There are literally thousands of PubMed clinical papers supporting ORAL magnesium supplementation.

The International Transdermal Mg Industry relies upon a pilot paper by Dr Waring in UK and another by Watkins and Josling to support Dr Sircus’s ‘discovery of topical absorption that changed world medicine in 2005’.

The transdermal proponents then cite numerous well researched papers in support of magnesium supplementation but they all refer to clinical trials involving ORAL absorption. They hitch their transdermal wagon to the vast store of oral Mg supplementation trials to apparently support their newly discovered topical vector for which there is scant evidence.
TOPICAL ABSORPTION MAY NOT WORK and relying upon anecdotal or placebo evidence is not advisable for people who are really Mg deficient.

When will the transdermal proponents subject their proposition to the same level of scrutiny that the oral supplements have?

Until randomised, double blind, placebo based clinical trials that can be replicated by peers, the ORAL delivery method of Mg supplementation is at least well proven by researchers all around the world. ( and one hell of a lot cheaper )

For those interested try an internet or PubMed search for “Transdermal Magnesium chloride” you will find Dr Sircus, Dean and Shealy each quoting the other and the pilot studies. Thats all there is. Now search for Oral magnesium chloride and you will find thousands of references to proper clinical trials in which ORAL magnesium has been proven effective.

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Frank 3 years 50 Answers 1415 views 0

Answers ( 50 )

  1. One last comment…. I find it strange that in just about every other scientific endeavour we engage with we don't question the professional. if the geologist suggest digging a hole over there to find gold or whatever most will just assume he knows his stuff. The rocket scientist says you need so much thrust in the engines and we all go along with him, same with the engineer and his bridge or the mathematician with his calculations confirming gravity waves etc etc. But when it comes to our own health we all know best. Doubt the scientists who happen to have devoted their careers to medicine. They are all beholden to big pharma or they don't know whats good for me. Why do we disregard this group of professionals?

  2. anyone cured their warts with MgCl2 Sort os a classic placebo effect?


  3. Haven't read previous comments, but I wish transdermal absorbtion didn't happen….. it would mean I wasnt soaking up fluoride every time I have a bath.

  4. Do you know, i worked out that at the levels of MgCl2 recommended for baths the concentration of Mg is sea water is greater. Imagine that, you go for a swim and get twice the dose of Mg than soaking in an Epson salts bath.

  5. So at the beach do we transdermally absorbed the sodium in the sea water as well. Do we absorb the K and the Mg as well? if so are swimmers Mg sufficient without supplementation?

  6. I also has a look at application rates suggested by Amazing Oils – you can see for yourself on the page where they see their 250 ml bottles They say one bottle lasts 2 years. I worked it out the other day, I think that represented about 15mg / day applied transdermally. Not only do they claim topical absorption ( and who knows how much goes in ) they assume its 100 % absorbed. But we need between 350 – 420 mg per day. A couple of sprays will do nothing.

  7. Transdermal absorbtion is well proven generally, nicotone and hormone (and I believe vitamin) patches are all well accepted, I dont see the problem, although yes it would be nice to see more research, but because there hasnt been a lot of funding to research something, doesnt mean it doesn't work.

  8. Hi Robbie… Its not well proven. thats my problem with it. there are only two pilot studies done and all the huffing and puffing that Dr Sircus or Shealy go on with is based on this small data base. Honestly go have a look for yourself You will fine tones of references to Dr Sircus's own work or Carolyn Deans or Norms but that it. Two pilot studies – I've contacted the team doing the last trial and it has not been repeated I'll send you the email from Frank,
    We did not pursue any further studies after our pilot trial. Afraid I am not current on what else might be going on in this arena elsewhere.
    Best wishes,

    Brent A. Bauer MD, FACP
    Research Director
    Integrative Medicine and Health
    Mayo Clinic
    200 1st St SW
    Rochester, MN 55905

    phone #507-284-8913
    fax #507-284-5370
    e-mail [email protected]

  9. After using transdermal hormones and the absolute havoc wreaked on my system within 3 short months, I can't imagine that transdermal absorption isn't effective :/

  10. Sorry Robbie this was a study on fibromyalgia carried out at Mayo Clinic. Looked promising but no follow up or replication of their work. So two pilot studies only One was using MgSO4 in a hot foot bath for 20 mts and long exposure. Nothing like a little spray and in 60 seconds your pain is gone.

