Calcium magnesium citrate is a nutritional supplement that combines magnesium, calcium, and citric acid. All of these minerals and vitamins are considered essential to good health, as deficiencies can lead to life-threatening health conditions. Calcium magnesium citrate supplements can be an option for those who don't get enough of these minerals and vitamins through their daily dietary intake.
Calcium, one of the main ingredients in calcium magnesium citrate, is considered vital for the health of bones and muscles. It also supports proper nerve function, and can help ensure that blood clots properly. Most of the body's calcium can usually be found in the bones and teeth. Calcium in the blood can help nerves to relay signals correctly, and can regulate appropriate muscle movement. The health of cell membranes and the proper production and metabolization of enzymes can also depend on appropriate blood calcium levels.
When levels of calcium in the blood fall too low, the body often compensates by drawing the needed calcium from the bones and teeth. In adults, this can spur the onset of osteoporosis. In children, this can contribute to rickets, a disease in which the bones become abnormally soft. Children with rickets are often at an increased risk of skeletal deformity, and they may experience delays in physical development.
Magnesium, another ingredient in calcium magnesium citrate, can also help to support bone health. Like calcium, magnesium is considered necessary for muscle and nerve function. Proper circulation can also depend on appropriate magnesium levels. Magnesium deficiency can degrade muscle strength and contribute to spasms and tremors in the muscles. Magnesium deficiency can particularly damage the heart, leading to elevated heart rate and arrhythmia.
In the combination supplement calcium magnesium citrate, citrate is most often used as a buffering and chelating agent. As such, it can help maintain a neutral pH level in the supplement, and can help make the calcium and magnesium more accessible for use by the body.
Users of nutritional supplements are generally advised not to take too much of the supplement, because overdose may be possible. Too much magnesium may lead to diarrhea, generalized weakness, and sleepiness. Too much calcium can lead to hypercalcemia, a condition in which calcium deposits accumulate in the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues of the body.
To avoid overdosing on magnesium, users are generally advised to take no more than 350 milligrams per day, in supplement form. This dosage may need to be adjusted downward for those who have a high dietary intake of magnesium. To avoid calcium overdose, adult users are generally advised to take no more than 3,000 milligrams of calcium, in supplement form, per day.
This dosage can vary widely for infants, children, adolescents, and the elderly. Pregnant and nursing women usually also have varying calcium needs, depending upon their age. Again, this dosage may need to be adjusted downward for those who already consume large amounts of calcium in their food.