Why you should start taking magnesium today

Because magnesium is maybe the most important mineral for plant and animal life on Earth. Because magnesium is certainly one of the essential minerals most deficient in our food. And because we are all magnesium deficient.

Magnesium was the key element in the evolution of plant life on Earth as it is the heart, the central ion of chlorophyll—the plant’s photosynthesising lifeblood. I was amazed when I learnt that chlorophyll and haemoglobin have identical molecular structures, only that chlorophyll has magnesium at its heart, while haemoglobin has iron. This does indeed seem amazing at first, but upon reflection, it seems quite natural, as we can be pretty sure that this is not an evolutionary coincidence since simple cellular life came first, then plant life—obviously dependent on the simplest forms of life, and then animal life—which is completely dependent on plant life.

The human body is about 70% water by weight, with about 2/3 inside our cells and 1/3 outside; the dry weight of a 70 kg person is about 20 kg. So we can say that the rest of our weight is various arrangements of naturally occurring elements. But of the 92 naturally occurring elements, a mere 7 of them make up 99% of the body’s total mineral content. These essential macrominerals are, in order of abundance: calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, sodium, magnesium, and chloride (chlorine gas dissolved in water).

Calcium is the most abundant and it must be in balance primarily with phosphorus for proper physiological function, but also with magnesium. Phosphorus is the second most abundant, and, present in every cell of the body, it plays a role in almost every chemical reaction. Potassium and sodium work together in their most notable function to transport nutrients into cells and metabolic waste out of them. And hence, potassium is the most abundant element inside the cell, in the intracellular fluid, while sodium is the most abundant element outside, in the extracellular fluid. Sodium is also the primary element on which rely the kidneys for regulating the amount of water in the blood and bodily fluids in general. Chloride works with its siblings potassium and sodium in their role as fluid and acid-base regulators, but it is also the essential element in hydrochloric acid secreted in the stomach to break down proteins into amino acids. Sulphur is necessary for the formation of hair, nails, cartilage and tissue. It is needed for metabolism and a healthy nervous system, plus it aids bile secretion in the liver.

Why so important?

Among these 7 macrominerals, however, magnesium is king. It is second most abundant element inside cells after potassium, and even though it totals only around 25 g in the average 70 kg human body, (more than half of it stored in bones and teeth, and the rest in muscle and soft tissues), it plays a role akin to that of a conductor in regulating the absorption and excretion of many of its sibling macrominerals, both in the intestines and in our cells. Of the multitude of functions it plays, magnesium is involved as a necessary co-factor on which more than 300 essential metabolic enzymatic reactions depend; it is crucially needed for structural function of proteins, nucleic acids and mitochodria; it regulates production, transport, storage and utilisation of energy in cells; it regulates DNA and RNA synthesis, cell growth and cell reproduction; and it regulates nerve function throughout the body.

But certainly most noteworthy, and indeed very important for the vast majority of us magnesium-deficient humans, is that magnesium is what allows muscles to relax: every single muscle cell in our body depends on magnesium to release a contraction instigated by calcium, magnesium’s antagonist brother. Going further, only magnesium can inhibit calcium-induced cell death: only magnesium regulates entry, and can thus prevent calcium from flooding a cell to trigger apoptosis (programmed cell death). It is for these two reasons that magnesium is so much more important than calcium. Sadly, we are as over-calcified—caked stiff with calcium from the inside out—as we are magnesium deficient. And that’s bad news because the more over-calcified the body grows, the more magnesium deficient it becomes. In addition, as important as it is to optimise vitamin D status, it is now clear that this cannot be done without at the same time optimising magnesium status (1).

And in practical terms, what does this mean for you? It means that most modern diseases and conditions are either a direct consequence of or severally aggravated by magnesium deficiency. It means that of all the heart attacks and strokes that claim the lives of most people in industrialised countries, it’s estimated that more than half are caused by magnesium-deficiency. It means that hypertension, poor circulation, water retention, osteoporosis, kidney stones and kidney disease are all caused or severely aggravated by magnesium deficiency. It means that arterial plaque buildup (atherosclerosis), arterial wall thickening and stiffening (arteriosclerosis), cardiac arrhythmia and palpitations, headaches and migraines, anxiety, irritability, insomnia and depression are all caused or severely aggravated by magnesisum deficiency. It means that from the seemingly most benign, occasional involuntary twitching of the eye, or the cramp in your foot, calf or hamstring that just seems to you as a brief nuisance unworthy of attention, to the cardiac arrest or stroke caused by a prolonged spasm of a coronary or cerebral artery that can claim your life in a few instants or leave you paralysed and debilitated for the rest of your life, to chronic anxiety, occasional panic attacks, recurring depression, bipolar or schizophrenic disorders, all of these health problems and hundreds more are caused or severely aggravated by magnesium deficiency. Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes are also intimately related to magnesium deficiency as it is this mineral that allows insulin to transfer its cargo of glucose from the bloodstream into the cell.

