Are you Magnesium Deficient?

Magnesium is one of the most essential nutrients to replenish in anyone suffering with pain.  It is a cofactor, involved in the activation of over 300 enzymes in your body.  Some of the benefits of magnesium supplementation include improved sleep, decreased anxiety, relaxation of muscles, improvement of glucose uptake and bone health, and decrease of blood vessel constriction.  Studies of have documented the benefits of magnesium in migraine, especially menstrual migraine. ¹·²·³

Are you low in Magnesium?

Sadly, most of the patients we see, if not all of them, are deficient in magnesium.  Read below to find out why.  We are in a time where knowledge is power.  The more we learn about ourselves and our deficiencies and imbalances, the more we can bring ourselves into a balanced mind-body, or dosha, state.

Magnesium deficiency is very treatable.  We have many testimonials of patients who have done well with our magnesium blend.  We have also found that IV Magnesium can be very effective in certain situations.  Taking magnesium daily can decrease the need for IV infusions.

Common Symptoms

There are many symptoms of magnesium deficiency, but here are the most common ones I hear. Ask yourself if you have the following questions:

  • Do you have difficulty sleeping?
  • Do you feel irritable or short-fused at times?
  • Do you occasionally feel nervous or worried?
  • Do you get headaches, especially migraines?
  • Do you have muscle aches, spasms or cramps or back pain?
  • Do you have cold hands or feet?
  • Do you have PMS symptoms or a history of infertility?
  • Do you experience a lot of stress?
  • Do you crave carbohydrates or have blood sugar issues?
  • Do you have constipation?
  • Do you have fatigue or difficulty focusing or staying on task?
  • Do you have chest pain or heart flutter?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?

If you said “yes” to any of these, there is a high likelihood that you are deficient in magnesium.

Why are we deficient in Magnesium?

  • Our soil no longer contains this important nutrient due to modern manufacturing processes. If the soil doesn’t have it, either do our vegetables and fruits that are growing in that soil!
  • Caffeine depletes magnesium
  • Stress depletes magnesium. The higher your stress level, the more magnesium you need.
  • Diets high in sugar deplete magnesium as it takes almost 300 molecules of magnesium to break down a molecule of glucose!
  • Fluoride in our drinking water not only displaces iodine, which can lead to thyroid issues as we need iodine to create T3 and T4, but it also binds with magnesium. This combination of fluoride with magnesium can actually impair the health of our bones.
  • Alcohol depletes magnesium (one of the reasons, along with its Pitta inducing effects, that this can lead to a “hang-over” headache
  • Soft drinks contain phosphates which interfere with magnesium absorption
  • Medications you take deplete this vital nutrient. Yes, the medications that are given to control your symptoms can actually deplete this nutrient leading to other symptoms! Most common are: Diuretics (water pills), antibiotics such as gentamicin; cancer drugs such as cisplatin and immunosuppressive drugs.

Truth about Magnesium supplements:

  • The RDA, which is the recommended daily allowance, is about 300mg per day (see below).  Most of us are lucky if we get 100-200mg in per day. If you have any symptoms listed above, you likely need more than 300mg daily to correct those symptoms
  • We have found that the best form is a combination of glycinate with citrate.  This combination is very well absorbed.  Combining this nutrient with the appropriate activated B vitamins (methylated or phosphorylated) and CoQ10 (in ubiquinol form) gives the Krebs cycle its “fuel” so it can create energy (ATP)for the cells.
  • If you have diarrhea, or loose stools from you magnesium, you are likely not absorbing it and need to switch to a better form.  Oxide, carbonate, gluconate or chloride are known to be less absorbable forms.  Consider switching to glycinate and/or citrate forms for better absorption and treatment of your symptoms.

Recommended Magnesium Supplement: Zira Nourished Mind

HAessentialsThe form of Magnesium you choose is very important and not all magnesium is the same.

We chose the specific blend of Magnesium in Zira Nourished Mind that had the most evidence, was best tolerated and most effective in our clinic population.  The clinical research that went into choosing this form was based on studying our patients over a course of two years.

Our recommendation is: Magnesium citrate and glycinate chelate at 600mg per day if you show deficiency symptoms. 300mg daily is appropirate if deficiency symptoms are not present.

4 caps of Zira Nourished Mind has 600mg of  Magnesium citrate/glycinate, along with the other important B vitamins, CoQ10 (activated in a ubinquinol form) and other supportive ingredients to create a synergistic, powerful neurological formula.

Remember, the Magnesium in this formula is a chelated form, with citrate and glycinate.  This was specifically chosen due to its ability to be absorbed well from the digestive tract along with high tolerability (very few side effects)

Caution:  If you have a history of kidney disease or severe heart disease, or are on any medications such as blood pressure medications, diuretics, antibiotics, immunosuppressive medications or medications for cancer, please discuss utilizing this supplements with your health care provider.

Always take this supplement, along with any supplement, under the supervision of your health care provider.

Purchase Zira Nourished Mind »

Magnesium in your foods!

I always believe you need to improve lifestyle and make dietary changes, along with adding supplements.  In this way, we will not be reliant only on taking pills.

