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magnesium citrate

Magnesium is a very important mineral in the body that plays a role in many cellular processes, bone structure, and...

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Some studies indicate that low magnesium status may be a risk factor for osteoporosis.

Magnesium is critical for maintaining a healthy heartbeat and may protect against cardiovascular disease.

Some studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can increase testosterone levels in men.

It is recommended that men have at least 400–420 mg per day of magnesium, which can come from food or a combination of food and supplements. Having too much or too little can be dangerous for your health.

A common side effect of magnesium supplementation is loose stools.

Magnesium supplements can interact with certain medications and may not be safe in those with certain medical conditions.

Talk to your healthcare provider before taking magnesium if you have kidney disease or if you are taking bisphosphonates, antibiotics, diuretics, or proton pump inhibitors.


Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in several of the body’s processes. Magnesium is fairly abundant in the body, with approximately 25 g residing in the bones, soft tissues, and blood. Magnesium is involved in numerous cellular reactions including building protein, DNA, and RNA, producing energy, and assisting with how calcium and potassium ions interact with cells. It also has large-scale functions, impacting bone structure, muscle contractility, and heart rhythm. Because magnesium is present in so many different parts of the body, it is difficult to assess exactly how much magnesium an individual has and whether they require supplementation.

Magnesium can be found in a wide variety of foods, including plant sources, animal sources, and even water. Foods that have fiber are typically good sources of magnesium. This includes leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Magnesium can also be found in avocado, dark chocolate, yogurt, and certain fruits. Some foods, such as breakfast cereals, are fortified with magnesium. This means that magnesium is added to the food in a public health effort to help make sure everybody is getting enough each day.

The health benefits of magnesium are far-reaching since the mineral is a necessary part of numerous cellular processes.

It has been reported that magnesium supplementation may be beneficial for sugar control in those with type 2 diabetes, however studies are limited. The American Diabetes Association currently states that there is not enough evidence to support supplementation with magnesium in those with diabetes (5).

Small studies have shown that magnesium supplementation may play a role in the prevention of migraines, given magnesium’s role in neurotransmitter release and vasoconstriction. However, the amount of magnesium used in these studies (600 mg per day) exceeds the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of suggested magnesium supplementation, which means some people may experience gastrointestinal side effects (5).

Magnesium has also been indicated in the treatment of depression. One study found that six weeks of supplementation with 248 mg per day of elemental magnesium led to an improvement of depression scores, with results being seen within two weeks (10). Another review states that while the mechanism of action of magnesium in depression may not be well understood, including it with other treatments for depression may be effective (8).

Magnesium also has the following health benefits, which is why it was chosen to be an ingredient in the Ro's supplement offerings:

Heart Health

As a part of normal physiology, magnesium interacts with calcium on heart cells and is crucial for maintaining a healthy heartbeat. Additionally, studies have shown that magnesium can have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. They include:

Hypertension: One small study in patients with hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) found that magnesium supplementation in combination with lifestyle modifications led to a small improvement of blood pressure. Study participants received 600 mg per day of magnesium (2).

Heart disease: Multiple studies have shown that magnesium supplementation may have protective effects, such as reducing the chances of heart disease and stroke (5). One review of epidemiologic studies concluded that higher magnesium intake was associated with a reduction in cardiovascular risk factors, including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension (7).

Testosterone Support

Studies looking specifically at magnesium’s effects on men are limited. They include the following:

Testosterone: One study that looked at the effects of magnesium supplementation in both sedentary and athletic individuals found that testosterone levels increased after four weeks. Study participants were given 10 mg/kg of body weight of magnesium (1). Another study found that magnesium levels in men ages 65 and older are closely associated with testosterone levels (3). And one review suggested that more studies should be done to ascertain the role of magnesium on testosterone levels, given the reported positive effects (4).

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of magnesium is 400 mg per day for men ages 19–30 and 420 mg per day for men ages >30. Women ages 19–30 should have 310 mg per day unless they are pregnant (350 mg per day) or 320 mg per day for ages >30 (360 mg per day when pregnant). The RDA represents the daily amount of a mineral that is considered sufficient for 97–98% of healthy individuals.

On the other end of the spectrum, the UL for supplemental magnesium is 350 mg per day for both men and women over the age of 8. Taking supplements of magnesium in excess of this amount may cause diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain in some people (5). This level is lower than the RDA because it refers to magnesium obtained from supplements and not to the total amount of magnesium ingested daily (including that obtained from food).

Currently, there is no data regarding the number of people in the United States who have low levels of magnesium. According to one study from 2005–2006, 48% of Americans consume less than the required amount of magnesium from food (6). A more recent study that combined data from 2007–2008 and 2009–2010 found that 54% of the population reported deficient magnesium intake (9). Those at risk of developing a magnesium deficiency include those with gastrointestinal diseases, people with type 2 diabetes, alcoholics, and older adults.

Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency (also called hypomagnesemia) can be mild to severe. Since magnesium also plays a role in the absorption of other elements, low magnesium can lead to low calcium (hypocalcemia) and low potassium (hypokalemia). Over time, this can lead to osteoporosis (low bone density). Additional symptoms include (5):

  • Nausea & Vomiting

  • Fatigue & Weakness

These symptoms can progress to:

  • Numbness

  • Tingling

  • Muscle twitches

  • Seizures

  • Irregular heartbeat