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The legal battle for recognition of the importance of dietary magnesium:

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Paul Mason, Librarian
P.O. Box 1417
Patterson, CA 95363

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Violence Prevention through Magnesium-Rich Water

By Paul Mason, Pres

Healthy Water Association

Magnesium-deficiency may cause aggressive behaviour1, depression2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, or suicide16, 17, 18.

The US National Academy of Science's Food & Nutrition Board has established that the average American 14 or older is magnesium-deficient. The typical American diet does NOT provide the RDA of Mg for age 14 or older.

Mean Daily Intake for MALES 9 and older is 323 mg/day.

RDA for boys 14-18 is 410 mg/day

SHORTFALL: 87 mg/day

RDA for males 19-30 is 400 mg/day

SHORTFALL: 77 mg/day

RDA for males 31-70 is 420 mg/day

C SHORTFALL: 97 mg/day

Mean Daily Intake for FEMALES 9 and older is 228 mg/day.

RDA for girls 14-18 is 360 mg/day

SHORTFALL: 132 mg/day

RDA for pregnancy 14-18 is 400 mg/day

SHORTFALL: 172 mg/day

RDA for women 19-30 is 310 mg/day

SHORTFALL: 82 mg/day

RDA for pregnancy 19-30 is 400 mg/day

SHORTFALL: 172 mg/day

RDA for women 31-70 is 350 mg/day

SHORTFALL: 122 mg/day

RDA for pregnancy 31-50 is 360 mg/day

SHORTFALL: 132 mg/day

Blacks and Hispanics are more magnesium-deficient than whites.

Many diseases are related to magnesium deficiency, and may be prevented or treated with magnesium-rich water:

To meet the new RDA's for Mg established Sept. 1999 by the NAS 275, reduce disease, and prevent violence, it is proposed that juvenile delinquents and inmates be switched to naturally magnesium-rich hard-water sources containing at least 100 mg/L or that tap-water supplies of corrections facilities be fortified to that level with magnesium bicarbonate (which tastes like good, sweet hard water). If inmates consumed 1.5 liters of Mg-rich water per day, they would be getting 150 mg/day from water, covering the shortfall for all non-pregnant juveniles and inmates.

No magnesium-deficient soft-drinks should be allowed, but most other beverages would be OK, as skim milk (140 mg/L), orange juice (110 mg/L), and chocolate (syrup 630 mg/L) are rich in Mg. Phosphate in colas inhibits uptake of Mg.

Experience with my own children suggests that 300 mg/day supplementation may yield behaviour improvements in just a few days, but juveniles and inmates may not reliably take pills. Full repletion may take a year.

Juvenile delinquents and inmates are probably much more magnesium-deficient than average due to backgrounds of alcohol, drugs, bad diets, and stress. Magnesium deficiency is hard to test without tissue samples, because serum levels mask intracellular and bone levels. Only extreme magnesium deficiency shows up in serum tests.

Drugs that cause loss of body magnesium:

Other Causes of Loss of Mg:

Why depend on Mg-in-water instead of Mg in food?

There is no established way of fortifying foods with magnesium without adversely affecting texture or flavor. Magnesium in water is 30% more bio-available than Mg in food. The food supply has been steadily becoming magnesium-poor since 1909:

1909 intake

408 mg/day

1949 intake

368 mg/day

1980 intake

349 mg/day

1985 intake

323 mg/day (men)

1985 intake

228 mg/day (women)

Explanations for the decline of magnesium in the American diet include more food processing, soil-exhaustion, the FDA's destruction of the American mineral water industry in the 1930's, and the development of softer tap water reservoirs to replace the hard water of streams and wells.

To get enough Mg from food, juveniles and inmates would have to eat unprocessed foods, whole grains, and leafy greens like spinach and broccoli. Switching to partially whole-grain breads and buns might be possible, but salads, spinach, and broccoli? Not likely.

Why depend on Mg-in-water instead of Mg-tablets?

One reason for depending on Mg-in-water instead of issuing supplement tablets is that participation is certain with water, while tablets may often be discarded by subjects.

Until repletion is achieved, magnesium tablets may be useful as an adjunct to magnesium-rich water, but cannot be relied on as a replacement for Mg-rich water because inmates may spit out or discard tablets. The upper limit of intake during repletion is set by the "laxative effect" of high intake, which for some individuals may begin with pills of 300 mg. Waterborne Mg is effectively a "divided dose" consumed throughout the day, and no laxative effect has been noticed at levels as high as 325 mg/liter. The NAS has addressed "upper intake limits" in their review of Dietary Reference Intakes, 1997.

Tablets or pills may have an image problem — giving drugs to kids. No one can complain about natural spring water that is commonly sold in supermarkets in California, and bottled in California. Bottled water tastes better than tap water, and tastes much better than tablets.

Dr. Janice Jaworsky, Director of Research for the Koch Crime Institute, states, "The Koch Crime Institute would be most interested in pursuing this project as a partner." The Koch Institute may be instrumental in extending the same concept to the other 49 states, and to the public school system to prevent violence.

Particularly in the case of juvenile wards of the state, the DOJ may have a duty to provide its wards with the Recommended Daily Allowance of nutrients. Magnesium is routinely used to prevent fighting and tail-biting among hogs, and to reduce stress as they are readied for slaughter. Livestock are generally better nutritioned than kids.

Paul Mason, editor
Magnesium Web Site

1 lista.shtml#aggressive

2 mental.shtml

3 articles.shtml#depression

4 clmd.shtml

5 migraine.shtml

6 dur33.shtml

7 conseq.shtml

8 rod06.shtml

9 dur06.shtml

11. disorder.shtml

12 public.shtml

13 dur30.shtml

14 rod20.shtml

15 emailsub.shtml

16 rod19.shtml

17 lista.shtml (Links to numerous PubMed articles about Mg-and-suicide)

18 mental.shtml

This page was first uploaded to The Magnesium Web Site on October 3, 2000
This page was revised on June 22, 2007