Magnesium, RBC

Blood Health

A healthy result should fall into the range 4.2 - 6.8 mg/dL.

Magnesium is a critical element because hundreds of enzymatic reactions in the body depend on it. Muscles need magnesium for the process of contraction and relaxation. The heart needs this element to have a steady beat. The immune system needs it to eliminate inflammation. The blood vessels need magnesium so they can adequately expand and contract, thus controlling blood pressure. 

Magnesium is just as important as zinc and chromium for proper blood sugar regulation. It makes insulin work better in the body. New research reports state that even the process of energy production (getting energy from fats and carbohydrates) and the synthesis of proteins are dependent on magnesium.

The most accurate way to know what the level of magnesium is inside the cells is with the red blood cell (RBC) magnesium lab test. You could have low RBC magnesium levels but your serum magnesium levels will show high levels. 

Dietary sources of magnesium include dark green leafy vegetables, lentils, beans, grains (unprocessed), and nuts.

Normal Ranges for Magnesium in mg/dL:

4.0-6.4 mg/dL  



Am J Clin Nutr. 1987;45:1305-12.

Clinica Chimica Acta. 2000;294:1-26. 

Magnesium, RBC result calculator

insert the value from you Magnesium, RBC test result.

What does it mean if your Magnesium, RBC result is too low?

Low RBC magnesium shows a deficiency of magnesium. This is related to various signs and symptoms that may include the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart damage or arrythmias
  • Kidney damage or disease
  • Migraine headaches
  • Asthma
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Problems absorbing calcium

Those who have kidney disease, GI disease, or have been diagnosed with chronic alcoholism are more likely to have low magnesium levels. 

What does it mean if your Magnesium, RBC result is too high?

High levels of hemoglobin are associated with increased blood thickness. This can slow down the blood flow and oxygen transport and in some cases form blood clots which increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. 

Some specific causes of high magnesium might include: 

  • Taking calcium supplements without magnesium
  • Use of too many antacids. 
  • Use of too many laxatives
  • Muscle tone decreases
  • Depression of the central nervous system
  • Heart attack

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