Magnesium helps your body keep your bones strong, your blood sugar and blood pressure at normal levels, and your immune system functioning properly. It helps with the creation of protein, and it is involved in heart, nerve and muscle function. Consuming sufficient levels of magnesium may also help prevent liver problems.
Magnesium and Liver Problems
People who suffer from fatty liver syndrome, whether induced by alcohol or not, and people with cirrhosis of the liver often have low magnesium levels, according to studies published in 1972 in "QJM" and in 2006 in ""Bratislavske Lekarske Listy." Taking supplemental magnesium may help keep these liver conditions from becoming worse.
Alcoholics, the elderly, people with malabsorption syndromes and people with poorly controlled diabetes are more likely to suffer from magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiency symptoms include low calcium levels, low potassium levels, sodium retention, tremors, fatigue, loss of appetite, numbness, tingling, weakness, muscle spasms, vomiting, nausea, abnormal heart rhythms and personality changes.
If you are at higher risk for magnesium deficiency, you may want to get your magnesium levels checked by your doctor to see if you need to take magnesium supplements and what dose you should take. Unless you are deficient in magnesium or your doctor prescribes higher doses, do not take magnesium supplements in doses higher than 100 percent of the daily value for magnesium, as there is a chance for magnesium toxicity from supplements.
Magnesium supplements, other than the small amount of magnesium found in multivitamins, are not recommended for everyone. Most people get plenty of magnesium through their diet. If you are worried about your magnesium levels, try consuming more foods rich in magnesium, including fish, nuts, soybeans, spinach, whole grains, potatoes and beans. Only take magnesium supplements on the advice of your doctor, as these can have side effects and interact with certain medications.
Is This an Emergency?
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Magnesium
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Magnesium
- Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University; Magnesium; Jane Higdon, Ph.D.; April 2003
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Magnesium
- "QJM"; Magnesium Deficiency in Liver Cirrhosis; Pin Lim and Edward Jacob; 1972
- "Bratislavske Lekarske Listy"; Serum Magnesium Levels in Patients with Alcoholic and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver; L. Turecky, et al.; 2006