Magnesium: Health benefits, sources, and deficiency

Magnesium: Health benefits, sources, and deficiency


What’s a Mineral?

Minerals play an important role in the human body, as they help convert food into energy, and are important for building and maintaining strong teeth and bones, in addition to their role in controlling fluid amounts inside and outside cells.

Minerals have been classified as micronutrients.); It has been divided into two main categories, the trace minerals, which the body needs in small quantities, and they include iron, selenium, zinc, iodine, chromium, manganese, copper, fluoride, and molybdenum.

The other category is the main minerals: Major minerals), which the body needs in large quantities, and include sodium, sulfur, potassium, chloride, phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium.


Magnesium is available naturally in many types of food, and it may be available in the form of food supplements, and it is stored in the tissues of the body, and it ranks fourth among the most abundant minerals in the human body; Where the quantities in the body are estimated at 25 grams, knowing that approximately 50-60% of it is stored in the skeleton, and the rest is distributed between muscles, soft tissues, and fluids, and it is an important element involved in the interactions of more than 300 enzymes in the body. metabolic processes, the synthesis of fatty acids and proteins, and the transmission of nerve messages.

The benefits of magnesium

Magnesium provides many health benefits to the body, including:
Promote bone health: Adequate magnesium intake has been found to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, promote bone building, and increase its density; It helps deposit calcium in the bones, and also contributes to the activation of vitamin D in the kidneys.

Contribute to calcium metabolism: Magnesium deficiency may reflect negatively on the body if it increases calcium intake, which increases the risk of kidney stones.

Maintaining the health of the heart muscle: one study found that people who consume a higher proportion of magnesium are less likely to develop coronary artery calcification by 58%, and abdominal artery calcification by 34%, and magnesium contributes to the treatment of heart failure. And heart arrhythmia, and eating it enough reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure, and improves body fat.

Reducing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, such as bloating, insomnia, and flatulence, if magnesium is taken in addition to vitamin B6 sources.

Contribute to the secretion of the hormone insulin: Magnesium plays an important role in transporting glucose through the bloodstream, and secreting the hormone insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Alleviate constipation: Since magnesium has the effect Melina intestine (in English: Laxative), so when it is taken by mouth.

Reducing the symptoms associated with heartburn: especially if it is taken orally, and many types of it can be used, but magnesium hydroxide is considered the fastest acting.

Magnesium sources

Magnesium is available in many foods, and its most important sources are:

  • Dark leafy green vegetables, most notably spinach.
  • Dark chocolate, which contains 70-85% cocoa.
  • quinoa;
  • Black beans, peas.
  • Almonds, walnuts, and cashews.
  • Soy milk, cow's milk.
  • Peanut Butter.
  • Sesame seeds.
  • pumpkin seeds.
  • avocado salmon.
  • Sunflower seeds.
  • oatmeal.
  • cauliflower;
  • Shrimp.
  • brown
  • rice
  • Banana.

Magnesium side effects

Magnesium is considered safe when taken in an amount not exceeding 350 milligrams orally, or through a prescription, and it is considered safe for pregnant and lactating women if it is taken in no more than the previously mentioned dose, and through intravenous injection, but excessive doses of it may It causes hypermagnesemia when taking nutritional supplements, or some types of medications, and may cause some side effects, including the following:

  • Arrhythmia.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • coma.
  • weak breathing;
  • Increased risk of bleeding or bruising among people with bleeding disorders.

Magnesium deficiency

There are several reasons that lead to a deficiency of magnesium (Hypomagnesemia), it may be due to not eating enough of it, or due to problems absorbing it, and magnesium levels in the body can be known through a blood test, and consult a doctor, and the elderly are considered the most vulnerable to infection. Thus, due to its low absorption, and this may occur when a person suffers from digestive disorders, or due to the use of certain medications, and may lead to the emergence of some symptoms, including loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, and fatigue, and it can also cause muscle spasms, or seizures, or paresthesia of the extremities.

Recommended amounts of magnesium

The National Institutes of Health recommends certain amounts of magnesium per day, according to age groups, and it was distributed among them as follows:


Age group

Recommended amounts of magnesium (milligrams)

Children 1-3 years old


Children 4-8 years old


Children 9-13 years old


Males 14-18 years old


Males 19 years and over


Females 14-18 years old


Females 19 years and over


pregnant woman


breastfeeding woman