Magnesium: the do-it-all nutrient

Magnesium: the do-it-all nutrient

Magnesium: the do-it-all nutrient

If there were a do-it-all nutrient award, it might go to magnesium. The humble mineral plays a critical role in helping your body function successfully, notes the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The body needs magnesium for a wide range of processes, including muscle and nerve function, controlling blood sugar levels, and maintaining healthy blood pressure. Magnesium also helps the body use other nutrients, like vitamin D.

The recommended amount of magnesium varies according to age, but most healthy adults should have between 310 to 320 mg of magnesium per day (women) or 400 to 420 mg per day (men).

Early symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, tiredness, and weakness. The body can retain good levels of magnesium, deficiency is rare, and symptoms usually indicate an underlying health condition.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:

You get leg cramps, involuntary muscle or eye twitches

Magnesium plays a big role in healthy neuromuscular signals and muscle contraction so if you’re deficient, these types of muscles abnormalities may occur.

You don’t sleep well or have insomnia

Poor sleep quality can be a sign of magnesium deficiency and can even lead to insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness.

You can’t shake that tired feeling

The most main source of energy in the body is ATP (adenosine tryphospate), which much be bound to a magnesium ion in order to be biologically. If the ATP in your body is finding it hard to partner with magnesium it may leave your tired and fatigued.

You suffer from anxiety or panic attacks

Since magnesium has a calming affect on the central nervous system, low levels of magnesium can cause irritability and nervousness. As magnesium levels continue to drop, it can leave you prone to high levels of anxiety, depression, panic attacks.

You get migraine headaches 

People who suffer from migraine headaches usually have lower levels of tissue and serum magnesium compared to those who do not.

You suffer from PMS

Magnesium deficiency has even been linked to a variety of other women’s health issues including hormone balance, bone disorders, cramping, low energy, migraines, and mood swings.


Osteoporosis is a disorder characterised by weak bones and an increased risk of bone fractures. Deficiency might weaken bones directly, but it also lowers the blood levels of calcium, the main building block of bones

You’re pre-diabetic or have type II diabetes

Magnesium plays an important role in the way your body metabolises sugar. Magnesium aids in the activity and release of insulin and maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. And magnesium deficiency can be not only be a cause of type II diabetes, but also a symptom.

You have high blood pressure or heart disease

Magnesium works with calcium to support healthy blood pressure and cardiovascular health. High blood pressure or hypertension can be a sign of magnesium and calcium deficiency.

Irregular heartbeat

Heart arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, is among the most serious symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Some people with congestive heart failure and arrhythmia have been shown to have lower magnesium levels than people who don’t have the condition.


Magnesium levels tend to be lower in individuals with asthma than in people who do not have the condition. Researchers believe a lack of magnesium may cause the buildup of calcium in the muscles lining the airways of the lungs. This causes the airways to constrict, making breathing more difficult.

If you believe you may have a magnesium deficiency, your suspicions can be confirmed with a simple blood test. You should speak with your doctor to rule out other possible health problems. Whatever the outcome, try to regularly eat plenty of magnesium-rich whole foods, such as nuts, seeds, grains, or beans. These foods are also high in other healthy nutrients. Including them in your diet not only lowers your risk for magnesium deficiency, but it also supports your overall health.



Disclaimer: All content on the The Local Choice Pharmacy is created and published online for informational purposes only. It does not serve as a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice.