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To remain healthy into old age, an adequate supply of minerals such as magnesium is essential.

This is because the daily magnesium requirement remains high even with advancing years. The power mineral is involved in around 600 metabolic processes.

Many people fear aging, as it is often accompanied by occasional forgetfulness, loneliness, and a general decline in cognitive and physical abilities. But remember, it’s never too late to change your lifestyle to do something about your physical and mental health. There is so much you can do!

And those typical age-related side effects? They don’t have to occur. You have more control over your aging process than you may realize!

magnesium for elderly people

Why Magnesium Levels Decline With Age?

As you age, your body does not work as efficiently and cannot absorb vitamins and minerals as well.

Therefore, you can develop nutrient deficiencies even if you eat a healthy, balanced diet and consume plenty of fresh organic vegetables, for example.

This involves one important nutrient in particular – magnesium.

After the age of 50, many of us are at risk for magnesium deficiency. In the U.S., for example, it’s thought that a full 80% of people over midlife are at risk.

That’s a lot, of course. In addition, only a small amount of magnesium remains in the bloodstream.

Why Is That?

If your body has too little magnesium available, it draws it from other sources. In this case, the red blood cells deposit it in the serum. For this reason, a standard magnesium test, for example, may show normal serum levels even though the magnesium level in the red blood cells is too low.

Therefore, a magnesium deficiency test should be done to measure the level of magnesium in the red blood cells. In addition, you should look for symptoms that might indicate a deficiency.

Why You Should Avoid A Magnesium Deficiency At All Costs?

Magnesium is one of the elements you should never be deficient in. This is true whether the nutrient receives much or little public attention.

Below, we list some of the most important reasons why you should pay special attention to your magnesium levels:

  • Magnesium is one of the minerals most abundant in the body.
  • It is found in more than 300 different body enzymes.
  • It is found primarily in the bones (about half of the total magnesium in the body).
  • Magnesium plays a role in detoxification processes in the body.
  • Magnesium supports energy metabolism.
  • Magnesium supports numerous physiological functions.
  • Magnesium is needed for glutathione synthesis (the most important antioxidant).
  • It particularly supports the health of your brain.

This list shows why magnesium is so important. How can you tell if you are taking in enough magnesium?

Early Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency Include

  • Loss of appetite and headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue and weakness

These are all fairly non-specific, common symptoms that occur with many different illnesses and conditions. If you suspect you may be suffering from a magnesium deficiency, you should talk to your doctor about it. You can also take some steps to prevent a deficiency.

magnesium for seniors

6 Facts About Magnesium Requirements In Old Age

A declining appetite, an unbalanced diet, chronic illnesses, or the use of medication can have a negative effect on the magnesium supply. If the excretion of the mineral is accelerated or its absorption slowed down, this can lead to health impairments. To compensate for a deficiency, the World Health Organization (WHO) specifies a dose of at least 300 mg of magnesium daily.

Fact 1: Unbalanced Diet Puts Magnesium Supply At Risk

A balanced diet is a basis for an adequate supply of magnesium. But with age, most people are no longer as active and have less appetite. Magnesium-rich foods such as legumes are rarely on the table for seniors because they are difficult to digest.

They often resort to convenience food, which contains hardly any minerals due to industrial preparation. As a result of an unbalanced diet, can lead to an inadequate magnesium supply. To prevent a deficiency, a magnesium preparation from the pharmacy can be taken.

Fact 2: Magnesium Ensures Strong Nerves And Peaceful Sleep

The nerves also depend on the daily magnesium requirement being met. This is because stress situations lead to increased magnesium consumption. If the mineral becomes scarce, inner restlessness, trembling, dizziness, headaches, poor concentration, or twitching of the eyelid can be the consequences.

Difficulties in falling asleep and sleeping through the night, which are common in old age, can also be associated with a magnesium deficiency. Affected seniors are recommended to regularly take the “anti-stress mineral” directly before going to bed.

