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Chemo Drugs For Life Or Raw Milk? Ulcerative Colitis Cured?

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Below you can watch the full interview to hear Doug’s journey firsthand and learn how he cured himself with raw milk, fermented foods, and a high fat diet. (If you’re more of a reader, see the write-up underneath!) Doug went from pharmaceuticals, to steroids, to chemotherapy drugs, and then even faced surgery to remove his large intestine. Today he is completely symptom-free and has been for 2 years.

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How He Got Sick

Doug was once like any other teenager eating a “SAD” (Standard American Diet). He was a self-professed “human garbage disposal,” eating anything and everything in sight with no issue. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) was the reason he got out of bed each morning, and if you’ve ever seen MMA fighters in the act, you’ll know that a strong, healthy body is essential for success.

One fateful night, Doug got into a fist fight in the midst of defending someone very close to him. He ended up splitting his left hand open on the teeth of his opponent. As soon as he told me this, my eyes widened – we harbour some very dangerous bacteria in our mouths. That’s the last place you’d want touching your open wound!

My fears were confirmed when Doug told me what happened next. The cut, of course, became infected, so Doug went to the hospital for what he thought would be a simple round of antibiotics. He walked away with a script for doxycycline and a smile… until a few weeks later, when his hand turned green with the added bonus of leaking pus. Fun.

This time he went straight to the emergency room and was greeted with a shocking, “Prep him for surgery. We’re going to have to remove his fingers.”

A nurse stepped in moments before surgery and begged the team to save his hand. She suggested a pickline, funneled through a vein in his chest, with a daily IV antibiotic that would send the medicine all the way down his arm. Thankfully they listened, and every single day thereafter that incredible nurse was at his door to administer a fresh serving of IV vancomycin.

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The IV antibiotics saved his fingers but came at a costly price. Halfway through the treatment he collapsed with a 104* fever, which doctors feared could be caused by meningitis. He was rushed in for a spinal tap, cleared of meningitis, and continued his last month of IV therapy like a champ. Unfortunately, the secondary infections and fevers continued. His immune system was taking a huge hit from the constant administration of IV drugs that were destroying the microbiome of his gut. The next two years he was sick a lot, but grateful to have a hand, nonetheless.

Then one day, he came down with a flu unlike any other. It took weeks to get over, and although most symptoms disappeared with the virus, his stomach symptoms remained.

Every night thereafter, Doug was plagued with stabbing pain, nausea, diarrhea, no appetite, and blood in his stool. This went on for weeks until he actually began throwing up blood as well. He was losing weight quickly and knew something wasn’t right.

The Diagnosis

Doug made his way to a gastroenterologist, who he was confident would be able to diagnose and swiftly treat whatever was plaguing him. This was exactly what I thought when I went in for the treatment of my IBS. Unfortunately for me and Doug, we quickly learned that doctors knew just about as much as we did in terms of what was wreaking havoc in our guts.

Fecal test – negative for bacteria and parasites (so was mine, and yet check out the worm I passed with herbs!)

Endoscopy/Colonoscopy – positive for severe inflammation.

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“You have ulcerative colitis,” the doctor told him. “We don’t know what’s causing it, but we do have a protocol to treat it, so let’s get started.”

That protocol, unfortunately, was a guessing game of pharmaceuticals that left Doug in even worse pain, depressed, and desperate for answers.

Let’s Play A Game

1. Lialda, an anti-inflammatory drug, was first on the roster. Alongside Lialda was an anti-spasmodic that did nothing but make Doug’s symptoms worse.

In the interview above, Doug and I decided to take a look at the side effects of Lialda vs. the actual symptoms of ulcerative colitis. We discovered exactly what Doug did when he was wondering why he felt so bad: they were the same. Severe stomach pain, cramping, bloody diarrhea, nausea, upper stomach pain, loss of appetite. Doug experienced severe heart palpitations that scared him and his entire family. “This isn’t worth it,” he thought to himself. The side effects were worse than the disease!

2. Steroids were next on the list.

It started with 20mg of prednisone, then 40, then 60. Doug’s face blew up into the shape of a moon and he could not get to sleep no matter how hard he tried. He said the brain fog he experienced from these steroids was the worst of his entire life. The joint pain was unbearable.

