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Miracle Magnesium oil scam/fraud – The evidence

Posted 30 October 2013

[quote]Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away – Philip K. Dick[/quote] [quote]

To treat your facts with imagination is one thing, but to imagine your facts is another – John Burroughs[/quote]

Overview Marcelle du Plessis / Body Detox makes the claim, among other, that “When Miracle Magnesium Oil™ is taken orally and Miracle Magnesium Blue Spray™ is sprayed daily over the entire body, it may be beneficial for . . . sinusitis.” (http://miraclemagnesiumoil.co.za)

We will briefly show the nonsense of this statement, and further below, show why the claims of Body Detox, and specifically for magnesium oil, are nonsense! Read the rest

170 comments to Miracle Magnesium oil scam/fraud – The evidence

  • Elizabeth

    It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this allegations will be

  • Dewald

    I’ve had some serious issues with the “Miracle” spray for years and have spoken to pharmacists about it, basically the bottom line is that logic/rationale like the above about this product is great – but it does not hold up to nice full page adverts in the “Huisgenoot” and “Weg” to market it to desperate people who does not know better, the bottom line is still the best motivator. Elizabeth – do your homework, time after time “Body Detox” has been shown to be charlatans who are out to fool the public, with any company making any medical claim the onus of proof lies on them to show that the treatment is effective and safe – not on the public. “Body Detox” has got some detoxing to do…

  • Helen Strydom

    I just bought the oil and the Magnesium Inflama spray,but after reading the above, I am now scared to use it. I am 78 years old.
    If it is a scam and you advise me not to use it, then I will get rid of it and loose the money I paid for it, or perhaps try and get my money back from them.

    Regards

  • Helen Strydom

    I have just bought the Mircale Magnesium Oil and Magnesium inflame spray. I have just read the above, and am now scared to use it. I am 78 years old. If really is a scam, is there any way that I can get my money back, otherwise I will throw it away and live with it that I just wasted my money. What will be the side effects should I use it.

    Regards

  • Gerda Naude

    I am using it for almost a year it helped for cramps and to keep me regular but I am scared to continue. Can it harm me in any way please let me know.

  • Harris

    @Helen and Gerda
    If you are spraying it on your skin, it is worthless and mostly harmless. If you are drinking it, then it is like drinking Epsom salts.

  • bonakele Mbhele

    I am so glad I bought and used Miracle magnesium before I read your comment. I have been a migraine sufferer for a long time, with attacks that often triggered by stress. I bought the Miracle Magnesium pack as recommended by an ex colleague and tried it. It worked wonders for me. I have realised that drinking the oil mixed with water helps to relax me and make my sleep easy. Using the red roll-on magnesium helps to relive tension before I et a migraine attack. Whatever your medical research says, the staff works for me, and I have used it for over three months now. It also helps the digestive system by the way!

  • Rebekka Liebenberg

    As your opening suggests – just because you refuse to believe – reality is not going to change. I started using the magnesium oil to treat adult acne and my 2 teenagers acne. The results are brilliant for me, were noticeable within a few days for my daughter and a bit slower for my son. My son had tick bite fever and used it whilst competing in a week long provincial softball tournament (together with homeopathic medicine) their A team won 🙂 My kids are also on the brink of major exams and they are coping better now than they did with stress prior to the oil. We all dislike the flavour but it reminds me somewhat of coconut water. As an unexpected side effect – my chronic sinusitis of the last 30 years has improved drastically. Also, my monthly cycles which had me doubled up in pain for days each time are so much improved that I only need a mild pain killer on day one while I carry on with my household duties. I am a stay at home mom and I homeschool my 2 youngest while the bigger kids go to school.
    I cannot BELIEVE your arrogant and dismissive piece of creative writing in the face of enough evidence as well as hordes of personal testimonials vouching for this product. I’m sure it won’t work for everyone … just as your doctoring doesn’t work for all your patients …. should we therefore assume that you are a fraud and fake, lying to desperate people and taking their money while you pretend to know what you are doing? Hell… it’s worked so well for us that I’m considering becoming an agent for this stuff! Catch up with modern medicine, come out of the dark ages of manipulated medical findings against anything natural, inexpensive and effective despite the doctors bad raps. Get your head out of your own @$$ long enough to open your little mind and use the ears you are equipped with to hear and assimilate and research the truthful claims made by people all over the world, vouching for the effective magnesium oil. I take about 3 to 4 teaspoons daily and my energy levels are better, my skin clearing up and I don’t need to take boxes of tissues wherever I go anymore. I wish I could say more but I’m afraid I’m wasting my time on the likes of your blinkered kind – shame. … you only know the little that you know. It’s sad really. Ps – pulsitilla helps for a puss filled personality type you seem to exhibit. I actually initially thought that the claims sounded a bit too varied … but now that I’ve tried it, I am convinced regardless of the naysayers that refuse the evidence by looking the other way. Such an ostrich!

    • Harris

      @Rebekka
      I am pleased that you believe that this product works for you. Great. But that is no evidence that it works for others. There are people who believe that they were cured of AIDS/HIV from using a pink soap, but there is no proof that they were – yet they still believe. That this product does marvelous stuff for you is contrary to science: but if it really works for you, even just a placebo response, good for you. Miracle Magnesium is NOT modern medicine – in fact it is “ancient” medicine shown with science to have no basis in reality. The sad reality is that you are being ripped off for R500 when you can make the exact same stuff for R10. Now who is the ostrich! (By the way, Miracle Magnesium is very closely related to Epsom Salts – the former is Magnesium chloride and the latter is Magnesium sulphate.)

    • joy

      I DITTO Rebekka Liebenberg. You fool you are the scammer deceiving people that this oil can and will help. At 52 alternative and nature made medicine has made me feel the best I have ever felt. I have always been in good health I will use conventional medicine if I need it but I have not needed it in years. Not only does it help eternally it also helps externally. Who at my age would not want that. I do believe you as a Dr took the Hippocratic Oath. Seems like you have strayed and have been seduced by Big Pharma!

      • Harris

        @Joy
        “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts” Daniel Patrick Moynihan 2003
        You will not find any proof that I have been seduced or support Big Pharma – you will have to invent the proof, for I have not. I support evidence.

  • m beling

    i find it is working for me

  • carol

    Daar het alweer advertensies van hierdie Miracle Magnesium hierdie jaar in die Rapport koerant verskyn. Alweer net so misleidend soos voorheen

  • Lyn

    Hi,
    I have had fibromyalgia for over 25 years. Sadly the medical community has not only failed to help but have caused so much increased distress by telling me ‘it is all in your head’. I suffered for many years by being given anti-depressants that caused harm while giving no benefit. I am very sensitive to any form of relaxant or anesthetic, which doctors have failed to believe or listen to.

    I have only turned to more holistic forms of health very slowly. My generation was brought up in the belief that ‘Doctor knows best’.

    One thing I have found to be of benefit is the magnesium ‘oil’ which I spray on my knees and feet. Prior to a recent trip I was not convinced, however after spending a week constantly walking (something I have not been capable of for over 10 years) I have found that spraying the ‘oil’ onto my knees and feet has reduced my pain enormously.

    I have changed quite a lot of other factors in my life in the past three years, especially diet and regular exercise which has helped. However even during these past years of exercise I have not been able to use my knees without experiencing pain. Currently, after daily use of the magnesium ‘oil’, I am experiencing a wider range of mobility and flexibility with less pain from knees and feet. Thus I am able to increase my range and length of exercise with the additional health benefit.

    Other than the need to apply a creme to prevent my skin from becoming dry after using the magnesium ‘oil’ I have not had any negative effects, only very positive, measurable results.

    I do not have any comments on other health claims of what magnesium ‘oil’ can do as I have not used it for anything other than what I have stated above.
    I have however taken good quality magnesium supplements orally for sometime without experiencing the benefit I have achieved from the ‘oil’.

    Regards,
    Lyn

  • carol

    Weer n nuwe advertensie in die Brits Pos, plaaslike koerant van Brits. Help alweer vir diabetes en al die ander vals aansprake wat gewoonlik gemaak word.

  • Helen Strydom

    Ek het Februarie epos van hulle gekry van al hul produkte, en vanoggend weer sms gekry oor al hul specials.
    Dit is omdat ek voorheen van hul produkte gekoop het, maar kan nie se dat dit veel gehelp het nie.

    Groete
    Helen

  • Regina Britz

    Hi, I am a fibromyalgia patient and have been affered, by well meaning friends and family, so many quack products over the years that I am used to checking them out first. A friend bought me miracle magnesium at Dischem last week, as a present. I must just take it and report back. It is within my cell-group at churcha nd they all want progress reports. What really sparked my suspicion was that it is supposed to work for everything from fybro, to depression, to cholesterol. This i know to be a red flag from too much experience.

    Thank you for this website. I did not know of it’s existence and usually checked on American websites, having to trace people and brandnames backt o South Africa.

  • Michelle

    My Husband and myself were down at the South Coast last week, he suffers from extreme gout, we saw the Miracle Magnesium advert on one of the channels on TV (Don’t know which channel it was on) and it claimed to work for gout, we went the Gallaria Dischem and bought a banded pack.(Blue Spray and Oil) He started using it and claimed it lessened the pain a bit, but my concern is, shortly after he started using this blue spray, he started snoring excessively, to the point that we are sleeping in separate bedrooms. I only realised that the time he started snoring this loud and constant is the same time he started using the stuff. I have now asked him to stop using the spray and we will monitor his snoring. Is anybody out there experiencing the same.

  • carol

    Radio Pretoria saai nou weer van hierdie Miracle Magnesium advertensies uit.

  • Rita

    Unfortunately Dr. harris, you are the only website from the many I have been on about magnesium oil, that refers to it as illicit, and useless. I know livestrong.com to be a reputable and legit website I have followed for years, and they swear by the use of magnesium oil. Why is it that chemically synthesized drugs you give patients are not reported to be bad for health, when it all it does is makes symptoms worse , and killing people slowly. I think you are afraid that these cheap methods of health puts your career as a doctor at risk, because less face it, when you are not writing out a prescription, you dont get paid. With all the testomonials, I think the stuff works. I take it myself, and have found it works in many ways. Obviously our bodies are absorbing the mineral in order to feel the therapeutic affects…nice talking to you..carry on.

    • Harris

      @Rita
      1. In November 2013 CAM regulations were published making Miracle Magnesium’s claims illegal.
      2. Livestrong.com states: “Magnesium chloride supplements are not necessary unless you’re deficient in the mineral.” “Like other dietary supplements, magnesium chloride is only intended for use in adults who are deficient in the nutrient. Your diet is the best source of magnesium, most of which is stored in the bones.” http://www.livestrong.com/article/27361-benefits-magnesium-chloride/. Very few people are deficient in magnesium.
      3. Miracle Magnesium (magnesium chloride) is chemically synthesized.
      4. Doctors do write out prescriptions for magnesium, but only for very few people, i.e., those that are deficient or require it.

      • Rebekka

        Who exactly is CAM in terms of making claims ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’? why is the Director General of the Department of Health on the radio (702/cape talk) making ‘claims’ about an HPV vaccine that has already been debunked by scientists in America, uk and Japan, Disowned by its very own Developer as a fraudulent vaccine, and also incorporates as its efficacy, fictitious statistics regarding the incidence of caner related to the HPV? why is this not being brought up? Why is this site perpetuating a very personal war against individuals and advertising claims while blatantly ignoring the very same thing done by government? You too small fry to take on the real nonsense?

