What Are the Side Effects of Magnesium?

Author: Staff Writers

The side effects of magnesium commonly include upset stomach and diarrhea.

More Info: It is rare to get too much magnesium from diet alone.  In fact, most people do not get enough magnesium in their diets.  If an overdose does occur, it is generally attributed to magnesium supplementation, which should never be taken without a physician's supervision. [1]

Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium is a necessary mineral in the human body and aids in the production of healthy cells, proper digestion, and overall good health. The best way to boost magnesium levels in your body is to change your diet to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Dark, leafy vegetables are recommended by the Food Guide Pyramid to help adults who are risk of having a magnesium deficiency. [2]

Who Is at Risk for a Magnesium Deficiency?

Though the general population does not get enough daily magnesium through diet alone, the signs of deficiency are usually rare because the body stores the mineral. [3] Excessive consumption of alcohol, soda, coffee, and salt can cause a magnesium deficiency.  Some medications can cause a deficiency of magnesium in the body such as certain diuretics, chemotherapy drugs, certain antibiotics, steroids, and digoxin.  Certain medical conditions can place you at risk for a serious magnesium deficiency such as kidney problems, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis, and gastrointestinal diseases.  [4]

More Serious Side Effects of Too Much Magnesium

Though magnesium absorbed through diet poses no health risk, pharmacological supplementation can, such as that found in laxatives and antacids that contain magnesium. [5]

Too much magnesium can cause serious side effects and can even be fatal.  Side effects can include nausea and vomiting, slowed heart rate, dangerously low blood pressure, confusion, respiratory paralysis, cardiac arrhythmias, coma, cardiac arrest, and death. Magnesium supplementation should always be monitored by a physician.  [6]


Works Cited

[1][4] University of Maryland Medical Center

[2]US National Library of Medicine

[3]University of Florida Extension
Facts about Magnesium

[5] Office of Dietary Supplements

[6]Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University

purplearrowExpert Opinion 

Quote: "The initial symptom of excess magnesium supplementation is diarrhea-a well-known side effect of magnesium that is used therapeutically as a laxative."

Source:   Magnesium Toxicity
Linus Pauling Institute


purplearrowGlossary of Terms

Digoxin: a poisonous cardiotonic steroid C41H64O14 obtained from a foxglove (Digitalis lanata) and used especially to treat atrial fibrillation
Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Diuretic: a substance which causes an increase in the production of urine
Cambridge Dictionary

Supplements: a substance taken to remedy the deficiencies in a person's diet.
Oxford Dictionary

purple arrowCite this Article

"What Are the Side Effects of Magnesium?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/what-are-the-side-effects-of-magnesium.html>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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