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Magnesium

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names

Magnesium ChlorideMagnesium CitrateMagnesium FumarateMagnesium GluconateMagnesium MalateMagnesium OrotateMagnesium OxideMagnesium Sulfide

Introduction

Magnesium is an essential nutrient found in bran, nuts, and beans. Magnesium has been used to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It has also been used to ease pain in the body and improve heart health. Magnesium can be taken as a pill or powder. It can also be injected into the bloodstream and muscle by a healthcare provider.

Dosages

300 to 400 milligrams daily

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • Asthma —likely to improve symptoms C1
  • Cardiac arrhythmias —likely to prevent D1, D2
  • Diabetes —likely to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels G1-G4
  • High blood pressure —likely to modestly lower blood pressure H1-H4
  • Metabolic disorders —likely to help control blood glucose and prevent the risk of heart problems K1-K4
  • Migraine —likely to ease pain and intensity L1
  • Pre-eclampsia/eclampsia —likely to prevent the risk of eclampsia and improve birth outcome N1, N2

May Be Effective

  • Anxiety —may provide benefit B1
  • Insulin resistance —may reduce insulin resistance I1

Unlikely to Be Effective

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Alcohol withdrawal A1
  • Cystic fibrosis E1
  • Depression F1
  • Pregnancy support O1, O2
  • Tetanus Q1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take magnesium in small doses. Amounts greater than 350 mg per day may be unsafe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.P1

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

 

References

A. Alcohol withdrawal

A1. Sarai M, Tejani AM, et al. Magnesium for alcohol withdrawal. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;(6):CD008358.

B. Anxiety

B1. Boyle NB, Lawton C, et al. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017 Apr 26;9(5).

C. Asthma

C1. Knightly R, Millan SJ, et al. Inhaled magnesium sulfate in the treatment of acute asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;11:CD003898.

D. Cardiac Arrhythmias

D1. Lee HY, Ghimire S, et al. Magnesium supplementation reduces postoperative arrhythmias after cardiopulmonary bypass in pediatrics: a metanalysis of randomized controlled trials. Pediatr Cardiol. 2013 Aug;34(6):1396-403.

D2. Salaminia S, Sayehmiri F, et al. Evaluating the effect of magnesium supplementation and cardiac arrhythmias after acute coronary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2018 Jun 28;18(1):129.

E. Cystic Fibrosis

E1. Santi M, Milani GP, et al. Magnesium in cystic fibrosis--Systematic review of the literature. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2016 Feb;51(2):196-202.

F. Depression

F1. Derom ML, Sayón-Orea C, et al. Magnesium and depression: a systematic review. Nutr Neurosci. 2013 Sep;16(5):191-206.

G. Diabetes

G1. Verma H, Garg R. Effect of magnesium supplementation on type 2 diabetes associated cardiovascular risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2017;30(5):621-633.

G2. Simental-Mendía LE, Sahebkar A, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on the effects of magnesium supplementation on insulin sensitivity and glucose control. Pharmacol Res. 2016 Sep;111:272-282.

G3. Fang X, Han H, et al. Dose-Response Relationship between Dietary Magnesium Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Regression Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. Nutrients. 2016 Nov 19;8(11).

G4. Veronese N, Watutantrige-Fernando S, et al. Effect of magnesium supplementation on glucose metabolism in people with or at risk of diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of double-blind randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Dec;70(12):1354-1359.

H. High blood pressure

H1. Kass L, Weekes J, et al. Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr;66(4):411-418.

H2. Rosanoff A, Plesset MR. Oral magnesium supplements decrease high blood pressure (SBP>155 mmHg) in hypertensive subjects on anti-hypertensive medications: a targeted meta-analysis. Magnes Res. 2013 Jul-Sep;26(3):93-99.

H3. Zhang X, Li Y, et al. Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trials. Hypertension. 2016;68(2):324-333.

H4. Dibaba DT, Xun P, et al. The effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure in individuals with insulin resistance, prediabetes, or noncommunicable chronic diseases: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Sep;106(3):921-929.

I. Insulin Resistance

I1. Morais JBS, Severo JS, et al. Effect of magnesium supplementation on insulin resistance in humans: A systematic review. Nutrition. 2017 Jun;38:54-60.

J. Lipid Profile

J1. Simental-Mendía LE, Simental-Mendía M, et al. Effect of magnesium supplementation on lipid profile: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2017 May;73(5):525-536.

K. Metabolic disorders

K1. Qu X, Jin F, et al. Magnesium and the risk of cardiovascular events: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e57720.

K2. Fang X, Wang K, et al. Dietary magnesium intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMC Med. 2016;14(1):210.

K3. Guerrero-Romero F, Jaquez-Chairez FO, et al. Magnesium in metabolic syndrome: a review based on randomized, double-blind clinical trials. Magnes Res. 2016 Apr 1;29(4):146-153.

K4. Simental-Mendía, Sahebkar A, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on the effects of magnesium supplementation on insulin sensitivity and glucose control. Pharmacol Res. 2016;111:272-282.

L. Migraine

L1. Chiu HY, Yeh TH, et al. Effects of Intravenous and Oral Magnesium on Reducing Migraine: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Pain Physician. 2016;(1):E97-112.

M. Muscle cramps

M1. Garrison SR, Allan GM, et al. Magnesium for skeletal muscle cramps. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;(9):CD009402.

M2. Sebo P, Cerutti B, et al. Effect of magnesium therapy on nocturnal leg cramps: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials with meta-analysis using simulations. Fam Pract. 2014;31(1):7-19.

N. Pre-eclampsia/eclampsia

N1. Duley L, Gülmezoglu AM, et al. Magnesium sulphate and other anticonvulsants for women with pre-eclampsia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(11):CD000025.

N2. Duly L, Henderson-Smart DJ, et al. Magnesium sulphate versus diazepam for eclampsia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(12):CD000127.

O. Pregnancy support

O1. Makrides M, Crosby DD, et al. Magnesium supplementation in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(4):CD000937.

O2. Zhou K, West HM, et al. Interventions for leg cramps in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Aug 11;(8):CD010655.

P. Safety

P1. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999. Available at: http://books.nap.edu/books/0309063507/html/index.html. Accessed October 1, 2019.

Q. Tetanus

Q1. Rodrio C, Samarakoon L, et al. A meta-analysis of magnesium for tetanus. Anaesthesia. 2012;67(12):1370-1374.

Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 6/29/2020