Because magnesium plays such an important role in over 325 processes in the body, magnesium deficiency can be the cause of a wide range of symptoms.

Magnesium deficiency symptoms include:

  •     muscle twitches
  •     tics
  •     spasms
  •     "Charlie horse"
  •     stiff and aching muscles
  •     headaches
  •     cluster headaches
  •     PMS
  •     nervousness
  •     occational constipation
  •     irregular heartbeat
  •     weakness
  •     confusion
  •     muscle weakness
  •     exhaustion from exercise
  •     back pain
  •     aggressive behavior
  •     hiccups
  •     restless sleep

Magnesium: America’s Lost Mineral

Magnesium deficiency among U.S. adults is unprecedented and widespread. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 68% of US adults consume less than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium, and 19% consume less than 50% of the RDA. 1

A large segment of the U.S. population may have chronic latent magnesium deficiency that has been linked to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and psychiatric disorders…among a staggering list of conditions.

Additionally, magnesium deficiency is so prevalent among critically ill patients that physicians are encouraged to test serum magnesium levels in all critically ill patients.2 A study conducted at the Intensive Care Unit of Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center determined that 65% of critically ill patients were magnesium-deficient.3

Why are so many of us deficient in magnesium? One reason is that many illnesses (both acute and chronic) trigger magnesium wasting (a rapid depletion of magnesium). Magnesium is lost more rapidly than it can be replaced. Another main reason is that the highly processed modern American diet has been stripped of essential magnesium.

Although it might be possible for food manufacturers to fortify foods with magnesium, factors such as bioavailability, stability, and taste on the final product all have to be considered. Furthermore, the modern trend of utilizing water softeners and water purifiers has completely stripped magnesium out of the drinking water supply—so much so that bottled water companies are now selling magnesium-fortified water in an effort to replenish magnesium in the U.S. drinking water supply.


 [From: MAGNESIUM TRACE ELEMENTS 10: 162-28, 1997]
Years Magnesium
Mg / day
1900-08 475-500
1909-13 415-435
1925-29 385-398
1935-39 360-375
1947-49 358-370
1957-59 340-360
1965-76 300-340
1978-85 225-318
1990-2002 175-225


    Cited Sources:
  1. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 24, No. 3, 166-171 (2005). Dietary Magnesium and C-reactive Protein Levels. Dana E. King, MD, Arch G. Mainous, III, PhD, Mark E. Geesey, MS and Robert F. Woolson, PhD. 
  3. Am J Med. 1975 Jun;58(6):837-46. Magnesium deficiency and cardiac disorders. Iseri LT, Freed J, Bures AR.
  4. Crit Care Med. 1985 Jan;13(1):19-21. Magnesium deficiency in a medical ICU population. Ryzen E, Wagers PW, Singer FR, Rude RK.