Too much Magnesium oxide

bottle of magnesium pillsQ.I have read that magnesium is an important supplement but I have no idea how much to take. Can one overdose on this element? Is it really as important as calcium?

A. Magnesium is crucial for virtually every cell in the body. This mineral rarely gets the respect it deserves. People are told to get extra calcium, though too much could be problematic.

There is also recognition that potassium is essential, especially for people on blood pressure or heart medicine containing potassium-depleting diuretics. But there are rarely calls for careful monitoring of magnesium levels or recommendations for supplementation.

Magnesium is absolutely essential for bone health and heart function. When magnesium levels drop too low (also a complication of diuretic use), irregular heart rhythms may result. Other conditions that may be related to magnesium deficiency include anxiety and depression, pain, migraines, infertility, preeclampsia, kidney stones, reflux, asthma, constipation, hypertension, insomnia and Raynaud’s syndrome (painful extremities related to cold temperature and lack of adequate circulation).

A safe dose of magnesium ranges from 300 mg to 500 mg. Too much magnesium can lead to loose stools or diarrhea. People with kidney disease must be careful not to take too much magnesium as it may aggravate the condition.

Here are some stories from readers and visitors to this website about the benefits of magnesium:

“I often read about people having trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Perhaps my story will help someone.

“My pharmacist recently told me to take my magnesium tablets at bedtime instead of with breakfast. What a shocker to find such a difference in falling asleep. I no longer need to take melatonin or Tylenol PM.”

“I have had a lot of trouble with constipation. I tried Metamucil, but it made things even worse. I tried Citrucel but I’m sensitive to citrus fruits, so I became more bloated.

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