Like many other realities of our world in the realm of medical sciences and treatment of disease, that this can be so—that we can be in such a dire situation of global magnesium deficiency—is truly mind-boggling given the ease with which it can be both prevented and remedied. But for this one as well as so many other such logic-defying realities in today’s medical and health sciences, ignorance is the major hurdle, but the power of the politics of profits cannot be underestimated, and should not be ignored or overlooked.

Why so magnesium-deficient?

Very unfortunately for us, agriculture is not, and to a great extent, never has been as it should rightly be—feeding and enriching the soils and the land, while at the same time producing from it, foods with the perfect balance of minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients in an amazing and unique positive balance process, ultimately based on a remarkably efficient harnessing of the Sun’s energy by the grass and soil. Instead we have an agricultural system that globally pollutes the waters with toxic runoffs, depletes the soils with chemical herbicides, pesticides and Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium or NPK fertilisers, all of which help to slowly but surely sterilise the earth’s surface.

Now, to give you a sense of the scale of the problem of soil mineral content depletion, as far back as 1936, a hearing was held in the 74th US Senate Congress where the following statement was made:

“Do you know that most of us today are suffering from certain dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until depleted soils from which our food comes are brought into proper balance? The alarming fact is that foods now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of certain minerals are starving us—no matter how much of them we eat. Our physical wellbeing is more directly dependent upon the minerals we take into our systems than upon the calories or vitamins or upon the precise proportions of starch, protein or carbohydrates we consume (my italics). Laboratory tests prove that the fruits, the vegetables, the grains, the eggs, and even the milk and the meats of today are not what they were a few generations ago. No man today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his stomach with the mineral salts he requires for perfect health.”

And you can be sure that the situation has gotten worse since then—much, much worse. Just to illustrate the point, all chemicals, whether they are those found in fertilisers, in herbicides or in pesticides, contribute to magnesium wasting. Pollutants in the air that fall back down in the form of acid rain waste magnesium stores because it is simultaneously a potent acid buffer and the most water-soluble of the macrominerals. Therefore, it is also the most affected by acid rain and runoffs saturated with agricultural chemicals.

To make matters worse, any processing of a food in its natural form, will most effectively deplete its magnesium content. Here again this is due to magnesium’s super water solubility. Such that with every step of processing, more magnesium is lost from the already magnesium deficient food. The result is that all processed foods are basically devoid of it. Fluoride, the reactive industrial by-product and poison that is put into many municipal drinking waters under the false pretence that it is good for the teeth, seeks out minerals like magnesium, and by binding to them makes it impossible for the body to absorb or use. (This is just one of the many, well researched and well documented negative effects of water fluoridation. See the Fluoride Action Network for plenty more details.)

And the last straw in this magnesium-depleting scenario is our own evermore stressful lifestyle. Always more stress: stress related to the economic situation in our country; stress related to the stability of “The Market”; stress related to the economic stability of our company; stress related to the security of our own job; stress related to our professional and therefore social status; stress related to worries about our kids’ wellbeing, happiness, social development, about their future; stress related to all those deadlines we have to meet, and to those that we set ourselves for our personal projects that somehow always slip to the bottom of the pile of books sitting collecting dust next to your bed; stress about how to save money for hard times, and about where we will go on our next holiday; and on and on and on. Incredible but true: the more time passes, the more technological advances are made, the more stuff we are able to make and use and buy, the more stress there seems to be in our lives.

And what does stress have to do with magnesium? Very simply: stress depletes magnesium and magnesium deficiency magnifies stress. How do we know this? By doing a simple experiment where adrenaline is introduced in the bloodstream intravenously, and seeing the levels of magnesium drop immediately, together with those of calcium, potassium and sodium. Stop the adrenaline and they start to make their way back up, but unfortunately, is takes magnesium the longest to recover to physiological concentrations. But the fact is that every time we feel any kind of stress, adrenaline triggers our fight-or-flight response, in which the heart starts pumping, digestion is stopped as blood is diverted from the digestive system to the arms and legs, blood also thickens by the release of clotting factors to prevent excessive blood loss in case we get injured, glycogen stores are released from the liver to be made available as glucose for immediate energy use in the heart, lungs and muscles, and yes, all of these processes are intensely magnesium-dependent, and at the same time, intensely magnesium-depleting.

