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EP124 The One About Magnesium And Vitamin D

Transcript Of Today's Episode:

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Hello, my name is Dr. Martin, Junior.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: I'm Dr. Martin, the Senior.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: This is The Doctor Is In podcast, and this is episode 124. Now, we're [00:00:30] recording this at the end of February 2018, starting to see a little bit more sun, a little less snow. Actually, the weather, we've had a pretty decent last few weeks here up north. I mean it's been ... You just came back from Florida, so you've had a little bit better of a last couple weeks.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Beautiful weather. Getting my vitamin D.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: That's what we're going to talk about today on today's podcast episode. We're going to talk about vitamin D, but specifically what we're going to do is talk about something that we talk a lot [00:01:00] about off air. I don't think we've talked too much about this on podcasts. It's something that is if you're taking vitamin D, by the end of today's episode, you're going to understand that you really should not be taking vitamin D unless you're taking magnesium with it, because of the effect that magnesium has on the absorption, which we'll talk about that.

Really, today's episode, we want to talk about the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, and vitamin [00:01:30] D deficiency, and then why they really should be taken together. Now, the funny thing with magnesium deficiency, it's one of those things that really the symptoms are so broad, and we'll talk about them in a few minutes. Again, often they're so overlooked, because they're so generic in a lot of ways, right? Like fatigue. Well, there's a million things that can cause fatigue. It's not like the average person who all of a sudden starts to lose energy. They're like, "Oh, my magnesium [00:02:00] is low," right? That's not how it works. That's not there first place their brain goes to, nor their doctors, and definitely not a mainstream ... I mean, never. I would ask anybody listening to this podcast, the last time a mainstream medical doctor talked about their magnesium levels.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: [crosstalk 00:02:17]. Yeah.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: I mean it's crucial. I mean magnesium is one of those things that is absolutely crucial, and really because the majority of the population is so deficient in it and we just don't get it in our foods [00:02:30] like we used to, or we don't consume enough magnesium type foods, that it really should be supplemented by everybody. We'll talk about that more, but magnesium is one of those difficult things, because it's not ... Magnesium isn't one of those ... It never really gets a lot of news. People talk about it, you know? People talk about magnesium, but it really doesn't get a lot of press or a lot of studies. I mean there are a lot of studies on magnesium. Once you start going down PubMed and looking, there's a lot of research on magnesium, but they don't get a lot of headlines.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: [00:03:00] No. Well, the big pharma, there's no money in it for ... Magnesium, there's no money in it for them, just like vitamin D. Unless you get off the mainstream and you get into functional medicine like we do, then we look at the body holistically, we know nutritionally that in North America the soil is very much depleted of magnesium. It happened over [00:03:30] 100 years ago when fertilization started to take place. They put phosphorus and they put some other minerals and things like that in the fertilizer, but they left magnesium out. You become very ... If it isn't in the soil, it's not in the plants, right?

It's not like if you're low in magnesium you're going to drop dead immediately, although I guess it is possible, because [00:04:00] when you think of what magnesium does for the heart, how it works with the heart muscle and the beat of the heart, magnesium is an essential nutrient when it comes to not only heart of course, but yeah. I mean you could drop dead because of low magnesium. Just generally, people are in the low end of magnesium. Their body is still operating, but [00:04:30] they're certainly not at the top of their game without magnesium. It's essential.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: No, and magnesium is used in well over 300 biochemical reactions. It's a co-factor, it's necessary. Without it, those things don't happen that well. I mean it is absolutely vital. When it comes to vitamin D, it's essential to help with the absorption of vitamin D. One of the problems that a lot of people have that are low vitamin D, is [00:05:00] they try to bring their vitamin D levels up, but they're not getting enough magnesium, so they're not really getting from that vitamin D what they should be.

Listen, a lot of people can also correct a real severe vitamin D deficiency, by bringing up their magnesium quite a bit, and then obviously supplementing with vitamin D as well. Before we get into that, let's talk about some of the kind of underlying symptoms that people have when it comes to magnesium, that are often overlooked [00:05:30] and not attributed to magnesium, because again for example, one of the things that magnesium plays a massive role in is blood pressure regulation. However, you could be severely deficient of magnesium, you can have high blood pressure, have all these issues with your blood pressure, go to your doctor, they're not looking at magnesium. It's just not going to happen. They'll get you on every medication first.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Guess what that depletes.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: It makes it worse. [00:06:00] You take a drug that will deplete that, it messes up your B12, it does a whole bunch of stuff. Yes, absolutely. The point is, is that again blood pressure, that's a big one, right? Magnesium helps a lot of people with blood pressure.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Well, because I've always used the word with magnesium, the word relax, right? You might remember that as a child, like if you were being bad ... Not that you ever were, but if you were, right?

