Is Magnesium Citrate Neurotoxic?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lisa88, Nov 25, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I have read from a lot of people on Tinnitus Talk that they are taking Magnesium Citrate. I was too, for years actually.
      But also have recently read that Citrate as a form of citric acid, creates glutamic acid/MSG. This therefore raises glutamate in the brain which causes excitatory neurotransmitter action (i.e. t) and/or damage to nerve fibers.
      http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html
      Anybody have any information on this? I would like to go back to my magnesium and calcium citrate supplements.
      IS CITRATE IN FACT NEUROTOXIC/BAD FOR T?
       
    2. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Lisa somebody here mentioned this while back, that's why I stopped taking it.
      Sorry I can't find that info anywhere.
      This is just getting more and more confusing, one day something's good another day it's not:)
      Hope someone else knows more.
       
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    3. hmmm interesting. .Ive been taking it for years..
       
    4. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      No way
       
    5. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      Absolutely not. Our bodies naturally create citrate during the "Citric acid cycle" or as it is sometimes called, "the Krebs cycle". Without it, simply put, we'd die. Because it's a vital step in cell respiration. So put another way: nearly every single cell in you body creates citrate with a few exceptions.

      So if citrate causes T, then every single person would have it.
       
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    6. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
    7. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Seems I would have to find a pharmacist who specializes in neurology to get some hard answers. Not easy to find :)
       
    8. hoper
      Happy

      hoper Member

      Location:
      AUSTRIA
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      i take magnesium too.
      i thought it is relaxing to the nerves and the tinnitus gets lower...

      :bag:
       
    9. Katkin

      Katkin Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2013
      I personally prefer to go down the natural route. Some foods are naturally high in magnesium, e.g. walnuts and bananas, so I eat about four walnuts and one banana a day. I did buy a tub of magnesium tablets, but when I read the ingredients I decided to give them a swerve! I've come to the conclusion that if I eat the right balance of whole, unprocessed foods I stand a good chance of getting adequate nutrients without overdosing. I'm also trying to avoid foods containing artificial MSG, but as I like my biscuits and cakes and chocolate, this isn't easy for me!! I have stocked up on baking ingredients with the good intensions of baking my own, but it's not easy finding the time and inclination after a busy day when you just want to sit and chill and watch Emmerdale and Coronation Street!! - oh I need more discipline !
       
    10. Katkin

      Katkin Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2013

      Hi MattK, I think perhaps that whilst the body produces citrate, this is a natural process that the body has evolved with and the level of citrate produced is vital to its functioning, without causing any adverse effects. However, when it is introduced via an unnatural route in an unnatural concentration, perhaps the body's chemical balance is disturbed. Just as salt is present in the blood (0.9% saline), but eating too much salt, in unnatural concentrations added to food, can be harmful. I am no expert, but it makes sense to me. What do you think?
       
    11. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
    12. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Note, we are talking about the "citrate" part. Magnesium itself seems to help many on this board.
       
    13. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      @Dr. Nagler you suggest that supplements are dangerous, but do you have any figures for how many people are harmed by them compared to those harmed by (regulated) conventional medicine? Iatrogenic illness is massive (google it folks; Wikipedia says that ''In the United States an estimated 225,000 deaths per year have iatrogenic causes, with only heart disease and cancer causing more deaths"). Any intervention carries some risk, even supplements, but in my experience of many years taking supplements and many years consulting doctors, I would definitely say the doctors have done me more harm.

      From what I have read about magnesium, our food contains much less of it than it did historically, and it is fairly essential to our bodies. I seem to remember reading that in some cases the onset of tinnitus can be linked to a deficiency of magnesium. In one of the papers published by the German neuromodulation chap Dr Tass I think he induced tinnitus like behaviour in cells by depriving them of magnesium. I am unfortunately not able to track down the reference for that at the moment, but if you want it can probably find it tonight.

      If our food is lacking in magnesium and our bodies need it then supplementation makes a degree of sense, although of course the matter is complicated because of the difficulty of absorption. I know your time is limited because you are so busy, but your blanket rejection of supplementation does not address the complexities of that situation

      In another thread where we crossed (s)words you mentioned the politics of your involvement in the forum and how people often pay more attention to your advice than they would to others because you are a doctor. Sometimes though I personally feel confused when reading your opinions about whether you are drawing on your medical training and specific areas of expertise or whether you are simply expressing a personal opinion or preconception little different to that of a layman. In this case you mention a book, but since there are also many books recommending supplements it seems to me that the educated and responsible approach would be to acknowledge the degree of disagreement.

      I apologise if me saying this seems disrespectful. I am only writing this because I do respect you but it is something I have thought many times on reading your posts, and because I care about the nature of the information people get from the forum.
       
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    14. sandra72

      sandra72 Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      may 2014
      In what kind of food contains MSG? I am using now magnesium citrate powder. Is it ok?
       
    15. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      I care about the quality of information people get from the forum as well. That's why I strongly suggest that you read Do You Believe in Magic: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine by Dr. Paul Offit - so you can make up your own mind!

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    16. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      Well, Dr. Nagler I guess I really ought to read that book after writing what I did. Maybe I'll add it to my list. I do doubt though that any one book, however brilliant, will ever be able to tell the whole story because that is just the nature of books, human beings & reality. And I guess that is the crux of why I have challenged things you have written a few times now. I am just inherently uncomfortable with strongly worded statements that deny the complexity of an issue or the validity of alternative viewpoints (eg. "But I do have the answer. The answer is DON'T TAKE SUPPLEMENTS.") In my view such certainty can only be achieved on such a broad and complex subject by taking a somewhat blinkered view that sits uncomfortably with the respect the words of a doctor otherwise command.

