Patty Failla

By Patty Failla



Did you know that not a single system in the body is able to function properly without magnesium?

For this reason, magnesium deficiency is linked to many chronic health problems. Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical processes within the body and is important for many vital functions such as body temperature regulation, bone strength, the production of energy and the dilation of blood vessels. This is why it is so important to eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods and supplement, if necessary, with magnesium. Magnesium can help with people suffering from headaches, migraines, asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, muscle cramps and digestive disorders. These can all be effectively eliminated with a proper intake of magnesium.

Here are 10 ways that magnesium can improve your health:

1. High Blood Pressure Regulation

When the muscles that line a major blood vessel contract, your blood pressure rises. Magnesium helps signal muscles to relax.

2. Migraine Headache 

Magnesium is essential of the relaxation of muscles and blood vessels, so taking magnesium can help prevent migraines and tension related headaches.

3. Depression and Other Mood Problems

Magnesium can help alleviate depression and anxiety. Magnesium plays a key role in raising levels of serotonin, known as a happy hormone. Serotonin produced by the brain helps to regulate mood, sleep,and appetite. Magnesium also helps keep stress on adrenal hormones under control.

4. Cancer Reduction  

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, for every 100-milligram (mg) increase in magnesium intake, a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer goes down by about 13 percent.

5. Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

Magnesium helps promote healthy nerve impulses, muscle contraction and a normal heart rhythm.

6. Bone Health

Magnesium is a vital mineral for the healthy growth and development of strong teeth and bones, as it plays a crucial role in processing calcium.

7. Powerful Detoxification

Magnesium is required for the detoxification of cells. Magnesium supports detoxification systems in the body through its role in the production of energy.

8. Digestive System Support

Magnesium is responsible for the absorption of many nutrients in the body such as calcium, copper, zinc, potassium and vitamin D. Magnesium aids the digestive system in regulating blood sugar levels, metabolism and protein synthesis. It also activates enzymes for energy production.

9.  Immune System Support

Since magnesium plays an important role in the regulation of other nutrients in the body, magnesium deficiency can result in many other nutrient deficiencies (such as vitamin D), subsequently a weakened immune system.

10. Normal Muscle and Nerve Function

Magnesium plays a major role in the excitability of nerves and muscles. It allows calcium to get into muscles when they need to contract and pulls it out when they need to relax.


The current U.S. recommended daily allowance of magnesium for adults is:

  • – 420 mg per day for men
  • – 320 mg per day for women
  • – 360 mg per day for pregnant women

A number of medical experts dispute these amounts, believing they are insufficient to prevent some health problems. For example, many doctors and nutritionists recommend an intake of at least 500 mg per day for adults, others recommend even higher amounts. Certain individuals and those with certain conditions who are more prone to deficiency may also require additional intake and supplements to meet their bodily needs.


  • – Dark Leafy Greens
  • – Fish
  • – Bananas
  • – Brown Rice & Oats
  • – Nuts & Seeds

There are several factors that can impair your ability to get magnesium from the foods you eat, including:

  • – Lowered magnesium availability in foods due to industrial farming practices
  • – Dietary habits leading to low magnesium uptake, such as consumption of sodas and carbonated beverages
  • – Excess stress or illness, which lowers the ability of the body to utilize magnesium
  • – Mineral imbalances, such as excess calcium, which blocks cellular magnesium activity
  • – Metabolic differences in individuals, such as excess magnesium excretion by the kidneys, sometimes resulting in magnesium losses and deficiency


The surest way to verify your magnesium status is to go to the doctor and get a blood test. Normal magnesium levels fall within the range of 1.7 to 2.2 milligrams per deciliter. If your serum magnesium level is less than 1.7 milligrams per deciliter, you are most likely deficient in magnesium.

A solid combination of good sources of magnesium through diet and supplementation is a safe and effective way to combat this deficiency and to ensure you get enough magnesium to stay healthy. Magnesium is a vital nutrient whose biochemical role in the body influences a vast array of the body’s systems. It deserves its place high in the list of nutrients of concern for those who wish to be healthy and stay healthy.



University of Maryland Medical Center

American Dietetic Association. Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons; 2006.

Pressman A. Vitamins and Minerals. New York: Alpha Books; 2007.