Magnesium is a very important mineral that is involved in many bodily functions.

Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is quite common in Australia, largely to a lack of it in the soil – if it’s not in the soil, it can’t be in our food.

Magnesium intake has been shown to be inadequate in teenagers aged 14 to 18 years (61% of males and 72% of females), and adults over 19 years of age were found to have inadequate magnesium intake (41% males and 35% females) [1]

Magnesium deficiency can cause and/or contribute to symptoms such as:

  • Muscular pain and cramping [2]
  • Headache and migraine [3] [4]
  • Insomnia [5]
  • Fatigue [6]
  • Hormonal/thyroid imbalance [7]
  • High blood pressure [8]
  • Stress [9]

There are some foods that are traditionally high in magnesium such as:[10]

  • Salmon, Halibut, Atlantic mackerel, Atlantic pollock
  • Spinach, Swiss chard, Edamame, Tamarind, Potato with skin, Okra
  • Black-eyed peas (cooked)
  • Tempeh (cooked), Soy nuts, Tofu
  • Cooked beans (black, lima, navy, pinto, chickpeas)
  • Almonds, Cashews, Flaxseed, Peanut butter
  • Quinoa

It’s always a great idea to try and increase minerals from food sources. However, if you are experiencing symptoms of magnesium deficiency then it’s best to chat to your practitioner as you may need a supplement.

What supplements are available?

There are many, many magnesium supplements on the market. An important thing to consider is bioavailability (the ease the body can absorb something). For example, magnesium oxide is not well absorbed by the body and can sometimes end up being an expensive laxative. On the other hand, forms such as magnesium bisglycinate and magnesium citrate have much higher bioavailability and thus you will absorb more.

There are options such as powders, tablets, sprays and Epsom salts.

At Caring Hands Chiropractic, we offer practitioner only supplements. These only use the highly bioavailable forms of magnesium and specific formulas are available that address all of the issues above. Talk to your practitioner to find out which is the right type and formula for you.

It is important to note that you should talk to your doctor or practitioner before starting anything new.


[1] Gropper SS, Smith JL. Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. 6th ed. Belmont (CA): Wadsworth, Cengage Learning; 2013. p. 443-449.

[2] Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements: an evidence-based guide. 4thed. Vol 2. Sydney (AU): Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone; 2015. p. 677-692.

[3] Sun-Edelstein C, Mauskop A. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine. Expert Rev. Neurother. 2009;9(3):369-379

[4] Teigen L, Boes CJ. An evidence-based review of oral magnesium supplementation in the preventive treatment of migraine. Cephalalgia. 2015 Sep;35(10):912-22

[5] Yunus MB, Masdi AT, Calabro JJ, Miller KA, Feigenbaum SL. Primary fibromyalgia (fibromyositis): clinical study of 50 patients with matched normal controls. Sem Arthritis Rheum. 1981;11:151-171.

[6] National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements [Internet]. ODS; 2016. Magnesium. 2018 Mar 2 [2018 Mar 5]. Available from:

[7] Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements: an evidence-based guide. 4thed. Vol 2. Sydney (AU): Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone. 2015. p. 1101-1124

[8]  Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements: an evidence-based guide. 4th ed. Vol 2. Sydney (AU): Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone; 2015. p. 970-76

[9] Liu J, Head E, Kuratsune H, Cotman CW, Ames BN. Comparison of the effects of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine on carnitine levels, ambulatory activity, and oxidative stress biomarkers in the brain of old rats. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Nov;1033:117-131