Beware Of This Mineral Deficiency That Can Hurt Your Bones And Overall Health (Hint: It’s Not Calcium!) - Save Our Bones

Today’s post is about a mineral deficiency. This mineral is crucial to your bones, but it’s just as important for your overall health. In fact, it’s so vital that a lack of it can produce symptoms that mimic serious illnesses, and it’s so common that around 80% of the population suffers from it. Yet the Medical Establishment doesn’t recognize it, leading to frequent misdiagnosis.

But you don’t have to worry about that, because Savers are armed with knowledge, which gives you the power and confidence to take charge of your own bone health. And in so doing, you’re also covering many other aspects of your health, as you’ll discover today.

We’re going to explore this mineral in depth, and you’ll also learn how to be an active participant in your health care and its attenuating decisions. In addition, I am going to show you how you can develop your personal bone health philosophy to act as your anchor when others question your choices.

So read on and be empowered and informed!

Magnesium Deficiency: An All-Too-Common Problem

Sadly, magnesium consumption has declined sharply over the last century, most likely due to large-scale farming and soil depletion. In addition, the typical acidifying Western diet, high in sugar and processed food, actively depletes magnesium in the body.

For example, according to a study published in The Clinical Biochemist Reviews,

Refining or processing of food may deplete magnesium content by nearly 85%. Furthermore, cooking, especially boiling of magnesium-rich foods, will result in significant loss of magnesium.” 1

A high intake of sugar increases magnesium secretion in the urine, and saturated fat reduces magnesium uptake in the intestines.

As I pointed our above, research suggests that a significant majority of Americans are deficient in magnesium.2 But determining whether or not you have a deficiency can be difficult for several reasons.

For one thing, the symptoms can mimic those of other illnesses – some of them quite serious. (And magnesium deficiency can actually cause serious health conditions, too, which we’ll discuss below.)

The other reason is that testing for deficiency is woefully inaccurate. Blood tests fail because 99% of the magnesium in your body is not found in your blood; it’s found in your bones and muscles, particularly your heart muscle.

Yet another complicating issue is the rate of magnesium absorption. It varies significantly from one day to the next, with absorption rates ranging from 24 to 85%. Vitamin D levels, digestive health, protein ingestion, and calcium levels all affect the uptake of magnesium in the body.

Fluoride ingestion is yet another influential factor – fluoride competes with magnesium for absorption into the bones, because they are absorbed along the same biological pathway.

Therefore, it’s particularly important to familiarize yourself with…

The Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency

Knowing some key symptoms is an important step in understanding your own personal magnesium needs.

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion/Poor memory
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle twitches, weakness, and pain
  • Sensitivity to sound and light
  • Irritability
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Difficulty sleeping

Many of these symptoms can be signs of illness, which is exactly the problem – doctors tend to consider disease, not magnesium deficiency, when their patients complain of the above issues.

And your doctor is even less likely to mention magnesium as it relates to preventing and reversing osteoporosis.

“Modern” Health Conditions Caused By Insufficient Magnesium

Magnesium is involved in hundreds of metabolic processes, which accounts in part for the wide range of deficiency symptoms. Magnesium deficiency has also been linked to some conditions that have mysteriously shown up in recent years, such as:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) confounds the medical community. It tends to follow a viral infection, and involves aching joints and muscles, fever, depression, and extreme fatigue.

    In a clinical trial involving 32 participants, 15 were given magnesium injections and 17 were given a placebo. “Patients treated with magnesium claimed to have improved energy levels, better emotional state, and less pain,” 6 the study reports.

  • Fibromyalgia is a painful inflammatory condition that also baffles the Medical Establishment. Higher than normal serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines are often present in the blood of fibromyalgia sufferers. It causes tenderness in joints, muscles, and other soft tissues, and it can also contribute to depression, anxiety, and sleep problems. (It’s interesting to consider that those conditions are also associated with magnesium deficiency.)

    When 24 people with fibromyalgia were given a supplement containing malic acid and magnesium, “…significant reductions in the severity of all 3 primary pain/tenderness measures were obtained without limiting risks.” 4

    Another study published in the Journal of Nutritional Medicine showed similar results – study participants experienced pain relief just 48 hours after taking a malic acid/magnesium supplement. After 4 to 8 weeks, tenderness was greatly reduced. 5

  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) can be a very frustrating condition that comes on at nighttime or during periods of rest. According to the Medical Establishment, it’s a neurological condition of unknown origin that causes strange sensations in the legs, and often a strong urge to move the legs. Sometimes the legs will jerk and twitch. The Johns Hopkins Center for Restless Legs Syndrome postulates that up to 10% of the population over the age of 65 has RLS.

    Researchers have been looking into the connection between RLS and magnesium for some time. Back in 1998, a small study of 10 participants showed that taking magnesium improved RLS. “Our study indicates that magnesium treatment may be a useful alternative therapy in patients with mild or moderate RLS-or PLMS-related insomnia,” 7 the study authors noted.

