Magnesium: Health Benefits, Deficiencies, Sources and Risks

Magnesium is the eighth most abundant mineral essential for many metabolic processes in the human body. It is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions and it helps to maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. It’s also involved in energy production, protein synthesis, and blood glucose regulation.

The human body needs at least 320 milligrams of magnesium every day to stay healthy. Doctors link magnesium deficiency with a range of health complications, so people should aim to meet their daily recommended levels of magnesium. Almonds, spinach, and cashew nuts are some of the foods highest in magnesium. If a person cannot get enough magnesium through their diet, their doctor may recommend taking supplements.

Magnesium can also be found in some types of seafood like oysters or salmon as well as dairy products such as yogurt or cheese.

In this article, we look at the function and benefits of magnesium how it works inside the body, potential dietary risks and doctors who might link magnesium supplements to too much risk.

Why Do We Need Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral that is needed for many functions in the body. It helps with muscle and nerve function, keeps the heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

The human body cannot produce magnesium on its own so it must be obtained through food or supplements. Magnesium can be found in foods such as green vegetables (such as spinach), legumes (such as beans), whole grains (such as oatmeal), nuts (such as almonds), seeds (such as pumpkin or sunflower), avocado, bananas, dark chocolate, milk and yogurt.

Why is magnesium important?

Magnesium plays an important role in many important bodily functions. It helps in the production of energy, supports muscle and nerve function, and keeps heart rhythm steady. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body. It is found primarily in bones and teeth but also as a component of cells throughout the body.

Magnesium is important for:

  • Bone health
  • Heart health
  • Nervous system function
  • Energy production
  • Normal bowel function
  • Sugar metabolism
  • Blood pressure control
  • Regulation of muscle relaxation and contraction.

Health Benefits

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is found in many foods, water and supplements. It has many benefits and can help with a variety of conditions. Magnesium helps the body produce energy, assists in muscle contraction and supports a healthy immune system.

It is also important for bone health, blood sugar control and energy production. Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in food, water or supplements.

It can also be used to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression and ADHD. Magnesium may be used to prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by preventing cell death in the brain. Some people use it to treat muscle cramps or restless leg syndrome. It may also be used for treating high blood pressure, asthma attacks, kidney stones and chronic fatigue syndrome.

The following sections discuss the function of magnesium in the body and its effects on a person’s health.

1. Cardiovascular Health

Magnesium is a mineral that is required for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It is essential for muscle and nerve function, protein synthesis, and producing energy.

There are many benefits of magnesium for cardiovascular disease because it is a natural way to reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke. It helps regulate blood sugar, muscle and nerve function, and keeps the heart rhythm steady.

Magnesium deficiency can lead to cardiovascular disease, which can result in heart attack or stroke.

2. Diabetes

Magnesium is an essential mineral that the human body needs in order to function properly. It helps regulate blood sugar.

Diabetes mellitus is a condition where the body can’t make enough insulin or use insulin as it should be used. Magnesium can help with this by improving glucose metabolism and reducing insulin resistance, which leads to better blood sugar levels and lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

3. Bone Health

Magnesium is a mineral that is necessary for bone health. It provides support for the bones and teeth, helps the body maintain a healthy blood sugar level, and keeps muscles relaxed.

There are many benefits of magnesium for bone health, some of which include:

  • Magnesium can help with the prevention of osteoporosis.
  • It can help to prevent or improve muscle cramps.
  • It can help to regulate blood sugar levels and keep them from spiking too high or dropping too low.
  • It can promote relaxation in the muscles and reduce stress on the heart.

4. Premenstrual Syndrome

Magnesium is a natural mineral that has been used for centuries to treat various health conditions. It has also been found to be beneficial in the treatment of PMS.

Magnesium can be taken as a supplement and it can also be found in some foods. The most common symptoms of PMS are mood swings, cramps, and bloating. Magnesium can help alleviate these symptoms by relaxing muscles and regulating hormones.

