Magnesium Deficiency: A Growing Problem Throughout the World with Major Health Consequences
DISCLAIMER: CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR BEFORE DECIDING ON A TREATMENT PLAN FOR ANY DISEASE OR INJURY.
Magnesium deficiency is a serious problem that is, unfortunately, a relatively common problem in the modern world. Regardless of whether or not the deficiency is slight or severe, having too little magnesium in the body can cause a host of different health issues, including (but by no means limited to):
- Muscle spasms and tremors
- Loss of appetite
- Personality changes, apathy, depression/anxiety, and other mood/personality-related problems and disorders
- Poor coordination
- Arrhythmias, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular issues
- Worsened insulin resistance
- Low blood potassium levels
- Low blood calcium levels
- Chondrocalcinosis (AKA calcification of the cartilage)
- Epileptic seizures
- Basal ganglia calcifications
- Muscle weakness
- And more…
Magnesium is classified as an electrolyte and plays an important role in ATP production, enzymatic reactions, DNA/RNA synthesis, electrolyte balance (magnesium regulates calcium and potassium levels), and more. There are many foods that are rich in magnesium that should make up part of any health diet, including foods like raw cacao, spinach and other leafy green vegetables, most nuts and seeds, tea, and beans, among other sources with somewhat lower magnesium levels. In the case of a magnesium deficiency, eating at least one of these foods daily is advisable, as is taking a high quality magnesium supplement.
In addition to all of the symptoms and roles listed above, adequate magnesium levels are also important for gallbladder health.
What causes magnesium deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency can be caused by a simple lack of consumption of magnesium rich foods in the diet, but it can also be caused by other factors like those listed below:
- Malabsorption disorders (such as SIBO and candidiasis)
- Acute pancreatitis
- Fluoride poisoning
- Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack; magnesium deficiency in present in about 80% of cases)
- Use of certain medications (like Digitalis, adrenergic drugs, Cisplatin, Ciclosporin, proton pump inhibitors, antibiotics, diuretics)
- Gastic bypass surgery
- Acute or chronic diarrhea
If the body has too much calcium at the same time that it develops a magnesium deficiency, this can lead to kidney stones and calcium deposits in the kidneys. Without magnesium, a choline deficiency may develop later on. Vitamin B6 and boron are both required in order to metabolize and effectively use magnesium (as are other nutrients not mentioned here).
Magnesium and the Gallbladder
Magnesium is extremely important for maintaining gallbladder health and preventing gallbladder diseases.
One study done at the University of Kentucky Medical Center observed that in a group of 42,705 male Americans, the men who were taking a higher dose of magnesium (via dietary sources, not supplements) were 28% less likely to develop gallstones than the men where were taking a lower dose. Specifically, the men who had this reduced likelihood of gallstone development were taking in approximately 454mg of magnesium per day in their diets, in contrast the average lowest magnesium intake of 262mg of magnesium per day. The authors of this study noted these possible correlations between the value of magnesium in the prevention of gallstones:
- Magnesium deficiency is associated with insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, both of which can ultimately increase the cholesterol saturation of bile in the liver and gallbladder, therefore leading to gallstone formation over time.
- Magnesium deficiency also has been show to lead to a decrease HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels with an increase in triglyceride levels, both risk factors for gallstone development.
In addition to helping to prevent gallstone formation, magnesium supplementation may be beneficial for passing gallstones and for relieving pain or discomfort associated with gallstones or other gallbladder problems. Magnesium powder/food-grade epsom salts is an important part of Dr. Hulda Clark’s Gallbladder Cleanse and is used to help relax the muscles of the gallbladder to allow stones to pass through the bile ducts and into the intestine (diarrhea is a normal and expected part of this process since the dose of magnesium used is relatively high). Taken in lower doses over time in combination with other medicine, magnesium supplementation can help heal gallstones in particular, but other gallbladder problems as well, such as choledocholithiasis, cholecystitis, and others.
