Magnesium is crucial for blood sugar regulation, nerve function, energy production, and DNA synthesis. It is available through food or supplements. The supplement variants include magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium oxide. Magnesium oxide is widely used in supplements, either as standalone or in multivitamins. This article explores magnesium oxide, its benefits, drawbacks, and usage guidelines compared to other magnesium forms.
What is Magnesium Oxide?
Magnesium oxide is an inorganic compound composed of magnesium and oxygen ions. It is one among the several magnesium forms included in dietary supplements and over-the-counter medications. It is curated to solve issues like constipation, indigestion, and headache. In comparison to other magnesium forms, its effectiveness in enhancing the blood magnesium levels may be relatively lower.
Magnesium Oxide Benefits
Magnesium oxide provides an array of health benefits. Magnesium oxide benefits include the following:
1. An Effective Treatment for Constipation
One of the common magnesium oxide benefits is in treating constipation. It works by drawing water into the intestines and softening stool for easier passage (osmotic effect). A controlled trial involving adults with mild-to-moderate chronic constipation found that magnesium oxide effectively improved overall symptoms, including the following, when compared to placebo
- spontaneous bowel movements,
- stool consistency, colonic transit time
- abdominal discomfort
However, magnesium oxide is recommended for short-term constipation relief. Consultation with a healthcare provider is advised for a personalized treatment plan or if constipation persists or worsens after using this remedy.
2. Alleviates Migraines
Magnesium oxide supplementation may decrease migraine frequency and intensity. In a double-blind study, 500 milligrams of magnesium oxide showed similar efficacy to valproate sodium in preventing migraine attacks.
The American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society consider magnesium therapy “probably effective” for migraine prevention, but research is limited. Note that the typical dose exceeds magnesium’s tolerable upper limit, so consult a healthcare provider before use if you have migraines.
3. Helps with Type 2 Diabetes
Magnesium-rich diets are linked to reduced type 2 diabetes risk. A long-term meta-analysis involving seven studies found that a daily intake of 100 milligrams of magnesium significantly lowered diabetes risk. Another meta-analysis of 13 studies indicated a dose-dependent connection between magnesium consumption and diabetes risk, notably in overweight individuals. Yet, few short-term clinical trials have assessed magnesium oxide’s impact on type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association suggests insufficient evidence to endorse magnesium supplements for blood glucose improvement in type 2 diabetes patients. Prior to magnesium oxide supplementation, individuals with diabetes should consult their healthcare provider.
4. Controls Blood Pressure Levels
Magnesium oxide uses include blood pressure reduction and stroke risk mitigation. In seven prospective studies, magnesium-rich diets lowered diastolic blood pressure, decreasing the risk of ischemic strokes linked to high blood pressure.
A systematic review of 49 studies revealed mixed results. No substantial blood pressure reduction occurred in those with controlled hypertension or healthy blood pressure. However, 240 mg per day of oral magnesium reduced blood pressure in those with uncontrolled hypertension, while untreated hypertension required 600 mg/day for the same effect.
How to Consume Magnesium Oxide?
Magnesium oxide is available in tablet or capsule form for oral consumption. Follow the instructions given below for optimum results.
- Adhere to the package instructions or your prescription label.
- Seek clarification from your healthcare provider or pharmacist if needed.
- Follow the prescribed dosage precisely.
- Avoid excess or increased frequency without medical guidance.
- Allow at least a 2-hour gap between magnesium oxide and other medications.
- For laxative use, take magnesium oxide with a full 8-ounce (240 milliliters) glass of cold water or fruit juice, and avoid taking it late in the day on an empty stomach.
- Limit magnesium oxide use as an antacid to two weeks unless otherwise advised by your doctor.
- Similarly, restrict its use as a laxative to one week unless instructed otherwise by a healthcare professional.
Magnesium Oxide Side Effects
Supplementing with magnesium oxide may lead to side effects ranging from mild to severe. Magnesium oxide side effects include Upset stomach and diarrhea, often mitigated by taking it with food.
Consult your healthcare provider if side effects persist or worsen. Severe allergic reactions to magnesium oxide are rare but require immediate medical attention if symptoms like rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, irregular heartbeat, vomiting, or breathing difficulties occur.
Magnesium oxide is found in supplements and laxatives. A balanced diet rich in leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains usually provides sufficient magnesium. Consult your healthcare provider if you are considering supplements or if you suspect low magnesium levels.