Magnesium is needed by our body to carry out normal body functions.
It is the fourth most abundant element found in the bones, teeth and in the red blood cells of the body.
You can take magnesium from food sources or in the form of magnesium supplements.
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The good sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, Brazil nut, almonds, peanuts, oatmeal, chocolate,
fennel seeds, whole wheat bread, baked potatoes, soybean flour and more.
But sometimes, magnesium needed by the body is not met by food sources and in this case, magnesium supplements
should be taken for proper functioning of the body.
Magnesium supplements are available in many forms including magnesium chloride, magnesium oxide, magnesium
hydroxide, magnesium arginate, magnesium gluconate and others.
On an average adult, it is required to have 270-400 mg of magnesium intake in a day taken in small doses with
You need supplements during certain medical conditions due to magnesium deficiency caused by excessive loss or due
to improper magnesium absorption.
You should always take magnesium supplements after your doctor's prescription as they know the benefits and side
effects of these supplements to the body.
You can have several health benefits by taking magnesium supplements.
If you are diabetic, then magnesium supplements can help in improving the insulin level and glucose intolerance by
maintaining adequate level of magnesium in the body.
Magnesium deficiency in your body can result in various heart diseases.
Magnesium supplements helps in treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, coronary artery disease,
abnormal heart arrhythmias and heart attack by maintaining blood level of magnesium and relaxing heart muscles.
Women need magnesium supplements to maintain their health.
It helps in combating symptoms of pre menstrual syndrome and at the time of menopause.
If you are pregnant, then you can avoid complications during pregnancy and delivery such as premature labor, pre-
eclampsia, eclampsia and placenta previa.
They are also needed for building healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis by helping in enhancing bone mass.
Magnesium also helps in calcium, sodium and potassium absorption in the blood stream needed by body.
If you are suffering from asthma attacks, then magnesium supplements can help you in achieving normal breathing by
helping to relax the bronchial muscles.
Magnesium supplements should not be taken in over doses as they can cause certain side effects that harm your
You can suffer from symptoms like tiredness, weakness, cramps in abdomen and legs, diarrhea, and nausea with
vomiting and low blood pressure.
They can be very harmful to your heart sometimes causing death.
They can cause difficulty in breathing, loss of appetite, flashes of heat and fainting.
Overdose of magnesium can disrupt the calcium level of the body resulting in muscle contractions and hindering
normal functioning of hormone secretion and functioning of central nervous system.
Approximately fifty percent of the body's stores of magnesium are found in the bones.
The rest of it is in the various cells and in the blood.
Magnesium maintains more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body as it helps to maintain these functions:
Normal muscle and nerve function
Steady heart rhythm
Healthy immune system
Normal blood sugar levels
Normal blood pressure
Normal energy metabolism
Normal protein synthesis
In addition, there is a growing interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as
hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Magnesium that is obtained from one's daily diet is absorbed through the small intestines and is excreted via the
Sources of Magnesium
Along with other vitamins and minerals, magnesium is found in many foods such as vegetables (particularly green,
leafy vegetables like spinach), some legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds, and whole, unrefined grains,
including bread made from whole grain wheat flour, oatmeal and bran flakes.
Tap water (hard water) can also be rich in magnesium but the amount varies according to the water supply.
Normal daily recommended intake in the US in milligrams (mg) for magnesium are generally defined as follows:
Infants (Birth to 3 years) - 40 to 80mg
Children (4 to 6 years) - 120mg
Children (7 to 10 years) - 170mg
Adolescent and adult males - 270 to 400mg
Adolescent and adult females - 280 to 300mg
Pregnant females - 320mg
Breast feeding females - 340 to 355mg
Who Needs Magnesium Supplements?
A good healthy diet should be sufficient to meet one's needs for magnesium, as well as other vitamins and
However, a diet high in fat may cause less magnesium to be absorbed and cooking may decrease the magnesium content
Furthermore, with a busy lifestyle, people tend to eat less healthy food that does not ensure the proper amount of
nutrients in their diet.
Some conditions that may also necessitate a supplemental intake of magnesium include:
Gastrointestinal disorders that decrease the absorption of Magnesium, such as Crohn's disease, chronic and
excessive diarrhea and vomiting.
The intake of some medicines that may result in magnesium deficiency, including certain diuretics, antibiotics, and
medications used to treat cancer.
Older adults with poor dietary intake
Aside from low blood levels of magnesium (hypomagnesemia), magnesium is also used as a laxative for constipation
and as an antacid for acid indigestion.
It has also been used for treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, chronic fatigue
syndrome (CFS), Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, leg cramps during pregnancy, migraines, weak bones, pre menstrual
syndrome (PMS), altitude sickness, urinary incontinence, restless leg syndrome, asthma, hay fever, multiple
sclerosis, and for preventing hearing loss.
Please consult a physician before taking nutritional supplements.
Taking Oral Magnesium Supplements
If the amount of dietary magnesium is not enough to improve low levels to meet the demands to the body, a
supplement could be considered.
Oral supplements combine magnesium with another substance such as a salt, to form magnesium oxide, magnesium
sulfate, magnesium chloride, magnesium citrate and magnesium carbonate.
Some companies also combine magnesium with calcium in different proportions.
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