The metabolism of carbohydrates and fats to produce energy requires numerous magnesium-dependent chemical reactions. Magnesium is required by the protein that produces molecules (‘adenosine triphosphate’, ATP) in mitochondria, which provide energy for almost all metabolic processes (3).
Magnesium is required for a number of steps during nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) and protein production.
Magnesium plays a structural role in bone, cell membranes, and chromosomes (3).
Cell signaling requires the magnesium-ATP complex for activation of proteins and formation of the cell-signaling molecule (‘cyclic adenosine monophosphate’, cAMP), which is involved in many processes (3).
Calcium and magnesium levels in the fluid surrounding cells affect the movement (‘migration’) of a number of different cell types. Such effects on cell migration may be important in wound healing (3).
Dietary protein may affect magnesium absorption (5).
The active form of vitamin D (calcitriol) may slightly increase absorption of magnesium in the digestive tract (3,4). However, magnesium absorption does not seem to be calcitriol-dependent as is the absorption of calcium and phosphate.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which provides scientific advice to assist policy makers, has confirmed that clear health benefits have been established for the dietary intake of magnesium in contributing to:
Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010 and reviewed and revised by Angelika Friedel on 22.05.2017.