Here are some foods that can help improve your magnesium level:
Kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, brazil nuts, dulse, filberts, millet, pecans, walnuts, rye, tofu, soy beans, brown rice, figs, dates, collard greens, shrimp, avocado, parsley, beans, barley, dandelion greens, and garlic

Food Milligrams (mg) per serving Percent DV*
Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce 80 20
Spinach, boiled, ½ cup 78 20
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce 74 19
Peanuts, oil roasted, ¼ cup 63 16
Cereal, shredded wheat, 2 large biscuits 61 15
Soymilk, plain or vanilla, 1 cup 61 15
Black beans, cooked, ½ cup 60 15
Edamame, shelled, cooked, ½ cup 50 13
Peanut butter, smooth, 2 tablespoons 49 12
Bread, whole wheat, 2 slices 46 12
Avocado, cubed, 1 cup 44 15
Potato, baked with skin, 3.5 ounces 43 11
Rice, brown, cooked, ½ cup 42 11
Yogurt, plain, low fat, 8 ounces 42 11
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 10% of the DV for magnesium 40 10
Oatmeal, instant, 1 packet 36 9
Kidney beans, canned, ½ cup 35 9
Banana, 1 medium 32 8
Salmon, Atlantic, farmed, cooked, 3 ounces 26 7
Milk, 1 cup 24–27 6–7
Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces 24 6
Raisins, ½ cup 23 6
Chicken breast, roasted, 3 ounces 22 6
Beef, ground, 90% lean, pan broiled, 3 ounces 20 5
Broccoli, chopped and cooked, ½ cup 12 3
Rice, white, cooked, ½ cup 10 3
Apple, 1 medium 9 2
Carrot, raw, 1 medium 7 2

*DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of products within the context of a total diet. The DV for magnesium is 400 mg for adults and children aged 4 and older. However, the FDA does not require food labels to list magnesium content unless a food has been fortified with this nutrient. Foods providing 20% or more of the DV are considered to be high sources of a nutrient.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Nutrient Database Web site [10] lists the nutrient content of many foods and provides a comprehensive list of foods containing magnesium.

Magnesium Interactions

Interactions with Medications
Several types of medications have the potential to interact with magnesium supplements or affect magnesium status. A few examples are provided below. People taking these and other medications on a regular basis should discuss their magnesium intakes with their healthcare providers.

Magnesium-rich supplements or medications can decrease the absorption of oral bisphosphonates, such as alendronate (Fosamax®), used to treat osteoporosis [59]. Use of magnesium-rich supplements or medications and oral bisphosphonates should be separated by at least 2 hours [55].

Magnesium can form insoluble complexes with tetracyclines, such as demeclocycline (Declomycin®) and doxycycline (Vibramycin®), as well as quinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro®) and levofloxacin (Levaquin®). These antibiotics should be taken at least 2 hours before or 4–6 hours after a magnesium-containing supplement [55,60].

Chronic treatment with loop diuretics, such as furosemide (Lasix®) and bumetanide (Bumex®), and thiazide diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide (Aquazide H®) and ethacrynic acid (Edecrin®), can increase the loss of magnesium in urine and lead to magnesium depletion [61]. In contrast, potassium-sparing diuretics, such as amiloride (Midamor®) and spironolactone (Aldactone®), reduce magnesium excretion [61].

Proton Pump Inhibitors
Prescription proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs, such as esomeprazole magnesium (Nexium®) and lansoprazole (Prevacid®), when taken for prolonged periods (typically more than a year) can cause hypomagnesemia [62]. In cases that FDA reviewed, magnesium supplements often raised the low serum magnesium levels caused by PPIs. However, in 25% of the cases, supplements did not raise magnesium levels and the patients had to discontinue the PPI. FDA advises healthcare professionals to consider measuring patients' serum magnesium levels prior to initiating long-term PPI treatment and to check magnesium levels in these patients periodically [62].

Magesium Overdose
The beauty of Magnesium lies in the fact that the body can only absorb a certain amount of magnesium at one time. The current belief is that the body cannot absorb and utilize more than 600mg at one time, thus limiting the risk of overdose.

Consider reading: “The Magnesium Solution for Migraine Headaches” by Jay S. Cohen, MD


  1. Weaver K. Magnesium and migraine. Headache 1990;30:168.
    Peikert A, Wilimzig C, Kohne-Volland R. Prophylaxis of migraine with oral magnesium: results from a prospective, multi-center, placebo-controlled and double-blind randomized study. Cephalalgia 1996;16:257–263.
  2. Facchinetti F, Sances G, Borella P, et al. Magnesium prophylaxis of menstrual migraine: effects on intracellular magnesium. Headache 1991;31: 304.
  3. Wang F, Van Den Eeden SK, Ackerson LM, et al. Oral magnesium oxide prophylaxis of frequent migrainous headache in children: a randomized, doubleblind, 610.

This fact sheet by the Office of Dietary Supplements provides information that should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your health care providers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health. Any mention in this publication of a specific brand name is not an endorsement of the product.