The Magic of Magnesium

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Magnesium is the second-most abundant element in human cells. It helps to regulate the activity of over 300 enzymes in the body, and is involved in a wide variety of bodily functions, including food metabolism, fatty acid and protein synthesis; muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and toxin elimination.
Many people with Lyme disease are deficient in magnesium, due to the metabolic effects of the microbes upon the body. Some researchers also believe that microbes use magnesium for their survival. Stress also depletes magnesium, and in chronic Lyme disease the body is obviously under a lot of stress.
In my just-released book, New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment, David Jernigan, DC, describes the benefits of magnesium for those with Lyme disease. Among these, he contends that it may support heart and circulatory health, which in turn reduces irregular heartbeats, blood clots and hardening of the arteries. It also regulates blood pressure and may improve nerve function by regulating electrolytes and maintaining proper calcium levels in the blood.
In addition, magnesium is a powerful stress reliever. The body uses magnesium to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, which is a mood-enhancing chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of wellbeing.
For these reasons and others, many Lyme-literate doctors recommend that their patients take a magnesium supplement.  Not all supplements are bioavailable and readily uptaken and assimilated by the body though. Most Lyme doctors that I know recommend magnesium malate or magnesium citrate, which are among the forms that are the most well-absorbed and utilized by the body. Recommended dosages vary, but many practitioners recommend taking magnesium to bowel tolerance, which could be up as high as 800-1,200 mg daily- or even higher- in two divided doses daily.
Common symptoms of magnesium deficiency include: muscle cramps, twitches, muscle pain, irregular heartbeat and anxiety.  In cases of severe magnesium deficiency, intravenous magnesium or magnesium shots may be necessary. Sometimes, people with Lyme disease have difficulty raising their magnesium levels to normal just by taking oral supplements, in which case transdermal magnesium sprays may be more beneficial.
Magnesium may be one of the most important nutritional supplements needed by those with chronic Lyme disease. Of course, it all depends upon the person but in general, most people that I know and most doctors that I’ve interviewed believe that it is one of the most crucial minerals that is lacking in people with chronic Lyme. To find a dosage and product that is right for you, I recommend consulting with a Lyme literate doctor.