Ep. 366 Magnesium Masterclass: Unveiling Its Role in Metabolic Function with Dr. Carolyn Dean

Your trusted source for nutrition, wellness, and mindset for thriving health.

I am honored to have Dr. Carolyn Dean joining me today.

Dr. Dean is a medical doctor, naturopath, and best-selling author. She has dedicated more than 50 years to integrating the science of medicine with the gifts of nature to help her patients feel better, boost their energy, and take control of their health.

Today, our conversation centers on The Flexner Report and its influence on modern medicine and the essential role of magnesium in over 80% of metabolic functions. We dive into why we are so magnesium-depleted and common disorders associated with low magnesium levels, and we explore the effects of magnesium on bone health and the microbiome and the synergistic properties of various forms of magnesium and other micronutrients. 

I am confident you will find today’s discussion with Dr. Carolyn Dean as enjoyable as it is enlightening.

“My hydration formula is you measure your body weight in pounds, divide that in half, and drink that many ounces of water a day, with a teaspoon of good sea salt in each liter.”

– Dr. Carolyn Dean


  • How The Flexner Report has impacted allopathic, functional, and integrative approaches to health and wellness
  • Why is magnesium so poorly understood?
  • How to get your magnesium accurately tested
  • How our modern-day lifestyles are contributing to the current magnesium deficiency epidemic 
  • Dr. Dean shares her formula for hydration 
  • The potential side effects of allopathic medications and how they impact our health
  • Why magnesium is essential for aging women
  • The relationship between magnesium and bone health
  • The benefits of magnesium supplementation
  • The complex relationship between magnesium and other minerals
  • Dr. Dean talks about Magnesium Threonate and explains how all magnesium compounds can ultimately reach the brain.


Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, is a medical doctor, naturopath, and best-selling author. She has spent 50+ years committed to applying the science of medicine and the gifts of nature to help people feel better, find more energy, and take control of their personal health. Dr. Dean follows the 2017 revision of 2004’s best-selling book The Magnesium Miracle® with her newest revision Magnesium: The Missing Link to Total Health®.

Connect with Cynthia Thurlow

Connect with Dr. Carolyn Dean

Magnesium: The Missing Link to Total Health by Dr. Carolyn Dean is available on Amazon 

Recommended Publication

Magnesium in the Central Nervous System


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:00:02] Welcome to Everyday Wellness podcast. I’m your host, Nurse Practitioner Cynthia Thurlow. This podcast is designed to educate, empower, and inspire you to achieve your health and wellness goals. My goal and intent is to provide you with the best content and conversations from leaders in the health and wellness industry each week and impact over a million lives.


[00:00:29] Today, I had the honor of reconnecting with Dr. Carolyn Dean. She is both a medical doctor and a naturopath and bestselling author. She has spent over 50 years committed to applying the science of medicine and the gifts of nature to help patients feel better, find more energy. and take control of their personal health. Today, we spoke at great length about the Flexner report and its impact on modern medicine, the role of magnesium and over 80% of metabolic functions, the impact of testing why we’re so magnesium depleted, disorders that are common to see in a low magnesium state, the impact on bone health as well as the microbiome and the synergistic properties of different formulations of magnesium and other micronutrients. I know you will love this conversation as much as I did recording it. 


[00:01:21] Well, Dr. Dean, I’ve been so looking forward to this conversation. We share an appreciation and an affinity of a very misunderstood micronutrient, magnesium. Welcome to Everyday Wellness. 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:01:32] Thank you so much Cynthia. And you must call me Carolyn. I know I’m a doctor, so you don’t have to keep saying it.




Cynthia Thurlow: [00:01:40] Thank you. Well, it’s one of those things, I think after many years of working in healthcare out of respect for the education that you have. But I appreciate that and that is duly noted. But I thought we could start the conversation today talking about the Flexner report. This was something that I was not fully aware of. And after reading your book and the net impact of this report, not just on modern medicine, but the impact on allopathic and functional and integrative approach to health and wellness, has been quite profound and helps explain why we have been so myopic in our focus on treating all disease with medications as opposed to thinking about the full body, about the bio-individual. So, let’s start the conversation there today, because this is something we have not yet explored on the podcast. 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:02:28] It’s a perfect starting point, Cynthia. Not many people have asked me about that, and I did write about in my book, Death by Modern Medicine, and that’s a 2005 book. And it’s astounding to me how everything I talked about there has just escalated and, come to mind and been exposed in the past few years. Flexner, he was a non-medical man, he was a brother of a doctor. Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations tapped this Flexner guy to decide how medicine should be taught in America. And they sent him over to Germany, and he fell in love with the German model of I know, lab, and everything had to be proven clinically and supported by labs and then supported by drugs. I think it started the, one symptom, one disease, one drug treatment. 


[00:03:23] And so he came back, wrote this report, and it’s online, the Flexner Report. And out of that, they stopped funding any school that didn’t follow the German model. So that meant all the homeopathic schools were gone, the herbal schools, and then all of a sudden, the women’s medical schools and the black medical schools were gone. So, they just created this system where I think there are words to the effect of a certain elite class should be in charge of medicine and make it more, whatever, scientific. Maybe that’s the word they used. So, they just ruined everything. I mean, they were in the influenza epidemic, 1918. The homeopaths did so much better with their patients than anybody else. And maybe that scared the drug doctors, because the Flexner report, I think that was like 1923. I haven’t read it lately. 


