Magnesium (Mg) supplements rarely cause side effects in healthy individuals as excess Mg is removed and excreted by the kidneys.
AdvertisementsMagnesium is available in multivitamin-mineral supplements. Magnesium is also available in dietary supplements and magnesium fortified foods. Compounds of magnesium as aspartate, citrate, lactate, and chloride are readily absorbed. Mg is also present in certain laxatives and antacids, which may cause mild side effects.
Magnesium is naturally available in plant food such as leafy green vegetables, seeds, nuts, and whole cereal products. Eating balanced diet rich with fruits and vegetables can contribute much to the daily requirement of the mineral. However, dietary surveys in the United States consistently show that a majority of Americans of all ages ingest less magnesium than their daily demand. The situation is due excessive emphasis on calcium supplementation as well as erratic eating habits, nutrient-depleted diet and skewed nutrient ratios.
Considering the possible harmful outcome of megadose of magnesium, the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (USA) has established the upper limit for magnesium in dietary supplements. Please note that this daily upper limit pertains only to supplements. There is no limitation for magnesium sourced from natural foods. The upper limits are: children 1–3 years - 65 mg; children 4–8 years - 110 mg; children 9–18 years - 350 mg; and adults - 350 mg.
Side effects of magnesium supplements
- The common supplements of Mg are compounds containing aspartate, taurate, carbonate, oxide, hydroxide, citrate, lactate, glycinate and chloride of Mg, which are generally well tolerated.
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- In very rare cases Mg tablets and liquids can cause severe allergic reactions. Persons developing symptoms like angioedema, itching, difficulty in breathing, swelling of the mouth and throat or tightness in the chest must seek medical aid immediately.
- In some people these supplements may cause abdominal pain, upset stomach, bloating, nausea, vomiting, cramps, loose stools and diarrhea.
- In a patient suffering from diarrhea, taking Mg pills can worsen or prolong diarrhea.
- Patients with bleeding disorders should consult their health provider, as magnesium supplements may slow down blood clotting and increase the risk of side effects like bleeding and hemorrhage.
- Healthy functioning of kidney is essential for removing metabolic wastes as well as removing excess minerals and salts from the body. In persons with impaired renal function, Magnesium tablets can cause several side effects.
- Mg tablets, liquids and intravenous injection have been found to have side effects and interactions and are contraindicated in patients taking certain medications.
- Seek medical advice when you are taking calcium supplements. The calcium to magnesium ratio is very important for proper absorption and utilization of the minerals. The side effects of excess magnesium is calcium depletion.
- Mg pills can increase, decrease or block the efficacy of certain medications such as diuretics, heart medicines, diabetic medicines and antibiotics.
- Mg pills can interact With certain medications and create harmful health conditions.
- Weng YM et al reported a case of prolonged hypotension and hypoxic encephalopathy caused by rebound hypermagnesemia. The magnesium oxide tablets taken by the patient for constipation were retained in the gastrointestinal tract without evacuation leading side effects like continued absorption and hypermagnesemia.
- Patients with gastrointestinal diseases, hypothyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, heart diseases, diabetes, pregnant women under preeclampsia treatment or renal diseases should take medical opinion before taking magnesium supplements, as in some cases the diseases may worsen with several side effects.
- hypoxic encephalopathy,
- asystole and
- cardiac arrest.
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