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What are magnesium vitamins for?

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Quick Answer

Magnesium supplements are useful for relieving constipation, reducing heartburn, addressing a magnesium deficiency or regulating high blood pressure during pregnancy, according to WebMD. Magnesium may also be effective for regulating irregular heartbeats, treating asthma attacks and fighting chronic fatigue.

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Full Answer

Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in more than 300 different chemical reactions in the body, explains WebMD. Most people get enough magnesium from their diet, but when a person's magnesium levels are too low, supplements can be used to restore healthy levels. Adults can take 3 grams of magnesium sulfate every six hours for a total of four doses to address a magnesium deficiency. For heartburn treatment, WebMD recommends taking 400 to 1200 milligrams of magnesium hydroxide; for relieving constipation, a single dose of 10 to 30 grams of magnesium sulfate is recommended.

Magnesium supplements are generally safe, but there are some patients who should not take them, notes WebMD. Since magnesium may slow blood clotting, magnesium supplements are not recommended for patients with bleeding disorders. Patients with heart block should not take high doses of magnesium, and those with kidney problems should avoid magnesium supplements since their kidneys may not be able to clear any excess magnesium from the blood. Pregnant and breastfeeding women can generally take low doses of magnesium safely but should check with a doctor first. Some patients experience side effects such as nausea, diarrhea and vomiting when taking magnesium supplements.

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