[00:04:28] So that’s our groundwork. And from there, we see how everything has gone down the silo of drug-based medicine, surgery, even in med school, when I entered in the mid-70s, I’d already been really indoctrinated into nutrition and lifestyle as much as there was back in the early 70s. I mean, all I could do was read prevention magazine and Adele Davis. And so, I have this historical chronology of what’s been going on since the 60s, since I’ve been looking at natural medicine, and it’s an incredible decline. I really thought, in the mid-70s, because I was, as they said in my intake, my student interview intake, they said, “She’s too Pollyanna to enter medicine.” But I did get in and I thought, “Well, in another decade, we’ll all be doing natural medicine, because it makes so much sense. I mean, Cynthia, even back then, they were saying to us, clinically, “You should only use drugs for the amount of time it takes for a person’s health to rebound. And then you pull back the drugs.” What has happened? And, you know, from your clinical experience, what’s happened in the past two decades? Lifelong drug. And who does that support and who gains from that? Not the patient, certainly, it’s the pharmaceutical companies. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:05:56] Yeah. And it’s interesting to me, my whole basis of perspective, I was an ER nurse, and then I worked in cardiology as an NP for 16 years, was that most of what I saw in cardiology were lifestyle-mediated diseases. And we would occasionally in clinic, we would look at patients who were on 30, 40 prescription medications, because they would take one medication to address, frontline therapy for hypertension/high blood pressure was a diuretic. You put them on the diuretic, they develop low potassium, you put them on potassium, then they would end up getting gout. And it was just like this unbelievable path of patients trusting that we were providing the best input with regard to what they were suffering from, but trying to have conversations about the net impact of lifestyle and how few of my patients were really interested. They’re like, “I’m not going to stop smoking, I’m not going to exercise. I’m not going to change my diet. Just give me another pill.” And so I was always trying to find an angle to indicate, like, “I would love for you to be able to run around with your children. I would love for you to be able to get on the floor with your grandchildren, how important quality of life is. Maybe we need a little bit more sleep. 


[00:07:04] But one of the things that was surprising to me when I was reading your book, looking at the Flexner report, was understanding that in the 1980s, the AMA, the American Medical Association, actually got sued for intentionally conspiring to destroy their competition. And this was upheld by the Supreme Court. And so, this had a huge impact on midwifery, homeopathy, as you mentioned, naturopathy, herbalism, chiropractic care. And in many ways, I think that both allopathic perspectives and alternative perspectives can work together beautifully. As you said, when you were in your training, it was to put a patient on a medication for as short of a duration as possible. And now what we see is people are on lifelong proton pump inhibitors, antihypertensives, diabetes medications, lipid-lowering agents, etc., etc., reflux meds forever. And yet we’re never really looking largely for a path to get people off of medications and really lean into lifestyle. So that’s why I love the work that you do, and particularly, really looking at the big picture. So many of us are so focused on macronutrients, protein, fat, and carbs, which are important, but we’re not thinking about micronutrient deficiencies. 


[00:08:20] And I know one of your passions in love is talking about magnesium. Why is magnesium so poorly understood? You talk a lot about this in the book. But I would echo a lot of your sentiments, because even in cardiology in the hospital, we would be dealing with patients who had arrhythmias and rhythm disturbances. And everyone’s checking potassium and never checking magnesium. And we’ll get to the lab piece of why serum markers for magnesium are not always effective or efficacious, but helping listeners understand that there’s so many benefits to magnesium in the body, far more than they could probably ever imagine, and how our modern-day lifestyle is impacting and exacerbating this micronutrient problem. 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:09:02] Yes, exactly. I mean, that’s what we’ll talk about this whole interview. Magnesium is actually necessary for 80% of known metabolic functions. Now, that is just astounding, that Jamie Workinger paper in 2018, and it was past the date of my second edition of The Magnesium Miracle. So that’s why I wrote this new book, Magnesium: The Missing Link to Total Health because I had to bring people up to 80% of known metabolic functions. Magnesium helps the muscles and nerves create their activity. When you have a muscle cell, it will open up its cell mineral ion channel, but only because magnesium lets it open. And a little bit of calcium will get in and the muscle will fire, or the nerve will fire. And then magnesium opens the channel again and kicks out the calcium, simple. 


[00:10:04] If you don’t have magnesium, then calcium actually will worm its way into the cell and create constant activity. Muscle spasms in your nerves, just crippling spasms. I’ve seen people go through surgery because of magnesium deficiency, muscle spasms, it’s horrendous. We have 600 muscles in the body. Each of them can suffer magnesium deficiency. Is that 600 diseases? Perhaps, we have 45 miles of nerves in the body. All those nerves are susceptible. What do you get with magnesium deficient nerves? You get tingling, burning, aching, numbing, and even paralysis. You get seizures. You get people being diagnosed with MS because of magnesium deficiency. It’s just incredible. And you’ve alluded to the blood test. So, maybe because we’re talking on a medical level here, we’ll look at the fact that doctors don’t do a blood test for magnesium that gives them any important information. 


[00:11:11] So they really stopped doing the test. If you pull out your latest labs and look at your electrolyte panel, it does not even have magnesium on the panel. And magnesium is the primo electrolyte for making your muscles, which is your heart, function properly. So, they’ve ignored it because the serum magnesium test just measures 1% of the magnesium in your whole body, which happens to be in your blood. And because magnesium is so vital for the heart function and the brain function, it will keep itself in a very tight range. The body monitors the magnesium. And if that tight range goes a little too low, then the body will pull magnesium out of bones and muscles, and it will save your heart muscle before it saves your bones. So that tight level in the serum I think when I first started looking at the blood test, the range was something like four points. It was around the low fours. 


