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Are dietary supplements with magnesium necessary or can they be avoided?

Magnesium is an important mineral that is required for many functions in the body. Among other things, it is involved in muscle and nerve function, energy production and bone formation. Since the body cannot produce magnesium itself, it must be ingested with food. But is the intake through food sufficient or are dietary supplements with magnesium necessary?

Magnesium needs and sources

The daily magnesium requirement varies according to age and gender. Adult men need about 400 to 420 milligrams of magnesium per day, women 310 to 320 milligrams. Pregnant and breastfeeding women have an increased need.

Magnesium is found in many foods, especially whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, green vegetables and bananas. Mineral water can also be a source of magnesium.

Who needs magnesium supplements?

As a rule, the magnesium requirement can be covered by a balanced diet. However, there are certain groups of people who are at increased risk of magnesium deficiency and can therefore benefit from supplements:

  • Persons with an increased magnesium requirement, eg due to physical activity or stress
  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • elderly, in whom magnesium intake may be reduced
  • People with certain chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or kidney problems
  • People taking certain medications, such as diuretics or antibiotics

Dietary supplement with magnesium

Dietary supplements with magnesium come in various forms, such as tablets , capsules or powder. The recommended daily dose is usually 300 to 400 milligrams.

It should be noted, however, that an overdose of magnesium can lead to undesirable effects such as diarrhea or gastrointestinal problems. You should therefore stick to the recommended dosage and, if in doubt, ask a doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Conclusion

Magnesium requirements can usually be met with a balanced diet. However, there are certain groups of people who may benefit from magnesium supplementation. However, it is important to adhere to the recommended dosage and, if in doubt, to ask a doctor or pharmacist.

Sources:

  • European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Scientific opinion on the nutrient reference values ​​for magnesium . EFSA Journal. 2015;13(7):4186.
  • German Society for Nutrition (DGE). Magnesium. https://www.dge.de/science/reference-values/minerals/magnesium/ . Accessed on 07/27/2021.
  • Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). Consumer information: Magnesium - an important mineral. https://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/343/ Verbraucherinformation_magnesium_ein_important_mineralstoff.pdf. Accessed on 07/27/2021.
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