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Magnesium, with a Z = 12, is an extremely common element in the crust of the earth, but it is never found in nature in the elemental state.  It is the second member, after beryllium, in the alkaline earth series of elements.  It is above calcium in that same group, and has significant biological roles.

As is the general trend for elements on the left hand of periodic table, magnesium is less reactive than calcium, just as beryllium is less reactive than magnesium.  This is due to the fact that elements in the first and second columns have their electrons more tightly bound the higher in the column they appear because of less shielding from other electron shells.

Magnesium has three stable isotopes, 24Mg, 25Mg, and 26Mg at abundances of about 79%, 10%, and 11% respectively.  24Mg is formed in larger stars by the fusion of neon and helium, and so is quite abundant in the universe.  I have not been able to find a good explanation for the formation of 25Mg, but it looks like 26Mg is formed by the decay of 26Al, easily formed in large stars but with a relatively short half life.

As I said earlier, magnesium is very common, making up around 13% by mass of the earth, thus being the most common element after iron, oxygen, and silicon.  As you might guess for such a common element, magnesium is an essential element for life as we know it.  More on that later.

Magnesium was first isolated in 1808 by one of my biggest heroes in chemistry, Sir Humphrey Davy.  He used electricity to decompose a mixture of magnesium oxide and mercuric oxide, then distilling the mercury off from the mixed metals.  Until recently, electrolysis was the primary method of producing metallic magnesium.  This process was taken to a high form of development in the United States, using seawater (or brines from wells rich in magnesium).  Here is how it works:

Seawater, containing about 0.13% of magnesium ions, is treated with the cheap base calcium hydroxide to precipitate magnesium as magnesium hydroxide.  That works because magnesium hydroxide is some five orders of magnitude less soluble than calcium hydroxide, so it is easily separated by settling.  The magnesium hydroxide is washed with clean water to remove soluble impurities that were entrained in the precipitate, then treated with hydrochloric acid to form magnesium chloride.

The magnesium chloride is put into a steel vessel and brought up to a temperature sufficient to melt the material.  Then carbon electrodes are dipped into the melt and a current applied.  Magnesium is formed at the anode (the steel container) and floats to the surface.  Chlorine is liberated at the cathode (the carbon rods) and is captured to be used to make more hydrochloric acid.  From time to time the magnesium is skimmed off and cast into ingots, at a purity of around 0.999.  The US was the leading producer of magnesium from the inception of commercialization in the 1920s, producing almost half of the world supply until as late as 1995.

Now the US has but a single magnesium plant, at the Great Salt Lake in Utah (there is lots of magnesium because the salinity of the lake is much higher than is seawater) and supplies only 7% of the world supply.  Who has the lead now?  China, of course!  China does not use seawater but rather dolomite, a naturally occurring mixture of calcium and magnesium carbonates (think dolomitic limestone).  The process used in China is called the Pidgeon Process.  Here is how it works:

Dolomite is treated to free it of impurities and crushed, then heated strongly to drive away the carbon dioxide, leaving mixed calcium and magnesium oxides.  It it them mixed with ferrocilicon (a cheap source of silicon).  The mixture is heated in retorts under reduced pressure where the magnesium produced distills out and is collected as ether a liquid or a dust, depending on the temperature of collection.  Remember, magnesium is much less reactive than calcium, so it is preferentially formed and the silicon is oxidized to silicon dioxide.  The iron does nothing.  The magnesium is quite pure since it is a distilled product.  

China has lots of high grade dolomite, and labor costs are cheap, so it now provides around 60% of the world supply.  This is another example of the disturbing trend in geopolitics and geoeconomics with basic manufacturing gravitation to China, but this is not intended to be a political piece.

Magnesium is relatively cheap, very light (the lightest of the commonly used sturctural metals), and nontoxic, so it is ideal for lots of uses.  It is never used pure (except for a few niche applications), but is alloyed with, usually, aluminum to make it stronger.  Lots of things are made of such alloys, like wireless telephone cases and the like.  It is also being used more and more as castings in high performance automobile engine blocks, but special alloys are required.  Still, it is so light that it is useful.

Most folks have heard of "mag" wheels for cars, and that was a big use for magnesium/aluminum alloys for a long time, but lots of those wheels had more aluminum than magnesium.  It turns out that small quantities of magnesium alloyed with aluminum has the same effect as small quantities of aluminum alloyed with magnesium:  the alloys are stronger than either of the pure metals.

