Purpose of review: To update findings supporting the opinion that commonly occurring subclinical magnesium deficiency induced by a low dietary intake is a predisposing factor for chronic inflammatory stress that contributes to the incidence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Recent findings: Both deficient magnesium intakes (<250 mg/day) and serum magnesium concentrations (≤ 0.75 mmol/l) have been associated with elevated serum C-reactive protein concentration, a widely used indicator of inflammation. Achieving magnesium intakes or serum magnesium concentrations that indicate an adequate magnesium status generally attenuates elevated serum C-reactive protein to concentrations that are not indicative of chronic low-grade inflammation. Individuals that are obese or have chronic diseases for which low-grade inflammation is a risk factor are commonly found to be magnesium-deficient.

Summary: Subclinical magnesium deficiency caused by low dietary intake often occurring in the population is a predisposing factor for chronic inflammatory stress that is conducive for chronic disease. Magnesium deficiency should be considered a nutrient of significant concern for health and well-being.

Nielsen FH. Effects of magnesium depletion on inflammation in chronic disease. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014 Nov;17(6):525-30. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000093. PMID: 25023192.