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Magnesium (Mg) is a mineral nutrient that is critical to many cellular functions. It is found predominantly in the bone, brain, heart, liver, muscle and kidney. Magnesium is important for the relaxation phase of muscles. Dietary magnesium is mostly absorbed in the small intestine and is best ionised for absorption in an acidic environment. This would require normal amounts of stomach acid to be present. Magnesium deficiency is often secondary to factors that reduce the absorption or increase the secretion of magnesium such as high calcium intake, alcohol, surgery, diuretics, liver disease, kidney disease, heavy metal toxicity and oral contraceptive use. Deficiency signs and symptoms include fatigue, mental confusion, irritability, weakness, heart disturbances, problems with nerve conduction and muscle contraction, muscle cramps, loss of appetite, insomnia and a predisposition to stress. Low magnesium levels may go unnoticed. Most of the body’s magnesium stores lie within the cells and not the serum. Testing the level of magnesium within the red blood cells (erythrocyte magnesium level) is more of an indicative test. Dietary sources of Mg include green leafy vegetables; unpolished grains, seeds and nuts; legumes (soy beans and dried peas); fruits (bananas, avocado and dried apricots).
The Mg content of food is influenced by the Mg content of the soil it was grown in.
Magnesium (from magnesium aspartate complex) 125 mg 1 to 3 capsules daily or as directed. Kidney disease and severe heart disease—Precaution should be taken when supplementing with magnesium in individuals with these conditions.