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Magnesium

Magnesium

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

About

Magnesium is a mineral that is important for normal bone structure in the body. People get magnesium from their diet, but sometimes magnesium supplements are needed if magnesium levels are too low. Dietary intake of magnesium may be low, particularly among women. Magnesium deficiency is also not uncommon among African Americans and the elderly. Low magnesium levels in the body have been linked to diseases such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, hereditary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

An easy way to remember foods that are good magnesium sources is to think fiber. Foods that are high in fiber are generally high in magnesium. Dietary sources of magnesium include legumes, whole grains, vegetables (especially broccoli, squash, and green leafy vegetables), seeds, and nuts (especially almonds). Other sources include dairy products, meats, chocolate, and coffee. Water with a high mineral content, or "hard" water, is also a source of magnesium.

People take magnesium by mouth to prevent magnesium deficiency. It is also used as a laxative for constipation and for preparation of the bowel for surgical or diagnostic procedures. It is also used as an antacid for acid indigestion.

Some people use magnesium for diseases of the heart and blood vessels including chest pain, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, high levels of "bad" cholesterol called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, low levels of "good" cholesterol called high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, heart valve disease (mitral valve prolapse), metabolic syndrome, clogged arteries (coronary artery disease), stroke, and heart attack.

Magnesium is also used for treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, cystic fibrosis, alcoholism, mania, recovery after surgery, leg cramps at night and during pregnancy, diabetes, kidney stones, migraine headaches, a long-term pain condition called complex regional pain syndrome, weak bones (osteoporosis), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), altitude sickness, urinary incontinence, a condition that causes burning pain and redness called erythromelalgia, a disorder that causes a strong urge to move ones legs (restless legs syndrome; RLS), asthma, hayfever, multiple sclerosis, and for preventing hearing loss and cancer.

Athletes sometimes use magnesium to increase energy and endurance.

Some people apply magnesium on their skin to treat infected skin ulcers, boils, and carbuncles; and to speed up wound healing. Magnesium is also used as a cold compress in the treatment of a severe skin infection caused by strep bacteria (erysipelas) and as a hot compress for deep-seated skin infections.

Magnesium is injected into the body for nutritional purposes and to treat magnesium deficiency that occurs in people with pancreas infections, magnesium absorption disorders, and cirrhosis. It is also injected to treat high blood pressure during pregnancy and other pregnancy complications.

Magnesium is also used as an injection to control seizures, to treat irregular heartbeat, to control irregular heartbeat after a heart attack, and for cardiac arrest. Magnesium is also injected into the body to treat asthma and other lung disease complications, for migraines and cluster headaches, jellyfish stings, poisonings, pain, swelling in the brain, chemotherapy side effects, head trauma and bleeding, sickle cell disease, to prevent cerebral palsy, and for tetanus.

How does it work?

Magnesium is required for the proper growth and maintenance of bones. Magnesium is also required for the proper function of nerves, muscles, and many other parts of the body. In the stomach, magnesium helps neutralize stomach acid and moves stools through the intestine.

Traditionally used for

Constipation.
Indigestion.
Magnesium deficiency.
High blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia).
Irregular heartbeat (torsades de pointes).
Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias).
Asthma.
Pain caused by nerve damage associated with cancer.
Cerebral palsy.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
A lung disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Cluster headache.
Chest pain (angina) due to clogged arteries.
Cystic fibrosis.
Diabetes.
Fibromyalgia.
Hearing loss.
High cholesterol.
Metabolic syndrome (increased risk for diabetes and heart disease).
Diseases of heart valves (mitral valve prolapse).
Weak bones (osteoporosis).
Pain after a hysterectomy.
Pain after surgery.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Chest pain due to blood vessel spasms (vasospastic angina).

Dosage

Adults

By Mouth:

The daily Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for elemental magnesium are: 19-30 years, 400 mg (men) and 310 mg (women); 31 years and older, 420 mg (men) and 320 mg (women). For pregnant women age 14-18 years, the RDA is 400 mg; 19-30 years, 350 mg; 31-50 years, 360 mg. For lactating women age 14-18 years, the RDA is 360 mg; 19-30 years, 310 mg; 31-50 years, 320 mg. The daily upper intake level (UL) for magnesium is 350 mg for anyone over 8 years old, including pregnant and breast-feeding women.

For constipation: 8.75-25 grams of magnesium citrate has been used, usually as 150-300 mL in a 290 mL solution. 2.4-4.8 grams of magnesium hydroxide has also been used. 10-30 grams of magnesium sulfate has also been used. Magnesium salts should only be used for occasional treatment of constipation, and doses should be taken with a full 8 oz glass of water.

For indigestion: 400-1200 mg of magnesium hydroxide has been used up to four times daily. 800 mg of magnesium oxide daily has also been used.

For magnesium deficiency: 3 grams of magnesium sulfate, taken every 6 hours for four doses, has been used. A 5% solution of magnesium chloride has been used by mouth daily for 16 weeks. Magnesium-rich mineral water (Hepar) containing 110 mg/L has also been used. 10.4 mmol of magnesium lactate, taken by mouth daily for 3 months, has been used. Avoid magnesium oxide and magnesium carbonate.

For irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias): 2.163 mg of magnesium-DL-hydrogen aspartate and 2.162 mg of potassium-DL-hydrogen aspartate given daily for 21 days has been used.

For chest pain due to clogged arteries: 800-1200 mg of magnesium oxide taken daily for 3 months has been used.

For diabetes: For type 2 diabetes, 2.5 grams of magnesium chloride in a 50 mL solution daily for 16 weeks has been used. 300 mL of salt lake water with naturally high magnesium content diluted with distilled water to contain 100 mg of magnesium per 100 mL of water has been used daily for 30 days. 360 mg of magnesium daily for 4 to 16 weeks has been used. For type 1 diabetes, 300 mg of a specific magnesium gluconate supplement (Ultramagnesium) daily for 5 years has been used.

For fibromyalgia: Magnesium hydroxide plus malic acid (Super Malic tablets) has been used. 300 mg of magnesium citrate daily for 8 weeks has also been used.

For hearing loss: 167 mg of magnesium aspartate mixed in 200 mL lemonade, taken daily for 8 weeks or as a single dose, has been used.

For high cholesterol: 1 gram of magnesium oxide daily for 6 weeks has been used.

For metabolic syndrome: 365 mg of a specific magnesium aspartate product (Magnesiocard) taken daily for 6 months has been used.

For disease of heart valves (mitral valve prolapse): 1200-1800 mg of magnesium carbonate taken daily for 5 weeks has been used.

For osteoporosis: 300-1800 mg of magnesium hydroxide taken daily for 6 months, followed by 600 mg of magnesium hydroxide taken daily for 18 months, has been used. 1830 mg of magnesium citrate has been used daily for 30 days. In addition to estrogen, 600 mg of magnesium plus 500 mg of calcium and a multivitamin supplement has been used daily for one year.

Pain after surgery: A specific magnesium lozenge (Magnesium-Diasporal lozenge, Med Ilac, Istanbul, Turkey) containing 610 mg magnesium citrate salt, taken 30 minutes before surgery, has been used.

For premenstrual syndrome (PMS): 333 mg of magnesium oxide taken daily for two menstrual cycles has been used. A higher dose of 360 mg elemental magnesium three times daily has been used from the 15th day of the menstrual cycle until menstrual period begins. 360 mg of elemental magnesium taken three times daily for 2 months has been used. A combination of 200 mg of magnesium daily plus 50 mg of vitamin B6 daily has been used.

Inhaled:

For a lung disease called chronic pulmonary disease (COPD): 2.5 mg of the drug salbutamol along with 2.5 mL of magnesium sulfate (151 mg per dose), inhaled three times at 30 minute intervals, has been used.

Children

By Mouth:

The daily Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for elemental magnesium are: Age 1-3 years, 80 mg; 4-8 years, 130 mg; 9-13 years, 240 mg; 14-18 years, 410 mg (boys) and 360 mg (girls). For infants less than one year of age, adequate intake (AI) levels are 30 mg from birth to 6 months and 75 mg from 7 to 12 months. The daily upper intake level (UL) for magnesium is 65 mg for children age 1-3 years, and 110 mg for 4-8 years.

For cystic fibrosis: 300 mg of magnesium-glycine taken daily for 8 weeks has been used.

Possible Side Effects

Magnesium is SAFE for most people when taken by mouth appropriately or when the prescription-only, injectable product is used correctly. In some people, magnesium might cause stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other side effects.

Doses less than 350 mg daily are safe for most adults. When taken in very large amounts, magnesium is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Large doses might cause too much magnesium to build up in the body, causing serious side effects including an irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, confusion, slowed breathing, coma, and death.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Magnesium is SAFE for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken in doses less than 350 mg daily. Magnesium is SAFE when injected as a shot or intravenously (by IV) before delivery. Magnesium is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth or by IV in high doses.

Children: Magnesium is SAFE for most people when taken by mouth appropriately or when the prescription-only, injectable product is used correctly. Magnesium is safe when taken in doses less than 65 mg for children 1-3 years, 110 mg for children 4-8 years, and 350 mg for children older than 8 years. Magnesium is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken in higher doses.

Alcoholism: Alcohol abuse increases the risk for magnesium deficiency.

Bleeding disorders: Magnesium seem to slow blood clotting. In theory, taking magnesium might increase the risk of bleeding or bruising in people with bleeding disorders.

Diabetes: Diabetes increases the risk for magnesium deficiency. Poorly controlled diabetes reduces how much magnesium the body absorbs.

Elderly: The elderly are at risk for magnesium deficiency due to reduced magnesium absorption by the body and often the presence of diseases that also affect magnesium absorption.

Heart block: High doses of magnesium (typically delivered by IV) should not be given to people with heart block.

Diseases that affect magnesium absorption: How much magnesium the body absorbs can be reduces by many conditions, including stomach infections, immune diseases, inflammatory bowel disease and others.

Kidney problems, such as kidney failure: Kidneys that don't work well have trouble clearing magnesium from the body. Taking extra magnesium can cause magnesium to build up to dangerous levels. Don't take magnesium if you have kidney problems.

A disorder that causes a strong urge to move ones legs (restless legs syndrome; RLS): People with restless legs syndrome might have high magnesium levels. But it's not clear if magnesium is the cause for this condition, as people with restless legs syndrome have also had magnesium deficiency.

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