        • Harris

          Readers should read read Rebekka’s comments in context. Here are two:
          http://www.tokyotimes.com/2013/hpv-vaccine-seen-differently-by-japan-and-the-u-s/
          http://www.drugs.com/news/citing-japan-pulls-recommendations-hpv-vaccines-45158.html

          Basically the concern was over the side effects, i.e., body pain. No one has died from the vaccine. Contrast this with the number of women who die from cervical cancer as a result of not receiving the vaccine. All drugs, including CAMS, have potential side effects. When one used any treatment, the risk of side effects is balanced with the benefits one hopes to receive.

          “The decision does not mean that the vaccine, itself, is problematic from the view of safety, “ Mariko Momoi, vp of the International University of Health and Welfare, who headed a task force probing the issue, tells the paper. “By implementing investigations, we want to offer information that can make the people feel more at ease.”” “To date, an estimated 3.28 million people have been vaccinated, and 1,968 cases of possible side effects, including body pain, have been reported and the task force examined 43 cases, the paper writes. However, a causal relationship between vaccination and pain and numbness could not be established, which prompted the decision to run further studies by the ministry.

  • Hettie

    Vir al die ouens wat so glo in foefies wat wonders doen, kortliks uit Wikipedia hoe die mens se verbeelding saamspeel. Dit word placebo genoem : A placebo (/pləˈsiboʊ/ plə-SEE-boh; Latin placēbō, “I shall please”[2] from placeō, “I please”)[3][4] is a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient. Sometimes patients given a placebo treatment will have a perceived or actual improvement in a medical condition, a phenomenon commonly called the placebo effect. Dis ‘n algemene versksynsel onder liggelowiges. Betaal maar lekker want dit werk vir jou. Ek is op my pak Engelse sout wat R12 kos vir amper ‘n jaar se gebruik. En dit werk! ☺

  • Sharanjeet Shan

    I was interested in taking Magnesium oil simply because I need to rid myself of muscle pain in the upper body which at times is very severe and keeps me awake. I am a very active person, 68 years old, and not suffering from any other illness. I was told by one doctor that I have Fibromyelgia. I do exercise a fair bit.
    I can honestly say that taking magnesium oil has not made much difference.

  • carol

    Daar het alweer n advertensie van Miracle Magnesium in die
    Brits Pos, plaaslike koerant van Brits verskyn.Dit is maar weer dieselfde advertensie wat al voorheen verbied is.Dit maak alweer aanspraak dat dit voordelig is vir osteoporose en borskanker en ook al die ander toestande waarvoor dit in die verlede sg sou gehelp het.Hierdie vrou is waarlik soos die spreekwoordelike kat wat maar altyd weer terugkom.

  • Katie

    Ek is n nuwe verbruiker van MM en sal graag wil weet wat die newe effekte van die produk is en of daar al iemand gesterf het as gevolg van die gebruik hiervan. Ek verwonder my net altyd aan die lang lys newe effekte in fyn skrif ingesluit op die voubiljet van voorgekrewe medikasie wat verkrygbaar is by apteke. Wanneer ek dit klaar gelees het het ek geen motivering om medikasie te gebruik nie aangesien die cons die pros meestal oorskadu. Ek kan ook nie glo dat al die “word of mouth” mense hul verbeel die “placebo” werk nie. Ek is desperaat en sal dalk maar my geld mors op die produk en al is dit dan ook net in my kop, as ek kan beter voel is dit die moeite werd.
    NS. As die produk diaree veroorsaak neem ek aan n mens moet dit dalk geleidelik verhoog tot op n vlak waar dit nie ongerief sal veroorsaak nie.

    • Harris

      @Katie
      There are no major side effects if you apply it to your skin (for it does not get absorbed as Marcelle du Plessis / MM claim). However taking it orally carries a risk, depending on the dose and whether your body is functioning normally, e.g., your kidneys are working optimally. Side effects include: Diarrhea, paralytic ileus, difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); nausea; slow reflexes, suppression of neuromuscular transmission, depression of heart conductivity, etc. For side effects, read here: http://www.drugs.com/sfx/magnesium-chloride-side-effects.html.
      Magnesium chloride is not routinely used except for a narrow range of conditions – where the body becomes deficient in magnesium (fairly uncommon to rare). In other words, magnesium chloride is used for a very narrow range of conditions and not as Marcelle du Plessis, who has no medical training, claims, e.g., sinusitis, migraine, cancer, “osteoporose”, “borskanker”, etc.

  • Katie

    Wonder maar net:
    Waarom word Body Detox so aangevat as hul duidelik op hul advertensie spesifiseer ” PL makes no claim that this product is a cure or that any medication should be discontinued. It is a supplement, if you are sick, consult your doctor.”

    • Harris

      @Katie
      This is a good question. It is because they claim that taking the supplement will have a beneficial effect on those conditions, when in fact there is no proof that it does, i.e., not just no proof but many claims are highly unlikely. Imagine I sell you sea sand and claim that it will cure your migraine but also state “We make no claim that this product is a cure or that any medication should be discontinued. It is a supplement, if you are sick, consult your doctor.” The disclaimer makes no difference to the fact that I am still claiming that sea sand will cure your migraine. The facts are that Miracle Magnesium has not been shown to have any beneficial effect on the great majority of claims being made for it, i.e., is a complete lie.

  • Felicity Allwright

    I bought this product at Dischem about a year ago.

  • Tiisetso

    Saw a Miracle Magnesium booth this afternoon (25 May) at Kolonnade mall in Pretoria. I find it hard to believe that people are convinsed that one product can heal all those things.

  • Rebekka Liebenberg

    No supplements or medication for that matter does all that it claims for everyone. Each person as an individual has a unique physiology. I don’t need as much paracetamol as most to rid myself of a headache and my husband gets better results from drinking lots of water than any paracetamol! My daughter who is prone to massively dramatic nose bleeds uses mag phos tissue salts for cramps or spasms because that works best for her. I can’t use most of the tissue salts because it gives me nose bleeds …. I think this magnesium oil thing and the mamoth effort at debunking it is a bit disproportionate. Sure it’s too expensive at some outlets, but so are many medications sold in pharmacies. Co enzyme q10 is a good example. It was very inexpensive when few people knew of its benefits some 15 years ago. I used to buy it from a woman who sold it from home back when dr’s laughed at the claims of an enzyme having such potential to turn around a person’s health. Now it’s prescribed by cardiologists and one needs a second job to afford a months supply – because it’s now regulated by the MCC. I hazard a guess that the same will happen with the magnesium oil and sprays. It’s not for everyone – for sure! (My one daughter gets a reaction on her skin from the Blue spray, but not the orange inflammation spray) I really hope logic and reason prevails in this situation and people do more than read about one person’s vendetta against one particular product. Yes, perhaps it does nothing for you, like chemo did nothing for our aunt who passed away recently from liver cancer (in fact, I believe it killed her faster than the disease would have) However, perhaps it will work wonders, like the chemo did for our close family friend who still lives despite 3rd or 4th stage lymphatic cancer, even though the dr’s basically told him to prepare to die and said that the chemo would be a waste of time. He did it anyway and we all prayed and hoped, and it was successful. We all know magnesium is a good thing. We all know that some people, perhaps more than some, have deficiencies. We all know that many people claim various benefits. Why is it so abhorrent then to others who have no need for it and who don’t want to try it? What is the rationale in debunking something only on paper if it does work in practice for a vast range of people and for a vast range of ailments. If we were to analyse the benefits of chemo based on stats and success rates, it wouldn’t fare nearly as well as we are led to believe. Only about 20% of treatment is effective – which is pretty much Russian roulette! However, it does have a margin of success and because it makes such a huge industry viable, it’s what is purported as a ‘miracle’ cure – which it isn’t. Most dr’s don’t know any more than the bit they learned from medical school, and most don’t bother to remain current and up to date with new information – so they are easily led by the nose by pretty medical reps (lol … I know because I did a bit of this myself … all they do is take the pamphlet and believe whatever the pharmaceutical companies say – they almost never check it out) In today’s age of information, the bulk of what is taught in medical school is freely available. Even MIT has sites with free lectures. There is really no excuse to be totally fooled by the fly by night fad cures, just as one shouldn’t be fooled by the claims of efficacy for lucrative medications endorsed by their own manufacturers (as the magnesium oil is endorsed by its own manufacturers)

    • Harris

      @Rebekka
      This is not “about one person’s vendetta against one particular product”. This is a scam, full stop. If Big Pharma sold a product that did not work, it would be a scam, full stop. It is not about comparing Miracle Magnesium against other products, but comparing its claims against the facts. Big scam. The fact that some people claim it helps them does not prove it to be true – it could simply be a placebo response, and since there is a lot of physiological research done on magnesium, one can know what is possible and what is not. These are facts, not guess work. The ONLY way to know if something works or not is PROOF! Finish and klaar. And because I remain current and up to date with new information, I can tell you that there is no evidence supporting Miracle Magnesium’s large body of claims.

      You write: “What is the rationale in debunking something only on paper if it does work in practice for a vast range of people and for a vast range of ailments.” How do you know that it does work in practice for a vast range of people, and ailments? Prove it!

      And they same way you are expressing your views here, I am expressing mine. Readers are welcome to read and free to believe your take, or mine.

  • Rebekka Liebenberg

    Thanks for updating.

    Pharma does sell stuff that doesn’t work – but it is not often exposed as scams. Very often those same meds do more than nothing – they kill, and even then it’s not normally exposed.

    I didn’t say you are not current – obviously you are one of those doing more than your share of extended research – hence your site and effort.

    People who use the oil often claim that the effects are real. One can’t claim placebo for everyone all the time – placebo has its limitations and I wish for people to be aware of this. It’s easy to see that there are many who benefit – they talk about it freely.

    I respectfully disagree that we can absolutely know what works or doesn’t in cases like this. We might not have the evidence we want or need right now, but keeping our options open means that the possibility exists to continue looking.

    I don’t think we must ever stop looking for answers. The fact that the oil does work for some in varying degrees, or even harms others means that it has some active components. To discount this seems irrational to me, even if it can’t do amazing things like cure aids or cancers or bronchitis etc. Neither can aspirin, but it still has it’s place.
    Thanks for taking the time to communicate with me and giving me a space for comments on your site.

    Regards
    Rebekka

    • Harris

      @Rebekka
      You wrote: “I respectfully disagree that we can absolutely know what works or doesn’t in cases like this. We might not have the evidence we want or need right now, but keeping our options open means that the possibility exists to continue looking.” I agree, science is always open to new information. But to make positive claims without any evidence, is not the same as keeping an open mind to a possibility. Imagine I sell you sea sand and claim it cures AIDS/HIV. I am open to evidence that this is possible, but cannot make that claim until proven to be true.

      The burden of proof (evidence) rests on the person making the claim, not the person claiming it is not true. This is an universal truth with regard to products making health claims, whether Big Pharma, or CAMS.

  • laeticia

    Regularly advertised in Dischem.. Huisgenoot and 3 articles up from your article….

    Its rubbish the product does not work!!

  • Marjan

    Saw at pharma value queenswood advertised (today)

  • Pixel

    I apologize if I’m going a little off subject but I’m curious to know the true scientific benefits of Magnesium citrate powder?
    I read various things online about Magnesium citrate powder being a purer form? and better absorbed than ordinary magnesium tablets (something like that, can’t remember exactly).
    I have been drinking the powder in water, hoping it will relax muscles in my legs, back, shoulders, head, neck…. as they have been particularly tense, sometimes cramping and twitching the last few months. My muscles have always been overly tight and stiff.
    From what I read online I got the impression that Magnesium citrate powder was a definite muscle relaxant and was pretty safe too. But with all the pseudoscience everywhere it’s very confusing.
    I’d be really grateful for any clarification on this

  • Richard

    The fact that you quote quackwatch as a reputable source immediately has me concerned regarding your own impartiality. Simple process of clear thinking when applied to this post quickly shows glaring examples of this.
    For mine you get 10 out of 10 for disinformation and it is quite apparent you are just simply another of the big pharma propagandists. I wonder how much scrutiny of your funding would be needed to determine its true source. At 63 years of age I have used many supplements, none have provided the benefit I get from Magnesium Oil. Sadly dissapointed in the transperant attempt to discredit a product which provides so much benefit. More than happy to respond to each of your points individually if you think it necessary. Please note I have never used the Miracle Magnesium Blue Spray™ and have no affiliation with the supplier. I use magnesium oil produced in Australia using Magnesium Chloride sourced from the Dead Sea. The subtle difference in the use of words should be apparent even to you.

