Using Magnesium


What is magnesium?

Magnesium is a vital mineral that regulates nerve and muscle function in the body. It also helps regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, and protein levels, and promotes healthy pregnancies. The body absorbs magnesium from a healthy diet, but supplements are sometimes needed to achieve and maintain proper magnesium levels.

Foods high in magnesium

Foods high in fiber are generally high in magnesium. Magnesium rich foods include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Chocolate
  • Dairy products
  • Edamame
  • Legumes
  • Meats
  • Nuts
  • Pears
  • Seeds
  • Soy cheese
  • Spinach
  • Vegetables
  • White potatoes
  • Whole grains


Magnesium increases energy, which aids in weight loss. Topical magnesium can be applied to the skin to treat infected boils and skin ulcers, or to speed up wound healing. Magnesium is often also used to ease constipation and to prepare the bowels for surgical procedures. Magnesium supplements are often beneficial for the treatment of various conditions, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

Side Effects

Magnesium supplements are normally safe when taken orally or by prescribed injections. Side effects may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting or lightheadedness
  • Fast or slow heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Skin redness, tingling or warmth
  • Upset stomach or bloating


Magnesium taken with antibiotics can decrease the effectiveness of the antibiotic and increase leg cramps and muscle pain. Magnesium supplements may also decrease the effectiveness of tetracyclines and bisphosphates. Furthermore, they can decrease blood pressure. Since magnesium relaxes the muscles, they can increase the effect of muscle relaxers.

Additionally, water pills taken with magnesium may cause too much magnesium to build up in the body. Magnesium build-up can lead to irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, confusion, slowed breathing, coma, or even death.

Dosage of magnesium

Magnesium supplements can be taken orally, through an IV, inhaled, or via injection.

Magnesium supplement dosage depends on age, sex, and reason for use. The recommended dose is less than 350 mg per day, unless otherwise prescribed by a health care professional. Take as directed on the label or as prescribed by a physician. Before taking a magnesium supplement, speak to a physician or pharmacist about any other medications currently being taken.

Magnesium deficiency

An estimated 68% of Americans have a magnesium deficiency. Low magnesium levels in the body are linked to several negative health issues, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

Who is at risk of magnesium deficiency?

Many people diagnosed with fibromyalgia often have a magnesium deficiency found in muscle cells. Others at an increased risk of having low magnesium levels include the following:

  • Women
  • African Americans
  • Elderly