  11. Again, let them come forward with a sufficient number of trials to match the thousands down with oral.

  12. Without demeaning your positive health results or wanting to cast dispersions of the Transdermal Industry I can only say again the placebo effect is mighty powerful. Every decent drug trial incorporates a placebo and in many instances the patients report amazing improvements with a sugar pill. Results but not associated with the chemical under test.

  13. I think the industry is part of your problem, and maybe your respect for big pharma too…. both are known to lie, grossly exaggerate and hide evidence against whatever they are selling. At least with magnesium we know what the effects of overdoing it are likely to be.

  14. Hi Robbie, I have 'respect' for science because the life expectancy of humans has doubled in the last 100 years due to good observation and testing. we have a much better understanding of our physiology now. You know the chemical formulae of MgCl2 because of science, why do you then doubt the other cool stuff they come up with.

  15. I'm not knocking science, I am knocking big pharma, who you seem to be measuring the mag proponents against.

  16. Big Pharma charge me $8500 per year for my immunosuppression drugs to stop my transplanted kidney being rejected. its a lot of money, our Australian Gov subsidise it so I only have to pay $1200. But I'm alive. Amazingly 8 years post transplant I'm really well and alive. Big Pharma ( science ) has done a really good job in my case.

  17. Not double blind placebo controlled studies..
    But this was done by the mayo clinic.. I had been following this for a while and was happy to see the results published last year 🙂

  18. I cited that above and have spoken with Brent A. Bauer MD, FACP
    Research Director
    Integrative Medicine and Health
    Mayo Clinic
    200 1st St SW
    Rochester, MN 55905

  19. Until recently I was using Transdermal Mag only for 18 months, I feel it really does something.

  20. there has been no follow up. Check out the other researchers on this trial, you can find the online. Their area of speciality was in 'alternative' medicine areas. Nothing wrong with a little homeopathy but its really pushing the bounds of logic.

  21. Heck, topical mag reduced the veins on my legs! I don't know how that was placebo when it was my husband who commented on it first. I'd thought I'd noticed but hadn't said anything!

  22. hello Jaye, never the less how are you going to differiante between the placebo effect and real physiological mechanisms without doing trials to find out not only if it works but how?

  23. Just read the previous comments.. I see you've actually contacted them..

    You've done your research 🙂

    The placebo effect works on less than 50% of people (generally 30% when it's analyzed.. But every study says something different..)
    These results were positive for almost every single person..

    Even if the placebo effect worked on 80% of people, and it was 85% that found relief, I would still consider that a win, beyond just placebo..

    I honestly wish we could come up with the funds and resources to do a on study mag-a-hol..

  24. Hi Brandon, I had a look at the results and tried to see what the improvement in serum Mg actually was. I'll see if I can attach the graph I made. Hold on.

  25. Serum is unlikely to improve anyway, as it's affected by the body's regulatory mechanisms. It's cellular mag (RBC) that would need to be tested.

  26. Very nice. I read that somewhere in PubMed as well Jaye.

  27. Its pretty hard to follow some of this stuff. I'll ask my renal specialist about the cost and practicality of having RBC's done. From memory serum was about 1% and I think RBC was 3.4%

  28. Anyhow guys, I don't know where you are but down here in Oz its now 5.20am and I've been at this for hours. Loved the chat with you all. Made a new circle of friends to share Mg stories with tonight.

  29. Hope you all have a nice day where ever you are.

  30. good night and may we continue later?

  31. G'night Maggie. Off to make supper here

  32. I need a double blind peer reviewed study before I can contemplate this thread, lol. Because it cannot exist otherwise 😉

  33. Well, on cost alone, my one kilo of mag chloride will last me all year and more on a recommended oral dose,but just 2or3 baths.

  34. Maggie Chlor I have to wonder why you care about this so much that you dedicate a whole facebook profile to it. Cant you be who you really are when communicating with us? We are not 'the mag group', that thinks with one mind, but a whole load of individuals, and you have come here in disguise, with a big bee in your bonnet. Why are you hiding? Why do you care so much about what one company claimed or about why the funding isnt there to conduct more extensive trials?

