Category Archives: magnesium

Good news: Baths can be less exhausting than showers

Yes, autoimmune disease can be exhausting and it can be confusing for other people to understand because autoimmune disease may not have obvious symptoms. A person with an autoimmune disorder may suffer from severe pain or other symptoms throughout their body but not have lab tests that show obvious problems to a physician. Autoimmune antibodies are known for a few types of disorders and those can be screened for if the lab test is ordered but not all autoimmune antigens have been identified.

Magnesium deficiency may be an underlying issue though for many/most autoimmune disorders, so taking an Epsom salt bath can provide improved magnesium absorption through the skin and allow a person to sit down to wash their hair and shave their legs (if desired). No promises though, that a nap might not still be desired after the exertion of bathing while sitting, or before the exertion of blow-drying long hair.

Fibromyalgia and chronic pain problems may have autoimmune origins [3] and/or may have to do with our cell’s energy workhouses, the mitochondria, running out of their preferred energy source — magnesium. They use calcium but it can overwork them to the point of cell death. In normal physiology membrane transport systems, also called ion channels, carefully control how much calcium is allowed into the interior of mitochondria. Something called ruthenium-red (RuRed) and magnesium ions are involved in controlling the entry of calcium ions through the transport channels. [1, 2]

A deficiency of magnesium may allow excess calcium to enter the mitochondria and cause overexcitation and even lead to death of the mitochondria.

Mitochondria are actually similar to bacteria and have their own DNA that in nature always matches the mother’s mitochondria’s DNA but that is a different story.

(RuRed) – not a nutrient I didn’t know about – it’s a dye used in labs that selectively binds with some things but not others so it is used for identification purposes with unknown samples — roughly.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.


Mitochondria, P53, cancer and magnesium deficiency

Addition, 7/21/16, there is more information about mitochondria and chronic illness at this link:, the site also has a few other articles on the topic which I haven’t read yet and the topic of magnesium doesn’t come up until you reach the comment that I added. I will have to read more about this topic. Medications that cause an imbalance in calcium and magnesium could be causing stress to the mitochondria and lead to their death and to chronic illness.

  • This article is short introducing a long video. A quote from the short text does mention nutrient deficiencies can be involved, “Nutrient deficiencies are a contributing factor to mitochondrial dysfunction. ” Glyphosate  Inhibition of vitamin D metabolism could lead to magnesium and  calcium imbalance which could be stressing mitochhondria and lead to chronic illness.
  • An abstract with a link to the full text:
  • I haven’t watched the video or read all of the articles yet but fibromyalgia is what I had symptoms of that were bad enough to lead to my giving up wheat and gluten products initially. It simply hurt too much when I ate them. And I got better without gluten. Maybe it was the gluten or maybe my genetics with errors in the vitamin D metabolism. I will have to get back to this topic but I share the information now because pain hurts and if even one person is helped then I would be glad. *And I was a professional gourmet baker, I know how to make from scratch croissant, and French baguettes and loaf breads of many types as well as cookies and quick breads. I love wheat products but they didn’t love my body.

A comment of mine that is awaiting moderation posted on another site:

Mitochondria need lots of magnesium (and magnesium is also necessary for white blood cells to be able to perform apoptosis.) “Additionally, exposure to low Mg upregulated plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) [24]. PAI-1 is considered not merely a marker of senescence, since it is both necessary and sufficient for the induction of replicative senescence downstream of p53 [27].” by D. Killilea and J. Maier, “A connection between magnesium deficiency and aging: new insights from cellular studies” Magnes Res. 2008 Jun; 21(2): 77–82. Please U. of Penn. researchers, look into preventing cancer by providing mitochondria with a healthy diet instead of by providing them with some sort of pharmaceutical designed to manipulate P53 — just prevent P53 from being induced by providing adequate magnesium to the cells. Thanks.

The comment is in response to this article which is about recent animal based research that suggests that a cell’s mitochondria when under stress may produce a chemical (P53) that may lead to cancer:

Now I know mitochondria need a lot of magnesium so one search led to the link in the comment and ~391,000 other links,, including this one:

by Giorgi C., et. al., “p53 at the endoplasmic reticulum regulates apoptosis in a Ca2+-dependent manner” PNAS, Feb. 10, 2015, vol. 112, no. 6, pp 1779–1784.

Apoptosis is the method by which white blood cells are able to kill infected or malfunctioning or old cells. Calcium and magnesium are both electrically active and can both act as signals to promote different types of cellular actions. Magnesium is most active within cellular fluid and calcium entry into cells is limited in part by ion channels that are powered by magnesium. So a magnesium deficient cell can allow too much calcium to enter the cell and within the cell calcium can cause a variety of actions and can even over activate the cell to the point of cell death. (155,000 search results for “excess calcium overworks mitochondria” :  and which includes a link about the nerve degeneration disease ALS:  so it looks like if I want to protect myself from cancer or ALS I should not stress out my mitochondria by maintaining a good intake and internal balance of both magnesium and calcium.)

Another addition to look into more at some point – P53 and apoptosis has been found to be affeected by treatment with a homeopathic preparation (which would be a completely non-toxic energy based treatment.

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

nErD does not stand for nearest Emergency room Department

I ran across the term nErD yesterday and I wasn’t sure what it might mean. My first thought as a health professional trained in medical acronyms was that it might have something to do with the ER or Emergency Room Department. In addition to the adult ICU (Intensive Care Unit) there is also a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) but there isn’t a neonatal emergency room department to my knowledge.