[00:12:21] Now, all of a sudden, the low range is around the mid 3s. Now, what that means is the population is getting more and more deficient in magnesium, and we just go by the range. We don’t go by normal or beneficial or optimal. We go by the sick population range and say, “Oh, well, you’re 3.2, you’re fine. You don’t have to worry about magnesium,” whereas you want to be like 4.5. I started recommending the RBC magnesium test as a little better monitor. But Cynthia, when you think about, “Well, where is magnesium in the cell?” It’s hanging out in the mitochondria to make energy, which is another huge thing about magnesium. Red blood cells don’t have mitochondria. So, what kind of magnesium are they testing in red blood cells? And then the third part of that is the best test is an ionized magnesium test. And that’s the one I’m doing in my university studies. The funding from my company goes to university studies and to supporting an organic biodynamic farm here in Maui. Those are my two aims to prove scientifically and then to feed people. 


[00:13:40] But anyway, this is why doctors don’t even know about magnesium. They saw that the magnesium was pretty much always in range because the body made it be in range and they stopped testing it. And that is criminal. You get hundreds of thousands of papers, scientific papers about magnesium showing its importance, and people just ignore it. Or like you said before we started taping in the hospitals, they use something called MgO, which is a magnesium oxide, which is 4% absorbed. 96% of it is a laxative. So, this is what they’re telling people to take is this unabsorbed laxative, which people will stop taking immediately because it causes such devastating effect. But why that happened is, back in the day when people started to do magnesium research, a very smart woman who owned a magnesium oxide company gave thousands of bottles to these researchers to do their studies. So all the studies say, “Well, we use this much magnesium oxide,” and all the doctors are still just, “Oh, okay, I’ll give you some magnesium oxide without a thought.” 


[00:14:55] So my thesis is, we may get to the details, but I have severe magnesium deficiency. I didn’t realize it until I started researching the magnesium miracle, started to take more magnesium, developed bad laxative effect. I mean, I dropped like 10 pounds overnight and did not get relief. So, after publishing the book, I spent 10 years looking for a non-laxative magnesium. None of the companies were interested. They were selling their magnesium just fine. So, I finally found a chemist who could make a non-laxative magnesium, which is a picometer size stabilized ion of magnesium. The size is important because that’s what needs to get into the cells, is an ion of magnesium. When you look at all the dozen compounds of magnesium now, a compound does not get into a cell. That compound has to wait until it’s two parts disassociate in the blood to a magnesium and a chloride, for example. And then in that split second, in that disassociation, the magnesium can get into a cell. So, absorption is very inaccurate and incomplete. It doesn’t occur readily. 


[00:16:19] So, we’ve got a magnesium which is highly reactive, which will grab back onto anything so that it doesn’t become an ion. So, “What’s my thesis?” Oh, yeah, my thesis is that people don’t know what it is to get enough magnesium because they don’t take an ionized, stabilized ion. I mean, ions are what we need, but if they’re stabilized by a certain– it’s an 18-step proprietary process, nobody’s doing that. So, I ended up looking at so many different conditions that could be, in fact, magnesium deficiency. And I got so good at it that the FDA said, you can’t talk about that anymore. You cannot have testimonials on your website from customers saying that they were helped by your magnesium. So, I’m not going to mention the name of my magnesium today. If I say a magnesium is creating a cure of a disease, that makes it a drug. The FDA, word for word, says, “Only drugs cure disease.” And if you want to say your product cures this or that or the next thing, you have to do the billion-dollar clinical trial. 


[00:17:36] Well, my clinical trial is the 100,000 customers who taken, well, my magnesium. But Cynthia, any magnesium will help people. Even the MagOx will help you because your body is so needy, 80% of your known metabolic processes need magnesium. So, any little bit is going to help. So, we’ll get that, [chuckles] put that on the record. Epsom salt baths will help people. So, magnesium does so many things. But perhaps because I’m a medical doctor and a naturopath, the customers now are coming to me because they’re so medically overtreated, like you say, 30 and 40 drugs, that they want a medical opinion on what they should do. Now, I can’t give it to them, but I have a very robust customer service and we just walk people through, you take a little bit of liquid and you increase it. When I had my severe heart palpitations with my magnesium deficiency, when I finally got my product, I was able to take 1200 mg a day, whereas before 50 mg, 5-0 mg would give me the laxative effect. So, my body required that. And that went on for about a year, year and a half, and then I was able to wean off. And what I know is that being saturated means right now, if I take my more than 450 mg, I’ll get the laxative effect because my body is saturated. Okay, your turn. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:19:14] This is an important distinction. So, number one, most testing is not going to be able to give you reliable information. And I would agree with you that the traditional serum magnesium, we never ordered that. We went with the red blood cell magnesium, which was a step up better. Do you think that the ionized magnesium will eventually make its way into clinical practice and outside the confines of a research environment? Do you anticipate that will happen? Because inevitably my listeners are going to be wanting to know, how can they get their magnesium accurately tested? 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:19:45] It will be Cynthia. Our first clinical trial of a couple of years ago, we had to shut down because of the crazy quarantine. But after two years of blood storage of our human participants, we thawed the blood and ran it through the ionized magnesium machine. And the numbers were exact, which means you can freeze the blood, send it to a lab that does ionized testing, and get a robust result. So, we’re very excited about that. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:20:20] Yeah. Absolutely. 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:20:21] Yeah, I mean, that is going to come. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:20:25] Yeah. The other thing that I think is significant that you mentioned is that since we are so magnesium depleted and deficient that any magnesium for most of us is going to beneficial. So, stressing about certain formulations, and I’m sure we’ll get to it because there’s always this discussion about what crosses the blood-brain barrier, what doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier, what should we take for sleep? I’m sure we’ll touch on this but what I’d love to discuss next is what is it about our modern-day lifestyles that is contributing to this magnesium deficiency or epidemic, if we want to think about it on a global scale, because the soil is much different now than it was 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago. And what is contributing to this? 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:21:11] Yes, there’s layers. I mean, I sometimes forget to say the chlorine in the water, the bromine in breads, they can bind up magnesium, but it does start with the soil. I have a reference from the US Department of Agriculture that says 100 years ago, we were getting 500 mg of magnesium from our diet, and now we’re lucky to get 200. And I think we need 600 mg a day to be healthy. So the soil, and then you process the food. Magnesium is very volatile. It’s used as the ignition of fireworks. If you remember chemistry lab. They’d hand out little strips of magnesium, and you’d like them. And so, magnesium is volatile. So apparently it cooks off more than, say, calcium. And that’s one of our problems. We have much more calcium than magnesium. Calcium blunts the magnesium in the body, and that’s a real problem. We’re becoming calcified. That’s one of the causes of aging, is calcification. 


