Evidence: Magnesium Deficiency is related to Lyme Disease

When I wrote my book entitled The Top 10 Lyme Disease Treatments, and included a chapter on magnesium deficiency (see the Table of Contents), some people questioned the veracity of my claim that magnesium deficiency is related to Lyme infection. Well, I’ll now share some evidence.

The date is 1997 and the place is Romania, at the Department of Clinical Immunology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy. It was seen that not one, but 3 patients had concurrent magnesium deficiency and Lyme disease, and that furthermore, the patients failed to respond to antibiotics unless magnesium deficiency was addressed first. I’ll let you read the article for yourself:

Full article: http://www.john-libbey-eurotext.fr/en/revues/bio_rech/mrh/e-docs/00/03/FD/D1/article.phtml

Excerpted Key Points:

In June 1997 we had under observation a 26‐year‐old man who came to the hospital for articular pain localized in both knees, cephalea, evening subfebrility starting 10 days before. During this time interval, the patient saw his family doctor who prescribed him oral anti‐inflammatory, antipyretic medication, as well as bed rest. As his general status did not improve, he was referred to the hospital with the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. At the objective examination, performed in the ambulatory service, he was pale, subfebrile, sweating, with discrete splenomegaly. History revealed acute endogenous uveitis, treated with retro bulbar injections with cortisone and atropine. Laboratory examinations showed moderate anemia (Hb ∓ 11.4 g\dl; Hct ∓ 34.4%) and leukocytosis of 9.9 K\ìL. A low serum magnesium concentration was also found ‐‐ 1.21 mEq\L (14.7 mg\L). We confirmed the presence of uveitis and arthritis and proposed the continuation of anti‐inflammatory therapy associated with antibiotherapy for 7 days. After another 10 days, the patient came again, complaining of flu‐like phenomena and having an erythematous area of approximately 6 cm on the anterior face of the thigh, with satellite inguinal adenopathy. The clinical and laboratory aspects were suggestive for Lyme disease (table I and II).

Serum and urine samples were tested using the ELISA technique and LUAT test for Borrelia burgdorferi which proved to be positive: IgM and IgG antibodies to the spirochete were shown in the serum, and in the urine 31 kDa, 34 kDa and 93 kDa proteins of the spirochete. Cephalosporin treatment was immediately initiated and anti‐inflammatory therapy was continued. After 5 days the patient was reevaluated and the evolution was slowly favorable, with the disappearance of the inflammatory erythema, but again he had marked hypomagnesaemia (1.20 mEq\L, 14.6 mg\L) and we decided to administer an oral nutritional Mg therapy (5 mg\kg\day). The evolution was rapidly favorable: in the course of 4 days fever, articular pain, asthenia, adynamia gradually disappeared. Leukocytes decreased to 5800\cmm, and Mg was normalized (1.74 mEq\L).

The patient came for follow‐up after 6 months, then after one year. Clinical manifestations did not reappear. During the period April 2001 ‐‐ January 2003, we had under observation other two cases, in which the presence of both IgM and IgG antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi was serologically confirmed at high titers. In both cases, clinical manifestations were similar: shivering, fever, headache, articular and right hypochondrium pain, and objectively ‐‐ tachycardia and erythema migrans ‐‐ these elements being important for the formulation of Lyme disease suspicion. Borrelia burgdorferi infection can be asymptomatic or have a large spectrum of clinical manifestations, depending on its duration and the organs involved (table I and II) [1‐13]. Humoral tests showed: significantly increased ESR, leukocytosis (> 11 K\ìL) with PMN predominance (> 70%) and with toxic granulations and significant magnesium deficiency (1.20 mEq\L, 1.33 mEq\L, respectively). A specialized laboratory confirmed the presence of both IgM and IgG antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi at high titers (1\80, 1\160, respectively) and intensely positive PCR (for B. Burgdorferi DNA) The second patient had also slightly increased ASAT, ALAT (45, 62, respectively). A large spectrum of antibiotics with both oral and parenteral administration has been so far used in the treatment of Lyme borreliosis [15‐17]. Among the most frequently used are tetracyclines, betalactamides and cephalosporins.

The decision to initiate antibiotic therapy can be difficult because in the majority of the cases acute infection is self‐limited. Since in the first case antibiotic therapy alone did not lead to the expected results, magnesium derivatives were also associated. In both cases, following combined therapy, symptomatology significantly improved at 14 days, and laboratory examinations were restored to normal values after 6‐8 weeks‐‐ disappearance of IgM to B. Burgdorferi and significantly increased magnesemia (1.74 mEq\L, 1.72 mEq\L, respectively). Three more cases have been described in the literature since 1997, in which Lyme disease was associated with magnesium deficiency, according to the data presented by EUCALB (European Union Concerted Action on Lyme Borreliosis) [18]. We believe that in certain diseases, Mg deficiency can cause a decrease in immune response.

