Frequently asked questions about magnesium Frequently asked questions about magnesium

Frequently asked questions about magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral required for many bodily functions. An adequate supply of magnesium is important for maintaining vital muscles and our wellbeing. See here for the most frequently asked questions and answers on this subject.

Magnesium supply: requirement and deficiency

Does the humon body produce magnesium itself?
No, the body cannot produce magnesium itself. So, the mineral needs to be introduced from outside, through your diet, every day. One way of doing this is by taking foods that are rich in magnesium. But in practice it’s not always easy to get your daily requirement from your diet alone. So it can be a good idea in certain life situations to supplement your diet with a magnesium product from Biolectra®.

What foods are rich in magnesium?
Foods that are rich in magnesium include sunflower seeds, nuts and plain chocolate. Broccoli and bananas also contain magnesium. You can get your daily requirement of magnesium by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. But remember that the magnesium content in foods can be reduced by factors such as fertiliser, industrial processing or poor preparation.

How much magnesium should you take per day?
The German Nutrition Society recommends a magnesium intake of around 300 to 400 mg a day for young people and adults. But it’s not always easy to take the recommended daily dose as part of your daily routine, so it’s often a good idea to take a magnesium supplement.

How can I get my magnesium requirement?
You can usually get your daily magnesium requirement by maintaining a healthy, varied diet. But there are some life situations where it can be a good idea to supplement your diet with a magnesium product. These products are available in a range of strengths and dosage forms. They can help you to cover your daily magnesium requirement. If you want to be sure of getting high-quality products, get your magnesium from a pharmacy.

Who has a higher magnesium requirement?
Generally, sportsmen and women, adolescents, people suffering from stress, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers and people with diabetes need to pay particular attention to ensuring they have an adequate magnesium supply.

What are the typical signs of magnesium deficiency?
If you find you are more prone to stress than usual, irritable or have tingling in your fingers, these may be a sign that your magnesium supply is inadequate. But tremors, muscle twitching (particularly eyelids) or muscle and leg cramps may also be signs of a magnesium deficiency. If muscle or leg cramps recur frequently you should consult a doctor to find out whether these are being caused by something other than magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium products: How to take them, and tolerability

Is a single dose of magnesium sufficient?
It’s normally necessary to take magnesium over a prolonged period (at least four to six weeks) to top up your body’s magnesium levels – and this applies even if you’re taking higher-strength magnesium products.

Does magnesium have any side effects?
Magnesium is a mineral and is generally well tolerated. If you take more magnesium than your body needs over a prolonged period you may have loose stools or diarrhoea. However this is not dangerous and can be reversed in many cases by simply reducing the dose.

What happens if I take too much magnesium?
As long as you are physically healthy (particularly with respect to your kidney function) and take a little more magnesium than you need for the day you don’t generally need to worry about any dangerous effects on your body. The excess magnesium won’t normally lead to any serious symptoms and is simply eliminated from the body. But you should make sure you choose the right product for your personal requirements if you’re taking it over the long term. Soft stools are one of the potential symptoms of an overdose but this seldom occurs if you take the product correctly (in accordance with the instructions in the package insert). Ask your doctor for advice if you’re not sure.

Can you take calcium and magnesium at the same time?
In principle, you can take calcium and magnesium at the same time. But it’s probably a good idea to take them at different times (for example, calcium in the mornings and magnesium in the evenings). For purposes of clarity: An adequate supply of magnesium and calcium is essential to allow certain physiological processes to operate correctly.

Although these two minerals sometimes perform contrasting functions (in the muscle cells, for example), maintaining a balance of calcium and magnesium is important. For example, calcium helps muscles to tense up whilst magnesium relaxes them. So normal muscle function also depends on maintaining a healthy electrolyte balance.

Magnesium for leg cramps, migraine etc.

Why is it a good idea to take magnesium if you have muscle cramps?
Taking high-strength magnesium products is a good way to combat the best-known cause of muscle and leg cramps - magnesium deficiency. For purposes of clarity: The brain sends stimuli (impulses) to muscles via nerves. Like an electric current, the stimulus “flows” from the nerve cells into the muscle cells and stimulates it into tensing. Calcium, which is also found in muscle cells, is also involved in this process. Each tensing of the muscle is followed by a relaxation phase. The process works normally as long as there is sufficient magnesium in the muscle cells.

I frequently get leg cramps when practising sports. Could it be caused by magnesium deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency is common in people who are actively engaged in sports as the body loses some of the important mineral when you sweat. But magnesium is also important for your metabolism. So, it’s very important to ensure you get your daily magnesium requirement so your muscles work properly and you avoid muscle cramps or tremors. That’s because strenuous exercise can also have an effect on your magnesium levels. You can try to top up your body’s reserves with foods that are rich in magnesium such as wholemeal bread, oat flakes, nuts and copious amounts of mineral water. But it’s not possible for everyone to take the right amounts every day, and depleted magnesium levels can’t be sorted out overnight.

You can help to cover your individual magnesium requirement by taking the right strength Biolectra® magnesium product. You just need to take it once or twice a day to ensure you get the amount of magnesium you need. A good way to avoid an inadequate magnesium supply and prevent leg cramps.*

* due to magnesium deficiency

I get leg cramps more often when swimming. What can I do to stop it?
This may be caused by the rapid cooling of your leg muscles. Warm up before swimming and get your leg muscles used to the change in temperature by swooshing cold water onto them before you enter the water. Extend your calf muscles before and after swimming and ensure you have an adequate fluid intake (mineral water is recommended for that).

Does magnesium play a role in keeping your heart healthy?
Magnesium is really important for keeping your heart healthy. It’s an important mineral that’s needed to keep your heart muscles working properly, not just your skeletal muscles.

What effect does magnesium have on stress?
Maintaining an adequate magnesium intake is particularly important in stressful situation since the mineral helps to keep the nervous system working properly. Muscle tension due to stress, such as a frequent stiff neck, can be mitigated with magnesium as it is important for vital muscle functions. If you are exposed to stress over long periods you will need more magnesium.

What role does magnesium play in diabetes?
People with diabetes often suffer from magnesium deficiency since they eliminate more of the mineral through urine. Magnesium deficiency reduces the effect of insulin and interferes with the regulation of glucose levels. And the wrong glucose level in turn causes various secondary diseases.

Is it advisable to take magnesium when you are breastfeeding and during pregnancy?
Absolutely. The daily requirement for adult women aged 25 and over is normally around 300 mg, but this rises to 310 to 390 mg for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.4 Maintaining this amount is important for child development. Magnesium also plays a role in cell division and helps to maintain normal protein synthesis and muscle function. Magnesium also reduces fatigue and exhaustion.