By Summer Banks on Jul 31, 2017

If there’s a mineral vital to bodily function, you’d want to include it in your diet, right? Magnesium benefits the heart, kidneys and lungs. Additional benefits of magnesium include weight management and digestive health.

Before choosing the right magnesium supplement, you first need to understand the benefits to health.

We’ll take a closer look at what is magnesium, what is magnesium used for, how much magnesium should i take, symptoms of magnesium deficiency and food sources of magnesium.

What is Magnesium?

What is magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral. There are multiple magnesium sources, including everyday foods. There are magnesium supplements helping to improve muscle and nerve function. Additional magnesium health benefits include bone health. [1] [4] [6] [8]

Magnesium also plays an essential role in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It helps metabolize proteins and other foods. [9] [13] [40]

What is magnesium good for? It’s used to treat symptoms of: [3] [10] [17] [32] 

  • High blood pressure
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Magnesium deficiency

There are different magnesium sources:

Magnesium Chealate

Magnesium Chealate is an essential mineral and helps with the muscular and nervous system.

Magnesium Malate

Magnesium Malate is a combo of malic acid and magnesium. It’s used for energy support.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium Chloride is a magnesium powder promoting heart health and bone health.

Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium Citrate is citric acid, but in salt form. It’s a saline laxative and typically used prior to select surgeries.

Bottom Line: Magnesium is an essential mineral promoting overall health and wellness. [16] [40] [42]

Sources of Magnesium

Foods with magnesium


There are several sources of magnesium. What food has magnesium?: [34] [35] [41]

No matter the foods with magnesium, you have options to improve overall health and wellness.

Bottom Line: Although you can take magnesium supplements, you can also improve health by eating foods with magnesium.

How Much Magnesium Do You Need?

Magnesium Food Sources

The amount of magnesium you need may vary depending on your age, gender, weight and overall health. However, if you have low magnesium levels or a magnesium deficiency, your doctor may increase the magnesium dosage. [4]

In general, the recommended magnesium dosage is 400 mg for adult males ages 19-30. Women in the same age group need a magnesium dosage of 310 mg per day. For men older than 30, their magnesium dosage is 420mg per day. However, women older than 30 should increase their magnesium dosage to 320mg day. [28] [29] [43]


If you are taking magnesium for constipation or using a supplement such as Mag O7, it typically comes in the form of magnesium citrate liquid. The magnesium dosage is 10-30 g has been shown to be effective. [4]

Magnesium citrate liquid also helps with indigestion. The approximate magnesium dosage is 400-1,200 mg. [4]

Bottom Line: Typically the magnesium dosage for adults is 310-420 mg per day. However, your doctor could increase the dosage.

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

Magnesium Dosage

One of the signs of magnesium deficiency is low magnesium levels. It also occurs if you don’t eat foods that have magnesium. [1] [4] [24]

Signs of magnesium deficiency include: [4] [7] [10] [15] [24] [36] [37] [48]

  • Confusion
  • Poor memory
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Tremors
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Respiratory issues
  • Calcium deficiency
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Potassium deficiency
  • Poor heart health
  • Type 2 diabetes

However, some people do experience severe magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesemia. This could indicate serious concerns with liver, kidney and heart function. [4] [24]

Bottom Line: There are several signs of magnesium deficiency. It’s important to look at the amount of magnesium in food to avoid low magnesium levels.

Magnesium Benefits and What Does Magnesium Do?

Health Benefits of Magnesium

What does magnesium do? It helps relax blood vessels. There’s research showing magnesium benefits overall health by lowering high blood pressure. [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22]

Clinical trials involving 2,038 participants show that taking a magnesium dosage of 368 mg per day for three months help lower both systolic/diastolic blood pressure. [19]

What does magnesium do for the body? The mineral helps with more than 300 body functions. Therefore, it’s essential for overall wellness.

Studies show those taking magnesium supplements had lower blood pressure versus those taking the placebo. A higher magnesium dosage lead to improved blood pressure levels. [20]

Several reports show taking magnesium citrate helps control blood pressure. The recommended magnesium dosage is about 150 to 250 [22]

Also, additional research shows a minimum magnesium dosage of 150 mg to 250 mg, up to four times daily, helps treat hypertension and reduce the symptoms of high blood pressure. [17]

Bottom Line: Adding a magnesium supplement to your regimen may help you reduce the adverse effects of hypertension and treat high blood pressure.

Is Magnesium Citrate a Laxative?

Magnesium Pill


A magnesium supplement connected causing laxative effects is magnesium citrate. While it’s available as magnesium pills, it’s also available as liquid magnesium.

What are magnesium citrate benefits? It helps treat digestive issues and constipation. It also promotes bowel movement. [2] [3] [4] [5] [42] [49]

Magnesium stimulates the bowels, causing muscle contractions, which help with regularity. [3]

Bottom Line: Magnesium supplements help improve regularity and treat constipation.

Magnesium Supplements and Weight Loss

Magnesium and weight loss


There are benefits of magnesium supplements. But, can taking magnesium help you lose weight?

Research shows magnesium benefits health by helping control insulin levels and regulating blood sugar. Studies from the Journal of Nutrition reveals magnesium benefits wellness by balancing blood glucose and insulin levels in obese or overweight individuals. [25]

Additional research shows that following a low-calorie diet and eating magnesium food sources, helps with weight loss. rich in foods that contain high levels of magnesium can aid with weight reduction. More benefits of magnesium include increased free testosterone production. [27]

Bottom Line: Although taking magnesium doesn’t help with fat loss, there’s research showing it helps with weight loss.

Magnesium Benefits to Health

Benefits of magnesium

What are magnesium benefits to health? [11] [12] [14] [16] [23] [32] [33] [38] [39] [45] [46] [47]

  • Type 2 diabetes 
  • Tinnitus 
  • Insomnia 
  • Asthma
  • Memory loss
  • Depression

Research shows that taking a magnesium supplement or eating food sources of magnesium, helps lower risk for Type 2 diabetes, insulin sensitivity and regulates blood glucose levels. [32] [33]

Additional studies show it helps reduce symptoms of depression and a magnesium dosage of 500 mg helps treat insomnia. [12] [14]

Increasing magnesium dosage helps improve your memory. But, taking 532 mg per day of magnesium reduces the symptoms of tinnitus. [39] [46] [47]

Bottom Line: Magnesium benefits overall health and wellness.

What are Magnesium Side Effects?

Research highlights magnesium health benefits, but also mentions side effects. These often occur if too much is ingested. [4] [29] [30] [31] [44]

Typical side effects could include: [4] [29] [30] [31]

  • Diarrhea  
  • Nausea
  • Upset Stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Bloating
  • Electrolyte Imbalance
  • Allergic Reaction

Magnesium citrate may not be safe if taken in conjunction with prescription medications. [31]

Bottom Line: While there are some mild side effects that can occur, it’s a rarity to see negative side effects from magnesium.

Magnesium Supplements, Deficiency and Magnesium Benefits to Health Ingredients

The Bottom Line on Magnesium Benefits

Overall, magnesium benefits hundreds of bodily functions. Adding a magnesium supplement helps add to magnesium in food.

While there’s limited research showing it helps you lose weight, there are studies showing it helps improve overall health and wellness.

If you have low magnesium levels or a magnesium deficiency, talk to your doctor to see if a magnesium supplement is right for you.

Article Sources
About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.