Aluminum cans have magnesium alloyed with the aluminum, as do most aluminum products.  Aluminum foil is generally not alloyed, but most other aluminum items have some magnesium in them.

One common consumer use of magnesium alloy in the past was as castings for the bodies of Lawn-Boy lawnmowers.  I have had two of them in my life and they were just about indestructible, finally giving them up when the engine was shot.  Alas, now the bodies for these mowers are like most others, stamped steel.

Before we get into the biological role of magnesium, let us consider my favorite use for it:  pyrotechnics.  As many of you know, I was employed in development for many years at Pine Bluff Arsenal (I sometimes wish that I had never left that).  What you may not know was that Pine Bluff Arsenal was specifically commissioned to make incendiary devices during World War II.  Specifically, its original product was a thermate (not a misspelling, I do not mean thermite) bomblets surrounded by a magnesium shell.  The difference betwixt thermate and thermite is that thermite is a stoichiometric mixture of iron oxide and aluminum flake, and thermate adds an extra oxidizer to that mix, for a greater incendiary effect.

When I was developing crowd control materials (the so called "flash bang" grenades), we used magnesium as one of the fuels.  Those were interesting devices, and we had two kinds.  One just had the flash and bang with cardboard as a ballast to make them heavy enough to make their 100 meter desired range, and the other used 0.32 calibre rubber balls as ballast, so it also had a stinging effect upon contact with the body.  I would often be down range so that I could "spot" the impact coordinates of the canisters that we launched, and more than once I have been hit with one of the balls.  They hurt!  I wore eye protection, of course.

The reason for magnesium in the pyrotechnic mix is twofold.  First, magnesium is a"hot" fuel, meaning that it has a high energy output per unit mass, important to get the proper bursting effect.  Second, when magnesium burns it produces a very bright light (with lots of UV, too), so it was important for the flash effect.  The mix that we settled on was incredibly stable and safe to handle (completely unlike traditional flash powders, which are treacherous and can go high order even without confinement).  Our formula would barely burn when subjected to a propane torch flame when unconfined, but with the proper confinement (we used a phenolic impregnated paper tube), it would go high order upon command.

Because of the high light output of burning magnesium, it was used in photographic flash mixtures (the kind that you see in movies where the photographer holds a tray of loose mix) and later in flash bulbs.  We dinosaurs remember flash bulbs (and later the flash cube) that were used until the xenon flash tube replaced them even for amateur photography.  In those devices, the magnesium was in the form of strips of thin foils that burnt almost instantly upon being ignited with an electrical charge.

This ease of ignition (and difficulty in putting it out) make magnesium hazardous to handle, especially in the form of dust or thin strips.  The more massive the magnesium, the more difficult it is to ignite.  Thus, magnesium engine blocks are not really a problem but magnesium powder is a real hazard.  Once ignited, neither water nor carbon dioxide will extinguish it because it abstracts the oxygen from both of those.  An interesting high school laboratory experiment is to fill a large flask with carbon dioxide (usually from reacting marble chips with acid, or sodium bicarbonate with acid), ignite a magnesium ribbon, and drop it in the flask.  It continues to burn until it is all consumed, and the normally bright white magnesium oxide residue is flecked with black dots of carbon.  The only way to put out a magnesium fire is to cut off its oxygen supply physically, by covering it with sand, graphite, or some other material that keeps the air away from it.

I have a friend that had a junk Lawn-Boy lawnmower, and he would use a wood rasp to make magnesium flakes.  He fancied himself a pyro, and in high school he made a mix of magnesium flakes, sulfur, and potassium nitrate.  After school we walked across the street to the then vacant Goldman Hotel where he poured a pile of it onto the concrete.  He kept tossing matches at it to try to get it to ignite, to no avail.  He finally got impatient and struck a match and poked it into the pile.  It immediately produced a fireball around three feet in diameter, burning his hand pretty badly and charring his thumb and index finger nails.  Fortunately, he was not hurt too badly.

There is on the market now an emergency fire starter that consists of a pure magnesium block with a rod of misch metal (the same thing that cigarette lighter "flints" consist) bonded to one of the narrow edges.  To use it, you take a knife and shave thin magnesium pieces onto your tinder, then use the knife to produce a shower of sparks from the misch metal.  Those really work!

Because of the high reactivity of magnesium, it is used as a sacrificial electrode in many applications.  Both gas and electric home water heaters have a magnesium rod inside them to prevent the steel shell from corroding.  Those of you with outboard boat motors know that near the bottom of them there are metal inserts.  Those are magnesium, designed to corrode on contact with water, thus preserving the aluminum motor body.  They are replaceable, so when they are exhausted can be renewed to continue the protection of the motor.

