Magnesium and its Health benefits

Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr Lara Mokhtar, MD Written by - Dr. Shaheen Shah


What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a vital plentiful mineral in our body. It is crucial for the brain, bone functioning, and overall body fitness. It is found in a variety of natural foods.1Overview| Researched based study from

Magnesium is a vital plentiful mineral in our body. It is crucial for the brain, bone functioning, and overall body fitness.

Facts of magnesium

  • Magnesium stands fourth among the most abundant mineral in our body
  • Around half of the body’s magnesium is in our bones.
  • Magnesium is required in around 600 enzymatic reactions of our body
  • Magnesium is available in fortified products and as health supplements2Overview| Researched based study from


Sources of magnesium

Plant sources

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Carrot
  • Soymilk
  • White rice
  • Brown rice
  • Papaya
  • Avocado
  • Almond
  • Cashew
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Blackberries
  • Dried figs
  • Fortified cereals
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Raisins
  • Dark chocolate

Animal sources

  • Salmon
  • Milk
  • Chicken breast
  • Beef
  • Dairy products
  • Yogurt

Natural sources

  • Normal tap water
  • Packaged mineral water1Sources| Researched based study from


Dosage of magnesium

The recommended daily intake of magnesium in different age groups is as follows


  • Age 1-3 years-80 mg
  • Age 4-8 years-130 mg
  • Age 9-13 years-240 mg


Age 14-18 years

  • Male- 410mg
  • Female-360 mg


Age 19-30 years

  • Male – 400 mg
  • Female- 310 mg

Age 31-50 years

  • Male- 420 mg
  • Female- 320 mg

Age 51 years and above

  • Male-420 mg
  • Female-320 mg

Pregnant woman

  • Age below 19 years-400 mg
  • Age 19 -30 years-350 mg
  • Age 31 years and above- 360 mg

Nursing mothers

  • Age below 19 years- 360 mg
  • Age 19-30 years- 310 mg
  • Age 31 years and above- 320 mg3Dosage| Researched based study from


Benefits of magnesium in our body.

Benefits of magnesium in our body

In regulating body functions

  • Magnesium is involved in DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA(ribonucleic acid)synthesis and bone development.
  • It participates in the creation of energy.
  • It plays a vital role in the transport of potassium and calcium across cell membranes.
  • It maintains a regular heartbeat, muscle contraction, and nerve impulses, i.e., sending sensation to the brain following external stimulation.
  • It nullifies the stomach acid and helps in passing stool through the intestine.

Regulates blood sugar

  • It decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • It increases insulin sensitivity (the body can utilize the blood glucose effectively)4Benefits| Researched based study from

Help fight depression

  • Magnesium reduces the symptoms of depression5Benefits| Researched based study from
  • It enhances the mood

Prevent migraine attacks

  • It prevents migraine attacks
  • It relieves the severe migraine headache quickly6Benefits| Researched based study from

Enhances exercise performance

  • It increases muscle mass and energy
  • It improves the body’s movement7Benefits| Researched based study from

Increases the anti-inflammatory effect

  • It reduces oxidative stress in the body
  • It decreases the markers of inflammation (Markers of inflammation viz; C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 increase during any body injury)8Benefits| Researched based study from

Enhances bone health

  • It increases the bone mineral density
  • It decreases the risk of bone fractures9Benefits| Researched based study from

Enhances heart health

  • Magnesium lowers the blood pressure
  • It lowers the risk of stroke (bleeding in the brain’s blood vessels)10Benefits| Researched based study from

Improves premenstrual symptoms

  • Magnesium reduces abdominal pain
  • It decreases migraine attacks
  • It decreases anxiety and depression

However, more research is warranted to prove the effect of magnesium on premenstrual symptoms.11Benefits| Researched based study from

Decreases anxiety

  • It decreases the symptoms of anxiety
  • It decreases stress and nervousness 12Benefits| Researched based study from

Promotes good sleep

  • It improves the sleep quality
  • It decreases the time to fall asleep13Benefits| Researched based study from

Side effects

Side effects of magnesium

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Electrolyte(body minerals) imbalance14Side effects | Researched based study from


Overdose toxicity of magnesium

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Kidney problem
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Loss of central nervous system control
  • Confusion
  • Cardiac arrest (heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body)
  • Coma( prolonged loss of body consciousness)
  • Death15Overdose | Researched based study from


Magnesium deficiency

Deficiency symptoms

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Sleep difficulty

Severe deficiency causes

  • Itchiness
  • Muscle pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures (uncontrolled body shaking)
  • Loss of sensation in body parts
  • Personality changes16Deficiency| Researched based study from

People prone to magnesium deficiency

People with the following health condition are prone to magnesium deficiency.

