Magnesium in pregnancy

Magnesium is important in enhancing the structure and the function of the human body.

The adult human body contains about 25 grams of magnesium. Over 60% of all the magnesium in the body is found in the skeleton, about 27% is found in muscle, 6% to 7% is found in other cells, and less than 1% is found outside of cells (1).

Functions of Magnesium:

  • Energy production
  • Synthesis of essential molecules
  • Ion transport across cell membranes
  • Structural roles
  • Ion transport across cell membranes
  • Cell signalling
  • Cell migration
  • Nutrient Interactions
  • Zinc
  • Fiber
  • Protein

Vitamin D and calcium

The active form of vitamin D (calcitriol) may slightly increase intestinal absorption of magnesium. However, magnesium absorption does not seem to be calcitriol-dependent as is the absorption of calcium and phosphate.

High calcium intake has not been found to affect magnesium balance in most studies. Inadequate blood magnesium levels are known to result in low blood calcium levels, resistance to parathyroid hormone (PTH) action, and resistance to some of the effects of vitamin D (2, 3).


Magnesium deficiency in healthy individuals who are consuming a balanced diet is quite rare because magnesium is abundant in both plant and animal foods and because the kidneys are able to limit urinary excretion of magnesium when intake is low.

These conditions increase the risk of magnesium deficiency (1):

  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Renal disorders (magnesium wasting)
  • Chronic alcoholism

Disease Prevention

Magnesium can help prevent the following conditions:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Disease Treatment
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Preeclampsia-eclampsia (toxemia of pregnancy)
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Migraine headaches
  • Asthma


Magnesium supplements are available as magnesium oxide, magnesium gluconate, magnesium chloride, and magnesium citrate salts, as well as a number of amino acid chelates, including magnesium aspartate. Magnesium hydroxide is used as an ingredient in several antacids (54).

Older adults (65 years and older)

Older adults are less likely than younger adults to consume enough magnesium to meet their needs and should therefore take care to eat magnesium-rich foods in addition to taking a multivitamin-mineral supplement daily.

Because older adults are more likely to have impaired kidney function, they should avoid taking more than 350 mg/day of supplemental magnesium without medical consultation (see Safety).

Read more about the benefits of magnesium