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Hypothetically speaking.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Hypothetically [00:06:30] I would say, "Hey. Relax," right? I would use this big, deep voice with great intimidation, right? I'd tell the kids, you guys, "Relax." When you think of magnesium, think of relax, so it relaxes the blood vessels, right?

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, and what's interesting is that there's a couple of interesting studies that have been done over the years on magnesium and blood pressure, and here's a couple that I found interesting. There was a [00:07:00] large study that was done showing that even the risks for high blood pressure, hypertension was 70% lower in women who had adequate magnesium levels. Just by having normal or adequate magnesium levels, you're at 70% less likely to develop blood pressure, high blood pressure, hypertension. That's a big thing.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Think of how important that is, right? I mean it's one thing ... We'll often scoff at cholesterol. All you have to do [00:07:30] is go back to our podcasts and every second or third one we're talking about cholesterol, because we just don't like the science behind it and the emphasis that modern medicine has put on statin drugs and that ...

Dr. Martin, Jr.: No, cholesterol is a marketing job.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: ... But, one thing we always agree with, you do not want to have elevated blood pressure.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: No, because that's again ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: It's a very dangerous thing.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Sure, because if you think about it, if it's a closed system and you have higher pressure in that system, if you have any weakening anywhere, [00:08:00] I mean it's just going to cause a rip, a tear, a stroke, an aneurysm, so yeah, you don't want ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Clot.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah. You don't want high blood pressure, right? Now, we have issue with the fact that some time last year they redefined what high blood pressure was to get more people on medication. Here's something that happens all the time. They did this with cholesterol last year as well. If not enough people are taking a medication, then they just lower the numbers.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: They change the numbers.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: They change the numbers to make the requirements ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: [00:08:30] The bar gets changed.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, pretty soon, based on the last cholesterol numbers that came out last year, pretty much everybody over the age of 40 by definition would need statin drugs just by changing the definition. I mean that's all they did. That's what happens.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Unfortunately again, it's not to rail against medicine, but it's just reality, is that there's far too many people on blood pressure medication because they do not come without major side effects. That is a [00:09:00] medication that creates an enormous amount of side effects, right?

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, it affects their brain, it affects their muscles. I mean again ... The funny thing is, is that really over the last 25, 35 years, there's been a very large experiment with the public. One in three adults over a certain age are on a statin drug, yet it hasn't made a dent in heart disease numbers, right? I mean still one of the top [00:09:30] killers. Heart disease kills a lot of people still. All these medications, all these people on blood pressure medications, it really hasn't made much of a dent. Again, with blood pressure, and in fact when it comes to magnesium, this is actually one of the more studied areas of magnesium. I mean it's been researched a ton.

There was a large, large study done, I think it was Harvard that actually did this study, where they looked at like 70,000 people and they found that the people [00:10:00] with the highest magnesium intake had the healthiest blood pressure numbers. Now listen, in fairness to this study, I mean if somebody has high levels of magnesium intake, they're eating a lot of foods containing magnesium, and a lot of the foods containing magnesium are very good for you. It only makes sense that if you ... I mean I think it's pretty safe to say that if you're eating a lot of high magnesium foods, you're keeping your insulin level lower, and insulin also plays a big role in heart disease as well, especially with blood pressure. Insulin resistance is [00:10:30] a massive cause of high blood pressure, but so is low magnesium. Magnesium is an absolute issue when it comes to blood pressure, so that's one symptom that if you had blood pressure you're not thinking magnesium. That's not the first thing that pops in your head.

Even if you went to a cardiac specialist, they would not be thinking magnesium even though it's extremely well researched. That's one aspect of magnesium that we talk about [00:11:00] a lot, is that aspect. Here's another thing, you kind of mentioned sleep, right? You've mentioned relax. Magnesium is awesome for sleeping. It's very good for you. I mean lot of people ... How many people do you see in a day that magnesium has helped improve their sleep at night time?

