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Magnesium

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Chelated magnesium, Emgesan®, Epsom salts, magnesia, magnesium aluminum sulfite, magnesium aspartate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium chloride, magnesium citrate, magnesium diglycine, magnesium dihydrogen diphosphate, magnesium disuccinate hydrate, magnesium gluconate, magnesium glycerophosphate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium lactate, magnesium malate, magnesium murakab, magnesium orotate, magnesium oxide, magnesium phosphate, magnesium pidolate, magnesium salicylate, magnesium sulfate, magnesium trisilicate, milk of magnesia, Slo-Mag®, Slow-Mag®, Super Malic®, Zuspan regimen.
  • Note: The evidence table and discussion for this monograph are limited to meta-analyses and systematic reviews.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Magnesium is the second most abundant intracellular cation (positively charged ion) in the human body and is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions.
  • Magnesium sulfate has been the mainstay for the treatment of eclampsia and pre-eclampsia (toxemia of pregnancy) for decades (1;2;3;4;5). Strong evidence exists that magnesium sulfate is effective in the treatment of seizures in patients with pre-eclampsia and further seizures in patients with eclampsia (6;6;7;8;9;10;11;12;13;14;15;16;17;18). Strong evidence also exists for the use of magnesium in the reduction in the incidence of atrial fibrillation and cardiac arrhythmias; however, the reduction is small to medium in the majority of meta-analyses (19;20;21;22;23;24;25;26;27;28;29;30;31;32). Magnesium supplements may also be used to correct magnesium deficiencies.
  • Good evidence exists for magnesium as an adjunct (given either intravenously or with a nebulizer) for the treatment of severe acute childhood asthma (33;34;35;36;37;38;39;40;41), as well as an analgesic (small effect) (42;42;43;44), for control of glycemia (45;46;47;48;49), in hearing loss (50), for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (51;52;53;54), and for neuroprotection for premature infants (55;56;57;58). Further research is needed in order to draw conclusions about any other clinical use of magnesium as evidence of benefit is mixed or evidence is based on lesser quality studies.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.