plays a role in( 1-4)
Cellular Energy Production
Nervous System Stability
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential nutrient for the body that many
scientists believe is one of the most important nutrients for
human health. Magnesium is a major mineral, meaning it
exists in your body in signi;cant amounts – it is the fourth
most abundant mineral in the body.
Magnesium may be the most overlooked—but most vital
nutrient in human health.
What is magnesium for?
Magnesium is a multifaceted, multitasking nutrient that
has far-reaching e;ects and is vital for the proper functioning
of every cell in the body.
Scientists are ;nding that the health bene;ts of magnesium
have been vastly underestimated. It’s hard to fathom that
one nutrient can play so many varied and important roles
in the body, but, yes, magnesium is a superstar powerhouse
nutrient that is ready to step into the limelight.
There is a large and rapidly growing body of literature on
how magnesium plays an important role in the structure and
function of the body. In addition to supporting bone health
and other structural components of the body, magnesium
also participates in over 300 di;erent biochemical reactions
that a;ect every cell in the body.
Magnesium plays a critical role in energy production,
central nervous system function, and is vitally important to
the electrolyte balance of cells, including the brain, heart,
muscles and other organs. This nutrient helps keep the
heart rhythm steady, muscles functioning properly, and
plays a crucial role in cellular energy production. Overall,
magnesium is essential for optimum health.
How many people are
deficient in magnesium?
Here is a staggering health fact from the government:
Approximately 50% of the U.S. population consume less
than the required amount of magnesium for health.
This inadequate intake applies to all Americans – regardless
of age, gender, race, education or economic status.
Because magnesium is vital to so many functions in the
body, this suboptimal intake of magnesium has many
scientists and healthcare professionals concerned.
What are magnesium
Green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole unre;ned
grains, seeds and dried fruits, such as ;gs, apricots and
dates, are good sources of magnesium. However, the
modernization of food has led to a decrease of magnesium,
making it important to eat these foods on a consistent
7, 8 Government data shows approximately 50% of
Americans are not meeting their magnesium needs.
Because magnesium is involved with hundreds of crucial
functions throughout the body, low magnesium intake may
have signi;cant consequences. For those who are falling
short in their diet, magnesium supplementation may be
recommended to ;ll in the nutrient gaps.
Carroll Reider, MS, RD
Director, Scienti;c A;airs and Nutrition Education
Warning: If you have kidney disease (renal failure), check with
your Health Care Provider before taking any magnesium products.
1. Rude RK, Shils ME. Magnesium. In: Shils ME, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ,
eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 10th ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams &
2. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Magnesium. Dietary Reference Intakes:
Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington D.C.: National
Academy Press; 1997:190-249.
3. Vink, R (2012). Magnesium in the Central Nervous System. The University of Adelaide Press.
Retrieved from http://www.adelaide.edu.au/press/titles/magnesium/magnesium-ebook.pdf
4. What We Eat in America. NHANES 2005-2006; usual nutrient intakes from food and water
compared to 1997 dietary reference intakes for Vitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorus, and
Magnesium. U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Beltsville
Human Nutrition Research Center Food Surveys Research Group. July 2009.
5. Rosanoff, A., C. Weaver, et al. 2012. “Suboptimal Magnesium Status in the United
States: Are the Health Consequences Underestimated?” Nutrition Reviews 70( 3):
6. Of;ce of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Magnesium.
National Institutes of Health. 2009. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/
7. Rosanoff A. Changing crop magnesium concentrations: impact on human health
August 2012; Plant Soil. DOI 10.1007/s11104-012-1471-5
8. Thomas D. A study on the mineral depletion of the foods available to us as a
nation over the period 1940 to 1991. Nutr Health. 2003; 17( 2):85-115.