magnesium carbonate, magnesium citrate, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate
Magnesium is an essential mineral. It helps more than 300 enzymes work. It’s needed for nerve and muscle activity. It also controls the electrical and muscle activity of the heart. Magnesium is in many antacids and laxatives. It's found in many foods. Because of this, magnesium deficiency is rare.
Magnesium is needed for many functions in the body. These include:
Activating enzymes that help break down carbohydrates
Helping control nerve irritability
Magnesium helps bone and tooth enamel form. It’s needed to convert protein, carbohydrates, and lipids into energy. It also helps make protein, RNA, and DNA. Magnesium helps break down (metabolize) of many substances in the body.
Magnesium is used as a laxative. This is often done in the form of magnesium sulfate or magnesium citrate. Magnesium citrate is given to cleanse the bowel before taking X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs of the abdomen.
It's used in some treatments for heartburn and upset stomach due to acid indigestion
Magnesium is also used to prevent and treat low magnesium levels. This is called hypomagnesemia. In hospitals, magnesium is used to treat preeclampsia and eclampsia. These issues can happen in pregnancy and right after childbirth.
Magnesium works with calcium, vitamin D, and parathyroid hormone to make healthy bone tissue and tooth enamel.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe magnesium to treat certain heart problems. These include:
Heart rhythm problems
It may also be used during cardiac surgery.
There may be benefits that have not yet been proven through research.
Help maintain health of muscles, bone, and nerve tissues
Help with anxiety and depression
Induce sleep in people with insomnia
Relieve premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Prevent muscle cramps, muscle weakness, and fatigue
Prevent heart disease
Prevent hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis)
Prevent high triglyceride levels
Magnesium is measured in milligrams (mg). The Recommended Dietary Allowance is RDA.
Infants (0–6 months)
Infants (6 months to 1 year)
Children (1–3 years)
Children (4–8 years)
Children (9–13 years)
Boys (14–18 years)
Girls (14–18 years)
Men (19–30 years)
Women (19–30 years)
Men (31 years and older)
Women (31 years and older)
Pregnant women (14–18 years)
Pregnant women (19–30 years)
Pregnant women (31 years and older)
*Adequate Intake (AI)
Magnesium supplements come in many forms. Each form has a different amount of magnesium. Magnesium oxide and magnesium hydroxide have the highest amounts of it. Magnesium gluconate and magnesium gluceptate have the lowest.
Dose may be noted as the amount of magnesium. Or it may be noted as the percentage. Read the label to see how it is noted. You can learn the amount of elemental magnesium in a food. To do this, multiply the percentage of magnesium by 10. One (1) gram of magnesium oxide has 60.3% of magnesium or 603 mg.
You should take magnesium supplements with food. This can help prevent diarrhea.
You may need more magnesium if you have any of these:
A malabsorption syndrome
Take water pills (diuretics) regularly
Having vomiting or diarrhea
Have burns over large areas of the body
Extreme athletic activity
Moderate-to-heavy alcohol use
You may also need more magnesium if you are an athlete who restricts calories.
Nutrient content per 100 grams
Beet tops (greens)
Lima beans, raw
Magnesium is in nearly all foods. Because of this, it’s rare to have a diet low in magnesium. Signs of deficiency may include:
Abnormal heart rhythm
Lack of coordination
Loss of appetite
Taking too much magnesium can cause diarrhea. This is the most common side effect. It can also cause:
Low blood pressure (hypotension)
Magnesium supplements may be dangerous for some people. This includes:
People with kidney problems
People with a heart block
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their healthcare providers before taking any supplements.
Magnesium is used in many antacid forms. These can cause diarrhea. Taking magnesium with food may help prevent this side effect.
Magnesium may change the effects of some medicines. These include:
Proton pump inhibitors
Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take before you take magnesium.