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Should I Be Worried About The Pill? 8 Things You May Have Never Heard About It Before

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It’s easy, it’s effective, and it’s harmless – at least, that’s what they tell us. But do we really understand what popping those small white pills day after day is doing to our body, behaviour, and self-confidence? I know I didn’t. I had to reach the brink of depression before digging into ‘The Pill’ and finding out some surprising facts, and stories from other women brave enough to tell me about their experiences, which made me realize I wasn’t crazy for wanting to come off it.

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Here are 8 things you might not have heard about The Pill:

1. It’s The Most Commonly Used Drug In The World

There are currently well over 100 million women on the Pill, and it has been used at some time by 300 million. Tens of millions more use injectables, patches, and implants which contain similar levels of hormones. Girls as young as 12 are prescribed the Pill, not only for contraception, but also for heavy periods, acne, or ‘hormone imbalances.’

Stacey’s story:

“I got put on the Pill at 16 for heavy periods. It helped make them more manageable, but my emotions became a roller coaster. I was up and down so much I started to think I was losing the plot. I came off a couple of years later and felt like myself again.”

2. It’s A Billion-Dollar Industry

In the U.S., the Pill makes pharmaceutical companies approx. 2.8 billion each year. Eyebrows have certainly been raised over how much they’re downplaying potential side-effects and issues with their products – for example, a recent study for the Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services found that 7 out of 10 advertisements for contraceptive pills were “misleading or unbalanced.”

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3. The Pill Works By Keeping You In A Constant State Of Pregnancy

As women, our natural cycle is composed of rising and falling levels of estrogen and progesterone. What the Pill does is keep your levels at a constant high point – basically tricking your body into thinking that it’s already pregnant, so pregnancy can’t occur. These levels are approx. 3-4 times higher than they naturally occur at the peak of your cycle.

4. You Can’t Absorb Nutrients Properly When On The Pill

Taking the Pill every day places a really heavy load on your liver, which has to metabolize all the synthetic hormones. It affects your ability to absorb vitamins B2, B6, B12, C, riboflavin, thiamine, and folic acid – as well as depleting minerals zinc, copper, selenium, potassium, and magnesium. It can take months or years for the effects of this malnutrition to become apparent, but it’s amazing how many ‘small’ problems such as insomnia, cravings, skin infections, headaches, weight gain, anxiety, fatigue, constipation, and irritability can all be linked back to use of the Pill.

Melissa’s story:

“I never used to get headaches, or infections. I considered myself a really healthy person, but in my first year of being on the Pill, I got thrush three times and had headaches on and off. Only after I’d stopped taking it I connected the headaches to the days when I was on the sugar pills – basically in ‘withdrawal’ mode from the Pill. I had headaches coming off it too, but they’re over now.”

Sarah’s story:

“After going on the Pill, with no changes to my diet or exercise, I gained 7kgs in 2 months! I decided shortly after to stop taking it – and let me tell you, that weight took a lot longer to lose than it did to gain.”

5. The Pill Suppresses Testosterone – Bye-bye Sex Drive!

It’s been found that women on the Pill produce up to seven times more of a sex hormone-binding globulin; a protein which binds with testosterone and takes it out of circulation. Lack of testosterone leads to low libido and less fun in the bedroom. Australian Professor Lorraine Dennerstein, who specializes in researching female sex hormones, says that “The Pill flattens out natural estradiol highs and suppresses free testosterone, potentially delivering a double libido blow.”

Amanda’s story:

I started taking the pill when I was 19 as a means of birth control and also to help with really heavy periods. That was 9 years ago. It definitely improved my menstrual cycle (and I obviously did not get pregnant), so I just assumed it was now a permanent part of my routine. I never thought about it again, taking the pill was just a regular part of my life, as normal as breathing. 