[00:22:19] And then we’ve got the stresses. And I contend that in the past couple of years, we’ve all developed PTSD. We’re all in constant stress. I mean, we’re jumping more when we hear a loud noise. We’re always worried. We look at too much news, we see the horrors and the chaos going on, and that cannot help but affect our emotional state, our adrenal glands, our hormones, so the stress, and then we take the surgeries. There are inhaled anesthetics, that’s fluorine, for example, you would know that one. It’s a fluoride compound. And although the Big Pharma says in the test tube, these fluoride drugs don’t break down. They don’t release fluoride. Well, what does our microbiome do? It happily breaks down anything that it comes across. So we are, in fact, with these fluoride drugs, creating fluoride overdose or whatever, toxicity. And fluoride will grab onto magnesium and create a magnesium fluoride compound called sellaite, which is a brittle substance that deposits in tendons and joints and muscle, making us tight to the point that I think that the reason why Cipro is causing tendon rupture, and the FDA put a tendon rupture black box warning on Cipro for Pete’s sakes.


[00:23:51] And who hasn’t seen athletes who’ve had tendon ruptures. And then personally, I’ve gotten their history. Oh, yeah, I took a Cipro or it’s my third time taking Cipro. And boom, they get this buildup of this brittle substance. It’s horrific. And there’s several drugs. There’s the Prozac, there’s the statin drugs, there’s antihistamines, there’s asthma drugs. There’s so many drugs that now have fluoride attached to them. And it makes me think about if I can jump back to a previous topic where you talked about the heart disease and how that manifests. Well, you mentioned all the different conditions that can happen. Here’s the scenario that I laid out for decades. Joe goes into the doctor. The nurse takes his blood pressure. He’s been under massive stress. The blood pressure is elevated. Looks at the chart. “Oh, it’s been elevated before. Maybe the doctor should start you on medications.” Joe’s given a diuretic, comes back a month later, his blood pressure is worse. What’s happened? He has lost his potassium and magnesium. They may have told them to take a banana or an orange for his potassium but say nothing about magnesium. 


[00:25:09] And the doctor will say, “Oh, well, we’ve caught your blood pressure just in time, Joe. It was starting to go up.” Not, the diuretic made to go up, and then they put him on a calcium channel blocker. What’s the best calcium channel blocker? Magnesium. They balance each other out and an ACE inhibitor and off he goes. Three months later, you have to come back for your blood test to make sure the drugs aren’t damaging your liver. And then all of a sudden, “Oh, my gosh, Joe, you have diabetes.” And, “Oh, my gosh, Joe, you have high cholesterol.” Magnesium is a natural statin. It works with the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme that statins kill. Magnesium is one of the signs of diabetes in the allopathic book. So, magnesium deficiency has now caused this poor person to have high blood sugar and high cholesterol. And he will be on drugs the rest of his life. Yes, he’ll be put on metformin. And they’re trying to say now metformin is some heroic drug that’s helping people with everything. And at the same time, the side effects of metformin are, gaining and metformin for his diabetes and a statin. I mean, some doctors want to put everybody on prophylactic statin they wanted to put in the water supply. 


[00:26:34] And all the time we are realizing that cholesterol is not the bad guy, the bad guy is inflammation, lack of vitamin C. When you lack vitamin C, your collagen levels drop, you stop creating the strong membranes in your blood vessel. So, when you come to a bifurcation at V of the blood vessels, at that V point is a stress point. And that can tear if you don’t have proper collagen in the submembrane. But anyway, in that tear, cholesterol will deposit as a band-aid. If you have high calcium in your blood because you don’t have enough magnesium, calcium will deposit in that cholesterol. And you can get an epithelial layer growing over that whole mound and create an atheroma. But that’s your atherosclerosis. Cholesterol is just doing its job. It’s kind of like antioxidant, and we all know it is the basic constituent for building our hormones. So, when you don’t have cholesterol, [chuckles] you start having to take Viagra if you’re a man, because your testosterone plunks down, so major sidebar. Go ahead, Cynthia. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:27:55] No, no. I was going to say that you can imagine in cardiology, a lot of people with coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, a lot of people on statins, and I would sometimes get yelled at when I would reduce a statin dose because I would see their total cholesterol go below 100. And I would have mostly men that were dealing with erectile dysfunction, but they were just– We know that when your total cholesterol is under 100, it’s a marker of morbidity and mortality. And not only the sex hormones, but people just generally don’t feel well when their total cholesterol is that low. So, it’s definitely something that I saw quite a bit in cardiology. And I think it’s interesting when we’re talking around some of the common disorders that can happen under the guise of low magnesium. You mentioned the cholesterol piece and how important magnesium is in managing cholesterol. But what I found interesting was the connection with Alzheimer’s. And I think for most of the women that listen to this podcast, understanding that our brains in our 60s and 70s are made in our 40s and 50s. 


