Also known as: Diet - magnesium
- Contraction and relaxation of muscles
- Function of certain enzymes in the body
- Production and transport of energy
- Production of protein
- Fruits or vegetables (such as bananas, dried apricots, and avocados)
- Nuts (such as almonds and cashews)
- Peas and beans (legumes), seeds
- Soy products (such as soy flour and tofu)
- Whole grains (such as brown rice and millet)
- Muscle weakness
- Certain medications
- Low blood levels of calcium
- Problems absorbing nutrients from the intestinal tract (malabsorption)
- Muscle twitching
- Poor memory
- Reduced ability to learn
- Heart (cardiovascular) changes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Continued muscle contraction
- Seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)
- 1 - 3 years old: 80 milligrams
- 4 - 8 years old: 130 milligrams
- 9 - 13 years old: 240 milligrams
- 14 - 18 years old (boys): 410 milligrams
- 14 - 18 years old (girls): 360 milligrams
- Adult females: 310 - 320 milligrams
- Pregnancy: 350 - 400 milligrams
- Breastfeeding women: 310 - 360 milligrams
- Adult males: 400 - 420 milligrams
Magnesium is an essential mineral for human nutrition.
Magnesium in the body serves several important functions:
Most dietary magnesium comes from vegetables, such as dark green, leafy vegetables. Other foods that are good sources of magnesium:
Side effects from increased magnesium intake are not common because the body removes excess amounts. Magnesium excess almost always occurs only when magnesium is supplemented as a medication.
Lack of magnesium (deficiency) is rare. The symptoms include:
Deficiency of magnesium can occur in people who abuse alcohol or in those who absorb less magnesium due to:
Symptoms due to a lack of magnesium have three categories.
Moderate deficiency symptoms:
These are the recommended daily requirements of magnesium:
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. DRI Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1997.
Yu ASL. Disorders of magnesium and phosphorus. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 120.
Rakel D, ed. Integrative Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007.
- Review date:
- February 3, 2011
- Reviewed by:
- Alison Evert, MS, RD, CDE, Nutritionist, University of Washington Medical Center Diabetes Care Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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