Magnesium carbonate is a white, powdery compound that occurs naturally as dolomite and magnesite and is widely marketed as a health supplement. Its active ingredient is magnesium, a mineral that your body requires to function efficiently. MedlinePlus estimates that the human body typically contains 25 g of magnesium, half of which is found in bone. Magnesium carbonate has a wide array of medicinal properties above and beyond its role in the prevention and treatment of magnesium deficiency. As always, consult your doctor before trying to prevent, treat or cure any condition with magnesium carbonate.
How the Body Uses Magnesium
Every organ in the body needs magnesium to function properly, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It is particularly critical to effective heart, kidney and muscle function. Magnesium also plays a significant role in bones and teeth. However, the mineral’s most important functions are the activation of enzymes that are critical to human function, the regulation of levels of other minerals in the body and its contribution to energy production. Magnesium deficiencies are relatively rare but can occur because your diet does not contain enough foods high in magnesium or because of certain medical conditions, most notably gastrointestinal ailments that flush vital nutrients from your body. If you’re suffering from a magnesium deficiency, supplementation with magnesium carbonate will help return your body’s levels of the mineral to normal levels.
Helps Prevent Migraines
If migraines are the bane of your existence, supplementation with magnesium carbonate may help you prevent the onset of these painful headaches, according to a study conducted by researchers at the New York Headache Center. The researchers looked at foods that seem to trigger migraines as well as supplements that are effective in staving off migraine attacks. In an article in the June 2009 issue of “The Clinical Journal of Pain,” they reported that magnesium tops their list of all the supplements useful in preventing migraines. Other supplements that were deemed helpful include butterbur, feverfew, coenzyme Q10, riboflavin and alpha-lipoic acid.
Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate disease, also known as CPPD and pyrophosphate arthropathy, is a painful rheumatologic condition in which crystals of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate accumulate in connective tissue, most notably joints. Researchers at England’s Bristol Royal Infirmary assembled a study group of 38 patients diagnosed with CPPD. Half of the group received 10 ml of magnesium carbonate daily, and the other half got placebo. In an article in the 1983 issue of “Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases,” researchers said that patients receiving magnesium carbonate reported significant relief from the symptoms of their condition.
Controls Phosphate Levels in Dialysis Patients
An unfortunate side effect of hemodialysis is an unhealthy buildup of phosphate levels in kidney patients undergoing the procedure. A team of Greek, Canadian and Chinese researchers studied the efficacy of magnesium carbonate as a phosphate binder in dialysis patients. Half of a study group of 46 dialysis patients received magnesium carbonate, while the other half received calcium carbonate over a period of six months. In an article in the March 2008 issue of “International Urology and Nephrology,” researchers reported that phosphate levels were significantly lower in patients receiving magnesium carbonate. They concluded that magnesium carbonate is an inexpensive and effective way to control blood phosphate levels in hemodialysis patients.
- MedlinePlus: Magnesium
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Magnesium
- “The Clinical Journal of Pain”; Foods and Supplements in the Management of Migraine Headaches; C. Sun-Edelstein and A. Mauskop; June 2009
- “Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases”; Double Blind, Placebo Controlled Trial of Magnesium Carbonate in Chronic Pyrophosphate Arthropathy; Michael Doherty and Paul A. Dieppe; 1983
- “International Urology and Nephrology”; Magnesium Carbonate for Phosphate Control in Patients on Hemodialysis: A Randomized Controlled Trial; Ioannis P. Tzanakis et al.; March 2008