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Transdermal magnesium supplementation should be included in the treatment of stress and depression which affects millions of South Africans and is costing the economy billions, according to a leading health expert.
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Almost a third of the population is believed to experience mental illness at some stage while 20% suffer from a serious mental illness or disorder, according to the Mental Health Federation of SA, costing the economy almost R30-billion in lost earnings last year alone.
Research shows that magnesium deficiency is linked to depression, psychosis and poor mental performance and is probably the most important nutrient for overall health and mental wellbeing, says nutritional consultant, Vanessa Ascencao.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 75% of Western populations are magnesium deficient and in SA the average magnesium intake is almost 40% below the recommended daily allowance (see:http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2009/9789241563550_eng.pdf, pg 21). The WHO predicts that by 2020, depression will likely be the second leading cause of disability in the world.
Ascencao says as far back as 1968, research by doctors Warren Wacker and Alfred Parisi indicated that magnesium deficiency could result in depression, behavioural disturbances, headaches, seizures, psychosis and irritability – which they said were all potentially reversible with magnesium repletion.
“Research is increasingly showing that magnesium supplementation may be the panacea of our age and should be included in treatment for stress and depression. But most oral magnesium oxide supplements have an absorption rate as low as 4% and may cause an upset tummy. Naturally occurring magnesium chloride, applied transdermally (sprayed on the skin), has been demonstrated to be far more effective.”
Ascencao said transdermal magnesium oil, sourced from the Zechstein seabed below Europe – regarded as the most potent magnesium chloride -- is currently undergoing a trial in Harrow, UK, following studies by Dr Norman Shealy, MD, showing that magnesium oil sprayed on the skin was far more effective than oral supplementation (see here: http://www.ancient-minerals.com/transdermal-magnesium/).
In a separate 12 week trial, 89% of subjects improved their magnesium levels by almost 60% through transdermal application (see here: http://www.cnelm.com/NutritionPractitioner/Issues/Issue_11_1/Articles/7%...).
Ascencao said magnesium oil spray was among the purest, naturally filtered and most soluble source available, reaching body tissue through the skin effectively and replacing lost magnesium quickly.
A brief summary of studies on the effects of transdermal magnesium follows:
Cardiff University trial – 2011
This trial showed that magnesium ions are effectively transferred to the bloodstream via the skin.
The process (in the trial which used porcine skin) showed that the absorption into the skin was fast but transfer from skin to bloodstream was slow. However it’s fair to say that live human skin would be a much better receptor for this process.
Conclusion: magnesium in this form enters the skin very quickly, when massaged in, and gradually feeds the body with elemental magnesium with an exceptionally low level of wastage.
Watkins and Josling trial - 2010
Patients were chosen based upon signs of low magnesium levels: headaches, muscle cramping, poor & interrupted sleep, low energy levels.
After 12 weeks of 20 sprays each day, cellular magnesium levels were found to have increased by 60%.
A result 5 times faster than would be realistically expected using traditional oral supplementation.
St Mark’s clinical trial – 2014 (underway)
The world’s first clinical trial investigating whether patients with short bowel or stomas, who are receiving IV or sub-cutaneous magnesium injections, can rely of transdermal magnesium supplementation using BetterYou Magnesium Oil.