What's Really in Magnesium Supplements?

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Magnesium supplements contain several additives and often high dosages. Their intake is of no use to healthy people

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Many consumers use magnesium supplements in powder, tablet or capsule form as a remedy for a variety of ailments. But are these products really always useful and effective? And what do they contain?





Those based on magnesium are among the best-selling and popular supplements, not only in our country. Sometimes, however, they are taken too lightly and perhaps without having first consulted a doctor, the only one able to understand if they really are the best solution for their problems.

Undoubtedly magnesium is a fundamental mineral for our health but we must not forget that, with a healthy diet, we can safely ensure the daily requirement of this substance. We find it particularly present for example in nuts, whole grains or bananas but also in many other plant sources. Read also: Magnesium: the 10 best plant sources

A magnesium deficiency is not immediately recognizable by unequivocal symptoms and the necessary analyzes will always help us understand if it actually exists and should be treated with a specific supplement.

A test from a few years ago, conducted by the Öko-Test magazine on 24 magnesium supplements, revealed what these products contain and questioned their usefulness for healthy people, including athletes, pregnant women or the elderly.

Obviously, the intake of magnesium is not demonized in general, when really necessary, but this sort of "fashion" of using a supplement in "self-medication" without having first heard the opinion of the doctor.

What magnesium supplements contain

The Öko-Test investigation highlighted some aspects of these products in particular. First of all the presence of different additives within them that manufacturers use to give their supplements a nice color, better taste or shape.

Manufacturers use for example i phosphates, but high levels of these substances in the blood can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.


Then there is the problem of dosage. Supplements can contain a more or less high quantity of magnesium and, especially if the idea of ​​taking them is exclusively ours, you can easily make mistakes.


Those who use food supplements should always be very careful not to take high-dose preparations. In this case, there is a risk of side effects such as diarrhea.

The recommendations of the German authorities speak of a maximum of 250 mg of magnesium per daily dose but 17 of the 24 test products exceeded this limit, containing in some cases even double it.

Magnesium supplements are of no use to healthy people

German experts are convinced that:

Healthy people don't need magnesium supplements. They can cover their needs sufficiently with food. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) writes that a balanced and varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables provides the body with all essential substances. In most cases, food supplements are therefore superfluous. Our expert Professor Manfred Schubert-Zsilavecz is also of the opinion that the preparations "do not serve a healthy consumer".

In summary, therefore:

  • Healthy people don't need magnesium supplements. If you follow a balanced and varied diet, it is quite easy to reach the daily requirement of this mineral
  • Pregnant women, athletes and healthy (and healthy eating) seniors also do not need magnesium supplements
  • Even if you have muscle cramps, it may be sufficient to increase your magnesium intake through your diet

A similar argument can also be made on multivitamin supplements often, like magnesium, taken too lightly. Also read: What can happen to your body if you take multivitamin supplements every day


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Fonte: Eco-Test

Read also:

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  • Food supplements: how much do we know about their safety?
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