body, particularly the heart, muscles, and kidneys.
Function of Magnesium:
Magnesium is involved in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions including
energy production, synthesis of essential molecules, structural roles (such as for the
bones and teeth), cell signaling, cell migration, and nutrient interactions.
Deficiency of Magnesium:
Conditions that can upset the body's magnesium balance include: intestinal flu with
vomiting or diarrhea, certain stomach and bowel diseases (such as irritable bowel
syndrome and celiac sprue), diabetes, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, kidney
malfunction, and the use of diuretics. Other factors that can lower magnesium levels
include: drinking too much coffee, tea, or alcohol; using too much salt; excessive
sweating; and prolonged stress.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include: agitation and anxiety, irritability,
abnormal heart rhythms, nausea and vomiting, confusion, hyperventilation, muscle
spasms and weakness, insomnia, poor nail growth, and even seizures.
Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above. Therefore, it is
important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.
Toxicity (Magnesium Overdose):
Consuming excessive amounts of milk of magnesia (as a laxative or antacid) or
Epsom salts (as a laxative or tonic) may cause a magnesium overdose. Taking high
doses of magnesium can cause nausea, vomiting, severely lowered blood pressure,
slowed heart rate, deficiencies of other minerals, confusion, coma, and even death.
It is common for upset stomach and diarrhea to occur when taking magnesium from
non food sources, including milk of magnesia and Epsom salts.
Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in magnesium is the safest and healthiest
way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient. Due to risk of toxicity, individuals
should always consult with a knowledgeable health care provider before starting
doses of supplements. Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that
you first consult with their pediatrician. Also, some supplements may interfere with
medications. If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with
your physician before taking any supplements. All supplements should be kept in
childproof bottles and out of children's reach.
Magnesium Food Chart (List of Foods High in Magnesium):
Oat bran, dry, ½ cup - (96.0 mg)
100% Bran Cereal (e.g., All Bran) ½ cup - (93.1 mg)
Brown rice, cooked, 1 cup - (86.0 mg)
Spinach, frozen, chopped, cooked, ½ cup - (78.0 mg)
Almonds 1 ounce ~23 almonds - (78.0 mg)
Swiss chard, chopped, cooked, ½ cup - (75.0 mg)
Lima beans, cooked, ½ cup - (63.0 mg)
Molasses, blackstrap, 1 tablespoon - (48.0 mg)
Peanuts 1 ounce - (48.0 mg)
Okra, frozen, cooked, ½ cup - (47.0 mg)
Hazelnuts 1 ounce ~21 hazelnuts - (46.0 mg)
Milk, 1% fat, 8 fluid ounces - (34.0 mg)
Banana 1 medium - (32.0 mg)
American Dietetic Association: Complete Food And Nutrition Guide (2nd Edition)
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS
Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and More
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH
University of Maryland Medical Center - umm.edu
Linus Pauling Institute - oregonstate.edu
Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Eating foods that are high in
magnesium can help to prevent
conditions such as hypertension
and cardiovascular disease.
Magnesium is part of chlorophyll
so the green pigment in plants
provides a rich source of
magnesium. Foods high in
magnesium include: green leafy
vegetables, whole grains, and
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an important
mineral for every organ in the
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