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, big time, right? We often get our patients, many of them to split up a dose of magnesium whereas they take magnesium during the day, but if they're having trouble sleeping we always try and get their magnesium levels [00:11:30] up, because taking one at night, even an Epsom salt bath is magnesium salts, is a very, very good way to get your magnesium into your system. Like you say, it's such a co-factor for everything and what we're talking about today and we'll get to more, is that co-factor in vitamin D and the absorption of it. We know how important vitamin D is.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: On last week's episode that I did by myself by the way, [00:12:00] which is not easy to do, so we're going to have to restrict your ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Well, I feel bad for you.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: We're going to have to restrict your holidays just for the sake of these podcasts. I talked about how the gut is involved in estrogen dominance. However ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: That was interesting by the way.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah. I mean it is interesting that you have a segment of your gut bacteria that's ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: I want to say this thing right, just so I get it right. The microbiome that was involved with the ... Is estra ... Wait a minute. Estrobolome.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: [00:12:30] That's right. That's exactly what it is.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: See? I had to practice that. I was listening to your podcast, by the way.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: It's not easy to say.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: I went out for a walk, I was listening to your podcast, and honest to God, I have never heard that word estrobolome before you mentioned it last week.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, it's interesting, because it has been popping up in research, how the gut bacteria ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Unreal.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, which goes to show you that your gut bacteria ... Which is why the microbiome is really another organ, right? We talk about it as an [00:13:00] organ, it's an organ, and that organ does play a role in estrogen metabolism, which is why if you have estrogen dominance, you have leaky gut. There's no way around it. That's one of the effects. It's like the chicken and the egg. Does leaky gut eventually lead to hormonal estrogen dominance, or does estrogen dominance through a different direction eventually lead to leaky gut? It doesn't matter. At the end of the day, you have that issue. What's interesting as well, is that not only is estrogen dominance implicated with leaky gut, [00:13:30] if you are estrogen dominance, it is a 100% guaranteed take it to the bank, that you are magnesium deficiency, because the way it works. The inverse relationship between the higher the estrogen levels, the more likely your magnesium levels are affected because of it.

If you're estrogen dominant, which we talk a ton about, because that's a major problem ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: It is a major issue today in society, big time.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: I kind of ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Men and women.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Why I referenced that study with the BPA last week a little bit, and I wrote about it in a newsletter [00:14:00] as well, it's amazing. What was shocking about that study was 86% of the teens they tested had BPA in their system. BPA has a really quick timing. It's in and out of your system like 6 to 8 hours I think. It's pretty quick. It goes to show you how often we're actually exposed to it, that when they test people, 86% of the people had BPA in their urine. What's even more interesting is that what made [00:14:30] the study kind of unique, is they actually then took those teens and for 7 days had them avoid all processed plastic stuff, and they still were exposed to it. It makes sense, because we're breathing it in now, right? I mean there were studies shown that the air particles and the dust particles, there's so much plastic everywhere, we're actually breathing it in. Even to deliberately try to avoid it, still ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Couldn't do it.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: It's impossible. Now, of course, one of the big problems with BPA [00:15:00] is it is a xenoestrogen. It mimics estrogen, so it creates this estrogen dominance. Because so many people have these plastics in their system ... If you're listening to this, you have them in your system. That is making it more likely that you are magnesium deficient. If you have estrogen dominant symptoms, you absolutely have a magnesium deficiency. You should be taking magnesium every day, no question.