In short, almost all soils on agricultural land everywhere are magnesium deficient, some totally depleted, others just greatly depleted. All foods grown in these soils are inevitably also magnesium deficient, and in some cases even more due to the excess potassium in the chemical fertilisers that prevent the plant from taking up magnesium. All processing of food further depletes magnesium, and our crazy and sickly addiction to stress delivers yet another blow—a final blow. We—all of us—really are magnesium deficient. And many of us severely so. For this reason we all need magnesium supplementation. And the sooner we start, the better off we’ll be. If you want to know how magnesium deficient you are, order an RBC Mg test (red blood cells hold about 40% of the body stores of Mg): the lab’s reference range can be anywhere from 3.5 to 7, but you want to be at 6.5 mg/dL.

Remarkably easy, extremely safe and incredibly inexpensive

There are several forms of magnesium supplements. Magnesium chloride is the most  completely ionised (with a stability constant of 0), and therefore the most easily absorbable in its ionic form by our cells. This also means that it is super hydrophilic (water-loving) and dissolves instantly when in contact with even a drop of water, so it needs to be kept very dry in a well-sealed bag or container. All the better for us, it also turns out to be very inexpensive (about 6 euros/kg) in the form of white, brittle flakes called Nigari, which is used to make tofu.

To drink your magnesium, dissolve 20 g (4 teaspoons, and 10 cents worth!) in a 1 litre bottle or 30 g (6 teaspoons) in a 1.5 litre bottle. (This makes a 2% solution of magnesium chloride.) Take 50 ml on an empty stomach when you get up in the morning, and again at bedtime. You can dilute this in as much water as you want because it is the total quantity of magnesium that counts, not the concentration of the solution that you drink. At first or when you feel you need more (stressful day, weakness, cold coming on), you should take another 50 ml in the late afternoon when the body is most in need of it. This will supply 360 mg if you take it three times, and 240 mg if you take it twice per day (magnesium chloride is 12% magnesium by weight. Dissolving 20 g in 1 litre gives 2.4 g of ionic magnesium, and dividing this litre in twenty 50 ml doses yields 120 mg per dose. Therefore 3 doses gives 360 mg and 2 doses gives 240 mg).

To absorb your magnesium through the skin, dissolve 20 g in 80 ml of water. (This gives a 20% solution of magnesium chloride—ten times more concentrated than the drinking solution.) Naturally, you can dissolve more magnesium chloride in more water, keeping the same proportions, and storing the solution in a spray bottle. With just 6 sprays on each arm and leg as well as on 6 on your chest and back, you can take up as much as 600 mg of magnesium every day. This is a much more effective way to absorb magnesium because instead of going through the digestive system from which as little as 25% up to 75% of the magnesium will be absorbed depending on many factors but primarily the state of health of your digestive system, which in most of us is appalling, almost all the magnesium is absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream in about 30 minutes. We use both methods at home.

Finally, supplementing with magnesium is extremely safe for the simple reason that it is extremely water soluble: it binds so tightly to water that the magnesium ion forms a hydration shell around itself resulting in a radius 400 times larger than in its dehydrated form. This is unlike any of its macromineral siblings. And for this reason, it is also excessively easy for the body to excrete any excess magnesium either through the urine or in the stools. Therefore, there is virtually no chances of overdosing on magnesium, and no possible negative side effects.

So please, for your own good, for the good of your sons and daughters, husband or wife, ageing mother and father, buy some Nigari at your local natural food store, and start magnesium supplementation for all of them. And for the good of your friends and colleagues, tell them about it and send them this article if they need convincing. (In France, Spain and probably other European countries, we find the Celnat brand 1 kg bag of Nigari. I’ve bought is at Bio-coop stores in Paris, and at Eco-centro in Madrid)

