The mineral magnesium is vital to hundreds of enzyme functions. It supports blood pressure, heart rhythm, healthy muscle, bone strength, nerve impulses, metabolism and more. Low magnesium levels may result in inflammation, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Good sources of magnesium include whole grains, nuts, beans, shrimp, bananas and green, leafy vegetables. Low magnesium levels are more likely in older adults and people with digestive disorders, or those who take antibiotics or proton pump inhibitors. Low levels can bring nausea, weakness, numbness, muscle cramps and heart rhythm issues.
Consuming high levels of magnesium in food is safe, but taking more than 350mg of magnesium supplements can be toxic. Too much magnesium, the main ingredient in many antacids and laxatives, can cause nausea, cramps and diarrhea. Extreme supplemental amounts can cause low blood pressure, muscle weakness, fatigue and even death. Magnesium supplements may interact with heart medicines, diuretics and antibiotics, and may increase certain health risks. If you have concerns, talk with your doctor and ask for a blood test to check your magnesium level. Always ask before adding a supplement to your health regimen.