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Magnesium is as important as Air and Water! Signs of Magnesium Deficiency & Recommended Daily Amount

Magnesium is a mineral that is used by every organ of your body and stored in bones and organs. It is hard to detect Magnesium deficiency in the blood test, as only 1% of magnesium is distributed in the blood. Due to some sources, about 80% of Americans are deficient in this mineral.

Magnesium is as important as air and water, says Morley Robbins, the founder of the Magnesium advocacy group. Here is why.

If you are deficient in Magnesium, the cells in your body begin to malfunction:

  • Blood tends to clot, which creates the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Arteries stiffen and develop a buildup of plaque.
  • Glucose is not properly processed, which can lead to diabetes and other disorders.
  • All muscle cells, including heart and blood vessels, tend to contract and become unable to relax.
  • Adrenaline secretion increases abnormally, which also leads to overresponse by the cells to the adrenaline stimulation.
  • Free radical production and susceptibility to oxidative stress increases.

Magnesium deficiency can lead to severe problems starting from chronic fatigue to sudden cardiac death, so it is very important to maintain healthy magnesium levels in the body all the time!

What is the recommended daily amount of Magnesium?


Recommended average daily intake of magnesium (RDA) for 1-8-year-old children is 80-130 mg.

9-13-year-old children need an average of 240 mg of magnesium a day.

The recommended daily amount of magnesium for women is 310-320 mg and 400-420 mg for men.

Please, see the below chart for more information.

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Magnesium (source)
Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
Birth to 6 months 30 mg* 30 mg*
7–12 months 75 mg* 75 mg*
1–3 years 80 mg 80 mg
4–8 years 130 mg 130 mg
9–13 years 240 mg 240 mg
14–18 years 410 mg 360 mg 400 mg 360 mg
19–30 years 400 mg 310 mg 350 mg 310 mg
31–50 years 420 mg 320 mg 360 mg 320 mg
51+ years 420 mg 320 mg

*Adequate Intake (AI). (“Adequate intake” means evidence is insufficient to develop an average daily level of intake sufficient to meet nutrient requirements).

What depletes Magnesium levels in the body?


Low magnesium levels in the body are hard to detect, so knowing the risk factors is important.

What is the main cause of magnesium deficiency?

Anxiety is the number one factor that depletes magnesium in the body. Low magnesium levels cause anxiety, and anxiety causes even more anxiety, depleting even more magnesium. Any kind of stress, be it emotional or physical, can deplete the body’s magnesium levels. If you are stressed, you need more magnesium, as stress consumes magnesium. Stress can be mental, emotional, or physical (food allergies, exposure to heavy metals, and others).

Causes of magnesium deficiency:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Low magnesium diet and processed foods, including soda drinks
  • Poor intestinal absorption of minerals
  • Digestive or genetic disorders
  • Medications
  • Alcohol
  • Illness
  • Aging
  • Pregnancy, especially multiple pregnancies

What are Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms?


Some of the first (mild) symptoms:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Food cravings (sugar, caffeine, empty carbs)
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor memory
  • Weakness
  • Constipation

Next stage magnesium deficiency symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • ADHD (Attention-deficit Disorder)
  • Poor concentration
  • Backache (upper and lower back)
  • Ear infections
  • Gluten sensitivity
  • Insomnia
  • Cystitis
  • Migraines
  • Nerve problems
  • Weight gain (esp., on waist)
  • Hypertension

Severe symptoms:

  • Blood clots
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Failure to thrive
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Miscarriage
  • Obesity
  • Hypothyroid
  • Liver disease

Life-threatening symptoms:

  • Alcoholism
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Cancer
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • SIDS
  • Stroke
  • Sudden cardiac death (source).

Scary, huh? This long magnesium deficiency symptoms list shows us that the role of magnesium in the body should not be underestimated at all.

Read next: How to restore healthy Magnesium Levels in the body 


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  1. Hello BioMama,
    Firstly, I just want to thank you for all this wonderful, and FREE information. That’s impressive.
    My questions are, where does iron fit in your list of most important minerals? What do you have on your list of electrolytes? How much sea salt do you consume in a day? I could ask 100 questions, easy. lol
    I can’t believe I just found you, and your site. I’ve been researching nutrition and health for a few years. I am happy to find this xanadu. Dr Jennifer Daniels, and Amanda Vollmer are two I have found to be quite knowledgeable.
    Have a nice day! Thanks again.

    1. organicbiomama says:

      Hi, Rod! Thank you so much for your kind words! I am very happy that the blog is being useful to you. I do avoid taking iron supplements, but I try to consume freshly cooked liver regularly for iron and other nutrients. I never measure how much sea salt I use:-) I do research nutrition and health just like you and I do not claim myself to be an expert:-) Thanks a lot again, Rod. Welcome and have an awesome day! Feruza.

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