  • Aged people
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Parathyroid disorder (abnormal calcium level in blood)
  • Crohn’s disease (a disease causing swelling and pain in the digestive tract)
  • Migraine (headache)
  • Alcoholism(addicted to alcohol)
  • Diabetes(high blood sugar)
  • Alzheimer’s disease(a brain disease causing memory loss)
  • Gastrointestinal disorders(diseases involving the digestive tract)
  • Cancer (abnormal cell growth in the body)17Deficiency | Researched based study from


Drug interaction with magnesium


  • Levodopa is used for treating Parkinson’s disease
  • Taking magnesium oxide with levodopa decreases the efficiency of the drug

Tetracycline antibiotic

  • Taking magnesium and tetracycline togetherdecreases the body’s absorption capacity and reduces the effectiveness of the drug
  • So, one must take tetracycline antibiotics 2 hours before or 6 hours after magnesium consumption.

Quinolone antibiotic

  • Taking magnesium and quinolone together decreases the body’s absorption capacity and reduces the efficiency of the quinolone
  • So quinolone must be consumed 2 hours before or 5-6 hours after magnesium consumption.

Aminoglycoside antibiotic

  • Taking magnesium and aminoglycoside together causes muscle problem


  • Taking magnesium and bisphosphonates together reduces the blood levels of biphosphonates and minimizes the bisphosphonate’s effectiveness
  • So, bisphosphonates should be consumed 2hours before magnesium consumption

Muscle relaxant

  • Magnesium relaxes the muscles
  • So consuming magnesium and muscle relaxant together increases the side effect of the drug

Anticoagulant (blood thinning medicine)

  • Magnesium delays the blood clotting
  • Taking magnesium and anticoagulant together increases the risk of profuse bleeding

Water pills

  • Water pills increase the magnesium in the body
  • Taking magnesium and water pills together can lead to excess magnesium in the body

Calcium channel blockers

  • Calcium channel blockers are used to treat high blood pressures. they obstruct calcium from entering the cells
  • Magnesium also blocks calcium from entering the cells
  • Taking magnesium and Calcium channel blockers together might cause an excessive decrease in blood pressure


  • Lanoxin is used to treat irregular heartbeat
  • Taking magnesium and linoxin together decreases the lanoxin levels in the blood and reduces the effect of the drug

Diabetes medication

  • Taking magnesium and diabetes medication together increases the blood levels of diabetic medicine hence increases the risk of low blood sugar


  • Taking magnesium and antacid together decreases the laxative effect of magnesium


  • Taking magnesium and gabapentin together decreases the body’s absorption capacity and reduces the drug’s effectiveness
  • So, gabapentin must be consumed 2 hours before or 6 hours after magnesium consumption.


  • Taking high doses of magnesium and ketamine together increases the side effects of the drug


  • Taking magnesium and sevelamer together increases the risk of very high magnesium levels in the body18Interactions | Researched based study from

Interaction with other supplements

Calcium tablet

  • Taking magnesium and calcium together reduces the body’s capacity to absorb calcium

Multivitamin supplement containing iron and zinc

  • Taking magnesium and multivitamin with iron and zinc decreases the absorption of iron and zinc in the body19Interactions | Researched based study from
  • It reduces the efficiency of the multivitamin supplement


Key Takeaways

  • Magnesium is an essential macronutrient in many bodily processes such as nerve, muscle, and bone.
  • Magnesium deficiencies can lead to several health problems
  • Magnesium supplements are available in health stores for magnesium-deficient individuals
  • One should always consult a physician before including magnesium supplements in their diet to get the correct dose and to avoid the risk of overdose
Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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