Half the body's magnesium is in the bones and the other half in the organs, blood and nerves. It is an important cofactor in hormones, vitamins B1 (thiamin) and B6 (pyridoxine), and many cell processes. It has a role in growth, maintenance and repair of body cells, and in nerve impulse transmission. Source foods are soya beans, nuts, dried brewer's yeast, whole grains, peas, shrimps and other seafood, dried fruits, vegetables, meats, etc.


  • Abnormal or irregular heart beat
  • Alcoholism
  • Angina
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Insomnia
  • Leg cramps during sleep
  • Pregnancy toxemia and morning sickness
  • Premenstrual tension and menstrual cramps

A magnesium deficiency may be caused by a diet high in calcium, fiber, milk, phosphate, saturated fats and vitamin D; also by alcoholism, antibiotics, cancer, diabetes, diuretics, heart drugs, kidney disease, malnutrition and contraceptive pills.

Excess magnesium is unlikely, except in those suffering from kidney disease.