Dandelion: Uses. Dosage. Interactions. Pregnancy Use. Practice Points

Clinical Use The therapeutic effectiveness of dandelion has not been significantly investigated under clinical trial conditions, so evidence is derived from traditional, in vitro and animal studies. DIURETIC Dandelion has a long history of use as a diuretic in well-established systems of traditional medicines; however, the scientific and clinical evidence to support this use is limited to animal studies. The high potassium content of dandelion is considered to be partly responsible for any diuretic activity. A double-blind randomised study of 57 women with recurrent cystitis found that a commercial preparation known as Uva-E (a combination of Arctostaphylos leaves and dandelion root) significantly reduced the frequency of recurrence of cystitis compared with placebo. At the end of 12 months, none of the patients taking Uva-E had had a recurrence of cystitis, compared with 23% recurrence in the control group (P < 0.05). The role of dandelion in achieving this result is unknown; however, the researchers suggested that its diuretic effect was likely to have contributed to the positive results. LIVER TONIC Dandelion has a long history of use as a liver tonic; however, the scientific and clinical evidence to support Read more […]

Dandelion: Background. Actions

Historical Note Dandelion grows throughout the world as a weed and has a long history of medicinal and culinary use. Dandelion leaves are added to salads, providing a good source of minerals, and the roasted root is used as a coffee substitute. Dandelion leaves are traditionally used as a diuretic, and the root is used as a liver tonic. Other Names Blowball, cankerwort, common dandelion, lion’s tooth, priest’s crown, puff ball, swine snout, taraxacum, wild endive, white endive Botanical Name / Family Taraxacum officinale; synonyms: Leontodon taraxacum, Taraxacum vulgare (family Compositae [Asteraceae]) Plant Parts Used Leaf and root Chemical Components Dandelion leaf and root contain slightly different constituents. Overall, dandelion is a rich source of minerals, particularly potassium, as well as iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, choline, selenium, calcium, boron and silicon, and a rich source of vitamins A, C, D and B complex (US Department of Agriculture 2003). The relatively high protein, fibre and linoleic acid content of dandelion leaves has led to suggestions that dandelion is a nutritious and underutilised food source. Dandelion’s constituents also include triterpenes, flavonoid Read more […]

Magnesium: Practice Points – Patient Counselling. FAQ

• Magnesium is an essential mineral in human nutrition with a wide range of biological functions. • Low Mg states are associated with several serious diseases such as congestive heart failure, ischaemic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, mitral valve prolapse, metabolic syndrome, stroke, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidaemia, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. • Although supplementation is traditionally used to correct or avoid deficiency states, research has also shown a role in the management of numerous disease states, e.g. cardiovascular disease, premenstrual syndrome, dysmenorrhoea, migraine prevention, diabetes, kidney stone prevention, osteoporosis prevention, dyspepsia and constipation. Preliminary research also suggests a possible benefit in asthma, women with detrusor muscle instability (incontinence) and pregnancy-induced leg cramps. • Oral Mg supplements are also used in a variety of different conditions, most notably, those involving muscle spasm or tension, pain and/or psychological and physical symptoms of stress and hyperexcitability. • Numerous drug interactions exist, so care should be taken to ensure safe use. Answers to Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions What will Read more […]

Magnesium: Interactions. Contraindications. Pregnancy Use

Adverse Reactions The most common adverse effects of oral supplements are diarrhea (18.6%) and gastric irritation (4.7%). Typically, doses above 350 mg/day (elemental) may be associated with adverse effects. Significant Interactions The interactions included in this section are relevant for oral supplementation and do not refer to other administration routes, although there may be an overlap. AMINOGLYCOSIDES (E.G. GENTAMYCIN) Drug may reduce absorption of Mg — monitor for signs and symptoms of Mg deficiency, as increased Mg intake may be required with long-term therapy. CALCIUM-CHANNEL BLOCKERS Magnesium may enhance the hypotensive effect of calcium-channel blockers: monitor patients and their drug requirements — possible beneficial interaction. FLUOROQUINOLONES Magnesium may decrease absorption of fluoroquinolone antibiotics — separate doses by at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after oral Mg. LOOP DIURETICS AND THIAZIDE DIURETICS Increased Mg intake may be required with long-term therapy because these drugs increase Mg loss — monitor Mg efficacy and status with long-term drug use. TETRACYCLINE ANTIBIOTICS Tetracyclines form insoluble complexes with Mg, thereby reducing absorption of both — separate Read more […]

