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31st August 2017
Lymphatic & Blood Systems
31st August 2017




MAGNESIUM is a macro-mineral that a large percentage of the world’s population are deficient in. A lack of magnesium can have a significant impact on the health as it regulates the muscle tone in your circulatory system, in-turn any deficiency in your circulatory system will cause your blood pressure to rise. Your heart contains more magnesium in the left ventricle compared to all the magnesium stored in the rest of your body, more about how we store magnesium in this section. It’s a fact that without the correct level of magnesium, your body cannot function correctly.
Did you know the level of Magnesium in your body is only 1%, all the other elements in your body total 99.9%, including many trace elements, yet it is so important you maintain the correct levels of Magnesium to maintain a healthy life and help maintain healthy blood pressure levels. When I started to research Magnesium and Potassium I also read about the other elements/minerals that are also important to a healthy life. For those who are interested I’ve put together some interesting facts about the elements/minerals we can’t live without in a separate section.
I’m writing this separate section on Magnesium and Potassium as they both have a direct impact on blood pressure. First, I’m providing information on Magnesium.
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BEFORE I provide information on Magnesium, I must point out that anyone who has a heart or kidney condition, should first talk to their Doctor before taking any Magnesium Supplements.
ATRIAL FIBRILLATION is an irregular heartbeat, also known as Arrhythmia, which can cause heart failure. Atrial Fibrillation is linked with a fast heartbeat, this can allow blood to pool in the heart, causing blood clots which if they travel to the brain, may cause a stroke and other heart conditions. Although Atrial Fibrillation doesn’t cause high blood pressure, high blood pressure can cause damage to the arteries in the brain, these may be weakened and possibly rupture. Reducing blood pressure will help to avoid strokes and other related conditions. I mention this as Magnesium is the most important mineral for people with Atrial Fibrillation, there have been several clinical studies by Cardiologists who concluded that Magnesium is a safe and effective way of controlling Ventricular rate
Ventricular rate - Ventricular tachycardia (V-tach) is a rapid heart beat that originates in one of the lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. To be classified as tachycardia, the heart rate is usually at least 100 beats per minute.
in Atrial Fibrillation and reduce its occurrence.
Although Magnesium is considered safe to patients with Atrial Fibrillation, you must talk to your Doctor or Health Professional before taking any Magnesium Supplements, as there may be reasons they are not appropriate for some conditions.
MAGNESIUM is needed to activate over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, these reactions assist in maintaining the function of your nerves and muscles, it supports your immune system, helps to maintain a regular heartbeat, plus be a part of other body systems that keep blood glucose levels within set parameters and assist in producing energy and protein.
THE NEXT QUESTION is how do I know if my body is deficient in Magnesium? The medical term for low Magnesium is Hypomagnesemia.
Hypomagnesemia - Low magnesium in the blood, which can occur due to inadequate intake or impaired intestinal absorption of magnesium. Hypomagnesemia is often associated with low. calcium (hypocalcemia) and low potassium (hypokalemia).
Before I started research on Magnesium, I assumed you get a simple routine blood test, however, my assumptions were totally wrong, because there is only around 1% of Magnesium in the blood, this means a simple blood test, cannot give an accurate assessment whether we are deficient or not. However, there are tests to check any deficiency of Magnesium.
MAGNESIUM TESTS are not straight forward as the Magnesium in our body is stored within our brain tissue, our bones, our muscles, our cells and as mentioned, just a mere 1% is in our blood. I’ve detailed below tests that are available today that will give a good idea of the level of Magnesium in the body.


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  • Serum Test. What is serum? It’s pale yellow liquid that is the plasma, antibodies, non-clotting proteins, it separates from a clot in the coagulation of blood. However, there is only 0.4% Magnesium in serum. The test can be carried out by your Doctor or Health Professional. Your Doctor takes blood which is sent to a laboratory to be analysed, however, as mentioned, the test can be non-conclusive as there is only 1% of Magnesium in your blood
  • RBC Test. The RBC stands for ‘Red Blood Cells’. This test looks at the Magnesium in the red blood cells. The RBC test is considered more reliable than the Serum test, as when your body is low in Magnesium it takes Magnesium from your red blood cells
  • Ionised Test. This test is considered a lot more accurate as it tests the Magnesium Ions in your body, this allows Doctors to get an actual specific reading of Magnesium levels within your body
  • EXA Test. This is a test for Magnesium Deficiency without taking blood. A sample of soft tissue is taken from the mouth which is sent to a laboratory where it is viewed by an Analytical Scanning Electron Microscope, this microscope is an Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis, hence the term EXA Test. This test was developed to detect Minerals, in this case Magnesium, inside the trillions of cells within your body. This is considered a most accurate analysis of Magnesium in our bodies. However, this test is expensive, should this be of interest, I suggest searching the internet for a laboratory in your country with the search words - ‘EXA TEST’


