The first few posts of our Magnesium Basics series showed us how magnesium is rooted in the health and function of every one of our organs.  Now we look at one of our most important organs.
Our adrenal glands are the two small organs which make the hormones that help our body respond to stress. The fact that our adrenals use magnesium leads us to two critical ideas in the next two posts:
  1. Why over 90% of North Americans are magnesium-deficient and why you probably are too.
  2. What you can do to limit the amount of magnesium your body loses everyday.

Magnesium Deficiency Epidemic

The reason most people are deficient is that we’re getting record low amounts of magnesium from diet, while losing more magnesium than ever before in history! The general graph below paints this picture:

  1. Total environmental stress that drains our magnesium
  2. Magnesium in our soil and healthy foods
  3. Our intestine’s ability to absorb magnesium from food and pills
  4. Our ability to make our own magnesium – will always remain at zero.

Key Fact: Plants and animals can’t make magnesium. Plants absorb the soil’s magnesium, and animals only get it by eating plants. Unfortunately, over-farming, food processing, GMOs and other factors have depleted our soils’ magnesium levels. Furthermore, even a healthy intestine only absorbs about 30-40% of a food’s magnesium. (It’s still important to eat a magnesium-smart diet, which you can learn about here.) So if our intake is so low, what do the numbers say about magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium Deficiency Statistics

The World Health Organization estimates over 70% of Americans do not meet the daily requirement of  400mg of magnesium! [1-3] In Canada, up to 60% of people over 19 do not meet this requirement.[4] Now because we know that all stress directly depletes magnesium, the real question becomes:

Has this 400mg daily requirement changed periodically over the years to reflect our constantly increasing exposre to magnesium-draining stress? The answer is a resounding NO. This 400mg RDA is over 50 years old, from a time when our exposure to environmental stress was less than HALF of what it is today!

Magnesium experts like Dr. Carolyn Dean, Mark Circus and authors of books like the Real Vitamin & Mineral Book all agree that the daily requirement should now be between 600 – 800 mg of magnesium!

Implications: If 70% of people aren’t getting 400mg daily, imagine the % of people not getting 600-800mg daily that is suggested by magnesium experts. That number is very likely above 90% of people.

Which magnesium-draining stressors to avoid:

We know that magnesium-draining stress in our modern evnironments have gradually risen to all-time highs. Here are all the stressors that acitvate our adrenal glands, and deplete our magnesium:

  • airborne pollution
  • synthetic diet (GMOs, inorganic fertilizers from non-organic produce)
  • processed food and poor food combinations
  • psychological and emotional stress
  • prolonged exposure to blue/artificial light from digital technology screens  *1
  • synthetic contaminants from household products
  • daily ingestion of high amounts of fluoride from tap and bottled water
  • plastic toxins that leach into water from liquid supplements and water bottles
  • intense exercise while in a magnesium-deficient state
  • WIFI and electromagnetic radiation *2

The fact is our modern environments flood us with more magnesium-draining stress than ever before. This raises another critical point:

Stress is also inflammatory on the intestine, where the bulk of magnesium from food and pills is absorbed. Inflammation in our gut can inhibit its ability to absorb nutrients like magnesium! Now it becomes even more clear why over 90% of people are deficient in magnesium. Our food is deficient, our stress drains our magnesium, and our intestine’s ability to absorb it also becomes compromised!


Therefore while a magnesium RBC test can definitely help identify deficiency, simple logic tells us we are more than likely deficient – it’s rather a question of how much. Furhtermore, because it is not possible to overdose on magnesium supplements due to the body’s innate magnesium regulation system, there is no harm, and much gain from taking action to restore our magnesium right away.

The scientists at the International Society for the Development of Research on Magnesium have concluded that it is impossible to maintiain healthy magnesium levels without supplementation. Unless you’re supplementing by using a natural, bioavailable supplement, there is very little chance your magnesium levels are where they should be.

So what can we do to reduce the amount of magnesium we lose daily, while naturally increasing our intake?We look at these solutions in the next post – which also includes two free apps to help with extremely common electronic forms of stress.

Related Posts:

Magnesium Basics Part 3:   Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms & Testing

Magnesium Basics Part 5: Raise Your Magnesium Naturally?

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  1. Calcium and magnesium in drinking-water: Public health significance.
  2. Dietary magnesium and C-reactive protein levels.
  3. Problem nutrients in the United States.;jsessionid=BDCF746DFBCBEF55276ED09B1FB9409E?request_locale=en&recordID=US19820827960&sourceQuery=&query=&sortField=&sortOrder=&agrovocString=&advQuery=¢erString=&enableField=
  4. Do Canadian Adults Meet Their Nutrient Requirements Through Food Intake Alone?
  5. The Magnesium Miracle:
  6. The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book, 4th edition: The Definitive Guide to Designing Your Personal Supplement Program.
  7. Transdermal Magnesium Therapy: A New Modality for the Maintenance of Health.

Anything not referenced/cited here can be found on iMag Library ( This is our sister website that we created for you with all the scientific literature about magnesium and the human body.

(We assume no responsibility and/or credit for any of the graphics used in this post. All credit goes to the various and individual creators of graphic and visual content.)