Magnesium has a vast role in biological processes.  It is not possible to say which one is the most important, but here is one that must come pretty close:  magnesium is the metal that makes chlorophyll work.  Here is the structure of chlorophyll a:

Photobucket

Without chlorophyll, life as we know it would not be possible, because it is the pigment that harvests photons (usually from the sun) and uses the energy derived to drive the endoergic (energy costing) reaction that makes glucose from carbon dioxide and water.  Without this, there would be very little life as we know it, because the vast majority of the biomass on our planet derives its nutrition from this process.  As an aside, look how closely chlorophyll resembles heme, the basis of our oxygen carrying molecule:

Photobucket

This is not accidental, because oxygen is a product of photosynthesis.  It is no wonder that the molecules are related.

In human metabolism, magnesium critical.  The archetypical 70 kg person contains around 25 g of magnesium, and that is a lot compared to many other elements that are also important.  Much of that magnesium is in the bone, so we have a reservoir of it for times when magnesium intake is low.

Magnesium is essential for synthesis of nucleic acids, so without it you die.  Hundreds of enzyme systems use magnesium in one way of another, so without it you die.  Your very fundamental energy mediator, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is stored as a magnesium complex.

Magnesium (or rather lack of it) is implicated in many medical conditions, such as fibromyalgia, asthma, PMS, and many other conditions, including osteoporosis.  Most people get enough magnesium, but what is "enough" may not be known very well.  Green vegetables are good sources of dietary magnesium because of the chlorophyll, and so do most nuts and beverages like coffee and tea.  Soft drinks are devoid of it, as are many processed foods.  My diet, although improving, is still not the best so I take a supplement of 400 mg every day.

Quickly, because I am getting close to publication time, there are a number of medical uses for magnesium salts.  The best known is the use of Epsom salts, magnesium sulfate.  It is used as a foot soak (and probably does not do a lot there), as a mild astringent for minor wounds, and as a laxative.  Magnesium works as a laxative because it is not well absorbed by the gut, and so draws water into the gut by osmosis, making the excrement more bulky and fluid.  It is one of less pernicious laxatives.

Magnesium hydroxide is used in small doses as an antacid and in larger doses as a laxative.  It works as an antacid because it reacts with the hydrochloric acid in the stomach to raise the pH, and in larger doses just like Epson salts.

It IS possible to get too much magnesium, usually by using it as a laxative too often.  Milk of magnesia, an aqueous suspension of magnesium hydroxide in water, contains a LOT of magnesium.  Too high a magnesium intake makes a person lethargic, the blood pressure is lowered (sometimes to dangerous levels), and in general nerve function becomes depressed.  My Great Aunt Mary was addicted to Haley's M.O., a preparation of milk of magnesia and mineral oil for laxative purposes.  She would drink a bottle a day, and that is way too much magnesium.  She rarely left her couch except for frequent trips to the toilet.

I have to call it here, because publication time is nigh.  I shall leave it up to my readers to decide if I should add a second installment about the biological role of magnesium.

I used to end this series with a political joke, but at present politics is just not very funny.  I will state that I appreciate all of the input that I get from my readers, and solicit questions, comments, corrections, and other feedback.  I shall stay around as long as comments warrant tonight, so do not be bashful.  Oh, tips and recs are always more than welcome!  Remember, the only stupid question is the one that goes unasked.  I shall also return around 9:00 PM Eastern tomorrow for later comments.

Warmest regards,

Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith

Crossposted at

The Stars Hollow Gazette,

Docudharma, and

firefly-dreaming

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips and recs for (30+ / 0-)

    getting my scientific consulting business off the ground, and for this poor piece?

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:58:20 PM PST

    •  Thanks, everyone! (4+ / 0-)

      This piece is on the Recommended List now, but under pain of banishment I can not, and neither can any of you, reflect it the tags.

      It just rests me merry that my readers chose to take the trouble to hit that extra button to make it so.  And because of the popular demand, next time we will talk about the biological role of magnesium, but I will also give the recipe (not that important) and the procedure (extremely important) to make the perfect pie crust.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:06:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Poor piece, no way. (4+ / 0-)

    Thank you for posting.

  •  Nice diary (8+ / 0-)

    My dad made the best fireworks display once--he looped a long magnesium wire around our aluminum clothesline and lit it. Picture some 500 ft of ignited magnesium, in loops.   I'm sure it was visible for miles!

