What does Magnesium do for your Body?

Every so often, I find it beneficial to single out a particular vitamin or mineral or nutrient for discussion. My reason for doing so is often a consequence of client contact; I may have seen a client with a deficiency in a particular nutrient, or I may have been reading up on a deficiency possibility for a client and this acts as the catalyst for communicating a little more about the subject to my readers.

Today I thought I would focus on Magnesium. And yes, it is because of a client who has been receiving ongoing treatments from me and who has all the hallmark examples of a lower than usual magnesium problem. Comprehensive testing confirmed this and we are now working together to structure a plan of action for this patient.


According to the U.S Office of Dietary Supplements, “magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately half the total stored amount is found in bone, while the other 50% is found inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% is found in the blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant.”[1]

It plays a part in over 300 bodily reactions including the following:

  • The maintenance of nerve function
  • The maintenance of muscle function
  • The maintenance of a properly performing immune system,
  • Bone density and strength
  • Normal blood pressure levels
  • Regulation of blood sugar levels
  • The synthesis of proteins

There is also some research to indicate that magnesium may help with the occurrence of migraines. Individuals who take magnesium supplements report a reduction in frequency and severity of migraine symptoms.

Magnesium from Natural Products and Food Sources

Your nutritionist or your dietician may be able to give you a thorough rundown on the foods that contain good amounts of magnesium. But one secret indicator is that most things green tend to contain it. This is because the centre of the chlorophyll molecule which gives green foods their verdant colour, in fact contains magnesium.

You may also need to know that anything refined – such as refined grains and white flour products which have the germ and bran removed – are LOW in magnesium. This is because the magnesium is held in the germ section of the grain which is raw and browner and which is eradicated in the refinement process. So if you need magnesium, steer clear of refined foods and refined products.

Wherever possible, naturopathy supports the deriving of nutrients from their natural sources. However, in some cases where deficiencies are extreme it is necessary to resort to natural remedies or supplements that can help to build up the system again.


The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are varied but include the following:

  • Hyperexcitability
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness or tremors and spasms
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Retention of sodium
  • Hypocalcemia
  • Eventual death from heart attack

So be sure to take magnesium. Increase your intake of green leafy vegetables and whole grains. Remember that 61% of the US population is magnesium deficient, and Australia’s dietary patterns are now beginning to emulate and mimic those of the United States. So…go green!

Bye for now

[1] http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium