Children need Magnesium

By Dr Sandra Cabot

Magnesium is a critical mineral for the function and growth of the bones, muscles and the nervous system. Magnesium is required for over 300 enzyme systems in the body and is critical for energy production and metabolism.

Magnesium is predominantly found in dark green leafy greens and legumes and if your child does not get enough of these foods, they will be deficient. Most of the magnesium in the body is found in the bones so a blood test is not an accurate measure of total body magnesium levels.

Symptoms and Signs that your child may be magnesium deficient include

  • Muscle cramps, spasms and twitches
  • Headaches
  • Poor ability to handle stress
  • Poor sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Colic

The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of magnesium is:

  • 1 to 3-year-olds: 80 mg/day
  • 4- to 8-year-olds 130 mg/day
  • Adults and children aged 9 and above 350 mg/day

Magnesium is safe and if an excess dose is given a slight laxative effect may occur. For children under 10 years of age the best way to supplement magnesium is with a powder which can be stirred into water or juice.

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