Nutrient Information: Magnesium, Mg

  LogixPath Chef Home Page   >   Nutrients on Nutrition Label   >     Nutrient Information

Nutrient Key Information 
Nutrient Name: Magnesium, Mg
Nutrient Category: Minerals
Measuring Unit: mg
Nutrient Summary: Magnesium helps regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It plays role in making protein, bone, and DNA.
Nutrient Function: Bone health:
• More than half of the body's magnesium are in the bones
• It increases bone mineral density which reduces the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis
• Similar to calcium, bone magnesium may serve as a reservoir to ensure normal blood concentrations of magnesium

Many magnesium resides in the muscles and soft tissues, it involves in muscle contraction with calcium.

About 1 percent of the magnesium are in the extracellular fluid, it plays roles of:
• Regulate blood sugar level: magnesium helps the body break down sugars
• Synthesis of protein, fat, and nucleic acids
• Regulate blood pressure, but it decreases blood pressure by a small amount
• Maintain intracellular levels of potassium and calcium
• Nervous system function, such as sending messages
• Normalize heart rhythm
• Is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA
• Is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis

Magnesium is maintained primarily by the kidneys, where it is filtered and reabsorbed and excessive magnesium is efficiently excreted in urine. Magnesium exists in bones and soft tissues.

Magnesium, Mg Interactions With Other Nutrients 
Fiber, total dietary
High amount of insoluble dietary fiber decrease magnesium absorption

Consuming large amount of insoluble dietary fiber can interfere with the absorption of various minerals, including magnesium. This is due to the phytates in the fiber rich foods binding fiber with magnesium and forming insoluble complexes that the body cannot absorb efficiently.

The example foods containing phytates are: grains (such as whole wheat, oats, brown rice), beans (such as kidney, black, pinto, and navy beans), nuts and seeds (such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds), and potatoes.

To optimize magnesium absorption while maintaining a high-fiber diet, you can consider the following strategies: 1) Ensure a balanced intake of fiber without excessively high amounts that might hinder mineral absorption. 2) Soaking, fermenting, or sprouting grains, legumes, and seeds to reduce phytate levels and therefore enhance mineral bioavailability.

Phosphorus, P
High phosphorus intake reduces magnesium absorption

High intake levels of phosphorus, especially along with high intake of calcium, can bind phosphorus with magnesium and calcium to form insoluble complexes in the intestine. These insoluble compounds are less easily absorbed by the intestinal walls into the bloodstream.

Diets high in phosphorus, particularly from processed foods with phosphate additives, can increase the likelihood of magnesium-phosphate complex formation. These processed foods include soft drinks, processed meats, and convenience foods (such as frozen meals).

Vitamin D enhances magnesium absorption. So, if a person has sufficient vitamin D levels, the impact of phosphorus on magnesium uptake might be lessened.

Potassium, K
Low magnesium levels can lead to low potassium levels

Potassium is primarily involved in maintaining cell membrane potential and electrical excitability, and it is also crucial for muscle contractions.

Magnesium can influence potassium levels. It acts as a cofactor for an enzyme that helps maintain the electrochemical gradient across cell membranes by pumping sodium out of cells and potassium into cells. It also helps to retain potassium in the cell. Low magnesium level impacts getting potassium into cells and it may also cause potassium leaking from cells.

Adequate protein intakes (not too much or too little) can improve magnesium absorption and retention
The amount and type of protein intake impacts magnesium absorption.

  1. Adequate protein intake can enhance magnesium absorption. Proteins can form soluble complexes with magnesium, which may increase its bioavailability and absorption in the intestines. Some studies suggest that certain amino acids present in animal proteins, like lysine, might enhance magnesium absorption more effectively than plant proteins.
  2. Excessive protein may lead to increased urinary excretion of magnesium.
  3. Insufficient protein may impair the formation of transport proteins that aid in magnesium absorption.