3. Time to go with the big guns: chemotherapy drugs. 6MP to be exact.

“This was the darkest period of my entire life,” said Doug. “I was so depressed and weak, I could not get out of bed. I wanted to die.” He was 137 lbs and wasting away before his family’s eyes.

At this point, Doug was told he would have to either stay on these drugs for life (no matter how bad they made him feel), or he would have to have his entire large intestine removed.

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“The only other way is to cut out your large intestine. Once we do this, there’s no going back.”

“What about diet?” asked Doug. “Isn’t there something I can do?”

“No,” doctors replied. “If something bothers you, don’t eat it, but we believe diet has nothing to do with it.”

Doug made his way to the specialist’s office and was ready to give up his entire large intestine until the surgeon stopped him and said, “Look, you’re 21. Take my advice. Things can happen. Try to stick it out for a few months, and then come back to me.”

The Awakening

Doug went to the place we all come to when we’re lost (and the place you happen to be right now) – the internet. He scoured forums about Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. He tried every suggestion that seemed viable. He went on a vegan diet. Went macrobiotic, even. Nothing worked, and eating fibrous vegetables like leafy greens or grains such as brown rice just made the problem worse due to how damaged and irritated his gut lining was.

And then, someone said the two words that changed his life: raw milk.

Every single person on the forum laughed at the notion, but something in Doug’s intuition told him to give it a go. “I have nothing to lose. I can either try this crazy idea of raw milk. or lose my intestine,” he thought.

Doug started researching where to get the milk (www.realmilk.com), and realized that the FDA cracks down on this incredibly healing food because they know it will cut into their pharmaceutical profits. I highly suggest watching the documentary Farmageddon to see just how far our government will go to hide the benefits and prevent accessibility to this wonderful substance.

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He ordered a gallon from a brave, local farm, took his first sip, and was amazed. “It was completely different from the milk you get in the store,” he told me.

“In fact, pasteurized milk was one of my worst triggers. With raw milk I felt incredible.”

He saw that the milk had this interesting yellow colour to it, and later realized that this is because the cows were grass-fed on organic land. Cows fed fresh green forage, especially those grazing on grass, have been shown to have higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and essential fatty acids in their milk – the components that give it this rich color (1,2). Animal studies show that as little as 0.5 percent CLA in your diet could reduce tumors by over 50 percent, including the following types of cancer: breast, colorectal, lung, skin, and stomach (1, 2, 3). It’s also shown to lower body fat, increase lean body mass, and reduce inflammation, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease (1, 2, 3).

After 2-3 weeks, he started putting weight back on and was absolutely ecstatic. He began including raw cream and butter into his diet as well, and wondered what else the farm had to offer. He saw they offered “organic” produce and soon realized his milk was organic as well.

This, of course, opened the doors to the rabbit hole and he educated himself on GMOs, toxic food additives, pesticides, and so much more. This is a topic for another blog post, but essentially he completely cut out GMOs from his diet and went 100% organic. The difference was immediate.

Doug’s Healing Diet

At this point, Doug was knee-deep in research. He knew he wasn’t ready to digest irritating plant fiber, and knew that sugar, fruit, and carbs were some of his worst trigger foods due to candida and his leaky gut. He also knew that fats could be very healing to seal his damaged gut, so he went on a high fat paleo diet, eating predominately “low-FODMAP” foods.

The low-FODMAP diet is a scientifically proven diet plan which helps control symptoms of IBS and similar disorders. The theory is that eating foods high in FODMAPs increases the amount of liquid and gas in the small and large intestine, resulting in common IBS symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates found in a wide range of foods from apples to kidney beans – even honey! FODMAPs bring more water into the bowel because they are poorly absorbed in the gut and are fermented rapidly by bacteria in the bowel. Both of these distend the intestine (stretch its walls) and this causes the pain, bloating, and change in bowel habits.

doug's healing diet

Why no leafy greens for the first few months? As you saw above, Doug’s intestinal lining was absolutely destroyed. You can imagine how it felt to have fibrous foods scratching against the raw, inflamed lining. Thankfully, he was very diligent with his high-fat diet, and after many months was eventually able to introduce cooked greens back into his plan.

