You May be Taking the Wrong Magnesium with Dr. Carolyn Dean

By May 20, 2024

You May be Taking the Wrong Magnesium with Dr. Carolyn Dean

In today’s episode of the Healthful Pursuit Podcast, I am thrilled to be joined by Dr. Carolyn Dean, an expert in medical science and naturopathy, and an acclaimed author on all things magnesium. We dive deep into the critical importance of magnesium and other essential minerals for maintaining optimal health, especially for those following a ketogenic lifestyle. Dr. Dean shares her extensive knowledge on how to select the right magnesium supplement, the role of minerals in thyroid health, and the impact of magnesium deficiency on our overall well-being. Together, we unravel the connection between hydration, mineral balance, and the dangers of nutrient depletion from certain medications.

Dr. Carolyn Dean’s medical journey began with her earning a medical degree followed by a naturopathic degree. After practicing in Toronto for 14 years, she relocated to New York in the early nineties to conduct clinical research on AIDS. Gaining broader recognition, she appeared on The View and authored a small book, which led to a request from Random House to pen a book on magnesium. Initially skeptical about filling 300 pages on one mineral, Dr. Dean soon discovered she was a poster child for magnesium deficiency, suffering from eye twitches, headaches, neck tension, insomnia, and severe leg cramps. Her personal experience with the laxative effects of magnesium at doses higher than 50 milligrams fueled her dedication to the topic, ultimately leading her to become a leading advocate for magnesium awareness.

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Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:00:00]:

You need magnesium and vitamin C to make bone. You need a lot of other things, too. I mean, there’s over a dozen nutrients, but when they declared calcium is the treatment for osteopenia and osteoporosis, they relegated so many women to heart disease. Bone spurs, heel spurs, gallstones, kidney stones, and soft tissue breast calcifications.

Leanne Vogel [00:00:28]:

Hello. Welcome, welcome, welcome. It is episode 472 of the Keto Diet podcast. Now, if you’ve been listening over the last couple of weeks, I have been mentioning that I am renaming the show, and next week is going to mark the very first episode of drum roll, please. Healthful Pursuit podcast. It should come as no surprise that I’m going back to my roots with the name healthful Pursuit. If you’ve been around these parts for quite some time, you know that I set up my health blog back in 2010 called Healthful Pursuit, and when I was mulling over praying, just really taking my time with this decision of renaming the Keto diet podcast, Healthful Pursuit just made the most sense. Is it? If I could go back in time, would I have named my business healthful pursuit? Probably not, because the word healthful is so hard to say, to pronounce properly, to communicate over audio.

Leanne Vogel [00:01:30]:

And you might hear me saying helpful or health full. And it’s just, it’s a mouthful, so. But we’re doing it. We’re renaming the show to Healthful Pursuit podcast. So be sure to tune in next week. When you see the podcast, you’re going to see the title change, but all the episodes are going to be staying here, okay? We’re not making any other changes other than a new intro. Everything else remains the same. The quality of the show, the guests, the purpose behind the show.

Leanne Vogel [00:02:04]:

Really, nothing is changing. Because if I’m being honest, over the last couple of years of seeing functional wellness from a broader scope, I just see that there’s so much more to if it fits your macros. And we’re really aligning the purpose of the show with the title of the show. And it’s no longer just about Keto. And I felt like I was doing a disservice by continuing up with the Keto diet podcast branding. So everything else will remain the same. But this is the last episode of the Keto Diet podcast, and next week it’ll just be called the Healthful Pursuit podcast. And you’ll still be able to access all the episodes from the past.

Leanne Vogel [00:02:42]:

We’re going to keep coming up with shows every Tuesday. Literally nothing else is changing but the name. So we’re going to be talking about magnesium today. It is one of my most favorite minerals and also one that’s just very misunderstood. I wanted to start off by talking about some high magnesium foods and like how to practically bring more magnesium into your diet. So I kind of outlined kind of a good way to combine certain foods together to get like a good amount of magnesium. So I’m going to outline kind of a diet like a day of eating that’s going to give you about 1000 milligrams of magnesium. And then we’re going to get into the topic of conversation, who we’re interviewing, all those things.

Leanne Vogel [00:03:31]:

So if you were to have sauteed spinach with any sort of meat, maybe some eggs, a small banana, and a piece of like a couple bits of almonds over top of those sauteed spinach, that’s breakfast. That’s gonna give you around 250 milligrams of magnesium for snack. If it included some pumpkin seeds, about 1oz is 150 milligrams of magnesium for lunch. If you had a salmon filet with some black beans and broccoli, maybe added some quinoa to that if you’re doing grains. And if not even that salmon fillet and broccoli is gonna give you about 100 milligrams of magnesium all combined. If you added things like quinoa and black beans, you’re looking at 350 or so of milligrams of magnesium for lunch. If your snack had an avocado in it, that’s 60 milligrams of magnesium. And if your dinner had things like kale, potato, you’re looking at around 100 milligrams of magnesium right there.

Leanne Vogel [00:04:35]:

So just to kind of start to tune you up to the conversation we’re going to be having is really this balance between supplemental magnesium and dietary magnesium. So I wanted to outline how to kind of get that in and start thinking about both from a supplement perspective and a diet perspective. So we’re chatting with Carolyn Dean, MD and ND, who’s a medical doctor. A naturopath and bestselling author, she has spent 50 plus years committed to applying the science of medicine and the gifts of nature to help people feel better, find more energy, take control of their personal health, and so much more. Doctor Dean follows the 2017 revisions of the 2000 four’s best selling book, the Magnesium Miracle, with her newest revision, the missing link to total health. So we’re going to be talking about why we’re so deficient in magnesium, how much magnesium we need on an ongoing basis. The balance between magnesium and calcium why we should care. We’re going to be talking about what magnesium does in the body that it has over.