To my chagrin after a few seconds of puzzlement I noticed another reference to the term — “nerd” — and I felt like I should probably go see the movie “Revenge of the Nerds” again just as a refresher course.

Emergency Rooms have been on my mind for a while so that might explain my jumping to that idea first. At some point in the past I’ve shared this idea but I’ll reshare it because it could help provide safe and effective health care at an inexpensive price.

A patient can spend a lot of time waiting in an Emergency Department, to be seen or to be treated or for the test results to be ready or for the specialist to stop by. Some of that waiting time could be spent in a relaxing and potentially healing Epsom salt foot soak or bath.

Magnesium deficiency is estimated to be a problem for as many as 70-80% of the U.S. population. It can be an underlying factor in many chronic illnesses and chronic pain conditions and can be involved in acute substance abuse or mental health situations. A foot soak in Epsom salts can take slightly longer than a soak in an Epsom salt bath to achieve results but both can be helpful for relieving muscle cramps and some other types of pain such as migraines. Mental upset due to alcohol or other substance abuse or mental health conditions can also be soothed by soaking in Epsom salts. The amount of time to soak would vary depending on how deficient the person was in magnesium and might even be helpful as a diagnostic screening for magnesium deficiency (the mineral is largely stored within the interior of cells or within the bones so blood tests for magnesium only catch extremely severe cases of magnesium deficiency).

Excessive magnesium absorption can relax the muscles too much and may cause slowing of the heart rate and smooth muscle relaxation can also cause watery bowel movements. A hospital protocol might involve having an attendant start a patient with a non-open wound pain situation or upset mood in an Epsom salt foot soak or bath. The patient would be instructed on the early symptoms of excessive magnesium absorption and to let the attendant know if/when the first fluttery heart beats or relaxation of sphincter muscles was occurring. Typically a 20 minute Epsom salt bath is a good length of time while a forty minute bath might cause excess relaxation. Research suggested the ideal routine for a patient with difficulty absorbing magnesium from dietary sources would be approximately twenty minutes in a bath with one cup of Epsom salts every other day or three to four times per week. Taking the baths more often though can lead to symptoms of excess magnesium occurring sooner than twenty minutes, based on my personal experience with Epsom salt baths.

Alcohol and some other substances that are used excessively can cause magnesium deficiency which can cause irritability and even increase the risk for violence.

So if you or a loved one is upset or in pain that is not due to an open wound then it is possible that a trip to your bathroom for a Epsom salt bath might be soothing enough to skip a trip to the nearest Emergency room Department (you know, the nErD).

Excerpt from a previous post with more info about safely taking Epsom salt baths:

Time for an Epsom bath perhaps.

Epsom salt baths can be a well absorbed source of magnesium because skin absorption will bypass a problem of poor intestinal absorption of magnesium. Calcium tends to be preferentially absorbed by the intestines, especially when there is an imbalance in vitamin and hormone D levels and poor intestinal absorption of magnesium over time can easily lead to symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency are usually labeled something else by the medical profession because the problem is not obvious on lab tests until it is quite severe because the body takes more magnesium from the bones as needed up until the point where osteoporosis is severe  enough to cause a shortage of stored magnesium.

Soaking in a bathtub for twenty minutes that has one cup of Epsom salt to a half full bathtub, and one teaspoon of a cooking vinegar such as apple cider vinegar to balance the alkalinity of the Epsom salt, can be a cure for a bad mood as well as various achy muscle cramps if magnesium deficiency is an underlying problem. Negative symptoms can occur if you stay in the bath too long. Excess magnesium absorption can cause loose watery stools for an entire day, not just once. Falling asleep in the bath can also lead to more life threatening symptoms of a weak, and fluttery heart rate, or even lead to coma and/or death — so twenty minutes to forty minutes is probably safe for a deficient person while someone who isn’t deficient might notice a weak slowing heart rate sooner than the twenty minute average that a person deficient in magnesium might find only as calming and soothing to  their mood and muscles. A person who was deficient but who then started taking the baths regularly might start noticing the weak heart rate sooner — get out of the tub then, even if its not been twenty minutes — shower and rinse time. Research on the therapeutic use of Epsom salt baths recommended one cup Epsom salt to the half full/full bath and use up to three to four times per week, but not daily.

I can’t find the actual research study {here it is: }  among the following posts of mine (see below) but Dr. Oz has an article on the baths also and recommends the twenty minutes a few times a week also: []

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.


Vitamin D and glyphosate (Round-up)

There has been an increase in the number of sports related concussions at the same time that there has been a decrease in the total number of participants in sports suggesting that sports have become more risky or participants have become more susceptible to concussion. A research paper presents the theory that there has been an increase in susceptibility due to a combination of a decrease of nutrients and an increase of toxins in the average player.

And the increased use of glyphosate, an herbicide used in Round-up products, may be adding to the nutrient deficiency by its affect on the enzyme that activates vitamin D to the active hormone form which is needed in the liver for formation of cholesterol sulfate which is needed in the brain to protect against damage after brain trauma.