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:08:09 PM PST

  •  So, what you're saying is the earth is one big (5+ / 0-)

    flash-bang grenade?

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:12:28 PM PST

  •  Checked other on poll, suggest something on drug (3+ / 0-)

    chemistry -- no recipes mind you -- but the science would be interesting.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:18:32 PM PST

    •  I wrote a ten part (3+ / 0-)

      series on drugs of abuse a couple of years ago.  Give me a minute and I will find a link to one of them, they it will be easy for you to find the others.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:20:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here is a link to what I think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Otteray Scribe, Cartoon Peril

        is the final installment in the series.  As I remember, each installment had links to previous ones.  Look here.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

        by Translator on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:25:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Shit, it does not matter. (0+ / 0-)

          I hope that you like this.  I am so so far away from my love that my stomach hurts.

          I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

          by Translator on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:54:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  the power of Dolomite (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, Otteray Scribe

    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” - Dalai Lama XIV (-9.50; -7.03)‽ Warning - some snark above‽

    by annieli on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:18:43 PM PST

  •  Back when I was young, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, defluxion10, greenotron

    control line speed model airplanes were made of all wood.  Then somebody got the idea of making the belly pans out of magnesium.  They were expensive, but strong and lighter than their wood counterparts.  Then problems began to crop up.  Speed models are very light and streamlined, and have to take off on dollies, which drop off as the aircraft becomes airborne.  Now what goes up must come down, and the model lands on its belly, skidding along until it comes to a stop.  Takeoffs have to be from asphalt or concrete, because grass fields cannot be mowed closely enough or flat enough to accommodate the dolly.  Look at the short video below, and the problem with a pure (or mostly pure) magnesium belly pan will become readily apparent when it rubs the ground at close to 200 mph.

    You cannot put out a magnesium fire on a model airplane!

    Modern pans are made of less flammable alloy.  

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:27:56 PM PST

    •  To be honest, I did not see the fire. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe, defluxion10

      What I did see was sort of a bizarre, and humorous combination of a pole dance and a hammerthrow, with a very good Doppler effect in addition.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:40:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This one did not catch on fire. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator, defluxion10

        It is one of the new alloys.  They quit using nearly pure magnesium back in the early 1960s after some really ugly fire episodes.  The other problem was in the workshop.  Castings came rough, and if the modeler got too aggressive with the grinding wheel, it was entirely possible to burn down the shop.

        The purpose of the pole is for making sure there is no cheating in competitions.  Note the little yoke on top.  When the flyer puts his or her hand in that, the judges know the distance from the center of the circle to the centerline of the airplane is exactly 60 or 70 feet, depending on the engine class being flown.  Otherwise timing would be meaningless.  They have to fly ten laps on the yoke for a heat to count.  That way, they get a ten lap average on the speed, and the speed is very easy to calculate, since they know the exact circumference of the circle, thus the distance flown.  

        The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

        by Otteray Scribe on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:05:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You may have noticed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator, defluxion10

        that when the pilot took his hand out of the yoke, you could see it jerk from the centrifugal force.  Do the math.  A model that size, at speed, will feel as if it is a bag of cement.  

        The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

        by Otteray Scribe on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:19:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I really enjoyed this. Thank you. I'm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, walkshills

    teaching my 8th graders chemistry right now, and this was a welcome find, this evening.

    Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

    by bkamr on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:33:00 PM PST

    •  You are welcome to use (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bkamr, Mr Robert

      any and all of this as a teaching aid for your kids.  I keep this series clean, so it is kid friendly, but sometimes we DO discuss adult topics in a scientific manner, like STDs, drug abuse, and so forth.  Please attribute me if you choose to use any material that I provide.

      The former Mrs. Translator is a high school chemistry (not her first calling) teacher, and she often calls me for technical advice.  She also has an irregular, real time feature in her classes called "Call a Chemist" where she calls me to answer questions that her students have.  I would offer that service to you.  If you are interested, send me a Kos message and I would be happy to provide my telephone number for that purpose.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:39:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Science classes where so much more fun (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator

        back in the 1960s.

        I had a teacher who had a 12x12 foot storage room that was chock full of chemicals some of which he would let me take away from school. Things like potassium and magnesium and Potassium permanganate. Cool stuff.

        I don't recall the exact recipes at this point, but I did do some interesting "experiments".

        The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

        by Mr Robert on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:34:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Are there any interesting by-products (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    created from this Pidgeon Process?