A couple of years into it my sex drive started to flag. I had always maintained a very healthy sexual appetite, so it was very noticeable. I never attributed the problem to what I was doing to my hormones though. I assumed it was a part of getting a little older, being in a committed relationship, all the things you’re told will happen when you get comfortable with someone. Then I started noticing that my periods were becoming very irregular. If I missed a pill, or took it late (even by a couple of hours), my period would begin a week early and continue through its full duration – meaning I was menstruating for two weeks at a time. So I tried the pill where you only get your period every three months. That was followed by spotting at random times and intense stomach cramps. I quit that pretty quickly and tried a few other brands of the regular pill before settling on one and continuing on with my life. 

Then last year I started noticing that almost every period was turning into the two week irregularity, with plenty of water retention and PMS to boot. My sex drive was also as low as it had ever been. I started doing some research into birth control and discovered not only that it was likely causing my low sex drive, but could lead to a whole host of health problems I had never considered before.

So in January I stopped taking the pill, and the difference was like night and day. I lost a couple of pounds, my periods went back to normal (though heavy again), and best of all, my sex drive had returned. I felt like a teenager again (which makes sense considering I started taking the pill when I was 19). Now, several months later, I can still feel my body readjusting to a natural cycle. My sex life has done nothing but improve steadily these last few months.” 

6. Your Chances Of Depression Double

You might have seen depression listed as a possible side-effect on your Pill packet. It may be more serious than we’re lead to believe though – one study conducted by women’s mental health specialist Professor Jayashri Kulkarni on a large group of women over 18 years old, with no clinical history of depression, found that the women on the Pill were twice as likely to suffer from depression as the others. In another on-going study of 23,000 women on the Pill, one third stopped taking it because of depression.

Aimee’s story:

“I tried about 6 different contraceptive pills over 4.5 years, hoping I’d find one that worked. I had horrible mood swings and long ‘low’ times on all of them, eventually gave up on the Pill and switched to a non-hormonal method. My friends said that they’d missed me and it was good to have me back again.”

7. You Risk Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Stroke, Bone Density Depletion, Blood Clots, & Ovarian Cancer 

You’ve probably heard about some/most of these warnings before, but we all have a tendency to think, “Oh, that wouldn’t happen to me.” Studies have found that the hormonal changes the Pill produces in our bodies (which leads to the previously mentioned nutrient absorption issues) increase risks significantly in these areas – even though it may not become an issue for some time.

Taylor’s story:

I went on the pill in my late teens to deal with periods so painful that for one day a month, all I could concentrate on was lying on the couch clutching a hot water bottle. When I figured out that amounted to 12 days a year — almost two week of lying around and groaning! — I went to my doctor for advice and was told the pill was the best solution. The pain vanished immediately, my periods became much, much lighter, and I didn’t experience any of the side effects I was warned about. Ten years later, I’ve just been told by my doctor that I’ll need to take a break from the pill because long-term use raises the risk of ovarian cancer. I had no idea this was a side effect.”

8. It’s Linked To Infertility

When you think about the fact that the Pill creates a state of permanent pregnancy in your body and therefore the inability to become pregnant, it’s not so surprising that women who have been on it for many years then struggle to have a baby when they want one. Interestingly, it doesn’t just make women infertile – Britain is dealing with an expensive problem of fish dying off due to pollution in the water-ways, thought to be mainly from pill excretions. The Guardian reported: “More than 2.5 million women take birth control pills in the UK. Their EE2 [Ethinyl estradiol, the synthetic form of estrogen in contraceptive pills] content is excreted and washed into sewage systems and rivers. Even at very low concentrations, this chemical has harmful effects on fish. Males suffer reduced sperm production, with severe effects on populations. In one recent trial, in a Canadian lake, researchers added EE2 until levels in the water reached five parts per trillion, a minute concentration. Yet fish populations suffered severe problems with one species, the fathead minnow, collapsing completely.”

The Pill changes your cervical mucus production, which over time can cause the mucus-producing cells to atrophy… effectively aging your cervix and narrowing the cervical canal. A study conducted in 2004 found that “time to pregnancy” following long-term pill use was two to three times longer than after condom use.