Leanne Vogel [00:05:39]:

It controls 80% of our metabolic processes. 80% of what our body needs in order to function requires magnesium. So deficiencies in magnesium are going to show up as all sorts of things. In fact, Carolyn was chatting about how the over 65 medical diagnoses are linked to magnesium. We’re going to be talking about the laxative effect that you get when you take magnesium supplementation and some of the drawbacks and issues with just regular magnesium. We’re going to be talking about different forms of magnesium, how to know what to take and the co factors that are required. And then she blows my mind at the end by talking about specific medications that are fluoride based and their impact on magnesium, which I had no idea about. So ooh, it blew my mind.

Leanne Vogel [00:06:30]:

If you want to learn more from doctor Carolyn, you can go to RNA She also has a website, She’s on Instagram as Dr. Carolyn Dean and also on YouTube as Dr. Carolyn Dean mdnd 4601. I will include the links in the show notes. If you’re unsure, head on over to keto for the show notes or just click around wherever you’re listening to this audio and find the links over there. Okay, let’s cut over to our time with doctor Carolyn Dean.

Leanne Vogel [00:07:10]:

Hey, my name is Leanne Vogel. I’m fascinated with helping women navigate how to eat, move and care for their bodies using a low carb diet. I’m a small town holistic nutritionist turned three time international bestselling author turned functional medicine practitioner offering telemedicine services around the globe to women looking to better their health and stop second guessing themselves. I’m here to teach you how to wade through the wellness noise to get to the good stuff that will help.

Leanne Vogel [00:07:36]:

You achieve your goals.

Leanne Vogel [00:07:37]:

We’re supporting your low carb life beyond the if it fits your macros, conversation, hormones, emotions, relationship to your body, workouts, letdowns, motivation, blood work, detoxing, metabolism. I’m providing the tools to put your motivation into action. Think of it like quiet quality time with your bestie mixed with a little med school so you’re empowered. At your next doctor visit. Get ready to be challenged and encouraged while you learn about your body and how to care for it better. This is the Keto diet podcast.

Leanne Vogel [00:08:18]:

Hi Carolyn, how are you?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:08:20]:


Leanne Vogel [00:08:27]:

In Maui, and you sound so chipper. What’s your secret?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:08:31]:

Well, you know, you get up early in a place where you spend a lot of your time outdoors. So our morning now starts around 530. So I get up and do a hour and a half, two hour walk down by the ocean every morning. So it draws you out, so you get up early.

Leanne Vogel [00:08:51]:

So true. I am living that same life here now in Florida. And there’s nothing like starting the day going for a beach walk before it gets way too hot to even entertain the idea.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:09:01]:

Right, exactly. And see, that’s part of what we’re going to talk about is minerals. Well, the ocean. Did you know that there’s three times the magnesium in the ocean than there is calcium? So in my world, I want to have more magnesium than calcium.

Leanne Vogel [00:09:20]:

Yes. And anytime my training schedule gets pretty hectic and I’m feeling it in my body, I’m like, time for a beach soak, and I go right down into the ocean, bring my little floaty and hang out, and, oh, it just makes the body so, so happy. I’m sure you can talk about why that is and what’s going on there before we kind of get into it. How did you get involved with magnesium? Like, what was it that was that trigger for you?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:09:48]:

Well, I did my medical degree first, and then right away my naturopathic. So I learned about the minerals, but it wasn’t until well after I practiced in Toronto for about 14 years, I went to New York to do a clinical research trial on AIDS, for Pete’s sakes, in the early nineties. After a few years there, I was on the view and I wrote a little book. And then Random House asked me to write a book on magnesium. And I thought, how can you write a 300 page book on one mineral? But it wasn’t long before I realized that I was a poster child for magnesium deficiency. And I was having the eye twitches, and the headaches and the neck tension, the insomnia, the leg cramps, Charlie horse lake cramps. It was terrible. And I went right out to get magnesium and got the laxative effect from more than 50 milligrams.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:10:54]:

So it just opened up my whole world when I realized how bad I felt and how much magnesium I thought I needed. But I couldn’t take more than 50 milligrams without the laxative effect. So being a very inquisitive person, I really thought, well, this could be hampering so many people. And that was back in the early two thousands that the. The magnesium miracle came out. So I’ve been working at this for 25 years. Right after I published the book, I began a quest to find a chemist or a mineral company that would make a non laxative magnesium. And over the years, and it wasn’t until 2018, I found a research article by doctor Workinger, and she said that 80% of known metabolic functions require magnesium.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:11:56]:

80%. And by that time, in the 2016 to 2020, I documented about 65 medical conditions that could be misdiagnosed as they’re really magnesium deficiency, and they were misdiagnosed as medical conditions. So I realized that people were taking so many drugs for something that could be treated with magnesium. But then, at the same time, Leanne, we have the FDA, who tells us, as dietary supplement companies, which I have, that we’re not allowed to say that dietary supplements can treat disease. Only drugs can treat disease. So while I’m talking to you, I’m not allowed to mention my products by name. And it’s very frustrating because people are in an educational bind, and we depend on podcasts like yours to get some information out there.

