As the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, magnesium is essential in a variety of biochemical reactions in the body. These include protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium plays an active part in energy production, bone development and the transport of calcium and potassium that are needed to fuel the electrical functions of the body including muscle contraction and heart rhythm. Magnesium also neutralizes stomach acid and assists with the motility of the bowel. read more about magnesium » | find answers to your vitamins questions »
Magnesium can be found naturally in a variety of food sources. Whole grains, legumes, green leafy vegetables, and whole wheat flour are excellent sources of magnesium. A variety of nuts, such as peanuts, almonds, cashews, and black walnuts, are healthy snacks that provide you with additional sources of this mineral. Other common foods include bananas, oatmeal, baked potatoes, coffee, and even chocolate can provide magnesium as well.
Who Needs Magnesium Supplements?
Magnesium deficiency is uncommon since the kidneys limit excretion of this mineral but there is an increased prevalence in people with gastrointestinal disease, type 2 diabetes or alcohol dependence; and in the elderly. In addition, certain medications can reduce magnesium levels including antibiotics, bisphosphonates, calcium channel blockers, muscle relaxants and diuretics.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include poor appetite, nausea and vomiting, and fatigue and weakness. A simple blood test can confirm a magnesium deficiency. In cases of sever magnesium deficiency, individuals may have lower levels of both calcium (hypocalcaemia) and potassium (hypokalemia) in their blood.
There are a variety of forms of magnesium supplements to choose from at drugstore.com. Magnesium is available in tablet, capsule or powder forms that may be mixed with water. Magnesium is indicated for dyspepsia (heartburn), constipation and magnesium deficiency. There is some research that magnesium is effective for pre-eclampsia or eclampsia or an irregular heartbeat called torsades de pointes. The use of magnesium for the following conditions lacks adequate research: premenstrual syndrome, osteoporosis, preventing type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and chest pain.
It is important to talk with your physician before taking a magnesium supplement since there are many side effects and risks to consider. Side effects are minimal at doses less than 350 mg/day for adults. However, larger doses may be unsafe for pregnant and breastfeeding women and people with kidney problems or a history of heart block.
If your doctor determines magnesium supplements are right for you, visit drugstore.com and explore the extensive varieties we have to offer.