Magnesium, an essential micronutrient, plays a key role in signaling in almost every cell of your body. Magnesium aids in cellular metabolism and enzyme activation and also makes up a component of chemicals that contribute to strong teeth and bones. Magnesium orotate is one form of magnesium supplement that helps to ensure you ingest your recommended daily dose of the micronutrient. However, magnesium orotate supplementation may lead to a number of side effects.
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One common side effect of excess magnesium supplementation, such as that from magnesium orotate, is diarrhea, reports the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. This is because magnesium commonly acts as a mild laxative, with substances such as milk of magnesia used to relieve constipation. Over-ingestion of magnesium through supplementation increases this laxative effect, leading to temporary digestive upset and diarrhea. You can avoid this unpleasant side effect by monitoring your magnesium intake, slowing magnesium consumption if you develop digestive issues or consulting with a medical professional to determine whether you need magnesium supplementation.
Impaired Kidney Function
Another possible side effect of magnesium orotate supplementation is impaired kidney function over time. Specialized cells within the kidneys work as blood filters, adjusting the levels of salt and water that remain in the body and keeping essential nutrients in the bloodstream while allowing waste products to filter into the urine. High levels of magnesium in the body can modify levels of chemicals called solutes dissolved in the bloodstream. This increased level of solutes places a greater demand on the filtering units of the kidneys, and over time this enhanced strain may lead to diminished functioning. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that you refrain from taking magnesium supplements if you already have diminished kidney function or kidney disease to prevent further damage.
One role of magnesium is to aid in blood pressure regulation. Normal blood pressure is highly regulated within the body -- if your blood pressure is too high, you are at increased risk of blood vessel damage or rupture, while a very low blood pressure can lead to decreased blood flow to the extremities. UMMC explains that high levels of magnesium in the blood, which would occur after magnesium orotate overuse, can cause chronic low blood pressure, or hypotension. You can help prevent this side effect by taking the recommended dose of magnesium each day or consuming magnesium through dietary sources instead of supplements.