Leanne Vogel [00:13:00]:

Yeah, it’s so true. And then there’s the information that’s incorrect, too. Like, I had an interaction with an individual, actually, this week on Instagram, and she was selling a cortisol regulation supplement. And we kind of went back and forth, and she’s like, it’s a fat burner. And I was like, but it has caffeine. Like, how can this regulate high cortisol? And she was, like, making stuff up. So I think, too, it becomes very challenging as an individual who doesn’t have hours and hours and hours to delve deep and kind of figure things out. And that’s why, oh, gosh, I take my job, and I know you do, too.

Leanne Vogel [00:13:35]:

You take your job so seriously because you want to be correct. You want to lead people well, with the up to date information, can you explain to us why we’re so deficient in magnesium? Like, why is this happening? Why are there over 65 medical diagnoses linked to magnesium deficiency? Why are we struggling with this magnesium situation?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:13:56]:

Right. Well, it’s easy to explain because 100 years ago, according to the US Department of Agriculture, we were able to get 500 milligrams of magnesium in our diets, and now we’re lucky to get 200 milligrams. And I think we need 500 to 600. And also, to balance that out, we only need about 600 milligrams of calcium. But we’re being told to take 1215 hundred. So there’s this whole mineral imbalance where allopathic medicine is pushing calcium, but they ignore magnesium to the extent that they don’t even have it on an electrolyte panel. If you think about it, if you’ve ever had your electrolytes done, sodium, is there potassium? Calcium, is there chloride? No. Magnesium.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:14:48]:

And yet all the studies, tens of hundreds of studies, maybe. Yeah, I could even say tens of thousands of studies show the benefits of magnesium. But the focus of the magnesium research in the past was on magnesium oxide. Somehow an entrepreneur who had a magnesium oxide company, it was a woman, she gave samples to all these researchers of her magnesium oxide. So you’ll see that the early studies on magnesium are all magnesium metals, only 4% absorbed. But Leanne, even then, all the magnesium oxide studies are positive. They showed benefits because people are so magnesium deficient that their body will grab anything. So my mission has been, as I said, to find a magnesium that could be fully absorbed, non laxative.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:15:45]:

And finally, I did find a chemist who was able to make a stabilized ion of magnesium in picometer size, which is the size of the ion, and it’s a, a picometer size, that is the mineral ion channel that magnesium goes into the cells. So it’s a perfect size, it’s the perfect stability. It’s ionic. And you know, the next thing that I would say about that is when you’ve got all these magnesium compounds, you know how they say, oh, there’s 7810 different magnesium compounds, it’s just put them all together and isn’t that wonderful? That’s the best form of magnesium. But it’s not, you don’t want a magnesium compound, you want magnesium. So when they talk about the compounds, you’ll get a magnesium glycinate. But only 75 milligrams of a 500 milligram tablet can be elemental magnesium. So 75 out of 500.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:16:52]:

So you’ve got a lot of marketing problems. You know, we were mentioning earlier that there’s so much misinformation out there, marketing information. And one magnesium compound that I have concerns about is magnesium. L threonate most of their advertising and on their bottle labels it says 2000 milligrams. So they have magnesium alcyrinate, you know, this and that and that. 2000 milligrams, well that’s the weight of the whole compound. When you turn the label over it says, well actually you have to take three capsules to get 144 milligrams of elemental magnesium. So in my case when I couldn’t take 50 milligrams when I finally got my stabilized ionic magnesium, I was able to take 1200 milligrams in order to get rid of my.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:17:54]:

I didn’t mention I had heart palpitations toward the end when I was really magnesium deficient. So people may need 1000 milligrams of elemental magnesium and there’s no way they can get it in the over the.

Leanne Vogel [00:18:08]:

Counter product you mentioned earlier, the 500 to 600 milligrams. Is that in supplements and food, like combined or just food, or can you explain that a little bit more?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:18:20]:

Right. If the US Department of Agriculture says we’re getting 200, then you need the other 400. By supplements, you can do epsom salts, baths. There are magnesium lotions people can use so that they’ll avoid the laxative effect. But we do have to supplement. I say to people that, well, what are the foods that are high in magnesium? In a sense, that ship has sailed. You can eat your nuts and seeds, your green leafy vegetables and your grains, but you’re not going to get enough. And then when you look at the keto diet, which I follow for the most part, along with intermittent fasting, when you look at that diet, when we cut back on carbs, we’re cutting back on fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:19:06]:

I don’t eat much in the way of grains. I find them inflammatory. So we’re using diets now that are low in minerals because we’re not eating grains, fruits and vegetables to the extent we used to. So we have to supplement. When they talk about the keto flu or, you know, whatever symptoms people get when they go on a keto diet, I say they’re mostly magnesium and mineral deficiencies. And then when you go to take a magnesium, even though maybe 25, 30% of people will get the laxative effect and they’ll be told, well, you know, when you get the laxative effect, it means your body’s had enough, you’re saturated, and that’s not the case.