Conclusion: Main points to remember

  1. We are all magnesium-deficient, and many of us, dangerously so. This is due to the severe lack of magnesium in soils everywhere and therefore in the foods we eat, due to the fact that processing of whole foods strips most if not all the magnesium that is present in the unprocessed food, due to the fact that our diet is excessively rich in calcium that must be balanced with magnesium in order not to accumulate in our tissues and stiffen everything from our organs to our arteries and to our brain, and finally due to the excessive stress that we all know to be the most remarkable feature of our modern lifestyle.
  2. Magnesium is absolutely essential for relaxing muscle cells including—and maybe most importantly—the endothelial cells that line our blood vessels. Stiff blood vessels cause high blood pressure. This puts great stress on the kidneys and causes a chain of negative consequences that mould into a vicious cycle in kidney deterioration that eventually leads to failure. In addition, stiff blood vessels causes them to suffer much greater damage, especially at bifurcations where the arteries split into finer and finer arterioles. This damage leads to the buildup of plaque, and then to cardiovascular disease, heart attack,s strokes, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  3. We all need magnesium supplementation, and fortunately it is easy, cheap and safe because Nigari is an inexpensive, food grade magnesium chloride salt easy to buy in natural food stores, and because magnesium’s ultra water solubility makes it very easy for the body to excrete in the urine and eliminations, which guarantees that that it cannot accumulate excessively. On the other hand, this also means that it takes several months to replenish intra-cellular magnesium levels, and that we need to take it daily.

36 thoughts on “Why you should start taking magnesium today

  1. Hi Guilaume,
    Thanks again for this very interesting and revealing posting. I have a small question: you say that the soil is getting depleted from magnesium and that for this reason plants contain less magnesium. Yet, magnesium is the core of chlorophyll, so does this mean that they have less chlorophyll available and thus grow less?
    Thanks,
    Bob

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    • Hi Bob,
      You’re very welcome, as always. And it makes me happy to know that you appreciate and read my posts with interest. Yes: less magnesium in the soils means less magnesium in the plant, which means less chlorophyll. So the same green vegetables are less green than they used to be. This is quite noticeable when comparing, for example, small scale production organic broccoli with standard supermarket NPK-grown broccoli: the former is really much darker green and much stronger tasting. But this does not mean that with less magnesium the plant grows less. In fact, the growth rate is mostly regulated by the NPK in the chemical fertilisers. And faster growth means more water, but more water means less minerals, less phytonutrients and less taste. In addition, more water and less minerals also means a weaker plant and more fragile cellular structure: the lettuce grown in a mineral-rich soil will be much more resistant while in the soil, and longer-lasting once picked, than the same lettuce grown in a depleted soil with NPK fertilisers. This is well known and has been demonstrated by Earth Bound Farms, a once-small-scale organic baby greens farm turned large-scale industrial organic grower. Otherwise, some recent scientific studies comparing the exact same varieties of vegetables grown at the same time and in the same field but in parts treated and fertilised by different methods: conventional/NPK/chemicals versus organic/natural mineral-rich compost/weeding by hand, and the differences in mineral, vitamin and phytonutrient contents are easily quantified and markedly different, as should be expected.

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  2. Hi Guillaume,

    First, thanks for the great blog! I’ve been reading many health-related blogs lately and I’ve found yours to be quite helpful and rather well written.

    I know you are not a doctor, but I was wondering whether you could give me your opinion about some vitamins that I am looking into. From what I can tell, the vitamins by Rainbow Light are quite good, both in terms of product quality and in terms of the contents of minerals included. The thing is, after reading more about magnesium, I’m wondering which would be better: to take a multivitamin that provides a wide range of helpful vitamins and minerals, or to take a vitamin that focuses on magnesium, and just try to get the other vitamins and minerals through diet. This is the one I’m currently taking: http://www.rainbowlight.com/immune-support-mens-one-multivitamin.aspx And this is the one that I’m thinking of switching to: http://www.rainbowlight.com/calciumminerals-magnesium-calcium-.aspx What are your thoughts? I’d really appreciate any comments you might have. Thanks a ton in advance!!