Fast Facts

  • The Pill alters 150 bodily functions, and affects all your organs
  • Over 100 million women are currently taking the Pill
  • Only one third of 147 countries recently surveyed by a medical journal require a prescription for getting the Pill
  • There are new, ‘no period’ pills being released in the U.S that have no break intervals – the long-term affects of these have not yet been properly tested
  • Women on the pill do not secrete couplins – a volatile fatty acid in the vagina that stimulates male sexual interest

If Not The Pill, Then What Are My Options?

  • Condoms are affordable and have a high success rate when used properly – between 95-98%
  • Natural fertility – practiced carefully, this has a 97% success rate and requires no devices – although some very smart tools such as the “Lady-Comp” and newly released “Leaf” necklace from Bellabeat are beginning to make tracking your ovulation down to the exact day really easy
  • Barrier methods such as diaphragms/cervical caps are reusable, and can be worn in advance to allow some spontaneity
  • Spermicides – best used with condoms or other barrier methods
  • Sterilization (i.e., getting your ‘tubes tied) – must be considered very carefully as it is very difficult and costly to reverse

Sources

 
 
Infertility:

Study in Human Reproduction journal about how condom users get pregnant faster than pill users –http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/humber/3446403.stm
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3109/00016346809156845/abstract

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Awareness

Long-Term Consequences of Mumps Vaccination: Many Unanswered Questions

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This is Part II of a two-part series on mumps. Part I discussed how mumps vaccination and the flawed mumps component of Merck’s MMR vaccine are fostering dangerous mumps outbreaks in adolescents and young adults.

It has been about five decades since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Merck’s first mumps vaccine. The company began launching combination MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines in the 1970s. Coincidentally—or not—an infertility crisis has been brewing over roughly the same time period, with dramatic declines in sperm counts and record-lowfertility levels. However, few investigators seem interested in assessing whether mumps outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations of teens and young adults could be having long-termeffects on fertility or other health indicators.

As described in Part I, childhood MMR vaccination has been an unmitigated disaster where mumps is concerned, deferring mumps infection to older ages and leaving adolescents and young adults vulnerable to serious reproductive complications. Public health reports show that the vast majority of mumps cases and outbreaks occur in youth who have been fully vaccinatedwith the prescribed two-dose MMR series, supporting a hypothesis of “waning immunity after the second dose.” FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials even admitthat mumps outbreaks in the post-vaccination era “typically involve young adults,” and that vaccination is failing to protect those who are college-age and above.

Myopically, many vaccine experts have called for a third MMR dose—or even “booster dosing throughout adulthood”—even though the FDA’s and CDC’s own research shows that MMR boosters in college-age youth barely last one year. As alleged in whistleblower lawsuits wending their way through the courts over the past eight years, Merck presented the FDA with a “falsely inflated efficacy rate” for the MMR’s mumps component, using animal antibodies and other fraudulent tactics to fool FDA—and the public—into believing that the vaccine was effective.

When infection arises after puberty, however, mumps is no laughing matter, presenting an increased risk of complications such as hearing loss, encephalitis and inflammation of the reproductive organs.

Mumps after puberty is no laughing matter

Around the time that the first mumps vaccine came on the market, the 1967 children’s classic The Great Brain humorously depicted mumps infection in childhood as a mere nuisance. The book’s young protagonist goes out of his way to intentionally infect himself with mumps so that he can beat his two brothers to the recovery finish line—and he experiences no adverse consequences other than his siblings’ annoyance.

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When infection arises after puberty, however, mumps is no laughing matter, presenting an increased risk of complications such as hearing loss, encephalitis and inflammation of the reproductive organs. About one in three postpubertal men with mumps develops orchitis(inflammation of the testes), which can damage sperm, affect testosterone production and contribute to subfertility and infertility. During a mumps outbreak in England in the mid-2000s, mumps orchitis accounted for 42% of all hospitalized mumps cases; the researchers attributed this outcome—which was the most common reason for hospitalization—to “the high attack rates in adolescents and young adults” that occurred “despite high coverage with two-dose MMR.” An analysis of a 2006 mumps outbreak in the U.S. reported that male patients were over three times more likely than female patients to experience complications, “due primarily to orchitis.”