Magnesium: Dosage Range

RECOMMENDED DIETARY INTAKES FOR ADULTS • Men 19-30 years: 400 mg/day. >30 years: 420 mg/day. • Women 19-30 years: 310 mg/day. >30 years: 320 mg/day. • Pregnancy <18 years: 400 mg/day. >18 years: 350 mg/day. • Lactation < 18 years: 360 mg/day. >18 years: 310 mg/day. ACCORDING TO CLINICAL STUDIES • Hypertension: 360-600 mg/day. • Arrhythmia prevention in congestive heart failure: magnesium chloride 3204 mg/day in divided doses. • Migraine: 600 mg trimagnesium dicitrate daily. • Migraine prophylaxis in children: magnesium oxide (9 mg/kg/day). • PMS fluid retention symptoms: 200 mg magnesium (as magnesium oxide) daily. • PMS mood swings: magnesium pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (360 mg) taken three times daily, from day 15 of the menstrual cycle to the onset of menstrual flow. • Mitral valve prolapse: 3 tablets magnesium carbonate 600 mg (7 mmol of elementary Mg) daily for the first week followed by 2 tablets daily. • Coronary artery disease symptoms: oral magnesium citrate (15 mmol twice daily as Magnosolv-Granulat, total magnesium 365 mg). • Diabetes type 2: 50 ml_ magnesium dichloride solution (containing 50 g/1000 ml_ Read more […]

Magnesium: Clinical Use

In practice, Mg is administered by various routes such as intramuscular injection and intravenous infusion. This review will focus only on oral Mg, as this is the form most commonly used by the general public, outside the hospital setting. DEFICIENCY: TREATMENT AND PREVENTION Magnesium supplementation is traditionally used to correct deficiency states or avoid deficiency in people at increased risk, such as people with malabsorption syndromes and chronic alcoholics (Saris et al 2000). Low serum Mg levels <0.7 mmol/L (1.8 mg/dL, 1.5 meq/L) are indicative of Mg deficiency, although symptoms occur when serum Mg is <0.5 mmol/L (1.2 mg/dL, 1.0 meq/L). CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE Low Mg states are associated with several cardiovascular diseases, such as congestive heart failure, ischaemic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, mitral valve prolapse, stroke, non-occlusive myocardial infarction and hyperlipidaemia. Although the pathophysiology of each condition is multifactorial, the multiple biological effects of Mg in the cardiovascular system suggest an important cardioprotective role. In the heart, it acts as a calcium-channel blocker and promotes resting polarisation of the cell membrane, thereby reducing Read more […]

Magnesium: Actions

Magnesium plays an essential role in a wide range of fundamental biological reactions in the body. It is involved in over 300 essential enzymatic reactions and is necessary for every major biological process. It is especially important for those enzymes that use nucleotides as cofactors or substrates and plays a role in many processes that are of central importance in the biochemistry of each cell, particularly in energy metabolism. It is also required for many other important biological functions such as: • nerve conduction • regulation of vascular tone • muscle activity • amino acid and protein synthesis • DNA synthesis and degradation • immune function. INTERACTION WITH OTHER NUTRIENTS Magnesium is extremely important for the metabolism of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, sodium, lead, cadmium and the intracellular homeostasis and activation of thiamine. It acts as a calcium antagonist and interacts with nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B6 and boron. Magnesium: Other Actions In its macro form, oral Mg salts have a laxative and antacid activity and are practically insoluble in water.

Magnesium: Background. Deficiency Signs and Symptoms

Background and Relevant Pharmacokinetics Magnesium (Mg) is the fourth most abundant cation in the body, with 50-60% sequestered in the bone and the remaining being distributed equally between muscle and non-muscular soft tissue. Only about 1% of total body Mg is found in the extracellular fluid. Dietary intake, renal and intestinal function finely balance and maintain plasma magnesium concentrations. Absorption of dietary Mg starts within 1 hour of ingestion, with salts of high solubility having the most complete absorption (e.g. magnesium citrate). Magnesium absorption also requires selenium, parathyroid hormone and vitamins B6 and D and is hindered by phytate, fibre, alcohol, excess saturated fat, phosphorus or calcium intake. Healthy people absorb 30-40% of ingested Mg; this can increase to 70% in cases of low intake or deficiency. Once absorbed, it is transported to the liver, enters the systemic circulation and is transported around the body and ultimately excreted via the kidneys. Clinical note — Magnesium citrate: the superior supplement Several forms of Mg are available in OTC supplements; however, not all exhibit the same bioavailability. According to a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled Read more […]