Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in energy production, DNA synthesis and metabolism of glucose in the body. It is mainly found in such foods as dark leafy greens (spinach/broccoli), nuts (almonds, cashew, peanuts, etc.), avocados, brown rice and black beans.  Unfortunately, a large number of Americans have insufficient levels of magnesium in their diet (up to 1/3) with as many as 15% of the population having hypomagnesemia (clinical magnesium deficiency).  While short-term magnesium deficiency in the diet can result in minimal symptoms or long term problems, if a person is consistently having inadequate magnesium in their diet it can result in impaired health and problems with the muscular, digestive or nervous systems.

According to various studies, having higher magnesium levels in your diet is associated with decreased risk of sudden cardiac death, cardiovascular and heart disease as well as having a correlation with a reduction in risk of stroke.  Along with improving heart health, having a diet higher in magnesium has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type II diabetes by 15-23% and improving DMII symptoms and controlling blood glucose levels.  Next, magnesium has also been found to help decrease the risk and help symptoms of migraine headaches.  Multiple studies have shown that intaking 600 mg of magnesium per day can play a role in preventing migraines enough that the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society made mention that it is probably effective for migraine prevention. 

While it is just one mineral, it is important to be proactive with your health and ensure you have a diet that can best minimize your risk of issues.  Being active and exercising is imperative in preventing diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease, but they can only go so far if your body isn’t provided the necessary materials to maintain a healthy heart and functioning muscles.

                For more information, visit the United States Department of Health and Human Services website at

Other sources used:

Costello RB et al. Perspective: the case for an evidence-based reference interval for serum magnesium: the time has come. Advances in Nutrition. 2016 Nov 15; 7(6):977-93.

Verma H and Garg R. Effect of magnesium supplementation on type 2 diabetes associated cardiovascular risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 2017 February 2.

Veronese N 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. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016 Dec; 70(12):1354-59.

Zhang X et al. Effects of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials. Hypertension. 2016 Aug; 68(2):324-33.