health as it happens

Why we need magnesium in our diet - Times of India

Not so long ago, there was an overall consensus among doctors that most diseases came from the intestines. They believed that toxins from the stool in the gut poisoned the body and caused most of the ill-health. And in order to be fit and healthy, they would regularly advise preventive measures like taking laxatives to purge everything out — a good bowel movement, they believed, was key to good health.

My father, a physician too, would keep this in mind and line all of us children up and force us to drink an obnoxious mixture of magnesium with effervescence every Sunday morning. As we grew older, I would find it odd that he would never take the medicine himself. By the time I became a physician, to no surprise to me, all these theories about intestinal toxicity had been debunked. When I would remind my father about the futility of those Sunday morning rituals to clean our stomach, he would smile and say that things always change in the world of medicine. What works today will surely be ridiculed tomorrow, and so on. I can’t help but agree with that.