Magnesium Intake

Health Benefits of Magnesium Intake

Magnesium (Mg) is one of the most abundant cations in the body, and it is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions, including adenosine triphosphate (ATP) metabolism.

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to various adverse health outcomes, including the development of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and headaches [1].

Magnesium and Cardiovascular diseases

Most reports on the role of magnesium are provided by epidemiologic studies in relation to dietary Mg intake. These studies reported a dose-dependent relationship between Mg intake and stroke risk [2].

Mg depletion has also been shown to induce heart rhythm changes and subsequent Mg repletion with supplements reverses these effects [3]. Finally, Mg intake appears to have a protective role in cardiovascular death, particularly in women [4].

Magnesium and Type 2 Diabetes

Higher magnesium intake has been shown to be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in the context of lower carbohydrate–quality diets [5].

This observation may be explained by the important role that Mg plays in glucose and insulin metabolism, likely via insulin resistance pathways and through a direct effect on the glucose transporter protein activity 4 (GLUT 4) [6].

Magnesium and Hypertension

Although several studies investigated the exact underlying causes for altered Mg metabolism in hypertensive individuals, magnesium intake was suggested to be beneficial in preventing hypertension. Mg inadequate dietary intake or metabolic malfunction can lead to vasospasm and endothelial damage which promote hypertension [7].

Magnesium and Headaches (Migraines)

Mg is an essential mineral that plays an important role in nerve function. Magnesium can inhibit neuronal overexcitation and vasospasm, reduce the formation of inflammatory substances, and improve mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and serotonin receptor transmission [8]. A recent study has shown that Mg intake appears to be effective in preventing migraines [9], however, more studies are required to confirm this observation.


Mg deficiency appears to be associated with cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, and potentially migraines. The studies that provided these observations indicate that dietary Mg intake can be beneficial in preventing these health issues.


[1] Rosique-Esteban, N., Guasch-Ferré, M., Hernández-Alonso, P. and Salas-Salvadó, J., 2018. Dietary magnesium and cardiovascular disease: a review with emphasis in epidemiological studies. Nutrients10(2), p.168.

[2] Nie, Z.L., Wang, Z.M., Zhou, B., Tang, Z.P. and Wang, S.K., 2013. Magnesium intake and incidence of stroke: meta-analysis of cohort studies. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases23(3), pp.169-176.

[3] Nielsen, F.H., Milne, D.B., Klevay, L.M., Gallagher, S. and Johnson, L., 2007. Dietary magnesium deficiency induces heart rhythm changes, impairs glucose tolerance, and decreases serum cholesterol in post menopausal women. Journal of the American College of Nutrition26(2), pp.121-132.

[4] Fang, X., Liang, C., Li, M., Montgomery, S., Fall, K., Aaseth, J. and Cao, Y., 2016. Dose-response relationship between dietary magnesium intake and cardiovascular mortality: A systematic review and dose-based meta-regression analysis of prospective studies. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology38, pp.64-73.

[5] Hruby, A., Guasch-Ferré, M., Bhupathiraju, S.N., Manson, J.E., Willett, W.C., McKeown, N.M. and Hu, F.B., 2017. Magnesium intake, quality of carbohydrates, and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three US cohorts. Diabetes Care40(12), pp.1695-1702.

[6] Gommers, L.M., Hoenderop, J.G., Bindels, R.J. and de Baaij, J.H., 2016. Hypomagnesemia in type 2 diabetes: a vicious circle?. Diabetes65(1), pp.3-13.

[7] Barbagallo, M., Dominguez, L.J. and Resnick, L.M., 2007. Magnesium metabolism in hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus. American journal of therapeutics14(4), pp.375-385.

[8] Vormann, J., 2003. Magnesium: nutrition and metabolism. Molecular aspects of medicine24(1-3), pp.27-37.

[9] Karimi, N., Razian, A. and Heidari, M., 2021. The efficacy of magnesium oxide and sodium valproate in prevention of migraine headache: a randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Acta Neurologica Belgica121(1), pp.167-173.

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