Leanne Vogel [00:19:53]:

Yeah, just thinking about magnesium rich foods, that one would go toward that. When you’re on a lower carb diet, that’s really not going to be an option. Like bananas, quinoa, black beans, brown rice, like those key sweet potato, higher in magnesium, but generally not so prevalent in a lower carb diet. You mentioned earlier on the balance between calcium and magnesium. Can you go into that a little bit further? Like what ample calcium does in the body, does it keep magnesium lowered? Or like, how do we correct this imbalance? Is it just a matter of eating more magnesium foods and supplementing with magnesium and maybe looking at our calcium supplementation or what can we do to kind of make that balance? And how, how are they interacting together?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:20:45]:

Right. We’ve gotten into a calcified society basically because when they discovered osteoporosis, you know, the Dexa scan and say, oh my gosh, you’re losing bone. What’s bone made of? And researchers, they burned bone. And when you burn bone to ash, you look, they did the mineral content and, oh, it’s mostly calcium. Okay, so your bones need calcium. Well, they burned away the soft tissue, skeletal structure of the bone. The soft tissue is collagen. And collagen makes up, it’s what is the most prevalent protein in the body and its precursors, or vitamin c is very necessary to make collagen.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:21:39]:

Collagen and elastin together make bones supple and not brittle. So you need magnesium and vitamin C to make bone. You need a lot of other things too. I mean, there’s over a dozen nutrients. But when they declared calcium is the treatment for osteopenia and osteoporosis, they relegated so many women to heart disease. Bone spurs, heel spurs, gallstones, kidney stones and soft tissue, breast calcifications. And breast calcifications, that’s dcis. It’s like a pre cancer, but all the woman hears is cancer.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:22:22]:

And they want to do surgery to take out the calcification, whereas it’s over calcification. But the balancer is magnesium. Except we don’t promote magnesium. The way calcium and magnesium work together is calcium is the gatekeeper for opening the mineral ion channels to allow calcium into a cell in order to in muscle cells make it active in nerve cells to create an action potential. So nerves and muscles depend on magnesium in order to, for their activity. If you don’t have magnesium, there’s something about the channel can stay open and the calcium will flood in. And that’s what causes the excitation, the twitching, the muscle spasms, the tightness, even the tightness of blood vessels to cause high blood pressure. The tightness in the fallopian tubes to cause infertility, which sounds very extreme.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:23:31]:

The tightness in the bronchial tubes to cause asthma symptoms. So the muscles, we have 600 muscles in our body, 600. And every one of them can be affected by magnesium deficiency. We have 45 miles of nerves in our body that can be affected by magnesium deficiency. So it’s pretty important to have a balance, which I say is like 600 milligrams of both. I go for 600 calcium because in the the UK and the world, health organization. Their recommendation is 500 to 700 milligrams of calcium. And I have no idea why they, in the US, they’re recommending 1200 to 1500 milligrams because there have been enough studies now to show that women who simply take calcium supplements are at a higher risk for heart disease.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:24:28]:

And that’s a. A doctor mark Boland in New Zealand that’s done a half a dozen studies on that topic.

Leanne Vogel [00:24:40]:

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Leanne Vogel [00:25:23]:

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Leanne Vogel [00:25:53]:

Go to That’s s C h w a n k grills. And use the code KDP for $150 off. Something I see a lot in my practice also is the connection between iodine need and calcification. Because when we don’t have enough iodine, we can also lead to a calcium shell situation. And so a lot of those individuals will also be taking calcium, which just leads to further calcification. So what I’ve learned over the last couple of years when it comes to minerals is they don’t just work on their own. It’s kind of a whack a mole game.

Leanne Vogel [00:26:32]:

As you touch one, another will move. And so you really need to look at all of it as a holistic piece. And I think that’s what you’re touching on when it comes to the calcium of. Are you saying if we’re going to supplement with magnesium, we also need to supplement with calcium. Or do you feel like it’s an individual thing, or how are you looking at the minerals overall?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:26:52]:

Right. Well, with calcium, I really do understand that you can absorb enough calcium from your diet. And I know that. I’ll just say a sidebar in my case, if I get a quart of yogurt and eat it over a two or three day period, overindulge, I get my magnesium deficiency symptoms back because I’ve got too much calcium, so I know it’s being absorbed. So what I do is I one of my websites, I send people to something called the chronometer. C r o n o m e t e r. It helps you figure out how much you’re taking in the way of nutrients. So you can put your diet in the chronometer and it’ll add up how much calcium you’re getting from your diet.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:27:45]:

If you’re not getting enough, then you’ll take a calcium, but hopefully you’ll take what I call a picometer calcium, which is the stabilized ion of minerals that I work with. So you get as much as you can from your diet. And if not, then you take a liquid picometer calcium to go up to 600 milligrams. I’m a, I don’t know. Of course, we’re all biohacking. But in my biohacking days, before I discovered the answers, Leanne always I did on myself, it was, I enjoyed this sort of thing. I put myself on iv chelation, so I put the tourniquet on my arm and put my own needle in. Do edta chelation.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:28:34]:

After three treatments, my knees were aching. And I say, oh, my gosh, of course. Chelation, they say, takes out excess calcium and heavy metals, but it was taking out too much calcium. So if I’m not getting enough calcium, if I forget to take my picometer calcium, and right now I’m on a very low dairy diet, then my knees ache, so I have my tail magnesium. The tail for magnesium, for a lot of people is insomnia, headache, tension, twitching. There’s so many. Anything about your muscles and nerves, I consider magnesium deficiency until proven otherwise. And you treat with magnesium, and if your symptoms go away, then it was magnesium deficiency.