The enzyme that activates vitamin D3, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 1α-hydroxylase (CYP27B1) is a CYP enzyme, and therefore is subject to suppression by glyphosate.[171]” [1]

In addition to sulfate, magnesium and zinc are also essential for the brain’s defense mechanisms. Read more: [1]

/Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and  the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

  1. Morley W, Seneff S, Diminished brain resilience syndrome: A modern day neurological pathology of increased susceptibility to mild brain trauma, concussion, and downstream neurodegeneration, Surg Neurol Int. 2014; 5: 97.[]

An article on Morgellons; a link, and a comment I added re keratinocytes

Morgellons, chapter from a book, skeptic busting or quack busting, but open-minded regarding the sufferers having a real itch problem rather than a delusional psychiatric disorder as the mainstream medical world is treating the condition. Sufferers have lost jobs due to a condition that has no physical diagnosis:[]

It is horrible to have physical symptoms that are dismissed as “all in your head,” — that is no help if there is pain in your skin or under your skin.

I added a comment, slightly edited here:

Maybe they have overactive keratinocytes that produce Substance P and causes itch and neuropathic pain. Magnesium deficiency can lead to increased production of Substance P.

“Keratinocytes are able to detect itch-associated signals by expression of protease-activated receptor-2,[11] opioid,[12] cannabinoid[13] and histamine H4 receptors.[14] By responding to these signals, keratinocytes can modulate itch in many ways. For example, keratinocytes can release neurotrophins including NGF[15,16] and neurotrophin-4[17] (Fig. 1), lipid mediators[18] or endothelin-1,[19] which can either directly activate itch fibres in the skin or activate mast cells to release pruritogenic mediators. In addition, neuropeptides including substance P have been shown to significantly increase the release and production of NGF of human cultured keratinocytes, indicating a neuroimmune interaction mechanism between sensory nerves and keratinocytes[20] (Fig. 1). Interestingly, keratinocytes can also inhibit itch through the release of endocannabinoids, which bind directly to inhibitory receptors on sensory nerves.”

— so maybe the Morgellons sufferers have a defect or insufficiency in endocannabinoids. Epsom Salt baths for magnesium in case gastrointestinal absorption of magnesium is a problem might help, and supplements with phospholipids like phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylserine might help if endocannabinoid deficiency is a problem — or chocolate, rosemary and nutmeg are food sources.

Excerpt from: “Pathophysiology of Itch and New Treatments,” Ulrike Raap; Sonja Ständer; Martin Metz, Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011;11(5):420–427. []

/Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and  the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

If elected President I would also be very surprised

As a citizen over the age 35 and born to U.S. citizens I have a right to run for elected office but my health was never that good and it got worse. Being President always seems to turn the President’s hair white – that can be an affect of stress as well as aging. [1]

So while I care a lot my skill set is not well-rounded and my health leaves me with difficulties finding food that I can tolerate and leaves me sick if I’m in the sun very long or get overheated – so traveling in southern areas would be even more difficult for me.

And then there’s the alleged issues that no one is supposed to talk about – making it difficult to talk about me – as the alleged issue that no one is supposed to talk about.

I apologize for having had mental health symptoms in the privacy of my home and a few other places and for writing about them online – likely painful to experience even by proxy.  I apologize for having other issues in the privacy of my home and a few other places and for writing about them online – also likely painful or uncomfortable to experience even from afar.

Filing with FEC was primarily to show that I have always been serious about the need for change in the nutritional care of our public and for compromise among the parties. But I also recognized a long time ago that I had been mistaken about my abilities, I may be willing but I may not be able to keep up with the demands of such a difficult job – I would try because it is important and I would seek skilled help but even that would be difficult for me as I don’t have an established network of contacts already in place.

Government work is often hard work and frequently very important to stuff like water pipes – boring stuff that may seem minor until it goes wrong.

So I may not be a typical candidate, or an ideal candidate, but I care and I do learn from my mistakes and from advice. I may not always follow advice but guidance is helpful. I have two dogs that I love very much and share loving and caring for them with someone else. I’ve been working towards changing my own situation but my health was a significant problem and loving the dogs is a joy.

It would actually be a huge relief to file a termination report with FEC, I almost did it once already but it wouldn’t have counted because it was a paper form and I have to file electronically because that is how I began the process. it is a process – don’t try it at home is good advice because the directions to fill out the forms are miles long – not quite, but lengthy, and there can be penalties and fees if you’re late or fail to file something that you had overlooked in the fine print.  Hug a Treasurer – they deserve some kudos.