An estimated 5% to 10% of postpubertal women will develop oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) following mumps infection. Oophoritis is associated with premature menopause and infertility, but mumps-related oophoritis has garnered little notice.

Mumps infections are often asymptomatic or produce nonspecific symptoms such as fever, while cases of orchitis may present with no other mumps symptoms. Nonetheless, public health officials advise clinicians that orchitis is an instant cue to test for mumps virus, and testing often reveals elevated mumps antibodies. In a case report of MMR failure, British clinicians isolated a novel genetic strain of mumps virus from the patient’s semen two weeks after the onset of orchitis and found mumps RNA in the semen 40 days later; they also noted “the appearance of anti-sperm antibodies,” with “potential long-term adverse effects on the patient’s fertility.”

In 2017, researchers who reviewed 185 studies conducted in Western nations found that sperm counts had plummeted by 50% to 60% between 1973 and 2011—an average decrease of 1.4% annually. Commenting on this work, one analyst estimated that 20% to 30% of young men in Europe and North America have sperm concentrations associated with a reduced ability to father a child. Given estimates that as much as 40% of reproductive problems have to do with the male partner, there is agreement on the importance of “finding and eliminating [the] hidden culprits in the environment” that most researchers believe are to blame.

An estimated 5% to 10% of postpubertal women will develop oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) following mumps infection. Oophoritis is associated with premature menopause and infertility, but mumps-related oophoritis has garnered little notice.

MMR’s and MMRV’s potential to impair fertility never studied

Merck has not evaluated either of its two MMR vaccines—the MMR-II and the MMR-plus-varicella (MMRV) vaccine—for their potential to impair fertility. Whether such testing would unearth direct effects on fertility (as appears to be possible with HPV vaccination in women) is thus unknown. However, mumps vaccination undeniably increases reproductive-age individuals’ risk of mumps infection and, in the process, increases the risk of fertility-altering complications. These facts alone should be attracting far more attention.

Unfortunately, because clinicians already tend to underdiagnose mumps infection and underestimate mumps complications, it is likely that they are failing to recognize possible vaccine-induced reproductive health consequences of mumps infection in their adolescent and young adult patients. In one university outbreak, “most physicians…did not suspect mumps,” and even when they became aware of the outbreak, “diagnosing mumps was not always straightforward.” Moreover, although differentiating between vaccine strains of mumps virus and wild types could provide valuable information, few clinicians have the capacity or inclination to perform testing of this type. A Japanese study of cerebrospinal fluid and saliva from patients with mumps complications found vaccine strain in nearly all of the samples and noted the information’s importance in helping determine whether the complications were vaccine-related.

Those who have sought to understand mumps vaccines’ poor performance point to a mixture of explanatory factors. These include waning immunity, the high population density and close quarters encountered in settings such as college campuses, incomplete vaccine-induced immunity to wild virus as well as viral evolution such that “the vaccine triggers a less potent reaction against today’s mumps viruses than those of 50 years ago.” However, some also quietly admit that individuals with “mild vaccine-modified disease” could be perpetuating the chain of transmission. This latter point ought to be raising questions about the logic and wisdom of administering further rounds of MMR boosters during outbreaks while ignoring the problems created by the doses already given.

… some individuals respond poorly to mumps vaccination and vaccine-induced antibody levels correlate poorly with protection from mumps infection, irrespective of the number of additional doses of mumps-containing vaccine they receive.

Most scientists appear to be either resigned to ongoing mumps outbreaks in vaccinated populations or actually accept periodic outbreaks as the cost of doing business. Publications by FDA and CDC researchers reveal these agencies’ awareness that some individuals respond poorly to mumps vaccination and that vaccine-induced antibody levels correlate poorly with protection from mumps infection, “irrespective of the number of additional doses of mumps-containing vaccine they receive.” Considering the effects on fertility, the generally abysmal track record of mumps vaccination and Merck’s fraudulent claims about efficacy, it is hard to fathom medical and public health experts’ complacency about current mumps vaccines and vaccine policies.


Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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Alternative News

Legal Challenge Against Forced Vaccination Filed in New York City

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On April 15, 2019, a legal challenge was filed in the New York State Trial Court by Robert Krakow, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Patricia Finn against the New York City Department of Health and Human Hygiene for their forced Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccination. The legal team asked for a temporary restraining order against the mandate that the Judge will likely review and provide an ex parte decision. Children’s Health Defense is supporting these efforts.

Last week, Children’s Health Defense reported that the NYC Commissioner of Health declared a public health emergency, ordering all people who live, work or reside in four Brooklyn zip codes to be vaccinated with the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine. Non-compliance with the order is a misdemeanor subject to criminal and civil fines, including imprisonment. Only those with documented immunity, medical contraindications or infants under six months are exempt from the vaccine mandate.

READ THE PETITION
READ THE MEMORANDUM OF LAW
READ THE AFFIRMATION

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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Awareness

Magnesium Puts Psychiatric Drugs to Shame for Depression

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo.com where this article first appeared. Posted here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    Is the priority of our federal health regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical companies human health, or profit? If there are more effective ways to treat several illnesses, why do they never mention them?

Depression is one of the most widely diagnosed conditions of our time, with over 3 million cases in the U.S. every year, and 350 million believed affected worldwide.1 Conventional medicine considers antidepressant drugs first-line treatments, including the newly approved injected postpartum drug costing $34,000 a treatment, to the tune of a 16 billion dollars in global sales by 2023. Despite their widespread use, these drugs are fraught with a battery of serious side effects, including suicidal ideation and completion — the last two things you would hope to see in a condition that already has suicidality as a co-morbidity. For this reason alone, natural, safe, and effective alternatives are needed more than ever before.

While research into natural alternatives for depression is growing daily — GreenMedInfo.com’s Depression database contains 647 studies on over 100 natural substances that have been studied to prevent or treat depression — it is rare to find quality human clinical research on the topic published in well-respected journals. That’s why a powerful study published in PLOS One titled, “Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial,” is so promising. Not only is magnesium safe, affordable, and easily accessible, but according to this recent study, effective in treating mild-to moderate symptoms of depression.

While previous studies have looked at the association between magnesium and depression,2-7 this is the first placebo-controlled clinical study to evaluate whether the use of over-the-counter magnesium chloride (248 mg elemental magnesium a day for 6 weeks) improves symptoms of depression.

The study design was a follows:

“ An open-label, blocked, randomized, cross-over trial was carried out in outpatient primary care clinics on 126 adults (mean age 52; 38% male) diagnosed with and currently experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms with Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) scores of 5–19. The intervention was 6 weeks of active treatment (248 mg of elemental magnesium per day) compared to 6 weeks of control (no treatment). Assessments of depression symptoms were completed at bi-weekly phone calls. The primary outcome was the net difference in the change in depression symptoms from baseline to the end of each treatment period. Secondary outcomes included changes in anxiety symptoms as well as adherence to the supplement regimen, appearance of adverse effects, and intention to use magnesium supplements in the future. Between June 2015 and May 2016, 112 participants provided analyzable data.”

The study results were as follows:

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“Consumption of magnesium chloride for 6 weeks resulted in a clinically significant net improvement in PHQ-9 scores of -6.0 points (CI -7.9, -4.2; P<0.001) and net improvement in Generalized Anxiety Disorders-7 scores of -4.5 points (CI -6.6, -2.4; P<0.001). Average adherence was 83% by pill count. The supplements were well tolerated and 61% of participants reported they would use magnesium in the future. Similar effects were observed regardless of age, gender, baseline severity of depression, baseline magnesium level, or use of antidepressant treatments. Effects were observed within two weeks. Magnesium is effective for mild-to-moderate depression in adults. It works quickly and is well tolerated without the need for close monitoring for toxicity.”