  • Difficulty Sleeping is, unfortunately, a widespread problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the last 20 years have seen a three-fold increase in sleeping pill prescriptions.8 Interestingly, magnesium-rich Foundation Foods like almonds and bananas can help promote sleep.

How You Can Get Plenty Of Magnesium

When I began following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, I discovered that when I took care of my bone health, my overall health also improved.

So when you follow the dietary recommendations of the Program, you will be eating plenty of magnesium-rich foods and adopting an active, healthy lifestyle that will address various health conditions and issues.

A word about supplements: I am not currently recommending a specific brand of magnesium, but I suggest 400 mg of amino acid chelated magnesium, as it’s the most bioavailable form of this mineral.

Why I Developed My Personal “Bone Health Philosophy,” And Why You Should, Too

Forming the right mindset for your bone health can act as a “rock” in times of doubt and uncertainty when you’re not following the “standard” protocols. As you embark on a bone-rejuvenating lifestyle, you’ll discover the amazing health benefits of the Foundation Supplements that help far more than just your bones.

And as you grow more confident in your philosophy, you can avoid potential problems that can arise from a wrong diagnosis by a doctor. (Magnesium deficiency is just such one example.)

It’s all about a positive, informed mindset that has at its core a belief that decisions regarding your health and your body are yours to make. It’s amazing to me when I hear people say their doctor “put them on” a drug, or “had them take” a particular medication.

There’s more good news. If you have the Program and you’re not really sure how to form your own bone health philosophy, or if you just need a little encouragement and help on your bone health journey, you have a dedicated and knowledgeable bone health coach to guide and inform you along the way.

So if you don’t have the Program` yet, don’t delay. Because today is the day to take control of your own health!

Till next time,


1 Swaminathan, R. “Magnesium Metabolism and its Disorders.” The Clinical Biochemist Reviews. May 2003. 24(2): 47-66. Web.
2 Ford ES, Mokdad AH. “Dietary magnesium intake in a national sample of U.S. adults.” J Nutr 2003;133: 2879-2882.
3 Eisinger, J., et al. “Selenium and magnesium status in fibromyalgia.” Magnesium Research. December 1994. 7(3-4): 285-8. Web.
4 Russell, I.J., et al. “Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with Super Malic: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover pilot study.” The Journal of Rheumatology. May 1995. 22(5): 953-8. Web.
5 Percival, Mark, Dr. “Fibromyalgia: Nutritional Support.” Clinical Nutrition Insights. 1997. PDF.
6 Cox. I.M., Campbell, M.J., PhD, and Dowson, D., MB. “Red blood cell magnesium and chronic fatigue syndrome.” The Lancet. March 30, 1991. Vol 337, issue 8744, pages 757-760.
7 Hornyak, M. “Magnesium therapy for periodic leg movements-related insomnia and restless legs syndrome: an open pilot study.” Sleep. 1 August 1998. 21(5): 501-5. Web.
8 Chong, Yinong, PhD, et al. “Prescription Sleep Aid Use Among Adults: United States, 2005-2010.” NCHS Data Brief. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Number 127, August 2013. Web.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Ita

    Thank you . Ita.

  2. Candace April

    As a patient with myasthenia gravis, I have to avoid too much magnesium at once. It is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness. In my avoidance of magnesium supplements (including Epsom salt), I have developed all of the symptoms described in your article, including restless legs syndrome and more recently, SEVERE bone pain that my doctor hasn’t found the cause of (which led me to discover your article!). I am wondering if you have a suggestion of how I can slowly increase my magnesium intake without it causing muscle weakness?

  3. Samuel Garza

    Im 53 and my bones hurt ..I don’t know why but I have read testimonial on here..I have a lot of the symptoms above..please let me know what is safe to take..or do I consult a doctor before I buy any thing..

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Samuel,

      It’s certainly not a bad idea to consult with your doctor, or even several doctors to get different opinions. But ultimately, what action you take to help heal yourself is entirely up to you. One option is to increase the magnesium in your diet through food or supplements and see if you feel better.

  4. Bev

    I would be interested in your input regarding vitamin K2 for bone health and also Bio sil

    • Kristy

      Taking K2 for 3 years reversed my osteoporosis to osteopenia. I had so much bone density improvement that my test scores were thrown out. The technician thought that the machine malfunctioned.

      • Beth

        That is GREAT to hear! I have osteopenia and trying to keep it in check! I have recently learned more about K2 and looking into it.

  5. shula


  6. Goldie

    I already include magnesium supplements in my program. Please give me information on Strontium. Is this a supplement to take for bone building as well?

  7. Leslie (Ms. L. Carmel)

    Good Evening Vivian And Fellow Commenters,

    I Know People That Don’t Believe Anything I Tell Them. They Have To Hear It From Their Doctors.
    How Can I Handle People Like That?

    And As Always, Thank You Very Much Vivian And Fellow Commenters For All Your Great Comments.


