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Trace Minerals – Magnesium

Trace Minerals – Magnesium

(By Tran Anh Nhi, Guardian Pharmacist)

What does magnesium do in the body?

Magnesium is an important mineral required by the body. It’s the makeup for good teeth and bone, and is present in our genes. Magnesium facilitates hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, from energy production, regulation of nerve and muscle function to synthesis of essential materials such as proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. 

What are the sources of magnesium? 

Dietary magnesium can be easily obtained from green leafy vegetables. Whole grains, nuts and milk are also good sources of magnesium. Refined grains have the lowest amount of magnesium as the refining process removes the magnesium-rich germ and bran. 

What will happen if the body lacks magnesium?

Magnesium deficiency results from inadequate intake (rare) and certain medical conditions (common). Early signs of magnesium deficiency are loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, weakness, poor memory and concentration. As less and less magnesium is available for use, you may experience numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, palpitations or personality changes. 

What are the side effects of magnesium?

Magnesium from dietary sources rarely causes any side effects. Excessive intake of supplemental magnesium, on the other hand, is associated with diarrhoea. Low blood pressure, lethargy, confusion, disturbances of normal heart rhythm is related to elevated level of magnesium in the blood. 

Magnesium can react with various medications such as antibiotics (e.g. doxycycline, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin), and osteoporosis medications (e.g. alendronate, risedronate). Make sure you check with your pharmacist or doctor before taking any magnesium supplements. 


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