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Magnesium Deficiency

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Last Updated on June 22, 2021 by Renee’

Did you know that Magnesium Deficiency is one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in adults?

Magnesium is a mineral that is used by every organ in the body.

Most magnesium is stored in your bones & organs & only about 1% is distributed by blood. This is why it’s so hard to diagnose magnesium deficiency.  You can’t just get a standard blood test.

It is estimated that 80% of Americans are not getting enough. Wow! 80%, that’s unbelievable.

Below is a video with Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND & Dr. Joseph Mercola on the Importance of Magnesium. She has written the book The Magnesium Miracle if you would like to know even more about this very important nutrient.

Causes of Magnesium Deficiency:

  1. Soil has been depleted (this lowers the amount of magnesium present in crops)Magnesium Deficiency- Causes, Symptoms, Diseases, & What Supplements are best. - www.thehealthnutmama.com
  2. Digestive disorders (this leads to malabsorption of magnesium and other minerals due to Leaky Gut)
  3. Prescription medications such as antacids, blood pressure medications, acid-blocking drugs, heart medications, hormones, birth control pills, corticosteroids, ADHD drugs & antibiotics
  4. A diet high in sugar and phytic acid (processed foods, sugary drinks, etc…)
  5. Excess alcohol consumption


  • Muscle Aches, Spasms, Cramps (including menstrual), Twitching, Eye Twitching
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Sleeping Disorderssleep
  • Constipation
  • Impotence
  • Peroxynitrite Damage (may lead to migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma or Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Hormone Imbalance & PMS
  • Irritability, Mood Swings & Behavior Disorders
  • Cavities
  • Recurrent bacterial or fungal infections (due to low levels of nitric oxide or a depressed immune system)
  • Chronic Fatigue, Weakness
  • Headaches & Migraine Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Digestive Issues, like nausea, loss of appetite & vomitingDo you have a Leaky Gut? www.thehealthnutmama.com
  • Seizures
  • Numbness & Tingling
  • Abnormal Heart Rhythm
  • Body Odor
  • Anorexia
  • Apathy
  • Poor Memory, Confusion
  • Blood Pressure
  • Hearing Loss
  • Kidney Stones
  • Tooth Decay, cavities, yellow teeth, translucent teeth or other oral health problems
  • Cardiac Arrhythmia
  • Personality Changes
  • Nail Fungus
  • Warts

Magnesium Deficiency


Diseases Associated with Magnesium Deficiency:

  • Type II Diabetes
  • Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease, Heart Attack
  • Osteoporosis, Low Bone Density
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cancer
  • Liver Disease
  • Mitral valve prolapse
  • ADHD
  • Epilepsy
  • COPD / Emphysema
  • Vertigo
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Kidney Disease
  • Raynaud’s Syndrome
  • Cystitis


Food Sources:

FDA RDA (Men- 420 mg and Women- 320 mg a day) ages 31+

    1. Pumpkin Seeds- 1/4 c. 190 mg.Magnesium Deficiency- Causes, Symptoms, Diseases, & What Supplements are best. - www.thehealthnutmama.com
    2. Spinach– 1 c. 157 mg.
    3. Chard– 1 c. 150 mg.
    4. Dark Chocolate — 1 sq. 95 mg.
    5. Cashews- 1/4 c. 89 mg.
    6. Almonds 1 oz. 80 mg.
    7. Avocado — 1 medium: 58 mg.
    8. Figs — ½ c. 51 mg.
    9. Yogurt or Kefir — 1 c. 50 mg.
    10. Banana — 1 med. 33 mg.
    11. Sesame Seeds- 1 tsp. 31 mg.


Types of Magnesium:

*There are numeral different supplemental forms of magnesium since it must be bound to another substance. Each form has different therapeutic properties and absorption rates.