    • Harris

      Anecdotal evidence is the lowest form of evidence – the claim may be true, it may be simply a placebo response.
      In this specific posting, whistleblowers supplied me documentary evidence that the “Miracle Magnesium from the Dead Sea” was actually being produced from industrial grade magnesium chloride. Maybe your source is doing the same, maybe not.

      CAM companies have tried to discredit me by arguing that I am a big pharma propagandist. Could not prove it for the evidence is otherwise. Suggest you read this article: http://www.camcheck.co.za/opinion-health-fact-and-fiction/

  • Richard

    Thank you for your quick response. I have never posted in a blog before but was so incensed by the manner in which you presented your arguement that I responded immediately. I have since done some research on you and accept that you appear totally independent of the big pharmaceutical organizations. I am pleased that is the case. It does not however, alter my stance on your post. Additionally a post from a site whose impartiality I already question is highly unlikely to add credence to your position or assertions. . Your one sided approach however, is never justified, not even by your about us statement “We have the same approach to Big Pharma. But as the field is so large, we let others focus on Big Pharma while we focus on CAMS.” This statement simply allows you to ignore perhaps even abrogate your responsibility to investigate the full picture; more specifically the blatant misrepresentations of the big pharmaceutical companies. It also never shows that you treat “Big Pharma” as you do the natural alternatives. This of course will always beg the question of true editorial independence. For someone who is apparently such a great supporter of consumerism ignoring these blatant breaches seems incongruous. I am happy to provide details of many such breaches if you feel I am being unfair to “Big Pharma” or as to how this lack of objectivity could be perceived as reflecting on your independence. As to your fall back throw away of “placebo response”, it really is wearing very thin to all clear thinking individuals. It is also condescending but I assume its use was intended to be so. It certainly does not support you post in any way, shape or form.

    • Harris

      @Richard
      The same way AIDS/HIV activists do not focus on cancer or other severe diseases, I follow suite. The field is simply too wide to focus on all egregious practises in the health products industry. Furthermore, I only focus on those where the proof is absent or very thin. You may note I have not made any comments on echinacea or St John’s wort and products where there is some evidence to support the claims – whether I regard the evidence good or bad is not the argument but simply that there is something to consider versus ingredients or products where there is nil. The point about belaboring the placebo response is simply to point out that a claim is not proven until it is for there are many other mechanisms that may be playing a role. CamCheck gets testimonials from consumers using a product which I had tested and found to have no ingredients present! Ant the risk of not commenting on a testimonial is that it may result in other consumers from purchasing that product – somehow as a health professional I am pressured into putting a value on the claim.

  • Richard

    Hmm. I would have thought that not commenting on the risks applied equally across all health products and providing truly informed comment could prevent other consumers using products of any type. I guess it is a position of having your cake and eating it too. Still no balance. Still no way to demonstrate your independence. Interesting that you consider yourself an activist. As with most activists, one is always left to wonder, how far and by what means you are prepared to go to achieve your personal agenda. To hell with what others think. Let me push my personal ideologies and disregard everything else. Seems a neat fit.

    • Harris

      @Richard
      It should be obvious that with one’s limited time that one can focus on one area and do it reasonably well rather than focus on everything and do it poorly. Some individuals may focus only on statins or sport supplements – is is their prerogative. And what is not apparent to you is that I am giving a point of view to assist consumers to make a good informed decision. They do not have to agree with me but I give good reasons why my point of view is correct – and all it does is to give consumers a contrary point of view to the advertisements which make bogus, false and unsubstantiated claims. Readers can make up their own mind.
      Miracle Magnesium is a good example: Advertisements make claims that have no physiological basis and most consumers do not know this. I point it out. If they wish to waste their money based on false premises or claims, so be it. At least they were offered a contrary point of view. And I do base my arguments on evidence – not thumb-suck beliefs. And you will not be the first to criticize me – I have had people selling “HIV/AIDS cures” claiming similarly that I do not know what I am talking about, that I am pushing my personal ideologies and disregard everything else.

      You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts” Daniel Patrick Moynihan 2003

      “There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance” Hippocrates

      “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored” Aldous Huxley

  • Richard

    Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. We are each entitled to our opinions and obviously you feel your stance is correct. I accept that. I wonder if you ever considered that one of the very best things about science is that the discipline is self-correcting. A scientist makes observations and then devises a theory to fit those observations. Other scientists then test the theory, and if it withstands scrutiny it becomes widely accepted. At any point in the future, if contravening evidence emerges, the original theory is discarded. In practice this may appear messy but this is how science works. Science can contradict itself. And that’s OK. It’s a fundamental part of how research works. When an old theory dies, it’s not because scientists have lied to us and can’t be trusted. In fact, exactly the opposite. Those failed hypotheses are casualties of the process of working our way towards truth. Likewise, just because some ideas have turned out to be wrong doesn’t mean it’s safe to assume all the scientific truths we hold today will be disproved somewhere down the line. What I find troubling is when a position or stance is adopted and all that flows from that time on is merely intended to justify that position. “When a man finds a conclusion agreeable, he accepts it without argument, but when he finds it disagreeable, he will bring against it all the forces of logic and reason.” -Thucydides I hope you will excuse my resorting to quotes but as it seems to be a tool that you like to use to support your position I am inclined to join in. As for the “thumb suck beliefs” comment. Simple application of the rules of clear thinking allow us to disregard emotive terminology. Rather than strengthen an arguement it shows weakness. A couple of thoughts you may also like to consider (following on from your introduction of quotes as a means of suring up your position). “Only a fool of a scientist would dismiss the evidence and reports in front of him and substitute his own beliefs in their place.” – Paul Kurtz. “It is as fatal as it is cowardly to blink facts because they are not to our taste.” – John Tyndall. Phycisist. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Sir Martin Rees (Astronomer). I should add that prior to stumbling across your rant I had visited numerous sites investigating magnesium and the body and magnesium deficiency. Many of these sites were also proffering opinions by medical doctors and researchers, all of them, like myself, exercising their right to disagree with much of what you say. But as you correctly point out, we are all entitled to our opinions. One of the beauties of the internet is the ability to be able to identify and filter out disinformation. By the way I think some of the claims made by the organization you were attempting to lambaste were, to put it politely over stated and I have no issue with them being held accountable. My grievance is the selectively biased statements you make to support your reason for holding them to account.

    • Harris

      @Richard
      I agree with you that science is self correcting, or at least evolving. That does not suggest that one can make false claims without adequate support, for example, that magnesium oil is absorbed through the skin and will cure x, y or z. You need to also appreciate the context: CamCheck refers to the South African market – as in the ‘about’ page. You probably do not know of the deluge of products (complementary medicines) that have become commonplace over the last 12 years in SA – because of the regulator not only failing to regulate CAMs, but in fact ‘opening the door’ for them to be put on the market without the need for any data to be provided to the regulatory authority.

      You write: “My grievance is the selectively biased statements you make to support your reason for holding them to account.”
      Which in particular?

  • richard

    It was never my intent to get involved in a slanging match with you. I am however happy to respond to your posts. Below are some impartial and unbiased reflections from me which may make it clear to you (and allow other readers see) why I feel the way I do about your original post. I have only taken the time to analyse the first three of your points as I neither have the time nor inclination to fully scrutinize and itemize everything you posted. In any case you will see where I am coming from. Yes these are my opinions but at least they are not made from the position of a self confessed activist. I am just someone exercising my right of dissent. Particularly regarding what I see as a blatantly erroneous post coloured by personal bias. Whilst I sympathize with your cause of bringing to task those who misrepresent items they sell, I also believe in fairness, impartiality and perspicuity.

    Claim 1 “Miracle Magnesium Oil™ that comes from the Dead Sea – due to its liquid form – is the best type of Magnesium for intestinal absorption”.
    In your response you say that the claim is false and in part what you say is right. The “magnesium oil” does not come from the dead sea. However you select this part of their promotion as the basis for saying the claim is totally false. You choose to ignore the part of the statement indicating that the liquid form of their product is the best for internal absorption. Perhaps I am missing something here but if the body is not having to dissolve a substance surely the elimination of that process would speed up absorption making it a better alternative. If you want to play semantics, apply the same level of care to your own comments.
    “Inside information” is a polite way of saying I have no source that I can quote. Using your rationale that should mean that you do not use it or make reference to it. I would suggest don’t cite something if you are not in a position to prove it. Ridiculous of me to suggest that? No more ridiculous than your suggestion that others not provide information without fully substantiated references to support it. I agree however that if indeed the magnesium chloride is not sourced from The Dead Sea this organization should not be making the claim.

    Claim 2 “Magnesium chloride from the Dead Sea is superior to magnesium chloride from other sources”.
    You say this claim is false and go on to point out that magnesium chloride flakes are generally made up of a number of minerals. What you say is true but to say the claim is false based on this fact alone is absolutely incorrect. Magnesium chloride flakes do consist of other trace elements but generally the largest percentage of the flakes is pure magnesium chloride. I have read Certificates of authenticity and certificates of analysis on a number of the products marketed as Magnesium Chloride flakes and have seen concentrations ranging from 31% to 37% pure magnesium chloride. I saw no reference that they claimed the magnesium chloride was pure magnesium chloride, just that magnesium chloride from the dead sea is better. Perhaps a COA of the product they use would show it has a higher percentage of pure magnesium chloride than any of the other magnesium chloride flakes available. As you do not say that you have looked at these percentages or attempted any comparison, you can’t definitively say the claim is false. Again if you want to set standards for others to live by you need to ensure you live by at least the same level of standards yourself.

    “Magnesium oil is better absorbed through the skin”.
    You say there is no real evidence to support this. What you say here is not correct. What you should have said is that you choose to disbelieve many reports which would seem to support the claim, preferring instead to selectively rely on reports that advance your position. I am sorry but this response most assuredly does not give you sufficient information for your comment. In fact your response actually identifies that there are studies that appear to support this claim. You simply choose not to accept them. Perhaps you might like to revisit the quote by Thucydides “When a man finds a conclusion agreeable, he accepts it without argument, but when he finds it disagreeable, he will bring against it all the forces of logic and reason.” and “It is as fatal as it is cowardly to blink facts because they are not to our taste.” – John Tyndall. Physicist.

    I include some references below that may be of interest to you or others. As I do not know what you permit in posted responses I understand these may be removed. I do not suggest that these sources give credence to either side of the argument. I merely offer them as food for thought.

    http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/articles/report_on_absorption_of_magnesium_sulfate.pdf
    http://www.cnelm.com/NutritionPractitioner/Issues/Issue_11_1/Articles/7%20Transdermal%20Mg%20revised2.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_deficiency_%28medicine%29
    http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/magnesium_-_treating_a_deficiency
    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/magnesium/magnesiumrefs.html#ref7
    http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/magnesium
    http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=3956

    • Harris

      @Richard
      I do not see this as a slanging match but as part of the process of educating consumers/readers – you are able to state your case and defend it, and vice versa.

