Magnesium Citrate is a chemical used medicinally as a laxative. The chemical is magnesium mixed in a salt form with citric acid.
It is available over-the-counter, and is commonly used to completely empty the bowel before major surgery or a colonoscopy.
Magnesium citrate tricks your large intestines into absorbing more than normal amounts of water through its tissue with a water transferring process known as osmosis. Once the intestines attract and absorb enough water, defecation is induced.
Losing Weight with Magnesium Citrate
While magnesium citrate is mostly used as a laxative for curing constipation or to prepare for surgery, it can also Tbe used for weight loss.
A diet that uses magnesium citrate as its primary form of weight loss is not recommended by doctors, even though the product is available over-the-counter.
The laxative works by forcing large amounts of water into your intestines to induce the need to remove your waste, the problem is that it usually will not give your intestines enough time to absorb the nutrients in the food you have eaten before it is cleared out. The weight loss from this diet mostly comes from the loss of water in your body. Water makes up a large percentage of the weight of the average human body, so removing water from your system at rates above the normal body rate, should result in weight loss.
The problem is that this weight loss is usually temporary, and you are potentially doing harm to your body by not digesting your food in the normal cycle, and by losing water which can cause dehydration.
Taking magnesium citrate strictly as a dietary supplement can also be dangerous because your body will acquire a tolerance for the laxative, and by stopping your doses of the product you can increase your risk of constipation and other digestive problems.
The most common side effects associated with this over-the-counter laxative are diarrhea and stomach cramps. Other possible side effects are blood in your stool, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, sweating, and weakness.