  1. Stress is to blame for grey hairs,” by Hayley Dixon, June 11, 2013, []
  2. Myocardial infarction (MI) and nutrient deficiency info, not quite what I was looking for but interesting – and about magnesium, l-carnitine, antioxidants and B vitamins helping reduce risk of death if used during early stages of MI, the search engine found experimental stem cell treatment is included as well: “Novel Treatment Measures of Myocardial Infarction: A Review,” P. K. Dhakad, et al, (2015)  []
  3. Also not quite what I was looking for but also a bonus search engine treasure – blue green algae helps detoxify heavy metals like lead, Excerpt: “Some of the free amino acid peptides found in AFA may be responsible for helping to detoxify our bodies of heavy metals. Dr. Gillian McKeith reports in her booklet Miracle Superfood: Wild Blue-Green Algae that in her clinical experience AFA algae has been effective in chelating (removing) dangerous, toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. She recommends consuming 0.21 to 0.35 ounces to AFA blue-green algae daily for severe cases of heavy-metal toxicity.” AFA = Aphanizomenon flos-aqua (AFA) blue-green algae, And it may help protect against HIV and Ebola virus by interfering with their ability to enter human cells – an excerpt: “Researches have discovered that a blue-green algae protein reduces the ability of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) AND Ebola virus. The antiviral protein, known as cyanovirin-N (CV-N) can extend the survival time of the Ebola-infected mice. There is currently no treatment for Ebola infection, which causes severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fever. “CV-N is extremely effective against a broad range of HIV strains” said Barry O’Keefe, PhD of NCI’s Centre for Cancer Research, one of the authors of the study. “CV-N is the first molecule known to inhibit Ebola infection by interfering with the virus’ ability to enter cells”.
    CV-N inhibits HIV and Ebola infection by binding to the outside of the virus and physically blocking it from entering healthy cells. The protein attaches to a particular sugar molecule on the virus surface.”  And it may help boost our natural stem cell production, an excerpt: “The rare, blue-coloured phycocyanin helps inhibit the growth of certain cancer colonies, reduces inflammation of the colitis, fights chronic inflammation, supports the liver, protects against free-radical damage, improves the production of neurotransmitters, and aids production of rejuvenating stem cells.” And a summary about a review of literature study: “…scientists affiliated with the University of Illinois. The team was composed of one board-certified forensic examiner and microbiologist, one surgeon, and three physicians. More than two hundred cases were reviewed in this study. The study concluded that AFA appears to be effective in treating various viral conditions, chronic fatigue, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), depression, inflammatory diseases and fibromyalgia. The study suggests that AFA acts on the immune and nervous systems and prevents inflammation.Studies done on AFA have demonstrated that it stimulates the migration of stem cells from the bone marrow into the blood and brain (mainly due to the actions of the blue pigment phycocyanin), stimulates white blood cells, and inhibits COX-2 activity, preventing inflammation and improving nervous-system health, as well as one’s overall mood.” Regarding how much might be an effective dose – it also helps mood while promoting weight loss at approximately 10 milligrams per day, excerpt: “Drapeau references a study in Primordial Food that indicates oral doses of PEA at the rate of 10 mg per day decreased symptoms of depression in 60 percent of the patients tested. In addition, PEA did not cause the patients to gain weight, as most people do with antidepressants; instead, they actually lost weight. AFA contains approximately 2 mg per gram of PEA. AFA concentrates are now available that contain 10mg of PEA per gram. PEA has no side effects; chemical dependency issues and tolerance limits over time (ie, doses may stay the same over long periods) are not a concern.
    PEA appears to be the primary active ingredient that inhibits appetite and helps people to lose weight when they consume AFA blue-green algae. In a double-blind crossover study involving human patients, supplementing the diets of obese outpatients with 2.8 grams of blue-green algae three times daily over a four week period resulted in a statistically significant reduction of body weight.”From: AFA Super Blue-Green Algae
    Primordial Food from Klamath Lake, Oregon.,[]
  4. I was looking for information about B vitamins, magnesium and stem cells – I got lucky. Might be time for a spirulina drink, spirulina is the blue green algae that I’ve mentioned as a possible protection against radiation, likely most blue green algae have some similar nutrient benefits – quality of the company would be important though to avoid contaminants or toxins from bad water sources the article in [3] discusses safety of the Klamath Lake product – it is not selling a product though, it is just an article. I take some of the dry green powder in a capsule, but as I’m loading the empty capsules by hand, I then dip my green fingertips in my glass of water — it is a very pretty color of blue green and it tastes slightly sweet and very green like a barley grass green drink – so not really bad but not a root beer either.

/Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and  the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Imagine children unable to speak up for themselves

My last post and all of my posts are really about all the children – and adults – who may not be able to speak up for themselves. A magnesium bath or foot soak can be life changing with almost immediate better mood and less muscle cramps and chronic pain.

I’ve only ever had one or two close friends at a time — and I’m okay with that, I like company but I like reading a lot too. My goal in sharing information is not for me or about me but is simply about sharing my experiences in case they might be helpful for others, and actually I do write for me too, future me, so that as I read I can add notes so that I can find the information again at some point in the future. I like the internet, it is a great invention, humans are really great in many ways.

Magnesium deficiency is a widespread problem for people on the autistic spectrum but also for many other people with a variety of common chronic illnesses or who have lifestyle habits that waste magnesium. Obesity can also be a problem of nutrient deficiency which might seem unlikely but being mal-nourished in some nutrients can make weight gain much more likely. Deficiencies in vitamin D, thiamin, folic acid, iron, B12, zinc, phosphorus, B6, and potassium have been found to be more common in obese individuals. [4] And levels of vitamins A, E, and C have also been found to be significantly lower in obese individuals than in non-obese individuals. [5] [information from references 4 and 5 is from a continuing education course: 6]

Magnesium deficiency has to be very severe before it typically shows up on lab tests because it is stored within the bones and within cells more than in the blood. Calcium is more prevalent within the fluid portion of blood while magnesium is more prevalent within the interior of blood cells and other cells. Both nutrients are electrically active and provide energy for cellular functions in addition to other roles. Gastrointestinal problems can make a deficiency in the nutrient more likely however because calcium can be preferentially absorbed and magnesium can become less well absorbed.  However an early symptom of magnesium deficiency is insulin resistance which would lead to increased fat storage and increased appetite. []

The DASH diet designed originally to help reduce high blood pressure has also been found helpful for weight management. It includes more beans, nuts and seeds than many other diet plans, foods which provide magnesium, vitamin E, B vitamins and trace minerals such as zinc. []

The anti-psychotic medication olanzapine affects insulin and appetite [2] and causes significant weight gain in adults but even more so in children. Medicaid guidelines in some areas have it prescribed for children. Many children in foster care are being put on strong medications like olanzapine at great cost to their health and great cost to Medicaid. It is not inexpensive at over $300/month for the patent version Zyprexa.

