Magnesium plays an essential role in a wide range of fundamental cellular reactions. More than 300 enzyme pathways require magnesium as a cofactor. When complexed with ATP, the main carrier of metabolic energy in the body, magnesium is essential for all biosynthetic processes, glycolysis, the formation of c-AMP, energy-dependent membrane transport, transmission of genetic code for protein synthesis, and muscle function. To phrase it more specifically, magnesium can be recommended as a laxative, for various cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, fatigue, fibromyalgia, migraine, osteoporosis, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and for increased energy and stamina in athletes.
It is estimated that a significant portion of the American population is deficient in magnesium. Low levels of magnesium can be caused by gastrointestinal or renal loss due to incomplete reabsorption. Other causes of magnesium loss can be from, excessive intake of alcohol, sugar, fiber, caffeine, and laxatives. Many medications create a depletion of magnesium including oral contraceptives, estrogens, loop diuretics, thiazide diuretics, digoxin, tetracycline, and several other antibiotics. In fact, many of the common adverse effects seen with these medications correspond with the symptoms of magnesium depletion. These include muscle cramps, weakness, insomnia, gastrointestinal disorders, osteoporosis, irritability, anxiety, confusion, and depression. The recommended daily allowances for magnesium are 410-420mg/day for men and 310-360mg/day for women.
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Possible side effects include diarrhea, drowsiness, weakness, lethargy.
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