About Magnesium

Magnesium, a mineral that people with Crohn's Disease are commonly deficient in, is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant.[1]

Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.[2]

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium Deficiency, also known as Hypomagnesaemia, include:
Cold hands, soft/brittle nails, tender calf muscles, muscle cramps, gallstones12, shaking hands, hypertension, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps (Tetnus), seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms (Arrhythmias), light sensitivity, agitation, anxiety, restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep disorders, irritability, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, confusion, hyperventilation, insomnia, poor nail growth, chronic fatigue syndrome, ADHD, depression, epilepsy, diabetes mellitus, tremor, Parkinsonism, arrhythmias, circulatory disturbances (stroke, cardiac infarction, arteriosclerosis), hypertension, migraine, cluster headache, cramps, neuro-vegetative disorders, abdominal pain, osteoporosis, asthma, stress dependent disorders, tinnitus, ataxia, confusion, preeclampsia, weakness.[3],[4],[5],10

High Magnesium Levels, Hypermagnesaemia

Hypermagnesaemia, or Magnesium levels that are too high can be dangerous. Care should be taken when supplementing Magnesium. See More Information on Hypermagnesaemia HERE.

Anatomy of Absorption

Magnesium is absorbed primarily in the distal small intestine (terminal ileum), and healthy people absorb approximately 30% to 40% of ingested magnesium.[6]

It is argued that the current reference range for magnesium is outdated and a level less than 0.9 mmol/l (2.1 mg/dL, 1.8 mEq/L) should be used to determine deficiency otherwise many people who are in fact deficient will be missed.[10] In addition, serum magnesium levels may not always determine muscle magnesium status. One study found a strong correlation in low muscle magnesium levels and muscular fatigue in individuals with resection who had normal serum levels.[11]

The health status of the digestive system and the kidneys significantly influence magnesium status. Magnesium is absorbed in the intestines and then transported through the blood to cells and tissues. Gastrointestinal disorders that impair absorption such as Crohn's disease can limit the body's ability to absorb magnesium. These disorders can deplete the body's stores of magnesium and may result in magnesium deficiency. Chronic or excessive vomiting and diarrhea may also result in magnesium depletion.[1][7]

In a study that compared four forms of magnesium preparations, results suggested lower bioavailability of magnesium oxide, with significantly higher and equal absorption and bioavailability of magnesium chloride and magnesium lactate.[8]

As magnesium is required for processing of potassium, low potassium levels even after supplementation may be due to magnesium deficiency.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2000, a U.S. national survey, found American adults who consumed less than the RDA of magnesium were 1.48 to 1.75 times more likely to have elevated CRP levels compared to those who consumed at least the RDA. This survey found that 68% of the sample consumed less than the RDA of magnesium.[9]

Recommended Daily Intake

When supplementing due to deficiency, a minimum of 600mg should be taken per day for one month and thereafter an amount that maintains blood levels above .9 mmol/l.[10]

The following chart provides daily recommended intake of Magnesium.[2]

Natural Sources of Magnesium

Spinach, Blackstrap molasses, beans, peas, whole/unrefined grains, halibut, almonds, cashews, soybeans, potatoes, peanut butter, brown rice, avocado, bananas, milk chocolate, raisins


Popular Threads Discussing Magnesium

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01-15-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
Senior Member
Susan2's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Judith, can we add Blackstrap Molasses to the list of natural sources of Magnesium? (also a good source of other minerals like iron, calcium, potassium)
Crohn's Disease - symptoms since c1955, diagnosed early 1970s. On Prednisolone until...
Total Proctocolectomy in 2000.
Ileostomy that behaves most of the time
Currently on no medications, but under constant gaze of very caring GP, with annual blood and other tests.
01-18-2013, 04:07 PM   #2
Judith's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: California
Absolutely! Thank you for the info.
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