1, 4 Methylated Bs: B2, B6, Methylfolate, B12, plus L-Methionine (precursor to glutathione) and L-Taurine, which supports the heart and weight loss).
Whole C ReSet: Vitamin C Complex: 200 mg 2x/da from a food-based source 
Vitamin D3: 1,000 IU or 20 minutes in the sun daily. Blue Ice Royal provides vitamin A, D, K2 from fermented cod liver oil and butter oil. Dosage: 1 capsule 2x/da.

Learn about magnesium, and much more, by subscribing to my health tips by email. You can subscribe here:

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:


[i] Barbagallo M et al., “Cellular ionic alterations with age: relation to hypertension and diabetes.” J Am Geriatr Soc, vol. 48, no. 9, pp. 1111–1116, 2000.

[ii] Barbagallo M, “Diabetes mellitus, hypertension and ageing: the ionic hypothesis of ageing and cardiovascular-metabolic diseases.” Diabetes Metab, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 281–294, 1997.
[iii] Hartwig A, “Role of magnesium in genomic stability.” Mutat Research, vol. 18, no. 475 (1–2), pp. 113–121, 2001.
[iv] Worwag M et al., “Prevalence of magnesium and zinc deficiencies in nursing home residents in Germany.” Magnes Res, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 181–189, 1999.
[v] Paolisso G et al., “Mean arterial blood pressure and serum levels of the molar ratio of insulin-like growth factor-1 to its binding protein-3 in centenarians.” J Hypertens, vol. 17, pp. 67–73, 1999.
[vi] Durlach J et al., “Magnesium and ageing. II. Clinical data: aetiological mechanisms and pathophysiological consequences of magnesium deficit in the elderly.” Magnes Res, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 379–394, 1993.
[vii] Leone N, Zinc, Copper and Magnesium and Risks for All-Cause, Cancer, and cardiovascular mortality. Epidemiology. 2006 May;17(3):308-14.
[viii] Guasch-Ferre M, Dietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with mortality in adults at high cardiovascular disease risk. J Nutr. 2014 Jan;144(1):55-60.
[ix] Wolf F, Hilewitz A. Hypomagnesaemia in patients hospitalised in internal medicine is associated with increased mortality. Int J Clin Pract. 2014 Jan;68(1):111-6.

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