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 concentrations include whole grains, pears, dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, white potatoes, spinach, edamame, vegetables, chocolate, meats, and soy cheese. Foods high in fiber are generally high in magnesium.
Women, African Americans, and the elderly are more at risk of low magnesium levels. Low magnesium levels in the body are linked to osteoporosis, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. Many people suffering from fibromyalgia often have a magnesium deficiency found in muscle cells.
Magnesium supplements are often beneficial for the treatment of ADHD, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety disorders, alcoholism, leg cramps, depression, kidney stones, migraines, complex regional pain syndrome, cystic fibrosis, premenstrual syndrome, urinary incontinence, asthma, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, restless leg syndrome, and for the prevention of hearing loss and certain cancers. Magnesium also increases energy which aids in weight loss. Topical magnesium can be applied to the skin to treat infected boils, 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 normally safe when taken orally or by prescribed injections. Side effects include, but are not limited to, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. Magnesium taken with antibiotics can cause increased leg cramps, muscle pain, and/or decreased effectiveness of the antibiotic. Magnesium supplements may also decrease the effectiveness bisphosphate. Furthermore, they can decrease blood pressure. Since magnesium relaxes the muscles, they can increase the effect of muscle relaxers. Also, water pills taken with magnesium may cause too much magnesium to build up in the body. Magnesium build up in the body can lead to irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, confusion, slowed breathing, coma, or even death. 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 350mg per day unless otherwise prescribed by a health care professional. Take as directed on the label or as prescribed by the physician. Before taking a magnesium supplement, it is important to share what other medications you are taking with a doctor or pharmacist.