Leanne Vogel [00:29:24]:

What can you expect as you start to supplement with magnesium? I know that. Okay, so I have a couple of clients that I’ve worked with over the years. And when somebody is severely toxic and they have a lot of heavy metal chemical burdens, magnesium. And maybe you can get into this further, because I don’t entirely know why this happens, but when we introduce magnesium, it can chelate the metals, which then makes them feel absolutely terrible. Have you seen that when we’re bringing in magnesium, that people can actually feel worse? And if so, what’s happening there?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:30:02]:

Right, there are a couple of things that happen. And I have a really robust customer service team. And we tell people, go low and slow, do not dive into taking a couple capsules or, you know, a couple teaspoons or whatever of any magnesium. You go slowly because if it’s affecting 80% of known metabolic functions, it’s going to stir things up. It might give you more energy than you can cope with. It will detoxify. In terms of feeling worse, there are a couple of things that come up for us. After a couple of months on just the picometer, magnesium people might start getting rashes or coated tongue or vaginitis, and that’s yeast die off.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:30:54]:

The immune system is actually kicking into the point that yeast are being killed and their toxic by products are trying to get out of the body through the skin or whatever. In terms of heavy metals, yes. What happens with heavy metals is if there’s not enough magnesium, I guess in the magnesium receptor sites, because we know there are over 3500 proteins have magnesium receptor sites. They were doing a study to find iodobot magnesium and they stopped at 3500. So we know that magnesium has receptor sites. If your magnesium deficient heavy metals can bind into those receptor sites. So if you start taking magnesium, yes, they will sort of bump out the heavy metal. But I really think that the way I approach it is low and slow.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:31:50]:

And also if people are toxic, I’ve written a blog called too toxic to detox. So I really caution people that they get a clean diet, but start with magnesium right away. But there’s a clean diet. There are certain b vitamins and a couple of amino acids that promote glutathione production and help the methylation and sulfation pathways in the liver. So you can give people certain things, but I don’t believe that people should do heavy liver detox or bowel detox or get ready to take their nutrients. I think the nutrients that the body needs do the job. You don’t have to. And I don’t believe in the big flushes because it’s too much for the type of people that approach us that want to get well.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:32:42]:

They’re usually very toxic, so they have to be supported with the building block nutrients. And few people are talking about the basics in this way somehow doctors, the practitioners, when you look at their websites and see their many, many, many products, it’s, oh, take this for your bones, or take this for your sleep, or take this for your immunity. And when you look at the ingredients, it’s like, well, they’re all similar ingredients. Then you really don’t know how much you’re getting of anything. Whereas I say, take the building blocks, the vitamins and minerals. I work with a multiple vitamin. I work with picometer silver, and all the vitamins are food based. So if you take those for the cells and not for the systems or the conditions, then the nutrients raise all boats.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:33:42]:

So if all your cells are healthy, even silver. My research on using a picometer silver, and I don’t mean a colloidal silver. Colloidal silver is a silver compound. I just work with the mineral ions. But silver promotes stem cell production, which is awesome. I mean, look at the people that are going to Mexico to get stem cell treatments, whereas they could be taking a good picometer silver and getting the stem cells, which are then going to go to the tissues that need to be replaced, tissues that are breaking down faster, and people who have gut problems, well, we need some more gut cells. Let’s just direct them there. So that’s my philosophy.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:34:32]:

Just use basic building blocks.

Leanne Vogel [00:34:34]:

And so earlier you were talking about how you weren’t a fan of magnesium. L, three and eight. Was that just because it’s cut with other things, or do you feel like it has a place, or can we talk a little bit about all the different types of magnesium? Maybe at this point, because there’s chelate and glycinate and malate, and the list goes citrate. The list goes on and on. Can you explain what these are and which ones are good or bad, or is it a blend or lay it on us?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:35:02]:

Help. You’re saying help? Well, I think I said earlier, even magnesium oxide is beneficial. Any magnesium will help a person. But I guess in our situation, where people come to us with problems and they want solutions, then they’re looking for magnesium. In people who come with atrial fibrillation or migraine headaches, I mean, serious conditions that are treated with serious drugs, they want magnesium, they don’t want to have a little bit of magnesium and then a whole bunch of glycine for the glycinate or a whole bunch of the citrate or a whole bunch of the taurine or. You know what I’m saying? It’s. You just want that ion. What happens in a compound is it will in a liquid solution.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:35:56]:

So in blood, it will finally disassociate, but for an infinitesimal amount of time. And in that infinitesimal amount of time, the disassociated magnesium that is separated from the citrate, for example, will be absorbed into the cell. So that’s all you get. You wait for the disassociation, you get the absorption, and, you know, people are helped. But in my situation, you know, I’m a medical doctor and a naturopath, so I look at it from both sides. You people need medical. I shouldn’t say that because I’m not supposed to say my supplements medically, sorry. So people want solutions that help them get off medication.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:36:43]:

So the magnesium l threonate just made me so spitfire mad because they did a rat study and they found that in the cerebrospinal fluid, after 24, 25 days, there was 7% more magnesium in the cerebral spinal fluid of magnesium l threonate compared to, I think it was magnesium citrate 7% better. I mean, 10% is usually the, you know, the standard for mistake. But at 7%, they started saying they were the only magnesium that could get into the brain. Whereas I could show you studies of magnesium oxide that helps brain symptoms. And then the threonate part was a real kind of conundrum because everybody thought it was being made with threonine. If it’s threonine, then that has real brain effects, almost neurotransmitter effects. People take threonine tablets, so that was a bit deceptive. But when you look up, threonates t h r e o n a t e.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:37:58]:

It’s a derivative of ascorbic acid. It’s nothing to do with threonine. So the whole thing was a marketing scam. And then they patented it. And it’s made out of China, in China. So I don’t really understand it. Then with the other compounds, they’ll all be beneficial, but they still have to disassociate. And they don’t have a lot of magnesium.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:38:24]:

In my magnesium miracle book, I put a list of various magnesiums, and in a 500 milligram capsule or tablet, there are only 50 to 75 milligrams of magnesium.