      Regarding your examples:
      Claim 1: I have searched for impartial physiological evidence that Miracle Magnesium Oil (magnesium chloride) is better absorbed than other forms of magnesium, and have not found sufficient evidence to convince me. That a substance is in a liquid form does not necessarily result in faster absorption. Aspirin is absorbed through the stomach, in this case yes. Magnesium is absorbed through the small intestine and the time difference between a dissolving tablet and liquid is not large. Furthermore there is a restriction of intestinal permeability to magnesium depending on the dose and whether it is Mg chloride, sulphate, etc.[1] Other parameters play a role too. “Forms of magnesium that dissolve well in liquid are more completely absorbed in the gut than less soluble forms [2,11]. Small studies have found that magnesium in the aspartate, citrate, lactate, and chloride forms is absorbed more completely and is more bioavailable than magnesium oxide and magnesium sulfate” [2]
      Regarding my “Inside information”, this refers to a whistle blower who furnished me with the information and based on the threats against the person, will not reveal my source. But I do have their details and a recording of the conversation. And to be certain that the information was valid, collated the information with other whistle blowers from the same company.

      Claim 2: “Magnesium chloride from the Dead Sea is superior to magnesium chloride from other sources”
      The point is simply that this is a blanket statement without support. There is no evidence that MgCl from the Dead Sea is always superior to other sources. And whether the flakes are 31 or 37% is irrelevant – what is important is the amount being made available to the body and including other associated chemicals, i.e., bioavailability. So back to the point, “magnesium chloride from the dead sea is better” is a claim in order to induce people to purchase the product. So they need to prove it.

      Claim 3:
      “Magnesium oil is better absorbed through the skin”.
      I urge you to supply the reports that confirm or prove that magnesium oil (magnesium chloride) IS absorbed through the skin. I cannot find any, and considering the physiological principles of the skin which allow very few substances to be absorbed through the skin (the skin is a great barrier), it is imperative that one proves this. A lot is known about Mg [3] and although some sites claim that Mg can be absorbed through the skin, the proof is lacking and in particular for MgCl. The report from the Epsom Salt Council is for Mg suphate (Epsom Salts). I wrote to Dr Waring for further clarification on the study wanting to know, in particular, whether the study had been peer-reviewed. No response received. But one cannot automatically translate a study of Mg sulphate to Mg chloride, if one does, then one can similarly claim that oral ingestion of Mg sulphate is as good as Mg Chloride.

      And importantly, is is not for the consumer (or I) to disprove a claim, but for a company to support the claims with evidence. This company was challenged by the ASA to supply evidence in support of their claims and they were unable to.

      It is also important for readers to evaluate your list of references with caution – some are from sites promoting the use of magnesium supplementation – the claims may be true, they may be false. I would caution readers the same for information from Big Pharma websites promoting their products. Your reference to Wikipedia is for magnesium deficiency, not a common problem. The claims for the product is not in support of reversing a magnesium deficiency (valid claims) but for curing or treating a range of conditions: invalid claims for their is no evidence that taking magnesium oil will alleviate or cure those conditions.

      Of course, we could also debate whether supplying references from the chiropractic association, DrMyHill.co.uk, and epsomsaltcouncil.org are worth their weight is salt. Dr Sarah Myhill has been discredited for some of her beliefs (For example, Myhill has claimed that it was known that vaccinations were partly to blame for Gulf War Syndrome (this is untrue), that mumps before puberty is a minor illness (not true), that mercury is a cause of autism (it isn’t)). She was also suspended for a period by the General Medical Council but reinstated with a number of restrictions in place.

      [1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC295344/
      [2] http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
      [3]

  • richard

    Whilst it is always interesting to exchange points of view one must eventually concede that you can never alter the perspective of a zealot with simple reasoning. Quite simply put it would matter not what was put in front of you as you will simply cling to your own viewpoint, disregarding what is patently obvious to others. That is your right. My foray onto your website was as a part of some research I had been doing regardingh magnesium and its impact on the body. None of the other sites caused me to respond as I felt they had displayed impartiality. This included those with positive comments and with negative comments. Your site however stirred me into responding to my first blog site ever. No mean feat I assure you. What I can say is that I certainly do not include your site amongst those I would refer to for objective commentary. I will however use it as an example of how bias can cloud objectivity. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comments.

    • Harris

      @Richard
      Thanks for the debate.
      I had hoped you would supply me with proper evidence that confirm or prove that magnesium oil (magnesium chloride) IS absorbed through the skin.

  • richard

    If I thought you would accept the evidence I provided I would have been happy to do so. I do not believe that it would make any difference. Again I thank you for the responses. Nice to know people actually take the time to read the responses. I guess in this instance we will agree to disagree. Nice to see some passion for what you believe.

    • Harris

      @Richard
      Of course I will look at and evaluate the evidence, but I cannot see/find any “evidence” that you have supplied that magnesium oil IS absorbed through the skin, except an opinion, hence me asking.

  • richard

    The type of study you want to rely on is the type only Big Pharma can afford. Because of the obscene profits they generate on their patented drugs they have been able to create an environment which precludes companies and organizations that do not generate millions (billions)of dollars profit from carrying out. The cost of having drugs approved is so high that most businesses are not in the game. What a great system they have developed, get rid of the competition by pricing them out of the market. Have regulations introduced that support their exclusive group. Impose sanctions on anyone who dares work outside their self serving codes of practice and then attempt to discredit anyone who dares criticise the practices and procedures they have implemented. As a consequence proponents of western medicine rarely criticise for fear of incurring the wrath of Big Pharma.
    Of course inability to afford these exorbitant costs includes every organization in what you describe as the Complementary and Alternative Medicine group.

    I wonder if you have ever considered what other countries think of this term. China has the largest population in the world. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population). If you talk to the Chinese, they consider the branch of medicine of which you are a part to be the Complementart or Alternative Medicine. Strangely enough the fact that the Chinese are not big on western medicine does not have them dieing at early ages or faster than western societies. On the contrary as regards longevity they come in at number 64. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy). South Africa comes in at 159. For additional comparison India (with the second highest world population) come in at 150 and Australia at 10. Once again India is anoher country that has not been quick to embrace western medicine apparently without major impact on their longevity. Yes I understand demographics can have an impact on these figures and yes I am aware that 50% of residents in South Africa are considered to be living in poverty (http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?v=69). I accept this fact can have an impact on and help in part to explain the ranking for life expectancy. (What a shame we are not devoting our energies toward turning that stat around.) I have already listed links to studies which can I believe be reasonably extrapolated to The topic of this discussion. I will give others at the end but as I have already stated you will not accept any of the information contained in them, falling in line instead with the want of Big Pharma to protect their bottom line.
    You head the top of your page with the comment “a critical thinker’s guide to the ins and outs of Complementary and Alternative Medicine”. Well I consider myself a critical thinker also but unlike you I do not restrict it to Complementary and Alternative Medicine. So in pursuit of that endeavour, (critical thinking) I give you the following food for thought. You stated that as I do not live in South Africa I would be unaware “You probably do not know of the deluge of products (complementary medicines) that have become commonplace over the last 12 years in SA – because of the regulator not only failing to regulate CAMs….” This statement begs a critical thinkers concerns. Is it that there has been a deluge of Cam products appearing in South Africa because of poor legislation as you assert and apparently believe? Or is it like every other reason for increased availability of products, it is based on increased demand? From where I sit the market is always driven by demand and never by poor legislation. What you don’t seem to understand or are in denial of, is that there is a large trend away from prescription drugs and a return to a more holistic approach to medicine. People are no longer accepting what medical practitioners tell them as sacrosanct. The internet has given us access to the negative effects of prescription drugs and many critical thinkers are using that resource to make considered and reasoned decisions as to whether they are prepared to take the rarely discussed risks of prescribed drugs. An interesting stat from the US is that prescription drugs taken as directed kill 100,000 Americans a year. That’s one person every five minutes. The following link makes for interesting reading and whilst I know your prsonaal bias will dismiss the contents of the site even you will be hardpressed to deny the resources used and their contents(http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2004). The term “Death by Medication” is now firmly part of our vernacular and fortunately more and more people have become aware of the phenemonon. Below are some additional reading sites regarding this rarely discussed facet of western medicine. Particularly interesting is the Iatrogenesis wiki site which impartially includes both western medecine and alternative medicine as culprits. Hmm, no bias there!!(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iatrogenesis),(http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/05/07/death-by-prescription-drugs-is-a-growing-problem/),(http://www.ahrq.gov/data/hcup/hcupnet.htm).

    OK now lets have a closer look at transdermal absorption. These site discusses transdermal therapies (http://ceaccp.oxfordjournals.org/content/7/5/171.full).
    “The first adhesive transdermal delivery system (TDDS) patch was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1979 (scopolamine patch for motion sickness). Nitroglycerine patches were approved in 1981. This method of delivery became widely recognized when nicotine patches for smoking cessation were introduced in 1991”.
    (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18361538)
    “Transdermal drug administration has a number of advantages compared with the oral route: it avoids gastrointestinal absorption and hepatic first-pass metabolism, minimizes adverse effects arising from peak plasma drug concentrations and improves patient compliance”. Of course critical thinkers will find numerous other sources to allow them to make their own judgement and informed decisions. on the efficacy of transdermal medication. The will also have the ability to rationalize whether transdermal magnesium actually occurs or not. I guess next time they leave their hand in water a little too long they can wonder if the wrinkly effect was as a result of absorption or because the water is sitting on the surface of their skin. A specific clinical study on Magnesium oil that would meet your requirements is not likely to have been conducted however because of the exorbitant costs involved. This comes as close as I think you will get. (http://www.cnelm.com/NutritionPractitioner/Issues/Issue_11_1/Articles/7%20Transdermal%20Mg%20revised2.pdf) Your readers can determine whether they feel it providesdes them with sufficient information. I know you dismiss the results or believe assumptions cant be drawn from it (well in your opinion anyway). I note that you have spent much of your time studying allergies. I wonder if all the ointments, salves, creams and lotions you have used gave clinical trials at the level you like to apply to CAMs?

    Finally It is my opinion that consumers are quite astute when it comes to making decisions about what they spend their hard earned dollars on. Treating them as idiots will generally result in the business treating them so failing. The same can be said of blog sites such as this. What you need to be focussing on is ensuring the legislators take action agaainst organizations if and when they make false claims. Fortunately the average consumer out there is capable of determining good from bad and fact from fiction by themselves. Sites which are happy to view one side of the coin without balance always leave themselves open to being thought of as biased and as such not worthy of much value. Consumers make their own decisions and are rarely wrong.

    • Harris

      @Richard
      Richard writes: “The type of study you want to rely on is the type only Big Pharma can afford.” Considering that globally, the industry is estimated to be worth some $60 billion a year, investing in some research would be minuscule.[1]

      Richard writes: “On the contrary as regards longevity they [Chinese] come in at number 64. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy). South Africa comes in at 159.” India a 150 [2]
      It is pertinent that the top 35 for longevity mostly practice Western Medicine. Is that your point? And South Africa, at a dismal 159, is because it is one of the epicenters of AIDS/HIV. Nothing to do with Western medicine or CAMS.

      Richard writes: “Is it that there has been a deluge of Cam products appearing in South Africa because of poor legislation as you assert and apparently believe?”
      It is because of no legislative oversight. The Minister of Health stated in parliament two years ago that there are now 155,000 unregistered, unregulated CAMs in the South African market. In November 2013 regulations were published which are aimed at curbing these (see elswhere on CamCheck) [3]

      Richard writes: “An interesting stat from the US is that prescription drugs taken as directed kill 100,000 Americans a year.”
      Sort of true, but context is everything! The facts are that the adverse effects are primarily for very potent drugs that are used for very potent diseases, for which there are no decent CAM alternatives, e.g., severe rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, emphysema, cardiac diseases. Patients are given an informed choice: these are the treatment choices, these are the risks, what do you want to do. (And of course, CAMS are not necessarily without side effects: yohimba, comfrey, kava kava, Ma Huang, etc., all with major risks to consumers. ALL products, whether Big Pharma or CAMS, carry a risk.
      And what are the risks or deaths due to Chinese Medicine? No-one knows for the Chinese do not have a drug-safety-alert system in place as in countries where Western medicine is practised, so may be negligible, may be high.