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    • Hi Jon,
      I’m happy to read that you appreciate my blog and that I can be of help to you. And yes, I’m not a medical doctor; I’m an astrophysics doctor :)
      About supplements, I believe that Mercola’s are probably the best on the market: he goes to great lengths to do that, probably because he makes them for himself and his family, and he’s very well informed. So I buy them from him.
      Having said that, I am not a heavy supplement user. Those we (my wife, our son and I) take most often are probiotics and psyllium husks/chia seeds for good digestive health, always on an empty stomach, and the fat-soluble krill oil, ubiquinol, astaxanthin and vitamin D3 (in the winter), all usually taken after the evening meal.
      For the widest spectrum of highly absorbable micronutrients: minerals, vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients I rely on food: nuts and seeds (soaked for maximum digestibility and absorption) and vegetables, especially greens, the darker the better, including all types of lettuces and salad greens, parsley, basil and cilantro, as well as those that require steaming such as chard, kale and spinach. These are nature’s richest in micronutrients (and magnesium also), and there is simply no way to go wrong with this approach as it is the most evolutionary-appropriate way of supplying the best of everything the body needs for perfect health. I’ll make a point of posting some of my favourite recipes for inspiration in this regard.
      Magnesium is a somewhat different story for two main reasons: 1) All our foods are deficient in it because the soils in which they grow are deficient, and 2) our diet is very rich in calcium which without a comparable amount of magnesium (some say 2:1 some 1:1) simply accumulates in our body, calcifying and stiffening our cells and tissues. (And this not even considering the nutrient-devoid junk food that so many survive on.) This is why it is important to supplement with the safe, water-soluble magnesium chloride.
      Finally, the importance of eliminating simple and starchy carbohydrates cannot be understated. Even beyond the long list of negative effects related to insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, glycation and systemic inflammation, carbs rob the body of its mineral reserves: simple carbs suck them out for digestion, and grain products block their absorption because of their phytates. Eliminating carbs is by far the best thing anyone can do for their overall health, including improving the body’s mineral status.

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      • Hi Guillaume,

        Thanks for the reply! I wasn’t familiar with Dr. Mercola’s vitamins, so thank you for pointing them out. The problem that I face at the moment is that I simply don’t have enough money to spend on such vitamins, which is why I’m trying to find the best for what I can afford and the Rainbow Light ones seem to be good ones. I’m already following a rather healthy diet (low carb, high fat with no grains, sugars etc.) and so I get a good amount of nutrients from food. Do you think it would be better to just keep the focus on eating a variety of vegetables (instead of a multivitamin), eating more fish (instead of fish oil), while possibly taking vitamin D3 and/or magnesium since these are the hardest to get through diet? I live in Belgium, so I’m sure I could use more vitamin D3. Again, for the moment I’m just looking to find the essentials to achieving great health and when I have more income, I will look into high quality supplements, so if there is one or two supplements that you would consider essential, I’d be interested to know. Thanks again for your comments!!

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      • Just as a quick follow-up, it seems that that magnesium and calcium multivitamin that I posted might be a decent start as it has 1000 mg of magnesium, 400 IU of vitamin D3, as well as spirulina and other minerals.

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      • Hi Jon,
        Here it is again in a nutshell:
        – It’s great that you have eliminated simple and starchy carbs. That’s really the most important for your health.
        – Get tons of micronutrients from your food (raw vegetables, and soaked nuts and seeds).
        – Take magnesium in a highly absorbable ionic form by dissolving magnesium chloride (nigari) in water. Nigari is packaged and sold as a food in health stores and so it is very inexpensive.
        – Forget about calcium we get plenty in our food.
        – Krill oil is by far the best source of non-contaminated omega 3: most fish is quite toxic, and farmed fish is fed grain so is rather low in omega 3. You need very little: about 1 g (2 x 0.5 g) per day (this costs pennies), if you concentrate on eating a lot of saturated fats from coconut milk/oil and butter (raw goat’s milk is best but hard to find), and do not consume seed-based vegetable oils. Buy only the highest quality, as guaranteed by Mercola; otherwise, don’t bother.
        – Vitamin D3 is really important because as for magnesium, we are almost all deficient in it. But it is also very inexpensive (you can buy it from many places online) and needs to be taken only in the winter, under the condition that in the summer you expose most of your body to direct sun around midday for the UVB to make it to your skin and produce vitamin D (I do 20 minutes on most sunny days).
        – If there is something else you should take, it would be psyllium husks (sold by the bag at natural food stores) and probiotics (only the highest quality, as guaranteed by Mercola) to keep your colon clean and healthy.

