OK, I give up. I admit it, the only books that people are buying are weight loss books. So in order to get the message about magnesium across to the masses, I present you with The Magnesium Weight Loss Cure.
I just read Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and I agree with my friend, magnesium expert, Morley Robbins who says that just about every chapter in Wheat Belly relates to magnesium deficiency. But the author, because of his myopic medical training, doesn’t realize the connection. Morely feels that there is a biological change on the part of the eater that’s fueling this allergic response, i.e., magnesium deficiency. And with the research on magnesium deficiency associated with pancreatic enzyme deficiency, we have another clue.
I’ve already said a lot about weight and its association with magnesium in my book, The Magnesium Miracle Here are some high points.
Magnesium helps the body digest, absorb, and utilize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Magnesium is necessary for insulin to open cell membranes for glucose.
Magnesium helps prevent obesity genes from expressing themselves.
The Weight Connection
Magnesium and the B-complex vitamins are energy nutrients: they activate enzymes that control digestion, absorption, and the utilization of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Lack of these necessary energy nutrients causes improper utilization of food, leading to such far-ranging symptoms as hypoglycemia, anxiety and obesity.
Food craving and overeating can be simply a desire to continue eating past fullness because the body is, in fact, craving nutrients that are missing from processed food. You continue to eat empty calories that pack on the pounds but get you no further ahead in your nutrient requirements.
Magnesium is also necessary in the chemical reaction that allows insulin to usher glucose into cells, where glucose is involved in making energy for the body. If there is not enough magnesium to do this job, both insulin and glucose become elevated. The excess glucose gets stored as fat and contributes to obesity. Having excess insulin puts you on the road toward diabetes.
The connection between stress and obesity cannot be overlooked. The stress chemical cortisol signals a metabolic shutdown that makes losing weight almost impossible. It’s as if the body feels it is under an attack such that it must hoard all its resources, including fat stores, and won’t let go of them under any inducement. Magnesium can effectively neutralize the effects of stress.
Obesity, More than Bad Genes
The public has been told that obesity is inherited, which makes people think they don’t have a hand in creating this problem and can continue their bad habits and blame their genes. Animal experiments show, however, that if a mouse with an obesity gene is deprived of B vitamins, the obesity will be expressed. But if it is fed plenty of B vitamins, it will remain thin. The process of metabolizing B vitamins is called methylation, and magnesium is necessary for one of the most important steps in this process.
Every metabolic function in the body requires vitamins and minerals—without them, symptoms develop. Therefore, the first step in treating nonspecific symptoms is diet and dietary supplements, not drugs. It is also important to note that many of the weight loss diets that people subject themselves to are often deficient in magnesium.
Gaining weight around your middle is related to magnesium deficiency and an inability to properly utilize insulin. It also sets the stage for Syndrome X. You only need a tape measure to diagnose a predisposition to Syndrome X—a waist size above 40 inches in men and above 35 in women puts you at risk. In their book The Magnesium Factor, authors Mildred Seelig, M.D., and Andrea Rosanoff, Ph.D., take note of research showing that over half the insulin in the bloodstream is directed at abdominal tissue. They theorize that as more and more insulin is produced to deal with a high-sugar diet, abdominal girth increases to process the extra insulin.
The term “syndrome X” describes a set of conditions that many believe is just another fancy name for the consequences of long-standing nutritional deficiency, especially magnesium deficiency. The long list includes high cholesterol and hypertension and obesity. It also encompasses elevated triglycerides and elevated uric acid. High triglycerides are usually found when cholesterol is elevated but most often when someone has a high-sugar diet, such as from drinking sodas daily and eating cakes and pastries.
High uric acid is due to incomplete breakdown of protein from lack of B vitamins and digestive enzymes. This complex collectively appears to be caused by disturbed insulin metabolism (initiated by magnesium deficiency), called insulin resistance, and eventually can lead to diabetes, angina, and heart attack. We also know that lack of magnesium sets the stage for a deficiency of pancreatic enzymes.
As previously noted, magnesium is required in the metabolic pathways that allow insulin to usher glucose into cells, where glucose participates in making energy for the body. If magnesium is deficient, the doorway into the cells does not open to glucose, resulting in the following cascade of events:
Glucose levels become elevated.
