Magnesium therapy found to benefit asthmatics

Late last December one of my posts focused on an experience a family member of mine had had with magnesium. He had suffered from long-standing intermittent epigastric pain (pain felt in the middle of the abdomen just beneath the ribs), and I wondered whether his problem may be a condition known as ‘oesophageal spasm’. Because magnesium tends to work for things in ‘spasm’, I suggested magnesium. He got more-or-less instant relief, and he remains symptom free to this day.

Because magnesium tends to help things that are related to muscular spasm, I’ve found it generally useful for a range of problems such as leg cramping, ‘irritable bladder’ and migraine. Another condition that might, in theory, respond to magnesium therapy is asthma. Asthma is, essentially, a condition characterised by constriction in the airways in the lungs. It can lead to restricted breathing (especially exhalation), wheezing and breathlessness. The condition can be debilitating and can even prove fatal.

Constriction in the airways can be due, at least in part, due to constriction in the muscles that can be found in lining all but the smallest airways in the lungs. Because magnesium effectively relaxes muscle, there is the possibility that increasing magnesium levels will reduce airway constriction and help relieve asthma.

Magnesium therapy was tried in a study published recently in the Journal of Asthma [1]. In it, 55 adults with mild-moderate asthma were treated with magnesium (170 mg, twice a day) or placebo over a period of 6.5 months. Individuals had their lung function tested using peak expiratory flow (the maximum speed air can be expelled from the lungs) as well as something known as the methacholine challenge test. Metacholine causes constriction of airways. In this test, subjects breath in metacholine and the dose of this drug required to induce constriction in the airways. The higher the dose of metacholine required, the less ‘reactive’ the airways would be judged to be.

Compared to those taking placebo, those taking magnesium saw significant improvement in both their peak expiratory flow rate and metacholine challenge results.

In addition, the participants in this study underwent subjective measures of the state of their asthma, in the form of what are known as asthma quality of life and asthma control questionnaires. Asthma quality of life scores improved significantly in the magnesium-taking group compared to those taking placebo. Asthma control scores also improved in those taking magnesium, though this was of borderline statistical significance.

Taking these results as a whole, what they show is that asthmatics taking magnesium saw significant improvement in both subjective and objective measures of their disease activity.


1. Kazaks AG, et al. Effect of oral magnesium supplementation on measures of airway resistance and subjective assessment of asthma control and quality of life in men and women with mild to moderate asthma: a randomized placebo controlled trial. J Asthma 2010;47(1):83-92.

, , ,

10 Responses to Magnesium therapy found to benefit asthmatics

  1. Miriam 29 January 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    I’d read that magnesium is helpful for mitral valve prolapse and I’ve been taking it for that reason, but now I’m confused as I understood that it’s caused by the valve being too floppy and wouldn’t a muscle relaxant exacerbate that?

  2. Dr John Briffa 29 January 2010 at 12:41 pm #


    Magnesium deficiency can be a feature in mitral valve prolapse, and indeed magnesium supplementation may help this condition. Exactly how magnesium may help this condition I do not know.

  3. Bill 29 January 2010 at 1:55 pm #


    I have more or less cured myself of asthma (albeit it was always fairly mild) through using Buteyko method techniques (

    I have not employed the services of an expensive therapist but just used information on the Internet e.g. YouTube. There are a number of books about the method too.

    I think supplements can have their place but human beings are not born with one hand in the vitamin jar, so to speak.

    Best regards


  4. Craig Burton 31 January 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    Magnesium’s role as a relaxant is excellent but I think its value in terms of creating optimal health is hugely underated eg. it’s involved in over two hundred different enzyme systems that control our metabolism. I have personally been looking a lot into the therapeutic use of magnesium chloride and think that the type of magnesium can also make a big difference in the results. Check out the work of French surgeon, Prof. Pierre Delbet MD, Dr. A. Neveu, Dr Vergini, plus Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD who is behind the International Medical Veritas Association

  5. Sue 1 February 2010 at 5:03 am #

    Miriam, re mitral valve prolapse and Mg:

  6. Richard Friedel 21 December 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    A relevant but strangely ignored or not generally known fact about asthma and breathing troubles is that the change between weak (asthmatic) and strong (healthy) breathing is dependent on abdominal muscle tension. Slackening the muscles here causes abysmally weak and asthmatic breathing. Instead of describing an asthma attack as being like breathing through a straw (57,00 Google hits), attempting to breathe vigorously with relaxed abdominal muscles provides a more genuine illustrative example. Training the muscles, for example by “abdominal hollowing” (see Web articles) produces an antiasthmatic effect. Abdominal muscle tension plays a prominent part in Asian martial arts.

    So it is fair to assume that there is a natural breathing spectrum with an asthmatic tendency at one end and Ku Fu or Karate breathing at the other end. For a few words on the Japanese version of Asian breathing see

    I personally tend to breathe asthmatically after an evening meal or in pollen-laden air. Breathing powerfully into my lower abdomen with tensed muscles provides an effective cure for me. But then I’ve always been sceptical about medical wisdom on asthma: such a paradoxical and doctor-baffling increase in the last 40 years with modern, merely symptomatic inhalers. Respectfully, Richard Friedel

  7. The Magnesium Man 7 January 2011 at 3:06 am #

    Magnesium truly is the body’s “master mineral.” Without it, so many other minerals cannot be properly used in the body.

    Most people have a hard time with taking oral magnesium supplements and don’t get the results their body needs.

    I was fortunate enough to come across “Transdermal Magnesium” or better know to me now as “Magnesium Oil.”

    Magnesium Oil is simply a magnesium rich mineral solution that has been sourced from some body of salt water.

    Since the minerals in sea water are constantly being subjected to sunlight, it in turn makes the minerals ionic (ready for the body to use).

    It is as simple as spraying the solution on your skin and the body absorbs it directly into the cell. No digesting needed!!

    There are some concerns to be aware of however. Where are they sourcing their raw materials from? Is it clean of pollution and heavy metals?

    I have researched about every brand out there and a lot of them can be misleading.

    My favorite, by far, is Magnesoothe! They can be found at They handle there product in the very best manor from start to finish. They have the most helpful customer service. And their source goes unsurpassed!

    Their source is the Dead Sea and there is no other body of salt water like it on the face of the planet! You can read more on the Dead Sea here at

    If you want to know more on the purity of Magnesoothe, you can read that here at

    I hope that my 2 cent will be helpful to someone.

    Best of Health!
    The Magnesium Man

  8. fernando venegas gomez 21 November 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    tiene que ber el cloruro de magnesio con lem energia molecular homeopatica


  1. Magnesium Therapy Helps Asthmatics - 29 January 2010

    […] read more … Posted in magnesium | Tags: asthma […]

  2. Magnesium therapy found to benefit asthmatics | Dr Briffa's Blog | Health News - 29 January 2010

    […] here: Magnesium therapy found to benefit asthmatics | Dr Briffa's Blog Share and […]

Leave a Reply