HealthNotes

HealthNotes

Healthnotes offers comprehensive, science-based health and lifestyle information. Written with you in mind, Healthnotes answers the most commonly asked questions with credible, easy-to-understand information — edited by physicians who review over 550 scientific and medical journals to keep content current, factual, and balanced.

Magnesium

Also indexed as:Magnesium Oxide
Magnesium: Main Image

How to Use It

Most people don’t consume enough magnesium in their diets. Many nutritionally oriented doctors recommend 250–350 mg per day of supplemental magnesium for adults.

Where to Find It

Nuts and grains are good sources of magnesium. Beans, dark green vegetables, fish, and meat also contain significant amounts.

Possible Deficiencies

Magnesium deficiency is common in people taking “potassium-depleting” prescription diuretics. Taking too many laxatives can also lead to deficiency. Alcoholism, severe burns, diabetes, and heart failure are other potential causes of deficiency. In a study of urban African-American people (predominantly female), the overall prevalence of magnesium deficiency was 20%. People with a history of alcoholism were six times more likely to have magnesium deficiency than were people without such a history.199 The low magnesium status seen in alcoholics with liver cirrhosis contributes to the development of hypertension in these people.200

Almost two-thirds of people in intensive care hospital units have been found to be magnesium deficient.201 Deficiency may also occur in people with chronic diarrhea, pancreatitis, and other conditions associated with malabsorption.

Fatigue, abnormal heart rhythms, muscle weakness and spasm, depression, loss of appetite, listlessness, and potassium depletion can all result from a magnesium deficiency. People with these symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor before taking magnesium supplements.

As previously mentioned, magnesium levels have been found to be low in people with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Deficiencies of magnesium that are serious enough to cause symptoms should be treated by medical doctors, as they might require intravenous administration of magnesium.202

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

Learn more about Aisle7, the company.

Learn more about the authors of Aisle7 products.

The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

store feedback Give Feedback
live chat software