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Magnesium (Pros and cons of taking a magnesium supplement)

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Magnesium Supplement

Magnesium Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route) Print

Description and Brand Names

US Brand Name

  1. Almora
  2. Citrate Of Magnesia
  3. Dewees Carminative
  4. Elite Magnesium
  5. Mag-Gel 600
  6. Maginex
  7. Mag-Tab SR
  8. Phillips Milk of Magnesia

Canadian Brand Name

  1. Citracal Slow Release
  2. Mag 2
  3. Magnesium-Rougier

Descriptions

Magnesium is used as a dietary supplement for individuals who are deficient in magnesium. Although a balanced diet usually supplies all the magnesium a person needs, magnesium supplements may be needed by patients who have lost magnesium because of illness or treatment with certain medicines.

Lack of magnesium may lead to irritability, muscle weakness, and irregular heartbeat.

Injectable magnesium is given only by or under the supervision of a health care professional. Some oral magnesium preparations are available only with a prescription. Others are available without a prescription.

Importance of Diet

For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.

The best dietary sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, nuts, peas, beans, and cereal grains in which the germ or outer layers have not been removed. Hard water has been found to contain more magnesium than soft water. A diet high in fat may cause less magnesium to be absorbed. Cooking may decrease the magnesium content of food.

The daily amount of magnesium needed is defined in several different ways.

For U.S.—

  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person’s age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).
  • Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).

For Canada—

  • Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.

Normal daily recommended intakes in milligrams (mg) for magnesium are generally defined as follows:

PersonsU.S.
(mg)
Canada
(mg)
Infants birth to 3 years of age40 to 8020–50
Children 4 to 6 years of age12065
Children 7 to 10 years of age170100–135
Adolescent and adult males270–400130–250
Adolescent and adult females280–300135–210
Pregnant females320195–245
Breast-feeding females340–355245–265

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Capsule
  • Tablet, Extended Release
  • Tablet
  • Capsule, Liquid Filled
  • Powder
  • Tablet, Chewable
  • Packet

I’ve heard that magnesium supplements have health benefits. Should I take one?

Many people don’t get enough magnesium in their diets. Before you reach for a supplement, though, you should know that just a few servings of magnesium-rich foods a day can meet your need for this important nutrient.

Nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, leafy vegetables, milk, yogurt and fortified foods are good sources. Just 1 ounce of almonds or cashews contains 20% of the daily magnesium an adult needs. Even water (tap, mineral or bottled) can provide magnesium. Some laxatives and antacids also contain magnesium.

Why is magnesium important? Magnesium plays many crucial roles in the body, such as supporting muscle and nerve function and energy production.

Low magnesium levels don’t cause symptoms in the short term. However, chronically low levels can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

Too much magnesium from foods isn’t a concern for healthy adults. However, the same can’t be said for supplements. High doses of magnesium from supplements or medications can cause nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea.

In addition, the magnesium in supplements can interact with some types of antibiotics and other medicines. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re considering magnesium supplements, especially if you routinely use magnesium-containing antacids or laxatives.

References: Mayo Clinic

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