Why Take Magnesium

I am going to write about the advantages and disadvantages of magnesium.

Why take magnesium?


You need to take magnesium for correction or prevention of hypomagnesemia (magnesium deficiency). Magnesium is important as a metallic ion necessary to participate in many enzymatic reactions in the body involving the formation of proteins and breakdown of carbohydrates – at minimum 300 enzymatic reactions require magnesium.

Magnesium acts on lipoprotein lipase enzyme to reduce serum cholesterol. Magnesium also acts upon sodium/potassium ATPase enzyme in promoting polarization such as neuromuscular functioning. The normal serum magnesium level is between 1.5 and 2.5 milligrams per deciliter. The majority of magnesium is found in the cells therefore, serum magnesium is a poor reflection of repletion status. Your goal is to aim for high normal serum levels of magnesium provided that you have a normal renal function.

Advantages of taking magnesium

Magnesium is used for lowering of high blood pressure, promotes normal bone formation including teeth, normal bowel function, metabolism of simple and complex sugars, reduction of cholesterol, protein synthesis, prevention of stroke, prevention of myocardial infarction, relaxation of vascular smooth muscle, vitamin D may increase the serum concentration of magnesium, magnesium may enhance the neuromuscular-blocking effect of neuromuscular-blocking medications, administer oral phosphate supplements as far apart as possible from administration of an oral magnesium salt because magnesium salts may reduce the serum concentration of phosphate supplements, magnesium helps to keep calcium inside the cell and by doing so acts like a nutritional calcium channel blocker used in the treatment of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and atrial fibrillation. Hypomagnesemia (low serum level of magnesium) manifestations can stem from none to severe. Severe symptoms of hypomagnesemia can manifest as tetany, cardiac arrhythmias or seizures. The risk factors for hypomagnesemia include chronic diarrhea, proton pump inhibitor medication use, alcoholism, diuretic use or with clinical manifestations of hypomagnesemia (low serum level of magnesium) which include unexplained hypocalcemia (low serum level of calcium), refractory hypokalemia (low serum level of potassium), neuromuscular disturbances and ventricular arrhythmias.

Synergism between magnesium, calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2

Magnesium, calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 act synergistically in augmenting the bone mineral density of the lumbar spine in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. From the clinical standpoint, vitamin K2 supports the lumbar bone mineral density and precludes osteoporotic fractures in elderly patients with osteoporosis, prevents fractures of vertebrae in patients with steroid-induced osteoporosis and augments the metacarpal bone mineral density in the paralyzed upper extremities of patients with stroke. Vitamin K deficiency, as indicated by an augmented circulating level of undercarboxylated osteocalcin (bone matrix protein produced by osteoblasts that dissolute and absorbs bone – osteoblasts (cells that produce bone) manufacture osteocalcin and assimilate it into the bone matrix. It’s important to know the significance of the appropriate balance between magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K2. If you have a deficiency of vitamin K2, taking calcium supplements can cause you more problems than they solve by depositing in the wrong places. Taking high doses of vitamin D without satisfactory amounts of vitamin K2 can induce symptoms of vitamin D toxicity including calcification in inappropriate places such as blood vessels.

Disadvantages of taking magnesium

Kidney failure
Kidney failure

Magnesium toxicity may occur in presence of renal impairment therefore, caution is advised. You should use extreme caution using magnesium in patients with myasthenia gravis or another neuromuscular disease. Magnesium toxicity can cause fatal cardiac arrest and/or paralysis of respiration. Concurrent low potassium or low calcium levels can accompany a low magnesium level. Low magnesium is associated with low potassium and requires repletion in order to normalize potassium. Intravenous magnesium product may contain aluminum and toxic aluminum concentrations may occur with high doses, prolonged use or kidney failure. Some magnesium products may contain benzyl alcohol; large amounts of which have been associated with a potentially fatal toxicity such as gasping syndrome in neonates. The gasping syndrome consists of metabolic acidosis, gasping breaths, respiratory distress, central nervous system dysfunction including convulsions and intracerebral hemorrhage, low blood pressure and cardiovascular arrest. Severe hypermagnesemia ( high serum level of magnesium) can occur if you ingest antacids containing magnesium or laxatives containing magnesium in presence of renal impairment. Hypermagnesemia (high serum level of magnesium) manifestations are: neuromuscular toxicity( the most common complication of hypermagnesemia), nausea, vomiting, flushing, diminished deep tendon reflexes, somnolence, loss of deep tendon reflexes, muscle paralysis, low heart rate, low blood pressure, different degrees of heart block progressing to complete heart block and cardiac arrest.

Dietary sources of magnesium

Whole grains (whole wheat, oats, rye, barley, brown rice, wild rice), legumes (alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, chickpeas, lentils) and dark green leafy vegetables (dark green lettuces such as green leaf, arugula, romaine) and seaweed are dietary sources of magnesium.


It’s important to know that magnesium is a very special mineral, in comparison to other ions, magnesium is treated by the body as an orphan; there are no hormones that have a significant role in controlling urinary magnesium excretion and extraction from the bone. There are many forms of magnesium supplements on the market. The list consists of Magnesium citrate, magnesium carbonate, and magnesium glycinate. Other forms of magnesium include magnesium oxide, magnesium chloride, magnesium sulfate, magnesium taurate and magnesium threonate. Magnesium glycinate (a chelated form of magnesium) is absorbed very well and it is an ideal form of magnesium to take for repletion of body stores. Magnesium carbonate is used as an antacid to neutralize the acid in the stomach from heartburn and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Magnesium citrate contains citric acid and is used as a laxative. Magnesium oxide is a non-chelated form of magnesium and is poorly tolerated by some patients. Magnesium chloride has better absorption than magnesium oxide and is used to treat patients with hypomagnesemia (low serum magnesium level). Magnesium sulfate and magnesium hydroxide are components of milk of magnesia and are generally used as a laxative.

Magnesium taurate contains an amino acid taurine which has a calming effect on the body. Magnesium threonate is a chelated form of magnesium, crosses the blood-brain barrier and enhances learning and memory functions by exerting its beneficial effect on synaptic plasticity and density. When it comes to dosing it is important to maintain an acceptable balance between magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K2. 

 It’s of utmost importance that your kidney function is normal.

I would like to know your opinion, what you like, what you don’t like, which supplement you would like me to write about and all of your questions that you may have for me.








1 thought on “Why Take Magnesium”

  • Wow, great post! I only wish the text was not so small. You might want to consider a larger font size.
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