Glucose is stored as fat and leads to obesity.
Elevated glucose leads to diabetes.
Obesity puts a strain on the heart.
Excess glucose becomes attached to certain proteins (glycated), leading to kidney damage, neuropathy, blindness, and other diabetic complications.
Insulin-resistant cells don’t allow magnesium into the cells.
Further magnesium deficiency leads to hypertension.
Magnesium deficiency leads to cholesterol buildup, and both these conditions are implicated in heart disease.
Syndrome X, according to Dr. Gerald Reaven, who coined the term, may be responsible for a large percentage of the heart and artery disease that occurs today. Unquestionably, magnesium deficiency is a major factor in the origins of each of its signs and symptoms, from elevated triglycerides and obesity to disturbed insulin metabolism.(1,2)
Insulin’s job is to open up sites on cell membranes to allow the influx of glucose, a cell’s source of fuel. Cells that no longer respond to the advances of insulin and refuse the entry of glucose are called insulin-resistant. As a result, blood glucose levels rise and the body produces more and more insulin, to no avail. Glucose and insulin rampage throughout the body, causing tissue damage that results in overuse and wasting of magnesium, an increased risk of heart disease, and adult onset diabetes.
One of the major reasons the cells don’t respond to insulin is lack of magnesium(3) Some studies show that chronic insulin resistance in patients with type II diabetes is associated with a reduction of magnesium; magnesium is necessary to allow glucose to enter cells.(4) Additional studies confirm that when insulin is released from the pancreas, magnesium in the cell normally responds and opens the cell to allow entry of glucose, but in the case of magnesium deficiency combined with insulin resistance the normal mechanisms just don’t work.(5) However, the higher the levels of magnesium in the body, the greater the sensitivity of the cells to insulin and the possibility of reversing the problem.(6)
So, get your weight loss cure today. Start drinking supplemental magnesium, bathe in it or spray it on your body and watch the weight drop off.
While you’re doing that don’t be surprised if you lose lots of other symptoms like: hypertension (cardiovascular disease, kidney and liver damage), peroxynitrite damage (migraine, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.), recurrent bacterial infection due to low levels of nitric oxide (NO) in the cavities (sinuses, vagina, middle ear, lungs, throat, etc.), fungal infections due to a depressed immune system, thiamine deactivation (low gastric acid, behavioral disorders, etc.), premenstrual syndrome, calcium imbalance (osteoporosis, hypertension, mood swings, etc.), tooth cavities, hearing loss, diabetes type II, cramps, muscle weakness, impotence (lack of NO), aggression (lack of NO), fibromas, potassium deficiency (arrhythmia, hypertension, some forms of cancer), iron accumulation, etc.(7)
1. Singh RB, “Association of low plasma concentrations of antioxidant vitamins, magnesium and zinc with high body fat per cent in Indian men.” Magnes Res, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 3-10, 1998.
2. Ma J et al., “Associations of serum and dietary magnesium with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, insulin, and carotid arterial wall thickness; the ARIC study, Artherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.” J Clin Epidemiol, vol. 48, pp. 927-940, 1995.
3. Humphries S et al., “Low dietary magnesium is associated with insulin resistance in a sample of young, non-diabetic Black Americans.” Am J Hypertens, vol. 12, no. 8, pt. 1, pp. 747-756, 1999.
4. Alzaid AA et al., “Effects of insulin on plasma magnesium in noninsulindependent diabetes mellitus: evidence for insulin resistance.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab, vol. 80, no. 4, pp. 1376-1381, 1995.
5. Barbagallo M et al., “Altered cellular magnesium responsiveness to hyperglycemia in hypertensive subjects.” Hypertension, vol. 38, no. 3, pt. 2, pp. 612-615, 2001.
6. Dominguez LJ et al., “Magnesium responsiveness to insulin and insulin-like growth factor I in erythrocytes from normotensive and hypertensive subjects.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab, vol. 83, no. 12, pp. 4402-4407, 1998.
7. Johnson S. The multifaceted and widespread pathology of magnesium deficiency. Med Hypothesis. 2001 Feb;56(2):163-70.
Dr. Carolyn Dean is a medical doctor and naturopathic doctor. She has been in the forefront of the natural medicine revolution for over 30 years. You can find her at www.drcarolyndean.com.