 For perspective, conventional antidepressant drugs are considering to generate an “adequate or complete treatment response” with a PHQ-9 score “decrease of 5 points or more from baseline.” At this level of efficacy, their recommended action is: “Do not change treatment; conduct periodic follow-up.” The magnesium’s score of -6.0 therefore represents the height of success within conventional expectations for a complete response, which is sometimes termed “remission.” In contradistinction, conventional antidepressant drugs result in nearly half of patients discontinuing treatment during the first month, usually due to their powerful and sometimes debilitating side effects.8

To summarize the main study outcomes:

  • There was a clinically significant improvement in both Depression and Anxiety scores.
  • 61% of patients reported they would use magnesium in the future.
  • Similar effects occurred across age, gender, severity of depression, baseline magnesium levels, or use of antidepressant treatments.
  • Effects were observed within two weeks.

 The study authors concluded:

“Magnesium is effective for mild-to-moderate depression in adults. It works quickly and is well tolerated without the need for close monitoring for toxicity.”

Beyond Depression: Magnesium’s Many Health Benefits & Where To Source It

Magnesium is a central player in your body’s energy production, as its found within 300 enzymes in the human body, including within the biologically active form of ATP known as MG-ATP. In fact, there have been over 3,751 magnesium binding sites identified within human proteins, indicating that it’s central nutritional importance has been greatly underappreciated.

Research relevant to magnesium has been accumulating for the past 40 years at a steady rate of approximately 2,000 new studies a year. Our database project has indexed well over 100 health benefits of magnesium thus far.  For the sake of brevity, we will address seven key therapeutic applications for magnesium as follows:

  • Fibromyalgia: Not only is magnesium deficiency common in those diagnosed with fibromyalgia, 9,10 but relatively low doses of magnesium (50 mg), combined with malic acid in the form of magnesium malate, has been clinically demonstrated to improve pain and tenderness in those to which it was administered.11
  • Atrial Fibrillation: A number of studies now exist showing that magnesium supplementation reduce atrial fibrillation, either by itself, or in combination with conventional drug agents.12
  • Diabetes, Type 2: Magnesium deficiency is common in type 2 diabetics, at an incidence of 13.5 to 47.7% according to a 2007 study. 13 Research has also shown that type 2 diabetics with peripheral neuropathy and coronary artery disease have lower intracellular magnesium levels. 14 Oral magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce plasma fasting glucose and raising HDL cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes.15 It has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects.16
  • Premenstrual Syndrome: Magnesium deficiency has been observed in women affected by premenstrual syndrome.17 It is no surprise therefore  that it has been found to alleviate premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention, 18 as well as broadly reducing associated symptoms by approximately 34% in women, aged 18-45, given 250 mg tablets for a 3-month observational period.20 When combined with B6, magnesium supplementation has been found to improve anxiety-related premenstrual symptoms.19
  • Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: Low serum magnesium concentrations predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.21 There are a wide range of ways that magnesium may confer its protective effects. It may act like a calcium channel blocker,22it is hypotensive,23 it is antispasmodic (which may protect against coronary artery spasm),24 and anti-thrombotic.25 Also, the heart muscle cells are exceedingly dense in mitochondria (as high as 100 times more per cell than skeletal muscle), the “powerhouses” of the cell,” which require adequate magnesium to produce ATP via the citric acid cycle.
  • Migraine Disorders: Blood magnesium levels have been found to be significantly lower in those who suffer from migraine attacks.26,27 A recent Journal of Neural Transmission article titled, “Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium,” pointed out that routine blood tests do not accurately convey the true body magnesium stores since less than 2% is in the measurable, extracellular space, “67% is in the bone and 31% is located intracellularly.”28The authors argued that since “routine blood tests are not indicative of magnesium status, empiric treatment with at least oral magnesium is warranted in all migraine sufferers.” Indeed, oral magnesium supplementation has been found to reduce the number of headache days in children experiencing frequent migranous headaches,29and when combined with l-carnitine, is effective at reducing migraine frequency in adults, as well.30
  • Aging: While natural aging is a healthy process, accelerated aging has been noted to be a feature of magnesium deficiency,31especially evident in the context of long space-flight missions where low magnesium levels are associated with cardiovascular aging over 10 times faster than occurs on earth.32 Magnesium supplementation has been shown to reverse age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans.33 One of the possible mechanisms behind magnesium deficiency associated aging is that magnesium is needed to stabilize DNA and promotes DNA replication. It is also involved in healing up of the ends of the chromosomes after they are divided in mitosis.34

