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Magnesium from Natural Foods vs. Supplements


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I'm glad I found this forum, seems like a very resourceful forum, so I'm hoping that I can get my questions answered. A bit about myself - I'm a 39 year-old male, diagnosed with TS around 7-8 years old. I have taken meds like haldol and catapress (sp?) and both turned me into a vegetable, as I kept falling asleep, and couldn't focus too well. Since about 11, I stopped taking meds altogether, and my symptoms have been a bit of roller coaster ever since.


My main symptoms are facial tics, muscle tensing in the neck and shoulders, forced breathing, and repeating words and/or actions until I 'get it right'. At times, it can be taxing to the body, as i feel muscle aches and pains. I do try and stay active and try to workout on a consistent basis, as well as maintain a healthy-ish diet, which helps.


I have been reading a ton of articles about magnesium and b complex to be main supplements to possible assist in reducing TS symptoms. I talked to my doctor about trying supplements, and he told me that it sholdn't be a problem. He recommended that I take between 400-420 mg of magnesium, coupled with a b complex bill for a couple of months and see how I react to that. I also take 5000 IUs of vitamin D3, since i hvae a deficiency there as well.


So with that info, I then found that there are different types of magnesium that are better absorbed by the body. Based on several forums and articles, it seems as though magnesium glycinate is a good choice for tourettes.


I also discovered that magnesium is easily attainable through natural foods (leafy greens, nuts, seeds), and shouldn't be too hard to reach the recommended 400-420 mg per day.


So my question is, is it better to just get your dose from natural foods, or better from the supplement? Also, would it be feasible if i switched it up between natural foods some days and supplement on others?


Sorry for all the babble, any thoughts, adivce or recommendations are greatly appreciated.


Thanks for the help!



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Welcome to the forum fluxvi0lin,

My son is in his late 20s now and been dealing with TS since a youngster.


He's had a lot of success keeping his TS under control with good diet and supplements as needed over the years, as well as an avoidance of artificial additives and other things he has learned are tic triggers for him.

I have an older thread documenting some of what has been helpful to him http://latitudes.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=687


He used to take extra magnesium supplements, but for some time now he has relied on his excellent multi from Thorne Research (without copper & iron) plus a diet rich in magnesium foods & Epsom Salts baths or footbaths for transdermal Magnesium


My son doesn't do well on B complex but has high B's in the multi which he has no adverse reactions to like with a B-Co


Like you he initially tried meds (Haldol & others) but horrid side effects so went "alternative/complementary/holistic etc" and never looked back

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Hi Chemar,


Thanks so much for the response, and the resource, glad to hear that your son is able to manage without the use of meds! It seems that a well maintained diet is a good basis for reducing symptoms. I recently got a blood test from my doctor to see what i'm deficient in (i was interested in the magnesium levels, and b vitamin counts), but I recently read that a simple test isn't an accurate method of determinng true magnesium levels. A few articles I read claming that a RBC serum test (Red blood cell serum test) is the best way to determine how much magnesium actually is stored in your cells. It's a fairly common test, so i think it would be good to see where i currently stand. The reason being that I've also read that too much magnesium intake can cause harmful affects to your liver, so i wanted to be cautious.


I'm thinking that I will start off with a chelated magnesium supplement / natural foods magnesium dosage along with either a B complex or just B6 supplement and see where that goes. I've also cut processed sugars and aspartame from my diet to see if that has any effects.


Will update you to see how that goes.


Thanks again for your advice!

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Hi Chemar,


Could you further elaborate on the Thorne Research multi? I did some reasearch on it, and there seems to be a few different products. Just curious as to which one your son takes, and why he opted for that instead of taking magnesium supplements?




This is the Thorne Multi my son prefers https://www.thorne.com/products/dp/basic-nutrients-iii-without-copper-and-iron

He doesn't take this in place of magnesium, but rather due to it's comprehensive supply of the basics, especially the Bs, minus the copper & iron which he doesn't tolerate well.

He still gets high magnesium via his diet and transdermal epsom salts (magnesium sulfate)

The decision to reduce supplements in favor of foods was one he made as he got older. He still takes additional supplements as needed for his specific requirements.

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About magnessium. Do You think that taking 500mg magnessium citrate daily, will be too much for adult men?

I don't think 500mg is too much for an adult dose as long as you also take into account how much Mag you are getting from diet as well.....but remember that mag citrate has a laxative effect! and be sure you are getting enough calcium to balance. We were always told 2x calcium for every 1x magnesium

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