“Between 1997 and 2004, Texas Medicaid spending on antipsychotics rose from $28 million to $175 million. In the months of July and August 2004, over 19,000 adolescents in Texas were given antipsychotics, even though pharmaceutical companies had not applied for licenses to market these drugs for use in minors. In 2003, Zyprexa pulled in $4.3 billion in sales in the United States, 70 percent of which came from state health insurance and other public health programs. …in 2009, research revealed that children being treated under Medicaid were four times more likely to get antipsychotics than children not covered by Medicaid.” [Pharmageddon, by David Healy, page 141, 1]

Pharmageddon,” by David Healy, (University of California Press, 2012, Berkeley). [1]

I keep mentioning Epsom Salt baths because they are inexpensive and very effective for people who are deficient in magnesium. And for those who are deficient in the essential nutrient, regular use of Epsom Salt baths might also be helping prevent chronic degenerative diseases like diabetes from developing or worsening. While the olanzapine/Zyprexa has been proven to be associated with a greatly increased risk for diabetes and significant weight gain [3] — and an increased risk for suicide and possibly for homicide particularly during withdrawal from the medication. The olanzapine may be causing long term changes in the brain by over-activating receptors involved in suicide. Do our foster children deserve to be experimented on just because they have Medicaid and Medicaid guidelines were set that cause doctors to feel that their job would be in jeopardy if they don’t follow the guideline?

Evidence based medicine can be very helpful and life-saving but it is better used as guidance to suggest a path to treatment rather than be a strict guideline that can be used to increase pharmaceutical company’s profits at the cost of children’s long term and short term health — and possibly that of people in their vicinity.

If our society really wants to stop suicide and mass killings than we need to address the underlying causes rather than worry only about controlling access to guns — guns don’t kill people anymore than knives or Hellfire missiles — people kill people.

4. Mechanick JI, Kushner RF, Sugerman HJ, et al. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. The Obesity Society, and American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Medical Guidelines for Clinical Practice for the perioperative nutritional, metabolic, and nonsurgical support of the bariatric surgery patient. Surg Obes Rel Dis. 2008;(5 Suppl):S109-S184.

5. Kaider-Person O, Person B, Szomstein S, Rosenthal RJ. Nutritional deficiencies in morbidly obese patients: a new form of malnutrition? Part B: minerals. Obes Surg. 2008;18(8):1028-1034.

6. Lillian Craggs, Obesity: Beyond Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes – Learn about Obesity’s Far Reach and Ill Effects in Lesser Described Conditions,

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Links about magnesium deficiency and Substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammation

Magnesium is Essential for Preventing Substance P Overload , May 24, 2011, by Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist , “Substance P is a neuropeptide that is typically ”over-heated” in situations of anxiety, depression, digestive bloating, insomnia, fibromyalgia, PTSD, and cardiovascular deterioration. New research shows that one of the first signs of magnesium deficiency1 is that it enables the over-production of substance P.” Read More:  []

Raw shelled pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium, zinc, B vitamins and essential fatty acids. A few prenatal clients that I have worked with in the past, who were high risk due to a history of high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia during their first pregnancy, did report that the raw shelled pumpkin seeds that I had recommended they try adding to their diet during their second pregnancy did seem helpful for preventing high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia from reoccurring.  So it is also possible that raw unsalted pumpkin seeds may be a beneficial food for use during the perinatal stage for women who hope to prevent autism from developing in their infant during conception or the early weeks of pregnancy. []

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Additional notes to think more about later:

  1. Gehan A Mostafa; Laila Y AL-Ayadhi, The Possible Link Between the Elevated Serum Levels of Neurokinin A and Anti-ribosomal P Protein Antibodies in Children with Autism, J Neuroinflammation. 2011;8(180) Excerpt from the background section: “Neurogenic inflammation is orchestrated by a large number of neuropeptides. Tachykinins (substance P, neurokinin A and neurokinin B) are pro-inflammatory neuropeptides that may play an important role in some autoimmune neuroinflammatory diseases. Autoimmunity may have a role in the pathogenesis of autism in some patients.” And an excerpt from the discussion section: “In our series, increased serum levels of anti-ribosomal P protein antibodies were found in 44.3% of autistic patients. This study was the first to investigate serum levels of anti-ribosomal P protein antibodies in autistic children.” []
  2. Julio Hernandez, et. al., Substance P Is Responsible for Physiological Alterations Such as Increased Chloride Ion Secretion and Glucose Malabsorption in CryptosporidiosisInfect. Immun. March 2007 vol. 75 no. 3 1137-1143
    [] *Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic infection that can be more of a risk for AIDS patients than for average people — reason unknown — The reason speculatively might be that there is a magnesium deficiency or an elevated calcium level resulting from elevated hormone D levels underlying the increased risk for crypotosporidiosis in AIDS patients.
  3. Sylke Müller1 and Barbara Kappes, Vitamin and co-factor biosynthesis pathways in Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasitesTrends Parasitol. 2007 Mar; 23(3): 112–121.
    This article is primarily about a few B vitamins and protozoan parasites but one section addresses vitamin D, Excerpt: “One way in which vitamin D3 might affect Plasmodium is through its involvement in phospholipid metabolism and signalling pathways 60. Vitamin D3 and analogues have pronounced inhibitory effects on P. falciparum erythrocytic late stage development possibly because the phospholipid biosynthesis pathways of the parasite is affected by these compounds 61. Inhibition of phospholipid biosynthesis by other classes of inhibitors (for instance choline analogues) has been followed up extensively 62, 63 and it is likely that these inhibitors will be developed as new drugs against malaria in the near future 64. Thus the activity of vitamin D3 analogues merits further attention.” []
  4. 60. Boyan BD, et al. 1,25-(OH)2D3 modulates growth plate chondrocytes via membrane receptor-mediated protein kinase C by a mechanism that involves changes in phospholipid metabolism and the action of arachidonic acid and PGE2. Steroids. 1999;64:129–136. [PubMed] *Roughly this title could be translated into: Hormone D affects growth plate cartilage cells by affecting the endogenous cannabinoid system, — arachidonic acid and PGE2 can be formed from cannabinoids that are released from storage within cell membranes. Elevated levels of calcium intracellularly can be a trigger signalling the release of endogenous cannbinoids from the membranes.
  5. 7. Regulation of growth plate chondrocytes and bone cells,                                        Excerpt: “In recent years it has been demonstrated that a large number of growth factors and cytokines regulate the proliferation and differentiation of bone and cartilage cells in vitro and in vivo (Table 2). This subject has been extensively reviewed (Goldring & Goldring, 1990; Canalis, McCarthy & Centrella, 1988a; Price & Russell, 1992; Martin, 1989). There is also increasing evidence that abnormal production of cytokines in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis may result in inappropriate responses by bone and cartilage cells. Those cytokines and growth factors considered to be of particular importance during bone development and growth include the IGFs, TGF a and b, bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), FGF, PDGF and epidermal growth factor (EGF). Many of the cell types present in the microenvironment of growing bone contribute to the local synthesis of cytokines and growth factors including the resident endothelial cells, marrow stromal cells, osteoblasts, periosteal cells and chondrocytes. The haemopoetic cells present in bone marrow include circulating monocytes, macrophages and T cells; these are another potential source of cytokines. In fact, several lines of evidence point to there being a close relationship between bone cells and cells of the immune system (Skjodt & Russell, 1993).”

    7.12. Parathyroid hormone related peptide (PTHrP)

    “PTHrP is a peptide closely related to PTH that is produced by normal tissues, with similar effects to PTH on bone. It has been established as having an important role in regulating the hypercalcaemia that is associated with some malignancies (Webb et al., 1988). PTHrP has also been identified as a fetal hormone which may regulate placental calcium (Ca2+) flux (Orloff, 1989). This peptide may also have an important role in skeletal development, having been localised in embryonic bone, and a recent study has shown that mice with a defective PTHrP gene have multiple skeletal abnormalities (Karaplis et al., 1992).” []

  6. Arnold J. Felsenfeld, et. al., Dynamics of Parathyroid Hormone Secretion in Health and Secondary HyperparathyroidismCJASN November 2007 vol. 2no. 6 1283-1305 []

  7. S. C. Kukreja, et. al., Antibodies to parathyroid hormone-related protein lower serum calcium in athymic mouse models of malignancy-associated hypercalcemia due to human tumors. J Clin Invest. 1988 Nov; 82(5): 1798–1802 [] Abstract: “A parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) has recently been isolated from tumors associated with hypercalcemia. In the present study, we tested the effects of neutralizing antisera to the PTHrP on serum calcium and urine cAMP in two animal models of malignancy-associated hypercalcemia. The animal models consisted of (a) a human squamous cell lung cancer and (b) a human laryngeal cancer, both serially carried in athymic mice. The antisera specifically reduced the elevated serum calcium and urinary cAMP levels in the tumor-bearing animals. We conclude that PTHrP plays a major role in the pathogenesis of malignancy-associated hypercalcemia.”

  8. Moniz C., et. al., Parathyroid hormone-related peptide in normal human fetal development., J Mol Endocrinol. 1990 Dec;5(3):259-66. [

    “Parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) has been detected in fetal serum and amniotic fluid. Using a combination of immunocytochemistry and molecular biology we have detected the peptide and its mRNA in a variety of fetal tissues throughout gestation. Tissue-specific mRNA isoforms were observed, the pattern of hybridization of which changed throughout gestation. In addition, the intensity and pattern of immunocytochemical localization of the peptide was found to vary over the time-period studied (8-30 weeks). PTHrP is expressed by a variety of tumours associated with the syndrome of humoral hypercalcaemia of malignancy and probably accounts for the hypercalcaemia by virtue of its limited amino acid homology with parathyroid hormone. These data demonstrate for the first time that PTHrP, a tumour-related peptide, is expressed during normal human fetal development, and suggest the possibility that it may function to regulate fetal calcium balance and growth in utero.”


