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Magnesium Under The Microscope

Written by Courteney

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 5:48 pm

As the latest edition of our “Dietary Supplements Under the Microscope” feature we wanted to check out the pros and cons of magnesium supplements. Magnesium is a mineral ion the body uses to facilitate over 300 different reactions and processes such as controlling blood-glucose levels, aiding in bone development, as well as nerve, muscle and heart rhythm function.

How Do We Obtain Magnesium?

The body contains approximately 25 grams of magnesium, but requires a daily influx of the mineral to replenish what is constantly being used for chemical reactions. Adults needs between 310 and 420mg daily, most or all of which can be ingested through foods such as nuts, fish, veggies, dairy, chocolate or even coffee. Due to magnesium deficiencies magnesium dietary supplements and needle supplements of various forms of magnesium are also available (but not necessary for most people). Doctors sometimes try patients on magnesium as supplemental treatment of certain health conditions as well.

Conditions Magnesium is Used to Treat

While there isn’t enough research to fully support many medicinal uses of magnesium, it has shown promise in helping many conditions. Doctors often prescribe or suggest magnesium to patients struggling with such conditions as:

  1. Premenstrual syndrome cramps
  2. Diabetes
  3. Osteoporosis
  4. Heart disease
  5. Asthma
  6. Chest and muscle pain
  7. Muscle cramps
  8. Generalized inflammation

Possible Medication Interactions

Magnesium may decrease effectiveness of certain medications such as antibiotics. Magnesium can also cause dangerous effects such as muscle problems when used with antibiotics. Other medications that may interact adversely with magnesium include calcium channel blockers (used to control blood pressure), bisphosphonates, water pills and muscle relaxants, among others.

Potential Side Effects

The most commonly experienced side effect of magnesium supplements is diarrhea or an upset stomach. The higher the dose, the more of a laxative effect magnesium will likely have. Magnesium can be problematic for those with heart block, stomach or kidney problems. As with anything, there is a possibility of a severe allergic reaction to magnesium or filler ingredients (this is very rare). If a person overdoses magnesium it could cause serious side effects such as irregular heartbeat, a coma or even death in extremely rare cases.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Remember to always check with a physician before starting any dietary supplements to ensure it will not conflict with any of your conditions or medications, and to determine whether the benefits will outweigh the side effects in your case. If you have any questions about magnesium supplements, feel free to sign up to DocChat today for a video consultation with one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians.

 

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