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Asthma and magnesium deficiency

A quick search of Medline brought up numerous references to the connection between magnesium deficiency and asthma. In the past the connection was clouded because researchers were trying to connect asthma to the SERUM level of magnesium, but serum levels cloak the intracellular deficiencies of Mg, so they found no connection. There is still no easy test for Mg deficiency, but by using tissue samples it is with difficulty possible to determine the intracellular deficiency, so now the connection to asthma is becoming clear. Some excerpts from Medline Abstracts appear below.

There were many other studies and references to magnesium and asthma. Many of the studies noted that drugs used in the treatment of asthma caused loss of magnesium. A great many drugs, including alcohol, cause rapid loss of magnesium. Common sense would suggest that instead of waiting for an asthma attack before administering magnesium, oral magnesium supplementation should be a part of treatment for asthma as a preventive.

I suggest treating physicians advise asthmatics to consume at least 6 mg magnesium per day for each kilogram of body weight. An even higher intake of 10 mg/day per Kg of body weight may be desirable provided that it does not trigger a laxative effect. Breaking the dosage into three or four parts taken at different times of day helps prevent laxative effect. Magnesium hydroxide is NOT recommended because of poor bioavailability and because I know of no instance of it having any beneficial use other than as a laxative. Other Mg compounds appear to be better, including Mg oxide, Mg sulphate, and Mg citrate. Natural magnesium in water (magnesium carbonate dissolved in CO2-rich water) is 30% more bio-available than Mg in food or pill, and offers much greater cardio-protection. If pills are used, we suggest chelated, Krebs cycle, with several Mg compounds; this gives greater bio- availability, and doesn't upset the stomach.

This page was first uploaded to The Magnesium Web Site on September 30, 1995