The Importance of Magnesium, Deficiency Signs & Finding the Right Magnesium for You!

magnesium rich foodsMagnesium is a key mineral that is critical to the body’s function.  About 60-65 percent of our magnesium is in our bones and teeth. The remaining 35-40 percent is found in the muscle, tissue cells and body fluids.

Magnesium helps maintain normal blood pressure and is essential for strong bones, muscle function as well as maintaining a steady heart rhythm. Magnesium also plays a vital role in detoxification from environmental pollutants, heavy metals and other toxins.

Magnesium has numerous roles in the body, such as cell metabolism, DNA and RNA synthesis, cell growth and reproduction.  Magnesium controls nerve action, heart activity, blood pressure and flow, and neuromuscular transmission.

Magnesium regulates over 325 enzymes in the body, the most important of which produce, transport, and store and utilize energy.

Are you magnesium deficient?

Since most doctors and labs do not include magnesium testing in routine visits, many people may not even realize they are magnesium deficient. According to Dr. Norman Shealy, magnesium deficiency is rampant in 80 % of the population. Dr Shealy also believes that deficiencies are far better corrected with transdermal magnesium or Magnesium Lotion, which also assists in restoring DHEA levels. Interestingly oral magnesium is absorbed poorly and does not raise DHEA.

Dr. Norman Shealy states, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency” and that, “magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.”

If magnesium levels are insufficient, large amounts of calcium are lost in the urine. According to Dr. Marc Sircus, the lack of this nutrient can become the cause of poor bone development, osteoporosis, slow healing of broken bones and fractures

Symptoms of mild magnesium deficiency

  • Eye twitches
  • Numbness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Foot pain
  • Tingling
  • Leg cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Muscle twitches

Signs of moderate to severe magnesium deficiency

  • Depression
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Twitching
  • Irregular Pulse

Below is a list of conditions that you may experience if you are low on magnesium:

Acid reflux Cholesterol elevation Irritable bowel syndrome
Adrenal fatigue Cystitis Kidney disease
Alzheimer’s disease Depression Kidney stones
Angina Detoxification Migraine
Anxiety and Panic Attacks Diabetes Musculoskeletal conditions
Appetite Loss Fatigue Nerve problems
Arthritis Headaches Obstetrical /gynecological problems
Asthma Hypertension Parkinson’s disease
Blood Clots Hypoglycemia Raynaud’s syndrome
Brain Fog/Confusion Indigestion Sports injuries
Bowel disease Inflammation Tooth Decay
Brain dysfunction Insomnia  

Source: Dean, The Magnesium Miracle, 3rd ed. (2014)

Magnesium Sources:

There are numerous sources of magnesium supplementation, here is a short list to get you started.

Natural Calm is a magnesium citrate powder. The powder is simply stirred into water and comes in a variety of flavors. The dosage is 1 tsp. – 1 tbsp. once or twice per day. This form can cause a laxative effect if you take too much in one dose. Be sure and spread your dosages throughout the day. Natural Calm is found in grocery stores, health stores and online.

Magnesium Supplements When taking magnesium powders and pills, the dose ranges from 150-900mg of magnesium per day in the elemental form. Don’t take it all at once. Spread it out and take it with meals to slow down transit time through the intestines and enhance absorption.

Magnesium Oil is a non-laxative form of magnesium. It’s a combination of supersaturated magnesium chloride in distilled water. You can apply ¼ to ½ tsp. a day to your skin. It will absorb through the skin into your tissues. If it feels itchy, dilute the magnesium oil with water. You can also wash it off after 30 minutes.  Magnesium oil is available in stores, online and numerous recipes are available on the internet.

Epsom salt bath or footbath. Epsom salt baths area simple way to absorb magnesium through your skin.

Some foods that contain magnesium include: Leafy greens, whole grains nuts, mackerel, beans, and molasses.

What type of magnesium is right for you?

If you opt for a magnesium supplement as recommended by Dr. Dean, be aware that there are several different forms of magnesium. The cheapest sources of magnesium are magnesium oxide supplements, which are poorly absorbed by your body. A mere four percent is absorbed when you take this kind. The remaining 96 percent goes through your intestines, which is why magnesium oxide tends to have a laxative effect, which can be useful if you are challenged with constipation.

The reason for the wide variety of magnesium supplements on the market is because the magnesium must be bound to another substance. There’s no such thing as a 100% magnesium compound supplement (except pico-ionic magnesium). The substance used in any given supplement compound can affect the absorption and bioavailability of the magnesium, and may provide slightly different, or targeted, health benefits:

Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency Magnesium oxide is a non-chelated type of magnesium, bound to an organic acid or a fatty acid. Contains 60 percent magnesium and has stool softening properties
Magnesium chloride / Magnesium lactate contain only 12 percent magnesium, but has better absorption than others, such as magnesium oxide, which contains five times more magnesium Magnesium sulfate / Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) are typically used as a laxative. Be aware that it’s easy to overdose on these, so ONLY take as directed
Magnesium carbonate, which has antacid properties, contains 45 percent magnesium Magnesium taurate contains a combination of magnesium and taurine, an amino acid. Together, they tend to provide a calming effect on your body and mind
Magnesium citrate is magnesium with citric acid, which has laxative properties Magnesium threonate is a newer, emerging type of magnesium supplement that appears promising, primarily due to its superior ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane


  1. The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean, MD.
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October 26, 2016

Elisha McFarland

Elisha McFarland is the founder of My Health Maven. After sixteen years of struggling with MCS, from mercury poisoning, Elisha recovered her health through alternative and natural healing methods. It was this experience that encouraged her to pursue an education in natural health. She has the following designations: Doctor of Naturopathy, Master Herbalist, D.A. Hom., Bachelor of Science in Holistic Nutrition, Certified Wholistic Rejuvenist and EFT-ADV. Her website covers a wide range of topics including non-toxic living, health tests at home, healing power of foods, home remedies, food ingredients, dental health and environmental illness. Her goal is “To empower you to achieve health through education."

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