Fact 3: Active Muscles Need The Relaxation Mineral

For active seniors who regularly cycle, hike, or golf, magnesium is indispensable. In addition to higher consumption during sports, sweat causes additional losses of the mineral, which is responsible for muscle relaxation.

Painful calf cramps that occur during exercise or at night are typical symptoms of an acute magnesium deficiency. Tension in the muscles of the neck, throat, and shoulders can also indicate an insufficient magnesium supply.

Fact 4: Magnesium Causes a Rhythmic Heartbeat

Above all, an intact heart function depends on magnesium. As a natural counterpart of calcium, the mineral regulates the heartbeat and ensures that the heart beats regularly and rhythmically. A magnesium deficiency can have a correspondingly negative effect on heart health and promote cardiac arrhythmias.

For people who already suffer from this, it is advisable to take magnesium regularly. But taking magnesium can also be useful for preventing heart problems and lowering blood pressure.

Fact 5: Magnesium Promotes Better Insulin Action In Diabetes

In addition to obesity and too little exercise, a lack of magnesium plays an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes. On the one hand, the mineral is important for insulin action, and on the other, diabetics have an increased need for magnesium. This is because, due to altered kidney function, magnesium excretion through the urine is increased. For this reason, diabetics should always ensure an adequate magnesium supply.

Fact 6: Drugs Can Lead To Magnesium Deficiency

Some medications, such as drainage and laxatives, force mineral losses via the kidneys and promote a magnesium deficiency. At the same time, gastric acid blockers such as omeprazole or pantoprazole can lead to a magnesium deficit by interfering with the absorption of the mineral. If such drugs are taken for a longer period of time, patients should ensure that they take in additional magnesium.

Watch Your Diet

Numerous foods contain plenty of magnesium. Unfortunately, these products are not on everyone’s menu on a regular basis.

Raw, organic green vegetables such as spinach are an excellent source of magnesium. This is because chlorophyll contains magnesium (green coloring). Chlorophyll is the plant counterpart to our hemoglobin. Both molecules are similar in structure. The main difference is that chlorophyll contains magnesium in the middle and hemoglobin contains iron, chlorophyll is found in plants, and hemoglobin is found in meat.

The best way to meet your magnesium needs is to consume plenty of magnesium-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables.

The following table lists foods that are particularly high in magnesium:

Food (100 grams)Magnesium content (mg)
Algae, agar, dried770 mg
Coriander, dried694 mg
Pumpkin seeds, dried535 mg
Cocoa, dried powder, unsweetened
499 mg
Basil, dried422 mg
Flaxseed392 mg
Cumin seed366 mg
Brazil nuts, dried376 mg
Parsley, freeze-dried372 mg
Almond butter303 mg
Cashews, roasted273 mg
Whey, sweet, dried176 mg
Leek, freeze-dried156 mg
Kale, raw88 mg
Spinach79 mg

Why You May Still Not Cover Your Magnesium Requirements Despite a Balanced Diet?

Some people manage to cover their magnesium requirements permanently through their diet, for example by regularly consuming the foods listed above. However, there are factors that promote a magnesium deficiency regardless of this:

  • Advancing age: as we age, our bodies face greater challenges than when we were younger. For example, its ability to absorb magnesium suffers.
  • Type of food: Conventional food (not organic) contains less magnesium due to the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The magnesium content of the soil primarily determines how much magnesium a food contains.
  • Ingestion of medications: Certain medications promote magnesium deficiency in the body.
  • Practicality: for various reasons, you may not be able to consume enough magnesium-rich foods on a regular basis. You may not like these products or they may not be available in sufficient quantities.

If one or more factors apply to you and you are now concerned about your magnesium levels, a supplement may be just what you need.

The key here is to choose a high-quality supplement. There is a wide range of different magnesium supplements available on the market.

