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Does Magnesium Help ADHD & Autism Symptoms? [Infographic]

Magnesium-Deficiency Signs, Effects, Food Sources

Millions suffer daily from not having enough magnesium and they aren’t even aware of it.

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals necessary for human survival, serving hundreds of functions within our cells.

Magnesium builds and strengthens our bones, relaxes our muscles, transmits nerve signals, contributes to a healthy immune response, produces enzymes responsible for energy, regulates blood pressure and essential vitamins and minerals in our body.

The problem is… many of us aren’t getting enough and our food choices, drug dependency and stress is stripping our bodies of this much needed nutrient.

Since most of the foods on the grocery shelves are highly processed, the nutrients and essential minerals, like magnesium, are being depleted. The phosphates in soda pop, for instance, bind magnesium making it unusable. Foods high in saturated fat reduce magnesium absorption in your intestines and a diet high in sugar basically tells your kidneys to excrete more magnesium from your body.

If your diet contains white sugar, white bread, white rice or other processed foods – you are most likely deficient in magnesium.

Aging, stress and sickness all lead to magnesium deficiency as well as drinking too much alcohol or taking prescription/over the counter drugs. Antibiotics, birth control pills, asthma medication and diuretics are just a few examples of the types of drugs that rid your body of magnesium.

Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD, DM, a Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine,  is an author of many health-related books based on medical science and long years of clinical experience. In his article, Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms and Diagnosis, he expresses his feelings on this topic - 

Because magnesium deficiency is largely overlooked, millions of Americans suffer needlessly or are having their symptoms treated with expensive drugs when they could be cured with magnesium supplementation. Modern medicine is supposed to help people not hurt them but with their almost total ignorance of magnesium doctors end up hurting more than they help for many of the medical interventions drive down magnesium levels when they should be driving them up. Many if not most pharmaceutical drugs drive magnesium levels into very dangerous zones and surgery done without increasing magnesium levels is much more dangerous then surgery done with. The foundation of medical arrogance is actually medical ignorance and the only reason ignorance and arrogance rule the playing field of medicine is a greed lust for power and money. Human nature seems to be at its worst in modern medicine when it should be at its best.

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How Magnesium May Help ADHD& Autism Symptoms

Our bodies are not absorbing the nutrients they need even when they are present in the gut. If we don’t have a healthy gut flora the nutrients we should be getting from healthy food choices will not absorb properly. Absorption of nutrients depends largely on intestinal health, which seems to be a big problem with the majority of Autism Syndrome and ADHD.

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These days, millions of children are being diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADHD) or Autism Syndrome Disorder (ASD) due to symptoms that mimic magnesium and vitamin B6 deficiency.

(See this article on Natural Ways to Manage ADD & ADHD Symptoms)

If your child experiences impaired communication, social difficulties, restlessness, tantrums, can’t keep still, constant body rocking, grinding teeth, hiccuping, noise sensitivity, poor attention span, poor concentration, irritability, aggressiveness, ready to explode and easily stressed… you may want to consider feeding him more magnesium rich foods or have him take a  magnesium supplement, as these are some symptoms of Mg deficiency. In many studies, vitamin B6 was needed along with magnesium to see improvement.

(Of course, it’s best to  find a naturopath or talk to your doctor first)

It seems like doctors are quick to diagnose kids with ADHD or Autism when they experience symptoms that may simply stem from a variety of nutrient deficiencies. Isn’t  it ironic that a child with a magnesium deficiency may act an awful lot like a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD or Autism?

The University of Maryland Medical Center points out –

Some experts believe that children with ADHD may be showing the effects of mild magnesium deficiency. In one preliminary study of 75 magnesium-deficient children with ADHD, those who received magnesium supplements showed an improvement in behavior compared to those who did not receive the supplements. sites plenty of research claiming that people with Autism benefit from high doses of magnesium and B6. One claim says –

There are over 20 studies of vitamin B6 with Magnesium for autism, including 12 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, making it one of most studied treatments for autism. Almost all of these studies found that 45-50% of children and adults with autism benefited from high-dose supplementation of vitamin B6 with magnesium.

In fact, many health experts believe these common cognitive/behavioral disorders are caused by an unhealthy gut flora and toxic overload. Mental and behavioral related issues are largely intestinal and gut related.

I would love to see what would happen to the ADHD/ASD epidemic if all kids were eating a healthy organic diet, getting the proper amount of nutrients daily and taking necessary steps to reduce toxins.

Check out the infographic below for a list of  signs and effects of magnesium deficiency as well as foods high in magnesium.

Magnesium Deficiency Infographic

Check out this video featuring Dr. Mark Sircus on the topic of Magnesium Deficiency – No Test Required.

Read more from a couple of our sources:

 Studies confirm benefits of vitamin B6/magnesium therapy for autism, PDD, and ADHD

What is Magnesium? How it Functions in the Body

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23 Responses to Does Magnesium Help ADHD & Autism Symptoms? [Infographic]

  1. Olivia Martin May 15, 2013 at 1:52 am #

    Thank you so much for spreading the word about the benefits of magnesium. I have recently discovered magnesium. I began taking a daily supplement at the beginning of this year and my life has completely changed for the better. I am now passionate about informing others. I thank you for your contribution.

    • Ashley Steinbrinck May 15, 2013 at 9:12 am #

      That’s so great to hear, Olivia! Thank you for reading and posting a comment too ; )

  2. Amy Wheeler November 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    Magnesium is an essential mineral for the human immune system and for preventing heart diseases..

  3. Fit Girl August 14, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    Magnesium is very important for over 300 processes in your body every day. Magnesium can help reduce muscle cramps, stabilize blood sugar, and lower the risk for heart disease.

