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Drugs and Health Products

Monograph: Magnesium

Date: 2007-11-15


Magnesium (O'Neil et al. 2012)

Proper Name(s)

Magnesium ( Sweetman 2007 , O'Neil et al. 2001 )

Common Name(s)

Magnesium ( Sweetman 2007 , O'Neil et al. 2001 )

Source Material

The slash (/) indicates that the terms are synonyms. Either term may be selected by the applicant. When an HAP or an HVP chelate is used as a source material, this product is for an adult population only.

Route Of Administration


Dosage Form(s)

  • The acceptable pharmaceutical dosage forms include, but are not limited to capsules, chewables (e.g. gummies, tablets), liquids, powders, strips or tablets.
  • This monograph is not intended to include foods or food-like dosage forms such as bars, chewing gums or beverages.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:

A factor in the maintenance of good health  (IOM 2006)


For products providing daily doses of Magnesium at or above the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):
Helps to prevent magnesium deficiency  (IOM 2006, Shils et al. 2006, Groff and Gropper 2000, IOM 1997)


Children 1 - 3 years:

Dose(s): 12 - 65 Milligrams per day

Children 4 - 8 years:

Dose(s): 12 - 110 Milligrams per day

Adolescents 9 - 13 years:

Dose(s): 12 - 350 Milligrams per day

Adolescents 14 - 18 years:

Dose(s): 20 - 350 Milligrams per day


Dose(s): 20 - 500 Milligrams per day

  • Adults includes pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • At least one of the Specific or Dose-specific use or purpose statements indicated above must be given for magnesium products providing more than 350 mg of magnesium per day.
  • The maximum daily doses for children and adolescents are based on the UL which applies to magnesium intake from supplements only (IOM 2006). Maximum dose for adults supported by the following references: Lopez-Ridaura et al. 2004; Rude 1998.
  • The minimum daily doses are based on approximately 5% of the highest AI (IOM 2006). See Appendix 1 for definitions and Table 2 in Appendix 2 for AI values.
  • The use or purpose statement "Helps to prevent magnesium deficiency" does not apply to the following subpopulations: Children 1-8 years and Adolescents 14-18 years.

Duration of use

No statement is required

Risk Information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and Warning(s):
No statement is required

No statement is required

Known Adverse Reaction(s):
Doses greater than or equal to 351 Milligrams per day:
Some people may experience diarrhoea  (IOM 2006, IOM 1997)

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.


  • The finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the NHPD Quality of Natural Health Products Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements outlined in the Natural Health Products Ingredient Database (NHPID).

References cited

  • Albion 1997: Magnesium: mineral link to energy. Albion Research Notes 1997;6(1) [Accessed 2007-03-21]. Available from:
  • Albion 2000: Implications of the "other half" of a mineral compound. Albion Research Notes 2000;9(3) [Accessed 2007-05-18]. Available from:
  • Albion 2003: Magnesium- clinical and health benefits still without limits. Albion Research Notes 2003;12(3) [Accessed 2007-03-21]. Available from:
  • Albion 2004: Magnesium: A role in the therapy for asthma. Albion Research Notes 2004;13(3) [Accessed 2007-03-21]. Available from:
  • Firoz M, Graber M. Bioavailability of US commercial magnesium preparations. Magnesium Research 2001;14(4):257-262.
  • Groff J, Gropper S. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 3rd edition. Belmont (CA): Wadsworth/Thomson Learning; 2000.
  • HC 2008: Health Canada. 2008. Drug Product Database [online]. Ottawa (ON): Health Canada. [Accessed 2009 April 17]. Available from:
  • IOM 1997 : Institute of Medicine. Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington (DC) : National Academy Press; 1997.
  • IOM 2003: Institute of Medicine. Committee on Food Chemicals Codex, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Food Chemicals Codex, 5th edition. Washington (DC): National Academies Press; 2003.
  • IOM 2006: Institute of Medicine. Otten JJ, Pitzi Hellwig J, Meyers LD, editors. Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington (DC): National Academies Press; 2006.
  • Lopez-Ridaura R, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Liu S, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, Hu FB. Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women. Diabetes Care 2004;27(1):134-140.
  • Meisel P, Schwahn C, Luedemann J, John U, Kroemer HK, Kocher T. Magnesium deficiency is associated with periodontal disease. Journal of Dental Research 2005;84(10):937-941.
  • O'Neil MJ, Smith A, Heckelman PE, Budavari S, editors. The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 13th edition. Whitehouse Station (NJ): Merck & Co., Inc.; 2001.
  • Rude RK. Magnesium deficiency: a cause of heterogeneous disease in humans. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 1998;13(4):749-758.
  • Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, editors. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th edition. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006.
  • Sweetman SC , editor. Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference, 35th edition. London (UK): Pharmaceutical Press; 2007.

Appendix 1: Definitions

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA): The average daily dietary nutrient intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97-98%) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group (IOM 2006).

Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): The highest average daily nutrient intake level that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the potential risk of adverse effects may increase (IOM 2006).

Appendix 2: RDA Values

The RDA values for magnesium are provided below. For the purpose of this monograph, these values are intended to:

  • provide targets for setting appropriate supplement dosage levels;
  • provide the minimum dose for the use of the dose-specific use or purpose: "Helps to prevent magnesium deficiency";
  • facilitate the optional labelling of % RDA values.

Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowance values for magnesium based on life stage group (IOM 2006)
Life stage group Magnesium (mg/day)
Children 1-3 y 80
4-8 y 130
Adolescent males 9-13 y 240
14-18 y 410
Adult males 19-30 y 400
31-50 y 420
51-70 420
≥ 70 y 420
Adolescent females 9-13 y 240
14-18 y 360
Adult females 19-30 y 310
31-50 y 320
51-70 y 320
≥ 70 y 320
Pregnancy 14-18 y 400
19-30 y 350
31-50 y 360
Breastfeeding 14-18 y 360
19-30 y 310
31-50 y 320

Table 2: Tolerable Upper Intake Level for magnesium for adults 19 years and older (IOM 2006)
Life stage group Magnesium (mg/day)


Footnote 1

Includes pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Return to table 2 footnote 1 referrer

Adults Table 2 Footnote 1 350