Magnesium fulfils important roles in multiple physiological processes. Accordingly, a tight regulation of magnesium homeostasis is essential. Dysregulated magnesium serum levels, in particular hypomagnesaemia, are common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and have been associated with poor clinical outcomes. In cell culture studies as well as in clinical situations magnesium levels were associated with vascular calcification, cardiovascular disease and altered bone-mineral metabolism. Magnesium has also been linked to diseases such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, fatigue and depression, all of which are common in CKD. The present review summarizes and discusses the latest clinical data on the impact of magnesium and possible effects of higher levels on the health status of patients with CKD, including an outlook on the use of magnesium-based phosphate-binding agents in this context.