Leanne Vogel [00:38:39]:

And so are we looking for on a bottle, a listing of this is how much elemental magnesium there is in the product. Is that what we’re looking for?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:38:48]:

That’s what we’re looking for. And then we hope that it disassociates. That’s why before I worked with my liquid magnesium. I would tell people to get powdered magnesiums, spin that in water, put it in your smoothies or whatever, or better still, sip it through the day, because then you’re getting incremental amounts in your cells and you’re not overloading. But if you put it in liquid, it’s going to be better absorbed. And they really haven’t done a lot of absorption studies. My company is doing university studies on testing because we haven’t gotten there yet. But there’s no good testing for magnesium.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:39:34]:

That’s why they don’t have it on an electrolyte panel, because the serum magnesium, which measures only 1% of the total body magnesium, is in the blood. The serum magnesium always looks very good. It’s in a very tight range. And if it goes low, then the body pulls magnesium from the bones and muscles. Because the heart depends on magnesium. A lot of the sudden heart attacks in athletes are from magnesium deficiency. They don’t replace magnesium in their sports drinks. It’s just salt and sugar and maybe some calcium.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:40:15]:

So where were we going with that question?

Leanne Vogel [00:40:20]:

I guess you had mentioned the serum magnesium. Would magnesium, RBC be a better marker to test for? Or you think there’s no real way to test whether or not it’s a better marker?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:40:33]:

I definitely went to RBC, but we’re studying an ionized magnesium test, imag test, that’s at this point of university. And research and icus are using the Imag test. And our study that we did two years ago, we froze blood from our human subjects. And after two years, we thawed out their blood, retested the imaginary, and it was the same level as two years prior. So we know now that blood can be frozen and tested. So that should start opening things up for labs to take frozen blood and do imac testing. Because if you test the ions of magnesium that are available, then you have a better idea of what the body’s going to absorb. So the red blood cell test, it has a wider range.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:41:32]:

It used to be 4.2 to about 6.5 the range. And after about five or six years, I noticed that the range was down to 3.2. And that’s because the population was getting more and more magnesium deficient. And the way blood tests work is the labs look at the range of the people that are coming to the lab. There’s no standard. It’s created by the labs themselves, based on the population, which explains why they went from 4.2 down to 3.2. So if someone comes and gets their RBC done, oh, you’re 3.2, they won’t even tell them actually it’s not red. If it’s not red flag, they don’t let a patient know.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:42:21]:

So if you’re 3.3, they’re not going to tell you that you’re way lower. And I tell people you have to be up in the six range, 3.2 to 6.8 or whatever that they have. I want to be 6.8. So it’s a lot of education about these minerals because big pharma is controlling allopathic medicine now and they aren’t going to tell us about minerals because they compete with their drug.

Leanne Vogel [00:42:54]:

The key to a successful diet is successful snacks. Now you might disagree with me, but I look at so many food logs in a week and I can tell you that when we don’t have healthful snacks dialed in, like dialed in, we know exactly what makes us thrive. Easy access. No GMO’s, no sugar alcohols, no gluten, no grain, no corn, no soy. Like just healthy, good snacks with no natural flavors or seed oils. Just good, pure snacks. When we have that dialed in when hunger strikes and we have that thing that we reach for time and time and time again, and we are consistent with that, it is the name of the game. Now, of all of the snacks that I have had over the course of the last decade, absolute favorite snack that I recommend to almost every client that’s struggling to just snack healthfully and bridge the gap between meals or even have a little mini meal, is 100% grass fed beef sticks from Paleo Valley.

Leanne Vogel [00:44:05]:

They are by far the most delicious, most nutritious snack out there when it comes to hitting our protein goals. Their sticks are beyond grass fed and so sourced from grass fed and finished american farms using regenerative practices to restore environmental health. Their high quality beef is so flavorful that they only have to add organic spices rather than MSG, gluten, sugar and other stuff found in meat sticks. They’re also not super chewy. They’re just soft and delicious. 100% grass fed. Sourced from us family farmers. Keto paleo, they only use organic spices.

Leanne Vogel [00:44:46]:

They’re fermented for your gut health. They contain no ecas. They have 0 gram of carbs, zero sugars. They’re satiating, they’re great for on the go and they are going to fill that gap, I promise you. So you can find more by going to keto. And on that page you’re going to find my favorite paleo valley items. Your gonna see the beef sticks there. You can use the code keto, all in caps for 15% off.