  35. Maggie Chlor – is this your real name? Just so close to Mag Chloride!!

  36. Personally, I don't believe in the placebo effect or the nocebo effect for that matter. There is too much evidence to the contrary. Sugar has proven over and over again to have largely unpredictable effects on each individual's body so until there is credible scientific evidence that the placebo effect exists, the rest of the premise that science has become so reliant on is largely acedemic, imo. A little sugar pill has just as much of a physiological effect on my body as a little salt. Therefore, to take that as the yardstick in a supposedly scientific study seems to me to be absolute madness. There are many other ways of gathering evidence than that of the narrowness of the accepted peer reviewed double blind studies and people's feedback has to become part of the picture if we are to get answers for the many millions of people suffering with invisible or undiagnosed illnesses. In addition, every medication I, and anyone I know, have ever been on has had a plethora of peer reviewed double blind studies applied to them before they were allowed on the market, yet they are largely ineffective in terms of managing the symptoms of any illness that is not life threatening…. and even then. In addition, transdermal magnesium and supplements of that sort are a lot less likely to have side effects. All of the peer reviewed double blind studied medications (that I am referring to) including SSRI's SNRI's etc etc that are forced upon people for pain management or even symptom management have horrendous side effects for many thousands, if not millions of users. In addition, it's not an either/or scenario with transdermal versus oral magnesium. It is a combination of both to target different cell types in the body. For me anyway, that is the case. I would be lost without my transdermal. It helps manage my excruciating pain. I also take 4 forms of oral magnesium. They help me manage my other types of pain. There's no magic bullet. I wish there were. If allopathic medicine had the answers, I would be in there like a shot. It has some answers for a lot of life threatening illlnesses, but really, not a lot left over for people suffering every single day of a miserable existence. Part of the blame for this is the insistence on double blind studies despite so much evidence that there is a lot more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in Horatio's philosophy.

  37. Double Blind studies are not just Done! They are funded. There is not one Dr. or researcher or scientist that would have the funds to start a double blind study and see it through all phases to the end. Those studies are funded by Pharmaceutical companies that have a financial interest in the outcome. This is not to put down all Dr.'s or all research. Of course there is a place for them in surgery of all types and transplants included. But there is no financial interest in things that can be found in nature. This is why there is no “proof” that medications made from whole foods will cure anything. Although many of us Know and believe that “food is medicine and medicine is food”. There will never be the type of double blind tests on magnesium that you are insisting will be the only proof it works. If a company can not make billions off of the product they are not going to invest their money into the studies. Period. Transdermal medication has been proven to work. Like already mentioned, hormones for one. Pain medication is another. My husband died of cancer and I can assure you that pain patch fentanyl works. If our bodies can absorb those things then why not magnesium? I think you accidentally stumbled into the wrong group and it's too bad that you won't benefit from the experience here. I so far have not seen anyone insisting that transdermal is the only way. There are more than 48,000 members in this group and most came here to learn and heal and to stay and encourage and share what has actually worked for them. I'm one that is here to learn and I'm thankful for this group.

  38. I totally believe in trasdermal application of magnesium. I was taking it by mouth and saw no results. I use topically and will never go back. Use topically daily everyday without fail!

  39. Mag-A-Hol works fantastically for my fibro pain. I love it! The fact that it works brilliantly and very quickly is all I need to know. I don't need any scientific proof and if it was suggested to me that it was simply placebo I would be greatly offended!

  40. I use mag lotion on all kinds of pain & it works beautifully. I have used other lotions that people assured me would work & they did nothing to help me. So why does transdermal mag work?

    I feel, for myself, there is a limit to how much I can absorb orally & a limit to transdermal. So I do both. No one hS told me not to do oral mag!!

    Placebo: I started increasing mag due to swelling in my feet. My doc said it was not bad enough to medicate (he is, happily, a doc who does NOT over prescribe). But then, my swelling has not cleared up completely. It has improved a lot but not as much as arthritis & Raynaud's & my muscle spasms in my tongue (caused by paralysis). I didn't know that having tons of energy would be a result of Malate. I knew SOME energy but I'm bubbling over these days.

