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ISSN: 2155-9600

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences
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Research Article

Magnesium: A Mineral Essential for Health Yet Generally Underestimated or Even Ignored

Adel AA Ismail1* and Nour A Ismail2

1Consultant in Clinical Biochemistry and Chemical Endocrinology (RTD), Pinderfiels and Leeds Teaching Hospitals, West Yorkshire, England

2Pinderfiels and Leeds Teaching Hospitals, West Yorkshire, England

*Corresponding Author:
Adel AA Ismail
Consultant in Chemical Endocrinology
Pinderfiels and Leeds Teaching Hospitals
West Yorkshire, England
Tel: 2189456484
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: May 13, 2016; Accepted Date: June 15, 2016; Published Date: June 23, 2016

Citation: Ismail AAA, Ismail NA (2016) Magnesium: A Mineral Essential for Health Yet Generally Underestimated or Even Ignored. J Nutr Food Sci 6:523. doi: 10.4172/2155-9600.1000523

Copyright: © 2016 Ismail AAA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in the human body after calcium, potassium and sodium. Magnesium must be continuously replenished through foods and water intake because it is not synthesizable. Chronic inadequate intake of magnesium over long period of time can manifest as latent magnesium deficiency with symptoms such as muscle weakness, cramps, fatigue, neurological and cardiovascular dysfunctions, reduced bone mineralization and strength. Reports published by WHO have estimated that ~two thirds of Americans and French have magnesium intake below the recommended amounts but only a small numbers are overtly depleted. The authorities in Finland were concerned of the negative impact of geochemical magnesium deficiency in the eastern region of Finland and its adverse effect on heart health. A program was initiated to increase magnesium intake though supplementation; this has contributed to progressive fall of death rate due to heart-related issues. Restoring and sustaining adequate magnesium store are easy and inexpensive.

Some 40% of total body magnesium is intracellular and ~60% in bone and teeth with less than 1% in circulation. Intracellular magnesium deficiency may or may not be reflected as overt hypomagnesaemia making measurement of plasma/serum magnesium potentially misleading when “normal” plasma/serum concentration is “interpreted” to exclude deficiency.

In this review, the role of magnesium at cellular level, its homeostasis and major clinical conditions associated with magnesium deficiency in adults will be briefly discussed. Assessment of magnesium status and its potential deficiency by examining individual’s “modus vivendi” and/or the use of laboratory tests will be highlighted. Finally, various therapeutic modalities and monitoring of treatment will be summarized.


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