Magnesium

Magnesium is the second most abundant intracellular cation. The total body content in an adult is around 2000 mmol (24 g). Sixty per cent is contained in bone, and 20% in muscle. The normal calcium: magnesium ratio in bone is 50:1, the ratio being higher in trabecular than in cortical bone. Only 1 % is contained in the extracellular fluid.

Daily intake is around 10-12 mmol. Requirements are increased in childhood, pregnancy, critical illness and in magnesium-losing states (renal, gastrointestinal or cutaneous). The serum concentration ranges from 0.8-1.2mmol/l. 25%-30% is protein bound, 10%-15% is complexed and 50%-60% (the physiologically active fraction) is ionised. The intracellular concentration is around 40 mmol/l.

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