Magnesium is an essential mineral that is involved in many body functions as well as being a constituent of bones and teeth. It is an essential element of cellular metabolism and is an enzyme activator.
Other body actions include:
- relaxing nerve impulses and muscle contractions;
- promoting relaxation and contributing to restful sleep.
Signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include fatigue, mental confusion, heart disturbances,irritability, weakness, muscle spasms, loss of appetite, insomnia or a feeling of weakness. The Physician’s Desk Reference for Nutritional Supplements states that recent data of inpatient and outpatient populations suggests that magnesium deficits may exist in 12% to 40% of individuals.
There are many different forms of magnesium, and no compelling data about absorption differences. However, there are reported differences in how different forms affect the gastrointestinal tract. Forms and functions of some of these include:
- Oxide: tends to firm stools in some individuals and loosen stools in others
- Glycinate: a very gentle form of magnesium that is easier on the system
- Citrate: tends to loosen stools
- Sulfate: tends to loosen stools
- Chloride: tends to loosen stools.
Individual results may vary. Your physician should prescribe the form that’s right for you.