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  3. Hi Guillaume,
    I’m just about to try out your advice for taking additional magnesium, and just wanted to clarify the following:
    “With just a few sprays on your arms and legs as well as on your chest and back, you can take up as much as 600 mg of magnesium every day”
    What do you mean by a “few sprays” exactly? I’m guessing that you’re not intending the entire 100ml dose of 20% solution to be applied?
    Thanks for any help you can give, and thanks for your interesting blogs.
    Helen

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  4. Hi Guillame,
    Back again! I’m planning on doing an elimination diet for a few weeks and it’s currently morphed into something similar to the diet plan you came up with your friend Christian, with coconut milk smoothies and steamed/stir fry veg/fish or wild game. I decided to put most of it into action this week to see if it’s workable, all be it without the green drinks and some of the other supplements, but just 4 days in I have broken out in a very itchy rash under my arm pits and spreading. I did try a paleo diet once before for a week or so and had a similar issue causing me to stop eating that way – as soon as I reverted to eating anything and everything the rash went away. I thought I’d ask to see if you have any thoughts on what my body is trying to tell me? I’m thinking fungus at the moment but not sure why it’s gone mad! Hope you don’t mind me asking but you might have some thoughts on the matter. The reason I’m planning an elimination diet, by the way, is because I got told I had Eosinophilic Oesophagitis last year and, although not causing me any real problems at the moment I’d like to try and find out if anything I’m eating is a factor. Don’t worry if you have never come across this before, but I thought I’d ask just in case.
    Helen

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    • Good morning Helen,
      That’s great! I am very happy to hear that you are doing this, and very happy to hear that you are showing overt signs of detoxification. So the most important thing for you to know is that this is a good sign. Therefore, we don’t want to avoid the rash, we just need to support the body in its detox process as best we can. Because there are several things to mention, instead of writing it all here, I will write a short article and post it for you (and everyone else) today, I hope. But right now, to alleviate the rash, you could have regular baths with either 2 cups of aluminium-free baking soda or with 2/3 cup of nigari flakes. The water should be hot but not super hot, and you should soak for at least 30 minutes. I’ll write a lot more about detox in the post. Hang in there, there’s nothing to worry about.

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      • That’s great, glad I asked now else I probably would’ve given up! If you have any suggestions as to how to treat the rash without a bath (we only have a shower) that would be very handy. Other than the rash, I’ve been finding the eating plan fits in very well around work, especially as I enjoy getting out of the office at lunch and I can still go out but just have a green tea or something.
        Thanks again, Helen

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      • Hi Guillaume,

        Sticking with it!! The rash is still causing me grief, mainly at night because it’s so itchy. Started under my arms and around groin, and has gradually spread and still seems to be spreading – all over stomach now and little bits now appearing on arms/legs. Resorted to using some anti-fungal cream and although it does seem to have cleared up some of the earlier rash, I’m wondering if it has just moved it elsewhere. If it’s still showing no signs of abating by the end of the week I’m thinking that maybe I should get it checked out by a doctor – at least it might confirm whether it’s fungal or not. I do get a bit of psoriasis though usually just on my elbows, so that’s another option – not sure that would be so itchy though.

        So, still hanging in there.

        Thanks for asking
        Helen

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      • Hi Helen,
        It really important to understand that the state of the skin reflects what happening inside. So rash, eczema, psoriasis, etc are means to get stuff out of the body. This is why creams and things have only a limited effect. Are you drinking a lot of water (plain and with freshly pressed lemon juice) and green juices (fresh or powdered), and eating a lot of raw vegetables and big green salads? You mentioned you were having coconut milk. That’s also really important and will help greatly with your skin. You can make yourself smoothies, at least one per day if not two. It’s full of excellent fat that is wonderful to put on the skin, but even more effective from the inside out. Buy only the best quality, (I think it’s Dr Goerg’s), canned but fresh (the coconuts have been crushed and canned; not it’s water and flesh and oil separated and recombined in the canning factory). Put the contents of one can in a 500 ml blending cup, add a little pinch of stevia, and either two rounded teaspoons of pure and raw cacao powder or a couple of table spoons of (frozen this time of year) raspberries, blueberries or mixed berries. Sip that over about 15-30 minutes. It has about 600 kCal and is like a meal. From morning to mid-day, just munch on raw veggies like cucumbers, red peppers, celery, fennel root, kohlrabi, with plenty of salt.
        In addition to all of that, you should make yourself a cream according to this recipe: 250 ml of coconut oil melted at low heat together with 50 ml of almond oil, 100 ml of aloe vera juice and 100 ml of aloe vera gel heated a low heat and well blended together, 20 g of beeswax to melt completely with the coconut oil. Combine the everything and let it cool, blending once in a while to make it smooth (I usually add essential oil like orange or lavender (50 drops), but you might want to just leave that out in case it is irritating to your skin). You’ll need to blend it every few minutes at first and once it is well blended, you can let it cool for longer. You will have to blend it one final time when it has cooled completely to make sure the texture remains smooth and silky. I am certain this will help. And please let me know.