      That is only my personal viewpoint though and I offer it in a spirit of friendship and cooperation.
       
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    17. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      A "somewhat blinkered view?" I understand completely. Se here's the thing. I used to take supplements. So did my wife. It was only after we did the research that we took our blinkers off and stopped taking supplements.

      The Offit book is well-balanced. It looks at sense as well as nonsense, and I believe it would be an excellent place to start your own research!

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    18. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      When you say 'sense as well as nonsense' do you mean that the book finds valid reasons to take supplements as well as ones not too?

      I did do some research on magnesium last year and believe there is some valid science supporting its relevance to tinnitus and hearing loss.

      Again, @Dr. Nagler I apologise if my words above caused offence. I am only trying to explain my response to some things that you post - which often seem designed to attract controversy.
       
    19. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Yes. That's why I referrred to it as well-balanced.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    20. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      OK thanks. So the opinion of Dr Offit differs from your own strongly worded advice to not take supplements?
       
    21. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      I cannot speak to Dr. Offit's opinion. I can only speak to mine.

      I hope you will do the research and draw your own conclusions.

      I am going to leave this thread now. I cannot make my point any more clear.

      Best to all -

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    22. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      The best to you Dr. Nagler.
       
    23. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      This article does not say that Magnesium Citrate is bad, in and of, itself. It says, " Magnesium citrate can also contain aspartate and glutamate in its citrate component -according to Jack Samuels, President of the Truth in Labeling Campaign, “ . . . the magnesium has been chelated with citric acid. Most of the citric acid used in this country is made from corn. Producers of corn based citric acid do not take the time nor undertake the expense to remove all protein from the product. During production, the remaining protein is broken down, resulting in some glutamic acid and some aspartic acid”. "

      In other words, the reason Magnesium Citrate is questionable isn't because of any inherent neurotoxicity with Citrate, but rather that producers of Magnesium Citrate may not take the time to remove the protein from the corn (which is the source of the Citric Acid) which may result in glutamic and apartic acid. Put another way: it's the glutamic acid and apartic acid that is supposedly bad for you, not the Citrate. If Magnesium Citrate were made in such a way that all glutamic and aspartic acid were removed, then there wouldn't be any issue at all. I guess another option is to find a manufacturer that provides Magnesium Citrate from a non-corn source.
       
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    24. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      Katkin, that's a really good thought, but one that we don't have to go to. Because the article @Lisa88 provided doesn't say that magnesium citrate is bad for you. Rather it says that glutamic acid and apartic acid are bad. And since most citrate is derived from corn and producers don't take the time to fully remove the proteins that break down into glutamic acid and aspartic acid, the magnesium citrate may contain trace amounts of these supposedly neurotoxic acids. Theoretically, if magnesium citrate were just magnesium citrate, then there wouldn't be an issue at all.
       
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    25. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks @MattK
      Duly noted.
      But there is still no way to know how the citrate is in fact formulated for any given brand. Hoping the one I want to start taking again "Now" brand (very popular in US) does not support this neglectful formulation. Sigh. Seems we have to be brain researchers and pharmacists to even start getting any real answers.
      I would say that the majority of those taking magnesium for t take it in the form of magnesium citrate, as it seems to be the most available in the "absorbable" magnesium supplements.
      I have heard that magnesium glycinate, taurate and choride are the other absorbable choices, but not so readily available.
       
    26. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      My only suggestion would be to contact the manufacturer to see if they can provide this information. Otherwise, use a different form of magnesium that may not be as good, but still good.
       
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    27. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I don't know if citrate from supplements are excitotoxic or not, but I've been taking magnesium citrate for almost a year and it has helped massively with my sleep and keeps my anxiety under control. In fact after almost a year of taking the mag citrate I decided to stop for a few days after reading this thread, felt a lot more anxious, last night my tinnitus was absolutely screaming! Loudest I have ever heard it, it felt like my head was shaking with noise, awake to 4 in the morning, I finally took a magnesium supplement and within an hour the tinnitus died down and was able to sleep.

      Is it possible because I've taken magnesium for so long that when I stopped it had a rebound effect on the brain causing hyperactivity and sending my tinnitus nuts?
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    28. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      @mick1987 read my posts. The citrate form itself is fine. And if it seems to be helping you and can even make your tinnitus quieter then definitely take it.

      I just also wanted to say that often conventional medicine minded people tend to have a bit of a double standard with supplements. They discourage their use and like to point out potential health risks. But fact is people die every single year from taking prescription medication. And how many people here on this forum have claimed they've got tinnitus from conventional meds?

      But yet, supplements are somehow vilified.

      And most conventional docs have studied next to nothing about supplements or nutrition. Asking your general doc about nutrition or supplements may seem like a no brainer when in fact, he often won't know any more about it than you do.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    29. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      OK so for anyone interested I contacted both "Health plus" and "Solgar" vitamin companies to enquire into what manufacturing processes go into making the "citrate" part of magnesium citrate and had to wait awhile to hear back from both companies.

      Both companies eventually emailed me back and apparently neither health plus nor solgar vitamin companies use citrate from corn sources.

      If both products that contain citrate are from non corn sources then there shouldn't be any problems with free glutamic acid. :)
       
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    30. OddV
      Assassinator

      OddV Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      The same Dr. Paul Offit who is on record stating that a baby can handle as many as 10,000 vaccines during infancy?
       

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