That's another big one. High blood pressure is one. Hormones, same thing. You just don't think of [00:15:30] magnesium. Now, will magnesium cure estrogen dominance? No. It won't cure it.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Not on its own it won't.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: No, but it plays a big role and it's like a team effort, right? They all play a role. There's a few nutrients that we love. I mean you use it successfully in the clinic all the time to help with estrogen dominance, which is our hormonal support formula, which is built specifically to help with the balance of estrogen, progesterone, and help you metabolize estrogen better, but magnesium is one [00:16:00] of those things ... I mean absolutely, hormones is another big one as well. What's also interesting obviously, is I mean everybody knows magnesium because of muscle cramps and spasms, right? A lot of people listening get night time cramps. The number one cause of that would be a magnesium deficiency.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: They start taking magnesium at night time, increase their hydration levels, and the cramps generally go away for most people. Everybody knows that, but there's a ton of research, and we're going to do a full episode on this in [00:16:30] our next one, on the effect that magnesium has on anxiety and depression.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Absolutely.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: That is another very well studied area of magnesium deficiency, and in fact, magnesium, vitamin D and B12 ... Well, we'll talk about that more in episode. I don't really want to get into that too much.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: They're common, common, common ... They're common deficiencies that we see in the biomarker testing, right? Very important folks, you're listening to this, you get your biomarkers tested. Even [00:17:00] if you're feeling good, get your biomarkers, because this is very preventative. When we're talking about the importance of this in depression, anxiety, it's incredible. The amount that we see today in society, how that's taken off.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Then one last quick one really quickly before we start talking a little bit about vitamin D and the connection between the two has to do with calcification of the arteries, right? It's interesting, pretty much [00:17:30] half of everybody who has a heart attack, they receive an injection of magnesium chloride, and that helps stop blood clotting and calcification. They know it at the heart attack level, that you probably need an injection of this magnesium chloride, but how neat would it be if people started taking magnesium a long time prior to that before they need it, because of ... Right?

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Again, the point that we're making is that magnesium is such a common deficiency and it shows up ... I mean fatigue is a big indicator as well. If you're low [00:18:00] in magnesium, it's pretty hard to have good energy. There are a lot of symptoms of magnesium deficiency, and they overlap a ton with vitamin D, because as the years have gone on with vitamin D, the research has just exploded and we know that essentially every cell in your body has a receptor for vitamin D. Vitamin D can influence and affect every cell and every system of your body. It's not a matter of [00:18:30] does vitamin D help this or help that, absolutely does. I mean every cell in your body can be influenced by vitamin D one way or the other. It's also one of the most common deficiencies, which is crazy, because we have a natural source of it every day. Now, up north it's hard, right? Because ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Well, why do you think I get holidays? You give me holidays so I can take off to Florida.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, and it's interesting, right? Because most of the vitamin D that you get naturally from the sun happens on the arms [00:19:00] and stuff like that.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Legs.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, arms and legs, which are covered in the winter time, this time of year. It's very hard to get that vitamin D this time of year, but a lot of the symptoms for vitamin D and magnesium are kind of intertwined in a lot of ways, right? A lot of the same issues like leaky gut, a lot of people that have heartburn, or a lot of these digestive disorders, they don't get B12, they don't get vitamin D and they don't get magnesium, so a lot of the symptoms, they kind of ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: They overlap.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: [00:19:30] Yeah, it's like the old fashioned play dough, right? In a sense like you just take the three different colors ... I mean, that's the thing with anybody who's had kids knows, when they have play dough, that the colors don't stay that way forever. You take three different colors, and that's the three deficiencies mixing together and that's what you end up with. It's very, very hard to say ... Generally those three things kind of go hand in hand. However, when it comes to vitamin D specifically, because we love vitamin [00:20:00] D. We talk about vitamin D all the time. You really should be taking magnesium with vitamin D, and if you have to go high dose of vitamin D for a lot of different reasons why people do that. We have podcast episodes where we talk about that, then it's even more important that you load up on magnesium as well. The nice thing about magnesium is you know when you get too much of it. I mean you know when you take too much.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, and the only side effect really is ...

Dr. Martin, Jr.: [00:20:30] Loose bowels.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: You get a loose stool, yeah.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: You know when you're getting too much of it.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Then you can back off of it, but that's the only side effect of it. It's so good for you.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Which is why it's a tremendous natural laxative as well, right? If somebody has an issue with constipation, magnesium is a tremendous natural laxative. That's the issue. The point of this episode really is, if you're taking vitamin D ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Which you should.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Which absolutely should, then [00:21:00] you absolutely should be taking magnesium with it as well. Now, one of the interesting things about magnesium has to do with how much you can actually absorb, right? That's one of the things that we hear a lot as well, because we use a very specific type of magnesium and the capsule of say 500 mg, but the absorbable is 180, which is very high. It's very good. That's the issue with magnesium. It's very difficult to absorb. [00:21:30] If you're taking a 500 mg capsule, or 1,000 mg, you're not getting 1,000 mg of magnesium.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: No.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: It depends on the type.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: We like the citrate.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Yeah, we use the citrate because of the issues that we see a lot in the clinics. Citrates work really well for that.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, yeah. It really does. That's what I tell people, "Yeah," because you hear a lot of stuff. What's the best? What kind of magnesium? I say, "Well look, I'm just going to give you my clinical experience," because I get real patients, real people that have to take magnesium. They have [00:22:00] cramping, or like you say depression, or heart issues, or whatever, blood pressure, and I give them the magnesium citrate. It's very well ... Like you say, out of 1,000 mg they're going to get ...

