Magnesium – Benefits, Dosage, Deficiency And Side Effects

Fact checked by Mary Stricklin, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals present in our body and it is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes in the body which also involves regulating your heartbeats and also helps in carrying out the functions of neurotransmitters in your body.

However, despite having extreme importance for vital functioning of Human body, it is estimated that more than 80% of the entire world’s adult population suffers from Magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is a mineral very essential for vital functioning of Human body and it is also a very effective electrolyte. Some of the main functions of Magnesium mineral include the likes of:

The levels of Magnesium in your body is controlled by the kidneys and they excrete magnesium into your urine everyday to control the level of Magnesium in your body. 

Thus the amount of urinary excretion is reduced when there is a deficit of Magnesium and other essential electrolytes in your body. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant element in your body but it is the least abundant electrolyte in your body, but it is still extremely important in carrying out your body’s essential functions like metabolism, energy production and many more.

Although our body does not require Magnesium in huge amounts, we still must regularly consume Magnesium to prevent the deficiency of magnesium in our body and the problems related with Magnesium deficiency.

 It is so because our body does not store Magnesium and it is consumed regularly by our body in daily functions like movement of muscles, production of hormones and beating of your heart. 

Many times the regular diet we take might not be sufficient for our daily Magnesium needs and that is why you might need to consume some supplements to fulfill your body’s daily Magnesium needs.

What is Magnesium

Types of Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium supplements are now recommended by many health professionals to be consumed regularly in order to prevent its deficiency.

There are plenty of Magnesium Supplements available for Human use differing on their absorption rate and their bioavailability. These factors also depend on the type of magnesium supplement.

Following are some of the most common Magnesium Supplements available in the market.

Magnesium Chelate

This magnesium supplement is very effectively absorbed by the Human body and it is also found naturally in many foods. This supplement often bounds itself to multiple Amino Acids in your body and then restores the level of Magnesium in your body.

Magnesium Citrate

This supplement is made by mixing Magnesium with citric acid and it is quite effective in treating individuals who have an upset stomach and suffering from constipation. It also improves digestion of individuals but it might have some laxative effects if taken in high doses.

Magnesium Chloride Oil

This magnesium supplement is available in oil form and can be applied to skin. However, it can also be given to those people who are suffering from digestive disorders which prevent normal absorption of magnesium from the food consumed. These days, many athletes also use Magnesium oil which helps them in increasing their endurance and energy levels. It also helps these athletes to reduce the pain in their muscles, and it also heals wounds and cures irritation.

Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium Glycinate is one of the most preferred Magnesium Supplements because of its high absorption in Human bodies and it is also less prone to cause laxative effects on your body.

Magnesium Threonate

This magnesium supplement is highly absorbed in Human body and it has a high level of Bioavailability because of its ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane of the cells in your body.

Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium Deficiency is also known as Hypomagnesemia and it can have some negative effects on your body. Nearly 80% of the world’s adult population suffers from Magnesium deficiency and it might lead to the following side effects.

People who suffer from liver disorder and problems, heart diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases or diarrhea, might be at greater risk of being deficient in Magnesium. Magnesium is also connected to many other nutrients in the body like Calcium and Vitamins D and K. 

Experts believe that Magnesium supplements are extremely important because they also counterbalance the high levels of Calcium in our body. Similarly, high levels of Calcium and Vitamins D and K can lower the levels of Magnesium in the body and might even lead to its deficiency.


Magnesium dosage varies from individual to individual and it is affected by plenty of factors like age and gender of the individual. According to many experts, following are the Recommended Daily Allowance for Magnesium supplements.

Thus the safe limit for Magnesium consumption is nearly 350 mg for nearly every adult and one should always try to stay within this recommended dosage only.

In some cases however, the prescribed dosage can range anywhere between 800-1800 mg for several months for patients who suffer from conditions like irregular heartbeats and digestion problems.


Magnesium - Health Benefits

Helps in increasing energy

In our body Magnesium activates Adenosine Triphosphate, also known as ATP to create energy. This only means that without the recommended Magnesium levels in your body, your body would not activate ATP and thus your body will have much less energy and you will get fatigued more easily. Insufficient magnesium levels also mean that you will get tired much more quickly and will need a higher level of Oxygen while you are working out.

Calms Nerves and helps in anxiety

Many researches have shown that Magnesium is essential for GABA function in our body. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter which is responsible for producing the happy hormone “serotonin” in our body which helps us remain calm and also reduces our anxiety. This is one of the mains reasons why deficiency of Magnesium can lead to insomnia or sleeplessness.

Helps in constipation

Magnesium helps your body in relaxing the muscles present in your digestive tracts which even include the intestinal walls. These intestinal walls control your ability and need to use the washroom. Magnesium helps you in neutralizing the hydrochloric acid present in your stomach and moves stool through your intestines more effectively. However, if you are experiencing laxative effects while taking these supplements you should immediately reduce the dosage.

Relieves Muscle Aches

Magnesium plays an important role in our body’s neuromuscular signals and our muscle’s contractions. When our body doesn’t get enough magnesium, we can experience muscle spasms and cramps. Magnesium also helps your muscles relax and contract. Thus magnesium also helps you in moving around and carrying out your daily functions. Magnesium also balances the levels of Calcium in our body which is extremely important because high levels of Calcium in our body can cause some problems usually associated with the movement and control of muscles.

Regulates level of Calcium, Potassium and Sodium in our body

Magnesium works in sync with other electrolytes to regulate the biochemical reactions happening in our body and also plays a very important role in the transport of calcium ions and potassium ions to membranes present in the cells. This helps in the conductions of nerve impulse, contraction of muscles, and keeping our heart beats normal.

Prevents Migraine Headaches

Magnesium plays a very important role in the functioning and working of neurotransmitters in our body and blood circulation. It can help in reducing migraine pains by releasing hormones which reduce pain and also reduces vasoconstriction.

Keeps our heart in good health

In our body, our heart contains the maximum amount of Magnesium, especially the left ventricle is quite rich with this mineral. Magnesium works in sync with calcium to support proper blood pressure levels and also prevents hypertension.

Helps prevent Osteoporosis

It is extremely important for us to keep our bones in good health and magnesium is quite important for the same because it is one of the key elements of bone formations and it also influences activities of Osteoblasts and osteoclasts which help in improving the density of your bones.

Best Natural Foods rich in Magnesium

If you do not want to eat artificial magnesium supplements, there are many natural foods too which are quite rich in Magnesium. These foods are-

Risks and Side Effects

You can never overdose on natural sources of Magnesium because any extra amount of Magnesium in our body is flushed out in the urine by our body. However, Magnesium supplements might have some side effects.

Magnesium supplements which contain carbonates, chloride and gluconate can cause some digestive problems. They might even cause some laxative effects and this might lead to Diarrhea and Nausea.

Whenever you dose more than 600mg of Magnesium, it leads to the production of osmotic activity in your body’s colon and intestines. This can overstimulate the bowels leading to constipation or indigestion.

Other side effects also include: Irregular beating of your heart, irregular blood pressure, irregular breathing patterns, slipping into coma and you might even die.

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