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Magnesium: Benefits & Side Effects

Why are many at risk of magnesium deficiency?


Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in a person’s body not only for protein synthesis but energy metabolism.

Usually, a well-balanced diet supplies your magnesium needs but certain conditions may force the mineral out of your system faster than it can be replaced for example severe diarrhea, alcoholism and poor diet.

The mineral helps your body in the detoxification process to avoid damage caused inflicted on it by environmental chemicals and other toxins.

Magnesium Benefits

  • Heart health
    Insufficient Magnesium in the body elicits muscle spasm. The mineral works like an electrolyte which is responsible for electrical activity in the body without which your heart may not be able to pump blood.
    With a lack of blood supply, the brain fails to function properly. The prospective effect of inadequate magnesium is cardiac death, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure.
  • Proper Bone and tooth formation
    Most people imagine calcium is the most important for bones. How does magnesium work? It stimulates a hormone known as calcitonin to draw calcium out of your blood and soft tissues to take back into your bones.
    It counterbalances high levels of calcium accumulating in your body.
    The action by magnesium lowers the risk of osteoporosis, arthritis, kidney stones and heart attack.
    The benefits of calcium in the treatment of osteoporosis in menopausal women are greatly weakened by the lack of sufficient levels of magnesium.
  • Physical performance
    Basically, when a person experiences stress it is likely they have low magnesium levels. Deficiency may cause muscle weakness and fatigue mostly in older people.
  • Diabetes and magnesium
    The mineral protects against type-2 diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels. Individuals who include magnesium-rich foods in their diets have a low risk of getting type-2 diabetes.
  • Relieves anxiety
    Magnesium regulates your nervous system to help you cope with stress so as to deter nervousness, irritability, fear, and anxiety. For anyone who experiences regular anxiety magnesium is good for the heart and arteries.
  • Restless leg syndrome
    A low magnesium level causes your neurons to become easily excited. And for this reason, your mental status is affected. Magnesium supplementation can be used to stabilize the neural membrane in order to avert abnormal activity in your nervous system.
    In a certain medical case study, magnesium supplementation was given to reduce restless leg syndrome to a patient. Admittedly, the patient was able to find relief and have improved sleep.
  • Constipation
    Constipation too may be a sign of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium citrate is a type of supplement given to improve digestion and help with constipation.
    If you have digestion problems the large intestines can use the mineral to bring in water into your bowl so that the stool can be stress-free to pass.
    Although clinical blood serum testing may be performed to know whether you are magnesium deficient it may not be successful. It may be hard to pin down the symptoms even by seasoned researchers.
    So let’s take a closer look at certain situations that may compound magnesium deficiency.

Why are many at risk of magnesium deficiency?

  • Processed foods are devoid of magnesium
  • Cooking process removes magnesium
  • Other substances we consume affects magnesium absorption like calcium supplements and phosphoric acid in carbonated soda
  • Too much sugar, salt, tea, and alcohol makes the body lose magnesium via excretion in the urine.
  • Chronic diarrhea, celiac disease, and high-fat diet may cause magnesium malabsorption
  • Aging and chronic stress depletes the body of essential magnesium
  • Medication such as asthma medication (epinephrine), anticancer drugs (Platinol)

Top magnesium foods trace mineral:

  • Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Herbs and spices

What are the Side Effects of Magnesium?

Dietary magnesium does not pose a health risk. Nonetheless, pharmacological doses of the mineral present in supplements may have adverse effects when taken in large quantities especially for people with health problems.

  • Magnesium overdose
    Higher dosages of magnesium citrate may have laxative effects and cause loose stool especially if you are prone to loose stool.
  • Magnesium build-up
    Large doses may cause confusion, fatigue, muscle weakness, low-blood pressure, irregular beat, coma, slow breathing or death.
  • Stomach issues
    Taking magnesium supplements may have side effects like vomiting, abdominal pain, cramping, nausea or stomach upset.
  • Magnesium risks
    People with intestinal diseases like celiac, gastrointestinal, colitis should consult a doctor before starting magnesium supplementation.

Final Thoughts

If you have health problems such as liver disease, diabetes, alcoholism, or any other condition that may put your health at risk speak to your pharmacist or doctor before supplements are given. Also, notify your pharmacist if you have allergic reactions.

In case you suffer magnesium deficiency you may have to take supplements for a period of time. Let your doctors determine the dosage. Beware how magnesium works synergistically with other nutrients like K2, calcium and vitamin D.


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