So what did he do for vegetables and fiber? Doug found out that he was also unable to deal with the fiber in vegetables because he had absolutely no good bacteria left over in his intestines from his previous antibiotic regimen. Here comes the magic of fermented vegetables: they were already partially broken down by the good bacteria fermenting them! He may not have had any probiotics in his intestines, but he sure could eat them and the vegetables that they love to pre-digest. This way, he not only got his daily intake of veggies – he also got a TON of the probiotics he desperately needed to repopulate his microbiome.

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You can read my article on the benefits of fermented foods here.

And now, the question you’ve been waiting for: WHY RAW MILK?

I know, I know. The internet has demonized dairy. And we should absolutely be against dead, pasteurized, factory-farmed dairy with no live enzymes to help us break it down. But here’s the scoop on this traditional food when it’s consumed raw, in its proper form.

Doug knew that his journey to dis-ease began when he was given extended IV antibiotic therapy. He connected the dots and realized that his gut was bombed by an indiscriminate weapon that killed everything in its sight. And while this meant his infection was gone, it also meant that his gut soldiers were gone as well. His microbiome was destroyed, and the bad bacteria had taken over.

Dr. Deborah Gordon, M.D. explains it best:

Raw milk refers to unprocessed, untreated milk straight from the cow. The milk you buy from the local supermarket nowadays is a different substance altogether. It has been pasteurized, ultra-pasteurized, or homogenized. This liquid is not really milk. It is a chemically altered substance, heated to remove pathogens and bacteria and to prolong its shelf life. The resultant low-enzyme activity makes it difficult to digest, the altered fat content renders the vitamins and minerals difficult to absorb, and the residual drugs and antibiotics pose a threat to human health. On top of this, the naturally occurring beneficial bacteria have been destroyed.

The only reason commercial supermarket milk is pasteurized is because it would be incredibly dangerous to drink raw milk from a factory-farmed cow. Factory-farmed animals are routinely fed an unnatural, high-protein GMO soy and corn-based diet. This diet is so toxic to their biology that it causes severe illnesses that can only be combated by continually injecting the cows with antibiotics. These animals, kept in inhumane conditions far from their natural environment, are subject to enormous stress.

Raw milk from grass-fed cows is a whole new ball game.

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Dr. Gordon, M.D. continues to explain that, “Raw milk is an incredibly complex whole food, complete with digestive enzymes and its own antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic mechanisms conveniently built into a neat package. It is chock-full of both fat and water-soluble vitamins, a wide range of minerals and trace elements, all eight essential amino acids, more than 60 enzymes, and CLA—an omega-6 fatty acid with impressive effects on everything from insulin resistance to cancer to cardiovascular disease.”

In fact, The Weston A. Price Foundation conducted an informal survey of over 700 families, and determined that over eighty percent of those diagnosed with lactose intolerance no longer suffer from symptoms after switching to raw milk. (1)

Why is that? Because raw milk actually contains the enzymes and probiotics you need to digest it!

When you’re a child, you produce the enzyme lactase to digest the molecule lactose from your mother’s milk. As we grow, we no longer produce it. Therefore, we would need to consume live, enzyme-rich raw milk that already contains abundant lactase to be able to break down the lactose. And that’s exactly what happens.

Raw milk’s probiotic content was able to repopulate Doug’s gut, and the healing fats and enzymes worked wonders on his inflamed, broken lining.

And speaking of raw milk’s anti-parasitic mechanisms: parasites play a huge role in all disorders of the gut, because as soon as the “good” soldiers are gone, the bad guys can take over. While drinking raw milk and eating a clean diet, Doug passed many different parasites including candida, pinworms, and more.

Ditch The Drugs

Doug felt so much better from his new diet, fermented foods, and raw milk that he decided to give up his chemo drugs and anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals… against his doctor’s orders.

Once he did that, his healing came full circle. He had not a symptom left in sight.

He walked into the doctor’s office a brand new man with 50 pounds of healthy weight and muscle put back on. “Wow, you look great!” said his physician. “The drugs are working, I propose?”

“Nope. I’m off every single one.”

His doctor’s jaw fell to the floor. “You are crazy,” he said. “You need them. This is a chronic disease. It will come back.”

“I’m sorry doc, but your medicine did nothing but make me worse. I found what works for me, and I’m not looking back.” With that sentiment he walked out of the office, and today he has been symptom free for 2 years.

“I feel like a bionic human now.”

If you met Doug in person, you would never know he was ill. He is strong, loving, caring, positive, and let me tell you – sharp as a knife. That’s what happens when you get sick and don’t have the answers. You have to teach yourself the truth from square one. He is so knowledgeable about so many facets of health and diet, and I am honoured to be his friend. Today he still eats a high fat paleo diet, but was able to re-introduce many wonderful foods such as sweet potatoes, starches, fruit, and nightshades. He still avoids gluten and grains (following paleo wisdom) and still drinks his raw milk every day, in much lesser quantities. He makes sure to include at least one serving of fermented vegetables with his meals and says he will never forget how important it is to care for your gut and the soldiers living inside of it, keeping you healthy and fighting off the bad guys.

“The most important part of my healing was a positive frame of mind,” he told me as we closed our interview.

“I never, ever gave up. I refused. That’s truly what kept me alive. That’s what got me through the worst days. I always believed I would get better.”

And you can, too.

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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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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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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.

4) Tarleton EK, Littenberg B. Magnesium intake and depression in adults. J Am Board Fam Med. 2015;28(2):249–56. Pmid:25748766

5) Yary T, Lehto SM, Tolmunen T, Tuomainen T-P, Kauhanen J, Voutilainen S, et al. Dietary magnesium intake and the incidence of depression: a 20-year follow-up study. J Affect Disord. 2016;193:94–8. Pmid:26771950

6) Eby GA, Eby KL. Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment. Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(2):362–70. pmid:16542786

7) N Engl J Med. 2000 Dec 28;343(26):1942-50. Managing depression in medical outpatients.

8)  Damiano Piovesan, Giuseppe Profiti, Pier Luigi Martelli, Rita Casadio. 3,751 magnesium binding sites have been detected on human proteins. BMC Bioinformatics. 2012 ;13 Suppl 14:S10. Epub 2012 Sep 7. PMID: 23095498

9) G Moorkens, B Manuel y Keenoy, J Vertommen, S Meludu, M Noe, I De Leeuw. Magnesium deficit in a sample of the Belgian population presenting with chronic fatigue. Magnes Res. 1997 Dec;10(4):329-37. PMID: 9513929

10)  J Eisinger, A Plantamura, P A Marie, T Ayavou. Selenium and magnesium status in fibromyalgia. Magnes Res. 1994 Dec;7(3-4):285-8. PMID: 7786692

11)  I J Russell, J E Michalek, J D Flechas, G E Abraham. Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with Super Malic: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover pilot study. J Rheumatol. 1995 May;22(5):953-8. PMID: 8587088

12) GreenMedInfo.com, Atrial Fibrillation and Magnesium (5 studies)

13)  Phuong-Chi T Pham, Phuong-Mai T Pham, Son V Pham, Jeffrey M Miller, Phuong-Thu T Pham . Hypomagnesemia in patients with type 2 diabetes. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2007 Mar;2(2):366-73. Epub 2007 Jan 3. PMID: 17699436

14)  M de Lordes Lima, T Cruz, J C Pousada, L E Rodrigues, K Barbosa, V Canguçu. The effect of magnesium supplementation in increasing doses on the control of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 1998 May;21(5):682-6. PMID: 9589224

15) Y Song, K He, E B Levitan, J E Manson, S Liu. Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on glycaemic control in Type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of randomized double-blind controlled trials. Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2008;8(3):115-25. Epub 2008 Jul 8. PMID: 16978367

16)  Martha Rodríguez-Morán, Fernando Guerrero-Romero. Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2003 Apr;26(4):1147-52. PMID: 12663588

17)  F Facchinetti, P Borella, G Sances, L Fioroni, R E Nappi, A R Genazzani. Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes. Obstet Gynecol. 1991 Aug;78(2):177-81. PMID: 2067759

