Q:

What does magnesium oxide do for the body?

A:

Quick Answer

Some people use magnesium oxide to relieve acid indigestion, sour stomach or heartburn, while others use it as a laxative for fast and short-term emptying of the bowel, as MedlinePlus explains. Magnesium is an element needed by the body to function normally.

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Full Answer

The MedlinePlus website states that magnesium oxide is also used as a dietary supplement when a person’s diet has an insufficient amount of magnesium. Typically, it is taken one to four times every day, depending on the type or brand and the medical condition of a person.

According to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, magnesium oxide supplements are used for treating low magnesium levels. Magnesium is essential for normal functioning of the body’s cells, muscles and nerves. Deficiency in magnesium after a liver transplant can sometime leads to an irregular heartbeat, seizures, muscle weakness and irritability. The best dietary sources of magnesium are grains, wheat germ, beans, peas, nuts, bananas, avocados and green, leafy vegetables.

Magnesium supplements have several side effects, such as diarrhea, gas, bloating and stomach upset. A person may also experience nausea, vomiting, slow reflexes, changes in heart rate and flushing. It is important to inform a doctor immediately when any of these side effects occurs.

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