Magnesium… a vital mineral

We cannot live without adequate amounts of magnesium in our bodies. Cell health, growth and division are all dependent on the availability of this mineral. Magnesium helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function, including the most important muscle of them all: the heart. In humans, magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and a co-factor in over 300 enzymatic reactions.


Magnesium is the anti-stress and anti-ageing mineral.  It is also a multi-tasker crucial to many of the body’s functions.  In other words, magnesium deserves much more credit than it gets, by us paying attention to our levels of it, making sure they are constantly replenished.

Here are a few things that magnesium does – amongst many:

  • Magnesium produces and transports energy.  It affects the conduction of healthy nerve impulses, muscle contraction and normal heart rhythm (low magnesium levels is considered the usual suspect of heart arrhythmias).  Magnesium is involved in normal muscle activity and muscle relaxation.
  • Magnesium is a crucial factor in detox and cleansing processes.
  • It is vital that magnesium be in balance for the synthesis and absorption of protein foods.
  • Levels of magnesium must be balanced with levels of calcium to prevent calcification of organs and tissues.
  • Magnesium is vital for athletes or for those who exercise regularly (a lot of it is lost through sweat), as it can reduce fatigue and stress from strenuous exercise, and deliver quicker post-exercise recovery.
  • Magnesium has been shown to be a mighty infection fighter because of its antimicrobial properties. In 1915 a French surgeon (professor Pierre Delbet, M.D.) used a magnesium chloride solution to cleanse the wounds of soldiers, and found that the solution was more effective than the antiseptics he had previously used.  This prompted him into further research using magnesium chloride, for various chronic conditions including asthma.
  • Magnesium is also very much needed to keep the immune system healthy: white blood cell production requires good magnesium levels.


Dr. Norman Shealy, MD., Ph.D., (a graduate of Duke University Medical School, and author of ‘Holy Water, Sacred Oil – The Fountain of Youth‘) has devoted much of his time investigating the properties and value of using magnesium transdermally (applied to and absorbed through the skin).

He found that stress in all its common forms (emotional, physical, chemical) results in magnesium deficiency and lowered levels of the hormone DHEA.  Lowered levels of both of these are an open door to stress-induced illness.  In short, when we are stressed, we use huge amounts of magnesium to cope.  And huge amounts of DHEA.  And this is not good at all!

A little more about DHEA

What exactly is DHEA?  You may have heard it referred to as the ‘youth hormone’ (it’s true!).  DHEA is produced in our adrenal glands, and we sadly produce less of this essential hormone as we age.  It is called a ‘mother’ hormone because once it has been produced, it is converted into whatever hormone the body needs (clever!).  Our levels of DHEA dip when we are dealing with stress, and this is not good.  Dr Norman Shealy discovered  that by using a magnesium chloride solution externally, the human body absorbed magnesium well and that our DHEA production and levels were all the better for it.

Why?  What is the link between DHEA and Magnesium?

Dr Shealy wrote that DHEA production is disrupted and blocked by stress – our adrenal glands can only cope or compensate for the amount of stress we are under up to a certain point.  When they cannot cope any longer, the production of DHEA starts to slow down, and our levels of this crucial hormone drop.  He also found that stress-coping mechanisms were dependent on normal levels of magnesium in the body.  Depleted levels of magnesium go hand in hand with our capacity to cope with stress, and our production of the youth hormone.

The solution?  Supplementing the body with magnesium.

Our in-depth look at magnesium continues here with magnesium’s absorption, and finally here to look at diet and research.

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