[00:29:00] There’s a podcast with Dr. Lisa Mosconi that will be out in probably about two weeks. And she is a neurocognitive scientist and has written a book called The Menopause Brain really speaking to aging women’s brains and how there’s not enough research, but she’s helping to change that. But understanding the impairment in learning and memory and synapse loss that can be exacerbated in the setting of low magnesium, I found really, really interesting and something that I know listeners would be interested in as well. So it’s not just an issue with poor metabolism in the brain and loss of insulin sensitivity. There’s more to it than that. 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:29:39] Hmm. I know it’s like we were saying earlier, when you just tried to put it in one little bucket, you miss the whole picture. And I think that’s why a lot of nutritionists are going to the macronutrient picture, and they say, “Well, that’s all there is that you need to know.” Because the micronutrients, that I think are so difficult, but they aren’t difficult. For me, my system is you drink enough water to suffice with sea salt in it, Cynthia, because it’s the minerals going into cells that pull water in behind them. When I can get people on drinking sea salt water and taking some magnesium and some of my multiple minerals, they lose their ankle edema, and they lose the swelling in their fingers that makes you unable to even do this. [laughs] So, minerals, minerals, minerals. And I should stop and say, “My hydration formula is you measure your body weight in pounds, and you divide that in half. Drink that many ounces of water a day, and with each liter, put in a teaspoon of a good sea salt. And a good sea salt is one that has some color to it.” The pink Himalayan or over here, we have a copper-colored sea salt.


[00:31:03] Because if it’s a white sea salt, that means it’s been refined and you’re losing some of the minerals. And that hydration we tell people that, day one, and they start feeling better right away. People maybe they, well, I don’t want to have to go to the bathroom all the time, but when you take your water with minerals, the water staying in your cells, your cells are hydrated, they’re not all shrunken down, and the water is lost to your bladder for Pete’s sake. So, it’s a very interesting treatment, and it makes me think of how doctors, when they treat someone with high blood pressure, they stop their salt, which is usually table salt. And that’s not what we’re talking about. They say stop your salt and reduce your water intake so that they can reduce the pressure on the blood vessels. And it’s terrible advice. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:31:56] Yeah, it’s interesting. I can’t tell you how many of my patients that were probably north of, let’s just say retirees. So, we’ll use that bucket. And it’s not pejorative, but they would say, “I don’t want to drink more water. I don’t want to have to go to the bathroom more frequently.” But such an easy thing to do is adding this high-quality salt to your water. I’m someone that actually needs to add electrolytes and needs to hydrate and add salt to my food because it makes a world of difference in how I feel. It makes a difference in how I sleep, makes a difference in my energy levels. And it’s something that’s so simple. So simple. I would love to talk about the relationship between a very important topic for my listeners, bone health and magnesium. I don’t think enough of us probably understand that 60% of our magnesium is in our bones. And bone health, especially as we’re navigating perimenopause into menopause, becomes even more important whether someone is on HRT or not, helping us understand why bone health and magnesium are so intricately linked. 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:33:00] Right. I think what happened with the bone research is someone burnt up some bones, and the ash of the bones was mostly calcium. And they said, “Oh, that’s what we need. If your bones are deteriorating or thinning out, you need calcium.” And that became the war cry. And that’s why we’re in a bit of a pinch right now. I mean, the studies out of New Zealand, 10, well, maybe 20 years ago now, there were about six studies, and they’ve realized that women simply who take calcium supplements are at a higher risk for heart disease because they overcame their magnesium storage. Now, they don’t say that. They just, “Well, I guess calcium is not good for you.” And the reason why magnesium is so important, why there’s so much in bone, it’s because of the soft tissue structure in bones, the soft tissue matrix, that’s collagen. Collagen, elastin, and then magnesium is important for both of those proteins. Vitamin C is also vital for those, the collagen production. So, you think of vitamin C and you think, “Oh, we’re all getting our vitamin C.” But you take a look at any elderly person who’s not taking vitamin C, and you look at their little wrists and all their bruises lined up, and you think, “Well, what’s going on?” 


[00:34:30] And you don’t get past the thought that, “Oh, they’re just banging themselves. They’re old and–” but it’s scurvy. These people have scurvy. You have to be as dramatic as that. And then in their bones, their bones have lost the vitamin C, lost the collagen, so their bones are shrinking. I plan not to shrink because I’m going to keep my vitamin C. And seriously, I’m one of the elderly. I’m 75 in a few days.


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:34:57] Oh, I [crosstalk]


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:34:59] Thank you. But it’s because, well, gosh, it wasn’t until about 15, 20 years ago that I started realizing about magnesium right. When I wrote the book, yes, when I published, The Magnesium Miracle. So, I’ve only been magnesium deficient for about 15, 20 years, which caught me up to building up my bones and my tissues and my everything. So, bones, man, we just got it so wrong about telling women that they needed more and more calcium and ignoring the magnesium. So, I hope I said that properly because I was dancing around that the soft tissue structure, which is the scaffolding that the bone matrix settles on. And then what happens with all the bone scans and the bone studies, what are we calling it? 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:35:55] DEXA.