The appearance of recurrences, which are frequently reported in the literature, in spite of adequate antibiotic therapy, could represent an argument for this. This is why the use of Mg derivatives in therapy can represent an immunostimulating factor. The peculiarities of the cases are the following: a) patients had in addition to fever, articular pain and erythema migrans, Mg deficiency; b) the supplementation of therapy with Mg derivatives had an immediate beneficial effect that was maintained in time. In conclusion, Borrelia burgdorferi infection can have non‐specific symptoms, but the presence of acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans and multiple migratory erythema facilitates clinical diagnosis.

A certainty diagnosis can only be performed by the detection of Borrelia burgdorferi anti‐antigen Ig and\or evidencing of spirochete DNA. The presence of Mg deficiency causes the appearance of a secondary immunodeficiency syndrome which requires the treatment of the patient not only with large spectrum antibiotics but also with magnesium in order to obtain efficient results in the long term.


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  • http://www.dr-jordan.com Dr. Jordan

    Hello and great effort to put the Magnesium defeciency question out there. I foudn an article recently linking the low magnesium also to the severity of Leptospirosis disease. The paper felt that the Magnesium was defecient due to loss renal pathology ocurring with disease. I find it no co incidence that Lyme antigens can be cross reactive with other diseses like Syphillis, Legionaires, HIV,autoimmunue disease and Leptospirosis. I think what needs to be seriously concidered here is that the “dis ease” state could be patholgoy from antigen collision with immune system and the resulting immunopathology. I think we need to see the dis ease as the coolision of antigens with our dys regulated immune systems…..vaccines transmit antigens, I certainly believe they can be the major vector of these “dis eases”. Becasue many of the diseases, certainly Lyme and Leptospirosis are examples of the fact that the antigen for the disease used in vaccines are able to create the disease, no infective agents necessary. This is why the vaccines for these diseases are able to produce the same patholgoy as a much less likly true natural infection.Cross reactivity is established and what our immune systems suffer from vaccine administration, begs the question……what has gotten under your skin. I bet not always the Borelia! I bet that even the flu vaccine is capable of dysregulating our immune systems and result in pathology that is being MISDIAGNOSED. SInce antigens can spur serology results……how can you know what is “real” infection and not the results of antigen molecular mimicry injection? You can not. Even in the presence of a real Borelia organism….you have to rule out that this is the difinitive problem. The mistunement of our immune systems from vaccines are creating super antigen responses and are the true epidemic we are suffering, both in animals and in humans. http://www.dr-jordan.com

  • http://www.nutritionalmagnesium.org Boris

    In support of your article, Carolyn Dean, MD, ND and author of 16 books including The Yeast Connection and Women’s Health, IBS for Dummies and The Magnesium Miracle. and the Medical Direcor for the Nutritional Magnesium Association. http://www.nutritionalmagnesium.org has this additional information to share that I thought you and your readers may find useful.

    “Lyme patients have many different symptoms that must be addressed.

    1.Alternating constipation and diarrhea: Treatment: Psyllium seed

    2. Yeast overgrowth: Treatment: Garlic, caprylic acid, probiotics

    3. Lyme and yeast toxins: Treatment: Bentonite clay

    4. Lyme and yeast: Treatment: hydrosol silver

    5. Magnesium

    “A little known fact is that many Lyme disease patients experience symptoms that mimic magnesium deficiency. In 2003, a case report of magnesium deficiency with Lyme disease was reported in the Magnesium Research journal.


    “Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps and weakness, pain, fatigue and insomnia, confusion, heart problems and stress intolerance. Magnesium plays a very important role in energy production. It also helps eliminate yeast toxins that are common in Lyme patients because of the heavy use of antibiotics for the condition.

    “One of the most absorbable forms of nutritional magnesium is magnesium citrate powder which can be taken with hot or cold water.”

  • Catherine

    10 months ago I got bit by deer ticks/nymphs whilst running. I could hear my knee grinding when I walked upstairs, my hands, feet, arms went numb, esp. when awakening, I cry alot for no reason, like during sleep, dreaming and when I get over emotional for no real reason. I feel depressed, tired. I have been refered to a rheumatologist and I know I have lymes. But what should I do… I caught it like months ago, I will nt be believed, my doctor is old. I get nerve pinch pain, burning legs, burning feet. Hair mineral test showed low magnesium.

  • Ranger

    Please get yourself to a Lyme doctor no matter what it takes. The sooner you start treatment the soon you can heal this insidious disease. I would highly suggest getting the Igenex tests. [I had 4 “poor” low quality lab test that delayed my treatment 4 years. ] Then the Igenex test revealed that I’m dealing with a serious problem. Please get the test and the doctor no matter what it takes (beg, borrow or steal) it’s a very serious condition. I see that your post is from 5 years ago, Did you ever get treated???
    Take care,