Magnesium supplements reduce inflammation, reports WebMD. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, while low magnesium levels are associated with osteoporosis. As one of the body's necessary minerals, magnesium is responsible for regulating blood pressure, strengthening bones, and steadying heart rate.
Magnesium can be naturally obtained through food, according to WebMD. Beans, whole grains, leafy vegetables and nuts are natural sources. However, it also appears in antacids and laxatives. It is available as a supplement, though some patients may need it to be administered intravenously or otherwise.
Severe magnesium deficiencies are less likely to occur in healthy adults, states WebMD. Kidney disease, Crohn's disease and parathyroid problems are risk factors, as are aging, alcohol abuse and certain antibiotics. To avoid the problems that come with low magnesium levels, doctors may prescribe magnesium supplements.
Magnesium supplements can cause stool softening, diarrhea and cramps, warns WebMD. Magnesium may interact poorly with diuretics, antibiotics and various heart medicines. In very high doses, magnesium can lead to death. Signs of a magnesium overdose include low blood pressure, nausea, diarrhea, muscle weakness and fatigue.
The recommended daily allowance for magnesium varies based on gender and age, with WebMD suggesting that women above 19 years of age get 310 to 320 milligrams per day. Men of the same age should be getting 400 to 420 milligrams.