Manglos Health Services
I am a member of a committee that conferences patients in the home care agency where I work.  I work with the geriatric population a LOT, and these patients are notoriously low on magnesium.  Many times a geriatric patient is prescribed laxatives (such as hydrochlorthiazide) that actually depletes magnesium levels.  Magnesium is a mineral that is so important to so many bodily functions, and the smooth-muscle tissue in the bowel requires it for peristalsis: The action of the bowel muscle moving stool through for excretion.  If you have experienced extreme constipation, you know that it is NOT FUN.  (by any stretch of the imagination!) I am linking an article here on the benefits of magnesium for bowel regularity.  Higher doses of magnesium are contraindicated (ie., not recommended!) in patients with renal disease or very low heart rate, so check with your doctor before taking.  That said, there are tremendous benefits to magnesium supplementation and you can read about it here!

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
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