How to Take Magnesium for Gallbladder Health and Healing
The RDA levels for most nutrients are generally much lower than the amount that person CAN be consuming in their diet or taking in a supplement. The current RDA for magnesium for an adult is between 310-420mg daily depending on exact age and gender (and in the case of women, whether the woman is lactating or pregnant).
Taking too much supplemental magnesium of any kind may cause stomach cramping, diarrhea, or nausea. Paying attention to dosage is still important, but it’s unlikely to be lethal even if you take enough magnesium to cause these symptoms. Unless you have a serious kidney or intestinal condition, it’s unlikely that you’ll take too much magnesium as long as you follow the instructions on your supplement bottle. When it comes to magnesium-rich foods though, you almost certainly can’t get too much.
Magnesium citrate is the ideal form of supplemental magnesium to take since its considered to be the most bioavailable. It’s also one of the most popular forms of supplemental magnesium and is the form that most people will be able to find easily. Additionally, this specific form of magnesium has a mild laxative effect, which may be helpful to people with gallbladder problems that cause irregular bowel movements or constipation. Magnesium lactate is also a good choice since it is well-absorbed and places less stress on the digestive system when taken to increase magnesium levels. Magnesium malate (a form of magnesium that is combined with malic acid) may be a particularly good choice for people with gallbladder issues; it is also well-absorbed and has a mild laxative effect.
Avoid using magnesium oxide and magnesium chloride, since these are considered to be significantly less bioavailable and not very likely to actually increase a person’s magnesium levels. Other forms of magnesium besides those mentioned in this article don’t have specific value to patients with gallbladder problems, and therefore I haven’t mentioned them here.
Here are some ways that you may consider using magnesium to support the gallbladder:
- Take a 400mg supplement in the morning and in the evening, or according to the instructions on the bottle. If it makes you feel sleepy to take it in the morning, take the full dose in the evening, or start with only 400mg at first.
- Take a teaspoon of magnesium powder in warm water whenever you experience gallbladder pain, or once in the morning, again at noon, and one more time in the evening before going to bed.
- Use food-grade epsom salts according to the instructions for Dr. Hulda Clark’s Gallbladder Cleanse to flush out gallstones right away. Note that because this cleanse involves about a full 24 hours of fasting and a (usually) powerful purge, this cleanse should not be undertaken in young children (teenagers may be able to do it, though), women who are pregnant or lactating, those who are very old and weak, or people who are very sick already.
- Increase your consumption of magnesium-rich foods. Make it a goal to have at least 1-2 high-magnesium foods each day in larger quantities. For example, have steamed or boiled bok choy with a sesame seed sauce for dinner, or eat a snack of almonds, cashews, or another seed. Add in flaxseeds and chia seeds to smoothies and salads. Try out some sugar-free, lactose-free, raw cacao-based chocolate products (no, Hershey’s chocolate simply won’t do, you need to look for the good, raw cacao to really reap the benefits!).
Also take a vitamin B-100 supplement, vitamin K2+D3, an amino acid supplement, a moringa supplement (as a multivitamin/multimineral), vitamin B17, and Lugol’s iodine/Iodoral as part of you kit of “essential supplements” for gallbladder health and healing.
 Arnarson, Atli (2022). 7 Signs and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency. Retrieved June 23, 2022 from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-deficiency-symptoms#TOC_TITLE_HDR_9
 Wikipedia (2022). Magnesium Deficiency. Retrieved June 23, 2022 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_deficiency
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 Daniells, Stephen (2008). Magnesium linked to fewer gallstones. Retrieved June 23, 2022 from: https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2008/02/26/Magnesium-linked-to-fewer-gallstones
 Anthony, Kiara (2019). Relieving Gallbladder Pain Naturally. Retrieved June 23, 2022 from: https://www.healthline.com/health/gallbladder-pain-relief#magnesium
 Hill, Ansley (2019). 10 Interesting Types of Magnesium (and What to Use Each For). Retrieved June 23, 2022 from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-types#_noHeaderPrefixedContent