The Ortho Molecular Answer





  • Second to potassium in concentration in the cells.


  • Primary function is enzyme activation


  • 60% is in the bone


  • 26% in the muscle and the remainder in soft tissue and body fluids.


  • Tissues with highest concentration are those that are most metabolically active (brain heart liver kidneys)


  • Critical role is energy production


Food sources


  • Occurs abundantly in whole foods


  • We tend to not eat whole natural foods and instead consume large quantities of processed food with little or no magnesium.


  • Best sources are tofu, legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables.


  • Fish, milk meat and common fruits are low in magnesium


Deficiency signs


  • Common in geriatric population and women during premenstrual period.


  • Deficiency is usually secondary to factors that reduce absorption or increase secretion of magnesium such as high calcium intake, alcohol, surgery, diuretics, liver disease, kidney disease and oral contraceptive use.


  • Low levels increase susceptibility to heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney stones, cancer, insomnia, PMS and menstrual cramps


  • Signs = fatigue, mental confusion, irritability, weakness, heart disturbances, problems in nerve conduction and muscle contraction, muscle cramps, loss of appetite, insomnia and predisposition to stress.


  • Common in elderly but most physicians rely on serum magnesium levels to indicate magnesium levels.  Most of the magnesium store lies within cells and not in serum.  A low magnesium level in the serum reflects end stage deficiency. 




Acute pancreatitis

Congestive heart failure

Dietary deficiency

Digitalis toxicity

Excessive sweating

Impaired intestinal absorption

-chronic diarrhea

- Ileal resection

,- malabsorption syndromes

Increased magnesium loss through kidneys

  • - diuretic use
  • - diabetes
  • - antibiotics
  • - alcohol
  • - hyperthyroidism
  • - kidney disease


Beneficial Effects


  • Critical to many cellular functions including energy production, protein formation and cellular replication.


  • Participates in more than 30 enzymatic reactions in the body, in particular those processes involved in energy production (production of ATP) 


  • Also required for the activation of the sodium and potassium pump that pumps sodium out of and potassium into the cells.  Deficiency results in decreased intracellular potassium resulting in cell function disruption.


  • Magnesium has been referred to as nature's calcium channel blocker because of its ability to block the entry of calcium into vascular smooth-muscle cells and heart muscle cells.  As a result supplementation can help reduce vascular resistance, lower blood pressure and lead to more efficient heart function. 


  • Also helps to regulate proper calcium metabolism through its actions on several hormones including parathyroid hormone and calcitonin.


Principal Uses


Asthma and chronic abstructivepulmonary disease

Cardiovascular disease

Acute myocardial infarction


Cardiac arrhythmias


Congestive heart failure

High blood pressure

Intermittent claudication

Low HDL cholesterol levels

Mitral valve prolapse



Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome




Hearing loss


Kidney stones



Pregnancy (toxemia, premature delivery and other complications

Premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea