Vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids or unsaturated fatty acids. Every day, the human organism needs a variety of these substances in the appropriate dose in order to function properly. Knowledge of these essential substances is becoming more and more widespread, especially in the information age. For most people, therefore, the question of the optimal diet goes beyond a simple “What is healthy and tastes?”
In order to ensure a sufficient supply, the handle to dietary supplements often follows, whereby magnesium is particularly popular as a dietary supplement.
Taking the capsules is very easy and the effect is promising. As with everything we feed our body on a daily basis, however, one should also pay attention to certain things with magnesium as a dietary supplement. There is a daily requirement that should be met and which can vary depending on the person. On the other hand, an overdose can have negative consequences for our body.
In addition, there are complicated components such as magnesium sulfate, magnesium malate or magnesium bisglycinate. What are the differences and what is it about this bioavailability? Is magnesium vegan as a dietary supplement? What do I have to pay attention to?
Here you will find out everything you need to know.
What effect does magnesium have as a dietary supplement on our bodies?
Magnesium is an important messenger in our body and promotes the communication ability of our muscle and nerve cells. If we get too little of the mineral, a deficiency occurs, which can have a number of negative consequences.
First and foremost, magnesium is used as a dietary supplement to alleviate the negative symptoms of deficiency. Among other things, a magnesium deficiency can manifest itself, for example, due to fatigue, concentration problems or muscle spasms.
The effect of magnesium as a dietary supplement occurs after a short time. The preparations help to cover the body’s daily needs on the mineral and the observed discomfort is alleviated.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) give a guideline of 300mg per day for women and 350mg for men aged 25 and over (in puberty, the need for magnesium is slightly increased).
Under certain conditions, such as chronic diseases, incorrect nutrition, pregnancy or heavy exercise, the body’s desire for the mineral may increase accordingly, which is why an increased magnesium requirement (and a associated deficiency) is not uncommon.
Properly dosed magnesium has a positive effect as a dietary supplement. If you are not sure if there is a magnesium deficiency, however, it is always recommended to consult your family doctor.
Can magnesium also be harmful as a dietary supplement?
Advice with a doctor is particularly useful because an overdose of magnesium can have unpleasant consequences. Since magnesium salts have an increased dose, this often affects the gastrointestinal area first and can lead to diarrhea or abdominal cramps.
However, with continuous overdose, more serious symptoms such as circulatory disorders, dizziness or paralysis may also occur. So if you permanently exceed the recommended dose, magnesium as a dietary supplement can also be harmful to you.
However, this can be reassured, as these dangerous symptoms usually only occur in people with a greatly increased amount of magnesium in the blood.
Since excess magnesium is normally excreted by the kidneys, this usually affects people with kidney dysfunction or chronic kidney disease.
If you suffer from such a disease, you should definitely consult a doctor before taking dietary supplements.
What are the differences between the dietary supplements offered with magnesium?
The conventionally offered magnesium preparations differ mainly in their composition. If other substances are contained besides magnesium, the effect of a preparation changes, but there are also differences with the magnesium itself.
The choice of occurring magnesium compounds is large and hardly clear for laymen, but the differences in effect can be significant.
Bioavailability is an important factor in dietary supplements with magnesium. It is a measure in pharmacology that indicates how quickly a substance is absorbed by the body and can enter the bloodstream. Intravenously administered drugs, for example, have a bioavailability of 100, while preparations to be swallowed may have a different value.
The most effective compounds include:
This compound is also known as magnesium chelate and can have a calming effect. The concentration of magnesium is not so high compared to other compounds, but the glycine has a particularly gentle effect on the mucous membranes in the gastrointestinal area.
The energy booster among the magnesium compounds. Magnesium malate works against fatigue and supports the body’s energy production. In addition, it can have an analgesic effect and stimulate digestion.
Magnesium citrate is the magnesium compound found in citric acid. It promotes the production of stomach acid and has a comparatively high bioavailability. It also increases the fluid content in the digestive tract. These properties make magnesium citrate particularly attractive for people with stomach problems.
One of the most effective magnesium compounds, also known as bitter salt. Due to its strong effect, it is rather unsuitable as a dietary supplement, but is used in medicine as a laxative. In heart attacks, magnesium sulfate can also be administered intravenously.
Is magnesium vegan as a dietary supplement?
Many people with a vegan diet use dietary supplements to compensate for missing minerals or trace elements in their organism. The welfare of the animals is of course also an important criterion when choosing the preparations.
Basically, most of the ingredients used in dietary supplements are suitable for vegan people. Even the often used magnesium lactate, which is usually present in lactic acid, can also be produced vegan.
However, there is another catch that vegans should pay attention to: The nature of the capsules themselves should also be examined, as animal gelatin is often used here, which means that a supplement to the food supplement is no longer vegan.
That’s why, especially with vegan diets: eyes on buying capsules!
How useful is a dietary supplement with magnesium?
In summary, magnesium benefits us as a dietary supplement in many ways. From improved concentration to well-regulated digestion, the positive effects of magnesium on our organism are manifold.
Nevertheless, of course: listen to your body!
In case of symptoms of overdose or other discomfort as a result of ingestion, the doctor should be consulted. He or she can tell you whether a particular magnesium compound is good or badly tolerated for you and help you choose the right preparation.