How To Check Magnesium Deficiency

What does all this research have to do with your child? There is a simple test for magnesium deficiency. It’s called Chvostek’s sign. Just tap lightly in the hollow of your child’s check, halfway between the corner of his mouth and the bottom of his ear. The area you tap is the facial nerve. If the upper lip beneath his nose twitches or jumps, the test is considered “positive.” This usually indicates a magnesium and/or calcium deficiency. It’s impossible to fake this test.

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Monday, October 23, 2006
Magnesium and Vitamin B6
In August I posted this web site which has a monthly newsetter. This month it talks about magnesium and Vitamin B6 supplements. Thought it would be interesting for others so here’s the article.

“Magnesium, Vitamin B6& ADHD
Magnesium is an important element in the body because it’s needed for many basic functions, including acting as a cofactor for 300 different enzymes. It’s also involved in fatty acid oxidation, neurotransmission and immune function. About 99 percent of magnesium in your body is inside your cells including bone, muscles and brain cells. Only 1 percent circulates in the blood.
A recent French study by Mousain-Bosc published in a journal called Magnesium Research reports improvement in neurobehavioral disorders (ADHD and autism in a separate study) in children who were given supplements of magnesium and vitamin B6. This is not a new idea. For many years parents have reported improvements in “physical aggression” and improved “social responsiveness” when their children took these supplements.
Mousain-Bosc based their study on reports from other scientists plus their own observations. In 1997 researchers assessed magnesium levels in 116 children with ADHD using serum, red blood cells and hair samples. Magnesium deficiency was found in 95 per cent of these children. Almost 59 percent had low magnesium levels in red blood cells, while about 34 percent had low levels in serum. Over 77 percent had low hair levels. [However, the value of hair analyses is controversial.]
In another study reported by the same scientists they attempted to assess the effectiveness of magnesium on hyperactivity and ADHD in 50 children. The average magnesium dose used was 200 mg and the duration of the study was 6 months. The control children were composed of 25 children with ADHD and magnesium deficiency. They received standard treatments and no magnesium. After 6 months, the children who received the magnesium supplement had increased magnesium in hair and a significant decrease in hyperactivity compared to their baseline scores and also compared to the controls.
In 2004 Mousain-Bosc reported a study using magnesium and vitamin B6 supplements in 52 “hyperexcitable” children. At the end of the trial all patients had significantly fewer symptoms of excitability, and magnesium levels in their red blood cells were in the normal range. This was an open study, meaning there was no control group.
In a study [published in Russian so I could not read the actual article!] a supplement of magnesium and vitamin B6 was used to treat 31 children with ADHD. Twenty children with similar ADHD symptoms comprised the control group. They received a “poly-vitamin pill.” After 30 days the children were given several clinical-neuropsychological and biochemical tests. The group receiving the magnesium and vitamin B6 showed significant improvements in their behavior­less anxiety, less aggression, less hyperactivity and improved attention compared to the control children. The abstract did not say whether the study was double-blind. In other words, did the patients and researchers know who was receiving the magnesium and vitamin B6 and who was getting the vitamin pills?
Based on all this research, Mousain-Bosc in 2006 reported improvement in children with ADHD supplemented with magnesium and vitamin B6. The control group was 36 healthy children without ADHD. They followed 40 children who had ADHD over 8 weeks. The children received 6 milligrams per kilogram of body weight for magnesium and 0.6 milligrams per kilogram for vitamin B6. For example, a 100 pound child weighs about 45 kilograms and would have received about 270 mgs of magnesium and 27 mgs of vitamin B6. Those children who received the magnesium-vitamin B6 tablet significantly increased their red blood cell magnesium and decreased their hyperactivity, aggressiveness and improved their attention. When the supplement was stopped, these symptoms returned.
One problem with this study is the absence of a group of similar ADHD children who received a look-a-like inactive substance. In ADHD­and in many other medical and mental disorders­the presence of a placebo affect is quite high. In other words, just taking an inactive tablet that you think might help you improves your symptoms! The researchers of this 2006 magnesium and vitamin B6 study chose not to have a placebo group and/or a group taking stimulant medications for the following reasons: They believed parents would be opposed because their children might receive the placebo and six months of active treatment would be lost. In addition, stimulant medications appear to affect magnesium levels.
Another interesting report from Mousain-Bosc and co-workers was a similar study in children with autism. Twenty three of 33 children improved their symptoms with no adverse effects. After the supplement was stopped, symptoms of autism worsened.
What does all this research have to do with your child? There is a simple test for magnesium deficiency. It’s called Chvostek’s sign. Just tap lightly in the hollow of your child’s check, halfway between the corner of his mouth and the bottom of his ear. The area you tap is the facial nerve. If the upper lip beneath his nose twitches or jumps, the test is considered “positive.” This usually indicates a magnesium and/or calcium deficiency. It’s impossible to fake this test.
Magnesium chloride and magnesium citrate are two well-absorbed supplement forms. The only side effect of taking too much magnesium is diarrhea. After all, magnesium is the active ingredient in milk of magnesia! If your child gets diarrhea, stop the supplement for a few days. Then try it again at a lower dose. Supplementing magnesium is a safe, cheap, easy kind of therapy to try. (Children with kidney problems should take magnesium only under their doctor’s close supervision.) ”

References
Coleman, M.C. 1979. A Preliminary Study of the Effect of Pyridoxine Administration in a Subgroup of Hyperkinetic Children: A Double-Blind Crossover Comparison with Methylphenidate. Biological Psychiatry. Vol. 14(5), pp.741-751.
Kozielec, T. 1997. Assessment of magnesium levels in children with attent6ion deficit hyperactivity disorder. Magnesium Research. Vol. 10(2), pp. 143-8.
Stratobrat-Hermelin, B. The effects of magnesium physiological supplementation on hyperactivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Positive reponse to magnesium oral loading test. Magnesium Research. Vol. 10(2), pp. 149-56.
Mousain-Bosc, M. Magnesium Vitamin B6 intake reduces central nervous system hyperexcitability in children. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Vol. 23(5), pp. 545S-548S.
Nobovitsina, O.R. 2006. Effect of MAGNE-B6 on the clinical and biochemical manifestations of the syndrome of attention deficit and hyperactivity in children. Eksp Klin Farmakol. Vol. 69(1), pp. 74-7. In Russian.
Mousain-Bosc, M. 2006. Improvement of neurobehavioral disorders in children supplemented with magnesium-vitamin B6. Magnesium Research. Vol.19(1), pp. 46-52for You.htm

# posted by Bright Minds @ 2:19 PM
Comments:
When my daughter was 13, she began to have gran mal seizures. For 3 years she had regular weekly gram mal seizures. She chose not to take any medication. When she was 16 we read “Let’s Have Healthy Children” and discovered what Adelle suggested for seizures. We began to give her B6, Magnesiun and calcium daily. Her seizures stopped completely after 3 years and now has 4 kids of her own.
# posted by laurieclaire : 6:17 AM
 
here’s a magnesium supplement with 500mg of magnesium and 5mg of B6.
# posted by Anonymous : 1:01 PM
 
If you child has adhd symptoms, especially inattentiveness – condider a thorough exam by an ENT. My child had enlarged tonsils and adnoids (not a strepp or ear infection kid). This is commonly missed and dismissed by most pediatricians. This prevented him from getting thorough nights sleep – or necessary REM sleep. He was basically chronically overtired, under rested.
# posted by Anonymous : 2:29 PM
 
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