Magnesium (Mg) is essential to all living cells. The earth metal plays important roles in the structure and the function of the human body. The adult human body contains about 25 grams of magnesium. Over 60% of all the magnesium in the body is found in the skeleton, about 27% is found in muscle (1). Magnesium is involved in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions (2).

Health Functions

The metabolism of carbohydrates and fats to produce energy requires numerous magnesium-dependent chemical reactions.

Disease Risk Reduction

Large epidemiological studies suggest a relationship between magnesium and blood pressure.

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Things to know about Magnesium

  • Other Applications

    Giving a patient an intravenous (IV) magnesium drip soon after a suspected heart attack (‘myocardial infarction’, MI) could decrease mortality, according to the results of a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

  • Intake Recommendations

    In 1993, the European Scientific Committee for Food determined an acceptable magnesium intake range for adults of 150–500 milligram (mg) per day (52).

  • Supply Situation

    Nutrition surveys have determined average magnesium intakes in European countries.

  • Deficiency

    Magnesium deficiency in healthy individuals who are consuming a balanced diet is quite rare because magnesium is abundant in both plant and animal-derived foods (1).

  • Sources

    Because magnesium is part of the green pigment (‘chlorophyll’) in plants, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, and some fruits such as bananas are rich in magnesium.

  • Safety

    Adverse effects (e.g. diarrhea) from excess magnesium have been observed with intakes of supplemental magnesium.

  • References

    Consult the full list of scientific references.