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      • Hi Guillaume,

        I’ve been mixing a can coconut milk with a few berries and having half mid-morning, half mid-afternoon. Also, a couple of 750ml green drinks (green powder, cinnamon, stevia, orange oil, mineral drops, puriPHY) in between, at least a pint of water + aloe + magnesium 2% + mineral drops + puriPHY first thing, a few herbal teas (green, mint, lemon n ginger), lots of steamed/sauted vegetables (broccoli, cauli, kale, spinach, onions, mushrooms, leeks, etc) plus fish, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic for dinner, then water throughout the evening with probiotics and more magnesium 2% drink before bed. Not had much in the way of raw stuff apart from spinach so have just had a big raw salad of cucumber, spring onion, salad greens, avocado, celery with fish this evening! As far as the coconut milk goes, I’ve been switching between celebes and “what on earth” – the former I think is the better one but the latter is smoother and does not separate. I will see if I can source the one you mention. Other than that, I probably haven’t been consuming that much salt so I will make sure I get some on order. I have been plastering myself with coconut oil to try and sooth the rash, mainly during the night. I will order some almond oil and beeswax but in the mean time I have mixed some aloe juice and gel into some coconut oil to see if that keeps me going.

        Thanks for the advice once again!
        Helen

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      • Hi Helen,
        It sounds like you’re doing things very well. I would just include more raw veggies. Are you sure you are not allergic to something? Have you eaten all these things before? Like cinnamon or orange essential oil? My son and I get irritated skin if in contact with cinnamon (around the mouth or on the cheeks), but nothing apparent when ingesting it. And did you check the ingredients on the milk and made sure the can is BPA-free? Sometimes there are additives that can cause allergic reactions like guar gum, for example, but also to the BPA itself used in the can and which leaches into the milk. Otherwise, since you are putting coconut oil and now starting with aloe vera, I honestly think you just need to stick with the program until the rash clears up, because if you can exclude the possibility of some allergic reaction, since you are eating such excellent foods and drinking green drinks and alkaline water, the only logical explanation for the rash is the natural detox process. The coconut oil and aloe vera cream will help too. Keep me posted.

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      • I haven’t eaten cinnamon or orange essential oil before, but the rash started before I began making the green drinks. Both coconut milks I have been using do have guar gum in, so that’s a possibility. Although, when I had a similar rash on the paleo diet I tried previously, I wasn’t consuming any canned coconut milk, just the occasional weak carton based stuff. One tin is BPA free, the other BPA compliant, so not likely but a possibility. I have ordered some of the milk you recommended so will give that a try when it arrives and let you know.

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      • That’s right. I had forgotten that you had a similar rash the first time you tried eliminating carbs. I think this is evidence that it is just a desperate attempt of all those pathogenic yeasts and fungi to survive in an environment that used to be very favourable but that has become hostile to them. Just keep it up and hang in there. Are you also taking psyllium husks to help clear out the toxins from the gut? And chlorella to help flush out the mercury and other heavy metals?

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      • No, I’m not taking chlorella or psylium husks though I did try a few chia seeds in water – irritated my oesophagus so didn’t continue. It couldn’t be that the high fat diet is actually feeding the fungus/yeasts? There appears to be quite a lot of information suggesting this online, by people such as Frederic Patenaude, Dr Douglas Graham, and so on. Just a thought?

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      • Hi Helen,
        I was hoping you would tell me the rash was clearing up. It’s too bad this is causing you so much strife. If the coconut oil is not helping, you should try almond oil with tea tree oil (5 drops in 30 ml). If that doesn’t help, try straight aloe vera gel. If that doesn’t help, try just leaving it alone. Some years ago I got poison ivy and the only thing that helped was taking not-so-hot baths with baking soda. I couldn’t put anything on it without making it worse. But what you have is not poison ivy. Anyway, try these strategies and see. I really hope that the situation will improve for you. It is a drag.

        I think psyllium husks and chia seeds would be really good to help detox faster. I take psyllium every day by putting 1 teaspoon in a 1 litre bottle with my green drink. Allow it to hydrate, and the shake well before drinking, sipping it over the course of 1 to 2 hours. That works really well. For the chia seeds, the best way I found to take them is to make a coconut milk chia seed pudding. You make it similarly to a smoothie but with 1 heaping table spoon of cacao powder and 4 mini scoops of stevia powder for 1 can of coco milk and 1/3 cup of chia seeds. Blend the whole thing well and let it sit for at least 1 hour before eating. You can also put it in the fridge to make it harden a little. It is really delicious. I make this every weekend for us at home.