      Richard writes: “. . . lets have a closer look at transdermal absorption” and “[T]his method of delivery became widely recognized when nicotine patches for smoking cessation were introduced in 1991″.”
      The point I was making is not that it is not a well recognised method, but that it is so difficult to get an ingredient to penetrate the skin, that very, very few products are able to implement this method! And because so few ingredients can penetrate the skin, it is imperative that companies prove that their ingredient can before making the claim. Is it possible that magnesium is absorbed through the skin? We do not know, no study has been done. Can we deduce anything from the fact that people swimming in the dead sea have not been hospitalised from magnesium toxicity? Nor really.

      Richard writes: “A specific clinical study on Magnesium oil that would meet your requirements is not likely to have been conducted however because of the exorbitant costs involved.
      Nope, not true. Take 10-20 individuals, measure blood magnesium before applying magnesium oil on the skin, and then measure changes to magnesium in the blood. Cost in the USA? $49.00 per test. [4]

      Richard writes: “Finally It is my opinion that consumers are quite astute when it comes to making decisions about what they spend their hard earned dollars on. Treating them as idiots will generally result in the business treating them so failing.
      Most consumers are not scientifically literate – the wool can be pulled over their eyes. CamCheck is testament to that: consumers claiming they lost weight with a product when the product contained no active ingredients, Celltone whose own study demonstrated that the product has no efficacy, yet the continue to sell the product to “willing buyers”. Damn, in South Africa consumers even had a picket when the government banned a pyramid financial scheme.

      So in summary, this site gives an opposing view, as I have given to your information/misinformation. Readers are welcome to belief you, or believe me, or believe parts of either of us. But they now have two points of view which they would not have had if CamCheck did not offer this. Can Miracle Magnesium Oil treat cancer as they claim in South Africa? I say absolutely not. Readers can believe me (based on the arguments in the postings associated with this ingredient), or not.

      [1] http://www.economist.com/node/18712290
      [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy
      [3] http://www.camcheck.co.za/category/mcc-medicines-control-council/
      [4] http://www.healthtestingcenters.com/magnesium.aspx

  • richard

    Oh and just in case the message was lost amongst the posts of the last few days. I do not sell magnesium oil and I am not part of any Complementary and Alternate Medicine organization. I derive no income from prescription drugs or alternate medicines. I can truly say that none of my income is derived from Big Pharma or CAMs.

  • richard

    Thanks again for your response. You politely refer to my comments as information/misinformation. What I think is a more correct description is information put forward to provide your readers with alternat points of view. Something I personally believe to be lacking in your blog site. What you consider misinformation others may well subscribe to and vice versa. A classic example is your misrepresentation of the impact of aids in the mortality figures in South Africa with a view to giving your point of view additional credibility. “However, the Death Notification Forms Survey of 2010, which estimates a 93% completion rate, shows that out of a total of 543,856 deaths nationwide (Appendix C4), only 18,325 deaths were attributed to HIV/AIDS Diseases (B20-B24, Table 4.5” which by my calculations, equates to approximately 3.37%. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV/AIDS_in_South_Africa. Your comment “And South Africa, at a dismal 159, is because it is one of the epicenters of AIDS/HIV. Nothing to do with Western medicine or CAMS.” merely tries to mitigate the statistic by inferring that a large percentage of the deaths are from HIV/AIDs related illness. Not true. as the figures clearly indicate. Also I did not use the word dismal when I referred to the death rates in SA. That is your choice of terminology.
    You infer that the Death by Medicine statistic relates only to serious illnesses and that the people were all informed of these possible consequences. I wonder if you could provide statistics to substantiate this claim. I ask this question only because had I made the claim you would have asked me for the facts on which I based the statement.

    I came across your web site whilst researching magnesium oil. As a consumer I was looking at sites pointing out the positives as well as the negatives of the product. I reiterate that is what I believe consumers do. Obviously I give them more credit than you. Of course if you acknowledged that consumers were capable of making informed decisions your crusade would lack most of the imperative you apply to the site.
    The beauty of the internet is that consumers are able to research for themselves. They can make informed decisions based on the information available. They can choose to accept or not the information presented from both sides. Fortunately consumer awareness is on the rise and the skills with which they make their decisions are improving exponentially. Critical and reasoned thinking will generally prevail and that is as it should be. Again I thank you for your responses. It is pleasing to see that your passion extends further than just you initial post. I have enjoyed the debate and bookmarked your site in case I ever need to investigate other natural products and need some information on the negative side. Who knows, we may actually aggee on something in the future.

    • Harris

      @Richard
      Richard comments: ““However, the Death Notification Forms Survey of 2010, which estimates a 93% completion rate, shows that out of a total of 543,856 deaths nationwide (Appendix C4), only 18,325 deaths were attributed to HIV/AIDS Diseases (B20-B24, Table 4.5″ which by my calculations, equates to approximately 3.37%.”

      Context is everything: the full paragraph states: “In 2010, an estimated 280,000 South Africans died of HIV/AIDS. .. . it is estimated that between 42% and 47% of all deaths among South Africans were HIV/AIDS deaths..[5] However, the Death Notification Forms Survey of 2010, which estimates a 93% completion rate, shows that out of a total of 543,856 deaths nationwide (Appendix C4), only 18,325 deaths were attributed to HIV/AIDS Diseases (B20-B24, Table 4.5).”

      We know in South Africa that because of the stigma associated with AIDS/HIV, that many deaths are attributed to “pneumonia”, “TB”, etc. Here is a WHO scientific paper that explains this phenonmena: “Yet unlike most other countries with a high burden of HIV/AIDS, South Africa has a national vital registration system that tracks deaths from these causes, although admittedly its coverage is incomplete and its death certification and coding are of questionable quality. For these reasons, the system is not very useful for generating HIV/AIDS statistics. While coverage has steadily improved – it was estimated at 85% in 1996 and 89% in 2000 for adults6 – data quality is still lacking. Death certificate audits have revealed errors in as many as 45% of all records, a situation that hampers cause of death analysis.7–10 Moreover, misclassification of HIV/AIDS deaths occurs for reasons beyond these general quality issues. According to the guidelines given in the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, tenth revision (ICD-10), HIV/AIDS is the underlying cause of death when an HIV-positive individual dies from a co-morbid condition resulting from the HIV infection (codes B20–B24).11 In South Africa, issuers of death certificates seldom know or have access to an individual’s HIV status, and rural community leaders often omit it when they fill out abbreviated certificates. In addition, many people are unwilling to be tested for HIV for fear of stigma or of losing health insurance benefits. These factors, together with concerns regarding the confidentiality of death certificates, result in an underreporting of deaths from HIV/AIDS.” (http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/4/11-086280/en/)

      Which explains these most recent Government stats (2014): Life expectancy in South Africa has increased dramatically over the last decade, mainly thanks to life-saving Aids drugs, a government report says. South Africans are living on average up to 61.2 years compared to 52.2 years nearly 10 years ago, the figures show. (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28592255) (http://beta2.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0302/P03022014.pdf)

      And one of the most pernicious products being sold as CAMS to this vulnerable group are “immunity boosters” – most without a shred of evidence that they have ANY effect on immunity.

  • Leon

    I took part in a cycle race yesterday (Carousel Classic) and as part of the entry pack, i received a free pack consisting of Miracle Magnesium Oil and Sports Gel, with numerous pamphlets/brochures advertising the miraculous benefits of the stuff. What made me immediately suspicious/cynical was the wide range of ailments it claimed to cure – in fact everything short of the Gaza war.

    It seems the giveaway came from Body Detox in Pretoria (Lynnwood). Interesting is the fact they claim in the small print that Platinum Lifestyle (not sure where they fit in) “makes no claim that this product is a cure….”, yet they claim they “MAY” lower blood pressure, cholestrol etc etc…

    I have thrown the samples in the bin.

  • richard

    Thanks for the additional information and your take on how the figures should be interpreted. One thing that you wont get an arguement from me on is that government reporting certainly leaves a lot to be desired. The other is that AIDS/HIV is one of the greatest medical challenges facing the world today. Bearing that in mind and accepting errors in reporting, it still requires a quantum leap of faith to accept estimates of that magnitude over the reported stats. Don’t get me wrong, I am more than willing to acknowledge that aids related deaths would be higher than the almost 4% reported in the stats. Due of course, to the fact that people do not die from aids per-se but rather illnesses which they would normally be able to recover from, not necessarily reported as AIDS related. I was merely using your methodologies in highlighting statistics to make a point. Predictably in this instance (although not your normal approach to statistics)you chose to accept the estimates to make your point. (Not without some justification I acknowledge.) And yes you are perfectly correct in saying “context is everything”. Let me assure you I am in no way trying to minimize the impact of HIV/AIDS not only in South Africa but on the world in general. Thanks again for the debate. It has been interesting.

  • richard

    What a shame you felt it was ok to remove my last post. Perhaps I was overly generous when I said it was pleasing that you were actually airing alternate opinions. Oh well it is your blog. Last thing you want is to have your credibility questioned. Does not change the facts however. Remember people, if someone wants to rely on estimates whilst dismissing the reported statistics you may be justified in questioning their impartiality. Your choice. I know what I think. And yes Harris. Context is everything. Whatever you readers do. Do yourselves a favour and have a look at what else is available out there. You just might be surprised. Dont be lead around by the nose. Do your own research and make your own decisions. Always question one sided and single minded opinion. Likely as not, this post will also be removed.

  • richard

    Understood. Fair comment. Thanks again.
    Leon. the disclaimer on the product is required by law.. it is as a consequence of regulations put in place by the FDA and accepted by local equivalent bodies. As for the claims I have seen many of them and agree that some seem unbelievable. However the benefits of magnesium to your body seem fairly undisputable. Does it cure cancer or aids. I dont think so. Does it assist in getting your body back into balance? I believe it does. When your system is balanced the opportunity for disease taking hold is minimised. Cure no. Preventative? Probably a contributing factor. I do not think Harris is disputing that maintaining appropriate levels of magnesium in your system is good for you. I beleieve his arguement is whether it works transdermally and the fact that many suppliers make unsubstantiated claims. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

    • Harris

      @Richard
      Correct. Taking the right form of magnesium orally for those with a deficiency and symptoms of magnesium deficiency, will benefit. And magnesium does play a role in many illnesses but are “associated” with illnesses but not the cause, and supplementing with magnesium will have no effect on the disease but ameliorate the magnesium deficiency and alleviate some of the consequences of that deficiency – but I stress, will have no effect on that particular disease. The second aspect is that there is no proof that magnesium chloride is absorbed through the skin. Maybe it is, maybe not, but based on an understanding of the physiological parameters allowing absorption through the skin, it is unlikely. If research confirms that magnesium chloride does indeed penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream in a sufficient dose, I would be acknowledge this.

  • richard

    Yes definitely more studies needed to satisfy people such as yourself and others who question the efficacty of transdermal application of “Magnesium Oil”. It is easy to get people to accept a position if they are disposed to that position in the first instance. Equally difficult for those of the opposite persuasion. Here is a link to a small study. Nine people only and using a brand name product (one would assume that if they are paying for the study they are entitled to put their name to it). It seems to indicate that transdermal application of magnesium chloride in the form of magnesium oil (not really an oil) and foot soaks led to an increased in the levels of measurable magnesium in the body of the test subjects. Additionally they support many of their assertions with relevant sources. Product brand aside there seems to be some evidence to indicate transdermal absorption occurs but at widely varying levels from individual to individual. And before you point it out to me, I agree more subjects are needed to give added credibility to the results. http://www.cnelm.com/NutritionPractitioner/Issues/Issue_11_1/Articles/7%20Transdermal%20Mg%20revised2.pdf

  • Lindsay

    Hi

    I saw a popup requesting that I let you know where I have seen Miracle Mg advertising – it is in the latest issue of Natural Medicine. Still alot of questionable claims.

