Magnesium supplements — Benefits, dosage, sources and risk

Magnesium is a vital component of many biological processes in the human body. It functions as a cofactor in over 300 enzyme systems that affect a variety of metabolic processes, including as protein synthesis, muscle and neuron function, blood sugar management and blood pressure regulation.

This element is also necessary for the nervous system to operate properly as well as for strong bones and teeth [1]. It is also often present in appropriate amounts in a balanced diet, although shortages can occasionally happen and result in a variety of health issues.

What are magnesium supplements?

Magnesium supplements are over-the-counter items that come in a number of different forms and are used to boost magnesium intake when food sources are insufficient or when a person is deficient due to a particular health problem [2].

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including tablets, capsules, powders, and liquids. These supplements include magnesium in a variety of forms, including magnesium chloride, magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium malate, and magnesium oxide.

Here are some interesting facts about magnesium:

  • All living things, including plants, animals, and people, need magnesium to function. It is an essential part of chlorophyll, the green pigment that enables photosynthetic activity in plants.
  • About 50–60% of the 25 grams of magnesium that make up the human body are found in the bones. Muscles, soft tissues, and physiological fluids make up the remaining portion [3].
  • Magnesium is essential for about 300 enzymatic processes in the body, including DNA replication, muscle and neuron function, energy generation, and protein synthesis.
  • Muscle cramps, weariness, weakness, irritability, and irregular pulse are just a few of the symptoms that can result from a magnesium deficiency, also known as hypomagnesemia. Serious consequences including convulsions, numbness and tingling, or even heart failure can arise from severe magnesium insufficiency.
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Benefits of magnesium supplements

Magnesium supplements provide a number of advantages, especially for those who not getting enough through their diet or for people with medical disorders. 

Benefits of magnesium supplements

The following are a few advantages of using magnesium supplements:

1. Addresses magnesium shortfall

When dietary intake is insufficient or when certain medical conditions hinder effective absorption of magnesium from food, magnesium supplements can assist rectify a deficiency.

2. Supports healthy bones

Magnesium, in conjunction with calcium and vitamin D, is crucial for supporting healthy bones. In especially for people at risk of osteoporosis or with inadequate dietary magnesium consumption, supplements can improve bone health.

3. Improves muscle function

Magnesium is an essential element for healthy muscular contraction and relaxation as well as nerve transmission, thus taking supplements can assist enhance these processes. They could make symptoms like weakness and muscular spasms go away.

4. Regulates heart health

Magnesium helps to regulate blood pressure and keep the heartbeat regular, which is good for the heart. Through the prevention of hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, and other heart-related conditions, supplements can enhance cardiovascular health [4].

5. Helps manage blood sugar levels

Magnesium contributes to the regulation of blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. By preserving normal blood sugar levels, supplements can aid in the management or prevention of type 2 diabetes.

6. Enhances brain function

Magnesium is necessary for healthy brain function and neurotransmitter activation, which affects mood and mental health. Supplements can aid with stress relief, depression relief, anxiety relief, and sleep improvement.

7. Prevents migraines

According to some research, taking supplemental magnesium may lessen the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks by influencing the neurotransmitters and blood vessels that are involved in their formation.

8. Promotes healthy cell activities

Electrolyte equilibrium: Magnesium is a crucial electrolyte that promotes healthy cell activity and aids in keeping the body’s fluid balance. Inadequate amounts of this essential mineral can be helped by taking supplements.

Recommended daily dosage of magnesium supplements

The daily amount of magnesium supplements that is advised varies based on a number of variables, including age, sex, and personal health problems [5]. A healthcare expert should be consulted for specific recommendations on magnesium dietary supplements.

However, the following basic recommendations for the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of magnesium might serve as a good place to start:

  • Men aged 19-30: 400mg/day; aged 31 and older: 420mg/day
  • Women aged 19-30: 310mg/day; aged 31 and older: 320mg/day
  • Pregnant women aged 19-30: 350mg/day; aged 31-50 360mg/day
  • Lactating women aged 19-30: 310mg/day; aged 31-50 320mg/day
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The total daily intake of magnesium from food sources and supplements is referred to by these RDAs. It’s crucial to remember that if you get enough magnesium through meals, you might not require a supplement.

