By Laura Sposato-Record

MagninesiumIf you are one of the many women going through chemotherapy, you know the anxiety of waiting for your bloodwork results prior to receiving a treatment. If your chemotherapy protocol contains a platin drug, your oncologist is looking at your hemoglobin and red blood cell counts as well as other blood levels.  If these are too low, your treatment may be delayed. One factor that needs to be addressed is your magnesium level. Low levels are often a result of particular IV drugs that can literally burn out your red blood cell system.

After my third treatment, my doctor called to tell me she wanted me to take a magnesium supplement of 1000 mg. daily.  The RDA for healthy adult women is 320 mg. My level was dipping below normal and she wanted to make sure that we took care of it before it impacted on my treatment and my health in general. Magnesium is an extremely important mineral that performs over 300 jobs a day.


  • -Gives rigidity AND flexibility to your bones (more important than Calcium in many      cases)
  • -Increases bioavailability of calcium
  • -Regulates and normalizes blood pressure
  • -Prevents and reverses kidney stone formation
  • -Promotes restful sleep
  • -Helps prevent congestive heart failure
  • -Eases muscle cramps and spasms
  • -Lowers serum cholesterol levels and triglycerides
  • -Decreases insulin resistance
  • -Can prevent arteriosclerosis and stroke
  • -End cluster and migraine headaches
  • -Enhances circulation
  • -Relieves fibromyalgia and chronic pain
  • -Treats asthma and emphysema
  • -Helps make proteins
  • -Encourages proper elimination
  • -Prevents osteoporosis
  • -Proper Vitamin D absorption
  • -protection from radiation
  • -To aid weight loss
  • -Lessen or remove ADD or ADHD in children
  • -Aids in proper carbohydrate digestion
  • – Emerging evidence is showing a preventative role in many cancers

I discovered that 97% of the population is magnesium deficient and levels are rarely tested during routine exams.  Only 3% of your magnesium  is in the bloodstream; the remaining is in the bones, muscles, and joints. There are many reasons for this phenomenon, one of which is soil depletion of trace minerals due to poor farming practices.  Which foods are high in magnesium?  The list below includes food that is high in magnesium and contains calcium and potassium levels as well.  Nutrition is a symphony and collaboration of biological synergy. Supplements can help, but food is the real provider of nutrition.


Beans, black.                                                              1 cup                             120

Broccoli, raw                                                               1 cup                             22

Halibut                                                                          1/2 fillet                      170

Nuts, peanuts                                                              1 oz                               64

Okra, frozen                                                                 1 cup                             94

Oysters                                                                          3 oz                               49

Plantain, raw                                                               1 medium                     66

Rockfish                                                                        1 fillet                            51

Scallop                                                                           6 large                           55

Seeds, pumpkin and squash                                    1 oz (142 seeds)           151

Soy milk                                                                         1 cup                               47

Spinach, cooked                                                          1 cup                               157

Tofu                                                                                 1/4 block                       37

Whole grain cereal, ready-to-eat                          3/4 cup                           24

Whole grain cereal, cooked                                     1 cup                               56

Whole wheat bread                                                     1 slice                             24

USDA Nutrient Database for Standard References, Release 15 for Magnesium, Mg (mg)

An additional method of increasing the level of magnesium is through transdermaI application.  I purchased a bottle of magnesium gel at my local pharmacy that is rubbed into the skin.  Transdermal absorption is powerful and can impact on the level of magnesium not only in the blood but the muscles, bones, and nerves as well.  Super athletes will tell you that their trainers often use this gel as part of a post massage therapy for muscles suffering from magnesium loss.

Of course it is important for you to discuss this with your doctor or oncologist before focusing on one specific nutrient but it cannot hurt to inquire.  My oncologist also included an infusion of magnesium during the treatment to help boost levels.

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