  • dasa

    Aloha from Hawaii !!
    Dear Harris,
    My first question is, “Have you personally tried magnesium oil?. This will be a yes or no answer. I can go on telling you for hours how sweet honey is, but unless you try it you will never know how sweet it is. I have had 2 heart attacks and have been taking 6 different prescription medications for 10 years. I still get chest pain occasionally. Today I started to have significant chest pain and had my nitro bottle in my hand and decided to try magnesium oil under my tongue instead. I did 5 sprays and in less than 20 seconds my chest pain was gone! “WOW WHAT A GREAT PLACEBO EFFECT!!!” And, I did not even get the placebo headache that I usually get when I take nitro. It has been my experience that one of the first things that medical personnel do in treating a heart attack is give a big dose of magnesium chloride. Thanks for your website, it would be real nice if you would step out of the box and be more open. Some of these natural treatments can be helpful.

    • Harris

      @Dasa
      1. There is no guarantee that the product you used is the same as the locally available one
      2. If you believe that this works for you, good for you. You are correct, it could have been a placebo effect, who knows, for one thing I can guarantee readers, is that if you take this product for angina, you are playing dice with your life. I ask that readers use a proven treatment for angina, whether it is big pharma or a CAM or… as long as there is PROOF that it works – not anecdotal belief. And as far as I know, there is no CAM that has been shown to work, for if it did, it will then be called a MEDICINE!

  • Huibrie

    Hi
    I have been using the oil for about a year. My muscle cramps and joint aches became worse the last couple of months and I was feeling sick all the time. A week ago I decided to stop drinking the oil and now I feel so much better, so I decided to look on the internet to see if anybody else had the same experience.

  • dasa

    from Dictionary.com MEDECINE Synonyms Examples Word Origin
    noun
    1.
    any substance or substances used in treating disease or illness; medicament; remedy.
    2.
    the art or science of restoring or preserving health or due physical condition, as by means of drugs, surgical operations or appliances, or manipulations: often divided into medicine proper, surgery, and obstetrics.
    3.
    the art or science of treating disease with drugs or curative substances, as distinguished from surgery and obstetrics.
    4.
    the medical profession.
    5.
    (among North American Indians) any object or practice regarded as having magical powers.
    verb (used with object), medicined, medicining.
    6.
    to administer medicine to.

    • Harris

      @Dasa
      There is a dictionary definition of a medicine, but also a regulatory definition that all have to subscribe to from a legal point of view.

      In South Africa, the legal DEFINITION of a “medicine” (according to Act 101 of 1965):
      any substance or mixture of substances used or purporting to be suitable for use or manufactured or sold for use in-
      (a) the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation, modification or prevention of disease, abnormal physical or mental state or the symptoms thereof in man; or
      (b) restoring, correcting or modifying any somatic or psychic or organic function in man,
      and includes any veterinary medicine.

      At present the South African legal definition of a complementary medicine is this:
      “Complementary medicine” means any substance or mixture of substances that –
      a. Originates from plants, minerals or animals;
      b. Is used or intended to be used for, or manufactured or sold for use in assisting the innate healing power of a human being or animal to mitigate, modify, alleviate or prevent illness or the symptoms thereof or abnormal physical or mental state; and
      c. Is used in accordance with the practice of the professions regulated under the Allied Health Professions Act.
      (which are Ayurveda, Chinese medicine & Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Phytotherapy, Therapeutic aromatherapy, Therapeutic massage therapy, Therapeutic reflexology, Unani-Tibb)

  • Anette Dunn

    Selling the products at the health shop in Kenilworth Centre Cape Town, also distributing the pamphlets there

  • carol

    In die nuutste Huisgenoot (4 September 2014) en die Vrouekeur (5 September 2014) het daar weer volbladsy advertensies van Miracle Magnesium verskyn. Sy maak nou nie woordeliks aanspraak op die wondere wat dit kan verrig nie,maar daar is drie foto’s waar daar duidelik gesinspeel word op waarvoor hierdie middel sal help. ‘n Vrou hou haar kop vas (hoofpyn)’n man hou sy rug vas (rugpyn) ‘n vrou hou haar voet vas,(rumatiek).’n Mens het nou seker nie ‘n geniale IK nodig om te weet waarna dit verwys nie.

  • Leslie

    hi i picked up a flyer in the pharmacy, so i ordered the miracle magnesium oil.But i have not paid yet i went on the website to ead about it first, but came across your webpage.
    please let me know if this is really a scam.and help me find the real thing thanks.

    • Harris

      @Leslie
      Can you tell me which pharmacy? Miracle magnesium oil is a source of magnesium, when taken orally. But as a treatment or prevention of all the conditions they list, nonsense!

  • Leslie

    I need to know how they allow this product in a pharmacy if it is a scam?

    • Harris

      @Leslie
      Great question! The pharmacy also has to survive, so some pharmacies stock even scam products because if you buy it, they still earn from the sale of it. If they complied with the ethics of the Pharmacy Council, they would not stock the product for the claims being made on it.

  • Sharon Offord

    I received a free sample of ‘Magnesium Inflama Spray’ in a cycling race ‘goodie bag’ a while ago. I have also seen ‘miracle magnesium’ products for sale in my local pharmacy.

  • carol

    Alweer volblad advertensies in die Huisgenoot en Vrouekeur. Sy oortref haarself egter in die advertensie in die Brits Pos, plaaslike koerantjie van die dorp Brits in Noord-Wes.Hier beweer sy dit is getoets deur die SABS en word deur dokters aanbeveel.Sy beweer dit werk vir die volgende: Spysvertering, vet verbrander, hardlywigheid, winderigheid, waterretensie, konsentrasie, cholesterol, moegheid, en nierstene.Die foto’s wat geplaas word toon n ‘dokter’ met n stetoskoop om sy nek.

  • Coincidently, I came across ‘Camcheck’ a couple of days ago.
    Being a Medical Doctor myself, I advocate the academic and fact based approach that Camcheck stands for.

    But the column about ‘Miracle Magnesium Oil scam/fraud’ by colleague Dr. Harris Steinman is below standard. Why so careless? It leaves the latest facts and insights into magnesium and human mineral balance totally disregarded. The same goes for the impressing amount of worldwide new evidence.
    It’s trendy to blog and the more output, the more your star rises on the internet. The Google approach.
    But,….this blog behaviour is not the way to represent the academic body of thought and neither is the unnecessary too fierce tone and over-frequent excessive use of shouting capitals and words like 5 times ‘nonsense’ in just a few sentences.

    Just some thoughts I’d like to share with people who like to think,……………

    1. In contrast to Dr. Harris Steinman’s observation, there are many doctors and patients who do use Magnesium Chloride in order to prevent or recover from sinusitis. Successfully. I’m one of them myself. Many of my family members and friends too. As well as many of my colleagues and theirs. The fact that Dr. Harris Steinman is not aware and doesn’t use it himself, is not relevant academically.
    2. Mutatis mutandis goes the same for the use of magnesium chloride in allergic and many other skin conditions. And numerous other medical disorders positively correlated with a lack of magnesium.
    3. Amazingly Dr. Harris Steinman doesn’t mention, or maybe even is not aware that the mineral magnesium is one of the three life essentials (Water, Oxygen, Magnesium) and that modern Western society suffers for a Chronic Latent Magnesium Deficiency (CLMD). It is therefore that magnesium should not be regarded as a medicine. Questioning the exact doses of magnesium, water or oxygen is an astray and below the academic standard.
    4. Dr. Harris Steinman notices that general health practitioners do not prescribe magnesium (yet) and concludes therefore that is nonsense to prescribe magnesium. This way of thinking equals the assumption that we do know it all about medicine right now and that no new insights will show up anymore from now on. Definitively a non-academic approach.
    5. Finally, the concept of transdermal uptake of magnesium chloride is totally rejected.
    Instead of an academic approach cherishing curiosity and aiming for researching how all this world wide evidence might be explained. Here’s an interesting link to a hypothesis that might make sense to elaborate further research on transdermal uptake of magnesium oil: http://www.magnesiumhealthinstitute.com/information_education.htm

    Make sense, no non sense. Think before you write, your audience deserves it and expects you to do your homework thoroughly.
    If appreciated, I will be available with great pleasure to provide you the information you might have been missing.

    Richard Danel, MD

    • Harris

      Readers should note that Dr Richard Danel is not exactly an independent objective health professional. He is Chairman of Magnesium Health Institute ‘that researches the improvement of magnesium balance and the role magnesium has for healthy ageing’.

      I state this not to cast a disparaging eye over his comment but to put it into context.
      His point that the “concept of transdermal uptake of magnesium chloride is totally rejected” is based simply on the premise that very few substances are absorbed through the skin, and if one is going to make a claim that it is, it is absolutely and without any argument required by those making that claim, to prove that it is true. Simple. And the proof has to stand up to peer scrutiny. Simple. So at Dr Danel’s site, he posts “Transdermal resorption of magnesium oil: Hypothesis”. Note, “hypothesis” – which simply means that there is no proof, only a theory/hypothesis that this is possible.

      And if one cares to read my post it does make it absolutely clear that magnesium is essential to life, but that does not give any seller of the product to make the claims to the extent that are being made, without adequate proof.

      So what is the evidence, for example, for magnesium and sinusitis? If one searches PubMed (“PubMed comprises more than 24 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites”) one does not find a single article that confirms this benefit.[1] Is is possible? Of course, anything is possible, but proof needs to be supplied to show that is does occur for until then, it is simply a theory/hypothesis.

      [1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=(magnesium%20AND%20sinusitis)

    • scott

      Love your post Richard, Magnesium helped me with my autonomic dysfunction and is one heck of a good anti inflammatory. I learned of Magnesium oil ( make it myself very cheap ) from a sports medicine doctor ( will not display names ) but am very thankful for the input of real people giving it a shot and finding their own answers.
      hats off to you.

      • Harris

        @Scott
        There is no evidence at all that magnesium chloride (Miracle Magnesium) is a great anti-inflammatory, although research does indicate that the expression of inflammatory mediators such as tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) and nuclear factor κβ (NFκβ) is down regulated. If there was sufficient evidence, even Big Pharma would be advertising magnesium products for this use. However, if one gets cramps during sport as a result of low magnesium, then magnesium chloride may be of benefit.

        • scott

          @Harris, with my extreme low blood pressure due to the spinal cord injury I figured I would give magnesium chloride a shot, tried a lot of other things, midodrine, florineff acetate etc. but they had limited results. taking magnesium blood pressure came up a bit, I go to the bathroom regularly now and have quicker recovery times from dizzy spells. I’m not saying this stuff is a miracle, but it sure is helping. me and a buddy who is a type 2 diabetic split the cost on an 8lb bag of flakes, we both have great results in every way. the stuff is cheap and effective ( if you buy the flakes and make it yourself ). I take 300mg for every 100lbs of body weight and it does help. its not an overnight cure for anything that I know of, other people noticed I am able to do a bit more before I did. science or no science, it’s a real help for a lot of people with all kinds of problems and maybe the medical community should look into its benefits. eg. my problem was not recognised until enough people had it and it became consistent with the complaints of patients that they finally recognised it..as with this, there seems to be a consistency here with the people it is helping

          • Harris

            @Scott
            The medical commmunity have looked at magnesium and acknowledge the benefits for it in specific conditions, where proof of it’s benefits are demonstrated. But these are a narrow range of conditions – not like the wide-range of bull claims that Marcelle du Plessis / Miracle Magnesium make simply for commercial greed.