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:35:55] Yeah. The DEXA test. And they’re comparing our bones to a 25, 30-year-old bone for one thing. But they’re saying that, “Okay, if you’re a certain percentage, you have to take the Fosamax or one of these terrible drugs that kills your osteoclast. There’s osteoblast that make new bone great. And then the osteoclasts arrange the bone properly. They come along and do the fine detail and break down bone that isn’t needed and allow new bone to come. So, these great pharma doctors decided, “Oh, well, we’ll just kill the osteoblast so that there won’t be any bone breakdown.” So, what happened to the bone? It got all heavily squiggly and it got brittle and it actually got worse for women. There’s a dental rule that dentists aren’t allowed to work on women who’ve taken these drugs because their jawbone is so brittle. You can’t drill into it, you can take teeth out, but you can’t put in teeth implants. So that’s scary. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:37:12] Oh, absolutely. That’s osteomalacia. It’s something that I think for anyone that’s listening, its understanding that those, “bisphosphates are designed to make our bone healthier.” And I will put that in air quotes. “But they actually contribute to a loss of bone mass, abnormal bone growth, and then skeletal weakness.” And that’s why, to your point, doing dental surgery on someone that’s been on those Boniva, any of those drugs, it’s a contraindication. So, dentists can’t even do surgery. God forbid you need to have surgery on your jaw, it’s just too brittle. So, when you’re talking about whether it’s osteopenia, which technically really is even a diagnosis, when they’re comparing a 50-year-old bone to a 25-year-old bone, and that’s when our bone– peak bone and muscle mass is when we’re younger. But looking at middle-aged bone or even older bone, helping them understand that one of the things that contributes to healthy bone is having a properly supported magnesium level in the body. I think that these are things that are tangible for people. Magnesium is important, but it’s probably not emphasized enough. 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:38:17] Right. Cynthia, one more thing about the elastin in the soft tissue structure, magnesium, I don’t know specifically, it has an effect on the production of elastin because I used to hear that magnesium made bones more flexible and it would be through the elastin soft tissue matrix. But I’ll just share this with you, not so much sympathy, but here’s what happens when you have all your minerals and you feel good, you have your collagen. A week and a half ago, I slammed down, I tripped over someone and slammed onto the farm store that I volunteer with and I help support, slammed down on my elbow, which I’m favoring still. I’m not waving my right hand around and my left knee, but I did not break anything. I should have broken everything so much. But if you have strong bones, you don’t break. And every time I fall, like, rollerblading, I dislocated my knees. I fell over my handlebars of my bike a few years ago and wrecked my knees for a while. But then, you get them back, you do your physical exercise and that’s another thing you have to move. 


[00:39:36] Was it you, Cynthia, that said you have to do weight bearing as we age? And when I do my two-hour morning walk down along the beach here, I will take my three-pound weight in one hand and be doing my exercises, switch it over to my other hand and do it the whole way. And so, I’m getting my legs and my arms. We just have, I mean, I’m so blessed to be able to walk in nature like that. But I think most people, they could find a way to get out there and breathe fresh air and smile at people. What I do is I collect smiles. So, I walk along the path and I smile at someone. And if they’re not on their phone, for the most part, 99% of the time they smile back. And that is invigorating and enlivening if you’re smiling and you have a positive attitude. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:40:36] Oh, I think it’s so important. And I love that you collect smiles. You probably get a little bit of an oxytocin boost as you’re smiling at,- 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:40:42] Right, right. [laughs] 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:40:43] -acknowledging, connection to nature, suppressing melatonin, increasing cortisol as you’re going about your day. I’d love touch a little bit if you’re comfortable talking about the microbiome. Microbiome is a hot topic right now, but there is this interrelationship between low magnesium and the impact on immunity. And I think coming out of the pandemic from four years ago, I think a lot of us are interested, vested talking about the value of the gut microbiome, protecting it, eating the right foods, managing our stress. But I didn’t know that magnesium played a role in immune function there as well. 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:41:18] Right. This was a clinical observation, Cynthia. What we found with our customers is two and three months into just taking our magnesium, they would get back to us and say, “Look, I’m developing some rashes, I’ve got some gas and bloating, I’ve got coated tongue, and maybe they’re getting a vaginitis.” And they’d say, “The magnesium isn’t working or kind of not have a clue what was going on.” And because, my sort of dual purpose in life is making people aware of magnesium deficiency and yeast overgrowth. And right away I talked with our customer service people and we discussed that these people, their immune system is activated enough now that they can get rid of some of this yeast overgrowth. It’s woken up and we all have yeast. I mean, it’s like everybody has magnesium deficiency, everybody has yeast overgrowth, and neither of them are recognized by allopathic medicine. And it’s my burden to bring this to the fore. 


[00:42:28] So, what we do then is work with maybe one of my products is silver and another with Saccharomyces boulardii, which is a very gentle antifungal that’s used for childhood diarrhea for Pete’s sakes, humic/fulvic for the pro and prebiotics, inulin is a prebiotic. So, it’s a nice combination. And then people settle down. I no longer believe and I don’t know if I ever did that you have to really kill, kill, kill all your yeast because yeast is necessary. It’s just that we’ve eaten so much sugar, taking so much antibiotics, birth control pill, mercury fillings, chlorine, we’ve created this antibiotic-ness throughout our system that allows yeast to grow up from our large intestine into the small intestine. It squiggles away and creates a leaky gut. Squiggles away at the structural membrane there that they’re saying certain drugs will cause a leaky gut. But the toxins from yeast, I am very clear can cause a leaky gut as well.


