In a recent study, 75% of Americans were found to be deficient in magnesium because our soil has been depleted of his important mineral. Drugs such as diuretics and steroids lower our magnesium. It functions as a catalyst in over 1000 of our enzyme systems. This is the mineral, rather than calcium, that prevents and treats osteoporosis. It helps in PMS, mitral valve prolapse, kidney stones, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and migraines. Deficiency causes apathy, depression, kidney stones, disorientation, muscle weakness and spasms, poor memory, irritability, tremors, arrhythmias and seizures. Although magnesium can be found in foods including chard, pinto beans, avocados and oatmeal, I recommend supplements. rather than food since our modern farming methods produce magnesium poor crops.
The most commonly taken supplement is the inexpensive Magnesium Oxide, a poorly absorbed inorganic salt. Better would be the chloride salt. My choice would be Magnesium chelates. These are organic salts such as glycinate, malate, and lactate are much better absorbed. One of the better products is magnesium citrate which comes in a capsule or powder. Calm by Peter Gillam is particularly good. It comes in a variety of citrus flavors and is effervescent. I recommend 3 teaspoons a day, usually at night for better sleep, As the name implies it does relax the mind. Occasionally some get a little diarrhea with this dose. If this be the case, back off a little to 2 and a half teaspoons. This substance can be use with some absorption on the skin such as Epsons Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) or in a variety of lotions.
In general, magnesium is very safe. In fact, have never seen an overdose or toxic patient (hypermagnasemia) with this supplement. In that this is a intracellular ion, a serum test is not useful. I occasionally recommend the cellular magnesium test which is done by an under-the-tongue scrapeing as this reflects the true body amount. The RDA is 400 mg daily and our diet supplies only half of that. No prescription is needed to obtain this wonderful mineral