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vitamins And Minerals > > Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the body's essential minerals. It is involved in energy metabolism, replication of genetic materials, as well as in the maintenance of normal muscle, bone and nerve activity. An adequate level of magnesium has also been shown to help control blood pressure. Sixty percent of the body's magnesium is stored in bone.

Magnesium is present in many foods, but typically in very small amounts. It can be obtained through green vegetables like spinach and avocados. Nuts, seeds, wheat germ, almonds and some whole grains are also sources of the mineral. Refined foods have very low amounts of magnesium. Some water supplies also contain traces of magnesium. Hard water generally contains more than soft water.

The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium is approximately 420 mg for adult males and 320 mg for adult females. Women should intake slightly more of the mineral when they are pregnant. Magnesium supplements are typically not needed in healthy adults. Supplements are usually only given when there is a specific condition at play that inhibits the absorption of the mineral.

Magnesium deficiencies in otherwise healthy adults are rare in the United States. A deficiency is typically a result of gastrointestinal disorders that directly limit absorption of the mineral. Alcohol abusers are at high risk for magnesium deficiencies, as alcohol severely increases urinary excretion of the mineral. Poorly controlled diabetes and chronic vomiting and diarrhea also contribute to deficiencies. Signs of a magnesium deficiency include confusion, muscle contractions, abnormal heart rhythms, numbness, loss of appetite and depression. Deficiencies have also been found in people who have frequent migraines. Magnesium deficiencies may contribute to heart attacks and strokes, and may also contribute to development of osteoporosis in women after menopause.

Excess magnesium due to high dose supplements can cause diarrhea. Magnesium at toxic levels can lead to kidney failure when the kidneys can no longer remove excess magnesium from the system.

vitamins And Minerals > > Magnesium