  9. “Parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) can be elevated in pregnant and lactating women and in newborn infants. Nonmalignant conditions that have been described in association with elevated plasma PTHrP levels include systemic lupus erythematosus, HIV-associated lymphadenopathy, lymphedema of chest or pleural cavities, and with benign tumors of the ovary, kidney and the neuroendocrine system.” []
  10. Shane T. Mortimer, David A. Hanley, William K. Stell, Immunohistochemical identification of calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P in nerves of the bovine parathyroid gland., Cell and Tissue Research
    , Volume 261, Issue 2, pp 339-345, [

    “Although peptide neurotransmitters have been shown to modulate hormone secretion in many glands, there are very few studies of neurotransmitters in the parathyroid gland. Bovine parathyroid glands were collected at a local abattoir, fixed with paraformaldehyde, sectioned using a cryostat, and stained by indirect immunohistochemistry for calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P. We were able to positively identify both neuropeptides. Nerve fibres containing calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P were identified in contact with the tunica media of arteries and arterioles and dispersed throughout the stroma of the gland. While many of the fibres encircled parenchymal lobules, no intimate contact with the peripheral chief cells was observed. All immunoreactive fibres were found to contain both neuropeptides. Since calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P are vasodilators, they may increase blood flow within the gland. In addition, the neuropeptides may diffuse from perilobular nerve fibres into the parenchyma, thereby modulating secretion of parathyroid hormone.”

  11. And for the swish and score — calcitonin gene-related peptide is associated with migraine attacks — hmmmmm — health is a miracle when it works. []

Almost a decade of lab values: vitamin 25-D and hormone 1, 25-D, 2006-2015

Vitamin D and Hormone D values for 2006-2010 for a female patient with autoimmune thyroid disease, born in 1966.Low levels of the vitamin can occur with even more elevated levels of the active hormone but I (the patient) experienced muscle cramps and headaches and irritability and other symptoms at levels such as 56 pg/ml in 2006 and 71 pg/ml in 2010. 71 pg/ml would have been considered elevated in 2006-2009 but then the Reference Range changed from 22-67 pg/ml to 18-78 pg/ml:

Vitamin 25-hydroxy-D and hormone 1, 25 dihydroxy-D lab values, 2006-2010.

In 2006 I was taking a one-a-day supplement that contained vitamin D and had been tan that summer – and irritable. During 2007 and 2008 I was following the Marshall Protocol in the hopes that it would help my migraine problem. Which it did. I was taking Benicar and antibiotics and also avoiding vitamin D and excess sunlight. In 2009 I was no longer taking the medications and was less stringent about sunlight but I was still avoiding vitamin D foods and supplements — I was very irritable in the summer of 2006. Significant stress and poor diet was occurring during the increase in the levels seen in 2010.

From an article I wrote 2/16/2012: “In 2006 the reference range for 1, 25 dihydroxy D was 22-67 pg/mL, in 3/17/2010 it was listed as 18-78 pg/mL, and in 2012 the reference range is listed as 18-72 pg/mL. The patient case study (I’m the patient that I’m referring to) values vary from 51 pg/mL to 71 pg/mL for 1/25 dihydroxy D. The values for 25 D within the same time frame range from 8.0 ng/ml to 46 ng/ml* (*patient was taking supplements at that point in time).” The point I was trying to make is that my active hormone D level was always normal or even towards the elevated end of the normal range and that the range changed. The range for a lab value may just be based on average lab patient data gathered by the lab – average sick people seen by that lab – not average healthy people in a large national study.

2/4/2012, still avoiding vitamin D foods and supplements :

  • Vitamin D 25 Hydroxy:        serum 11.4 ng/ml   *Low        Ref. Range: 30.0 – 100.0
  • Vitamin D, 1,25-Dihydroxy:  serum 69 pg/mL  *Normal/high    Ref. Range: 18-72                (Vit D3; 1, 25 Dihydroxy: 56 pg/mL and Vit D2; 1, 25 Dihydroxy: 13 pg/mL)

The 6/15/15 lab values:

  • Vitamin D, 25 – 10.9 ng/mL — normal is considered: [30.0-100.0]
  • Vitamin D 1, 25 – 55 pg/mL — normal is considered: [18-72] (the active hormone D)

The 10/12/2015 lab values, after starting Benicar, 40 mg/day, on 9/23/15:

  • Vitamin D, 25 — 18.4 ng/mL — normal range: [30.0-100.0]
  • Vitamin D 1, 25 — 36  pg/mL — normal range: [18-72] (the active hormone D)

I have an autoimmune thyroid condition which actually involves a disorder of the bone marrow. Mislabeled bone cells can migrate to the thyroid and elsewhere in the body. The condition is similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis. [ Both conditions may involve intracellular pathogens that block the function of the vitamin D receptor. The low values seen of 25-D can be due to the body’s protective increase in activation of 25-D to the 1, 25-D form. But if a pathogen has the vitamin D receptor blocked even elevated levels of the active hormone aren’t going to help. The medication Benicar is able to bypass the pathogen’s blocking chemicals and can activate the vitamin D receptor. The medication’s typical use is as an angiotensin receptor blocker for helping reduce high blood pressure.

More information about the vitamin D receptor and Benicar is available in the following articles:

  1. Meg Mangin, Rebecca Sinha, and Kelly Fincher, Inflammation and vitamin D: the infection connection, Inflamm Res. 2014; 63(10): 803–819., Published online 2014 Jul 22. doi:  10.1007/s00011-014-0755-z,
  2. Marshall Protocol Knowledge Base: Science behind olmesartan (Benicar).

