Magnesium is recognized as an essential nutrient for all species. In humans, magnesium performs an extremely important role with numerous health benefits. Nowadays, various biochemical and functional problems in humans i.e. heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis, muscles spasm, etc. are attributed to magnesium deficiency. Consequently, it is imperative to supply the human body with the necessary Mg during the daily nourishment.
This is an aftereffect of the magnesium lack in the feeding cycle, whereas the magnesium impoverishment in soils and plants, supply animals with deficient magnesium intake, resulting in diminished human intake.
Additionally, the low magnesium intake to animals has the following fundamental implications:
- Hypomagnesaemia or grass tetany.
- Skeletal deformity and retarded growth.
- Minimization of milk production.
In order to solve these problems and prevent magnesium deficiency, especially in lactating and grazing cattle and sheep it is essential to include some additional amounts of magnesium in their daily feeding. There are various ways that magnesium can be absorbed by the animal:
- Compound feeds - Premixes (mixing magnesium with other minerals and trace elements)
- Spreading of powdered MgO over the fields, during grazing periods
- Licking blocks
- Addition of MgO into the drinking water
Natural magnesium carbonate, calcined at a temperature of approx. 900oC, known as caustic calcined magnesia, is the principal magnesium source used in the feed industry, to provide supplementary magnesium to ruminant animals, predominantly, due to its highest bioavailability and Mg concentration.