Magnesium deficiency is a widespread yet treatable condition. Some doctors attribute the problem to modern diets that favor processed foods over greens, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. You can also become deficient from abuse of alcohol. Magnesium is essential for hundreds of processes in the body, including brain and heart function, so being deficient can be a big detriment to your health.
Because of magnesium's importance, taurine is often added to magnesium supplements to "help it along." Taurine helps move magnesium--along with sodium and potassium--into the cells.
Some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, anorexia, poor memory, insomnia, muscle twitching, poor night vision and irritability. During advanced stages of deficiency, people can experience a faster heartbeat, muscle contraction, hallucinations and numbness. Doctors have reported total turnabouts in symptoms with magnesium supplementation.
Testing for a magnesium deficiency can be a long process. Testing for levels of magnesium in the body can involve several days of urine sampling, but that method returns more accurate results than a blood test. If you think you have a magnesium deficiency, your doctor or naturopath may do a simple assessment instead. He may simply ask a few questions about your diet to determine whether magnesium--or magnesium taurate--could help alleviate your symptoms. It's not often that people have too much magnesium, so trying magnesium taurate would not likely do any harm.
The recommended daily allowance of magnesium for adult women is between 310 and 320 milligrams. For adult men, it's between 400 and 420 milligrams. Some doctors believe these recommendations are far too low and will recommend doses much higher to correct magnesium deficiency. Recommended daily allowances for children go from 80 to 360 milligrams, so be sure to check with your child's doctor about supplementation.
Taurine has no recommended daily allowance.
Supplementing with magnesium and magnesium taurate can be dangerous for people with certain conditions. People with kidney failure, neuromuscular disorders, bowel obstructions or heart blockage should always get permission from their doctor before trying magnesium or magnesium taurate.