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The Flawed Logic of Hepatitis B Vaccine Mandates

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Summary:

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  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that newborn babies receive the hepatitis B vaccine on their first day of life.
  • The infants, toddlers and young children receiving this vaccine face little to no chance of hepatitis B infection, but the vaccines impose significant risks, including the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, autoimmune illness and even death.
  • In the 0-1 age group, there is at least a 20:1 ratio of reported vaccine injuries/deaths associated with hepatitis B vaccines compared to cases of hepatitis B infection.
  • The constitutionality of hepatitis B vaccine mandates in these populations where there is little risk for disease is arguably questionable.
  • Hepatitis B vaccination mandates fail to honor young children’s liberty, equal protection, and health.

Unless their mothers harbor the virus (determined by routine prenatal blood testing), newborns are probably the least likely human beings on the planet at risk of actually getting hepatitis B.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommend that newborn babies get the hepatitis B vaccine on their first day of life. About 12 million doses are administered to American babies in any given year. However, unless their mothers harbor the virus (determined by routine prenatal blood testing), newborns are probably the least likely human beings on the planet at risk of actually getting hepatitis B. Infection risks are also extremely low for young school-age children, but—in all but two states (Alabama and South Dakota)—three to four doses of hepatitis B vaccine are not only recommended but mandated for preschool attendance, K-12 education or both.

New cases of hepatitis B were low in the 1970s; they began climbing in the early 1980s (coincident with the HIV/AIDS epidemic) but then started falling again. Although the CDC first began recommending hepatitis B vaccination on a limited basis in 1982 for the small population of at-risk adults (and infants of infected mothers), the agency attributes the decline in hepatitis B cases during the 1980s and early 1990s to “reduction of transmission among men who have sex with men and injection-drug users, as a result of HIV prevention efforts.”

At the time, hepatitis B was a relatively “obscure” infection of “little direct relevance to most Americans,” but in the early 1990s the “picture of hepatitis B being held up before Americans” changed, as the CDC began promoting a more comprehensive hepatitis B vaccine dragnet. With a stark shift in policy emphasistoward universal vaccination for all newborns (1991), adolescents (1995) and children through age 18 (1999), “a vaccine with a limited initial target population [came] to be accepted as compulsory for every child in the country.”

Whereas the young people being vaccinated face little to no chance of hepatitis B infection, the vaccines impose significant risks

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A questionable rationale

From the beginning, hepatitis B vaccines have had their critics, who question the public health logic of across-the-board hepatitis B vaccination for infants and children. Whereas the young people being vaccinated face little to no chance of hepatitis B infection, the vaccines impose significant risks, including the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, autoimmune illness and even death. In the decade from 1991 to 2001 (when hepatitis B vaccines contained the mercury-based preservative thimerosal), vaccine exposure in early infancy resulted in an estimated 0.5-1 million U.S. children being diagnosed with learning disabilities, representing lifetime costs in excess of $1 trillion. Other hepatitis B vaccine ingredients (including aluminum adjuvants and yeast) as well as the vaccines’ use of recombinant DNA technology have been linked to a variety of adverse outcomes.

In 1986 (five years before the CDC began pushing for vaccination of all newborns), the nation documented fewer than 280 cases of hepatitis B infection in children under age 14; by 2006, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) had received over 23,000 reports of adverse events related to hepatitis B vaccination in the 0-14 age group, including nearly 800 deaths.

In congressional testimony in 1999, the father of a five-week-old who died immediately following a hepatitis B shot described a 20:1 ratio of VAERS reports compared to cases of hepatitis B infection in the 0-1 age group (likely an underestimate due to VAERS underreporting). Given that the vaccine has been shown—by the CDC itself—to wear off well before the age of any likely exposure to hepatitis B virus, the father concluded that hepatitis B mandates for newborns represented a “teaming up” of “ravenous corporate greed and mindless bureaucracy” against “common sense.”

The out-of-date legal context for mandates

The legal framework that seemingly permits compulsory childhood vaccination, including hepatitis B vaccine mandates for preschoolers, is astonishingly out-of-date. The U.S. Supreme Court has not addressed compulsory vaccination “in any depth” for over a century and has not revisited the issue at all since 1922, despite the fact that “the contours of the vaccine issue have changed fundamentally since the early 1900s.”

These are some of the points made by New York University legal scholar Mary Holland in a far-reaching discussion of hepatitis B vaccine mandates in the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics, published in 2013. As Holland explains, the 1905 Supreme Court decision that set the stage for vaccine mandates (Jacobson v. Massachusetts) did so in response to the “markedly different” one-disease-one-vaccine context of smallpox. Although the Court upheld smallpox mandates, in most cases, noncompliant individuals faced no worse than a “relatively small monetary fine.” Subsequent courts, however, “have used Jacobson to justify results that the original decision did not condone: vaccination mandates exclusively for children with no imminent disease outbreaks and with serious penalties for noncompliance”—not just forfeiture of the right to an education but also outcomes such as “social isolation, parents’ loss of custodial rights, child-neglect sanctions against parents, and, even, forced vaccination.”