Leanne Vogel [00:45:16]:

When you go to keto. And you mentioned the athletes not replacing their magnesium in those drinks. Do you feel like sodium potassium also has a role in magnesium uptake? My understanding is that, like, the sodium potassium balance is required to bring the magnesium into the cell. So is that equally as important or not so much?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:45:38]:

Absolutely important. I mean, at one point you’ll ask me if I have a general recommendation for people that’s coming for sure. Yeah. And what am I going to say? I’m going to say you have to hydrate properly and put sea salt in your water. You absolutely need the sodium and sea salt plus all the other minerals. In sea salt, there’s about 72. So hydration is extremely important. You take your body weight in pounds, divide that in half, drink that many ounces of water a day, and in each liter, you put a quarter teaspoon of sea salt.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:46:18]:

But you just start with a pinch. So there’s your sodium, and you need, need that. I mean, there’s a big controversy. Oh, do we need it? Do we not need it? Well, they’re talking about table salt, which is just sodium chloride without all the other minerals. Potassium, close, close cousin of magnesium. A lot of the potassium symptoms are magnesium deficiency. Potassium deficiency symptoms, are magnesium deficiency symptoms. So you do need them both.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:46:48]:

If we have people who, especially with heart, you know, high blood pressure, angina type symptoms, atrial fibrillation, people will take the picometer magnesium, and they’ll say, well, not quite. And we get them to do the chronometer to find out if they’re getting enough potassium in their diet. Most people aren’t, actually. Yes, Leann, in keto, it’s low potassium. That causes a lot of problems because we used to depend on our green leafy vegetables for our potassium. The amount of potassium in the RDA that the government tells us is 4700 milligrams. The amount of magnesium they tell you to get is 350 to 420. So potassium, we are not taking enough.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:47:38]:

And then they really messed us up medically, because many years ago, there was some potassium medical product that was enteric coated, but it dissolved in the small intestine and caused small intestinal ulcers. It burned the small intestine. So they banned potassium supplements to the extent that they said you can only supplement with 99 milligrams of potassium per dose. So what are people gonna do if they need 4700 milligrams? You know, they’re taking 50 pills. So, with my picometer, potassium, I made a dose a quarter teaspoon instead of a teaspoon, so that in a teaspoon, you get almost 400 milligrams. And when you get a stabilized ion of potassium, it’s kind of doubling or even tripling what you get from a difficult to absorb supplement. So, I mean, there’s a lot. I’m saying a lot of words.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:48:42]:

I know I’m overwhelming people.

Leanne Vogel [00:48:45]:

I think it’s fantastic. We’ve talked about potassium a lot on this show because I struggled a bunch with thyroid dysregulation, and it wasn’t until I brought in potassium, like, I had my magnesium game on. I’ve had it on for probably 15 years. Pretty on point, but I had neglected potassium. And when I brought potassium in, let me tell you, life was different. And so, yeah, I think this conversation, I’m sure a lot of listeners are following just really well. I think where we should definitely spend the rest of our time is in understanding. Like, okay, so you’ve said a bunch of things.

Leanne Vogel [00:49:22]:

A bunch of stuff. Give me the goods. Like, tell me, like, we’ve talked a little bit about the sea salt in water. Are there specific types of sea salt that we should look for? My personal favorite is Kalima sea salt. I don’t know how you feel about that one, but you’re saying hydrate. What should we be looking for in a magnesium? Like, how do we make this all come together? What do we do?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:49:43]:

Well, I have to roll back the clock here and just mention about thyroid.

Leanne Vogel [00:49:49]:

Yes, please do.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:49:51]:

Yeah. It’s huge in our female population. You have one child. Your thyroid has been drained. And what medicine, and even alternative medicine does is they wait for your thyroid blood test to be, you know, not rock bottom, but really low, and you’re feeling horrible. And then they give you thyroid hormone replacement. And when you mentioned potassium, I remembered, yeah. The thyroid hormones require nine minerals for their production.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:50:22]:

Nine minerals. It’s not just iodine. It’s not just iodine and selenium. It’s iodine, selenium, potassium, boron, copper, molybdenum, manganese, magnesium. It’s nine minerals. And if you take them, especially in the picometer stabilized ion form, then I personally got off my arm or thyroid. After six weeks, my hands and feet are finally warm again. So we need minerals, even for our thyroid.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:50:53]:

And as for the sea salt, I tell people to get something that has some color in it. I’m using pink himalayan right now. I can get a copper colored hawaiian salt. I kind of rotate them. But if they’re white, it means the minerals have been refined out of the sea salt. So that’s what I say. Just look for some color in your sea salt and start with a pinch. You know, don’t overload your glass, because, oh, I can’t stand the taste.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:51:22]:

Well, you’re just not used to it. You just start with a pinch. So do you recommend sea salt, Leanne? Is that part of your protocol?

Leanne Vogel [00:51:30]:

Yes. Yes. Huge. Huge. Yeah. I’ve switched over time with what I recommend personally. At first, it was the pink Himalayan, then it was the gray sea salt, more of, like, a celtic blend. And now I’ve moved to Colima, only because for most of my clients, we’re dealing with heavy metal toxicity.

Leanne Vogel [00:51:49]:

And some of the other salts, though good, will still have metals, and I just don’t want to add to it. And so I found Kalima to be the best of kind of both worlds, but it’s not going to be as rich in the other minerals, like a celtic or a gray or. Or those sorts of things. Things. But, yes, I am the girl that drinks so much salt, I push electrolytes on all of my friends. Yeah, salt and water. That’s my jam.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:52:14]:

Wow, that’s great. Yeah. I find sometimes with people, we’ll just tell them to drink more water and start with the sea salt, and they feel better. Once you get your minerals going into the cells where they belong, water follows. And people don’t have the edema that they used to. You know, they can make a fist with their hand without it feeling like they’ve got little pudgy sausage fingers. It’s incredible how our bodies will just respond to simple input, like sea salt completely.

Leanne Vogel [00:52:50]:

And I think it’s absolutely against what we’re being told. Like, if we have edema and we can’t close our hands, the last thing that we’re thinking of is, let’s drink more water and have salt, because we’re told that that is what caused the problem. And so I know that that is.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:53:06]:

You’re put on a diuretic.

