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Magnesium helps nerve and muscle function, aids in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, and keeps the heart and bones healthy and strong. This mineral has many roles, and perhaps this is the reason why so many myths exist about its function in the body.
It’s important to clear up any misconceptions about magnesium. A lot of mystery and questions surround this mineral, and it’s time to dispel rumors about its function and the role it plays in the body. Hopefully, addressing these 15 myths about magnesium can clear up any misunderstandings about its benefits and dangers.
1. Magnesium deficiency is common:
On the contrary, magnesium deficiency is not common in healthy people. However, chronic alcoholism, certain health conditions, and the use of some medications may lead to a magnesium deficiency. According to the National Institutes of Health, magnesium deficiency is related to factors that promote headaches.
2. Magnesium can cure migraines:
Studies conducted by the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society show that magnesium supplements may prevent or reduce symptoms of migraine headaches, stating that this type of therapy is “probably effective.” Note that there is no supporting evidence that suggests magnesium can “cure” migraines.
3. Magnesium consumption can result in toxicity:
Excessive magnesium from food doesn’t usually pose a health risk; however, consuming too much magnesium in the form of a supplement can be very dangerous. Magnesium toxicity is a real threat to children and adults. Symptoms of overdose from a magnesium supplement include nausea, vomiting, retention of urine, muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, and cardiac arrest.
4. Older adults do not need magnesium supplements:
As we age, our body depletes magnesium on its own. Older people are also more likely to have chronic diseases and may take medications that alter the status of magnesium in their bodies. A physician may recommend a magnesium supplement to an older adult who takes medication and/or has a chronic disease.
5. Magnesium supplements can treat ADHD:
Unfortunately, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that magnesium supplements can treat symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A study cited in the February 2017 edition of Current Psychiatry Reports states that supplements have “inconclusive results and at best marginal beneficial effects” on ADHD symptoms.