Magnesium deficiency can be a cause of irritability and it can be more of a risk with elevated hormone D levels. The active 1, 25-D at levels above 42 pg/ml signals the bones to release calcium and phosphorus from storage and signals the intestines to preferentially absorb more calcium rather than magnesium.

Epsom salt is a brand name for the alkaline salt magnesium sulfate. Soaking in mineral water has been a traditional remedy for muscle aches and other maladies. I have found it helpful for muscle cramps and restoring a good mood. Being internally irritable for no reason is unpleasant to experience and can be difficult to control — even scratchy clothing can be very annoying — at times. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath has left me feeling like singing after soaking just ten or twenty minutes after I had been feeling more like growling — or worse.

I add about a cup of Epsom salt and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to adjust the alkaline pH to a half tub of water and soak for twenty to thirty minutes — forty or more minutes could lead to a slowing of the heart rate and extreme relaxing of the smooth muscles (which can lead eventually to diarrhea or even coma or death — don’t fall asleep in a tub of Epsom salt bath). Epsom salt bath. Risks.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./


Note to self: Epsom salt bath first, keyboard second; Irritability, Schizophrenia, T. gondii, and hormone D

My back was so sore after writing my last post that I took an Epsom salt bath when I was done and my back felt much better and I was less cranky. The research on Epsom salt baths had suggested three to four times per week so I hadn’t taken a bath that morning but I was fairly irritated while writing and my back got more and more cramped while I worked. My take home lesson: take an Epsom salt bath first thing in the morning and the job of editing or other tasks may be more pleasant.

Summary points that I’ve learned the hard way –

  • elevated hormone D can cause severe irritability.
  • elevated Thyroid hormone can cause severe irritability.
  • elevated Parathyroid hormone can cause severe irritability.
  • magnesium deficiency can cause severe irritability.
  • Psychiatric drugs and talk therapy can not correct symptoms that are actually caused by elevated hormone levels or nutrient deficiencies.
  • Even if you arrest the person or commit them to a psychiatric unit and force them to take the psychiatric drugs, they wouldn’t help an underlying physical problem.
  • “US prisons home to 10 times as many mentally ill as in state hospitals,”

I’ve just been reading a new book about mental illness and infection. There is strong evidence that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may be caused by an intracellular parasite such as Toxoplasma gondii or a retrovirus HERV-W. A boy named Edwin F. Torrey made the study of schizophrenia his life’s work after his sister became ill with the disease. At the time his sister was diagnosed the current theory was that the condition was due to the child having a psychologically ambivalent mother. [3, pages 38-75]

The boy wondered why he didn’t get schizophrenia too, if that could really be the cause. To him it seemed like his sister had gotten a sickness and he went to medical school and kept working on the question of what might have happened to his sister because he didn’t think his mother could possibly have caused it in his sister without affecting him too. He found that the disease does have seasonal patterns which generally suggests an infectious cause. He also found it in historical references surfacing suddenly in the medical literature as a ‘new’ disease around the same time that keeping house cats became popular. [3, pages 38-75]

Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that can be spread through cat feces. Pregnant women are advised to avoid cat litter boxes because the parasite can pass to the fetus and can be deadly to the expected infant. It may also be a good idea to advise children under age thirteen to also avoid catboxes because that age group seems to be more associated with getting schizophrenia later in life if they had also had a pet cat during that part of their early childhood. [3, pages 38-75]

Why some people get sick from T. gondii while others don’t may have to do with underlying imbalances or deficiencies in vitamin D or hormone D. The active hormone D has been found helpful in animal studies for fighting the Toxoplasma gondii infection but only when given within an effective range, not at excessive doses. [1, 2]

HERV-W is a retrovirus that we all have within our genetic code but which only becomes active in some people – and levels of the retrovirus activity has been associated with level of schizophrenia symptoms. The research team theorize that an infection with T. gondii might be triggering an activation of the HERV-W retrovirus which then may cause an increase in cytokines and brain inflammation. [3, page 70]

Acceptance of people who have schizophrenia may vary between countries or regions around the world according to studies by the World Health Organization conducted over nearly twenty years. The results “revealed that people with schizophrenia in developing countries were far more likely than those in the United States to marry, hold a job, and maintain their social status. Americans with schizophrenia are far more likely than schizophrenics in the Global South (Africa, Central and Latin America, and most of Asia) to commit suicide, while the latter are more likely to recover.” The difference is believed to be due more to cultural differences between the regions than due to a possible difference in biology. Some psychiatrists consider the WHO studies to be flawed and deny the results. [3, page 42]

— Another summary point – Telling people that their symptoms are psychosomatic, or that they are due to delusions or malingering or lying, when the person is actually reporting physical symptoms, might be psychologically damaging to the person as well as missing an opportunity to use the list of symptoms to do a differential diagnosis and identify and treat the underlying problem.

  1. The Effect of Vitamin D3 Alone & Mixed With IFN-γ on Tachyzoites of Toxoplasma gondii… /mice-excess D3 not helpful

  2.  1,25(OH)2D3 inhibits in vitro & in vivo intracellular growth of apicomplexan parasite T gondii./D3 at < a max dose/

  3. Harriet A. Washington, “Infectious Madness: the Surprising Science of How We “Catch” Mental Illness,” (Little, Brown & Co., 2015, New York)  [Amazon]

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./