Magnesium Deficiency Stats - Are You Deficient?


Magnesium Basics

How common is magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency has become a global issue, with France seeing particularly high rates of up to 80%. This is concerning, as magnesium plays an essential role in keeping our bodies functioning properly, regulating everything from muscle movements to maintaining our energy levels. In Finland, health officials have taken steps to increase the public's awareness of magnesium intake and its benefits, resulting in a decrease of heart disease as the leading cause of death. In North America however, magnesium deficiency is almost considered the norm; the World Health Organization estimates that over 70% of Americans are deficient in this critical mineral and 20% don't even consume half of the recommended 400mg per day. Meanwhile, Canada has seen similar statistics with between 40-60% of adults being found to be deficient. It is clear that more needs to be done to address this growing concern and ensure people are getting adequate amounts of magnesium for their overall health and wellness.

If these statistics sound bad the reality is actually worse because of one main factor:

These statistics are based on the old magnesium recommendations that have not been updated to reflect our new modern environments and the fact that we are losing much more magnesium than ever before while ingesting less than before.  Therefore while these official statistics paint a picture of between 60 to 80% magnesium deficiency based on old magnesium intake recommendations, the reality is that if we apply the newer Magnesium recommendations that magnesium experts are talking about it would suggest that closer to 9 out of 10 people are actually deficient in magnesium.  Basically in today's world it would require a highly stress-free, nutritionally dense, and highly natural lifestyle in order to be magnesium replete.

Are you deficient in magnesium?

Studying statistics can give us a good indication of how many people are affected by magnesium deficiency, however, it is also possible to gain an understanding of the probability of being deficient by taking a more logical approach and analyzing the everyday effects on our body’s magnesium status. There are a few simple facts to consider:

  1. Every single body part (organ, muscle, tissue  and nerve) uses magnesium every single second to function.
  2. All stress depletes magnesium, and environmental stress is at all time highs.
  3. The human body can’t make its own magnesium.
  4. The food supply has less magnesium because of industry.

When we take these factors into consideration, it becomes clear - unless you are actively managing your life to keep magnesium levels sufficient, there is a high probability your magnesium levels are not at the optimal levels that magnesium experts are recommending.

So what can you do? Well, for one, you can look at getting your magnesium levels tested, which is the topic of our next post in this series. In additions, you can add more magnesium-rich foods into your diet, which you can learn about in our post titled Magnesium in Diet.

Posted By

Janelle Van Driesen

Janelle is one of our passionate writers that loves helping people understand health and nutrition.