Life Extension Magazine®

Group of foods that are high in magnesium and the symbol

Dr. Dennis Goodman: A Man On A Mission To Promote Magnesium

Cardiologist Dennis Goodman’s new book, Magnificent Magnesium, details how correcting magnesium levels prevents heart attacks, slashes blood pressure, stops muscle cramps, relieves insomnia, and boosts calcium absorption.

Scientifically reviewed by Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Jon Finkel.

Dr. Dennis Goodman
Dr. Dennis Goodman

Cardiologist Dennis Goodman, MD, could not get rid of the nagging feeling he was experiencing as he did rounds in the hospital. Day after day, he was treating heart patients and helping them live longer, but increasingly he had the sense that he was simply putting out a fire with the medical treatments he had to offer. The root causes of heart problems, he felt, were simply not being addressed.

“I had that sense that I was taking care of people who were already in deep trouble,” says Dr. Goodman, a board-certified cardiologist who trained at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. “It got to the point where I kept thinking about how we can prevent this stuff in the first place. I had this sense of starting to focus on what people can do themselves to keep themselves healthy before you have to come to the doctor with an acute problem.”

Dr. Goodman graduated cum laude from the University of Cape Town Medical School in Cape Town, South Africa. He completed his residency in Pittsburgh, did his fellowship at Baylor, and is currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at New York University and the Director of Integrative Medicine at New York Medical Associates in Manhattan.

“What makes people healthy is what we eat, being active, and stress management, which includes avoiding things that create inflammation in the body,” Dr. Goodman says. “There’s also a huge component of illness that is psychological. I started to look at things we can do to minimize oxidative stress and how we can deal with the stresses that everybody faces.”

Zeroing In On Magnesium

“People are unaware of how important magnesium is,” Dr. Goodman says. “And it’s all too common how deficient people are. When I tell patients that they have the classic symptoms of magnesium deficiency, which can be very non-specific, ranging from fatigue, insomnia, palpitations, and things people just attribute to everyday life, they don’t understand it. Then I prescribe them something as simple as magnesium and they come back and can’t believe how well they’re feeling.”

Dr. Goodman points out that since humans don’t make magnesium, we need to take it in because it is crucial to so many bodily functions. The right level of magnesium can help avoid heart attacks, lower blood pressure, halt muscle cramps, relieve insomnia, and boost calcium absorption.

So why don’t more people know about it?

“That’s the question I began asking when I decided to write Magnificent Magnesium—Your Essential Key to a Healthy Heart and More,” he says. “How do we get educated if there is no company to pay for advertisements and if Big Pharma isn’t benefiting from getting the word out?”

Even in medical schools, Dr. Goodman says that magnesium does not get put in the proper place based on its importance. He laments that doctors don’t even hear about it unless they have a specific interest in nutrition and learn about it themselves.

Common Health Conditions That Benefit From Magnesium

Common Health Conditions That Benefit From Magnesium:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Chronic Pain
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • GI Problems
  • Headache And Migraine
  • Heavy Metal Toxicity
  • Kidney Stones
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sleep Disorders

Spreading The Word

“One of the reasons I wanted to write this book was to spread the word about magnesium,” Dr. Goodman explains. “I wanted to come to Life Extension® and places that understand how important these things are.”

Another facet of Dr. Goodman’s magnesium mission is to help people lessen the number of prescription medications they are currently taking. For instance, a lot of people have high blood pressure, yet one cause of magnesium deficiency is high blood pressure. Many doctors will simply prescribe a blood pressure lowering medication, which may then cause side effects that require additional drugs, and a vicious cycle begins.

“You start with the pills and then it is one pill for this and one pill for that, and then all of a sudden you’re on 10 pills,” he says, describing a situation that is all too common. “And they just came out with a recommendation that more people should take statins… I say before medication, we talk about lifestyle changes and nutrition. Let’s start with a low-salt diet, exercise, and magnesium. To me, that’s a lot better than taking drugs. Also, it allows people to take their health in their own hands.”

A Golden Opportunity

A Golden Opportunity 

One of the reasons Dr. Goodman is so excited about the current era of modern medicine is that little-known vitamins and minerals like magnesium are finally getting their due. With the Internet and social media, people have more ways than ever to do their own research, find their own books and blogs, and seek out ways to intervene in their own health management. He points to the rise in awareness of the importance of vitamin D as a perfect example. Whereas a decade ago, the general public couldn’t differentiate D from any of the other vitamins, nowadays, it is becoming standard for people to ask about their own vitamin D levels.

“We all check vitamin D now,” he says. “The day is coming when we’ll check magnesium red blood cells. It is such an easy test to repeat.”

And it’s also an easy deficiency to correct. Magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, almonds, and pumpkin seeds. However, the levels of magnesium in these foods isn’t as high as it once was.

“The problem is that the soil is deficient in so many places and you could be eating large amounts of these foods and not be getting enough magnesium,” he says. “You need to buy organic forms of these foods or buy them from a farmer’s market.”

If you want to make sure you’re hitting your magnesium marks, in addition to consuming the above foods, you can always add a high-quality magnesium supplement to your regimen.

“As a maintenance dosage I recommend 3 mg per pound of body weight,” Dr. Goodman says. “But that’s for maintenance. If you’re stressed out and there is inflammation in your system, you can go up to 5 mg per pound of body weight.”

In his book, Magnificent Magnesium, Dr. Goodman outlines a comprehensive plan for supplementing with magnesium, as well as all of the benefits that can be obtained from maintaining proper levels. One of the major points he focuses on is the area of heart health, where he builds a bedrock case for understanding heart disease and how a deficiency of magnesium may play a role in exacerbating or even causing some of our nation’s most common cardiac problems.

The guidelines Dr. Goodman sets forth in his book are a must-read for anyone looking to take control of their heart and total body health.

“As always, talk to your doctor before you start taking any new supplement,” he says. “But when it comes to magnesium, after reading my book, it’s possible you may educate him!”

To order a copy of Magnificent Magnesium, call 1-800-544-4440.

Item # 33870

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.