  4. Angela January 14, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

    I would like to give high dose magnesium supplements to my daughter who is 3 1/2 years old. Can you tell me what a suitable high dose would be? Do you recommend a particular brand of magnesium for children?

    • Theresa Groskopp, CN January 14, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

      Angela, the recommended daily allowance (per the FDA) for magnesium for your daughter’s age is about 80-130 mg, depending on her weight. Generally young children are going to do better with powder or liquid supplements rather than capsules or tablets. A few magnesium powders you might consider include Magna-Calm and Natural Calm.

      To calculate the dose, assume the average adult is about 130-160 pounds. The adult dose on the Natural Calm is 2 rounded tsp for 325 mg. If your daughter weighed 40 pounds, the dose might be converted to 1/2 rounded tsp for about 80 mg. of magnesium. If you decide to increase the dose above the RDA, do it gradually in small amounts. Hope that helps! Best of health to you and your daughter!

      • Angela January 14, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

        Thanks, Theresa! This is very helpful information.

    • Katy October 1, 2015 at 8:26 am #

      Angela, If you don’t like supplements – some kids don’t absorb magnesium well because of gut issues or because they have so much of a laxative effect, they move too quickly through the body and don’t get absorbed. You can also give Epsom Salt baths, it has been proven that the magnesium is absorbed that way, or you can buy magnesium spray. I actually spray it on my kids’ feet when they are sleeping, for my bottle, one squirt is 17 mg. Not sure how much they absorb transdermally, but they both had growth spurts after I started that.

      • Kerry July 23, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

        Hi Katy,
        Thank you for the advice. My children have gut related problems and so I was curious about the magnesium spray you suggested and if it might work better. Can you tell me what type of magnesium spray you use?
        Thanks 🙂

  5. John Barbieri January 31, 2015 at 8:54 am #

    Epsom salt in the bath water for magnesium!

    • Ashley Steinbrinck January 31, 2015 at 9:44 am #

      Yes! That’s great advice, John – here’s a nice body exfoliating treatment we offer with Epsom salt!

      • Heidi March 9, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

        Can you use this exfoliating treatment (with Epsom salt) on the face?

  6. Katy September 28, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

    I am looking for a study that shows that children with autism tend to be low in magnesium. I remember seeing a study once showing that way over half of children with autism tested positive for low magnesium, but now I can’t find it. If anyone could post the link, I would greatly appreciate it. Many of the studies comparing nutritional status of children with autism to children without autism were done before the “new improved” magnesium test. For example, some studies were testing children with autism using the blood serum test, which apparently gives useless results? Any more recent, accurate autism/ magnesium studies? Thanks.

  7. Shelley January 26, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

    My 3 year old son starting clearing his throat constantly, then it stopped and he started rubbing the outer corners of his eyes, we told him to stop, then it went to face stretching and finger stretching along with arm reaching. Any idea if this could be a result of low magnesium? Should I take him to the pediatrician and have his levels checked? We have started the Epsom salt baths, he’s only had 3 so far, it does seem to have helped a little. Other than these quirks he is a very intelligent boy and normal in behavior. Any help is appreciated.

    • Brad March 3, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

      Hi Shelley,
      When my boy was about 5 or 6, he developed that stretching facial tick as well as the throat clearing. We read about magnesium and tried it. Worked right away.
      Most of our household now take it at the recommended dosage. We use Salus magnesium liquid.
      Hope this is helpful.


  8. Sissy Hall February 4, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

    What supplement would you recommend for a 9 year old that can take pills better than a powder?

    • Tracy April 20, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

      Hi Sissy,

      I’m curious if you ever found a supplement in pill form that you feel worked well? Hoping you saw a difference.

  9. Stacey May 5, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

    Brad- Same sitch here! My son just turned 6,doing the same tics. What brand of Mg supplement did you use and how much?

  10. Michelle May 10, 2016 at 8:27 am #

    I’m very happy if found this page. My son is 10 and diagnosed High Functioningredients Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I read about the need for Magnesium about 6mths ago. I have herd recently that B6 is recommended to give along with Mag for better absorption. Does any one have any insight on tnis, and also what amount of Mag is too much?

  11. Daniel Rose July 19, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    A recent study has confirmed what I believe was known or suspected previously, that boron helps regulate the levels of magnesium, calcium and other minerals in the body so that they are at correct levels. Anyone low in magnesium probably should also look into supplementing with boron. I use borax. It is very good and dirt cheap.

    Selenium / iodine are other minerals we need and often are short of. Remember, the medical community does not make money recommending minerals. Financially, they keep quiet on the subject.

  12. Tiffany July 28, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    So I’ve been looking for vegan & gluten free gummies for my kids. I found this brand and was wondering if anyone has tried them out?

  13. Lk houston September 3, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    Brad and Shelly- My son has been exhibiting the same behavior. He just turned 6, but it has been going on for a while. He has tantrums still and his behavior is up and down. Good days and bad days. What dosage of magnesium are you giving your children and what brand do you suggest?

  14. Michelle September 28, 2016 at 7:01 am #

    Hello , please can you give me your advice. I have purchased an Osteocare Liquid for my boys who are 6 yr and 12 yr old. My youngest has always been up and down in behaviour , he is also a fussy eater . Both of my sons complain of pains in legs which is probably growing pains , i know Magnesium is great for this as well as many other things. I was looking ideally for a Magnesium supplement for both and not too costly found this and ordered it as it on a 3 for 2 offer .The liquid i have bought contains the following per 2x5ml:

    Vitamin D (as D3 150 IU ) 3.8
    Calcium 300mg
    Magnesium 150mg
    Zinc 6mg

    Is this a suitable magnesium supplement with a daily amount it says children 3-12 yr to have 2 teaspoons which would be 150mg for my 6 yr old daily , i would really appreciate some advice on this . Thank you.

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