Leanne Vogel [00:53:08]:


Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:53:09]:

You are put on a diuretic that takes out your magnesium and your potassium and your sodium, too. It’s unbelievable how backwards medicine has gotten, you know, high blood pressure. They put people on a diuretic right off the bat because they want to decrease the blood volume. They want to take the pressure off the arteries by dehydrating you. So your cells are dehydrated, your skin is dehydrated, the wrinkles are coming up, and then you go back to see if your blood pressure is better. It’s worse because you’ve lost all those minerals, and they put you on two more drugs. They put you on a calcium channel blocker, and magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker. They know calcium is a problem.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:53:57]:

And then you come back three months later to get your blood tested to make sure your liver isn’t being corrupted by these drugs. And they find out, oh, your cholesterol is elevated. We caught that just in time. Oh, your blood sugar is elevated. Oh, look, you’re pre diabetic, caused by the drugs and them depleting your minerals. In the cholesterol world, we need the cholesterol for our nervous system and our hormones, and yet they keep batting it down lower and lower and lower so they can sell statins. In the allopathic medical text, one of the signs of diabetes is magnesium deficiency. So it’s just an incredible, vicious cycle when you take medications.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:54:43]:

And I know I’m going on and on, but I want to say everything. One last thing. Fluoride drugs. Most of the common drugs that you hear about and take are fluoride drugs, which means they add fluoride molecules to the drugs in order to make them absorb better across the cell membranes. So I’ve got a list here that I’ll pull up. You’ve got ciprofloxin, an antibiotic, and it has a fluoride molecule, but it has an FDA warning that it causes tendon rupture. So what happens with the fluoride drugs is in the intestine, the microbiome. The bacteria will break down drugs.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:55:31]:

That’s what they do. And release the fluoride molecule. And then that binds with magnesium and makes a brittle substance called celate, magnesium fluoride that deposits in tendons and joints. So you’ve got this. A true reason for toxicity from drugs. Prozac has fluorides, three of them. Paxil has a fluoride. Lipitor has a fluoride, the statin drug.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:56:00]:

The worst I find is a fleconide. It’s an antiarrhythmic. It has six fluoride molecules. It’s used for treating atrial fibrillation, and it’s given to people. Then it decreases their magnesium, which they need to prevent arrhythmia. Anyway, I think I’ll leave it there.

Leanne Vogel [00:56:23]:

You just blew my mind. I had no idea that this existed. I didn’t know. Okay, thank you for that.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:56:31]:

Let me just complete it, then. Des fluorane is an inhaled anesthetic it’s got six fluorine molecules, and it’s given during surgery. So if you have a client that says, oh, I haven’t felt well since this surgery, the six chlorine molecules have bound up their magnesium and given them all kinds of side effects. Bradycardia, hypertension, arrhythmia, and tachycardia. And you hear this a lot after surgery, and people are treated with beta blockers during and after surgery, and they have a lot of side effects. And they’re treated because I think, I haven’t heard anybody talking about this, but it just, the people I’ve seen, it just makes so much sense. Prevacid antacid has three fluoride molecules. Diflucan and antifungal has two.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:57:24]:

There were weight loss drugs. Fenfluramine has three. Celebrax, it was pulled, it had three fluoride molecules. Flonase, it was pulled, it had three chloride molecules. So it made them very, I guess, effective according to medicine, but it made them very toxic to humans.

Leanne Vogel [00:57:47]:

Wow. See, I. I love my job because I love connecting with people and sharing information, but there’s always something that a guest says, and I’m like, okay, you’ve blown my mind. This is it. Now that all the pieces are coming together, and I’m thinking of a bunch of people that I’ve worked with in the past and are currently working with. So that’s really fun. I had no idea. Wow.

Leanne Vogel [00:58:11]:

Okay. We could chat forever about minerals or one of my favorite topics other than macros. So we gotta wrap it up. Where can people find more from you, connect with you, learn about your book. Where can they go?

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:58:24]:

Right, right. Well, the current book is the missing link to total health. And I condensed what I find, what became a 600 page book in the magnesium miracle, and I updated it, and I put in the list of the 68 medical conditions, and that’s on Amazon. Magnesium, the missing link to total health. And my website, my educational website is Dr., and my store website is rna

Leanne Vogel [00:58:58]:

Okay, I will include all of those links in the show notes, guys. So if you’re not sure where these things are, just click around, find the show notes you can click and connect with. Carolyn, thank you again for coming on the show today. This was great.

Dr. Carolyn Dean [00:59:11]:

Thank you, lan. Great to meet you, and thank you for the work you’re doing.

Leanne Vogel [00:59:19]:

Thanks for listening. Join us next Tuesday for another episode of the Keto Diet podcast. Looking for more resources? Go to for keto meal plans, weight loss programs, low carb recipes, and oodles of free resources to get you going. The Keto diet podcast, including show notes and links, provides information in respect to healthy living recipes, nutrition, and diet and is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor is it to be construed as such. We cannot guarantee that the information provided on the Keto diet podcast reflects the most up to date medical research. Information is provided without any representation or warranties of any kind. Please consult a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your health and nutrition program.

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Hi! I'm Leanne (RHN FBCS)

a Functional Medicine Practitioner, host of the Healthful Pursuit Podcast, and best-selling author of The Keto Diet & Keto for Women. I want to live in a world where every woman has access to knowledge to better her health.

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