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ARE YOU DEFICIENT? As I’ve explained above there are tests detailed above by taking blood or tissue samples to find out if you’re deficient, the tests involving blood and serum can be non-conclusive, the EXA test is more reliable, the down side, I’m told it’s expensive.
Fortunately, there are signs and side effects that can indicate you may have a Magnesium deficiency. I’ve listed below some of the side effects that may be due to low Magnesium in your body. Please don’t assume all the symptoms below are linked to low Magnesium levels, some of the symptoms listed may be linked to other health conditions, if there are symptoms you feel need investigation, note them and discuss them with your Doctor or Health Professional.
Taking Magnesium supplements without a medical consultation may not be appropriate. I’ve explained more later in this section

Side effects that may be due to low Magnesium

  • An irregular Heart Beat
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stomach problems. Possibly caused by inability to absorb Magnesium
  • Bowel problems. Again, may be due by inability to absorb Magnesium
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Jerky movements with your reflexes
  • Find it hard to get to sleep
  • Find it hard to stay asleep
  • You become anxious
  • Feeling Fatigued
  • Numbness in feet, hands, face
  • Migraine
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Type II Diabetes, I’ve explained more in section on diabetes
  • Long term diarrhoea
  • High Calcium levels in the blood


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DIET plays an important part in ensuring you get enough Magnesium from the food you eat. If you can manage your diet, it’s the best way of ensuring your daily requirement (RDA)
RDA - the estimated amount of a nutrient (or calories) per day considered necessary for the maintenance of good health by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council/ National Academy of Sciences. It is popularly called the Recommended Daily Allowance. Source - medicinenet.com
of Magnesium stays within accepted levels without taking Magnesium Supplements.
For interest, below I’ve detailed the accepted levels, listed by age and gender.
4 – 7130mg130mg
8 – 12240mg240mg
13 – 19400mg310mg350mg315mg
50 & Above420mg320mg
Children either Male or Female between ages 6 months & 4 Years the RDA is between 30mg and 85mg Daily.
I’ve listed below, a selection of foods that may provide you with the appropriate RDA of Magnesium. All foods will be referenced in mg (Milligrams) Remember the suggested daily dose RDA is detailed above. If you like nuts and spinach, you’re well on your way to the recommended daily dose.
Foods that may provide you with the appropriate RDA of Magnesium

Dark Chocolate per 100g is around...***


Almond Nuts around third of a cup contains...


Brazil Nuts around third of a cup contains...



Sesame Seeds around third of a cup contains...


Cashew Nuts around third of a cup contains...


Pistachios Nuts around third of a cup contains...


There are many more nuts rich in Magnesium, below are some of the foods that add up to your daily requirement of Magnesium

Spinach around one cup, top the bill with...


Chard around one cup...


Black Beans around one cup...



Bananas (One)...


Soymilk around one cup...


Avocado Average size...



Jacket Potato, with skin, medium size...


Yogurt Plain non-fat around one cup...


Roasted Chicken Breast around 5 ounces...


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*** Dark Chocolate has other health benefits as it contains Flavonoids which are a group of Antioxidants, it can assist in reducing LDL Cholesterol levels, reduce risks of developing blood clots, also has an influence on blood flowing through your arteries and heart, may even assist with a healthy blood pressure. Another plus is that Dark Chocolate has no added sugar, very small amount of milk, averages around 65% of cocoa solids.
In addition to Magnesium, Dark Chocolate also contains Potassium which also helps lower blood pressure, plus Iron which helps make blood cells and helps carry oxygen around the body, plus Calcium which is needed to maintain your bones, also plays a part in Blood Clotting, contraction of muscles and the function of nerves.
There’s also Vitamin E which plays its part to form red blood cells and dilate blood vessels, any blood vessel that is dilated makes it easier for blood flow and may assist in lowering blood pressure. Also, dark chocolate contains Vitamin B. However there are many Vitamin ‘B's’, some eight of them.
Looks like we can live on chocolate, however, too much of a good thing can have adverse effects, there is Caffeine and Fat in Dark Chocolate, so best to make Dark Chocolate a small part of your diet.

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