Neither the federal government nor states have alleged that (hepabtitis B) transmission among preschoolers is a serious threat to public health.

Holland finds the constitutionality of hepatitis B vaccine mandates for preschoolers questionable, particularly in light of other legal precedents. What might happen if today’s Supreme Court were to evaluate a legal challenge to a state’s hepatitis B mandate? Although the Court’s historical track record displays a legal tug-of-war between limits set on individual liberty and support for individuals’ “fundamental claims to bodily integrity and autonomy,” Holland suggests that the Court’s fairly reasoned answer to each of the following six questions ought to be a clear “no”:

  1. Is there a sufficient public health necessity to impose a preschool hepatitis B vaccination mandate?

Holland observes that “neither the federal government nor states have alleged that [hepatitis B] transmission among preschoolers is a serious threat to public health.”

  1. Does a vaccination mandate for preschoolers constitute a reasonable means of addressing hepatitis B in broader society?

At least two factors undermine the presumption of reasonableness, including shockingly inadequate safety testing in the targeted age groups (infants and young children) and poor long-term efficacy. The prelicensure clinical trials for GlaxoSmithKline’s Engerix-B vaccine monitored about 5,000 subjects (“adults and children”) for just four days following administration of the vaccine, without disclosing the proportion of subjects who were children or their ages. The pediatric prelicensure trials for Merck’s Recombivax HB vaccine involved a grand total of 147 infants and children “monitored for five days after each dose.”

  1. Is a hepatitis B vaccination mandate proportionate to the risk of disease (i.e., do disease risks outweigh vaccine risks)?

Holland states that “this would be very difficult to prove since incidence of the disease in the preschool population is exceedingly low, yet the risks of adverse events from the vaccine, including anaphylaxis, encephalopathy, and death, are well-documented.”

  1. Does the government provide for harm avoidance and offer a fair process for allowing medical exemptions?

Medical exemptions were one of the “core requirements” established by the 1905 Jacobson decision. A federal policy that arm-twists parents into vaccinating their newborns—whose medical history is largely a blank slate—“makes harm avoidance almost impossible.” 

  1. Is the hepatitis B vaccination mandate non-discriminatory?

A mandate imposed on young children “not primarily for their benefit” can be construed as “arbitrary” and discriminatory in application.

  1. Do parents have a “liberty interest in being able to refuse an unwanted medical intervention”?

Holland notes that the Court has “repeatedly acknowledged that the right to bodily integrity and to refuse unwanted medical treatment is deeply rooted in the historical traditions of the United States.”

Prescient Justices

Holland’s conclusion is straightforward: The hepatitis B vaccination mandate “has failed to honor young children’s liberty, equal protection, and health.” In support of this conclusion, she cites comments by three past Supreme Court Justices over the century since Jacobson:

  • Justice Harlan foresaw, in 1905, that mandates “might be exercised…in such arbitrary, unreasonable manner, or might go so far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public, as to authorize or compel the courts to interfere for the protection of such persons.”
  • In 1942, Justice Jackson cautioned that “There are limits to the extent to which a legislatively represented majority may conduct biological experiments at the expense of…a minority.”
  • And in 1990, Justice Stevens discussed the “sanctity, and individual privacy, of the human body” as “obviously fundamental to liberty,” adding that “every violation of a person’s body is an invasion of his or her liberty.”

Holland also reminds us that the millions of doses of hepatitis B vaccine administered to babies every year represent “a substantial annual income stream” for vaccine manufacturers—in this instance, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. Vaccine companies’ freedom from liability for injuries and deaths related to childhood vaccines also creates “manifold” financial motivations to continue to expand vaccine recommendations and mandates, even when the latter do not lead to “optimal or even rational public health outcomes.”

Encountering pushback from concerned parents, legislators and the medical/pharmaceutical establishment are restoring to threatening tactics that include forced vaccination, apparently heedless of the fact that all vaccines and medicines, including hepatitis B vaccines come with sizeable risks.

Honoring young children’s liberty, equal protection, and health

Across the country, state legislatures are introducing vaccine mandate bills requiring all vaccines for all children, even threatening to go after the medical exemptions that the Jacobson decision insisted were vitally important. Encountering pushback from concerned parents, legislators and the medical/pharmaceutical establishment are resorting to threatening tactics that include forced vaccination, apparently heedless of the fact that all vaccines and medicines, including hepatitis B vaccines, come with sizeable risks. For the sake of children’s present and future health, we must keep up public pressure to resolve financial conflicts of interest, insist on the highest standards of vaccine safety and persist in questioning both the overt and underlying premises of unjustifiable vaccine mandates.

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

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.

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

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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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