Magnificent Magnesium

Magnificent Magnesium

If you were going to create a pill that was intended to end human disease forever, what ingredients do you think would be the most important to include?  How would you decide? At Viniferamine, we know that in order to answer those questions you need to start by looking at the biochemistry that is occurring at the cellular level.  This biochemistry is the driving force that allows cells to thrive, divide, and survive.  What do we find in the middle of it all?  A tiny mineral called magnesium (Mg).

Magnesium is so important that without it, cells quickly die.  It is the second most abundant electrolyte found inside of the cells and is required for more than 300 different biochemical reactions in the body including the synthesis of the nucleic acids that are required to make DNA.1   Magnesium is also required for the proper utilization of other vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and vitamin D.2,3

If magnesium is so vital to the health of cells and the proper functioning of the human body, why is it that in our modern times so many people are suffering from a deficiency of magnesium?  Studies have estimated that the average daily dietary intake of magnesium has decreased by over 50% in the last century alone.2 The largest contributing factors involve a change in modern agriculture, food industries, water treatment, and diet.1–3 These factors have contributed in the following ways:

  • Food processing removes magnesium leaving only about 3-28% of the original amounts found in cereals and legumes.2
  • Magnesium levels in produce have been declining over the past decades as a result of soil depletion and some modern agricultural methods.1–3
  • “Hard water” used to account for up to 27% of daily magnesium intake, but water softeners and purifiers remove most of the magnesium in bottled and municipal water supplies.1
  • Modern Western diets tend to lack in fresh organic produce, relying instead on heavily processed foods.1–3

In addition to decreased dietary intake, there are also a number of factors that can actually deplete magnesium from the body or block it’s absorption including:2,3

  • Prolonged or excessive stress
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Medications
  • Sweating
  • Menstruation
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Alcohol
  • Phosphates (in soft-drinks and milk)
  • Refined sugar
  • Excess saturated fats in the diet
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Calcium supplementation (without concurrent magnesium intake)
  • Too little stomach acid

Rich dietary sources of magnesium include vegetables (especially dark green leaves), nuts and legumes, grain products, meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products.1 You may still need to supplement magnesium, even with a healthy diet.  Studies indicate that only about 22% of people meet the recommended daily intake (RDI) without the use of supplements.4

“But my blood levels came back as normal….”

When getting your magnesium levels tested, it is important to know what kind of test is being performed. The most commonly used test for determining magnesium levels measures the amount in your blood serum. While this test may be useful in emergency situations, it is not as useful in determining the overall magnesium status of the entire body.2

Only 0.3% of the body’s magnesium is found in the blood serum while the rest is found inside of cells and in the bones. When serum levels get too low, the body can “borrow” magnesium from the bones and tissues to keep the blood levels within a normal range.  It is possible that you may have a normal serum magnesium lab result, but have low levels in the rest of your body.  There are less commonly used tests that give a more accurate picture of total body magnesium status by measuring the levels of magnesium inside of cells, or how much is being excreted in the urine.2

What does the research say about the importance of Magnesium?

Bone Health:  Over 50% of the body’s magnesium is found in the bones and deficiency is associated with osteoporosis.1,3

Cancer:  Increased magnesium intake is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer, especially when combined with Vitamins A, C, D, and E and dietary fiber.5,6

Depression:  Magnesium is important for neurotransmitter function and has been shown to quickly improve mood and assist in treatment-resistant depression.3,7,8

Diabetes:  Low magnesium levels are associated with increased risk of type-II diabetes and insulin resistance.1,3

Heart Health:  Increased magnesium intake is associated with a decreased risk of coronary artery disease.9 Low levels of magnesium are associated with:

  • Elevated “bad” cholesterol (LDL), triglycerides, and blood pressure.1
  • Formation of blood clots and intensified reactions to stress contributing to heart attack and stroke.10,11
  • Elevated levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker that indicates an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. People that do not get the RDI of magnesium have a 40% higher chance of having an elevated CRP.  In 2006, about 35% of the U.S. population (roughly 70 million people) had a CRP level considered high-risk by the American Heart Association.4,12

Migraines:  Magnesium deficiency is associated with migraine headaches and supplementation has been shown to prevent migraines from happening as often.13,14

Muscles:  Approximately 27% of the body’s magnesium is found in the muscles.  Deficiency is associated with muscle cramps and weakness.15

Sleep: Magnesium deficiency is associated with insomnia while supplementation has been shown to improve the quality of sleep.3,15,16

Magnesium plays a role and may offer some benefits in many more disease states including ADD/ADHD, neurodegenerative diseases, dementia, asthma, headache, agitation, confusion, restless leg syndrome, immune deficiencies, and many more.15,17–23 You can increase your daily magnesium intake by incorporating Viniferamine® Sleep Support, Mood Support, Brain Health, and Joint Health supplements into your daily routine.  Although it is safe for most people to supplement magnesium, it is always best to check with a trusted and licensed healthcare provider that is familiar with your specific medical history before supplementing.