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      • Thanks Guillaume. I’ll try the psyllium husks and chia seed pudding – can’t wait to try that, sounds great! I’ll keep with it and report back in about a week’s time. Fingers crossed I’ll have some better news for you then.

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      • Hi Guillaume,

        Here’s the update I promised. Unfortunately, the rash was still spreading and causing me a lot of grief (especially at night time), and no creams or potions seemed to help (if anything, they made it worse). So, when it started to appear on my face I decided enough was enough and relaxed my eating by introducing more carbs (such as brown rice/legumes). I’ve been doing this for a couple of days now and the rash is improving amazingly quickly. So, I’m going to concentrate on keeping off the gluten, dairy, eggs (as was my original intention) and eat a more balanced diet that includes more carbs/whole grains. From googling “ketosis rash”, it seems there are quite a few others that have had similar issues with only suggestions and theories as to what is actually happening. Whether it’s detox, the increase in fat, the lack of carbs, or something else I know not, but it’s obvious there was something about the change of diet that I reacted very badly to. Thankfully, it seems easily cleared by introducing more carbs (and I suspect by doing that also reducing my fat intake). So, thank you very much for all your help and if you ever find out for sure what causes such a rash I would be very interested to know.

        Helen

        P.S. That coconut milk chia seed pudding is delicious!

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      • Thanks for the update. I’m glad you found how to make the rash subside. I would say that you should continue with everything in the programme, adding the bare minimum of carbs to avoid the rash, and gradually decreasing carbs over weeks or even months if necessary, until you can be benefit from the wonderful health advantages brought on by being in nutritional ketosis without having the rash come back. I will keep an eye out for that in all my future readings on the subject, but it is surprising that I have never come across this issue in what I have already read. I continue to believe that it is a transitory phenomenon related to the pathogenic yeasts, fungi and bacteria living inside the body, and that as these are killed off and cleared out, you will be able to live long and healthy in ketosis without the rash. I’ll be glad to get news from your progress in the future.

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  5. The only things I would recommend putting on your skin (because these are what I put on mine) are extra virgin organic coconut oil, aloe vera gel, pure shea butter (I also use almond oil to clean my face). And I’m sure that any and all of these could help alleviate the rash. I would also stop using any kind of soap on it. I will finish the article on detoxification tomorrow.

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  6. Hi Guillaume, First let mw thank you for all the excellent information you have provided here. I have spent the last couple of days poring over your posts and have a lot of questions, maybe you would be interested in writing directly over Facebook or skyping? If not I completely understand, then I’m going to bombard you with questions on your different posts :-) Here’s question number 1: is nigari basically the same as magnesium chloride hexahydrate? This is what I’m mostly finding here in Germany…do know of any differences in efficacy?

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    • Hi Alex! Yes, please bombard me with questions on the different posts. That’s the best way to be helpful to others as well. Not sure about the “hexahydrate” part of it. Nigari is magnesium chloride, but it is extracted from sea water, not manufactured in a lab. So, it must contain other things in small amounts, surely magnesium sulphate (epson salt) and trace elements found in sea water.

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    • Hi Mike. Of course alkaline magnesium will help, because it helps with everything. But the main problem with high uric acid is inadequate hydration and alkalisation. You need to focus on drinking alkaline water, either naturally or made so by adding alkalising drops, together with plenty of unrefined sea salt in order to allow the kidneys to excrete the acid. Read the articles on kidney function, and on water and salt.

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      • Maybe it’s because I have cut out salt in my cooking, then. I do have Himalaya salt but rarely use it and in fact this is when I have started to have increased levels of uric acid. My diet is faily alkaline and I’m a 6 on the litmus paper test but 7 is my goal. I’ll go by to the Nigara solution (I can’t remember why I stopped it) and use the salt. Thanks for your advice, Guillaume.

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      • Definitely the low salt. There’s no way for the kidneys to excrete acids if there isn’t an excess of salt that can be excreted with it. Do read those article, though. It will make the physiology and the biochemical balancing act clear in your understanding of how things work.

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  7. Hello Guilaume,

    With Nigari, do we need to worry about the impact it may have had from the Fukoshima plant incident in Japan? Wouldn’t that lead to increased toxicity in the body? Look forward to your direction. Thanks, Nishka

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    • Hi Nishka, I really don’t know. Nigari is extracted from sea water, but I have no idea what kind of filtration process is used, and it radioactive compounds are easy, possible or impossible to take out. I’m sorry. I don’t know.

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