Uses in the body: essential for heart and liver health, good nerve and muscle function, balanced metabolism and strong bones. Assists in the production and repair of cells and is necessary for calcium absorption and B1 and B6 metabolism.

Signs of deficiency: cramps, muscle fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhoea, insomnia, heart rhythm problems, numbness and tingling, eye tremors, hyperactivity.

Therapeutic uses: menstrual pain and PMS, osteoporosis, insomnia, morning sickness, joint pain, heart disease, asthma, nervousness, anxiety and other mental problems. It’s also important for alcoholics, diabetics and epileptics, although supplementation requires professional supervision.

Dietary sources: nuts, millet, wholegrains and cereals, molasses, all green vegetables, pulses (especially soya beans), shrimps and other seafood, tap water (in hard water areas). Much magnesium is lost in cooking.

Recommended daily allowance: 300mg
Typical therapeutic daily dose: 100mg to 300mg
Daily intake shouldn’t exceed: 300mg

Cautions: excessive intake (400mg taken long-term) can cause diarrhoea. Not to be taken by people with high magnesium levels in their blood serum.

Best taken: at bedtime with calcium in the ratio of one or two parts calcium to one part magnesium. Most absorbable forms are magnesium orotate and amino-chelated magnesium. Magnesium gluconate and magnesium chloride are less effective but can be taken orally.