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What are some side effects of excess magnesium?

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Quick Answer

Side effects of excess magnesium include irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, confusion, slowed breathing, coma and death, states WebMD. Taking magnesium supplements of more than 350 milligrams per day increases the chances of excess magnesium building up in the body.

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Full Answer

Magnesium is a nutrient found in relatively high levels in the human body, explains WebMD. The average human body includes about 25 grams of magnesium, with half that amount stored in the bones. The mineral takes part in over 300 chemical reactions in the body; however, a balanced diet provides most of the magnesium the body requires. Women are more likely to experience a magnesium deficiency than men.

Foods high in fiber provide dietary magnesium, reports WebMD. Vegetables, legumes, seeds and nuts are good sources of the mineral. Magnesium is one of the minerals that makes water hard, so drinking hard water also increases a person’s magnesium intake.

Magnesium is essential for bone growth and maintenance, according to WebMD. Nerves, muscles and many other parts of the body require the mineral. Use of magnesium is effective for constipation and heartburn. It is the medication of choice for high blood pressure during pregnancy. A doctor may order intravenous magnesium therapy for certain types of irregular heartbeat.

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