[00:43:43] So, then you get these 78 yeast toxins absorbed into the body, causing symptoms from head to foot. Brain fog is a big one. So that’s how I started looking at magnesium and the microbiome, because magnesium was helping us get rid of the yeast, drawing attention to it. And also, magnesium and the other minerals are what will keep that structure in the intestines. The intestinal lining is protecting us from foreign chemicals and it’s our intestinal barrier, like we have a blood-brain barrier, it’s our intestinal barrier, of course. And I think, there are a lot more aspects I’m sure will be uncovered about the microbiome and magnesium. But to me, that’s the start of it, recognizing the yeast overgrowth problem. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:44:38] Yeah, it’s so interesting. I think, certainly the gut microbiome was not something I learned in school. It’s really been probably the last 5 or 10 years that now it has really just had this explosion, the oral microbiome, the gut microbiome, the vaginal microbiome, and how they all impact one another. I would love to kind of wrap up and touch on something that I think is particularly important. You mentioned quite a bit in the book about magnesium and cofactors or magnesium and their friends. So, helping people understand that, things like vitamin D, it’s important for us to have adequate magnesium in the setting of vitamin D to be able to properly assimilate, activate. So, what are some of the common, I think about it like peanut butter and jelly, a terrible analogy, of course but magnesium and other minerals that are important to work together in terms of whether it’s an inverse relationship, like we’ve talked about calcium and magnesium, or antagonistically what are some of the other key minerals that are important for magnesium? 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:45:39] Right. They all do work together. Okay, there’s three things. First, you mentioned the vitamin D. Vitamin D will not be activated unless you have magnesium. We have customers who tell us, “Well, I went to the beach and I had got a lot of sun, and then I realized my magnesium deficiency symptoms came back.” “Oh, my gosh, you’re absorbing vitamin D. And then you used so much more magnesium.” Customers saying, “Oh, my gosh, all my symptoms are back. Well, what have you done lately?” Well, I took 50,000 units of vitamin D according to my allopathic doctor, and boom that uses up all your extra magnesium. The second thing about minerals, I think my biggest example of the synergy of the minerals was when I put together a multiple mineral. Nine of the 12 minerals are necessary for thyroid hormone production. Nine of them, it’s not just iodine. It’s not just selenium. It goes down the list of manganese, molybdenum, copper, boron, zinc and calcium and magnesium. 


[00:46:51] And it’s not a linear pathway, but I kind of give the analogy of, “Yeah, there’s a part of the T3, T4 business. It needs iodine.” So, it uses that and then it passes it along, and then it needs some selenium to go to the next level. And then each mineral has their function to create the next chemical structure that ends up being your T4 or T3. And personally, when I started experimenting with my multiple after about four or five weeks, my hands started to get warm again, even though I was on 60 mg of Armour Thyroid, I got my hands back. So, I have a real problem with doctors, allopathic and naturopathic, who say, “Well, we have to wait until your thyroid is really punked out, and then we’ll give you hormone replacement.” And in the alternative community, we think we’re hotshots because we’re giving natural hormone replacement without thinking of the minerals. 


[00:47:56] The third thing is you can research and type in mineral wheel. So, you’ll see this big wheel with two dozen minerals. And that’s why we need sea salt, because there’s 78 different minerals in a sea salt. So, you’ll see a lot of minerals and little lines going from the mineral to other minerals or not. And then they’ll say whether it’s antagonistic or whether they work together. And it is so complex, I couldn’t possibly explain it. And that’s why I say, well, rather than scientifically and maybe erroneously scientifically say things like, “Well, you shouldn’t take calcium and magnesium together.” Have you heard that? 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:48:43] Yes.


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:48:44] They will say, “Oh, you can’t absorb one with that.” That is so much– That’s a level of manure, because you think of any vegetable, any green leafy vegetable, it has magnesium and calcium in it. God wouldn’t have put them there if they didn’t work together in some way. So all these clickbait articles that make you think there’s a problem. And I’ll just sidebar into– histamine’s a problem and oxalates are a problem, even lectins are a problem. And certainly, I do believe gluten is a problem because we’ve over glutenized our wheat to make it more doughy. We have created high gluten foods that some people can’t digest. I myself only eat a sourdough wheat, organic wheat bread, maybe once a week, and I’ll toast it because it helps digestion. So, you’ve got all these food restrictions, which I developed a real aversion to food restrictions decades ago because that’s the way we treated allergies back in the day. Oh, boy [unintelligible 00:49:58] that. 


[00:49:57] And without realizing, we have to boost the immune system and boost the building blocks that help the body deal with these things. When you look at high histamine foods, you can take your vitamin C, whole food. Vitamin C especially is good for helping as antihistamine so is magnesium. For the lectins, you cook most of them, and the effect goes away. The oxalates, if you have enough magnesium, it binds up with oxalates and removes them from the body. If you have too much calcium, not enough magnesium, you’ll get a calcium oxalate, which is a kidney stone. So, all these things that are taken in isolation, you can make a case for it. An interview I did yesterday, I mentioned in junior high school, one of our teachers, he created a debate team, and he tapped me quite a lot to take both sides. He said, “Sit over there and take the pro sides. Sit over there and take the con.” You can make a case with a bunch of half-truths and embellish it enough that you can win your case. 


[00:51:10] And that’s what I see happening with a lot of these folks who, you know, they’ll have a cure with some diet or another and then act like everybody should follow them. What you do with food and with dietary supplements is if they make you feel better, then you stick with it. And you also use your common sense, you watch your symptoms, you don’t depend on other people to tell you what to do, just basic common-sense advice. I guess, in our society, we’re too used to going to a doctor and then sort of patting us on the head and saying, “Take this.” I think people have woken up in the past couple of years to the fact that doctors and medicine, the drug companies aren’t the end all, be all answer to our health, maybe to treating some disease. They certainly cause some disease, but doctors are not trained to help you stay healthy.


