Everything you should know about Magnesium

Recognised as an essential mineral and cofactor for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, it is no wonder the spotlight is on magnesium for supporting health and wellbeing.

Here are just some of the crucial roles magnesium performs in the body:

  • Energy production – Magnesium is required for converting carbohydrates and fats into energy.1 ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the molecule that provides the main source of energy for the body’s cells, must be bound to magnesium in order to work.1
  • Bone health – Magnesium plays an essential role in the health and strength of our bones. About 50-60% of magnesium in the body is found in the bones and the remainder is primarily stored in our muscles.1 Magnesium is also required for the metabolism of vitamin D, well-known for its bone supporting effects.
  • Muscle health – Magnesium is important for regulating muscle function and plays a role in muscle relaxation. Low levels of magnesium in the body have been associated with muscle cramps.2
  • Nervous system function and a healthy stress response – Magnesium is involved in healthy nervous system function and low levels of magnesium have been linked to an impaired capacity for the body to handle stress.3
  • Heart support – Magnesium plays an important part in cardiovascular health and normal heart function.1


Is it necessary to take a magnesium supplement?

It is estimated that one in three people are not meeting their daily adequate intake of magnesium through their diet alone.4 Furthermore, there are other factors that can affect how much magnesium is available for the body to use. Magnesium absorption tends to decrease with age1, and stress can deplete the body of magnesium.5 Low magnesium can also increase the body’s susceptibility to stress – thus contributing to a vicious cycle.

Magnesium supplements may be particularly beneficial for people under certain circumstances and with specific health complaints.

  • People who lead busy, stressful lives may benefit from magnesium to improve their body’s stress resilience
  • Athletes/regular exercisers may benefit from taking a magnesium supplement to support energy production and muscle recovery
  • People over the age of 50 may be interested in magnesium to support their bone health and strength, muscle function and to maintain a healthy heart
  • Magnesium may be beneficial for migraine and tension headache sufferers due to its role in muscle relaxation and healthy nervous system function. People who suffer from regular migraines have been found to have lower magnesium levels and studies have shown that magnesium supplementation may reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches6
  • Those who have trouble sleeping may find magnesium useful due to its muscle relaxation and stress moderating effects, especially in combination with sleep support herbs such as passionflower

Are all Magnesium supplements the same?

Magnesium supplements are available in many different forms, yet their bioavailability and effectiveness vary significantly. Meta mag® is an easily absorbed form of magnesium found in Ethical Nutrients products. Meta mag® has been found to be consistently better absorbed than other forms of magnesium including magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate.7,8 Taking Meta Mag® may be beneficial for everyday magnesium replenishment and to support energy production, bone and muscle health, heart health and a healthy stress response.


  1. Higdon J 2019, Magnesium, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, Accessed 29th July 2022.
  2. National Institutes of Health, 2022, Magnesium, Accessed 29th July 2022, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional
  3. Cuciureanu MD, Vink R 2011, Magnesium and stress, Magnesium in the Central Nervous System, e book, Accessed 29th July 2022.
  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015, Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, 2011-12, Accessed 29th July 2022.
  5. Pickering G et al 2020, ‘Magnesium Status and Stress: The Vicious Circle Concept Revisited’, Nutrients, vol 28 ,no.12, p3672, doi: 10.3390/nu12123672. PMID:33260549; PMCID:PMC7761127)
  6. Mauskop A, Altura BM 1998, ‘Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraines’, Clin Neurosci, vol. 5, no. 1, pp 24-27
  7. Graff D 2000, ‘Bioavailability of magnesium chelazome®’, Research Notes, vol 9, no 1, pp2-3
  8. Hartle JW, Morgan S, Poulsen T 2016, ‘Development of a model for in-vitro comparative absorption of magnesium from five magnesium sources commonly used as dietary supplements’ FASEB Journal, vol 128, no 6
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