2. Magnesium-depleting prescription drugs
The following prescription drugs3-4 cause magnesium and other
be flushed out of your body, which may cause a magnesium deficiency (low total body stores of
magnesium) or more severe, hypomagnesemia (low levels of magnesium in the blood). Both states can
be detrimental to your health.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe a diuretic (water pill)
to treat this condition. Diuretics work to lower blood pressure by ridding your body of
excess water. However, critical electrolytes, including magnesium are also flushed out
during this process3.
Cancer treatments often include the prescription drug cisplatin. A side effect of this
medication is that it causes the kidneys to lose essential magnesium in the urine4.
Transplant patients receive cyclosporine as ongoing prescription therapy. This vital
drug helps to keep the body from rejecting the transplanted organ, but it also depletes
large amounts of magnesium5.
Diuretics, cisplatin, and cyclosporine are beneficial for many patients, however these drugs may
cause a magnesium deficiency, which may lead to serious complications. Additional medications that may deplete the body of magnesium include digoxin, gentamicin, and amphotericin B.
Magnesium deficiencies can be managed with magnesium supplementation.
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3. Magnesium and type 2 diabetes
Research suggests that 80% of people living with type 2 diabetes may be magnesium deficient6.
A magnesium deficiency is commonly seen in type 2 diabetes, because high glucose levels cause magnesium to be flushed from the body.
Insulin Levels - In a recent clinical study, four months of magnesium supplementation improved insulin sensitivity7. Magnesium works with glucose to improve insulin regulation.
Glucose Control - High blood glucose levels are detrimental to your body. In the same clinical study, four months of magnesium supplementation lowered fasting glucose levels7.
Heart Health - Several studies have shown magnesium to lower the risk of developing heart conditions such as coronary artery disease and abnormal heart rhythms2.
If you have type 2 diabetes, chances are you have a magnesium deficiency. Even if you eat foods
high in magnesium (leafy greens for example), you still may become deficient because type 2
diabetes causes essential nutrients to be flushed from your body. Additionally, according
to new guidelines published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, individuals with a
blood pressure reading over 120/80 mm Hg are to be considered prehypertensive8. Magnesium is considered to be a natural calcium-channel blocker and a vasodilator9, which can be beneficial for patients with mild hypertension (high blood pressure). Magnesium deficiencies can be caused by loop and thiazide diuretics and can be managed with magnesium supplementation.
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4. Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency
A few symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include leg cramps, migraines, and fatigue. Not
all people experience the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency. In addition, blood tests
are not always accurate because less than 1% of your body's magnesium is located in
the blood. Therefore, if you have the symptoms of (or are at risk for) a magnesium deficiency,
you may benefit from taking two tablets daily of Mag-Ox.
Most Americans don't get enough magnesium in their diets. Add to that a magnesium-depleting prescription drug or health condition that is associated with a magnesium deficiency and serious health complications may arise.
Magnesium can help the body absorb other important supplements, such as calcium and potassium.
It is important to realize that multivitamins provide only a fraction of the RDA for magnesium,
which is why an additional magnesium supplement may be critical to maintain adequate magnesium
Renal failure patients and pregnant women should
seek the advice of a healthcare professional before starting magnesium supplementation.
Other signs and symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include: abnormal heart rhythms, loss of appetite, depression, muscle contractions, tingling, coronary spasm, and seizures. Please visit the National Institutes of Health website for more information.
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5. If you experience one of these conditions, a magnesium supplement may be beneficial
Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and plays a critical role
in the following areas:
Magnesium and Type 2 Diabetes
Magnesium may play a role in how well cells respond to insulin, the hormone that helps control
blood glucose levels10. Elevated blood glucose levels
increase the loss of magnesium in the urine, which in turn lowers blood levels of
Research suggests that roughly 80% of people with diabetes may be magnesium deficient. 6 For this reason, it is important for people with diabetes to maintain adequate levels of magnesium.