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:52:09] That’s such a good point and point about being very polarizing about making antinutrients a focus and understanding how important it is on a bio-individual level to make sure that we’re finding some degree of balance. One last point that I wanted to make sure I clarified. In the book, you talked about a formulation of magnesium that has got a patent and I think in many ways has kind of taken the magnesium world by storm. But what I found interesting when you were talking about this particular formulation of magnesium L-threonate, which is, I think for most of my listeners know that this is a formulation that crosses the blood-brain barrier. You made the point of saying all magnesium ultimately can get to the brain. I would love for you to speak to this because when I read that, I thought to myself, “Wow, when you talk about scientific information, yes, important.” But I think that information, it was kind of taken and they just ran with it. And so, magnesium L-threonate is a lovely form of magnesium, but it’s not the only one that crosses the blood-brain barrier and that’s an important distinction. 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:53:13] Right. There’s a [unintelligible 00:53:14] of New Zealand, Auckland University, maybe [00:53:12 [unintelligible] It’s Magnesium in the Central Nervous System. It’s a free download and it’s about the central nervous system and magnesium. And a lot of it talks about magnesium oxide and all the incredible beneficial effects. And of course, so I’ve known forever that any magnesium can cross a blood-brain barrier because if it can ionize a cell from that little ion, tiny, tiny picometer sized magnesium ion, it can slip into the brain. So, what happened with the magnesium L-threonate? I thought at first, “Well, if it’s made with threonine, threonine has brain effects. It’s for sleep and for mood and everything. But then when you look at the formula, it’s not threonine, it’s threonate. And it’s just an acid compound. There’s bases and acids, I think it’s an acid, but it’s not even threonine. And then I read the study over and over and it seemed that they compared, it was a rat study. And they took their cerebrospinal fluid and found that the magnesium L-threonate compared with, I think it was a magnesium citrate. There was a 7% increase in magnesium along the way. 7% and based on that, they must have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the marketing of this thing. 


[00:54:45] So, they marketed it as crossing the blood-brain barrier. And it’s a company out of China. And when you look deeper and deeper, it’s like, “What’s really going on here.” So, it was very much a marketing ploy. There is a placebo effect with anything you take. So that was probably happening. When they had such a big response to their marketing, they tripled the price. And as you said, it’s patented, so they control that. And then when you look at the labeling and it all seems to be similar. It says 2000 mg on front of the label. Magnesium L-threonate 2000 mg. Whoa, I’m getting some magnesium here. You turn the label around and read the elemental amount of magnesium, elemental, we wanted to be ionized, but elemental in three capsules is 144 mg. So that means if I were to take magnesium L-threonate, which I tried it and it gave me the laxative effect. But I would have had to take 30 capsules a day to get near my 1200 mg. So total hype as you say, “They’ve taken over the market.” 


[00:56:10] At the time, one of the big supplement sellers who was approaching me about wanting to relabel my product for his company. And of course, I said, “No.” So, then he started selling magnesium L-threonate. So, it’s frustrating because people are being charged a lot for very little magnesium and it doesn’t even have threonine in it, which could help. And that’s where you were mentioning about the compounds. Does the lactate and magnesium lactate help? It can. Does the glycine and magnesium glycinate help? Of course it can, but it’s not magnesium. If you’re looking to get rid of your magnesium deficiency symptoms, you need magnesium. All of these compounds and I don’t know if I put it in Missing Link book, but I have it in, The Magnesium Miracle. I have a list of a 500-mg amount of a compound of magnesium. It will only have 50 to 75 mg of elemental magnesium. So, if you want to saturate yourself with magnesium, you have to take a lot of it. So, I think I finished saying the words about the magnesium compounds. Unless there’s something you want to ask me about that. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:57:30] I think this is such an important distinction because for the last several years I feel like there’s been so much information centering around this particular magnesium formulation. And it’s expensive, it’s trademarked, and I know for a lot of people it becomes prohibitively expensive. So, I appreciate that you were explaining that even if the label says one thing, the degree of elemental and accessible magnesium could be much lower. Could you let my listeners know how to connect with you, how to purchase your books, how to look into your products, or learn more about you and your work? 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:58:06] Of course. Of course. So, Magnesium: The Missing Link to Total Health is on Amazon. It’s a Kindle version and print on demand. So, it’s my own publishing company now. I’m putting out all my books again through my own company with updates. So that’s really fun. You can order a book and Amazon goes into the back office and prints it out for you. It’s amazing. When are you writing your next book? 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:58:33] I believe my second book proposal was just accepted. So, I’m in the stages of my lit agent and my editor liked the idea. So, I’m crossing my fingers. It’s like I’ve gotten through a couple hoops. But yeah, the book writing process is fun, for sure. 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:58:49] Yeah. And my websites for educational and my radio show, my podcast is Dr. Carolyn Dean and drcarolyndean.com. And my store website is rnareset.com. I was resetting the RNA long time ago. [chuckles] 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:59:10] No. You’re definitely ahead of your time and this has been such a pleasure connecting with you. Thank you so much. 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:59:15] Thank you so much, Cynthia and I appreciate the work you’re doing. It’s one of the only ways we can get this information out there. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:59:23] Absolutely. Everyone that knows me knows I’m passionate about magnesium. [laughs] 


Dr. Carolyn Dean: [00:59:27] Good, good. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:59:30] If you love this podcast episode, please leave a rating and review, subscribe and tell a friend.