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Magnesium is a mineral that is essential to your body, playing a role in nearly all bodily functions and contributing to most body tissues. If you're like many people, you don't get enough magnesium in your daily diet, which may contribute to a wide range of symptoms, neck pain among them. According to a New York Times Health article, as many as 3/4 of Americans do not consume enough magnesium to avoid the adverse effects associated with chronic magnesium deficiency.
Three-Hundred Reasons Why You Need Magnesium
According to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center, magnesium plays important roles in the structure and function of your body and is involved in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions 1. Among these is energy production, because the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats requires a number of magnesium-dependent chemical reactions. Magnesium is necessary for the production of proteins, DNA and RNA and plays a structural role in bone, cell membranes and chromosomes.
A State of Inadequacy
How Much Magnesium Per Day?
A study published by the American Diabetes Association on the relationship between magnesium deficiency and insulin resistance in obese children found that 27 percent of lean study subjects had insufficient levels of magnesium, as did 55 percent of obese subjects, which the study authors say, indicates that magnesium deficiency may be more prevalent in children than previously suspected 3. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, between 29 and 52 percent of Americans don't consume enough magnesium.
Muscle Pain and Magnesium Insufficiency
Among the most common signs of magnesium deficiency are those that effect the skeletal muscles. According to an article on CTV News, some Canadian doctors are calling for studies on magnesium for the relief of chronic pain. One of these, Dr. Linda Rapson, who specializes in treating chronic pain, tells CTV News that she has added magnesium to the diets of patients complaining of muscle pain and has seen improvement in virtually all of them.
Other Deficiency Symptoms
Magnesium for Back Pain
Other symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include:
- panic attacks
- menstrual cramps
Magnesium deficiency can cause cardiovascular symptoms that include palpitations, heart arrhythmias, angina, mitral valve prolapse and high blood pressure.
Where to Get It and How Much
Recommended daily requirements of magnesium for adults are 310 to 320mg for women and 400 to 425mg for men. Supplements can be helpful if you have difficulty getting enough magnesium in your daily diet, but follow RDA guidelines. It is possible to overdose on magnesium.
How Much Magnesium Per Day?
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Magnesium & Panic Attacks
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The Amount of Calcium and Magnesium for a 70-Year-Old Woman
Magnesium for Menstrual Cramps
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- Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center: Magnesium
- USDA: Magnesium: Percent of Population 1 Year Old and Over With Adequate Intakes Based on Average Requirement for Magnesium From Food Sources
- American Diabetes Association: Magnesium Deficiency Is Associated With Insulin Resistance in Obese Children
- Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine: The Importance of Magnesium to Human Nutrition
- New York Times: Personal Health: A Dietary Mineral You Need (and Probably Didn't Know It)
- Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F. Oral Magnesium Supplementation Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Metabolic Control in Type 2 Diabetic Subjects: A randomized double-blind controlled trial. Diabetes Care.2003 Apr;26(4):1147-52. doi:10.2337/diacare.26.4.1147
- Office of Dietary Supplements/National Institutes of Health. Magnesium: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Bethesda, Maryland; updated July 11, 2019.
- Kass LS, Poeira F. The effect of acute vs chronic magnesium supplementation on exercise and recovery on resistance exercise, blood pressure and total peripheral resistance on normotensive adults. J Int Soc Sports Nut. 2015;12:19. doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0081-z
- Morais JBS, Severo JS, de Alencar GRR, et al. Effect of magnesium supplementation on insulin resistance in humans: A systematic review. Nutrition. 2017 Jun;38:54-60. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2017.01.009
- Rosanoff A, Weaver CM, Rude RK. Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated? Nutr Rev. 2012 Mar;70(3):153-64. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00465.x
- Zhang X, Li Y, Del Gobbo LC, et al. Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trials. Hypertension. 2016;68:324-33. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.116.07664
Melinda L. Secor left a 20-year career in health care and developmental disabilities to become a full-time freelance writer. In addition to blogging regularly, she writes for numerous websites on a wide range of topics that include politics, finance, homeschooling, parenting, sustainable living/self sufficiency, health, developmental disabilities, gardening and many others.