Determination Of The Magnesium Status & Values
magnesium values

A low level of magnesium in the blood serum stimulates parathyroid hormone release, which accelerates bone loss. To avoid this, a serum level above 0.85 mmol/l is desirable. Serum values ​​in the lower normal range are suspicious because this is often associated with a cellular magnesium deficiency. That is why the serum value is a deceptive indicator.

If the serum value is below 0.7 mmol/l, hypomagnesemia is diagnosed, a fairly common electrolyte disorder. After all, 10% of hospital patients suffer from it, and 50% of patients in intensive care units (Thomas 2012, 560). If the critical threshold is set at 0.8 or 0.85 mmol/l rather than 0.7, then far more patients are affected. However, what is decisive is the supply of magnesium to the cells.

A latent deficiency is often to be expected. Up to three-quarters of older adults may be affected: the serum values ​​initially appear to be okay, but the cells’ magnesium concentration is too low. The enzyme systems and metabolic reactions that are dependent on magnesium only function to a limited extent.

Magnesium Status: Norm And Target Values.

Norm And Target Values[mmol/l][mg/l]
Blood serum0.70 to 1.0517.0 to 25.5
   Better norm0.75 to 1.1018.0 to 26.7
   Target Value0.85 to 1.1020.5 to 26.7
Whole blood1.20 to 1.7529.0 to 42.50
Erythrocytes1.95 to 2.6547.5 to 64.5
   Target2.25 to 2.9055 to 70
   Deficiencyunder 2.25under 55

The magnesium level in the blood serum is of little informative value. A cellular deficiency is probable in the lower normal range, unlikely in the normal medium range, and improbable in the normal upper range, but not excluded.

The magnesium level in whole blood is more informative.

The most informative is the magnesium level in the erythrocytes (red blood cells). Before 1963, higher values were considered normal: 50 to 70 mg/l. If the value is below 55 mg/l, there is a deficiency (Goodman 2014, 132). The aim is to achieve values in the normal upper range. The erythrocytes have an average lifespan of 120 days. They absorb magnesium in the bone marrow during their development. Mature erythrocytes in the blood can no longer absorb magnesium. Therefore, the magnesium concentration in the erythrocytes only provides information about the supply during the past few months. The current cellular magnesium supply can only be read to a limited extent from this.

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