Sponsored Links:

Food Sources

• Nuts (such as cashew nuts, almonds, peanuts) and seeds (such as pumpkin seeds)
• Beans and peas, such as black beans and soybeans
• Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and swiss chard
• Whole grains
• Potatoes
• Dairy products, such as cheese
• Fruits, such as raisins and bananas
• Tap, mineral, and bottled waters may also contain magnesium

1) Refined and processed foods contain less magnesium.
2) High levels of dietary fiber from fruits, vegetables, and grains decrease magnesium absorption or retention, or both.
3) High calcium intake alongside high phosphorus intake can significantly reduce magnesium absorption.
4) Adequate protein intakes may improve magnesium absorption and retention.

Sample Foods High in: Magnesium, Mg
View Additional Food Sources
Food Description Nutrient Amount1 Daily Value%2
Seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, roasted, without salt
Category: Nut and Seed Products
550 mg 130.95%
Nuts, cashew nuts, oil roasted, without salt added
Category: Nut and Seed Products
273 mg 65.00%
Nuts, almonds, dry roasted, with salt added
Category: Nut and Seed Products
258 mg 61.43%
Chocolate, dark, 70-85% cacao solids
Category: Sweets
228 mg 54.29%
Peanut butter with omega-3, creamy
Category: Legumes and Legume Products
191 mg 45.48%
Seaweed, kelp, raw
Category: Vegetables and Vegetable Products
121 mg 28.81%
1 Nutrient amount is in 100 gram food
2 Use FDA 2000 calorie diet as Daily Value reference

Additional Nutrient Information
Nutrient Summary Magnesium helps regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It plays role in making protein, bone, and DNA.
Deficiency Health Effects The potential effects of magnesium deficiency include:
• Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness.
• Muscle cramps, latent tetany, spontaneous carpopedal spasm, and seizures.
• Symptomatic hypocalcemia (when magnesium deficiency becomes moderate to severe)

People who are more likely than others to have magnesium deficiency:
• With gastrointestinal diseases
• With type 2 diabetes
• Long-term alcoholism
• Older people
Effects if Above Upper Limit Magnesium intake from nature foods doesn't show adverse effects for almost all people. However, adverse effects were observed from excessive intake of nonfood sources, such as various magnesium salts. The magnesium toxicity can be fatal. The adverse effects include:

• Diarrhea (primary symptom)
• Nausea
• Abdominal cramps

Note: per Dietary Reference Intakes booklet, the Upper Limit values listed in the table represent intake from pharmacological agents only and do not include intake from food and water.
External References Learn more at:
• The National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine publication: Dietary Reference Intakes
• NIH (National Institutes of Health) Article: Magnesium

Daily Value Age Group Recommended Daily Values Daily Value Upper Limits
Toddler 1 to 3 years old: 80 mg 65 mg
Child 4 to 8 years old: 130 mg 110 mg
Male 9 to 13 years old: 240 mg 350 mg
Male 14 to 18 years old: 410 mg 350 mg
Male 19 to 30 years old: 400 mg 350 mg
Male 31 to 50 years old: 420 mg 350 mg
Male 51 to 70 years old: 420 mg 350 mg
Male Senior 71 or older: 420 mg 350 mg
Female 9 to 13 years old: 240 mg 350 mg
Female 14 to 18 years old: 360 mg 350 mg
Female 19 to 30 years old: 310 mg 350 mg
Female 31 to 50 years old: 320 mg 350 mg
Female 51 to 70 years old: 320 mg 350 mg
Female Senior 71 or older: 320 mg 350 mg
Female Pregnancy (>18): 360 mg 350 mg
Female Lactation (>18): 320 mg 350 mg
FDA (Based on 2000 calorie daily diet): 420 mg

Dietary Reference Intakes The nutrient Dietary Reference Intakes and nutrition facts is from Institute of Medicine of National Academies 2006. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
US FDA Nutrition Education Nutrition facts knowledge are based on U.S. FOOD & DRUG Administration Nutrition Education Resources & Materials.
National Institutes of Health Nutrition facts knowledge are based on National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets.
Disclaimer The nutrient information provided here should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers (such as your doctor) about your dietary requirements which are best for your overall health. We also recommend you to read organization or professional reference documents or articles mentioned, but not limited to, in this page. Any mentions and reference links in this page don't represent our endorsement of their services and advice.

View Top Food Sources   |   Food Nutrition Lookup   |   Nutrients Search   |     Understand Nutrients on Food Label