 It is quite amazing to consider the afformentioned side benefits of magnesium consumption or supplementation within the context of the well-known side effects of pharmaceutical approaches to symptom

management of disease. On average, conventional drugs have 75 side effects associated with their use, including lethal ones (albeit sometimes rare). When considering magnesium’s many side benefits

and extremely low toxicity, clearly this fundamental mineral intervention (and dietary requirement) puts pharmaceutical approaches to depression to shame.

Best Sources of Magnesium In The Diet

The best source of magnesium is from food, and one way to identify magnesium-containing foods are those which are green, i.e. chlorophyll rich. Chlorophyll, which enable plants to capture solar energy and convert it into metabolic energy, has a magnesium atom at its center. Without magnesium, in fact, plants could not utilize the sun’s light energy.

Magnesium, however, in its elemental form is colorless, and many foods that are not green contain it as well. The point is that when found complexed with food cofactors, it is absorbed and utilized more efficiently than in its elemental form, say, extracted from limestone in the form of magnesium oxide.

 The following foods contain exceptionally high amounts of magnesium. The portions described are 100 grams, or a little over three ounces.

  • Rice bran, crude (781 mg)
  • Seaweed, agar, dried (770 mg)
  • Chives, freeze-dried (640 mg)
  • Spice, coriander leaf, dried (694 mg)
  • Seeds, pumpkin, dried (535 mg)
  • Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened (499 mg)
  • Spices, basil, dried (422 mg)
  • Seeds, flaxseed (392 mg)
  • Spices, cumin seed (366 mg)
  • Nuts, brazilnuts, dried (376 mg)
  • Parsley, freeze-dried (372 mg)
  • Seeds, sesame meal (346 mg)
  • Nut, almond butter (303 mg)
  • Nuts, cashew nuts, roasted (273 mg)
  • Soy flour, defatted (290 mg)
  • Whey, sweet, dried (176 mg)
  • Bananas, dehydrated (108 mg)
  • Millet, puffed (106 mg)
  • Shallots, freeze-dried (104 mg)
  • Leeks, freeze-dried (156 mg)
  • Fish, salmon, raw (95 mg)
  • Onions, dehydrated flakes (92 mg)
  • Kale, scotch, raw (88 mg)

 Fortunately, for those who need higher doses, or are not inclined to consume magnesium rich foods, there are supplemental forms commonly available on the market. Keep in mind, for those who wish to take advantage of the side benefit of magnesium therapy, namely, its stool softening and laxative properties, magnesium citrate or oxide will provide this additional feature.

For those looking to maximize absorption and bioavailability magnesium glycinate is ideal, as glycine is the smallest amino acid commonly found chelated to magnesium, and therefore highly absorbable.

For more information on natural solutions to resolving depression, download our free e-book on the topic “21st Century Solutions to Depression.” 

References:

1) World Health Organization. Depression fact sheet no. 369 2012 [cited 2016 December 20]. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/.

2) Jacka FN, Overland S, Stewart R, Tell GS, Bjelland I, Mykletun A. Association between magnesium intake and depression and anxiety in community-dwelling adults: the Hordaland Health Study. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2009;43(1):45–52. Pmid:19085527.

3) Huang JH, Lu YF, Cheng FC, Lee JN, Tsai LC. Correlation of magnesium intake with metabolic parameters, depression and physical activity in elderly type 2 diabetes patients: a cross-sectional study. Nutrition J. 2012;11(1):41. pmid:22695027; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3439347.

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Sayer Ji is founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.


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