The Importance of Magnesium, Deficiency Signs & Finding the Right Magnesium for You

Why is magnesium important?

Magnesium is a mineral that is critical to the body’s function.  About 60-65 percent of our magnesium is in our bones and teeth. The remaining 35-40 percent is found in the muscle, tissue cells and body fluids. Magnesium helps maintain normal blood pressure and is essential for strong bones, muscle function as well as maintaining a steady heart rhythm. Magnesium also plays a vital role in detoxification from environmental pollutants, heavy metals and other toxins.

Magnesium has numerous roles in the body, such as cell metabolism, DNA and RNA synthesis, cell growth and reproduction.  Magnesium controls nerve action, heart activity, blood pressure and flow, and neuromuscular transmission.

Magnesium regulates over 325 enzymes in the body, the most important of which produce, transport, and store and utilize energy. (1)


Are you magnesium deficient?

Since most doctors and labs do not include magnesium testing in routine visits, many people may not even realize they are magnesium deficient. According to Dr. Norman Shealy, magnesium deficiency is rampant in 80 % of the population . Dr Shealy also believes that deficiencies are far better corrected with transdermal magnesium or Magnesium Lotion, which also assists in restoring DHEA levels. Interestingly oral magnesium is absorbed poorly and does not raise DHEA.

Dr. Norman Shealy states, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency” and that, “magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.”

If magnesium levels are insufficient, large amounts of calcium are lost in the urine. According to Dr. Marc Sircus, the lack of this nutrient can become the cause of poor bone development, osteoporosis, slow healing of broken bones and fractures


Symptoms of mild magnesium deficiency

Eye twitches                              Numbness

Fatigue                                       Nausea

Foot pain                                    Tingling

Leg cramps                                 Vomiting

Loss of appetite                        Weakness

Muscle twitches


Signs of moderate to severe magnesium deficiency

Depression                                    Muscle Weakness

Heart Palpitations                        Tremors

Insomnia                                       Twitching

Irregular Pulse


Below is a list of conditions that you may experience if you are low on magnesium:

Acid reflux Cholesterol elevation Irritable bowel syndrome
Adrenal fatigue Cystitis Kidney disease
Alzheimer’s disease Depression Kidney stones
Angina Detoxification Migraine
Anxiety and Panic Attacks Diabetes Musculoskeletal conditions
Appetite Loss Fatigue Nerve problems
Arthritis Headaches Obstetrical /gynecological problems
Asthma Hypertension Parkinson’s disease
Blood Clots Hypoglycemia Raynaud’s syndrome
Brain Fog/Confusion Indigestion Sports injuries
Bowel disease Inflammation Tooth Decay
Brain dysfunction Insomnia  

Source: Dean, The Magnesium Miracle, 3rd ed. (2014)


Magnesium Sources:

There are numerous sources of magnesium supplementation, here is a short list to get you started.

Natural Calm is a magnesium citrate powder. The powder is simply stirred into water and comes in a variety of flavors. The dosage is 1 tsp. – 1 tbsp. once or twice per day. This form can cause a laxative effect if you take too much in one dose. Be sure and spread your dosages throughout the day. Natural Calm is found in grocery stores, health stores and online.

Magnesium Supplements When taking magnesium powders and pills, the dose ranges from 150-900mg of magnesium per day in the elemental form. Don’t take it all at once. Spread it out and take it with meals to slow down transit time through the intestines and enhance absorption.

Magnesium Oil is a non-laxative form of magnesium. It’s a combination of supersaturated magnesium chloride in distilled water. You can apply ¼ to ½ tsp. a day to your skin. It will absorb through the skin into your tissues. If it feels itchy, dilute the magnesium oil with water. You can also wash it off after 30 minutes.  Magnesium oil is available in stores, online and numerous recipes are available on the internet.

Epsom salt bath or footbath. Epsom salt baths area simple way to absorb magnesium through your skin.

Some foods that contain magnesium include: Leafy greens, whole grains nuts, mackerel, beans, and molasses.


What type of magnesium is right for you?

Many people don’t realize that there are multiple types of magnesium to choose from. Here is a wonderful chart from Dr. Mercola’s site

Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency. Magnesium oxide is a non-chelated type of magnesium, bound to an organic acid or a fatty acid. Contains 60 percent magnesium and has stool softening properties

Magnesium chloride / Magnesium lactate contain only 12 percent magnesium, but has better absorption than others, such as magnesium oxide, which contains five times more magnesium

Magnesium sulfate / Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) are typically used as a laxative. Be aware that it’s easy to overdose on these, so ONLY take as directed.

Magnesium carbonate, which has antacid properties, contains 45 percent magnesium.

Magnesium citrate is magnesium with citric acid, which has laxative properties.

Magnesium Orotate is created through the use of the mineral salts of orotic acid. Orotates can penetrate cell membranes, enabling the effective delivery of the magnesium ion to the innermost layers of the cellular mitochondria and nucleus.

Magnesium oxide is a non-chelated type of magnesium, bound to an organic acid or a fatty acid. Contains 60 percent magnesium and has stool softening properties.

Magnesium taurate contains a combination of magnesium and taurine, an amino acid. Together, they tend to provide a calming effect on your body and mind

Magnesium threonate is a newer, emerging type of magnesium supplement that appears promising, primarily due to its superior ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane



  1. The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean, MD.

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