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  • Major intracellular divalent cation
  • Magnesium is to calcium as potassium is to sodium
  • Essential for the production and transfer of energy for protein synthesis
    • acts as a cofactor for phosphate-requiring enzymes, especially those utilizing ATP
  • Magnesium affects neuromuscular excitability and cellular permeability

Dietary Sources

  • A macro nutrient found in whole-grain cereals, nuts, meat, milk, and dark green vegetables (it is an essential component of chlorophyll) and legumes
  • Daily intake: ~300 to 400 mg
  • Body content: ~25g
    • ~50% is in bone
    • ~50% within cells
    • <1% in the circulation
  • Plasma content:


  • Signs of deficiency are variable
  • Include personality change, spontaneous muscle spasm, tremor, twitching, tetany and convulsions
  • Frank hypomagnesemia can appear in patients with intestinal disease (decreased intestinal function) or steatorrhea