Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Essential for more than 300 metabolic processes, magnesium is essential for bone, muscles and nerve health. According to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, many adults in the U.S. do not get the recommended amounts of magnesium from food and may need supplements, especially when exhibiting symptoms of deficiencies such as muscle weakness, fatigue, nausea and loss of appetite. Magnesium supplements come in various forms including magnesium glucose, a salt of magnesium and gluconic acid. Magnesium gluconate 500 provides 27 mg of magnesium in a 500 mg tablet. Your physician can recommend the best magnesium supplement for you.
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Low dietary intake may not be the only cause of magnesium deficiency; health conditions can necessitate supplements. Magnesium gluconate can restore magnesium when drugs such as diuretics, antibiotics and medications for cancer treatment may impair absorption of nutrients. Crohn's disease, gluten sensitivity and intestinal surgery may cause reduced absorption of nutrients and loss of magnesium through diarrhea. Alcoholics commonly suffer from low blood levels of magnesium and magnesium gluconate can restore the levels to normal. Ability to absorb magnesium decreases with age and seniors are more likely to take drugs that interact with magnesium. Magnesium supplements may help with these imbalances.
Antacid and Laxative
As a supplement, magnesium gluconate has the best bio-availability of all magnesium supplements. Used as an antacid, it reacts with stomach acid to increases gastric pH for relief of indigestion and heartburn. Magnesium gluconate may be used as an electrolyte replacement and laxative. In large doses, magnesium gluconate taken as an antacid or laxative can lead to elevated levels of magnesium. Mobey’s Medical Dictionary gives a high-alert drug warning for pregnant women taking magnesium gluconate. The supplement can create an osmosis effect by drawing water into intestines and causing distension and diarrhea.
Supplements of magnesium gluconate may help regulate normal blood pressure, preventing hypertension and cardiovascular disorders. The “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” reported the results of The Honolulu Heart Study stating magnesium had a strong association with blood pressure, although it was difficult to separate the exact effects from other variables.
Lower risk of Diabetes
Diabetics suffering from hyperglycemia may need to increase their magnesium intake. Magnesium helps regulate glucose and synthesize protein and fat. Findings by the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health suggest a significant inverse association between magnesium intake and diabetes risk and recommended increased consumption of magnesium-rich food.