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:43:43 PM PST

    •  None of any merit. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shrike, defluxion10

      The iron from the ferrosilicon can be recycled to make more ferrosilicon, the impure silica byproduct is not very useful for anything, and the only other things that remain is the calcium oxide that is contaminated by the iron.  I see where you are going.

      The waste products are not really useful, and have to be disposed of in some way.  That is unlike the electrolytic process, which is pretty clean.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:47:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dammit! Yet ANOTHER Magnesium diary!?! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, Mr Robert

    Just kidding. Looooved it. Thanks for doing all this work.

    Knowing how real things work in the world is always exciting to me.

    I can attest to Magnesium Powder as a wonderful thing, though I do not recommend it for anyone, but they should consult their doctor.

    I've a few friends who've also taken it in powder form (not tablets), just a tablespoon's worth, right before bed. There's a lot of methane atmosphere created the first night or two (ahem), and a day or two of rather amazing cleaning of the intestines. (Stay near a toilet). As effective as a colon cleansing in my case. After a couple of days, it normalizes.

    But the interesting thing to me, why I first tried it, and I don't know that it would be the same for anyone but me and my friends -- was how amazingly alert I feel upon arising. Clear-headed as can be. And usually a good nights sleep.

    Note that the one tablespoon is much less than a container of Milk of Magnesia, so it's a bit safer.

    Thanks again for all the info you put into this, and best of luck on your new venture. If you handle that as well as you write, you'll be jake.


    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:53:33 PM PST

    •  That must be the sulfate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P

      salt.  If you took actual elemental magnesium your stomach would have burst because of the hydrogen.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:57:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They keep telling us people with fibro (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P, Translator

      to supplement with magnesium. I'll be looking eagerly forward to the diary on the biological side of magnesium.

      When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

      by Alexandra Lynch on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:15:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a very close friend (0+ / 0-)

        with your condition, and he and I are trying to figure out how to find a remedy.  Your input will be more than welcome.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

        by Translator on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:24:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  After back surgery I was given (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    magnesium and potassium when they checked my levels during my stay in the hospital.  I can;t remember what they told me as to why, but my husband and I have been taking both magnesium and potassium every day for quite a while. He is on several medications for everything from Ulcerative Colitis, to his heart, and COPD.  And we figure his problem of cramping of his hands and legs and feet is because of something he has been on, and my point here is that when they gave me the supplement in the hospital we decided to have him increase his magnesium and potassium to see if it helped these cramps, and yes it has helped so he continues using the double dosage until he sees the doctors later this year.  He still has some cramping, but not near as bad as it was for him.  He has had the cramping problem for at least 7 years.

    •  More next time about (0+ / 0-)

      how it helps.  I hope that you and yours recover.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:43:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  OT suggestion for a future diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    If you ever get the time would you please write something about the two different kinds of parsley that are commonly found in US supermarkets. I strongly prefer the curly kind over the flat variety and I'm curious about the underlying chemistry.

    As I understand it both types are closely related, so why do they have such a different taste.

    I'm one of those people who wouldn't ever consider using the flat leaf variety even for Mexican dishes.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:11:30 PM PST

  •  I've thought on the problem of Hydrogen for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    Fuel Cell Vehicles for years hoping to become rich yeah right the best one I think to me I came up with almost 15 years ago an it was liquid Ammonia that would be sold like propane is at stores and be broken down to H and N onboard the vehicle(I wrote people but got nowhere an no replies except for one "thank you for writing" with that but seem that idea is out there now) but my latest idea has been Magnesium(or Calcium,thought of Zinc pelletys but it's heavy right up there with Lead an Iron an that also means Zinc-Air Fuel-Cells would be very heavy) pellets about the size of B-B's cause unlike powder they won't clump or ignite anywhere near as easily and they are fed into a reaction tank of Concentrated Hydrochloric Acid producing Hydrogen and Magnesium Chloride (or Calcium Chloride if using Calcium pellets) then to fill up add more pellets and empty the Magnesium Chloride-Hydrochloric Acid mix that goes back to be recycled.Now I've heard of Magnesium-Air Fuel-cells but I believe there are some problems that seem very hard to solve.

  •  I'm very late to the party (0+ / 0-)

    but when you do the biological effects of magnesium diary, can you talk about its effect on heart rhythm? Last year I was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat called afib, or atrial fibrillation, and some people believe magnesium can help restore/regulate the heart's proper electrical rhythm.I've been taking a supplement (in the range of 500 mg/day) and my episodes are milder but not gone.

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