Magnesium chloride sources, health risks

Thursday, October 05, 2017 by

Magnesium chloride is an inorganic compound that is composed of one magnesium and two chloride ions. Doctors use magnesium chloride as a source of magnesium ions, which are important for many cellular activities. Magnesium chloride also finds its uses in alloys and as a cathartic agent.

Magnesium chloride is a compound of magnesium, which is around two percent of the earth’s crust and eighth in elemental abundance. Around 69 percent of magnesium’s compounds that are used in the United States are used as refractories, or as substances that are resistant to heat, such as olivine.

The remaining 31 percent of magnesium compounds are used as construction materials (magnesium oxide), for road dust and ice control (magnesium chloride), in cosmetics (magnesium carbonate), in agriculture as fertilizer or animal feed (magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate), as chemical intermediaries (magnesium chloride, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium carbonate, magnesium oxide) for environmental (magnesium oxide, magnesium hydroxide) and industrial applications (magnesium oxide), in pharmaceuticals (magnesium sulfate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium oxide), and in pulp and paper applications (magnesium sulfate).

Magnesium chloride is certified as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under section 505 of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Tolerable limit intake of magnesium chloride supplements is at 350 milligrams per day.

Magnesium chloride supplements can negatively interact with blood pressure medicine, hormone replacement therapy during menopause, osteoporosis medication, antibiotics, digoxin, diuretics, levothyroxine, medicine to treat diabetes, and penicillamine.

Harmful effects that can be caused by magnesium chloride

Swallowing magnesium chloride is a bad call, for it can burn the throat. Also, exposing yourself to the chemical can cause you to have serious eye and skin irritation. To alleviate pain or discomfort due to the exposure, rinse the affected part of your body with water.

Magnesium chloride is bad for the skin. It can cause the skin to break out in hives and rashes and start itching uncontrollably. It can also cause swelling of the tongue, lips or mouth, and face. It can also induce peeling and blistering of the skin.

Toxicity from magnesium chloride can also cause hypermagnesemia, or the presence of high levels of magnesium in the blood, which is characterized by confusion, decreased breathing rate, weakness, and often, cardiac arrest.

Body systems harmed by magnesium chloride

Magnesium chloride is bad for the digestive system. It delays gastric emptying, which is the time it takes for the food to empty from the stomach and enter the small intestines. Diarrhea is also a common symptom of taking magnesium chloride supplements, according to

Magnesium chloride is bad for the excretory system. In a recent study that administered magnesium chloride to a group of 10 male and 10 female rats for 13 weeks, it was found out that consistent magnesium chloride ingestion can cause swelling of kidney cells.

Magnesium chloride is bad for the respiratory system. It can induce difficulty in breathing and a tight feeling in the chest.

Magnesium chloride is bad for the nervous system. Too much magnesium chloride in the body can adversely affect the brain, causing the affected person to feel depression and even fall into a coma.

Magnesium chloride is bad for the cardiovascular system. It can cause low blood pressure. In extreme cases, a magnesium chloride overdose can even cause death.

Magnesium chloride is bad for the muscular system. At a dose of four to seven milliequivalents of solute per liter of solvent mEq/L, magnesium chloride can decrease tendon reflexes and prompt muscular weakness.

Where to learn more


Magnesium chloride is bad for the digestive, excretory, respiratory, nervous, cardiovascular, and muscular systems.

Swallowing magnesium chloride is a bad call, for it can burn the throat.

Magnesium chloride is bad for the skin.

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