Interpreting magnesium status to enhance clinical care: key indicators

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2017 Nov;20(6):504-511. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000410.


Purpose of review: To update advances in identifying factors affecting magnesium (Mg) status that assist in providing improved evidence-based clinical decision-making for assessing Mg status.

Recent findings: Findings from recent cohort studies, small randomized control trials, and multiple meta-analyses reinforce earlier work that serum Mg concentrations, urinary Mg excretion, and Mg dietary intakes are inversely associated with cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes. These studies indicate that the reference range for serum Mg needs updating, and that individuals with serum Mg in the range of 0.75-0.85 mmol/l and displaying changes in other factors associated with a low Mg status may be Mg deficient. Individuals with serum Mg concentrations below this range most likely are Mg deficient and, above this range, are most likely Mg sufficient.

Summary: The combined determination of serum Mg concentration, 24-h urinary Mg excretion, and dietary Mg intake is currently the most practical method to obtain a sound assessment of Mg status. The strong correlations of Mg deficiency with increased risk of several chronic diseases, some of which exist as comorbidities, indicate that Mg status should be ascertained in patients presenting such disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / administration & dosage*
  • Magnesium / blood*
  • Magnesium / urine*
  • Magnesium Deficiency / blood
  • Magnesium Deficiency / complications
  • Magnesium Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / blood
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / prevention & control


  • Magnesium