  • Magnesium Chelate – highly absorbable by the body and the kind found in foods naturally. This is less likely to cause nausea, bloating, or diarrhea.
  • Magnesium Citrate – magnesium combined with citric acid. This may have a laxative effect in some cases when taken in high doses but is otherwise safe to use for improving digestion and preventing constipation.
  • Magnesium Chloride Oil – an oil form of magnesium that can be applied directly to the skin. It’s beneficial to people who have digestive disorders that prevent normal absorption of magnesium from their food. Magnesium Oil is commonly used by athletes to increase energy and endurance, dull muscle pain, and heal wounds or skin irritation.
  • Magnesium Glycinate – highly absorbable and less likely to cause laxative effects. It appears to be very effective.
  • Magnesium Gluconate – shown to have the highest level of bioavailability of 10 studied magnesium supplements.
  • Magnesium Hydroxide – known as Milk of Magnesia antacids and most commonly used for laxative purposes.
  • Magnesium Malate – Magnesium Malate is most commonly used to treat a condition known as Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by fatigue, muscle pain, stiffness, headache, and memory problems, and may be linked to low magnesium levels.
  • Magnesium Sulfate– used as bath salts (Epsom salts), as a laxative, and as a fertilizer.  Epsom salts can relieve swelling, inflammation, and ease muscle aches and pains, but they are not suitable for oral intake.
  • Magnesium Threonate –is a newer form that has shown a high level of absorbability since it can penetrate the mitochondrial membrane & is heavily linked to improved learning and memory.

I personally take Magnesium Glycinate but decided to give the Magnesium Threonate a try. I also use Magnesium Oil on the bottoms of my feet before bedtime & these Bath Salts with a few drops of Lavender Oil when I take a tub bath to help de-stress.


Important Information & Tips:

  • It has been shown that Magnesium reduces your risk for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure. It has also been shown to improve your outcome after coronary artery bypass surgery by preventing atrial fibrillation.
  • Zinc has been shown to inhibit the absorption of magnesium (so don’t take Zinc at the same time as magnesium).
  • Taking Vitamin B6 with Magnesium helps to get the magnesium to the cells that need it most. Taking B6 with magnesium helps to reduce severe stress better than Magnesium alone. It has also been shown to help relieve PMS symptoms,  depression, water retention & anxiety.
  • Taking Vitamin D3 with Magnesium helps with absorption. Magnesium is required for the activation of Vitamin D.
  • Calcium & Magnesium are best taken together. Because of the way it interacts with calcium, a lack of magnesium could contribute to the development of osteoporosis and low bone density.

Can you take too much?

For healthy adults, the risk of dietary toxicity from magnesium is extremely low.  If you get too much magnesium from supplements it can cause you to have loose stools. It is very unlikely from foods alone. Because of this low risk, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) at the National Academy of Sciences has established no limit for dietary intake of magnesium.

On the other hand, people with renal failure, especially if they are on dialysis, would need to work with a trained nutritionist to obtain safe recommendations about magnesium intake.

Other Vitamin / Mineral Deficiencies

Learn more about other deficiencies such as:

Most people are deficient in these especially if you have Leaky Gut!

*If you would like to know more about Magnesium Deficiency read Dr. Carolyn Deans, MD, ND The Magnesium Miracle.  

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*NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

Sources & References:












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  1. Glenda says:

    I’m so glad I found your post on Pinterest, I have osteoarthritis in my hands, lower back and neck and I have to take Miralax every day from a condition resulting in a bad surgery and maybe taking magnesium would help me too. Thank you so much!!!

  2. Eunice says:

    As an owner of a working farm I know that agriculture has developed high tech programs and equipment to test and apply fertility exactly where and how much is needed per square foot. Without adequate fertile soil and ph levels, all crops will not produce enough to keep the farm a viable business. Agriculture cannot survive without land stewardship.
    I walk through the grocery stores and notice isles of manufactured ‘filler’ that really isn’t nutritious food. Produce is shipped unripened so consumers can purchase perfect, unblemished food which means it may not be fully developed nutritionally.
    Let’s include our plastic wrapped microwave filler as a large part of missing nutrients in our food supply.

