Tag Archives: magnesium

My Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: Day 59 + Updated Supplement Recommendations

888894Weight: 154 lb

Transgressions: none

Exercise: 90 minutes horse grooming and trail riding


I’ve finalized the latest supplements for dieters on the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet, and tinkered with the original plan: Version 2.0 is published.

Daily supplements:

  • 1 or 2 plain Centrum multivitamin/multimineral supplements (two if over 250 lb or 114 kg)
  • Magnesium oxide 250 mg
  • Calcium carbonate 500 mg elemental calcium  (500 mg twice daily if over 250 lb or 114 kg)
  • Extra vitamin D to reach total of 1,000–1,2000 IU (each Centrum has 400 IU)
  • Potassium gluconate 2,750 mg (450 mg elemental potassium) or Morton Salt Substitute (potassium chloride) ¼ tsp (1.2 g)
  • If prone to constipation: sugar-free Metamucil powder 1–2 rounded tsp (5.8–11.6 g) in water
  • At least three quarts or liters of water 


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Recap of My Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: Weeks 5-7


Drilling down into the data

Drilling down into the data

Body Stats

My weight is 155 lb now compared with160.5 at the end of Week 4.  I seem to have plateaued around 155 over the last few weeks.  Waist circumference is 34.25 inches, down an inch over the last three weeks.  This is a pretty good weight for me.

What am I eating? 

Ninety percent of my food consists of:

eggs (3/day), mozarella string cheese sticks, nuts (almonds, mixed, peanuts), steak, sausage, hamburger, chicken, canned tuna, canned sardines, tomatoes, onions, avocadoes, cucumbers, baby spinach, celery, romaine lettuce, red wine (7 fl oz/day), extra virgin olive oil, sugar snap peas, butter, Italian vinaigrette dressing, mayonnaise (on tuna), salt, pepper.  [You and I should eat greater variety of vegetables and nuts.]

Nutrient Analysis  (thanks to NutritionData.com)

Average daily calories: 1,800

Macronutrient percentages: 8% carbohydrate, 30% protein, 53% fat, 9% alcohol

Daily digestible carbohydrates: 25 g

Daily fats: 110 g total fat, 31 g saturated fat, 52 g monounsaturated fats

Daily cholesterol: 800 mg (mostly from eggs)

Daily fiber: 7-10 g

Daily sodium: 1,500 mg (not counting salt from shaker)

Any potential micronutrient deficiencies? 

Yes.  Considering the amounts of the various foods I’m eating, the un-supplemented Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet on many, if not most, days would be deficient in vitamins D, E, K, thiamin, folate, and pantothenic acid, and the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper, manganese.  Less often, there are deficiencies of zinc and vitamins A, C, B12, riboflavin, and B6.  [I’m using table salt from the shaker but not tracking it; sodium deficiency is very unlikely.]

These potential deficiencies are based on the % Daily Values recommended by U.S. government authorities for an adult eating 2,000 calories daily.  Someone following the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet but eating a different mixture of foods could have a better or worse micronutrient profile.

Version 1.01 of the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet from the outset recommended one daily Centrum multivitamin/multimineral supplement, plus extra vitamin D 400 IU/day, and elemental calcium 500-1,000 mg/day.  These would prevent a large majority of these potential deficiencies. 

I started a daily magnesium supplement a week ago to suppress nocturnal leg cramps.  It’s working well.


I’m in the midst of revising my recommended supplements and will post them here within the next few days.  I’m likely to add magnesium, potassium, table salt, and fiber. 

Remember, this is not a life-long eating plan; it’s a temporary weight-loss program.  Natural sources of vitamins and minerals along with phytonutrients will be added later.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Disclaimer:  All matters regarding your health require supervision by a personal physician or other appropriate health professional familiar with your current health status.  Always consult your personal physician before making any dietary, nutritional supplement, or exercise changes.


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My Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: Day 46 + Magnesium for Muscle Cramps

MPj04383710000[1]Weight: 156 lb

Transgressions: none

Exercise: none


I started an over-the-counter magnesium supplement—250 mg magnesium oxide—by Nature Made to see if it will suppress my nocturnal leg cramps.  Will try it for 4–5 days.  The recommended Daily Value for a 2000-calorie diet is about 200 mg.  If that fails, I’ll try potassium and calcium supplements sequentially.  I don’t want to “shotgun it” by taking all three simultaneously; I wouldn’t know which one was working.  Why take a supplement if it’s not needed?   

I suppose I could have blood drawn and analyzed for those minerals.  But a blood level doesn’t tell the whole story.  For instance, nearly all of our body’s potassium is inside our cells.  A blood test measures only potassium in the serum or plasma, outside the cells.  Blood level could be normal while the interior of cells is deficient, causing problems.  Also, getting blood drawn is a hassle.


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My Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: Day 33 + Magnesium Review

CB022214Weight: 159 lb

Transgressions: 12 oz  of 7-Up carbonated beverage

Exercise: none


I accidentally drank a 7-Up at the hospital physician’s lounge: the diet 7-Ups were right next to the regular 7-Ups in the refrigerator.  It had 39 g of carbs, all sugar of course.  I didn’t realize what I’d done until too late; the texture finally gave it away.  I rarely drink 7-Up in any case.  My favorite diet soda is Fresca.  Nothing wrong with 1-2 daily for most folks.  If I were going to cheat on purpose, it wouldn’t be with soda pop.  Snickers bar is more like it!

My nutrient analysis of the un-supplemented Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet suggests that it may be deficient in magnesium.  Here’s a summary of magnesium physiology from UpToDate.com and Medscape:

Role of Magnesium

Influences properties of cell membranes.  Helps regulate other mineral levels: sodium, potassium, calcium.  Works with enzymes, particulary in energy production.  Helps with protein production.  Most of our magnesium is in our bones.


Leafy greens, nuts, legumes, animal proteins.  [All but legumes are on the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet.]

Effects of Deficiency State

Abnormal EKG (an electrical tracing of heart activity).  Abnormal heart rhythms, especially ventricular arrhythmias.  Weakness, convulsions, loss of appetite, low blood levels of calcium and potassium, seizures, apathy, delirium coma.

Causes of Low Magnesium

Gastrointestinal or kidney losses: vomiting, diarrhea, diuretics, genetic disorders, several kidney-toxic drugs little used in the general population, small bowel bypass surgery, inability to absorb from intestinal tract.

Miscellaneous: marked dietary deprivation, diabetes, alcohol abuse, high blood calcium levels, ketogenic extremely high-fat diets used to suppress epilepsy (usually in children: up to 10% have low magnesium).


Hmm…, causes of magnesium deficiency include …ketogenic extremely high-fat diets used to suppress epilepsy…  The ketogenic anti-epilepsy diet may be even lower in carbohydrates than is the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet, so fewer leafy greens (and nut-free?).  Since I don’t treat children with epilepsy, I haven’t done much research into the anti-epilepsy ketogenic diet yet. 

One Centrum multivitamin/multimineral supplement contains only 13% of the recommended “% Daily Value” of magnesium.  Might be a good idea for KMD dieters to take an additional magnesium supplement, probably available over-the-counter at pharmacies, supermarkets, or health food stores.  Or get a blood level of magnesium drawn periodically.



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