Supply Situation

Nutrition surveys have determined average magnesium intakes in European countries.

In the U.K., 50% of men and 72% of women did not meet the U.K. dietary recommendations for magnesium (300 and 270 mg/day respectively) (53).

The intake in Ireland was shown to be marginally higher, although no population group on average met the figure of 375 mg/day recently set by the EU Scientific Committee for Food (54). The highest intake was seen in the eldest age group (51–64 years) with a mean intake of 345 mg for men and 255 mg for women.

Austrian data demonstrated that only women aged between 27 and 35 years and adult men aged less than 35 years were meeting national dietary recommendations (55).

In 2009, a U.S. report presented national estimates of usual nutrient intake distributions for magnesium and compared those estimates to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the Institute of Medicine in 1997 (56). Overall, nearly half of all individuals aged one year and over had inadequate intakes of magnesium. More than two-thirds of 14–18 year olds and adults aged 71 years and over had inadequate intakes. Such findings suggest that marginal magnesium deficiency may be relatively common in the U.S.

Several studies have found that elderly people have relatively low dietary intakes of magnesium (4).


Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010 and reviewed and revised by Angelika Friedel on 22.05.2017.