    Can a placebo fix things you didn't know could be fixed by them? I thought placebos were limited to the anticipated results?

    In any case, if the docs could have prescribed something to help me as much as mag has they would have done it, placebo or not.

  41. Maggie Chlor, are you a real person, or are you paid to troll this group?

  42. There is no profit to be gained in the study of transdermal absorption… neither will anyone study the toxic and harmful effects of lotions and potions absorbed transdermaly. Transdermal absorption is a reality.

  43. Very rude of me and I'm sure you believe what you are saying but i laughed out loud when i read this … i dont need studies to show me it works. It works on me, it works on my friends and family, it even works on unbelievers who think its all 'hippy sh*t' (their words) until it takes their pain away!

  44. Transdermal works, yet it depends on a few things, the skin is porous, for transdermal to work it needs to either be what's known as "low molecular weight" (small) and for it to work it needs to do/be one of two things, it either needs to be "small enough, or break down to be small enough" this in part is the reason for the controversy over some personal care product ingredients, it's the fact that the molecular weight is small enough to pass through the skin, and enter the blood stream. So that's why either it does or does not work, this is why in nutritional supplements back in the 1960's weren't very effective (3-10%)problem getting it into the blood cell to do its job, then came the first big breakthrough chelated form raising it to about 40% absorption. Now we have a war on between the natural nutritional side and the medical side, it now has a lot of competition… As a lot of people realise, nutrition itself does not cure any illness etc, it's about giving the body what it needs to maintain and repair itself…

  45. Lol! Double blind this and that, the backbone of the pharmaceutical industry which overwhelmingly treats symptoms. Mg is back to basics treating cause and sits with food phamacy. More than one way to skin a cat, one which isn't necessarily big medical big phama big dollars.
    Looking at things from a different perspective?
    A good example is croup. Any GP or paed RN or mother will tell you a steamy bathroom at 3am will treat the symptoms of croup – respiratory distress. There isn't a single study or double blind study which supports this treatment but anecdotally, it works.
    I think it's ok for transdermal Mg therapy to be anecdotal. There's no money to be made proving it works ( or not) no studies will ever happen, no $$$ gain.

  46. Well, I could not get the benefits of the oral magnesium because I would get a diarrhea that it was just the most uncomfortable I've ever been trying to do something to make me feel better. Kinda of a oxymoron. So, after trying 3 different oral magnesium, my mother suggested magnesium oil,(she was the one making me give magnesium a chance for chronic back pain) up to this point I was on of those that Sally Marsden mentioned and thought it was a bunch of malarkey, but thanks to having a persistent mother, I tried magnesium oil and BINGO! I have never looked back, NO back pain and NO diarrhea. So, there!! 😀

  47. The theory of investigating treatments via double blind studies with a placebo controle group is scientifically sound. It's the economics that messes it up. There is only funding for treatments that can remain the exclusive property of the company funding the trials for a patent period sufficient to be remunerative and the companies have been free to selectively publish the results of trials they have funded,withholding those that may undermine the value of their intellectual property. They tend then to publish the less favourable study results just at the point where their patent is running out so they can show these for comparison with the filtered favourable results for their new replacement drug or treatment. Thus are the science books cooked by economics.

  48. Where would the funding come from for extensive expensive double blind placebo controlled studies into the efficacy of steaming your head in the bathroom? Also, I don't know how you'd do placebo steam.

  49. Perhaps you are looking for the wrong types of studies to prove transdermal applications are not a myth. I came across this one, where they were testing to see why anti-dandruff shampoo, specifically Zinc Pyrithione, works. Turns out the Zinc Pyrithione, somehow allows your cells to absorb more copper from the body, which kills the scalp fungus causing the dandruff.

    "This is the first report of a metal-ligand complex that inhibits fungal growth by increasing the cellular level of a different metal."

  50. Also, it should be noted for those with high copper/high unbound copper, that if you are using anti-dandruff shampoo this could contribute to it. I found this on a page where they were discussing resolvinging the high copper issues for a client by stopping use of the shampoo… I lost the page though 🙁

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