Magnesium is essential for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Not only does the mineral support a healthy immune system and maintain normal nerve and muscle function, but it also regulates blood sugar and blood pressure, and keeps bones strong. Although magnesium deficiencies are not seen very often in the United States, the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements notes that most Americans do not get the recommended amounts of magnesium. Taking a supplement may help individuals meet the recommended dietary allowance for magnesium.
The minimum amount of magnesium a person should get each day depends on age. Women under 30 need 310 milligrams of magnesium each day, while men of the same age need around 400 milligrams. For women over the age of 30, magnesium recommendations jump slightly to 320 milligrams. Men over 30 should take in 420 milligrams.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women require more magnesium than other women of their age group. The recommended dietary allowance of magnesium during pregnancy is 350 milligrams a day for women under 30 and 360 mg a day for women 31 years old or older. The recommended dietary allowance of magnesium for breastfeeding women is 310 milligrams a day for those under 30 and 320 mg a day for those who are 31 years old or older. In addition, some other medical conditions may require a person to take larger-than-normal amounts of magnesium. Alcoholism, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, regional enteritis, gluten sensitive enteropathy are a few conditions that may put someone at a greater risk for a magnesium deficiency. If you are concerned that a medical condition may be interfering with your body’s magnesium levels, consult your doctor for advice on supplementation.
Although getting excess amounts of magnesium through food does not pose any health risks, taking too large of a dosage of a magnesium supplement may cause adverse side effects. Symptoms of a magnesium overdose include diarrhea, stomach cramps, muscle weakness, nausea, appetite loss, extremely low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, changes in mental status and difficulty breathing. To avoid these side effects, do not consume more than the tolerable upper intake level for your age group.
The tolerable upper intake level for adults, regardless of gender, is 350 milligrams of magnesium a day. Do not consume more than these amounts unless specifically instructed by a doctor to do so.
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.