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Magnesium

What is Magnesium?

It is largely agreed upon in the medical community that the human body contains approximately 25 grams of the mineral magnesium. Most of the body’s magnesium supply is stored in the bones, however certain amounts can also be found in the blood and muscles. Despite its storage space, all of the body’s magnesium supply is important to healthy body function. In fact, magnesium contributes to energy production within each and every cell and works alongside calcium to promote healthy bone development and strength.

What does Magnesium do?

Magnesium is considered a multi-functioning mineral that makes large contribution to health and nutrition. Balanced levels of magnesium help keep a heart rate steady, contribute to muscle relaxation and function and keep blood pressure at a balanced level.

Magnesium is a mineral that helps other minerals function more efficiently as well. For example, people who have balanced levels of magnesium will have an easier time absorbing necessary minerals such as calcium and vitamin C. More recently, magnesium is being shown to have positive effects on reducing symptoms in those who suffer from migraines, arrhythmia and even asthma.

Where is Magnesium found?

The primary source of dietary magnesium comes in the form of green, leafy vegetables. Additional food sources that are rich in magnesium include: almonds, cashews and other nuts, bananas, avocados and vegetables in general as well as soy, whole grain products and seeds and legumes.

Magnesium is also available over the counter in capsule form as a dietary supplement. On occasion, these supplements are used in conjunction with prescription medication to treat symptoms of ADHD.

What happens when someone has a Magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium deficiencies can be caused by a variety of ailments including alcohol abuse, interference from other medications, low calcium levels, general problems with absorption, burns or reactions from recent surgeries. The symptoms of a magnesium deficiency generally present themselves in three stages. The first stage includes symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue, confusion, memory loss or even anorexia. Second stage symptoms may include a rapid heartbeat or noticeable cardiac differences. Third stage symptoms occur when a person suffers from a severe magnesium deficiency and can include numbness, hallucination, tingling or extreme confusion. Magnesium works to aide in muscle relaxation, which means those who suffer from a severe magnesium deficiency may also experience episodes of prolonged muscle contractions.

Excessive supplements and symptoms

Magnesium supplements are most commonly consumed under medical recommendation. However, if taken beyond the advisable dosage, a person may end up with higher than normal magnesium levels in their body. In cases such as these individuals may experience symptoms such as muscle weakness, severe fatigue or hyperactivity. While an excess supply of magnesium is a viable possibility, it is a rather rare condition due to the fact that the body naturally expels a great amount of magnesium on a daily basis. Magnesium supplements are often taken in combination with calcium supplements in order to promote more efficient body functions and overall health.

 Magnesium – AIs (Adequate Intakes)

Infants
0-6 months
7-12 months
Milligrams per Day
30
75

 

RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

Children
1-3 years
4-8 years
Milligrams per Day
80
130
Males
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

240
410
400
420
420
420
Females
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

240
360
310
320
320
320
Pregnancy
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

400
350
360
Lactation
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

360
310
320

 

Sources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002423.htm
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-998-Magnesium.aspx?activeIngredientId=998&activeIngredientName=Magnesium&source=1
http://www.vitalhealthzone.com/nutrition/minerals/magnesium.html
http://nutrition.about.com/od/nutrition101/g/magnesiumglossary.htm

USDA Dietary Reference Intakes