18)  A F Walker, M C De Souza, M F Vickers, S Abeyasekera, M L Collins, L A Trinca. Magnesium supplementation alleviates premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention. J Womens Health. 1998 Nov;7(9):1157-65. PMID: 9861593

19)  S Quaranta, M A Buscaglia, M G Meroni, E Colombo, S Cella. Pilot study of the efficacy and safety of a modified-release magnesium 250 mg tablet (Sincromag) for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome. Am J Gastroenterol. 2008 Dec;103(12):2972-6. PMID: 17177579

20) M C De Souza, A F Walker, P A Robinson, K Bolland. A synergistic effect of a daily supplement for 1 month of 200 mg magnesium plus 50 mg vitamin B6 for the relief of anxiety-related premenstrual symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2000 Mar;9(2):131-9. PMID: 10746516

21) Thorsten Reffelmann, Till Ittermann, Marcus Dörr, Henry Völzke, Markus Reinthaler, Astrid Petersmann, Stephan B Felix. Low serum magnesium concentrations predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Atherosclerosis. 2011 Jun 12. Epub 2011 Jun 12. PMID: 21703623

22) Andrea Rosanoff, Mildred S Seelig. Comparison of mechanism and functional effects of magnesium and statin pharmaceuticals. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Oct;23(5):501S-505S. PMID: 15466951

23)  GreenMedInfo.com, Magnesium’s Hypotensive Properties.

24) GreenMedInfo.com, Magnesium’s Antispasmodic Properties.

25) Joen R Sheu, George Hsiao, Ming Y Shen, Yen M Lee, Mao H Yen . Antithrombotic effects of magnesium sulfate in in vivo experiments. Int J Hematol. 2003 May;77(4):414-9. PMID: 12774935

26) Afshin Samaie, Nabiollah Asghari, Raheb Ghorbani, Jafar Arda. Blood Magnesium levels in migraineurs within and between the headache attacks: a case control study. Pan Afr Med J. 2012 ;11:46. Epub 2012 Mar 15. PMID: 22593782

27) Mahnaz Talebi, Dariush Savadi-Oskouei, Mehdi Farhoudi, Solmaz Mohammadzade, Seyyedjamal Ghaemmaghamihezaveh, Akbar Hasani, Amir Hamdi. Relation between serum magnesium level and migraine attacks. Neurosciences (Riyadh). 2011 Oct ;16(4):320-3. PMID: 21983373

28) Alexander Mauskop, Jasmine Varughese. Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium. J Neural Transm. 2012 May ;119(5):575-9. Epub 2012 Mar 18. PMID: 22426836

29)  Fong Wang, Stephen K Van Den Eeden, Lynn M Ackerson, Susan E Salk, Robyn H Reince, Ronald J Elin. Oral magnesium oxide prophylaxis of frequent migrainous headache in children: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Eur J Endocrinol. 2009 Apr;160(4):611-7. Epub 2009 Jan 29. PMID: 12786918

30) Ali Tarighat Esfanjani, Reza Mahdavi, Mehrangiz Ebrahimi Mameghani, Mahnaz Talebi, Zeinab Nikniaz, Abdolrasool Safaiyan. The effects of magnesium, L-carnitine, and concurrent magnesium-L-carnitine supplementation in migraine prophylaxis. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2012 Dec ;150(1-3):42-8. Epub 2012 Aug 17. PMID: 22895810

31) David W Killilea, Jeanette A M Maier. A connection between magnesium deficiency and aging: new insights from cellular studies. Magnes Res. 2008 Jun;21(2):77-82. PMID: 18705534

32) GreenMedInfo.com, What We Learned From The Accelerated Aging of Astronauts

33) Katja Held, I A Antonijevic, H Künzel, M Uhr, T C Wetter, I C Golly, A Steiger, H Murck. Oral Mg(2+) supplementation reverses age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2002 Jul;35(4):135-43. PMID: 12163983

34) William J Rowe. Correcting magnesium deficiencies may prolong life. Clin Interv Aging. 2012 ;7:51-4. Epub 2012 Feb 16. PMID: 22379366


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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