1.        Jing Ma, Aaron R Folsom, Sandra L. Melnick, John H Eckfeldt, A. Richey Sharrett, Azmi A. Nabulsi RGH ad PAM. Associations of Serum and Dietary Magnesium with Cardiovascular Disease, Hypertension, Diabetes, Insulin and Carotid Arterial Wall Thickness: The Aric Study. J Clin Epidemiol. 1995;48(7):927–940.

2.        Fawcett WJ, Haxby EJ, Male D a. Magnesium: physiology and pharmacology. Br J Anaesth. 1999;83(2):302–20.

3.        Johnson S. The multifaceted and widespread pathology of magnesium deficiency. Med Hypotheses. 2001;56(2):163–70.

4.        King D, Mainousiii  a, Geesey M, Egan B, Rehman S. Magnesium supplement intake and C-reactive protein levels in adults. Nutr Res. 2006;26(5):193–196.

5.        Folsom AR, Hong C. Original Contribution Magnesium Intake and Reduced Risk of Colon Cancer in a Prospective Study of Women. 2006;163(3):232–235. 

6.        Larsson SC, Bergkvist L, Wolk A. Magnesium intake in relation to risk of colorectal cancer in women. JAMA. 2005;293(1):86–9.

7.        Eby G a, Eby KL. Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment. Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(2):362–70. 

8.        Eby GA, Eby KL. Magnesium for treatment-resistant depression: a review and hypothesis. Med Hypotheses. 2010;74:649–60.

9.        Al-Delaimy WK, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB. Magnesium intake and risk of coronary heart disease among men. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004;23(1):63–70.

10.      Seelig MS. Consequences of Magnesium Deficiency on Enhancement of Stress Reactions; Preventive and Therapeutic Implications. J Am Coll Nutr. 1994;13(5):429–46.

11.      Shechter M, Merz CN, Rude RK, et al. Low intracellular magnesium levels promote platelet-dependent thrombosis in patients with coronary artery disease. Am Heart J. 2000;140(2):212–8. 

12.      Bo S, Durazzo M, Guidi S, et al. Dietary magnesium and fiber intakes and inflammatory and metabolic indicators in middle-aged subjects from a population-based cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;(7):1062–1069.

13.      Sun-Edelstein C, Mauskop A. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine. Expert Rev Neurother. 2009;9(3):369–79.

14.      Kohne-Volland PW. Prophylaxis of migrane with oral magnesium: results from a prospective, multi-center, placebo-controlled and double-blind randomized study. Cephalalgia. 1996;16(257).

15.      Hornyak M, Voderholzer U, Hohagen F, Berger M, Riemann D. Magnesium therapy for periodic leg movements-related insomnia and restless legs syndrome: an open pilot study. Pharmacol Sleep. 1998;21(5):501–5.

16.      Rondanelli M, Opizzi A, Monteferrario F, Antoniello N, Manni R, Klersy C. The effect of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc on primary insomnia in long-term care facility residents in Italy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011;59(1):82–90.

17.      Mousain-Bosc M, Roche M, Rapin J, Bali J-P. Magnesium VitB6 intake reduces central nervous system hyperexcitability in children. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004;23(5):545S–548S.

18.      Crosby V, Wilcock  a, Corcoran R. The safety and efficacy of a single dose (500 mg or 1 g) of intravenous magnesium sulfate in neuropathic pain poorly responsive to strong opioid analgesics in patients with cancer. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2000;19(1):35–9.

19.      Lemke MR. Plasma Magnesium Decrease and Altered Calcium / Magnesium Ratio in Severe Dementia of the Alzheimer Type. Biol Psychiatry. 1995;37:341–343.

20.      Gilliland FD, Berhane KT, Li Y, Kim DH, Margolis HG. Dietary Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, and Children’s Lung Function. Am J Epidemiol. 2002;155(2):125–131.

21.      Tam M, Gómez S, González-Gross M, Marcos A. Possible roles of magnesium on the immune system. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003;57(10):1193–7.

22.      Saris NE, Mervaala E, Karppanen H, Khawaja J a, Lewenstam A. Magnesium. An update on physiological, clinical and analytical aspects. Clin Chim Acta. 2000;294:1–26.

23.       Rude RK. Magnesium deficiency: a cause of heterogeneous disease in humans. J Bone Miner Res. 1998;13(4):749–58.

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