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Or 500, 180.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, 180 you're going to get just in a couple of capsules, you're almost at 400 mg of true absorbable magnesium.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: It's highly absorbable.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: It's tremendous.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: That's the issue when it comes to magnesium. [00:22:30] If you're trying to hit a certain number of magnesium, you have to look at the amount you're absorbing. It's different than what the actual capsule volume would be. It's a little different. One of the analogies that we use a lot to explain the importance, because there's citrates, there's fumarates, there's glutamates, I mean there's everything, right?

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: We always use the analogy of a lump of coal. It's interesting, because [00:23:00] if you look at a lump of coal, one of the components of that is gasoline, right? There's gasoline ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: In the coal.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: ... In the coal. However, you can't just take that lump of coal and throw it into the gas tank of your car, even though it contains ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Gasoline.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: ... Gasoline. It's the same thing when it comes to supplements. Just because something says magnesium or vitamin E, it doesn't matter. It's the form of which ... Can you use it or not? [00:23:30] Is that form ... Do you absorb it or not? It's like Coenzyme Q10 is another ... There's so many different examples of this, right? There is a common type of Coenzyme Q10 that is not absorbable and it's cheaper. Then there's the type that you actually can absorb, that's way more expensive. If you're buying a cheap priced Coenzyme Q10 ...

Dr. Martin, Sr.: You're not getting it.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: ... You're not getting it, or you're getting very little of it. That's why a lot of times [00:24:00] we kind of formulate and build out our supplements. We use the right type, the right form that you can use, which is why we're very picky when we form later supplements.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, we sure are.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Every nutrient has to be a form that your body can actually use, because it's amazing how many times in a supplement, that's not necessarily the case. Anyways, that's why there's so many different types of magnesiums that are out there. People have strong opinions. It's like, "Oh this one's better than that one." [00:24:30] The point is this, you're low in magnesium, take one, but take one that's better. We like citrate. There are the ones for different reasons, that's fine. In our clinic, you're going to get a magnesium citrate, that's what we like. It's not like we haven't used other ones in the past, it's just that that's the one that we like right now. Again, just a real quick summary, take vitamin D, take magnesium as well and that will save a lot of issues when it comes to a lot of symptoms that you may be experiencing, and we love both those nutrients.

[00:25:00] We want to thank you for listening to this episode. If you have any questions, you can email us at You can also head over to our website,, and you can sign up for our free newsletters. There we talk about a lot of these studies, break them down for you. There's nice short emails, they're quick emails, easy to read, and that's kind of what we specialize in when it comes to that. Also, you do a Facebook live every Thursday?

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yes.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: We get a lot of viewers, they jump on, they ask questions, you [00:25:30] answer their questions, it's a fantastic way for you to interact. If you have questions, on a Thursday morning jump on and go ahead and ask them.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: I have a lot of fun doing that.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Well, I'll tell you, we'll watch them and I have to admit, there are many times we're chuckling, because the technical capabilities that you have, there are some times where you're doing it at your house and I wonder if you can hear me yelling at you.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Turn the camera the right way.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Turn the camera around. [00:26:00] Well you know what's funny is, we're actually going to put together a little kind of highlight blooper real of you fooling around upside down, the camera is facing the wrong way.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: I thought it was turned off and I'm yelling at the ...

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Mom's in the shot, you're not in the shot. It's so funny, but they're awesome because I mean it's so real, it's life.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Hey, I'm a dinosaur, what do you want?

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Hey, listen, and you're doing very well with it, but we get a kick out of it, and your grandkids get a real big kick out of it. They just think it's ... Especially when [00:26:30] the phone's backwards or upside down and you're looking ... Anyways, we've got a lot of tremendous interaction with people.

Dr. Martin, Sr.: Yeah, we have a lot of fun with that program.

Dr. Martin, Jr.: Again, we want to thank you for you listening, and be sure to tune in again next week.