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Leslie, I understand – that can be frustrating! But the best thing to do it simply give people as much information as you can, and let them make their own decisions. Hopefully, your information will “plant a seed” that will make them think down the road.

  8. Georgina Renaux

    Thank you Vivian for al l the important information you give us.

  9. June

    I am from Australia and I have suffered from restless leg syndrome for years and have finally found a solution. There is a product which is called Magnesium Gel Forte which is exclusively made in Australia. It has potassium in it as well as other natural ingredients. I simply rub a small bit on the legs before I go to sleep and also it is good for aches and pains anywhere and the best part it is so relaxing that you get a good nights sleep which is great for me as I was previously up many times during the night. They do ship to USA, Canada, South East Asia, New Zealand and United Kingdom. I have the 500ml container and this lasts a long time. It is Magnesium chloride hexahydrate and potassium sorbate.

    Please check it out at Hoping this helps a lot of people.

    • Suzy

      Magnesium chloride in gel form is also sold on in the US. Just fyi…

      • June

        That is good to know that Magnesium Gel is available on Amazon, I hope it is a superior product like the one from and contains potassium as well. Thanks for that information.

  10. Carole

    Hello everyone,
    Great input but I wonder if anyone has heard that Potassium should be taken if taking Magnesium?
    Any truth in this please?
    Also what is the best kind for optimum absorption?

  11. Mary

    I have been taking calcium with 300 magnesium daily.
    The magnesium is causing very loose bowels daily. Is
    there some way to counteract this and continue to take the magnesium? Could potassium be a substitute ?

    • Adriane

      Check the form of the magnesium you are taking. Magnesium oxide is very poorly absorbed causing loose stools. Mag citrate can also loosen stools, but is better absorbed than mag oxide. Magnesium glycinate is much more absorbable and won’t cause loose stools unless you take a whole lot. carries it for a very low price.

  12. Diane

    I have magnesium taurate, it’s suppose to be calming, I take 200 mg at night because I tend to get around 250 or 300 in my food but from what I read soils are so depleted I don’t know whether to trust how much is in our food. I’m wondering if I should take 400 no matter what I eat, do think we can trust that high magnesium foods have what they’re suppose to? If not would you advise taking it all at once before bed or split it up?

    Thanks Vivian!

  13. Debra

    Please be careful with your information. Fibromyalgia is not an inflammatory disorder. In fact, the absence of markers of inflammation is an important clue to the diagnosis.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Debra, thanks so much for your input! Studies have shown that inflammatory processes contribute to the onset and/or progression of fibromyalgia. Here’s one study that gives lots of details on this controversial topic:
      And remember, keep asking questions!

      • Jeremy

        I am not a medical doctor, but from a lay perspective I have to wonder if inflammatory episodes due to trauma, stress etc. might put such a high demand on the body in terms of micronutrient usage, such as magnesium, that the body does not have enough left for routine cellular operation and repair. What I mean is that the body’s need to heal an acute situation may leave it in a state of chronic depletion where normal dietary input of micronutrients is simply not sufficient to replenish the system and get it back to optimal functioning.
        So it might seem like something ’caused’ the chronic condition but actually the body was always at high risk of chronic disease due to suboptimal magnesium levels. It just needed something to use more than usual and voila you go from acute condition to a different chronic sickness.

        • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

          That’s a great insight, Jeremy. It is probably yet another piece of the puzzle linking inflammation, stress, and disorders like fibromyalgia and osteoporosis.

  14. Carole

    I have read that magnesium threonate has the best absorption rate. Swanson sells it for $12, 45 capsules, reccomend 3 capsules/day, lowest cost I found on the internet. Most health stores to not carry it.

  15. Betty

    I think I am getting enough magnesium with 500 mg each day with calcium. I do have some mag citrate for taking extra (it is also a stool softener which I don’t need very often) and also for helping me relax to sleep. Hopefully I am also getting some from my food. But I do have some of the symptoms mentioned in your article. Hmmm….

  16. Jean

    Because of concern about antiperspirants and because I had a full bottle of Milk of Magnesia in my medicine chest, I began to adapt a new procedure in my morning cleanup. I shake the bottle of M of M, dip a finger in the now-full cap, and rub it into my armpits. No perspiration odor, and maybe I absorb some magnesium into my system. What do you think? It’s easy, inexpensive, and avoids the chemicals in commercial antiperspirants.

  17. Edmond

    The simplest, cheapest way to get magnesium is to drink magnesium chloride in a solution of 33g/liter of boiled, cooled water, kept in a glass container. It tastes like sea water, which in a way it is.
    Oddly enough, magnesium chloride of pharmaceutical purity is sold “for external use”. Disregard that notification. I have been taking it for almost a year now, and it made my arthritis difficulties disappear.
    It is not a new therapy either: it has been published about in 1915! by Dr Pierre Delbet. Just google:
    delbet magnesium chloride

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