For this reason, we would like to inform you here about the different products so that you can make an informed decision.

what is magnesium good for

Requirements For A High-quality Magnesium Supplement

First, you should take a look at the ingredients. There are certain ingredients that should not or absolutely should be included. These are the items that matter when it comes to magnesium:

Make sure that:

  • does not contain magnesium stearate. Magnesium stearate is not a source of magnesium. Rather, it is an additive with no nutritional value.
  • the magnesium contained can be well absorbed by the body (good bioavailability). It is not only about the amount of magnesium contained. The preparation must also be well absorbed by the body.
  • the preparation has a high absorption capacity. The absorption capacity of the product is absolutely crucial. However, it is equally important that the nutrient can also penetrate into all-important tissues and cells.
  • the preparation does not cause discomfort. Magnesium should be good for your body. Therefore, make sure that the magnesium you want is also suitable for sensitive people.
  • the preparation is easy and simple to take. The dosage must fit easily into your daily routine. The information on the packaging should also be clear and easy to understand.

Magnesium Supplements – A Seemingly Endless Selection

When you start looking for a high-quality magnesium supplement, you will come across so many different products that it will be almost impossible to choose.

Complicating matters even more, there is no one hundred percent magnesium available anywhere. Magnesium must always be bound to another ion (salt).

This substance has a very decisive effect on the absorption and bioavailability of magnesium.

Let’s take a closer look at the different magnesium supplements:

Magnesium CitrateMagnesium citrate is derived from the salt of citric acid and has excellent bioavailability. This form is often used to support its own digestion.
Magnesium MalateMagnesium malate is a compound from the salt of malic acid and is also very bioavailable. This form has a very high absorption capacity and helps the body in its energy production.
Magnesium GlycinateMagnesium glycinate is one of the most easily absorbed forms of magnesium and is derived from the salt form of glycine. This form is especially good for sensitive people because it has little effect on the gastrointestinal tract. Glycinate is also known for its calming effect on the mind and body.
Magnesium OxideMagnesium oxide is bound to an organic acid or fatty acid and has a stool softening effect.
Magnesium Chloride/ Magnesium LactateMagnesium chloride can be absorbed slightly better by the body than magnesium oxide, which contains about five times as much magnesium.
Magnesium Sulfate / Magnesium HydroxideMagnesium sulfate / magnesium hydroxide is normally used as a laxative. For this reason, you should not take too much of this.
Magnesium CarbonateThis type of magnesium is an anti-acid agent.
Magnesium TaurateThis is a combination of magnesium and taurine (an amino acid). Together, they have a calming effect on the body and mind.
Magnesium L-ThreonateThis new form also shows promising absorption ability and can penetrate well into tissues and cell membranes.

One of the most confusing aspects regarding different magnesium supplements is probably the amount of magnesium contained in each product.

However, it’s not just about that, it’s also about what you’re trying to achieve by taking it.

Just because a product contains more magnesium does not mean that the body will be able to absorb it well. Some supplements may have good absorption properties, but also make the stool softer. Not everyone wants that.


Don’t let bad habits keep you from enjoying life to the fullest. Even with a diet rich in magnesium, a deficiency cannot be ruled out. This is where magnesium supplements can help.

This is probably the easiest way to take in enough of this all-important mineral. It works even when you have a lot on your plate. Try it out and stay healthy.

The Best and Worst Types of Magnesium - Video

Magnesium For Seniors - FAQ

❓ Why do you need more magnesium in old age?

Because in addition to calcium, magnesium is also involved in bone formation and can make an important contribution to bone strength in old age. In this way, osteoporosis, which not infrequently affects women after menopause, can be prevented.

❓ When to take magnesium in the morning or in the evening?

Take magnesium at the right time of day. Generally, you can take magnesium at any time of day, regardless of meals. However, for nighttime calf cramps due to magnesium deficiency, it is recommended to take magnesium in the evening.

❓ Can you sleep better with magnesium?

Studies show that magnesium can improve the quality of sleep. Magnesium inhibits the release of stress hormones and can therefore also have a positive effect on sleep disorders. People with sleep disorders should therefore pay attention to a high-dose magnesium intake.

Jessica Clavits

Jessica Clavits

Hi! I'm Jessica! I keep this blog about personal care.