Magnesium and Acid Reducers: Reducing the Risks

In CategoryLehan Drugs News

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an important mineral that we need for many biochemical reactions in our bodies.  It is important for good bone health, immune health, and cardiovascular functions to name a few.  When we eat, our intestines absorb magnesium from foods such as green vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. 

Do proton pump inhibitors cause low magnesium?

Recently, a study was released that showed that long-term use of medications in the class of proton pump inhibitors (Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Dexilant, Zergerid, Protonix, AcipHex, Vimovo) used to reduce stomach acid, may be associated with low magnesium levels.  Low blood levels of magnesium can cause arrhythmias, seizures, and muscle spasms, but can also exist without any symptoms.

 So the real question is, should you take a magnesium supplement if you are taking one of these medications?

Unfortunately, there are no studies that can answer this question at this time.  But in the meantime, it may be wise to take a magnesium supplement if you are taking a proton pump inhibitor long-term. 

How much magnesium should I take per day?

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences established the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of magnesium to be 420mg/day for men 31 years of age and older and 320mg/day for women 31 years of age and older.   For adults aged 19 to 30, the RDA of magnesium is 400mg/day for men and 310mg/day for women.  This amount refers to the amount of elemental magnesium that you should obtain from your diet.  Depending on how much magnesium you are getting from your diet, you may require more or less magnesium from a supplement.   It is not recommended to take more magnesium than the established RDA per day.

What magnesium supplement should I take?

The table below compares some different forms of magnesium that are available over-the-counter.  In general, magnesium oxide has a large amount of elemental magnesium per tablet, but it isn’t absorbed well into the body.  Some of the other forms of magnesium listed below contain less elemental magnesium per tablet, but are better absorbed into the body.

  % Elemental Magnesium Absorption Elemental Magnesium Recommended Dose Price Range
Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate ~12% Best 200mg 200mg (1tablet) daily ~10 – $20 (100)
Magnesium Chloride 12%  Good 64mg/tablet 128mg (2 tablets) daily $15.99 (60)
Magnesium Citrate 11%  Good 100mg/tablet OR197mg/30mL 200mg (2 tablets) daily OR2 tbsp daily ~$5 – $8 (100)OR

$2.99 (300mL)

Magnesium Oxide  (MagOx) 60% Poor 241mg/tablet 400mg (1tablet) daily $12.99 (30)

For more information, we encourage you to call and speak with one of our pharmacists at 815-758-0911 or 815-217-3890.