Magnesium is arguably the most important mineral in the body, which is why magnesium deficiency can be such a problem. Not only does magnesium help regulate calcium, potassium and sodium, but it is essential for cellular health and is a critical component of over 300 biochemical functions in the body.

Even glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in the body, which has even been called “the main antioxidant”, needs magnesium for its synthesis. Unfortunately, most people don’t know this, and millions of people suffer from magnesium deficiency daily without even knowing it. Severe, long-term deficiency can also contribute to more serious health issues, such as kidney and liver damage, peroxynitrite damage that can lead to migraines, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, or Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s, and osteoporosis due to poor absorption of vitamin D and calcium.

How do you know if you have a magnesium deficiency and can benefit from supplementation?

It can be difficult to accurately test for a person’s magnesium deficiency, so paying attention to your symptoms is recommended.

Who is most likely to suffer from magnesium deficiency?

Not everyone is equal when it comes to magnesium metabolism and assimilation. In fact, some people are inherently at higher risk of developing magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium deficiency can be genetically inherited in the form of an inability to absorb this important mineral. Likewise, a diet low in magnesium-rich foods or even emotional or work-related stress can drain magnesium from the body. Whether it is hereditary, due to poor nutrition or even stress, a magnesium deficiency can lead to side effects such as migraines, diabetes, fatigue, etc.

The four most important risk groups are:

1. People with gastrointestinal disorders

It all really starts in the gut. Since most magnesium is absorbed in the small intestine, conditions like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and regional enteritis all tend to cause magnesium deficiency. Similarly, people who choose to have bowel surgery, such as small bowel resection or bypass surgery, are vulnerable to magnesium deficiency.

2. People with type II diabetes

Partly due to increased urination, type II diabetics and people with insulin resistance are known to have difficulty absorbing magnesium properly. Lowering glucose concentration in the kidneys through natural dietary modifications can be extremely helpful for these patients.

3. The elderly

For several reasons, magnesium levels decline with age. First, studies have shown that older people simply don’t eat magnesium-rich foods like when they were younger. This phenomenon is relatively easy to correct. The uncontrollable risk factor, however, is that as we age, we naturally experience reduced intestinal absorption of magnesium, reduced bone magnesium stores, and excessive urinary loss.

4. People struggling with alcohol addiction

Alcoholics often experience magnesium deficiency due to a combination of the above reasons. The easiest way to understand this is to think of alcohol as an “antinutrient”. It literally sucks nutrients from your cells and prevents the proper absorption/utilization of the vitamins and minerals you consume. Drinking one to two glasses of wine per week is fine for most people, but drinking much more is very taxing on the liver. Alcohol can also deplete your body’s minerals by causing dehydration, an imbalance of intestinal flora, damage to the immune system, sleep disturbances and premature aging.


Many people can be magnesium deficient without even knowing it. Here are some key symptoms to look out for that could indicate if you are deficient:

1. Leg cramps

Seventy percent of adults and 7% of children regularly suffer from leg cramps. Turns out, leg cramps can be more than a nuisance. They can also be downright atrocious! Due to magnesium’s role in neuromuscular signals and muscle contraction, researchers have observed that magnesium deficiency is often to blame.
More and more healthcare professionals are prescribing magnesium supplements to help their patients. Another warning sign of magnesium deficiency is restless leg syndrome. To overcome leg cramps and restless leg syndrome, you need to increase your intake of magnesium and potassium.

2. Insomnia

Magnesium deficiency is often the precursor to sleep disorders, such as anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness. It has been suggested that this is because magnesium is vital for GABA function, an inhibitory neurotransmitter known to “calm” the brain and promote relaxation. Taking about 400 milligrams of magnesium before bed or with dinner is the best time of day to take the supplement. Also, adding magnesium-rich foods to dinner, such as nutrient-dense spinach, can help.

3. Muscle pain/Fibromyalgia

A study published in Magnesium Research examined the role of magnesium in fibromyalgia symptoms. She found that increased magnesium intake reduced pain and tenderness and also improved blood markers of the immune system. Often linked to autoimmune disorders, this research should encourage fibromyalgia patients as it highlights the systemic effects of magnesium supplements on the body.

4. Anxiety

As magnesium deficiency can affect the central nervous system, and specifically the GABA cycle in the body, its side effects can include irritability and nervousness. When the deficiency worsens, it causes high levels of anxiety and, in severe cases, depression and hallucinations. In fact, magnesium has been shown to help calm the body and muscles and improve mood. It is a vital mineral for the general mood. People with anxiety have seen great results by taking magnesium daily.
Magnesium is needed for all cellular functions, from the gut to the brain, so it’s no wonder it affects so many systems.

5. High blood pressure

Magnesium works in partnership with calcium to maintain proper blood pressure and protect the heart. So when you are deficient in magnesium, you are often also low in calcium and tend to have high blood pressure. A study of 241,378 participants and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a diet rich in magnesium could reduce the risk of stroke by 8%. This is a considerable step forward considering that hypertension is the cause of 50% of ischemic strokes worldwide.

6. Type II Diabetes

One of the four main causes of magnesium deficiency is type II diabetes, but it’s also a common symptom. British researchers, for example, demonstrated that of the 1,452 adults they examined, low magnesium levels were 10 times more common in new diabetics and 8.6 times more common in known diabetics. As one would expect from these data, a diet high in magnesium has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, due to magnesium’s role in sugar metabolism. Another study found that simply adding magnesium supplementation (100 milligrams/day) reduced the risk of diabetes by 15%!

7. Fatigue

Lack of energy, weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Most patients with chronic fatigue syndrome are also deficient in magnesium. Between 300 to 1,000 milligrams of magnesium per day can help, but you also need to be careful because too much magnesium can also cause diarrhea. If you experience this side effect, you can simply lower your dose a little until the side effect goes away.

8. Migraines

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraines due to its importance in the balance of neurotransmitters in the body. Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have shown that 360 to 600 milligrams of magnesium daily can reduce migraine frequency by up to 42%.

9. Osteoporosis

The average person’s body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, about half of which is found in the bones. This is important to realize, especially for older people, who are at risk of weakening bones. Fortunately, there is hope! A study published in Biology Trace Element Research found that magnesium supplementation “significantly” slowed the development of osteoporosis after just 30 days. In addition to taking a magnesium supplement, you should also consider taking more vitamin D3 and K2 to naturally build bone density.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.