Magnesium is among the several minerals that the body needs in order to maintain its proper functions. It is needed by the human body to maintain normal bone structure, and it acts as a cofactor in over 300 enzyme systems that synthesize protein, regulate blood pressure, and control blood sugar. It is abundant and naturally present in various foods such as dark leafy vegetables, dark chocolate, almonds, yogurt, and many other plant and animal foods.
The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies lists the recommended daily intake of magnesium, depending on various demographics. However, because of factors such as low dietary intake, unhealthy habits like cigarette smoking and frequent drinking of alcoholic beverages, as well as the use of certain medications, the levels of magnesium in the body may deteriorate, thus leading to magnesium deficiency.