Magnesium: What is it good for?

Published November 6, 2022

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Magnesium is vital for more than 300 of your body’s metabolic reactions including synthesizing proteins, the function of muscles, nerve conduction and supporting healthy blood glucose.

Magnesium is also needed for energy production and supports carbohydrate metabolism and protein synthesis.

Magnesium also supports healthy muscle function. If your magnesium intake is inadequate you could experience muscle cramps, weakness and spasms.

Magnesium is also needed to create the nerve impulses that allow muscles to contract and relax.

Along with calcium, magnesium is also essential for bone health. Magnesium also helps reduce the occurrence of mild migraines.

What are the symptoms of low magnesium in the body? 

Low magnesium in healthy people is unlikely, however, habitually low intake of magnesium rich foods, and some medications can lead to magnesium deficiency. Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite and fatigue, this may progress to numbness, tingling and muscle cramps. If you have severely low magnesium it can result in low serum calcium and low potassium levels.

Is it okay to take magnesium every day?

Magnesium deficiency in otherwise healthy individuals is rare because the kidneys limit how much magnesium is lost in urine if there is too little. The kidneys are also good at eliminating excess magnesium in urine, however, high doses of some some forms of magnesium from a dietary supplement may give you diarrhoea as well as make you feel nauseated and give you stomach cramps. Look for forms of magnesium that are easier on the digestion including magnesium citrate.


Your body’s magnesium levels can be lowered by excessive alcohol intake. Likewise, health conditions such as urinary or gastrointestinal problems, or some medicines can cause a drop in magnesium stores. In some cases, a magnesium supplement may provide a reliable way to maintain adequate magnesium levels if the recommended amount is unable to be consumed.


Recommended Dietary Intake of magnesium for men is 400 mg/day — 420 mg/day and 310 mg/day — 320 mg/day for women (depending on your age). If you are worried that you may have low magnesium, visit your GP and have a blood test.

Magnesium High Foods

You can maintain adequate magnesium levels from foods such as dark leafy green vegetables, unrefined grains and beans.


Magnesium high foods include:

  • Unrefined whole grains including oats and brown rice.
  • Green leafy vegetables such as spinach because magnesium is a part of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants.
  • Nuts such as cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts and almonds.
  • Legumes including edamame, kidney beans, black beans and lima beans.
  • Blackstrap molasses.
  • Avocado.
  • Bananas.
  • Salmon and halibut


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