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Am I taking too many magnesium supplements?

Q: I am 60 years old and have been taking a magnesium supplement. My daughter too has been taking this as she says this keeps her perkier. I take 3 tablets a day. The label shows each tablet is 400 mg of magnesium and 15 mg of Zinc. I am wondering if this is too much?

A:The daily requirement of magnesium is in the range of 200 (female) to 250 mg (male). Normal diet contains more than this amount; hence supplements are not required. Furthermore, the body is very efficient in monitoring and maintaining the magnesium levels. Magnesium deficiency is very rare. Only when there is documented, proven deficiency of magnesium it is necessary to take supplements. Magnesium supplements are incompatible with a wide range of medicines. Hence they must not be taken routinely. Excessive chronic intake can lead to side effects including loss of deep tendon reflex, respiratory depression, flushing, drowsiness, slurred speech, double vision etc.

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