Do You Have a Magnesium Deficiency?

Do You Have a Magnesium Deficiency?


Today, a vast majority of Americans are deficient in magnesium.

The percentage of the U.S. population deficient in magnesium could be as high as 80% [1]. This demographic is directly correlated with a great increase in the epidemic of diabetes and heart disease in the United States.

Maintaining proper magnesium levels in the body is important to heart, bone, and nerve health, as well as proper pancreatic and digestive function [2].

Modern-day humans are completely deficient in magnesium—in our bones, in our organs, and on a cellular level.

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Most people who have a low concentration of magnesium in their body believe that their levels are normal.

They have no reason to think otherwise because no standard blood test ordered by their doctor has shown them to be deficient [3]. Your body's serum magnesium level reflected in results from standard blood testing is normally only about 2% [4].

Why Is Magnesium Important?

Magnesium is used in over 325 enzyme reactions in your body [5]! It is used to regulate blood sugar in the body and can help keep you from developing diabetes[6].

It relaxes the arteries that carry blood throughout the body, therefore lowering blood pressure. Finally, it’s used by your body to relax the airways in your lungs; this is why supplementation of magnesium is very important to asthmatics [7].

Magnesium also chelates extra calcium in the body, which prevents your arteries from hardening, and your kidneys from developing stones due to excess calcium [8]. 

Proper supplementation may also help increase nerve function and relieve problems caused by neuropathy.

Magnesium may even help lower stress and anxiety levels which can help you sleep better at night [9].

On a cellular level, magnesium is important to your mitochondrial health because it protects the mitochondria from various oxidation reactions [10]. It is also used in the production and transfer of ATP.

ATP is what gives you energy, so that you won’t tire during your numerous daily activities [11]. Magnesium is also used to control the integrity and permeability of the mitochondrial membrane, ensuring optimal cell health [12].

You Are Not Getting Enough Magnesium From Your Food

Magnesium needs to be supplemented because even if you ate a perfect diet, you would still have to eat a ton of nuts, brown rice, avocados, and spinach to keep from developing a deficiency.

To meet the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of 400 mg, you would have to eat 1 cup of cooked spinach (157 mg), 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds (150 mg), 1 avocado (56 mg), and 1 cup of cooked brown rice (86 mg) every day (449 mg of magnesium total) [13].

These amounts don’t take into account the magnesium bonded to phytic acid in the pumpkin seeds and brown rice or varying intestinal absorption of magnesium among different people [14].

In other words, you might take in 449 mg of magnesium from that amount of food on a daily basis, but the actual elemental magnesium that you would absorb and utilize would be much less [15].

Common sources of magnesium

So to be conservative, let’s say that after you ate all this food you would only absorb 300 mg of magnesium from it.

Imagine if your body needed 1,000 mg of magnesium a day due to your weight or individual need daily. You would have to eat 3 cups of cooked spinach, 3 ounces of pumpkin seeds, 3 avocados, and 3 cups of brown rice throughout the day.

Good luck trying to stomach all that food!

Why You Need to Take Magnesium Supplements Every Day


Some people have argued that supplementation of magnesium isn’t needed and can be obtained solely through diet.

One of their biggest arguments is that ancient man was able to survive without magnesium deficiencies.

I have developed a few theories in response to this argument.

One is that the water ancient man consumed had a higher concentration of magnesium. Because the water had more magnesium [16], so did the plants, nuts, and animal meat/bones that ancient man consumed in their diet.

Today, treated water, severely depleted soil, and poor farming practices make it almost impossible to consume enough. Also, ancient man wasn’t often under as much stress as modern man is, so their bodies didn't use as much magnesium.

Because of this ancient man was able to maintain more magnesium at a cellular level as well. The amount of magnesium absorbed through food and even supplements requires you to have an optimal functional digestive system.

If you are suffering from poor digestion, your body will absorb magnesium very poorly. I suggest eating food rich in magnesium like spinach, avocados, and pumpkin seeds, while you are also supplementing with magnesium for optimal absorption.

How Much Should I Take Daily?

Remember, the amount of magnesium you should supplement depends on your weight.

A good magnesium cellular saturation is between 10 and 14 mg a day per kilogram [17].

The above dose recommendation is for a person that weighs roughly 200 pounds (1,000–1,400 mg daily).

If you only weigh 100 pounds, I would adjust the total daily magnesium intake to around 600 to 800 mg. If you weigh more than 350 pounds, you might want to increase your intake to about 1,800 to 2,200 mg daily, as long as you have adequate kidney function.

Women who are ovulating might want to increase their magnesium by about 150 to 200 mg daily and women who are pregnant might want to go more conservative on their dosage and take no more than 600 mg of elemental magnesium daily [18].

Finally, if you are going through a strong period of stress in your life, it might be wise to increase your magnesium by 200 mg for extra support [19].

Supplementing with magnesium (we recommend taking MagTech) is one of the most important aspects someone can do to improve their overall health and well being!

Learn more about magnesium:

Post recovery magnesium supplementation for athletes

Photo credit: Jonathan Kos-Read / Tambako the Jaguar / / CC BY-ND 


  1. Dean, Carolyn, The Magnesium Miracle, Ballantine Books, December 26, 2006.
  2. Dean, Carolyn, The Magnesium Miracle, Ballantine Books, December 26, 2006.
  4. Exatest PDF
  7. Dean, Carolyn, The Magnesium Miracle, Ballantine Books, December 26, 2006.
  9. Dean, Carolyn, The Magnesium Miracle, Ballantine Books, December 26, 2006.
  15. Dean, Carolyn, The Magnesium Miracle, Ballantine Books, December 26, 2006.
  18. Dean, Carolyn, The Magnesium Miracle, Ballantine Books, December 26, 2006.

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