Magnesium is needed for so many different actions in the body, the exact reasons for some of its activities are difficult to determine.

Magnesium is needed for bone, protein, and fatty acid formation, making new cells, metabolizing B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood, and many other functions.


  • Required for strong healthy bones & teeth
  • Helps muscles to relax and function properly
  • Helps maintain normal heart rhythm
  • Aids in calcium & potassium uptake
  • Helps protect arterial linings from stress
  • Aids in the transmission of nerve impulses
  • Helps prevent depression
  • Helps our bodies deal with stress
  • Aids in energy production and regulation
  • Aids in carbohydrate & mineral metabolism
  • Aids in proper insulin production

Since magnesium is a mineral that is widely available to us in foods, it used to be thought that severe deficiencies are generally only found in people who have a low or poorly balanced food intakes such as alchoholics and diabetics.

It has recently been estimated that as many as 60% of Americans are at risk of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium levels have been reported to be low in those with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Also many drugs including antibiotics, diuretics and oral contraceptives have been shown to lower magnesium levels.

Symptoms of Deficiency

  • Heart rhythm disturbances
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Muscle twitching
  • Cold hands & feet

Food Sources

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Molasses
  • Dairy products

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Whole seeds,nuts & legumes
  • Wheatgerm
  • Whole grains
  • Green leafy vegetables

For more information on the magnesium content of foods you eat frequently, search the USDA food composition database.

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