  • Betty

    Ek is bo 65 jaar, en het artritis -veral in my hande. 2013 was ons met vakansie, en bure het vir my gesê ek moet Miracle Magnesium drink. My pinkie was blou en dik en krom, weggetrek van my ander vingers en baie pynlik. Ek het dadelik begin drink en na SES maande was daar skielik n baie groot verbetering. My vinger se vorm is amper weer normaal, hy kan buig, en ek het weer my ring aangesit. Dit is sleg om te drink, ek het werklik min geglo dat dit sal help, maar dis wonderlik. Nie onmiddellike resultate, maar n reuse verbetering. Ek wonder hoe sou my hande wees as ek dit nie gebruik het nie. Ek drink dit nou n jaar.

    • Harris

      @Betty
      As did ses maande geneem het vir ‘n verbetering, dan was dit nie deur Miracle Magnesium voorgebring nie. Artitis kom en gaan natuurlik, dit kan wel wees dat jy deur hierdie fase gaan.

  • Richard Danel, MD

    I agree with Dr. Harris Steinman´s viewpoint.

    In addition, there’s more to favour that magnesium supplementation might have helped very well to diminish the symptoms of Betty’s artritis.
    Here’s the explanation:
    One must take into account that according to the FDA (Food & Drug Administration), more than 50% of Western civilisation suffers for Chronic Latent Magnesium Deficiency (CLMD, Prof. Dr. Ronald Elin, University of Louisville, USA), due to soil depletion and food processing.
    Artitis is just one of the many disorders that are correlated with magnesium deficiency.
    Like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes type two, just to mention some other examples of diseases that we might encounter during ageing.
    Not caused by the magnesium deficiency per sé, but because of CLMD we are just way more vulnerable to develop such diseases. The magnesium deficiency also enhances symptoms and pain and makes it harder to heal.
    That’s why it is so important to evaluate always the magnesium balance when coping with these kind of complaints.

    Richard Danel, MD

    • Harris

      @Richard
      Could you please supply the reference for your statement that “according to the FDA (Food & Drug Administration), more than 50% of Western civilisation suffers for Chronic Latent Magnesium Deficiency”? It is important for readers to be able to read the source.

      One reference to Prof Elin’s article is this one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20736141

  • Richard Danel, MD

    Amongst others, more information regarding the inadequate magnesium intake and referring articles is to find here: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/9/2879.full

    • Harris

      @Richard
      I am still awaiting the reference for your statement that “according to the FDA (Food & Drug Administration), more than 50% of Western civilisation suffers for Chronic Latent Magnesium Deficiency”

      @Readers
      The link that Richard supplies is dated 2003. There does not appear to be much research subsequent to that date. It is important to appreciate that there is still some debate whether the ‘normal’ level for magnesium has been set correctly, i.e., is too high and therefore assessments of blood levels appear to be low. Also, there is still some controversy whether magnesium is simply associated with, or a cause of certain illnesses and conditions (although proven in some). In the former, giving magnesium will have little to no effect on the condition.
      For example, the role of magnesium in diabetes is stated thus: “The body of evidence from epidemiological studies consistently shows a strong inverse relationship between dietary magnesium intake and the risk of developing T2D (Type2 Diabetes); however, results from clinical trials are scarce and controversial”. (2011 Rodríguez-Morán et al. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22198525)

  • Not only Prof. Dr. Ronald Elin, who is a member of the FDA advisory board published about magnesium metabolism and deficiency and dietary intake:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3282851

    http://www.jle.com/fr/revues/mrh/e-docs/serum_magnesium_a_biomarker_of_cardiovascular_risk_revisited__293464/article.phtml?tab=texte

    Here’s to find another study regarding too low dietary magnesium intake:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12949381/

    Also Torshin and Gromova contributed with their comprehensive book viewing on widely spread magnesium deficiency in modern society.
    Many studies and meta analysis give evidence for the correlation between many diseases and magnesium deficiency, as well as for the need of magnesium supplementation:
    [link deleted as no longer active]

    Richard Danel, MD

    • Harris

      @Richard
      You do not do your cause any favours.
      1. These still do not substantiate the statement you made below.
      2. Two references are dated 1988 and 2003. Why no recent references? The third reference, which is 2012 states unequivocally: “In conclusion, sMg may have some use as a biomarker for cardiovascular risk. If coronary risk is stratified across the concentration range of a key electrolyte, failure to invest research efforts in such cardiovascular fundamentals, . . “. In other words, the jury is still out, “we do not know enough”.

      This is exactly what I have said – there is no overwhelming or robust consensus on this issue. It appears that Prof Elin has not published anything since 2002. Is he still alive? His CV at http://www.jurispro.com/files/documents/doc-1066204532-resume.pdf does not mention of being a member of the FDA advisory board, is the CV not current?

      Here is the most recent published review (2013), which concludes:
      This review highlights areas where magnesium has been shown to improve symptoms of migraine headaches, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebrovascular accident (stroke), hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Although not all researchers have reported improvements or cause-and-effect relationships. there is good evidence to support the positive influence that magnesium has on overall health. More research is required, however, with larger sample sizes to further elucidate magnesium’s effect on health. Longer term, prospective studies using similar amounts and types of magnesium supplementation are also needed to definitively establish a dose–response effect and the best type of magnesium to use“. http://advances.nutrition.org/content/4/3/378S.long

  • Marie van Niekerk

    a retailer is selling this magnesium miracle oil, 3 bottles for less than 1 bottle price. is this because of these claims of fraud?

    • Harris

      @Marie
      This appears to be simply a business decision. The profit on this item is so high, that it is easy to drop the price significantly and still make a very large profit. But it still remains a scam, i.e., making claims that are not justifiable.

  • jim

    Hi Dr Harris.
    You are doing a good job here about this Miracle Magnesium Oil. I just bought two red ones and a blue one-total R500(dis-chem in polokwane. 100ml bottles. What a joke the price is!
    I was after the kalahari salt brand 250ml around R60 a bottle.
    For starters the term “Miracle” should not be allowed and the price is shocking. Clearly i agree with you that this particular brand should be band.
    However…. i have to say you continuously ask other people for their proper research- in particular i think you are looking for a pubmed research-which as you know selectively allows research papers to be published according to what pharmaceutical companies want.
    Anecdotal evidence is evidence and the foundation of gold standard scientific evidence. I can certainly say that i use magnesium oil(not this Miracle stuff) but simply magnesium oil alone. I use it on my clients with fantastic results..anecdotal yes in fact many of them didn’t even know what i was putting in their drinks or on their bodies and still there were results. So no placebo or Nocebo effects 🙂
    It would be a simple paper to take ones Mg content(not from blood tests which are about as useful for pH) before smothering the skin and then after. Normally a simple test like this is not done by pharmeceuticals because the answer is already known :)I do take umbrage with the way you character assasinate the many doctors that champion Mg et al.
    It wasn’t long ago that Doctors, perhaps just like you ridiculed your own for daring to think outside of what they had been told in uni and hospital. I of course am talking about Dr BJ Marshall who discovered H.Pylori as a cause of stomach ulcer..The medical profession then believed that no bacteria could survive in the stomach!? I could go on with the needless suffering and death caused by a medical/scientific community that are 20yrs plus behind and display an enormous amount of ignorance considering the intelligence of Drs.
    I must also ask how much nutrition did you study?
    lets look at the real charlatans and quacks, the medical professions- yearly millions of people die of prescription drug use. How many die from Mg? Or Sodium Bicarbonate- another substance you rubbish. Why aren’t oncologists locked up for mass murder? Over 90% of chemo patients die within 5yrs. In fact anecdotally i can tell you the only chemo patient i have seen survive past 5yrs was one that went to integrative medicine and received numerous IV Vitamin C drips.
    To sum up- don’t throw stones at other people who are “doing no harm” by pushing micronutrients as necessary and in the right doses acting as medicine-because the “orthodox” medical profession is full of murderers and are more and more becoming sales reps for pharmeceuticals.
    Secondly i am very much in favour of MgCl, i know without a doubt that it is taken up by the skin and with DMSO is taken up even better and faster. Really you cannot continue to refute this as medicine uses transdermal patches for things like fentanyl,nitroglycerin and of course nicotine patches.Is it really such a big mental jump to think MgCl can cross transdermally???
    Anyway go get these Miracle Magnesium people..Miracles are reserved for religion, not marketing gimmicks.

    • Harris

      @Jim
      If you read carefully, you will see that I do not favour Big Pharma over CAM, or any treatment over another. I simply argue that one requires good evidence before making any claims. Without evidence, the claims could simply be bogus. And anecdotal evidence is useless. Many years ago doctors believed from ‘anecdotal evidence’ that bleeding people made them better. They were dead wrong – only a study showed this.

      Unfortunately you make a number of unfair illogical jumps. It is true that Dr Marshall made a major discovery, but contrast this with the many other doctors making claims that proved to be false. Because nitroglycerin can be absorbed through the skin does not mean that MgCl can – the great majority of compounds simply do not – there is no evidence that MgCl does, it belongs in the latter category.

      You cannot compare the millions dying from prescription medicines with CAMS, the former are medicines with high risk side effects used for very serious diseases for which no CAMS exist, and for which patients have no other therapeutic choice – either take it and get some relief (with the risk of side effects), or suffer from the condition. And how about the millions of people who suffer cruelly because of taking scam medicines when a better alternative may be available? For example, the most recent advert for this scam claims that it is effective for “relaxing the muscles and therefore lowering blood pressure, relieves cramps, constipation, headaches, asthma, neck spasms and improves peaceful sleep. It also claims that magnesium reduces acid in the body, as well as assists with heartburn, digestion, flatulence, weight-loss, brakes down fat, assists with diabetes, IBS and low blood sugar”. Now consumers could have been taking a much, much, more effective treatment for these conditions than this rubbish. And imagine the danger to patients using this for asthma and high blood pressure and diabetes. These are serious conditions and makes Marcelle du Plessis, the owner of this company, simply a callous, unconscionable person.

      Your example of chemo meds is unfair and in fact ridiculous. There is NO CAM alternative for cancer, if there were effective ones, doctors would be using these. Patients with cancer are given a fully informed choice to make: no treatment, these are your options; take treatment with terrible side effects, and this is a possible outcome. Patients then have to make a fully informed, dreadful decision. At least with chemotherapy, for some conditions a possible cure, in others, maybe a few weeks or months of extra survival. With CAMS, almost certainly death AND a waste of your money.

      Please compare apples with apples and not apples with plastic pears.

  • Jeremy

    My pharmacy in Bredasdorp is selling the product.

    I saw the advert in November 2014 Kuier magazine with a special, I almost purchaced a full year supply because I have a few ailments that it supposedly can cure.

    I was reccomended now to something else.

    Regards

  • jim

    Doc Harris
    Thanks for replying. First i agree with you there are some whacky CAM out there which shouldn’t be. I also don’t like the name “miracle” for any drug. In fact you may find “Miracle Mineral Solution” had to change to “Multiple Mineral Solution” and this may help you re:trading standards and advertising rules.

    {You cannot compare the millions dying from prescription medicines with CAMS, the former are medicines with high risk side effects used for very serious diseases for which no CAMS exist, and for which patients have no other therapeutic choice – either take it and get some relief (with the risk of side effects), or suffer from the condition}

    Sorry i can’t seem to “quote” or bold your paragraph. The above is what you wrote and in fact i CAN compare “orthodox” drugs with CAMS. You don’t want me too because the history and reality of it actually demonstrates that “orthodox”scientifically proven drugs- a standard you say you are looking for-are and have actually seriously harmed and killed multiple millions of people.2-4million Americans a year are severly affected by drugs that are scientifically proven and tested and allowed in the market-150 000 die from the very drugs scientifically proven and tested to help them-exactly what you champion!!?. I list for you the top 5 drugs- Warfarin,Dabigatran,Levofloxacin,Carboplatin and Lisinopril. If i may throw in VIOXX, thalidomide and chantix champix and Zyban to name a very few.
    So yes you cannot compare CAMS to the orthodox medicine you support and agree with their scientific evidence leading up to their release in public. You cannot compare these because your medicines kill and harm hundreds of millions of people and tell me how many people has MgCl killed?????

    I can tell you are the new generation of doctors, you have been taught what the schools want you to learn, your Nutrition knowledge is zero and like most doctors-you are really miffed that all that time spent in training and education was wasted as the cure for most things is taught to us all in Matric or pre-Matric Re:optimum temperature and pH.Also you really don’t know pharmacology and rely on what the drug companies tell you the drugs do. You are willingly or unwillingly simply at best a drugs rep, at worst a drug pusher.
    Before i start on the Magnesium let me also speak about cancer treatment that has been failing for nigh on 50years!! Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is …..madness! That is exactly what orthodox cancer treatment has been doing- yes you are a part of this goliath madness. Poison(chemotherapy), Burn(radiotherapy) Cut(operate)Cancer is not the result of a lack of radiotherapy or chemotherapy, never has been and never will be. For you to also add there is NO CAM ALTERNATIVE FOR CANCER IF THERE WAS DOCTORS WOULD BE USING THEM. Well here is some reading for you- most are Doctors or researchers
    Abram Hoffer,Linus Pauling,Nicholas Gonzalez,Burzynski,Andrew Saul,Max Gerson,Steve Hickey,Hilary Roberts,Thomas Levy. Just by changing the bodies pH,IV vitamin C or Cesium Chloride or DMSO have cured even the most aggressive cancers. There is more than enough documented cases and evidence for interested people to do a scientific study-but nothing is done because there is no profit to be made when an unpatentable substance cures a disease. Simple economics prevents a malaria vaccine from being produced- it is not profitable to sell to poor african and asian populations. If i may throw your mind to the new drugs that Doctors are pushing, statins! There are scientific trials that clearly showed Niacin(vitamin B3) performs better than statins and is 100%safe! When did you last tell a patient to go get some B3 as part of a cholesterol reducing program????
    Anyway you have a lot of other reading to get done.
    Let’s tackle this MgCl and your claim that it does not go in transdermally- MgSO4(epsom salts) in a University of Birmingham 2004 study showed a rise in Mg for people bathing in Epsom Salts, why would MgCl be different?In fact why don’t you prove it DOESN’T get absorbed..
    As for the things it helps, you know it reduces BP, it’s used in A&E to do just that.! You know it helps digestion,heartburn,reflux etc it is a base and therefore marries up with an acid- thus it does reduce acid in the body- it does reduce constipation- you know this, too much Mg causes loose stool.
    In fact you really have picked a loser here, one doesn’t need to be a Doctor to know these basics about Mg. Please be able to identify what an apple and pear are- you are the worryingly science of medicine.
    Perhaps with age you may realise that it is the art of medicine that truly seeks cures.
    In the fragile glass house you are in you shouldn’t be throwing stones- how many people has Mg killed as opposed to the millions your scientifically proven drugs have????????????

    • Harris

      @Jim
      Sorry to have to say that your arguments are illogical and without foundation.

      I need to also point out that the University of Birmingham study has been discredited and never successfully reproduced by other researchers.

      Your claims that, for example, that Mg reduces BP is without any evidence.
      Your claim “just by changing the bodies pH,IV vitamin C or Cesium Chloride or DMSO have cured even the most aggressive cancers” is simply a lie – there is zero evidence that this is true. Readers can check for themselves at PubMed (1) and/or Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (Unbiased, Scientific Clinical Information on Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Therapies) (2)

      In some cancers, there has been no progress. In others, e.g., breast cancer, some forms of leukaemia, etc., there have been major success. Compare this with zero success for CAMS in treating a single type of cancer.

      Readers are welcome to read your reply and my arguments and make up their own mind.

      1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Cesium%20Chloride
      2. https://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/

  • Mary

    For clarity sake, do you discourage use of all transdermal magnesium oil or only the miracle magnesium oil?

    Thank you

    • Harris

      @Mary
      There is zero evidence that either are capable of being absorbed via the skin, and even if were able to, to have any effect on the range of diseases the advertisers’ claim for these ingredients.

  • jim

    @Doc Harris- lets drop the cancer argument as i know i’m right 🙂 You are welcome to consult with me when one of your loved ones are affected- as will happen to all of us- as Modern medicines’ “war on cancer” has proliferated the “disease” from 1/10 to 1/3people acquiring it.(remember the only side effects of these “alternative” (read correct) treatments is.. good health:)

    The natural database link is one i cannot access without a subscription hmmm.
    Pubmed has very interesting data but again picks and chooses what it publishes!!
    For your readers see the shocking mess of how medical literature is manipulated to fit preconceived outcome:normally based on profit margins over health…
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/02/13/publication-bias.aspx

    With regards Mg(again the term Miracle in this instance is too much and should be dropped/changed-the price is horrendous too compared to Dis-chem own brand etc) BUT Mg is and does have many effects on the range of diseases advertised.I noticed you never agreed or denied what i wrote magnesium does… I already mentioned in my last post Mg does reduce blood pressure(in people with high BP-it won’t in people with normal BP) It helps reduce acidity and therefore reflux and loosens stool. It is used in medicine for cardiovascular events/reducing BP in pregnant women. It also helps with asthma-http://www.magnesiumeducation.com/lung-disease this link has all the links-many to PUBMED too 🙂
    Perhaps you and more importantly your readers can see my arguments are NOT illogical nor without foundation. In fact your arguments are illogical,and myopic. You say there is NO evidence that MgCl can be absorbed via the skin. It’s important to know that there is NO evidence to say otherwise,that MgCl CANNOT be absorbed by the skin.
    @Mary- There are clear uses and evidence of Magnesium having profound and life saving effects on humans for a variety of afflictions. What Doc Harris is probably trying to say is will the transdermal dose be high enough to have an effect on the bodies systems.
    From me it is a safe mineral and will “do no harm” unlike patented profitable drugs that are the great pretenders.(i give you calcium channel blockers as an example of profit over health)
    Finally i did flick across Pubmed experiments and immediately noticed that Magnesium Oxide was used(this is the cheapest and most ineffective type of Mg!!!And the dosage was ineffective.
    Remember good readers to critique and analyse these drug sponsored experiments. Many of them use the wrong type of mineral or vitamin and/or the wrong dosage to show that their drug is better than a natural unpatentable product.
    For example if i do a double blind gold standard scientific experiment with 1000 random chosen people to determine if alcohol(red wine 12%alcohol in this case)causes drunkeness …and i only give each participant a daily amount of 25ml divided into 5 doses….what do you think the outcome would be???? Yep-alcohol doesn’t cause people to become drunk as per scientific gold standard experimentation. So my dear learned friend Doc Harris-critique and analyse especially if the source is Pubmed.

    • Harris

      @Jim
      Again your arguments are nonsensical and your references inadequate. For example, mercola.com is a well known site advocating unsubstantiated beliefs and pseudoscience. As for PubMed, it may not contain information from every reputable journal, but most of the information of the “24 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books”, the majority are peer-reviewed and published and utilised by health professionals who practice medicine based on proof and not ‘belief’. You would rather have us belief no study taken up by a reputable data aggregator and rather quote sites that promote magnesium as evidence of benefit, which is simply ludicrous. This is no better than an individual referring me to a Big Pharma website to confirm a claim being made for a drug.

      And your example of alcohol as an experiment at least gave me a good laugh. That is NOT how an experiment would be conducted except by a bad scientist or an idiot (unless the hypothesis they were making was that 25 ml divided into 5 doses would not have any effect in the majority of people).

  • jim

    Another website for readers-DR Carolyn Dean is one of the most knowledgeable people about Magnesium and has written a few books. She is also one of the editors of the world famous
    Orthomolecular Medicine Journal
    http://www.orthomolecular.org
    Let me pre-empt your obvious reply to the above…
    Of course Dr Dean was disciplined and struck of the MD register for ordering tests not in line with current practices and advising diet changes, enemas and strengthening the immune system and treating candida(which 90% of us have too much of)It ended that DR DEAN DID NOT HARM ANY OF HER PATIENTS WITH HER TREATMENT
    Now put drugs prescribed by doctors under the scrutiny Dean went through and 90% of MDs would be struck off for the gross negligence of HARMING/KILLING THEIR PATIENTS BY PRESCRIBING POISON.
    Dr Dean is in the business of treating healthiness. Run of the mill Doctors are taught and treat diseases- they have little/no knowledge about health and how to achieve it.

    • Harris

      @All
      Besides Dr Carolyn Dean being declared being “unfit to practice” and her registration certificate being revoked, looking at her websites and blogs, it is very clear she is a first class quack. I would take her advise with a pinch of salt. Or should that be magnesium?

      And you state that “DR DEAN DID NOT HARM ANY OF HER PATIENTS WITH HER TREATMENT”. This is nonsense. Advocating nonsense for potentially serous conditions and therefore resulting in a delay in appropriate care, or not getting proper care, is a serious offense and no less harmful than giving someone a treatment that is harmful. If I promote magnesium for hypertension and the patient does not get appropriate treatment for this condition, and then has a stroke, I am just as guilty for causing harm.

      The Orthomolecular Medicine Journal has been euphemistically called a ‘controversial’ journal. As beautifully put: “Whether orthomolecular medicine presents viable treatment options for disease or it’s just quackery and snake oil, it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere after more than 40 years in existence.” [1] This journal was started by Dr Hoffer, who felt his beliefs were not being taken seriously, and reputable journals not accepting his theories. As stated by Steven Novella, “Hoffer has had 40 years to do more and more rigorous research, to produce the data that would convince even a skeptical mainstream scientific community that his ideas are correct. If he truly believes that he is right, then this is the path that would help the most patients by changing the standard of care. Rather, he formed his own fringe journal and fringe community where he can brood about the conspiracy of mainstream psychiatry and rail against the dogma of rigorous scientific research.” [2]

      1. http://health.howstuffworks.com/medicine/modern-treatments/orthomolecular-medicine4.htm.
      2. http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/pyroluria-and-orthomolecular-psychiatry/

  • James

    I will not defend Dean and her “miracle” Mag, I happen to think its way over priced, however lets not throw out the baby with the bath water. Epsom salts have been around for decades for good reason, to absorb Magnesium via the largest organ of the human body. Mag Chloride oil is absorbed and works wonders for Afib and other heart conditions. If Dr Harris does not believe this, then maybe we can add some LSD or Opium to this oil and watch him go wild with the non absorbent oils.

    • Harris

      @James
      This is a logical fallacy. Although Epsom salts have been around for long, it has never been proven to be absorbed or having an effect through skin absorption. Taking it orally does result in absorption. Regarding adding LSD or opium is no proof at all! We know from science that nicotine is highly absorbed through the skin. So by adding it to sea sand and putting it on your skin, will result in absorption of nicotine – but not sea sand! Likewise, showing absorption of opium or LSD through the skin will simply show that these two are absorbed, not that magnesium is also absorbed!

  • James

    http://www.mgwater.com/transdermal.shtml
    This is not fallacy, it is factual backed up by double blind studies. Taking it orally results in less absorption than transdermal just like a nicotine patch. Heres my suggestion to you if you want to retain more Mag and put your theory there at the same time. http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Magnesium_Per_Rectum