Magnesium and Cardiovascular Health
Adequate magnesium levels are critical for heart health. Evidence suggests that magnesium may play an important role in regulating blood pressure and keeping the heart rhythm steady12. A magnesium deficiency may contribute to abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and strokes - making it important to maintain adequate magnesium in the body13.
Magnesium and Pain Management
Magnesium helps to maintain normal muscle and nerve function. Muscle contractions, leg cramps,
and migraines may be symptoms of a magnesium deficiency. Studies have shown that magnesium
helps to reduce the severity and duration of both leg cramps and
migraines14-15. These conditions, when related to a
magnesium deficiency, can often be managed with -800 mg of supplemental magnesium daily.
Magnesium and Women's health
Magnesium is essential to women's health and may be beneficial for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), pregnancy, osteoporosis, and symptoms of menopause16.
Magnesium is also involved in maintaining and building strong bones. Magnesium is essential
for normal bone metabolism. It is important to have a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium
(i.e. for every 800mg of calcium, one should take mg of magnesium).
16 A magnesium deficiency may be a risk factor for
postmenopausal osteoporosis17. This may be due to the fact that
a magnesium deficiency alters calcium metabolism and the hormone that regulates calcium18. Maintaining optimal levels of magnesium is important for women of all age groups.
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1 Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes. Food and Nutrition Board. Institutes of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphourous, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Flouride. Washington D.C: National Academy of Sciences; 1997.
2 National Institutes of Health. www.nih.gov.
3 Ramsay LE, Yeo WW, Jackson PR. Metabolic effects of diuretics. Cardiology 1994; 84 Suppl 2:48-56.
4 Lajer H and Daugaard G. Cisplatin and hypomagnesemia. Ca Treat Rev 1999; 25:47-58.
5 Kelepouris E and Agus ZS. Hypomagnesemia: Renal magnesium handling. Semin Nephrol. 1998; 18:58-73.
6 Carper J. Mighty Magnesium. USAWeekend 2002. Aug 30-Sept 1:4.
7 Rodriguez-Moran M, Guerrero-Romero F. Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2003 Apr; 26(4): 1147-52.
8 Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, et al; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection,Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure; National High Blood Pressure Education Program Coordinating Committee. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure: the JNC 7 report. JAMA. 2003; 289(19): 2560-2572.
9 Altura BM, Altura BT, Carella A, Gebrewold A, Murakawa T, Nishio A. Mg2+-Ca2+ interaction in contractility of vascular smooth muscle: Mg2+ versus organic calcium channel blockers on myogenic tone and agonist-induced responsiveness of blood vessels. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1987 Apr;65(4):729-45.
10 Paolisso G, Scheen A, D'Onofrio F, Lefebvre P. Magnesium and glucose homeostasis. Diabetologia 1990; 33:511-4.
11 Tosiello L. Hypomagnesemia and diabetes mellitus. A review of clinical implications. Arch Intern Med. 1996; 156:1143-8.
12 Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride. National Academy Press. Washington, DC, 1999.
13 Altura BM and Altura BT. Magnesium and cardiovascular biology: An important link between cardiovascular risk factors and atherogenesis. Cell Mol Biol Res 1995;41:347-59.
14 Roffe ,Sills S, Crome P, Jones P. Randomized, cross-over, placebo controlled trial of magnesium citrate in the treatment of chronic persistent leg cramps. Med Sci Monit. 2002 May; 8(5): CR326-30.
15 Fong W, Van Den Eeden SK, Ackerson LM, Slak SE, Reince RH, Elin RJ. Oral magnesium oxide prophylaxis of frequent migrainous headache in children: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Headache. 2003 Jun; 43(6): 601-10.
16 Seelig M. Interrelationship of magnesium and estrogen in cardiovascular and bone disorders, eclampsia, migraine and premenstrual syndrome.J Am Coll Nutr. 1993 Aug; 12(4): 442-58.
17 Seeling, Mildred S, and Andrea Rosanoff. The Magnesium Factor. New York, NY: Avery, 2003.
18 Rude RK and Olerich M. Magnesium deficiency: Possible role in osteoporosis associated with gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Osteoporosis Int 1996; 6:453-61.