Importance of the ratio between ionized and total Mg in serum or plasma: new data on the regulation of Mg status and practical importance of total Mg concentration in the investigation of Mg imbalance

Magnes Res. 2002 Dec;15(3-4):203-5.


There is an inverse relationship between Mg balance and the ratio ionized Mg/total Mg in serum or plasma: in Mg excess, the ratio is decreased and in Mg deficiency the ratio is increased. It works as if a subtle homeostasic compensatory reaction modified the proportion of the most biologically active fraction of blood Mg in order to reduce the effects of Mg imbalance. Easy, available and unexpensive, the evaluation of total Mg in plasma or serum appears as a better marker than ionized Mg in Mg imbalance: it should be priviledged as the initial investigation in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / blood*
  • Magnesium / metabolism
  • Magnesium Deficiency / diagnosis*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Plasma / chemistry


  • Magnesium