One of the supporting nutrients of The Iodine Protocol is magnesium. Magnesium is a rather common nutrient with a lot of information surrounding its benefits. As long as we don’t take way too much of it, it’s rather safe. The most confusing aspect to magnesium is probably the fact there are almost a dozen different forms.

Magnesium is connected to

  • Over 600 enzymes 1
  • Exercise performance 2
  • Depression 3
  • Type 2 diabetes 4
  • Lower blood pressure 5
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits 6
  • Migraine prevention 7
  • Reduced insulin resistance 8 9
  • Improved sleep quality 10
  • Osteoporosis 11
  • Restless leg syndrome 12

Early signs of magnesium deficiency include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness

As magnesium deficiency worsens:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle contractions and cramps
  • Seizures
  • Personality changes
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Coronary spasms

Altered magnesium balance can be found in diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure, nephrolithiasis, osteoporosis, aplastic osteopathy, and heart and vascular disease. 13

Dr. Brownstein’s Iodine Protocol suggests we should get about 200-400mg per day of magnesium while taking iodine. I have a feeling this is due to iodine allowing more biological processes to be carried out, which each depend on and use magnesium, and also because iodine may allow us to kill off old defunct cells, so they can be replaced, which also takes a ton of magnesium. Magnesium is part of everything mentioned above because it’s such an integral part of our body’s construction system.

I did not notice any benefits from magnesium when I started taking it. But after several months of small amounts of iodine, and the other supporting nutrients, I tried some magnesium for the first time in a while and felt a rush of energy. Then over time, as I tried other forms, I would notice the same thing from several of those.

Magnesium can get a little complex

There are about a dozen types of commonly supplemented magnesium, some better than others, some more cost effective than others. Some people only use one form of magnesium, some use several, some use all of them. I started with Malate and slowly branched out trying more and more. I eventually tried some magnesium hydroxide and felt so much energy when I took one, that made me realize I need to get in the habit of trying small amounts of all types of magnesium. If I were still confused about which magnesium to take, I would probably just stick with malate like I did when I started, or use something like Magnesium Breakthrough which has 7 common forms.

Several memes, pages and people around the net claim that various forms of magnesium are not good, or not as good as others. This may be true to some degree, but it has a lot to do with how our body is setup, so it may be a lot different for each of us. My personal view is to get as many different forms as possible while I am re-balancing my body. Then once I know my magnesium levels have been replenished a good bit, I’ll work on refining with the ‘proper’ forms of magnesium. But if I can take various forms, and feel energy that I didn’t notice with a form I’ve taken for months, I’m not going to avoid that form, I’m just not going to take it long term.

The common nutrients recommended with iodine are doses that consider we are taking 50mg of iodine. But since most of us are at very low amounts of iodine and slowly working up, 200mg-400mg of magnesium might be more than we need for a while. So what I do now, is take breaks from supplements and pay attention when I restart them. If I don’t feel any benefits when I restart them, and I don’t feel and negatives when I go with out them for a few days, I probably don’t need them. So I take less and less of them while still trying them every once in a while to see if they have started working with my body. My chemistry is constantly changing as I provide the nutrients it needs to rebuild itself.

Important is an understatement

The following bullet points are advanced topics that can seem intimidating. But ignore the complexity of their names for a second and hover each one. Skim over the information I’ve provided in each popup and try to imagine all the systems that depend on magnesium.

  • Enzyme substrate (ATP-Mg, GTP-Mg)
  • Kinases B
  • Hexokinase
  • Creatine kinase
  • Protein kinase
  • ATPases or GTPases
  • Na+ /K+-ATPase
  • Ca2+-ATPase
  • Cyclases
  • Adenylate cyclase
  • Guanylate cyclase
  • Direct enzyme activation
  • Phosphofructokinase
  • 5-Phosphoribosyl-pyrophosphate synthetase
  • Membrane function
  • Cell adhesion
  • Transmembrane electrolyte flux
  • Calcium antagonist
  • Muscle contraction/relaxation
  • Neurotransmitter release
  • Action potential conduction in nodal tissue
  • Structural function
  • Proteins
  • Polyribosomes
  • Nucleic acids
  • Multiple enzyme complexes
  • Mitochondria

More technical info about magnesium

How I handle Magnesium

I started with malate that had small amounts of a few B vitamins. When I started taking this magnesium malate, I did not feel any changes other than a tiny burst of energy from the B vitamins for a few days. Looking back, I think my cells were still in need of a good bit of unrefined salt and some potassium for a while before I was able to start using magnesium. Read more about the balance of electrolytes at

Here is a link to Magnesium Malate

Then I tried Magnesium Oxide

Then I tried this combo of Magnesium Oxide, Citrate and Aspertate

Then I tried Magnesium Gylcinate

Then I tried some L-Threonate which is good for the brain

Then I tried and really liked Magnesium Hydroxide

Then I started using Chelated Magnesium which is now my base form I use regularly

I also add a pinch of Magnesium Sulfate to water sometimes, which is epsom salt.

Source Naturals

I finally located a good online store to order Source Naturals magnesium. I’ve been using their chelated form for years and love it, but was only able to purchase it locally in small quantities, till now.

Ultra Mag Hi Efficiency Magnesium 200mg – Magnesium (magnesium citrate, taurinate, glycinate, malate and succinate) 400 mg plus B6 to help absorb the magnesium. I take this once per day on average, and take a few days off every once in a while. Shop Ultra Mag at

Magnesium Chelate 100mg elemental – 100mg magnesium chelate. 26mg calcium. I take this 1-2 times per day most days with a few days off. Shop magnesium chelate at

Magnesium Breakthrough

This brand has 7 forms of magnesium in one pill. I really like the pill itself, but their website is a slightly annoying sales pitch.

  • Magnesium Chelate
  • Magnesium Citrate
  • Magnesium Bisglycinate
  • Magnesium Malate
  • Magnesium Aspartate
  • Magnesium Taurate
  • Magnesium Orotate

These cost 2-4 times as much as the source naturals. But they are a good addition to have if we’re able to.

Learn More about Magnesium Breakthrough

  1. Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease -
  2. Can Magnesium Enhance Exercise Performance? - Nutrients. 2017 Sep; 9(9): 946. Published online 2017 Aug 28. doi: 10.3390/nu9090946 -
  3. Magnesium and major depression - Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. - 
  4. Magnesium and type 2 diabetes - World J Diabetes. 2015 Aug 25; 6(10): 1152–1157.
  5. The role of magnesium in hypertension and cardiovascular disease - Review J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2011 Nov;13(11):843-7. -
  6. Magnesium deficiency and increased inflammation: current perspectives - J Inflamm Res. 2018; 11: 25–34.Published online 2018 Jan 18. -
  7. Magnesium in headache - Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. -
  8. Association of Serum Magnesium Deficiency with Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus - J Lab Physicians. 2015 Jul-Dec; 7(2): 75–78. -
  9. Effects of Magnesium Deficiency on Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetes: Focusing on the Processes of Insulin Secretion and Signaling - Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Mar; 20(6): 1351.Published online 2019 Mar 18. -
  10. Magnesium Intake and Sleep Disorder Symptoms: Findings from the Jiangsu Nutrition Study of Chinese Adults at Five-Year Follow-Up -
  11. Magnesium and Osteoporosis: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Directions -
  12. Clinical, EEG, electromyographic and polysomnographic studies in restless legs syndrome caused by magnesium deficiency -
  13. Magnesium metabolism in health and disease -
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November 23, 2020

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