5. Anxiety

Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps to regulate the nervous system and muscle function.

Magnesium can help people who have anxiety by reducing muscle tension, calming the body, and preventing headaches.

Some of the benefits of magnesium for anxiety are:

  • Magnesium can reduce muscle tension and calm the body.
  • Magnesium can also help with sleep problems related to anxiety.
  • It’s a natural way to relieve stress without any side effects or dependence issues.

Magnesium deficiency can lead to anxiety, insomnia, depression, and other mental health issues.

6. Migraine headaches

Magnesium for Migraine headaches can be taken as a supplement or by eating food that has magnesium. Foods high in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and cashews.

The benefits of magnesium for Migraine headaches include:

  • Relief from pain
  • Reduction of frequency of attacks
  • Reduction of severity of attacks
  • Decreased need for medication

Recommended Intake

Magnesium is an essential mineral that can be found in food and water. The recommended intake of magnesium is different for adults, adolescents and children. The recommended intake of magnesium for children is dependent on their age. It is important to know that the food sources of magnesium are not always sufficient to meet the recommended intake.

The following table shows the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium intake by age and sex.

1-3 years80 mg80 mg
4-8 years130 mg130 mg
9-13 years240 mg240 mg
14-18 years410 mg360 mg
19-30 Years400 mg310 mg
30-50 years420 mg320 mg
51+ years420 mg320 mg

People who are pregnant should increase their consumption of magnesium by around 40 mg per day.

For babies under the age of 1, experts have based the recommended amounts of calcium on the amount found in breastmilk.


Some of the major sources of magnesium are

Magnesium deficiency

Magnesium deficiency is not well-known or understood. The most common symptom of magnesium deficiency is muscle cramps, but it can also lead to anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

While many people do not meet the recommended daily intake for magnesium, deficiencies can be hard to spot in otherwise healthy people. However, people with a weakened immune system are more likely to come down with a magnesium deficiency, which is known as hypomagnesemia.

Magnesium deficiency can be caused by certain medications like diuretics and antibiotics. Other causes of magnesium deficiency are alcoholism, eating disorders, or eating a diet high in sugar and low in whole grains. It’s more common among the elderly.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:

  • a loss of appetite
  • nausea or vomiting
  • fatigue or weakness

Symptoms of more advanced magnesium deficiency include:

  • muscle cramps
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • seizures
  • personality changes
  • heart rhythm changes or spasms

A person’s risk of developing a magnesium deficiency increases as they age because the kidneys are less able to excrete excess magnesium into the urine.

Research has linked magnesium deficiency with a range of health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and migraine.

Should I take magnesium supplements?

Magnesium is an important mineral that is found in many of the foods that we eat, but it can also be taken as a supplement.

There are many benefits to taking magnesium supplements, including improved sleep quality and reduced muscle cramps. However, there are some potential side effects to taking magnesium supplements as well.

The most common use of magnesium supplements is to treat or prevent low magnesium levels. Magnesium also helps reduce the symptoms of migraines and menstrual cramps, as well as regulate blood sugar levels.

It is better to focus the diet with plenty of magnesium from food sources or supplements rather than just relying on a supplement.

What are the Risks of too Much Magnesium?

Too much magnesium in your diet can lead to adverse side effects. These include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. In addition to these symptoms, too much magnesium can also cause an irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure.

The body will eliminate any excess magnesium from food, making an over-consumption unlikely. People with a kidney disorder should not take magnesium supplements unless their doctor advises that they do so.


Magnesium is a mineral found in many food sources. It is well known for its ability to reduce muscle cramps and tension, regulate sleep, and promote a healthy heart.

It can also lead to headaches and migraines, constipation or diarrhea, muscle cramps or spasms, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia.

Research has linked magnesium deficiencies with a range of health complications. If a person is unable to get their daily requirements from their diet, a doctor may recommend taking magnesium supplements.