  3. Sandra says:

    I would like to ask I love Epsom baths but when I do them often I get it I really often will taking the magnesium help with that I am 60 years old and now suffering with osteoporosis in my left knee and pain is extreme

    • Renee' says:

      Hi Sandra, I have osteoporosis & osteopenia also. I take 3mg of Boron a day & 500-600 mg. of Magnesium daily. Remember to start with 200 mg. & increase every few days by 100 mg. until you reach bowel tolerance. Also, make sure you are taking Vitamin D3 with K2 if you are not getting in the sun daily. I recommend seeing a Natrapath doctor to have levels checked. Of course, there isn’t a good test to test Magnesium levels. Just gradually go up until bowel tolerance. That’s how to tell when you have the right dosage. Once you get loose stools back off 100 mg. every few days until normal. Remember, I’m not a doctor, this is just for informational purposes. Please consult a doctor. Read more about Vitamin D here. https://www.thehealthnutmama.com/vitamin-d-deficiency/

  4. Tudy says:

    I had a blood test that diagnosed me as being Low in magnesium. I started taking 250 mg of magnesium and it has made a difference. I suffer from quite a few ailments , And every little bit helps. I’m going to up my dose two 500 mg. I’m grateful to have read this, it does really help. And I will follow. Thank you sincerely Tudy

  5. NiftyNancy says:

    In the last 10 months my immune system has been attacked due to Epstein Barr virus and I’m also in menopause. I’m 53 years old and recently started CPAP treatment too after a sleep study that also indicated I have restless leg syndrome. I believe I’m low in magnesium and could benefit from perhaps the Magnesium MALATE ? With all that’s going on I’ve definitely experienced anxiety and depression. My question- where can I purchase the magnesium MALATE and HOW MANY MILLIGRAMS should I take each day? Thank you

    • Renee' says:

      Hi Nancy,
      Thanks for your comment. I buy mine from Amazon, but you can also go to a health food store if you have access to one. Magnesium Malate is most commonly used to treat a condition known as Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by fatigue, muscle pain, stiffness, headache and memory problems. I personally take Magnesium Glycinate. Magnesium Chelate is another good one. You would need to start off with the recommended dose & increase 100 mg. every night until bowel tolerance. As your body gets adjusted you may have to increase or decrease as needed. I usually stay around 500-600 mg. per day. Epson salt baths are awesome for anxiety & depression too. You probably wouldn’t need as much at bedtime if you take the bath. I would reccomend an epsom salt bath 2-3 times a week. There should be links in my article for all of these. Hope this helps.
      *NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

    • Renee' says:

      Hi Helene, I take 600 mg. of Magnesium Glycinate at night before bed. The way to know is to up your dosage by 100 mg. until bowel tolerance. In other words, when you get loose stools, back off by 100 mg. until it is normal. It also helps me sleep better. Unfortunately, there isn’t a blood test that measures this accurately from what I have found. I have found the sweet spot at 500-600 mg. What kind are you taking?

  6. Katy A says:

    I stumbled on Magnesium spray at my locate Macy store. I golf and do a lot of gardening. I was getting to the point to stop both because of cramps and muscle pains from both. I used the spray and now I do feel much better. I also stopped drinking my city water which has additives that my cause Magnesium issues. Thanks for you information.

    • Renee' says:

      Hi Katy, Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you are getting some relief! You might even want to consider taking a supplement also &/or doing Epsom salt baths.

  7. Debra Gonzalez says:

    My son has ADHD depression anxiety and separation anxiety. If I was to try magnesium with his Focalin in the morning, how much can I give him? He is 94 pounds and 13yo .

    • Renee' says:

      Hi Debra, Thanks for your question. First of all, I am not a doctor & cannot give medical advice. I can, however, give you some guidelines:
      The recommended daily dosage for magnesium in children varies depending on their age. The National Institutes of Health recommends the following amounts:

      Birth to 6 months = 30 mg
      7-12 months = 75 mg
      1-3 years = 80 mg
      4-8 years = 130 mg
      9-13 years = 240 mg
      14-18 years = 360 mg for girls and 410 mg for boys

      I would start him off at the recommended dose or 200 mg. then increase by 50-100 mg. a day until his bowels start getting soft. Then back off 100 mg. That should be his dosage. Hope this helps. This should be the same way to determine for adults also. I take 600 mg. per day.

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