Epsom salt crosses skin barrier: a study

A study for those who cannot believe that soaking in Epsom salt can affect your magnesium levels.  So many people who wear patches to quit smoking or  lidocaine patches (or stronger) to control pain roll their eyes at the suggestion that soaking in magnesium sulfate could increase your levels of …magnesium and sulfate. 🙂 Here you go! Love this!! 

I have had slightly higher inflammation levels this week and I have been doing a lot of soaks.  Incidentally, when I first started to really improve after surgery, it was right after i started Epsom soaks several times a week.  I do not regularly do them several times a week but certainly when I feel a bit off and that my body is starting to feel more inflamed, I head to CVS for a big bag of Epsom Salts.  

This pops up as a pdf so here’s the meat of it:

Report on Absorption of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) across the skin
Dr RH Waring, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham. B15 2TT, U.K.

Magnesium

Magnesium levels in blood are very tightly controlled. Of 19 subjects, all except 3 showed a rise in magnesium concentrations in plasma, though this was small in some cases. The values before the first bath were, mean 104.68 ± 20.76 ppm/ml; after the first bath the mean was 114.08 ± 25.83 ppm/ml. Continuation of bathing for 7 days in all except 2 individuals gave a rise to a mean of 140.98 ± 17.00ppm/ml. Prolonged soaking in Epsom salts therefore increases blood magnesium concentrations. Measurement of magnesium levels in urine showed a rise from the control level, mean 94.81 ± 44.26 ppm/ml to 198.93 ± 97.52 ppm/ml after the first bath. Those individuals where the blood magnesium levels were not increased had correspondingly large increases in urinary magnesium showing that the magnesium ions had crossed the skin barrier and had been excreted via the kidney, presumably because the blood levels were already optimal. Generally, urinary magnesium levels 24h after the first bath fell from the initial values found after day 1 (mean 118. 43 ± 51.95) suggesting some retention of magnesium in tissues after bathing as blood levels were still high.Measurement of magnesium levels in urine 24h after the 7th bath gave values almost back to control levels.

Sulfate
Free inorganic sulfate levels in plasma rose in all subjects after bathing in Epsom salts (mean pre-bath, 3.28 nmol/mg protein ± 1.40, 2h after 1st bath, mean 5.59 nmol/mg protein ± 3.08). In some individuals, the level post-bath reached > 9 nmol/mg protein. The plasma levels after 7 days showed a mean of 3.57 nmol/mg protein ± 1.70, lower than the peak value, suggesting that sulfate stores in the body were being filled. Analysis of the urine samples again showed an increase in sulfate concentrations (pre-bath mean 623.74 ± 352.34 nmols/ml, 2h post bath 1093.30 ± 388.79 nmoles/ml, 24h after 1st bath 899.83 ± 483.16 nmols/ml. Sulfate excretion in urine in some individuals was only slightly higher after 7 days bathing than the pre-bath levels.

 (1.) “Report on Absorption of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) across the skin“, Dr RH Waring, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham. B15 2TT, U.K.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s