For Your Health – Magnesium

THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES of Health compiled results from multiple studies that conclude that higher intake of magnesium is associated not only with decreased risk of coronary heart disease, but with decreased risk of stroke and abnormal heart rhythms as well.

Many foods are a good source of magnesium, including whole grains, nuts, legumes, dark leafy green vegetables and shellfish. Spinach and Swiss chard are the best sources, with just one cup providing more than a third of the daily requirement. Magnesium can also be taken in a dietary supplement, such as Nature Made.

About 50 percent of Americans get adequate amounts of magnesium in their diets, but some people need supplements, including those with health problems that may affect magnesium absorption.

• Some medicines may result in magnesium deficiency, including certain diuretics, antibiotics and medications used to treat cancer.
• Individuals with poorly controlled diabetes may benefit from magnesium supplements.
• Magnesium supplementation may be indicated for persons with alcoholism.
• Individuals with chronic malabsorption problems such as Crohn’s disease may need may need supplemental magnesium.
• Individuals with chronically low blood levels of potassium and calcium may have an underlying problem with magnesium deficiency.
• Older adults are at increased risk for magnesium deficiency.

Before using supplemental magnesium, check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure there are no conflicts with your other medications or treatments.

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