Welcome to the Afibber’s Forum
Our 18th Year Online!
Moderated by: Shannon Dickson

Afibbers Home Afibbers Forum General Health Forum
Afib Resources Afib Database Vitamin Shop

Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


magnesium tests

Posted by Elizabeth 
magnesium tests
January 16, 2018 02:12PM
I know that most on here believe in the exatest, Dr Brownstein does not:

I happened to run across this article,

Are There Tests to Prove Magnesium Deficiency?
Although "total serum (blood) magnesium testing" and "red and white blood cell magnesium testing" can be used, these tests are not completely accurate as they do not measure the amount of magnesium held in other parts of the body. The most important consideration is that significant depletion in the cell may be present even if the blood test gives a level in the normal range. Magnesium depletion in the cell must be severe before blood tests will show a reduced magnesium level. However, even with this criterion, studies have still shown up to a 65% prevalence of magnesium deficiency.

The option of a "blood ionized magnesium test" involves a very refined procedure and may be considered the most accurate and reliable blood test available. Magnesium ions constitute the physiologically active fraction on magnesium in the body - they are not attached to other substances and are free to join in biochemical body processes. With the blood ionized magnesium test, ion-selective electrodes are used to directly measure the levels of magnesium ions in whole blood, plasma and serum.

Using intracellular testing, typically of cells swabbed from the inside of the mouth, has shown magnesium deficiency in over 90% of persons tested. This kind of testing is known as "the buccal cell smear test". The total mineral levels in the buccal cells correlate with the results from white blood cells and red blood cells. Analysis is performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and elemental X-ray analysis (EXA). Similarly to the red and white blood cell magnesium testing, the only downfall of buccal smear testing is that is doesn't measure active, free magnesium ions.

Re: magnesium tests
January 17, 2018 02:22PM
Liz - Did Dr. Brownstein ever explain why he doesn't believe in the ExaTest? I find it odd because he is otherwise such a well-informed, progressive, forward-thinking physician.

The report you've offered here tells the uniqueness and reliability of ExaTest versus RBC and serum tests. ExaTest was initially tested by NASA astronauts because they needed a small, portable, reliable measure ... as I recall.
There is a thread on the Afibber's forum from 2013 ..in which Shannon offers his experiences and the advantages and reliability of ExaTest for magnesium levels.


Re: magnesium tests
January 17, 2018 08:13PM

But the Buccal smear test does not measure the active, free magnesium ions, so to what extent does that hurt the testing? I would imagine that in a spaceship it would be more awkward to draw blood than to scrape some cells from your mouth.

Dr. Brownstein only said to me that he found the exatest not reliable, to me there was nothing more to say.

Re: magnesium tests
January 19, 2018 04:11PM
Liz - I recall that part of it was the size element for equipment... but the other was that it was totally reliable to help insure health of the astronauts. When I have some time to concentrate, I'll try to get back into the basic science but I'm thinking this is semantics.


Meanwhile, from those post links... Shannon said this:

March 26, 2013

Hi Mike,

In my experience the Exatest is the most reliable and useful measure of IC ions. SErum Potassium is a good marker for adjusting your potassium intake, as is the even more handy Cardymeter, but for Magnesium you cant beat the Exatest for more accurately reflecting your IC Mag status.

Some people have argued that it wasn't helpful for them because they had been taking oral magnesium for a while and still got a low to borderline low Exatest IC mag reading. In my experience, this precisely highlights the value of the test in that it is often very hard to raise IC Magnesium with oral Magnesium alone. Or at least it can take a long time to do so when you were fairly depleted at the outset.

Many Afibbers are, almost by definition, Magnesium wasters and any one on one or more of certain classes of prescription and even some OTC drugs definitely have suppressed magnesium and can need large doses over a long period of time to significantly raise the IC levels.

The Exatest is a great tool to guide when you may need to add IV Myers cocktails with a large dose of Mag Sulfate included as part of a periodic schedule (for me once every two to three weeks at this point) in addition to oral chelated Mag and perhaps with topical Magnesium 'oil' which I use every morning as well.

Even doing 3 grams of IV mag every week and 1.5grams of IM Mag 4 days a week, plus 750mg of Jigsaw Magnesium and Topical Mag sprays or foot soaks, it took me almost four months to get my Exatest Mag to around 36 or so which is still on the low side of average.

In any event, I've found it very useful and for Magnesium in particular, invaluable as a guideline for treatment adjustments too.

Re: magnesium tests
January 22, 2018 05:17AM
This is a good Thread. I have done the ExaTest about 8 times, and although interesting, I actually never made use of all of the Results, with the exception of looking at my Mg levels. I have wondered about the Tests reliability, and was skeptical if it was worth it. This thread puts it into focus better. The biggest thing to monitor is the Mg levels, especially in my case, where I responded well to Mg Supplementation.
Re: magnesium tests
January 22, 2018 08:50AM
AntiFib - It also indicates levels of the other important electrolytes which can influence afib or PACs... that is low potassium or high calcium or high sodium.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login