Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral found in a wide variety of foods. The richest sources are green leafy vegetables (such as spinach) and nuts. Good sources include bread, fish, meat and dairy foods.

How much do I need?

You should be able to get all the magnesium you need from your daily diet. This is:

  • 300 mg a day for men
  • 270 mg a day for women

What does it do?

Magnesium has a number of important functions. For example it:

  • helps turn the food we eat into energy
  • helps make sure the parathyroid glands work normally. The parathyroid glands produce hormones important for bone health

What happens if I take too much?

Taking high doses of magnesium for a short time can cause diarrhoea.

There isn't enough evidence to say what the effects might be of taking high doses of magnesium for a long time.

What is our advice?

You should be able to get all the magnesium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. But if you decide to take magnesium supplements it's a good idea not to take too much because this could be harmful.

Having 400 mg or less a day of magnesium from supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.

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