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What Is Magnesium? What Are The Functions?

Magnesium (Mg) can be found in many different foods naturally, as a supplement, and as a component in antacids and laxatives. The mineral is crucial in helping over 300 enzymes carry out a variety of chemical processes in the body, including the synthesis of proteins and strong bones and the control of blood sugar, blood pressure, muscle, and nerve functions.

How Much Magnesium Do I Need? What Are The Recommended Amounts?

For men (19 to 64 years old) and women (270 to 300 mg daily), respectively, is the recommended quantity of magnesium (19 to 64 years).

RDA:  For individuals aged 19 to 51 and over, the RDA is 400–420 mg for men and 310–320 mg for women daily. Each day, 350–360 mg are needed for lactation and 350–320 mg for pregnancy.

UL:  The daily amount that is most unlikely to have a negative impact on health is known as the Tolerable Upper Intake Level. Magnesium’s UL is 350 milligrams from supplements only. Some people may experience cramping, nausea, and diarrhea after using high-dose supplements. Extra magnesium from the diet is safe because the kidneys will excrete extra quantities in urine.

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What Happens If There Is Excess Of Magnesium?

It can cause diarrhea when taken in high dosages (greater than 400 mg) over a brief period of time. Besides, there isn’t enough data to determine what would happen if you take high dosages of magnesium for a very long time.

What Are The Sources? What Food Contains Magnesium?

Plant foods containing Mg include legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and cereals with added nutrients. Fish, chicken, and meat all contain it as well. (Source)

  • Almonds, peanuts, cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Beans (black, kidney)
  • Cooked spinach, Swiss chard
  • White potato with skin
  • Brown Rice
  • Salmon
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Banana
  • Raisins
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Milk, Yogurt

Deficiency Of Magnesium: The Possible Disorders And Their Symptoms 

Despite the fact that some fortified foods also contain Mg, most Americans of all ages consume less of it than is advised, according to national dietary surveys. However, these levels of insufficiency are negligible and unlikely to result in symptoms.

By reducing the quantity discharged in urine and absorbing more magnesium in the gut when stocks are low, the body also aids in maintaining Mg levels.

Long-term low magnesium diets, malabsorption, significant magnesium losses from alcohol addiction, or use of depleting drugs are all signs of a genuine deficit (some diuretics, proton pump inhibitors, and antibiotics).

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Deficiencies can be detected by:

  • Fatigue, weakness
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Numbness or tingling in the skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Seizures

Risk factors for deficiency include:

  • Long-term excessive alcohol consumption. (Source)
  • Old age
  • Chronic Disease Drugs
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus:
  • Toxicity Of Sodium In Case Of Excess Of Mg 

Toxicity of Mg

Food sources rarely cause toxicity because the kidneys will excrete extra magnesium in the urine. However, prolonged usage of supplements containing high dosages may result in hazardous levels. Because their kidneys are not functioning properly and cannot flush out additional magnesium, people with kidney disease are more likely to experience poisoning.

Toxicity warning signs include:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Low mood, depression
  • Muscle weakness
  • Low blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat
  • Heart attack 

To know more about other nutrients, Check out our exclusive section – Food Nutrients.