Consult a healthcare provider before beginning any supplementation. They can help you decide the right amount based on your unique needs, medical history, and any potential drug interactions. In rare instances, excessive magnesium consumption can cause adverse effects such as diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps and more serious issues.

Sources of magnesium

You may consume a variety of foods high in magnesium to satisfy your daily magnesium needs. The following are some of the top dietary sources of magnesium:

  • Leafy greens: Kale, Swiss chard, and spinach are great suppliers of magnesium and other necessary elements.
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds are among the nuts and seeds that are high in magnesium.
  • Beans: Beans, lentils, and peas are excellent providers of protein and fiber as well as magnesium. Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and soybeans are a few examples.
  • Whole grains: Whole grains including quinoa, brown rice, barley, and whole wheat bread contain magnesium.
  • Fish: In addition to delivering omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and halibut are rich sources of magnesium.
  • Dark chocolate: Magnesium is well-absorbed from high-quality dark chocolate with a cocoa level of at least 70%, which also has antioxidants [6].
  • Avocados: This nutrient-rich fruit provides healthful monounsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and magnesium.
  • Bananas: Although bananas don’t contain as much magnesium as some other fruits, they nonetheless offer a respectable quantity of this crucial mineral, along with potassium and vitamin C.
  • Yogurt: Greek yogurt and other dairy products, which also include calcium and protein, can be rich sources of magnesium.
  • Tofu: Made from soybeans, tofu is a great plant-based protein choice and a strong source of magnesium.
Magnesium Supplements- benefits, dosage, sources and risk

You may satisfy your daily magnesium needs and promote general health by including these foods high in magnesium in your diet. To ensure you get all the vital nutrients your body needs, remember to eat a balanced diet made up of a range of foods.

Risk factors of magnesium

While these supplements may be helpful in certain circumstances, it’s important to be informed of any hazards and take all necessary safety measures before beginning supplementation.

Considerations and risk factors include:

1. Overdosing

Taking too much magnesium supplementation can cause unpleasant side effects including diarrhea, nausea, and cramping in the abdomen. Severe instances may also result in an erratic heartbeat, low blood pressure, or even cardiac arrest. Prior to using any supplement, always adhere to the advised dosage and seek medical advice.

2. Drug interactions

The absorption or effectiveness of several drugs may be impacted by interactions between magnesium supplements and those medications. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), diuretics, antibiotics, and bisphosphonates (medications for osteoporosis) are a few typical drugs that may interact with these supplements. If you are on any drugs, check with your doctor to see if taking magnesium supplements is safe for you.

3. Function of the kidneys

People who have poor kidney function may have trouble excreting extra magnesium, which can cause hypermagnesemia (high amounts of magnesium in the blood). Before using magnesium supplements, check with your healthcare professional if you have renal problems.

4. Digestive problems

Supplements containing magnesium, especially magnesium oxide, might have gastrointestinal adverse effects including bloating and diarrhea. Consider switching to a different type like magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate, if you encounter these problems since these could be easier to stomach.

5. Bioavailability

This is the percentage of magnesium absorbed and used by the body. It varies across different kinds of magnesium supplements. Magnesium oxide, for example, has a lower bioavailability than magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate, which both have greater bioavailability. To guarantee that you receive the maximum advantages, choose a supplement with adequate bioavailability.

6. Allergies or sensitivities

Some people may be allergic to or sensitive to certain fillers, binders, or coatings that are present in magnesium supplements. Consider looking for a hypoallergenic or additive-free supplement if you think you might have an allergy or intolerance.

Prior to beginning magnesium supplementation, always seek the advice of a healthcare practitioner to ascertain the ideal dose, type, and time frame depending on your unique requirements and medical circumstances. They may assist you in reducing the hazards and making sure you reap the most advantages from these types of supplements.

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[1] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
[2] https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-magnesium
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4455825/
[4] https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/magnesium
[5] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-dosage
[6] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-foods-high-in-magnesium

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The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.